Late 80s Gazelle Tour Populair

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  • Bloody love Gazelles, me. But I've only ever built up Champion Mondials (a Campag super-record 1980s period jobbie, two light tourers, a baanfiets ...then another track bike). All those bikes get ridden - but not day-to-day.

    This one might.

    The Dutch have been getting to work on these things for about 100 years. This is pretty much the classic model: the Gazelle Tour Populair. The new ones look pretty much the same, and cost £800.

    This one dates to the late 80s/early 90s - to judge by the August 87 datestamp on the Sturmey Archer three-speed rear hub - and cost £30 from @hatsoff2bert here.

    Cool stuff includes:

    • Rod-operated drum brakes (hinges!)
    • Gazelle-branded dynamo (not working)
    • Rear-wheel lock (no key)
    • Restoration-worthy Brooks saddle
    • Kickstand

    Plan is basically to give it a complete overhaul, deep clean and replace all the broken parts, starting with that front wheel, which was apparently run over by a car while the bike's previous owner was waiting at the lights.

    The Gazelle-branded drum-brake hub seems pretty unscathed, so I'm going to buy this chrome rim and get the wheel rebuilt.

    Anyone recommend a good wheelbuilder, preferably Brixton-ish?

  • Get someone, maybe at a bike shop, to help you a bit and build the wheel yourself. This is how I built my powertap wheel and it's really not that hard at all. Lots of video tutorials about etc.

  • brixton cycles? but as pascalo says have a crack yourself. Id suggest roger mussons ebook at circa £7 is a worthwhile investment

  • This is a pretty good tutorial about lacing up, there's a follow up on how to tension and true it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYl4NO5m­16Q

  • @Diamond_Supercool Glad to see you're getting to work on it! By the way, I contacted my old housemate and I'm afraid he does not have the key for the lock.

    Best of luck with the project.

  • Thanks for asking. I'll probably just install a new wheel lock. They're cheap. And it wouldn't really be a Dutch commuter without one.

  • Great stuff; I still mourn my Gazelle stadsfiets that was pinched in Utrecht c.1998. I always fancied a roadster with rod-actuated drum brakes; how much of a faff are they to fettle?

  • TBC. Haven't done anything other than take the whole bike apart at the moment. But they can't be harder to fettle than that sodding chainguard.

    I've worked on Dutch bikes before and the thing I really don't understand is why - on a design that has barely changed in a century - nobody has made it easier to remove the rear wheel.

    Granted, everything here was a bit bashed up and bent, but to get the rear wheel out, I had to remove:

    1) the rack;
    2) the skirt guards;
    3) the Sturmey Archer adjustment chain;
    4) the crankset (because I couldn't access the chainguard bolts);
    5) the chainguard;
    6) the mudguard

    Not exactly convenient if you get a roadside puncture.

  • I have seen Dutch bikes with a split seat- and chainstay at the dropout, which allows for a tyre and tube change that way; mine has the old-skool bolted seatstay, but I think it has normal chainstays, so that's no use for a tyre change . Linear tubes are also more popular over there.

    Apparently there exist workshop tools called 'Dutch pliers', which are used to spread the rear dropouts enough that the rear wheel will drop out(!); usually the bending is within elastic limits, and as you're normally running Marathon+ or something equally impervious on there, it should hopefully be a once-every-couple-of-years kind of job...

  • Also helps to not get the wheel stolen?

  • This bike has the bolted seatstays. What's their purpose?

  • The short answer to 'why bolted stays?' seems to be 'because that's what trad roadsters (Raleigh DL-1 &c.) had, and no-one bothered to change'.

    Some models of full oil-bath chaincases need the seatstay unbolting at the dropout to get them off, but that wasn't universal. It may have been cheaper from a manufacturing and assembly perspective, and it potentially allowed replacement of damaged stays, but I've not seen a definitive answer.

  • If you get a puncture you don’t take the wheel off, you patch the tube in situ.

    How big is the frame BTW? Looks huge! I was hoping to get the bike for my husband but you snagged it :( So if it’s too big for him it will make me feel a bit better

  • There are several different tools that can spread the rear dropouts. This one works well to cold set old steel frames to a bigger permanent width as well.


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  • Yeah; the ones I was shown were scissor-like arrangements with half-metre-long handles and forked ends. Always seemed a bit terrifying to me, maar als 't niet anders kan...

  • Ah! I'm sorry. It's 56cm(ish). And I guess it'll feel bigger given the riding position.

  • There's inner tubes that are split in the middle so you won't have to remove the wheel in case you get a puncture

  • From SJS cycles.......


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  • Those double-ended inner tubes look amazing. I'm going to get some. Thanks.

    The bike is all in pieces - being cleaned bit by bit.

    I've ordered this stuff from https://hollandbikeshop.com/en-gb/. Amazing place. They stock more than 400 mudguard stays. Hopefully I've bought the right ones.

    1. New frame lock
    2. New chain guard
    3. New left crank arm
    4. New front rim
    5. New grips
    6. New front mudguard and stays

    The frame is covered in patches of rust. Cosmetically I'm not bothered; it's a well-used Dutch bike; they're meant to look like this.

    But once I've sanded away any loose paint should I paint over the rust patches with something to stop them getting worse?

  • Rust converter & black paint, or just Zinc primer if you want the ratty look? OTOH the frame tubes are probably gaspipe, so leaving it as it is is unlikely to end in fiery death for at least another couple of decades...

  • Cock-up #1 - rims

    Ordered the wrong bloody front rim from Holland. Good job I noticed before sending it off to Arup Sen to be built up onto the old hub. Still, at least now I know the difference between 22-622 (incorrect) and 22-635 (correct).

    TBH, I didn't realise there was a difference between 28in wheels and 28 1½ wheels. Because WTF?

  • Cock-up #2 - mudguards

    Given that the existing front mudguard was a nasty plastic replacement for the original, and the rear mudguard has a smashed rear dynamo light casing, I decided to buy new mudgards.

    Hollandbikeshop have run out of stock, so I got some closely matching ones off ebay instead. They're silver, but my plan is to spray them gloss black (hopefully with gold detailing, as per the originals).

    Trouble is, they turned up with broken stays. Poor ebaying on the part of the seller. Fortunately the stays are available seperately, and I've got one.

    The next problem is that the front mudguard is too wide to fit between the front forks. I'll need to cut some notches out (or possibly just do some metal-bending) before respraying.

  • Cock-up #3 - comedy handlebar grips

    Ordered these new handlebar grips. Look good, right? Should be a nice fit.

    Er, NO.

    Happily, they'll fit on the rod-brake levers instead. But that doesn't stop my wife breaking into uncontrollable fits of laughter every time she sees them.

  • Still, at least the rust-converting went well.

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Late 80s Gazelle Tour Populair

Posted by Avatar for Diamond_Supercool @Diamond_Supercool

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