Posts in Category: SkateBike Restoration

LeRun Restoration

John Cummings III of Honolulu is restoring this vintage LeRun he found on his walk to work. Someone had thrown in out. One man’s trash…

I am looking forward to seeing John’s restoration.

GoPro on a Skate Bike

I have been experimenting with mounting a GoPro on my Skate Bike. Originally I had the camera on my helmet but this resulted in a floating camera shot with no reference points to set the shot in context. The skatebike is not exactly loaded with spots to mount a camera. I finally found this position. Note: when the bike falls over the camera has a tendency to change angle. Check after a fall.

Skate Bike with GoPro

Skate Bike with GoPro

GoPro mounted

GoPro mounted

Chain Tug and new Seat Post Clamp

I made two improvements to the skate bike. First was replacing the old seat clamp. The old clamp was working fine but it was rusty and didn’t look very nice.

Old rusted seat post clamp

New seat post clamp

The second change is the addition of Chain Tugs. Chain tension is controlled by positioning the axle. The challenge is when you tighten the bolts the axle tends to move. A chain tug restricts the movement of the axle during tightening.

Brake side before

Brake side with Chain Tug

Gear side with Chain Tug

Thanks Myles at Spoke O’Motion for your help.

New Brake on as well as New Seat Post

New post and brake

I am getting there. In the last few days I installed a 300 mm 25.4mm aluminum seat post to replace the steel 200mm one. The old post was corroded but the key problem was it was too short. Even with it extended beyond the safe limit I was still about two inches short. I believe having the seat at proper height will give better control like it does on a unicycle. The challenge was the new posts were a hair too thick. Between a belt sander and a wire wheel I removed a small amount and the new post fits great.

Next was reinstalling a rear hand brake. The brake handle worked even better on the Trek seat than on the original supplied seat. The front slope of the tubes provided a downward slope making for cleaner cable routing. I purchased a basic real caliper side-pull brake. The cable needed to be long enough to accommodate the seat raised to full height. In the pictures it is more in the position for me so there is extra bend.

Park BT-5 Adjustable Third Hand Brake Tool holding caliper closed


While installing the cable I got to use one of my favorite Park Tools – the BT-5 Adjustable Third Hand Brake Tool. No longer made by Park, it holds the brake closed while the cable is threaded and tightened.

Complete Skate Bike

conesTo make my next ride more challenging I bought soccer collapsible marker cones. It was an idea I read in a unicycle book. The nice part is if I run over one it just flattens. I also bought a handlebar mount for the GoPro camera so can do shots with the camera attached to the frame. That should give an interesting perspective.

Next plans for the skate bike

Skate bike with new seat and brake handle

I was very encouraged by yesterday’s ride. The tire pressure was low so I pulled the tire/tube but could not find any leaks. I applied two layers of cloth tape to the rim inside to protect the tube from the spoke caps, dusted the tire inside with baby powder and reinflated. I will watch it.

I was not happy with the seat height so I need to look for another post. I got an aluminum one but it is snug. I will check the steel/chrome ones. The post is one inch but sold as a 25.4mm. A steel one is easy to find.

Next was the seat. I have several saddles at home and found this old Trak one. The hand brake lever mounted nicely and the seat is higher so I am going to try it. As discussed before I went for a coaster brake wheel. I can see the value of the hand brake so I am looking for a new one. The old one is badly corroded.

Bell helmet with GoPro camera

The second interesting part was my new GoPro camera and helmet. I am a firm believer in helmets. I have several for road bikes but the skate bike and unicycle is more like a BMX setup with back falls. I needed something to protect the back of my head in a rear fall. I have been interested in the GoPro and saw this an a nice opportunity to try one. First observation – that is the most amazing adhesive on the mount. That puppy is never coming off. Dorothea also played around with how-to-do the roaming camera capture. Carrying around the camera on the folded up tripod gave some stability to the shot. Laying in the picture-in-picture is a challenge as the GoPro footage does not show real time when you preview in iMovie so I had to work from visual markers. It is a place I can see a clapboard helping to provide sync points.

