Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Malvern Star Single Speed conversion - Part 6

OK as always you think you have finished something - not that I know that feeling very often - and then there are always more tweaks to perform. For the Single Speed conversion the majority of the recent tweaking has been on the handlebars.

The old handlebars that I had upside down - which looked kinda weird but actually wasn't too bad a position - were out. As I discussed in Part 5 I had ordered some track style handlebars and they had arrived during the week.

Straight away after the tight fit to install the new bars on the head stem I noticed an issue that was not discernible beforehand, the bars were slightly thicker than the 22mm of the previous one. The 1mm or so difference in size made it impossible without some modification to fit the old brake levers I am currently using.



There was also the problem of where to put the brake levers. The shape meant that they would have to be mounted near the centre at the head stem. I am not too keen on this as I like brakes to be in easy reach so I can stop suddenly if needed, without having to switch my hand position.

The track bars were unfortunately not going to work, so I pulled them out and will probably flog off on Ebay one day. Back on went the old bars until I worked out something else to use.

The something else came the next day when I revisited the handlebars I had on another secondhand bike I had picked up off Freecycle. The frame on the bike was crap and the bars I never liked because they were just too wide - almost 670mm. But now with another look I realised that if I chopped off 5cm off each end I would have enough space for the grips and the old levers. So that is what I did.

A hacksaw was used and 5cm lopped off and then with the bars installed it gave the bike a completely new look. It is a look that I like. The bars won't go completely horizontal and they have a slight upward slant but this has the added benefit that I can now flip the bike upside down and stand it. Good for working on the under carriage.





The new bars meant my front brake cable was slightly too long, so it also meant a small job to chop 10cm off the length to get it looking correct. This gave me the chance to lubricate the cable at the same time with some WD40 which I hadn't done before.

Apart from the bars the only other thing that has kept me busy has been the lefthand crank which has decided to be a bit troublesome. Without an 8mm allen key to fit I had been bodging it with a smaller one and a screw driver, the lug just kept loosening off though. So it was a trip around to the brother-in-laws to get the right size and fix this.

And the final touches were added over the weekend when I went down to the helpful LBS and got myself a bell for free. They just happened to have a box out the back full of them and gave it away.

The commute has taken on a new style and the Malvern Star has its very own spot to ride the trains to and fro work.

4 comments:

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rtfgvb777 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

MRC said...

I have one the same. Bet you it is more comfortable with the flat bars. Did you keep the chain guard by chance? I'm doing one of these up but will put on a sturney archer three speed and a dyno from hub to power the original lights. You are quite correct in the cost of restoring an old bike, it's a joke what they charge. Marice Mathe in Adamstown can be a good source of difficult to source old parts.

Jochat said...

I also own a Malvern Star touristar which I restored but opted to keep it as a 6 speed.

I have just built a single speed from a Malvern Star speed 12. You could have built yours cheaper by keeping the original cranks as it was already a single chainring 48tooth which would have been perfect with an 18 tooth rear cog. you could have also kept the original front wheel as the shiny chrome steel wheels look cool when scrubed up.

I have found an old rear wheel with internal hub coaster brake which gets rid of the rear brake caliper and ugly cables and one less brake lever.

Good on you for saving another old venerable Malvern Star! even if it cost more, it will be more interesting than the modern crop of cheap single speeds in every bike shop!