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Author Archives: gdukebicycles

About gdukebicycles

I make classic bicycle frames using traditional brazing and bicycle alloys.

More Repairs and Observations

A couple of repairs passed through the shop this month and one of them caused me to observe something thing I didn’t like. Andrew brought in his road frame with a broken rear dropout. No problem there. It was a fairly straightforward fix. While I was doing the job and trying not to take too much paint off the rest of the frame (Andrew’s plan was to spray some matching silver paint on the repair) I started to get really frustrated when the Bottom Bracket kept rotating in the vice. I couldn’t believe my vice jaws were that far out of parallel. Turns out they weren’t. I put a caliper over the BB shell and low and behold it looks like it was never faced. This wont effect anything if you are using a sealed BB, but if you installed either an old style cup and cone BB or an external cup setup then you would be in big trouble. I wont mention the name on the frame but I am rather disappointed that these things show up at all. Any way Andrew’s frame is back to where it should be. Liz brought me her Carter with a bent front dropout after the simple act of tipping over in the roof mount system. Not while driving, just while it was being mounted. I took the old one out and put in a new one. Lucky it was steel and not carbon. One bends,the other one breaks.

Broken dropout

Broken dropout

Replaced dropout

Replaced dropout

Dropout Alignment

Dropout Alignment

Bent front dropout

Bent front dropout

Replaced front dropout

Replaced front dropout

After that I headed off to Lorne to participate in Amy’s GranFondo. It was a different ride to other years weather wise and while it could have been worse it was certainly colder and more consistently damp. Still a good day though

A wet day at Amy's GranFondo

A wet day at Amy’s Gran Fondo

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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Michalo tourer in distress

Steven brought me his Michalo touring frame with the beginnings of a down tube failure.

Michalo

Michalo

Michalo tourer downtube crack

Michalo tourer downtube crack

Michalo frames were built by Ron Mitten during the 1980’s. He built some very nice racing frames and a few tourers here in Melbourne, Australia. He was active both as a framebuilder and as a veteran rider when I started racing. and did build some frames for both Christie cycles here and McBains in Tasmania. I know this because I recall him saying one day that he had just shipped three frames down to Tasmania that week. This frame is kind of interesting though. I somehow doubt that the three different options for canti stud positions are original and given it has been repainted at some point I feel it has probably seen some work in the past. Still 30 years of service isn’t bad. lets see if we can set it up for another 30.  Enough history

Michalo Tourer Canti options

Michalo Tourer Canti options

With the crack extending into the lug the decision was made to replace both the down tube and the lower head lug. I filed the lug down so that when I heated things up the lug would come away in two pieces rather than attempt to slide it off the head tube. The amount of rust inside the tube at that junction was rather interesting. I didn’t have an exact match for the lug but did have something close so a little bit of filing produced a pretty good replacement. I decided to drill a vent/drainage hole in the headtube. As far as these holes are concerned they provide for expansion when you braze but they also allow for the water to drain out after you soak the flux off the frame. You don’t need one here for expansion because the BB is open but it cant hurt in terms of drainage. I filed up the down tube and cleaned out the BB shell after removing the remnants of the down tube. Flux the tube and lugs, Braze and soak. Clean up the lugs. Run the taps through the BB shell and we are back on the road. On to the future

Preperation to remove lower headtube lug

Preparation to remove lower headtube lug

Headtube

Headtube

Inside the downtube

Inside the downtube

Replacement lug

Replacement lug

After modification

After modification

Vent hole

Vent hole

Soak

Soak

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Moser Leader SC restoration

This Moser Leader SC came to me with two cracked chainstays.

Moser Leader SC

Moser Leader SC

Cracked Chain stays on a Moser Leader SC

Cracked Chain stays on a Moser Leader SC

The owner wanted to resurrect the frame and so I set about replacing them. First job was to get the paint and the chrome removed from the rear end.

Leader SC without chrome or paint

Leader SC without chrome or paint

I then went about cutting the chain stays and removing them, leaving the dropouts attached to the seat stays. Moser Leaders are partially fillet brazed and partially lugged. The fillet brazing being around the head tube and seat cluster and the lug work at the BB. I discovered a rather interesting fact when I removed the stays from their ports in the BB shell. The stay ports have shelves that the stays run up against.

Chainstay ports on a Moser Leader SC

Chainstay ports on a Moser Leader SC

This is usually an efficiency decision. The tubes can be cut square and at a fixed length but most frames I have seen where this is employed have a lot more of it than this one. I found it intriguing that Moser would go to all the effort of fillet brazing the head tube and seat tube and then worry about the gains of one set of chain stays. Not even the main tubes entering the BB shell had this so they had to be shaped accordingly. Anyway,it wasn’t a problem and was soon fixed. The right side chain stay had a very nicely shaped relief for the cluster so I decided rather than just crimping it in the vice I would make up a press tool to form the shape nicely.