Lots of interesting things to explore. Now I am looking for the brake calipers. That should be interesting.

First Successful Ride

Skate Bike

Skate Bike

Today I rode the rebuilt skate bike for the first time. The new hard bushings worked well. (Thanks Gord) The added rigidity provided stability. The seat needs to be a bit higher but was extended as far as it could go. Also I would like to try a longer seat to help with control.

BUT – I was excited. This was also my first experience with the GoPro camera on my helmet. We were riding in the parking lot of the Sunderland Public School. I got some interesting looks from the locals.


First Ride

Took the skate bike out for it’s first run since the rebuild. The new truck came with very soft bushings. Bushings control how soft/hard the steering is. In the case of a skate bike they also provide some side to side stability. I have an email into Area 51 to query about much firmer bushings.

When I checked the old ones out they were very rigid and cranked so tight they hardly turned.

Bushings

Bushings

First Restoration Done

All of the new parts are on. Biggest challenge was the seat post and the crank cotters. The aluminum seat post I bought is speced as the same size but it is just a hair wider. I cleaned up the old steel chromed post and will see how it works. If I need the additional length I will work on the aluminum post to thin it or look for an older spec steel post. The crank cotters are also a hair large. I still had the old ones so I refit them.

My goal now is to try the bike this evening. It is 33o C (91F) right now. Too hot for me. Once the sun gets on the horizon it will cool down. Once I see how things work I can plan on the frame restoration.

SkateBike

Before

New Parts on

After

Old Crank Cotter

Before

After

After

Before

Before

After

After

Bottom Bracket and Cranks

Bottom Bracket and Cranks

Bottom Bracket and Cranks

Cleaned and polished the skate bike bottom bracket and cranks. From the beginning this was going to be the toughest part to replace. The bottom bracket (BB) is an old British/I.S.O. 1.370″ X 24 tpi threading with a shell width of 68 mm. The size on the spindle is listed as 3S but does not match any I can find. Fortunately the corrosion is not too bad. I wire brushed the parts. The most corrosion is on the locking ring which should not be hard to replace. I am going to mount them and use a grease finish to protect the raw metal. The skate bike will not be exposed to rain so the covering should provide the necessary protection.

British/I.S.O. 1.370″ X 24 tpi threading
Shell width of 68 mm
Spindle width: 147mm A: 42mm B: 53mm C: 52mm
Adjustable cup on the left, fixed on the right
Sprocket 36 teeth

Starting the Rebuild

Exciting day for me as the skateboard parts arrived. The crank cotters came yesterday. One thing that has been bugging me is what to do about the sticker. Obviously they are no longer made. I measured the plate and it is 3 inches in diameter. Then an idea. How about a stick on reflector.

Minson Logo Sticker

Minson Logo Sticker

Three inch Stick-on Reflector

Three inch Stick-on Reflector

While it would be nice to have a proper sticker, my goal is not a vintage restoration but a functioning bike. The reflector will not look out of place.

Park Mechanic Repair Stand

Park Mechanic Repair Stand


The frame is still rough but I decided to put the new parts on and see how it works before sandblasting and repainting the frame. From my old long distance bike riding days I have a proper Park Mechanic Repair Stand. Once the frame is mounted it is easy to spin the frame to the most convenient position for each job. My first goal was the skateboard trucks. What lovely units and well engineered. The shipment even came with the skater obligatory stickers for the various brands. Thanks Gord.

Tracker RT-X  truck with Powell wheels

Tracker RT-X truck with Powell wheels

Mounted

Mounted

The nice looking trucks cry out for the frame sandblast but they are on. I removed the rusted pedals from the cranks but with the heat wave the garage was just too hot. Enough for one night. There is still a long way to go but I am encouraged. I am hoping to try it out this weekend to see if I need to modify anything before painting.

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