“…I could have sworn I had a brand-new 1/8 inch chain. I guess I’m going to have to wait until tomorrow to give this one a test ride.” Yes, I was muttering to myself as usual. And I was a little peeved at myself for not having actually looked to see if I had what I needed. I mean, here I was yesterday afternoon, sitting on a box of kitty litter, sifting through my box of chain and discovering I had none to fit a single speed drive train. So yeah – dammit. I’m impatient, and I hate waiting.
The situation was remedied this morning. I made a few quick photographs before the drive train gets contaminated with road gunk, then took the 1946 Hobbs of Barbican Superbe on about a hundred foot test ride to check brakes and drive. Even though this frame is slightly smaller than my other riders and the cranks are 165s, I was a little surprised to discover I would actually need to lower the seat pin slightly. I’d set up the saddle height measuring from the center of the crank to the top of the seat platform as I normally do, and usually I’m right on target.
So, a quick adjustment and I was ready to roll, spinning the pedals up and down the street, and enjoying the ride of a quality vintage British frame. I’ve a little more play in the headset than I like, which is due in part to a few parts having been cobbled together. I have headsets I could be using but it turns out the steerer threads are a slightly different width and pitch. So the adjustable race is loose and because the locknut won’t tighten down I’ve used the original Lytaloy locknut. It’s the only part of the original headset that I have, otherwise I’d be using the original.
I’ll be watching the internet and swap meets for vintage Lauterwasser bars and appropriate stem, or British drop bars and stem to replace the Cinelli stem and bars I’ve installed so that I can ride the bike. I’ll also be watching out for a straight seat pin…the fluted pin doesn’t feel right on this build. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to keep the crankset I have on there right now and forego the seemingly elusive Chater Lea for the time being.
The wheel build is very good, and all the parts seem to be playing well together. Once the headset issue is resolved, I want to take the bike out for about a ten-mile jog in the river bottoms.