Radial lacing
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Radial lacing

Jul 31, 2015 | No Comments

Instagram filter used: Lo-fi

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Making a short film on spoke length
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Making a short film on spoke length

Jul 30, 2015 | No Comments

Instagram filter used: Willow

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Cleaning Bicycle Parts – It works wonders
In Blog, DIY

Cleaning Bicycle Parts – It works wonders

Jul 25, 2015 | No Comments

Cleaning bicycle parts brings out the best!

It’s a true statement, cleaning bicycle parts does work wonders. Often I get a bike whose derailleurs, hubs and other parts are covered in mud and smut. But I also know that in the old days they knew about producing quality. Chances are those grimy parts still are in good shape. Ready to be used for many more years to come. And shining in their vintage appeal. All they need is some proper care and attention. To me vintage is all about using original components and leaving as many as possible on the bicycle.

My first step in providing proper care is cleaning bicycle parts. I start off with dismantling the bike, taking out each and every component. In turn I disassemble those components into its constituent parts (as far as this can be done). Next I pile all parts into a plastic container, fill it up with petroleum and let it rest overnight.

If you are cleaning bicycle parts for the first time I recommend you do not mix too many of the disassembled parts in one container. Make sure you remember how to put them back together afterwards. Tip: for instance you can leave one brake intact while you disassemble and cleanse the other. Once clean you can use the intact brake as an example for re-assembling the other one.

The next day you can easily rub off the most tenacious fat, oil and dirt with a toothbrush. Once the dirt is removed I rinse the components in turpentin (white spirit) to remove any petroleum residue. This is to allow fresh grease to be applied later. You can leave the components to dry by itself and let the turpentin vaporise.

During the cleaning process I wear plastic gloves that are able to resist chemicals. I found the petroleum slowly eats away at normal ‘washing up’ gloves. And I don’t like this stuff on my skin.

In this video I demonstrate what cleaning bicycle parts looks like:

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Second Life
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Second Life

Jul 17, 2015 | No Comments

Most of the Raleigh Sirocco’s parts are in wonderful shape. After a good cleaning and polish they are ready for their second life.

In Blog, DIY

Leather saddles – How you can break them in quickly

Jul 14, 2015 | No Comments

Leather saddles need breaking in. Period!

If you ever bought a new leather saddle, you know that they start off being hard and tough. Not a pleasure to ride on by any means. It can take many miles of cycling and up to a year before the leather gets  a little flexible and starts to take your butt’s shape. Once you reach that point it will be your best friend. And, if you care for him a little, will be so for a very long time. Cause, on the upside, leather is very durable.

Especially its luxurious look, its craftsmanship and reputation for quality are what draws me to the Brooks collection of leather saddles. Although less so now, they also used to produce a large array of coloured saddles. Something I happily combined in my bike designs. However, I found the saddles too hard and I did not put them on my own bike. This changed when I came across a blogpost that mentioned Lon Haldeman’s method for breaking in a leather saddle WITHIN A WEEK. This sparked my curiosity and I started his method that same day. Btw, Lon himself claims he does it in a day!

In a nutshell – the full method is explained by himself – it involves soaking the new leather saddle in warm water, giving it a long massage, riding it and applying lots and lots of mink oil. So far I broke in three leather saddles – two Brooks Professionals and one Brooks B17 – and in each case I found his method to work really well. Not only do the leather saddles become very comfortable to ride on (especially the B17) they also get this nice vintage patina.  One point of criticism is that the coloured leather saddles loose their paint quite easily. Take care what trousers you wear while breaking these in.

So all you need to get going is some mink oil – I got a tin from Red Wing boots – a cloth and a towel.

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In Blog

Raleigh on a Roadtrip

Jul 10, 2015 | No Comments

The Raleigh Sirocco, which I disassembled a few days ago, has been packed and shipped to the company that will chromize it.

In Blog

Prepping

Jul 9, 2015 | No Comments

Second step in the design process, is prepping the frame. As this Raleigh road bike will be converted to a single speed, all frame parts related to the derailleurs can be removed.

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Bicycle Disassembly – First step in redesigning a bike

Jul 2, 2015 | No Comments

Bicycle Disassembly – Breaking it up in pieces

Ever since I was child I liked taking things apart. Getting to know what is inside, how things work, satisfying a curiosity for the unknown. And I still like it, a lot. The bicycle disassembly is my favourite step in the design process.

First step in the design process is the disassembly of the bike. In this case, a vintage Raleigh Sirocco.

Fixed Days Bike Market
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Fixed Days Bike Market

Jul 2, 2015 | No Comments

This weekend is the kick-off of the Tour de France, the so-called ‘Grand Depart’. On Sunday the cyclists will pass through Rotterdam on a stone’s throw away from where I will be. Fixed Days is organising one of their Bike Markets and Velo Vintage will be there with a stand. Come and visit us and see some exquisite design bikes.


Location: Station Hofplein, Raampoortstraat 30, Rotterdam
Date: July 5th 2015
Time: 10:00-18:00h
Entrance fee: 2,50€. With Rotterdampas: 1€

 

Tailor made
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Tailor made

Jun 20, 2015 | No Comments

Velo Vintage started a new line of design bikes: fabric covered frames!

This process begins with drawing a paper template for each of the four main tubes (head, seat, top and down tube). Fabric receives a special treatment after which the templates are used to cut out the right sizes. A glue fits the fabric around the tubes.

Below you see an Italian road bike frame with a mustard green powdercoat and a titanium coloured fabric.