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Project Steel

  • 09-04-2020 2:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    I was talking to a friend yesterday and I got thinking afterwards that I'd really love a nice simple, classic steel frame road bike or even single speed. Then it hit me, about three years ago I pulled an old bike out of a skip in work, through it in the back of my (then) Nissan Micra and buried it in the shed because I'm basically a hopeless horder!

    So out I go to the shed to see what kind of state it's in and even if it's worth putting any time into and well, it looks like back in it's day it would have been a very nice bike.
    It's clearly had a rough time and someone has converted it into a much unloved (thrown in a skip when they bought a car) fixie.
    I can't make out who built it, there is a serial number but it's been painted over so it's very hard to make out but it's got tonne of Shimano 600 groupset parts, Dura-Ace downtube shifters and it at least has stickers indicating that it may be made of Columbus steel!

    It is a long way off looking pretty but everything bar the obvious lack of a front brake function and a front wheel bearing with quite substantial play, it doesn't look in too bad of a condition.
    It'll will make a nice project to dig into while I'm not in work, I just wish all of my tools weren't locked away in my garage. :(

    I suspect this will be a slow progress "resto-mod" kind of project, as much as I'd like to keep things somewhat original I imagine parts for this would be very hard to come by.
    I do have a lovely set of Cinelli bars which would look fantastic on it but they're currently on my main bike. :pac:

    Anyway, here's some pictures.
    If anyone could shed some light on what I've pulled from the trash heap, that'd be really cool!

    49753185066_cf9b24bbd3_b.jpg20200409_141206 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753517202_a75d955f90_b.jpg20200409_141025 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753185136_55244709ff_b.jpg20200409_141059 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753185016_4f1a68f882_b.jpg20200409_141223 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753516912_004c6363c4_b.jpg20200409_141615 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753184786_9099a78a87_b.jpg20200409_140952 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,608 ✭✭✭ cletus


    No idea what it is, but looks like a fun project


  • Registered Users Posts: 802 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    Good man yerself!

    Another classic steel frame getting saved.

    At a guess (and this is a wild one!) it looks like the remains of a Concorde PDM paint scheme, with the decals taken off at some point in its life.

    However, it seems to have mudguard eyes on the rear stays, which means it may not be high end. Hard to make out in the pics.

    Is there a serial number under the bottom bracket shell?

    Also, is there any emblem on the top of the front fork crown?

    A few clear close up pics of the lugs on the frame might yield some more ideas also.

    Either way, it's a lovely frame, ripe for restration, which I love to see!

    And, its got a ****load of lovely period parts which, with a little care and tlc, will spring back into life and give you many years of enjoyable cycling.

    Best of luck with the restoration; feel free to give me a shout if you need any info - I do a fair few of these.

    Check out my IG account (@paul.carroll.8valve) for examples of some of the bikes I've managed to bring back from the brink...ignore the pics of my cat (she has no interest in bikes!)

    There's a wealth of knowledge on this stuff online; be prepared to fall down the rabbithole..


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    Just followed you there! I'm always down for cats too, I found mine the same way I found my bike. :pac:

    I couldn't see a serial number on the bottom bracket but there is something stamped just above it on the seat tube, it's very hard to make out right now but I'm going to use Nitromors to strip the paint so I'm hoping it'll be clearer to see then.
    I may even try and transfer it with a pencil and paper.

    Emblems and such are gone so no "hints" there, I will take more detailed pictures of the lugs and I get back here!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭ iwillhtfu


    CianRyan wrote: »
    Just followed you there! I'm always down for cats too, I found mine the same way I found my bike. :pac:

    I couldn't see a serial number on the bottom bracket but there is something stamped just above it on the seat tube, it's very hard to make out right now but I'm going to use Nitromors to strip the paint so I'm hoping it'll be clearer to see then.
    I may even try and transfer it with a pencil and paper.

    Emblems and such are gone so no "hints" there, I will take more detailed pictures of the lugs and I get back here!

    Forget the nitromors it'll do sweet fa get it media blasted. Looks like a nice frame for building though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,608 ✭✭✭ cletus


    The other option is to go "sleeper" or "rat rod" with it. Clear coat over the paint and patina that's there


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,306 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    That looks like a piece of junk. I'll give you a tenner for it and take it off your hands...


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    I've considered both the clear coat and the blasting as a friend of mine has a vapour blaster in his garage, I'm kind of set on the idea of a raw steel frame with a certain amount of staining and patina left on. I've seen some great results in the car world done this way, instead of a clear coat you'd use boiled linseed oil to coat it once a week or so depending one use.
    It retains history and character and still gives it a new, quite different look.

    Few more pictures and a video for those of you with eagle eyes.

