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Clunker Tips and Tricks

The parts shown above turn a bomber into a geared hybrid. But there are still some items you need to get it all sorted.

This is the round aluminum stock used for seatposts. It is 13/16" 2024 - NOT some metric equivalent. To mate to a Brooks saddle it will need a shim. A good shim to use is a Wald stem or seatpost shim that's still available. MemoryLane has them. Cut it in half.

This is the Wald shim to use.

If you're using motorcycle levers you'll find that the end barrel on the brake cable is too small if you aren't using motorcycle cables and housing. I'm too lazy to go to the MC shop so I shim the barrel of a regular bike brake cable. I found some tubing at Ace hardware, slip one inside the other to get the thickness and cut to length, then slot to accept the cable.
I you don't shim the barrel it will pull into the slot and cause brake failure. The lever gives up easily, so don't try it.

It is hard to find a front derailleur to fit the seatpost on a Schwinn, let alone a Suntour. It will need a shim. Many bike shops have a box full of junk with something or you can get a Huret shim off ebay and have them mail it to you.

All of the shims; The handlebar shims are 7/8 - 1" shims from Problem Solvers part #sm 3002.

These are the items you can really use on a hybrid and they're all from MemoryLane.

I see a lot of brakes on ebay being referred to as Atom brakes but they are actually knockoffs made on the patent. (Brevette)
Arai and Grimeca among others. None approach the quality of the Atom. These are some hard to find Atom 36h hubs (105 holes) that came off a Schwinn Town and Country tandem. Spoke washers are a good idea.

Some of you will want to embark on the quest for the Holy Grail of drum brakes, the Union drum brake This is what it looks like.
The only source that I know of is the 60/70s' Schwinn Town and Country Tandem, some came with just the rear, others with front too. Worry about the cones.

Thumbshifters come in all states of decomposition. The Suntour mighty shifter is what I'm referring to. It was a right side only shifter intended for use on one of the Schwinn models. I ended up with some mounting bases but found some downtube friction shifters (right and left) on ebay. They were cheap enough I got two and took the right sides to make a set of 'mighty shifters' using the bases I had.

The Tange bicycle motocross headset is the one to use.

For a quality pedal the Suntour XC and the later XCII were what we had. XC around 79 and the XCII a year or two later. The earlier rectangular pedal hurt your foot, the later hurt your shin, a lot!
Threads are 9/16 and it is hard to get the TA cranks in other than French metric...SO take the French cranks to your bike shop and have them chase the threads with a 9/16 tap...VOILA !! That's all it takes.

Suntour and Maeda (same) originally had 5 speed clusters, then 6 and then Shimano came up with the Hyperdrive with a wider chain. If you're a Shimano guy I can't help you. But if all you can find is the Suntour 5 speed cogs don't worry, all the 6th cog added to the equation was a 13t top gear, instead of 14. We actually used it.

Shimano and Tange made BB adapters along with YST. Available from YST these days is the sealed bearing version which features easy chain alignment and foolproof bearings. For TA cranks the 127s work.

In 1979 we finally got some aluminum rims and they were the Araya 7x. They came in these trashy colors which I hated but used. Now and then I find some in silver anno which I prefer. Many colored rims are cheap because their anno is faded, but straight. An anno shop will strip the old color off for pretty cheap and give you silver ones back. Which I prefer.

Contact me at: RepackPioneer@aol.com