Thursday, 26 August 2010

Vintage Purple Puch Bicycle

Well maybe not very purple, maybe more maroon.

Only when I was resizing these to post did I notice that this particular model seems to have something called 'Weinmann Semi Automatic' brakes? Or perhaps just the cable adjustment is semi automatic, either way, it does not seem to be something that has caught on. A little light googling suggests because it leads to uneven brake usage over time, and therefore crashing! Good luck to this rider then.

Here it is, in it's up till now un-crashed state.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Monark Sport Racer

Well, I think it's the Sport Racer. Obviously the logo is showing some signs of wear and tear but the awesome band of Monark crowns is still looking... awesome. Whether it's a 'racer' is really a different question altogether.
The great Monark vertical badge gets a look in on the down tube. Which has been mentioned, quite a few, times before on this blog. But it still looks good, so here is another variation.
The Svenskt kvalitetsfabrikat logo also pops up on the seat tube. It's a shame it's so torn up. This time it reads 'Svenskt kvalitetscykel' - 'A Swedish quality bicycle'. It's great the pride that used to be behind the manufacturing process for these old bikes.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

How to make a retro LED bike light

It's quite easy to come across very nice looking vintage bicycle lights. They usually are a part of an old dynamo system, which if working properly is a great addition to a bike, but often are completely non-functional. This is a step-by-step guide of how to convert these old dynamo lamps into modern LED battery powered lights for next to nothing. The conversion below cost me only £4 (€5) as I already had the old lamp from an even older bike I used to own.

Here's my chosen lamp. It's a sleek little streamlined thing! Originally this was made for a little 3w lamp bulb, but now it's getting something a little better installed.

The old bolt for attaching the dynamo wire will come in handy for placing a new switch on the body.

I'm going to install the innards of this £3 LED battery torch into the lamp.

Then use this little switch as the new controller.

After removing the old bolt that the dynamo wire used to attach to, the small switch fitted surprisingly well into the hole with no adjustments.

The torch has a switch built into the screw on end cap, this is no use for the new light it's going into, so it's going to be wired with the new switch instead. The black part is the battery holder for 3 AAA batteries.

One wire goes on the end of the battery holder.

And then to the switch.

I broke my trusty soldering iron out, and made a bit of a mess of it as I'm not very good at soldering! But it doesn't matter, because this is too easy to go wrong!

A second wire is soldered onto the other end of the battery holder.

I then hacked off the body of the torch to make it fit into the new housing.

Again by some strange luck, the head of the torch fitted perfectly onto the reflector of the vintage bike lamp.

The second wire I soldered onto the battery holder was then soldered onto the spring inside the torch head that the battery holder used to press against.

A third wire goes from the switch...

To the torch head body, which acts as the second connector in this torch's design (your mileage my vary). I drilled a small hole in the torch head to make sure the wire stays in place.


It lives! I was still genuinely happy not to have broken anything.

I covered everything in a bit of hot glue to reinforce it, and make it a little bit water proof.

The torch head got glued in place.

Then everything placed inside the old light body.

The switch installed nicely.

And there we have it, a super simple, crazy cheap vintage LED bike light to go on your ride. Keeps you safe and stylish.

I made a little clamp out of some random connectors I had from an old chain case, to give the light a test fit on my old Raleigh 3 speed. Overall I think it looks pretty great!

I will need to make a better bracket for it later as this didn't hold it very tightly, I'll probably also make it with quick release too so I don't get super sad if someone steals it sometime on the street. If I was making it again, I'd mount the LEDs further into the reflector to spread the beam out a bit more, but it still provides a very bright light to get you seen.

Good luck with your own light! It is honestly quite hard to get it wrong.

The Puch Calypso Bicycle

Perhaps Puch was trying to soften its image a bit when it brought out the Calypso bicycle.
Perhaps the friendly happy 'Calypso' graphic was meant to make the bike extra fun and appealing to young people?
The flowery surround for the normal Puch badge, meant to soften the edges, invite you to have fun?

Really though it just looks like another very sensible, reasonable and straight forward steel framed 3-speed. We've seen another sensible, reasonable steel Puch on the Safari before and this one is just as nice, and I do like the Calypso graphics really!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Husqvarna Bicycle Stockholm Survivor

The Bicycle Safari has had a bit of a revamp! What do you think? Let me know if it all looks broken to you! Once you've finished having a poke around why not take a gander at this old Husqvarna bicycle sitting in the rain on the streets of Stockholm.

A lovely text of the Husqvarna logo for the seat tube.

A bit of a ratty badge up front.

But overall a pretty nice looking sensible steel framed bike for an abusive life on the streets of the Swedish capital. This particular one seems to a civilian version of the old style Swedish military bicycle that is still massively popular with people in Sweden. Husqvarna were involved in their production in the past (although completely out of bike making now) and if you have a look around their website here you can have a look at some of their old bicycle adverts from the 50's, great stuff!

Monday, 16 August 2010

The Pininfarina Designed Bicycle

Sticking with the green theme of the last post, I came across this Pininfarina designed mock full suspension bike just sitting around on the streets of Stockholm the other day. That's right, just like the Bugatti bicycle I found last year in Lund, here we have another big brand name beingused on bicycles.

Unfortunately I was saw excited about seeing this (or desperate to get out of the rain) that I was shaking my camera with anticipation whilst taking these.

Is this a Pininfarina Bicycle? Well, no. These bikes seem to happen when Chinese bike factories are producing no name bikes and are a bit stuck for what stickers to attach to them. Just like the Bugatti bike below (or here for the full post), the bike manufacturer will put on a big name brand without much fear of reprisal from the lifted brand as the production might only last for one run or the difficulties in pursuing a trans-national intellectual property case are too great compared to the return.

Either way, sometimes you end up spotting some ratty Pininfarina pretend full sus'ser or a battered Bugatti in the bike rack, and I think that's pretty funny.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

I see a red bike and I want to paint it... green.

An advertising bike I saw in Stockholm. I take it that it's green to attract people's attention, but whether that works beyond people who look at bikes for obscure blogs is rather unclear.

The light is rendered quite useless by the process.

The job done on the Monark badge reminds me of the pink King bicycle I saw ages and ages ago. Except a bit more thoroughly!
A strange fate for a bicycle.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Stockholm Special - Bianchi Beater

The Bicycle Safari is doing a lot of shifting around, travelling the globe, repositioning its cameras and general moving about at the moment. Today we come from the capital of Sweden, Stockholm where you can find a delightful range of old bikes, gracefully rotting away in the street.

Here's a fairly modern Bianchi city commuter.

Bianchi's one of my favourite bikes brands even if this isn't a stellar example of the breed.

"Foderi Forcella Bianchi Formula Columbus", no idea what it means, but no doubt someone will end up on this page after searching that phrase some time, so if you are that person, hello to you.