Tag Archives: Touring Bike

Trolls got a moustache

23 Aug

I haven’t been riding the Surly Troll on long distance rides this summer; the Surly Disc Trucker has taken over on that role.  When I bought the Troll frame back in 2011 the shop had a Surly open bar in stock and tried to convince me to buy it, at the time I had no interest in it and the first set of bars the Troll got were Thorn comfort bars.

Well the Thorn Comfort bars weren’t that comfortable and I eventually fitted some bar ends.  Bar ends fitted to the Thorn bars looked ridiculous, the bars had a large rise to them and also quite a large set back.  I had a smaller set of riser bars and fitted these with the bar ends to the bike.  This served me well on long trips, it made the bike look a bit silly but comfort wise it did a great job.

As I have only been using the bike for short trips in recent months I removed the bar ends.  A couple of weeks ago I placed an order with SJS cycles for the Harry Quinn build and decided to add some Humpert Country Mas Handle bars to the basket.  Costing only £7.99 they were considerably cheaper than the Surly bars and at that price I thought it would be fun to try a new control set up.

The bars are shaped like a handle bar moustache although the moustache almost certainly came before the bicycle.  Riding it is pretty fun, its comfortable, upright and great for cruising.  The longest journey I have made with them so far has been about 20 miles hauling some heavy panniers and they were fine although I did take my time.

Handle bars on Surly Troll

Not a Surly Open Bar but Humpert Country MAS bars

Moustache Handle Bar on the Surly Troll

If I make any long multiday trips on the trill I will be refitting some risers and probably bar ends but in the mean time the moustache is staying.

Surly Trolls Moustache

A new bike project

29 Jul

A couple of weeks ago I struck a deal with an old neighbour to swap bikes; she wanted a comfortable upright bike and I was keen on her 1986 touring bike.

In 1986 a few years after I was born she had a custom built Harry Quinn touring bike built for her.  It was handbuilt in St Florence, Pembrokeshire by Harry and his son and in 1989 she road the bike from Lands End to John O Groats in nine days of cycling; but since then the bike has had much use but carefully stored in her garage.

Whilst I’m constantly told I don’t need another bike I had to have this one. It was rich in history and beautifully made; and for a 27 year old bike it had all of its original parts!

The bike upon collection.

The bike upon collection.

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The books saddle is in better condition than the one on my Troll

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The bike has 18 gears with a 6 speed rear mech. The mech is in great condition but the chain is showing signs of wear.

Harry Quinn Chain Stay

Eleven Pedals with Christophe toe clips

The bike has Stronglight cranks and Christophe toe clips, just in need of a simple clean

Harry Quinn Stronglight Crankset

Old CTC sticker

On the rear mudguard is the original CTC sticker; I hadn’t seen this style before.

Dawes Handlebars on the Harry Quinn

Dawes Handlebars with the logo etched onto the bar. The bike had a computer at one time but it only came with the bracket.

Dawes Chrome Handle Bars

Whilst I wanted to saviour the restoration of the bike I couldn’t resist getting started.  I began with wiping the years of grime off the bike, with a toothbrush and some Muckoff it came away easily and after wiping down with a sponge parts were already shining.

The wheels were a lot tougher to clean up, the spokes were dull with a thick layer of grime, a scouring pad took most of this off but having to clean each spoke individually was tedious to say the least.

A friend called by to take a look, he soon disapeared but shortly returned with a tube of Autosol a German made metal polish.  We tested it out and the results were amazing; the brake levers polished up incredibly well within minutes.

Weinmann brake lever on the Harry Quinn

Weinmann brake lever on the Harry Quinn

Polished Weinmann brake lever

With the success of cleaning the levers I couldn’t resist testing the polish on other parts and there was almost instant success; to take things a step further I got the Dremel out of the garage and fitted a polishing tip, instantly the dulled metal finishes became almost mirror like.

Harry Quinn Cantilever brakes Harry Quinn made in Pembrokeshire
Christophe Toe Clips Maillard HubHarry Quinn Headtube Harry Quinn Headtube Harry Quinn Down tube shifters
Harry Quinn Harry Quinn Touring Bike Harry Quinn Brooks SaddleHarry Quinn Chainstay

Harry Quinn Bar Tape

I have changed the hoods on the brake levers and fitted new bar tape.

Mirrycle mirror on Harry Quinn

The mirror was made by Mirrycle in Boulder Colorado. It seems the hex key size is imperial as it took me a while to find one that fitted. They still make these mirrors today.

The mirror was made by Mirrycle in Boulder, Colorado.  It needed a clean and the bolts needed tightening but other than that its like new.  I have never used a mirror before and I really like it although I don’t think I will be fitting my other bikes with mirrors.  You can find instructions and replacement part numbers on the mirrycle website:  http://www.mirrycle.com/instructions/original%20instructions.pdf

Harry Quinn Bell

The bell was the final touch; I’ve had it a while but it hasn’t suited any of my other bikes. Its perfect for this one.

Harry Quinn Touring Bike

Refurbished Harry Quinn.  Just in need of some mudguards.

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