Monday, November 17, 2014

Vintage J Bike

Most of the stuff I play around with, from the land of the rising sun, comes in the form of 4 wheels.  Now that I have some time I can now toy with a two wheel project that's been collecting dust in the back for a bunch of years.

Never really heard of the bike brand Sturdee.  A search of the brand didn't turn up that much information, except it was probably from the 70's bike boom era.  This was when a tsunami of Japanese made bikes flooded the american market.  Kinda like how china covers the market with it's own goods nowadays.  Notice how the head badge bears a striking resemblance to the old Schwinn badge, was this supposed to be a knockoff of Schwinn?

I'm guessing this number here might be the production date.  If so it looks to made in March 1976.  Doesn't look too bad for a bike that's still wearing the original paint and running gear.  And one of the few vintage bikes that hasn't been turned into a fixie.

 Old shimano derailleur that works quite well, even when it's close to 40 years old.  Gotta love old Japanese made stuff.

Royce Union head lamp screams classic.  Not sure of it's age, it was already installed on the bike.  It's a bit rusty, but it still works.  What's great about this light is that it has a high and low beam switch.  The bad is that it uses regular low wattage incandescent bulbs so the light output is marginal at best.  Eventually I may try and install some LEDs.

A bike dynamo powers the head lamp.  No batteries to fill up and contaminate the landfill.  It's all about being green here.  Coming from the guy who's car spews out lots contaminants.

Working on bikes required some special tools.  But I was able to get by with most of the automotive tools in my arsenal.  Though I did have to make this one to true the wheels.  Yeah I'm cheap, but didn't cost me anything since I already had the raw material to make it.

Using a cargo tie down to suspend the bike while I clean and lube.  Eventually I'll probably make a bike stand out of some scrap.  Unless I get tired of this fad and hang it up.

All done and ready to ride.  Not too bad for an old vintage bike.

Made it all the down to seal beach using the San Gabriel river trail.  It's nice not having to worry about cars and trucks.  Too bad summer is coming to an end.  But next year i'll probably be taking this down to the beach more often.

Unfortunately, the old tire didn't hold up for the ride back and blew out half way in to the ride.  So I had a nice leisurely 5 mile walk back.  Overall it was a nice little project. 

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