    49753013133_49a6a7348d_b.jpg20200409_160402 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753545971_47e19b6b09_b.jpg20200409_160534 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753546111_13b8215901_b.jpg20200409_155853 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753881987_ca067409be_b.jpg20200409_155930 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr

    49753545836_0b62870c15_b.jpg20200409_155936 by Cian Ryan, on Flickr



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,306 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    anything under the BB which might give further clues?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    Nothing, not currently visible at least.
    I'd imagine it'd be quite a heavy stamp too?


  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭ tigerboon


    cletus wrote: »
    The other option is to go "sleeper" or "rat rod" with it. Clear coat over the paint and patina that's there

    Will clear coating work? Will the presence of rust and flaking decals lift it? I done up an old Raleigh M-trax mtb a while back and decided not to because of these concerns. I wanted to keep the used look...money can't buy it. I polished it a few times with Turtle Wax and looks good. Get metal polish for the groupset chrome parts. Brings them up great but takes time. Halfords sell polishes.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    Oh I have some amount of polishes, waxes, glazes, clay bars etc. I git really into detailing a few years ago.
    Starting mo day I'm gonna start taking apart what I can and begins the inspection, cleaning and rebuilding. I'll probably start polishing the metal while I'm at it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,100 ✭✭✭ Mefistofelino


    The bike is an Araya, probably late 70s / early 80s. Japanese made but reasonably popular here at the time as tourers. You can see the tiny "A" logo on the little plate that retains the band- on lever clamp, they had the serial number on the side of the seat tube and the number seems to start with AR or ARY
    As the drop outs look to be pressed steel, the tubing mightn't be a particularly high spec - maybe Ishiwata but probably not even that.

    The lack of brazed top tube cable stops is odd- did they snap off?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,306 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    by gum, that's impressive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    The bike is an Araya, probably late 70s / early 80s. Japanese made but reasonably popular here at the time as tourers. You can see the tiny "A" logo on the little plate that retains the band- on lever clamp, they had the serial number on the side of the seat tube and the number seems to start with AR or ARY
    As the drop outs look to be pressed steel, the tubing mightn't be a particularly high spec - maybe Ishiwata but probably not even that.

    The lack of brazed top tube cable stops is odd- did they snap off?

    Bloody hell, this is why I thought I'd start a thread here. I've always loved bikes but I never had the wealth of knowledge such as yourself.

    Looks, it may not be a rare Italian made beast but it's old and its steel and that's enough for me. I've actually got a huge thing for classic JDM cars so that's actually pretty cool in my book!
    It makes sense, I was surprised to see so much Shimano gear on such an old looking frame. In my head, if it was European I would have expected a more local group set.

    With regards to parts going missing in 40 years of use, I'd almost count on it!

    Thanks for your insight!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,100 ✭✭✭ Mefistofelino


    Araya have many of their old catalogues online- you might be able to find your bike there.

    I think the fork may not be original - I don't see any mudguard eyes on it and the fork crown looks like a Cinelli casting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 985 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass


    by gum, that's impressive.

    I took to bringing a dictaphone on audax spins with him, you couldn't remember it all.

    Rally cars, mapping software, wheelbuilding, etc etc there's no end to it

    Still they gazed and still the wonder grew that...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,100 ✭✭✭ Mefistofelino


    I took to bringing a dictaphone on audax spins with him, you couldn't remember it all.

    Rally cars, mapping software, wheelbuilding, etc etc there's no end to it

    Still they gazed and still the wonder grew that...

    What a polite way of telling me to STFU for a while!:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    I had a look at their catalogues and from what I can make you (I don't speak Japanese) it seems to be a 1986 Araya Excella frame, their catalogue mentions Ishiwata, Tange Prestige and Columbus steel but most of what I see online suggest Tange Prestige to be what is most likely.
    People suggest it is a good quality steel that the braising work under the paint reflects that, I am very excited to see what lies under the paint!

    May be quite hard to get my hands and Nitromors these days, can't really complain but I'd have liked that helping removing the paint.


  • Registered Users Posts: 566 ✭✭✭ Peter T


    You might get some online motor factors to deliver


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭ hesker


    I sanded a frame by hand once. Takes a bit of time but maybe not as long as you might think.

    Check out the insides of the tubes for rust also before you start a lot of work. You can get a protectant called frame saver to prevent rust on the inside.

    https://velo-orange.com/pages/how-to-use-frame-saver


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    So this took a back seat for a few (too many) months, I was busy buying a house in the mean time!

    I got back it today somewhat and cleaned it down, chipped off any loose paint and applied Nitro Mors and covered with cling film. I'll scrape the rest of the paint off tomorrow and see how it's looking.

