Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ready to Ride on a Rainy Gray Day

The Assenmacher ready for a cold, rainy ride... why I love fenders.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I goofed... again! Messing-about with the new handlebar bag, I bumped the unattached Luxor rack, which slid off the front fender and onto the hard floor lenses-first. Only broke one, but it was the side with the special gasket and fitting to allow for two headlights powered by one wire. Pretty much no chance of finding a replacement lens assembly like this, so I'm gonna have to disassemble a "normal" Luxor 65 to steal the lens, then figure out how to roll the bezel around it. For now I can borrow a normal lens assembly from one of the other lights.

That lens is gonna be TOUGH to replace.

If you have one of these headlights BE CAREFUL, they are EXTREMELY BRITTLE! This makes two I've broken.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Luxor Rack - New Front Strut and Reassembly

Finished polishing the headlight shells and lenses. One lens has some spiderweb cracks from a previous impact, but luckily they're all below the surface and the lens is intact.

The original front strut has been bent, battered, and damaged over the years. It's soft aluminum and would be easy to straighten, but I didn't want to risk damaging it further. Also, the original fenders were wider than those I'm using, and I need to be able to place the front mounting bolts closer together, so I decided to make a new one from a piece of 6061 aluminum rod.

(No special tools or intelligence required.)

Here you can see the multiple bends of the front strut.

I haven't bought a tube bender (yet), but the aluminum is so soft, I was pretty certain I could bend it by hand. I dug through the junk pile until i found a piece of wooded dowel the right size for the bends. I started at ehe center and worked out from there.

First bends - I had to loop the strut beneath the vise screw to get the right length.

Next came the "S" curve which takes the strut around the fender. I need a narrower location for the bolts, so I deviated slightly from the original strut.

Using the dowel as a guide, I pulled the aluminum into a curve.

So far, so good... now the reverse bend.

Original (left) and hand-made copy (right)... not a perfect match, but close. I'll probably end up buying a tube bender and making another version, but this one will work fine for fitting the rack to the front fender and bike.

Here are all the parts layed-out.

The strut passes through a hole in the head of the the mounting bolts. The thick spacers fit over the bolt head and push against the strut to lock it when tightened. Clearance was a problem until I realized I could lean the strut forward to push the bolts through the holes in the rack.

Everything bolted-up fine. Note how the squarish bend of the strut helps support the center of the rack deck.

I'm a bit disappointed in how the rack looks with the long front fender, which clashes with the lines of the rack and lights. Not sure what I'd change... maybe an emblem bolted to the fender would interrupt that long curve?

Next time: drilling holes and bolting it all together.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Awful Pics of a Beautiful Bike

My friend Ed bought this Chris Kvale a couple years ago, before I had a proper camera, so these pics are terrible. The bike, however, is absolutly gorgeous. I've contacted Ed to see about getting some better pics now that I have a real picturebox. I'll update these as soon as possible.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Paris-Tours, 1935

Here's an old favorite from "Aldo's Pic of the Day"... French illustrator "Pellos" takes us along for another typical bike race with this collection of page headers covering 1935 Paris-Tours. From "Match l'Intran" No.512, 5 May 1935.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Anti-Glare Panels?

I'm beginning to wonder if this rack might be a problem on sunny days...

Lafuma Ensemble

Well... the "too much red?" front bag dilemma has been resolved, as I just won this trio of faded brown 1960's "Lafuma" French bags on eBay/France. I consider today to be a very good day indeed :-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Latvian Sardines and Sardinella

Attention Jonny Hamachi... I bought these two tins at the local eastern european deli (what the heck are "sardinella"?). Should I bother opening these, or just chuck them in the bin?