Vernon Barker 531 tandem - rescue from the woods

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  • Very in-depth thread of mini v-brakes with aero levers.

    https://fixed.org.au/t/brakes-can-stop-d­o-wanna-fitting-tektro-926al-mini-vs/599­13

    Also this:

    https://www.gravelbike.com/v-brake-arm-l­engths/

    https://www.gravelbike.com/weekend-proje­ct-v-brake-conversion/

    I tried running v-brakes on my older touring frame and the posts were too close together to work successfully, so I went back to canti’s, and that was with TRP RRL aero levers. It is achievable though.

    Good luck with the build. Would love an old tandem.

    EDIT: Fern also make a a lot of rim brake drop bar bikes with mini v’s and aero levers.

    https://www.fern-fahrraeder.de/

    EDIT 2: TBH, as much as it is a pain recabling bikes, particularly a tandem, decent Tektro mini v-brakes and canti’s aren’t much and use the same pads, so you could experiment and see what works the best.

  • so glad to see the posturepedic saddles going, the struggles noble and just...

  • I was hoping to find a pair of white San Marco Rolls saddles but I have still found exactly zero. I bought a £30 on eBay but then my transaction got cancelled and refunded by seller.

    I am going to have to go black. I have ordered black Ritchey WCS grips (spongey) which just arrived. So for now I'll use a boring black gel saddle for the rear (on the Dawes, previous page) and then probably my black San Marco Rolls Titanio for the front.

    We are so close to build time! I could have started already but I like to just do everything all at once, for some reason. I think I just love a binge.

  • I am trying to avoid spending like £160 on set of Stronglight tandem cranks (two pairs). Instead I am using the old tandem set and replacing the triple RH crank (from the Dawes). Of the five chainrings (!) on the frankenset I'm replacing four, for a total of £75 or so. It's a worthwhile saving.

    FUN QUIZ TIME
    I fitted the existing synch crank (pic below, left side) and the triple RH crank below from the parts bin (pic below, right side). Who can tell me why it didn't work?

  • Needs different BB, different crank length?

  • Crank to square tape angle is a little different. you could try pedaling like that!

  • Ha me too, my 650c Cannondale was done cheaps but functional, but now looking at upgrades, which technically breaks my own prime directive. Lol. I love builds.

  • @bjf cranks are also different length, which I had forgotten until after this process

    @cheekysnaker gets the cigar here

    @BernardRenault I'm trying to hit a middle ground where I strike the right balance now and avoid future changes. Who am I kidding... next spring I'm going to end up buying that £170 Stronglight set of four tandem cranks, probably once the offer is gone and it's £220ish!

  • Frame has been polished with T Cut and synch cranks (LHS) have been disassembled, chainring bolts scrubbed & greased, chainrings replaced, reassembled & torqued up.

  • Paintwork looks great.

  • Thanks!

    Just did the next step - clay bar. It's supposed to ift off ingrained dirt but I got zero dirt off... I think that all the washing and polishing performed so far has left me with basically an immaculate/perfect paint surface.

    Paint restoration steps:

    • Wash, rinse
    • Treat rust with lemon juice and wire wool, rinse
    • Polish with T cut
    • Wash, rinse
    • Clay bar, rinse
    • Pre-wax washing solution, buff off
    • Wax - RaceGlaze (2 coats)
  • I've always found autoglym really good on paint https://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-cl­eaning/car-polish/-paint-renovator-325ml­-448902.html

    And the best polish afterwards -
    Mr Sheen, I think I read that Mercian use it and it is very good on paint I've found.

  • Yeah Autoglym came up in my research but I decided to stick with T Cut for removing scratches because It's what I learned to use in the bike shop when we restored old rusty heaps. It's probably more aggressive than Autoglym to be honest, but I like how fast it works.

    Mr Sheen is a great tip, thanks. I still think this RaceGlaze wax will be more durable, but I can always bust out the Mr Sheen on other occasions if I'm in a pinch and need something fast.

  • Are you working in the living room or living in the garden?

    Ps: love the project. What's that in the left rear triangle? Disc brake mount?

  • I have astroturfed my living room for that lovely prickly feeling.

    Yes that's a disc brake mount for an early (1st gen?) Hope disc brake. Not easy to find these days I'd imagine and apparently not that great for tandems when used alone, but this thing probably had 2x V-brakes plus the disc. I'm just opting for a pair of V-brakes alone so we'll see how that goes...

  • Subbed looks an interesting project , earlier this year I got a frame painted at Vernon Barkers shop. Well worth s visit , a proper time warp experience.

  • We had 2 V-brakes plus disc at the back on the tandem I was touring on with my brother. Definitly worth it at hills and heavy loaded. But no need otherwise I would say.

    astroturfed living room = life goal

  • I'd love to visit. Fancy being stoker for the 170km ride from Hackney?

  • Out of curiosity... when riding fully loaded in the hills, can you remember trying to brake with only the V-brakes? If so what happened?

    I imagine it may feel like when you dig out an old bike, do a test ride and then realise that the pads are old and hard. Like, you're squeezing with both hands but only slowing down at one fifth the rate you'd like. Is it like that?

  • We had routed the front V and the rear disc to the captain and the rear V to the stoker and never really used the rear V very much. I always rode stoker so not sure about the breaking performance. I believe it was ok, main reason to use the disc was to save the rims from too much wear.

    Problem are more long decents, I remember overheating the disc on one hill. Going down 50-60kph down into Sarajevo... good times

  • Ha ha , definitely worth a trip you can drink tea from oily mugs and chat about steel bikes for as long as you like in their subterranean bike workshop

  • This sounds like the perfect first trip for the bike when built. Can't quite believe the shine you've got on the paint on a frame from the woods, great work.

  • Thanks @Dexter

  • Two top tips for not messing up your projects - both learned the hard way today:

    1) The edges of lugs are hard to clean. You may find, nestled in those slim corners, some dried polish residue and leftover stubborn grime. Resist the urge to scrub these crevices with a tooth brush because you will make a whole suite of new paint scratches in the regions of your frame most difficult to polish, and you will then spend a bonus 2-3 hours rubbing T Cut in tiny motions while cursing yourself.

    2) Under no circumstances wash a half dismantled rear derailleur in a bathroom sink because the jockey wheel bolts do in fact fit down the plug hole. If you do hear the dreaded "plop" and you have a spare bolt, then no problem. If you do not have a spare then you are treated to a rare, precious glimpse at the contents of your U bend:

  • V brakes dissected, cleaned and greased.
    Thanks for supplying these @Rik_Van_Looy.


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Vernon Barker 531 tandem - rescue from the woods

Posted by Avatar for Ndeipi @Ndeipi

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