Crimping tool for chainstays

Crimping tool for chainstays

Leader SC, new chainstays

Leader SC, new chainstays

Chainstay crimp

Chainstay crimp

I am now waiting on a fork crown in order to build an appropriate straight blade fork, before it goes back to the platter for chrome and then on to the painter. It will be a very nice bike

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Riding with my Dad

A while back I talked about the inspiration my dad had been in my cycling journey. We did lots of miles together. When he died I ended up with the last bike he had owned. I had built the frame and given his short stature it was the only frame he had owned that actually fitted him.

Dads bike

Dads bike

Dad being dad there was a degree of stuff that passed from bike to bike during his life. The oval label B17 Brooks had been on one or another bikes since before I was born. The Dunlop special stainless steel rims came on a set of wheels in the mid 1970’s along with the Weinman brakes. However dad rode a fixed gear all his life and used a home trainer twice a week until a couple of weeks before he died. That frame was never going to fit me. I put it aside to think about on another day. When the air cleared I remembered a conversation where he reminisced about a bike he had lusted after long ago. It had chromed lugs and bar end shifters and was black. If it had bar end shifters in the 1950’s or early 60’s it must have been pretty good quality. The seeds of an idea started to germinate when I picked up a Beasley frame with chrome lugs from 1961. Coincidentally that was the year I was born. I had some Campag bar end shifters and some Gran Sport derailleurs looking for a project. I took the Dunlop rims and laced them into a pair of Gran Sport road hubs.

Gran Sport Hubs and Dunlop Special rim

Gran Sport Hubs and Dunlop Special rim

I found a set of Stronglight 57 cranks and started to put together the closest thing I could imagine to what he described without molesting the patina of the Beasley that was cream with blue decals (including the name of the original owner).

Stronglight 57 cranks

Stronglight 57 cranks

Owners name, Hand painted

Owners name, Hand painted

I rode it on the weekend, 18 months after he died, with a bunch of guys that appreciate old bikes. It was nice to not only indulge a passion for old bikes and craftsmanship but to have that connection. To sit on that same saddle and ride with dad again.

1961 Beasley

1961 Beasley

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Hand Made Bicycle show Melbourne 2018

The Hand Made Bicycle Show in Melbourne http://www.handmadebicycleshow.cc  #hbsa2018 went off with a huge bang. It was a privilege to be part of something like this and to find myself showing off my work alongside some of the best builders in the country as well a a couple of people from OS. As well as current builders I met people with big historical links to the game. Leo Bates, from the Bates family in Coburg, The son of Eddie Bosomworth of Bosomworth bikes in NZ and another bloke who had worked for Frank Paino in Sydney ( I apologize for not remembering his name) all stopped by my booth for a chat. It was a great weekend of celebrating the handmade bicycle in Australia and meeting so many interested people
The first of the conversations about work materialized last night so I had better get on with it

Just a selection of the fantastic shots Andy took of one of my frames

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5397

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5397

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5407

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5407

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5410

HCBS G Duke _ FYXO-5410

 

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Mad March

March went by with a whirl as I prepared for the Hand Made Bicycle show in Melbourne at the end of April. #hbsa2018

Jeremy’s classic tourer is finally a complete frame. Forks are still to come but I am waiting on him to get hold of the correct dropouts from Germany. If you visit the show this frame will be on show in all its rawness. Jeremy has opted to arrange painting himself so I will sandblast it and show it as is. Have a look at the pictures here and head over to my Instagram page #g.duke_bikeframes to see more.

Adding a front derailliur tab

Adding a front derailliur tab

Fixture for a front derailliur tab

Fixture for a front derailliur tab

Reaming Jeremy's seat tube

Reaming Jeremy’s seat tube

Finally complete, Jeremy's touring frame

Finally complete, Jeremy’s touring frame

If you don’t follow Instagram, don’t worry, I have no intention to move there entirely so this blog will continue with more descriptions than Instagram encourage.

Also completed a ATP ( Australian Tubing Products ) inspired headstem complete with raygun style tip. Chrome by Star Plating in Bayswater. Tips available in a variety of colours. Just like in the old days. See it at the show as well

ATP inspired stem

ATP inspired stem

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

February

February seems like a blur
Mark dropped by with a Colnago TT frame. He had been to the electroplater and a couple of thing had been pointed out that needed attention before plating. A little bit of filler in one of the rear drops, a bit of silver at one of the joins. You don’t often get to see one of these frames let alone be trusted with working on one.

Colnago TT frame

Colnago TT frame

Jeremy’s touring frame continued. A little bit slower than I hoped while I waited on a set of seat stays to match those fantastic Llewelyn drop outs. Planning on having this at the Hand Made Bicycle show in Melbourne. Last weekend in April #hbsa2018 . Better get a wriggle on.

Llewelyn D/Os for touring frame

Llewelyn D/Os for touring frame

Rear stays assembled in the jig

Rear stays assembled in the jig

Bundit came by with another request. A set of Lowpro style forks and bars for his Rosin style street fighter. The bars are still to come. See my Instagram post for more on this build. # g.duke_bikeframes

Low pro style forks

Low pro style forks

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in Uncategorized