Sunday, July 17, 2011

Once You Get Going.... FLC Teardown

Apparently this is my idea of taking it slow

Yesterday I may have mentioned something about going slowly with the Flatland Commuter (FLC) project. Let's see, something like "...I'll probably be working on this for a while, as I'm not in any hurry, have somewhat limited bike tweaking time.." along with some mumbling about wanting to think it through. I can't remember; it's all a big blur of parts and bolts and degreaser now, fogged over by looking at the clock and a floor covered with bike pieces and noticing that it was midnight.

It was my destiny (but not the socks and shoes: been there, done that)

At this year's VNSA book sale, I picked up a great bicycle maintenance book from 1973. It turns out to be perfect for working on a ten speed of the same era! It's kind of like I somehow knew that I would be buying one.  I note that it also promises "the why" of bicycles. Hmm, I'll have to dig into that.

What remains

With everything mounted on it, the old ten speed weighed in right at 31 pounds. Just for an experiment, to see the difference, I removed the kickstand, which is an excellent and crisp-clicking model BTW, and mounted my lighter aluminum wheels off my fixie, also to check the brake suitability for 700c wheels, since the old ones are 27 inchers. I left everything else on, even though most of it will go, which briefly left me in the odd place of having a bicycle with a derailleur and a fixed cog, a VERY BAD idea, but I also needed to get a view of my chain line situation, and I didn't plan to ride it. 

For weighing and eyeballing chain line, NOT for riding

The results of weighing astounded me: just the wheels (including the rear five-speed cluster) and kickstand made a weight difference of over three pounds. As to the chain line check, the fixed cog lined up nicely with the small chain ring, which was expected. Since I want to use the large ring, though, I scratched my head for a while trying to figure out how to get it into a 42 mm chain line. Recalling my recent service of Yasuko's bottom bracket, I wondered if the FLC project bike also had an asymmetric spindle...yes! So Plan A is to flip the short end of the spindle over to the drive side to see if the big ring will still clear the frame. It looks like it will, but I won't really know until actual assembly occurs. Plan B is a new bottom bracket, Plan C is a new BB and a new crankset, which I don't think will be necessary, but it's important to have a fallback plan. Oh, and the brakes look great, they will have no problem working with the 700c wheels. It seems like that may have even been the intent, back then, to give you some options with your bike. I forget, why did we stop doing that? Off to get some mag polish. Get up. Go ride.



  1. I'd imagine, that if you got silly about spending, you could get the beast down under 20 lb.

  2. Steve, I guess we'll see what it weighs if I get reasonable about spending then. :)

    limom, I'm thinking "makeover!" or "second chance!"

  3. I just love that yellow. It's going to be such a fun bike!

  4. Apertome, the dilemma is, do I try to touch up that yellow, or leave it with the proud marks of age? How to match?


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