Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1953 Frejus Touring Bike

1953 Frejus 10 Speed

This is a really cool old bike that my wife's uncle gave me. He saved his money and bought it in 1953 for $400, which was a pile of money in those days (and still is in my house).

It rides like a dream although I would never ride it too far as its 54 cm frame is too small for me. The rear cluster (15/23) and chain rings (50/47) is more of a racing set up so about one hill would kill me. It's one of those things that I will just keep and never get rid of.

Lightweight steel with chrome lugs, Campagnolo Gran Sport groupo, Frejus pantographed crankset, Ambrosio stem, alloy bars, Belilla brakes and levers, Ideal leather saddle, Frejus fenders, Pletscher rack and working generator lights.

I know it is in rough shape (the paint and chrome oxidized while hanging in a garage in florida) but there is just something cool about an old bike.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Removing a stuck seat post

I drug the Centurion out of the shed and on first glance it didn't seem so bad. I was ready to go and then came a few weeks of out of town work, Christmas and New Years.

I went to remove the seat post and ugh, it is stuck. Now I have removed seat posts before but only to save the seat post. I heated the seat tube while destroying the paint and the post came right out. I wanted to save both the seat post and bike frame on this project.

I gently spread the seat post clamp ears with a flat bar and poured some ammonia down the seat post. Ammonia will disolve the corrosion that takes place with the aluminum and steel galvanic reaction. I took a large adjustable wrench onto the seat post top and tried to turn. Nothing doing.

I then got into my plumbing kit, used the propane torch and heated the aluminum seat tube. I figured the expanding of the aluminum against the steel and the following cooling and contracting would loosen the corrosion. (You have to wait until the thing cools because while hot the post is even tighter against the steel seat tube.) I waited until the post was cool and again used the wrench. It came loose like it was nothing.
The stuck seat post could have been avoided with a little greasing every now and then or maybe even greasing it up in the first place. This makes me think that I should take every bike I own, remove the seat post and spread a little grease so this will never happen. Maybe another day.