Monday, September 20, 2010

New Ride

Last fall, I found a Kuwahara Pulsar at a second-hand shop in Butler, Indiana. For $20, I figured if nothing else, I could get some use out of the components, and it would be worth at least that amount.

After I did minimal work to get the bike working again, I found that the bike pulled severely to the left when I rode it. I straightened the fork in my own crude way, but it seems to ride straight, even without hands. These are the old levers from my Trek. I bought some new red cable housing from Velo Orange.

If you try to straighten your own fork with the above method, be sure to align the dropouts so they are parallel and aligned with one-another.

By the way, I had a 20 year-old roll of cotton tape in my tool box. I forgot it takes two rolls to do 1 handlebar. The handlebars above remind me of the Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin as the half-black, half-white man who can't get along with another guy who is half-white and half-black (on opposing sides). But, I digress.

The bike is now a sweet ride.

The frame is huge, and I have the seat up a little too high. I do have to be careful when I stop as the top tube is dangerously close to making me a candidate for the Vienna Boys Choir. I read somewhere that a good randonneuring frame is larger than what you might buy in your local bike shop. But as big as the bike is, it seems to fit me really well in the riding position.

Also, note the kickstand. I'm going to leave it one the bike. It's nice to be able to stop somewhere and park the bike without finding something to lean it on.

The fork has two sets of eyelets - one set for a front rack, and the other set for fender stays.

The rear dropouts have the same. How can I not put fenders on this bike?

The Sugino double that came with the bike cleaned up very nicely. It looks good on this old bike. Someday I'll get polished aluminum rims for some bling. For the meantime, I'm sharing the wheel set from my Trek so I can just get out and ride it.

Another lovely sunset.

Happy riding.


rlove2bike said...

Looks very nice...sounds like you made a sweet deal.

Rat Trap Press said...

It's good to see that you got your new old bike on the road. That is a cool looking set of chainrings. I wonder if they were manufactured that way or if they were drilled out by a previous owner.

Big Oak said...

Myles - If they were drilled out by someone, it was someone who worked in a machine shop. The holes are pretty evenly spaced all the way around and show no flaws in the drilling, like I might make with my hand-held power drill. I've not seen any other chainrings like these, so it might be possible.

RANTWICK said...

I like that thing a lot. Huge is right... your note on randonneuring frames being bigger made me feel a little better about the Trek 520 I'm working on.

I did a quick standover height check when I bought it, but now that it has fresh wheels (with air in them) that top tube, while not interfering, does make one show some caution...

+1 on that crankset, ot looks terrific.

Bryce said...

Looks great! I posted on your blog a few years ago wondering if you found anything out about Kuwahara road bikes. I did a little research myself and found this:

Kuwahara started out making frams for larger companies. Once they started making their own bikes they were marketed under Kuwahara in Canada and Nishiki in the states. That explains why they're few and far between down here, and only one comes up in a long while.

Good to see another Kuwahara on the road; I have yet to see another personally however...

Also, did you notice the place to hold two spare spokes on the rear fork, straddling the cable for the rear dérailleur? Nifty.

One last thing, does your rear axle keep bending/breaking? Mine keeps seeming to get bent somehow. I do commute daily with it, but after the first two times this happened I take extra care to not curb hop.


Big Oak said...

Hi Bryce,

Yes, I remember your comment from a while back. I haven't found out much more about the bike, other than Kuwahara made some special frames for the Canadian Men's Olympic Cycling Team in the '80's.

I was wondering what that metal tab was back by the rear derailleur cable. A spoke holder. Cool!

I haven't ridden this bike enough to break any axles, but I did break an axle this summer on my old Trek. I did check the alignment of the drop outs and they were slightly out of whack. You may have the same problem.

Good Luck!

Chandra said...

Congrats, Bill!

Peace :)

BluesCat said...

A working bike for $20, you can't do much better'n THAT!

Any plans for paint for it? I'm going to be starting touch-up on my 1986 Batavus Course - DutchGrl, possibly as soon as next week.

I couldn't make out the number of gears on the rear there. Six?

Big Oak said...

Blues - yes, 6 gears. I really want to paint it in the worst way, but I like the black and red paint job now. I think I'm going to keep it as-is for this winter. Maybe paint it next year - I like the old Raleigh blue or green colors from the '70's, but then there's pearlescent orange. Some day it will come to me.

Can't wait to see your Batavus with moustache bars. I'm thinking about putting a pair on my Schwinn Continental.

Leonard said...

hello I have had that same bike that someone stole I my life was pretty much over when it did. I have yet to find a bike like this one. The rear spokeholder was awesome, but I used for a commuter in the snowy anchorage I got from off the chain bicycle collective
I volunteer there as a manager, but it is a great bike that will do anything. I put 45 700 studs on it and it was badass. Leonard