    I'll need to buy a few more tools and track down some new parts but I'd like to have it ridable by summer.

    IMG-20210316-185648.jpg
    IMG-20210316-190659.jpg
    IMG-20210316-190710.jpg
    IMG-20210316-191405.jpg
    IMG-20210316-191649.jpg

    The shed is a mess but I'll be building a proper bench and little workshop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 802 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    Buying a house is no excuse to not work on vintage steel

    Losing a limb, or an eye, maybe...but not something trivial like buying a house :-)

    Keep the progress pics coming; always great to see another steel being saved.

    Off-cuts of kitchen worktop make great workbench tops and can be got handy from any kitchen place....you might get one that traverses the back wall width of the shed. a few lenghts of 4x2 (twobefour) for legs/supports and yer sorted.

    I have boxes of spare bits so don't be afraid to post up what you need.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    I may take you up on that come pay day!
    I'll probably be looking for a bottom bracket and odd ball headset bearings for a start.

    Any recommendations for a set of tools specifically for vintage bikes? I've come to realize that my thousands spent on car tools means very little when working on old robe bikes. :p
    I'll need a proper bottom bracket spanner for a start and I imagine by blow torch is going to come in handy...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,608 ✭✭✭ cletus


    CianRyan wrote: »
    I may take you up on that come pay day!
    I'll probably be looking for a bottom bracket and odd ball headset bearings for a start.

    Any recommendations for a set of tools specifically for vintage bikes? I've come to realize that my thousands spent on car tools means very little when working on old robe bikes. :p
    I'll need a proper bottom bracket spanner for a start and I imagine by blow torch is going to come in handy...

    I use a propane (or maybe butane) cannister with a torch attachment, think it's for sweating joints when you're plumbing. Works a treat.

    Bikes have to be the worst for proprietary tools. Bottom brackets alone are ridiculous.

    A chain whip for removing cassettes is a hand thing to have, but you'll want the corresponding lock nut tool for it too.

    A set of come spanners is very handy to have too, your snapon spanners won't work on the axle cones :


    Edited to add: it looks like you may need a pin spanner for the bottom bracket. I made one up for a job here, instead of buying. You're welcome to it, just pm an address. It doesn't have a brass handle, I'm afraid ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,720 ✭✭✭✭ CianRyan


    I don't understand why but manufacturers have to be so awkward. :pac:
    The last thing I need is another vast set of tools, I'm really just after a "Haldfards Pro" style kit that has my basics covered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭ iwillhtfu


    Save yourself the head ache and bring it to get media blasted it'll be the best €20 you've ever spent, nitromors is not what it once was.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,306 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    worth checking to see what the rear axle spacing is on it - if it's old enough it'll be 126mm.

    i use BLO on woodturned items, had never considered it for steel.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,306 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    iwillhtfu wrote: »
    Save yourself the head ache and bring it to get media blasted it'll be the best €20 you've ever spent, nitromors is not what it once was.
    one of the great disappointments in life. you could use the new stuff as moisturiser it's so ineffective.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,608 ✭✭✭ cletus


    CianRyan wrote: »
    I don't understand why but manufacturers have to be so awkward. :pac:
    The last thing I need is another vast set of tools, I'm really just after a "Haldfards Pro" style kit that has my basics covered.

    There's sets like that to be bought, but the likelihood is you'll have 80% of the tools already, the likes of screwdrivers, Allen keys, torx keys, pliers etc. Essentially, you'd be paying over the odds for a small few tools.

    Just buy them as you need them, that's what I do


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  • Registered Users Posts: 802 ✭✭✭ 8valve


    CianRyan wrote: »
    I may take you up on that come pay day!
    I'll probably be looking for a bottom bracket and odd ball headset bearings for a start.

    Any recommendations for a set of tools specifically for vintage bikes? I've come to realize that my thousands spent on car tools means very little when working on old robe bikes. :p
    I'll need a proper bottom bracket spanner for a start and I imagine by blow torch is going to come in handy...


    90% of vintage bikes can be done with the following.


    8/9/10/13/14/15/17 combination spanner
    4/5/6mm allen keys
    a good hammer
    flat screwdriver - large and small
    phillips screwdriver - small


    bike specific:
    13/14/15 cone spanners
    30/32 + 36/40 headset spanner
    tyre levers
    tool to suit your bottom bracket


    today's top tip: buy a modern sealed bottom bracket..to hell with the purists..and the tool to fit it....assuming yours is a standard 68mm bb shell...just measure the spindle length and buy the same. I fit them to a lot of vintage bikes as a ''fit it and forget it'' solution, rather than fu(king around with cups and bearings.


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