Happy/Unhappy

I’m happy that the Bernard Carre frame is now built up and ready for a test ride. I’m not happy to discover the rear brake is so stiff as to be nearly unusable.

I’m happy to have remembered I have been storing four brand new KoolStop “four dot” brake pads. I’m not happy realizing there’s no way to “toe in” these particular brakes and that I have to listen to the high pitched squeal until these new pads are properly seated.

I’m happy to have also remembered a Zeus Criterium “69” rear and front derailleur, and shifter. I’m not happy to discover my cool-as-shit Zeus Criterium “69” rear derailleur only wants to throw the four outbound gears, and won’t budge any further inboard regardless of how much I adjust the B limit screw.

I’m happy the frame arrived with a TA bottom bracket. I’m unhappy that the spindle is too short for my Stronglight crank.

I’m happy to discover the frame has a nice light and responsive ride quality. I’m happy to have another bike project to play around with. I’m happy to have a complete Campy gruppo to throw on in place of the Zeus kit if things don’t work out.

Hey, I’m just generally happy today.

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13 thoughts on “Happy/Unhappy

  1. Phillip Cowan says:

    If it were mine I wouldn’t feel bad about putting period correct Suntour stuff on it. It’s well made, well finished and flat out works. I’m a heathen, I know.😁 It’s lookin’ good though.

    • This has been more of an exercise in building with available, on hand components. I originally intended to go all French, but I seem to have sold/traded off most of my “good” stuff. As it happens, I’m equally a heathen and have always loved Suntour stuff as well…and I’m actually “Suntour-rich” – at a guess, I’ve got enough to build up at least a dozen really nice Suntour-equipped frames.

  2. That last suggestion about installing Japanese components may have some historical precedent. My c.1986 Andre Bertin x-cross bike, bought new in 1987, was equipped with first generation Shimano 600 components; the ones with the curly stylizations to make them look more European(?) I have read that Bertin himself had a vision of the future and grabbed the Shimano distribution rights.

    Seating pads and toe in: I place a little piece of course sandpaper between the pad and the rim. Holding the brake lightly against the rim/sandpaper, I rub the rim back and forth a few times. Presto, seated pads. To create toe in, add a thin wedge between the rim and the sand paper. I’m
    careful to completely blow away any grit left from the sandpaper.

    • No kidding? Do you mean Shimano Arabesque? I’ve got a nearly complete Arabesque kit (no crank), as well as a couple of later 600 “tri-color” kits. That’s a really interesting story about Bertin’s acquisition of distribution rights.

    • It’s ridiculous, is what it is. My bike kits outnumber my art making stuff. Is my studio actually a studio? Or a bicycle museum? (Or just a warehouse?)

  3. Tom Howard says:

    I can relate to the Zeus derailleur woes. While refurbishing a pal’s Zeus-equipped Raleigh Competition, I could not get it to shift into the largest cog, even after fiddling with it for what seemed like hours. I wondered if the freewheel had been swapped out at some point for one with lower gearing, or perhaps the derailleur was simply worn out.

    And removing the Zeus crank proved to be an adventure. None of my sockets fit. But I got some brilliant advice from a guy at Yellow Jersey in Wisconsin. I ground down an old 15mm socket until the sides were thin enough to fit in. It worked perfectly.

    • It’s got me perplexed. Even with the wheel off, the derailleur cannot be coaxed to move further inboard. This is one adjustment that should be a no brainer.

  4. But if projects were easy, that would just be weird now wouldn’t it =)

    I got the kool stop replacement mafac brake pads and they screech like crazy. Not amazing braking performance either TBH. No way I can see to adjust the toe-in and after a few hundred kms, no improvement… I’m keen for any tips.

    • I’ll be frank: I was more than a little relieved to find out these particular brakes don’t lend themselves to being bent. The thought of brute force toe-in always leaves me with a heightened sense of anxiety! What I wound up doing is placing a piece of coarse sandpaper between rim and brake pad, then lightly tightening up until a light contact was made between the two surfaces. Rotating the wheel gently back and forth allowed the pads to seat properly. (You may note this strategy was suggested by another reader earlier in the comments. Worked like a charm. And my KoolStops stop without any squeal at all now. Kool!)

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