MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

TORPADO 5 SPD - INTRO

FINDING THE TORPADO 5 SPD

TORPADO 5 SPD - BUILDING

TORPADO 5 SPD - THE RIDE

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

  

FINDING THE TORPADO FIVE SPEED

Apparently, I had received a call to pick up a couple of old bicycles that a fellow wanted to discard.  He and his wife had sold their house, and had less than a month's time to vacate.  Part of the vacation agreement, naturally, was to clean out all belongings.

Well, to make this part of the long story, short, I did not pick the bicycles up.  I do not even remember being asked to pick them up.  However, with only one day to go, the owner called and asked if I was going to pick the them up, or not.  He sounded a wee bit peeved.

I apologized for not getting the bicycles earlier, even though I had no idea what the fellow was talking about.  I next assured him that the bikes would be picked up with-in the hour.  That seemed to pacify him and he became a bit easier to converse with.

Upon hanging up, I donned my driving gear and headed towards the offered address, which was less than a ten minute drive away.  Pulling into the Rockwood Street address, I could not help but see two old bikes, shaded by the car port and leaning against the house.  One was a Ten Speed - Yahoo!

Of course, more often than not, old Ten Speeds are usually entry level and fail to capture my interest.  As I approached the bikes, the first thing I looked for was the dual position brake lever, better know as Safety Levers that earned the nick name of Turkey Levers.

Turkey Levers?  The implication here was that a rider would have to be a turkey, or geek, or some other character type to look down on, to use such a device.  With that in mind, the more sophisticated rider, or wanna be, would shun the dual position lever, as if it were plague ridden.

But the Ten Speed facing me, as I approached the shaded car port, was not fitted with these namby pamby components.  A very good sign.

Closing in on the two bikes, it became immediately apparent that another Torpado was about to get a peek at the inside of The Old Shed.  And, it would not be lonely, since TOS already contained a slightly newer example of the Torpado line up.

Wheeling the Torpado into the sunlight was a bitter sweet experience.  Yes, the bicycle was an Italian Torpado, but one of entry to mid level quality.  And, it was an all chrome plated bicycle, but the chrome had assisted the release quality, of the Italian quick release paint.  The beautiful and semi-translucent blue paint had lost content.  Large chrome plated blotches marred the painted finish.

The art work, on the other hand, was pretty well preserved.  In fact, it was quite well preserved with one exception - the fork decals.  All of the art work on the bicycles was of the sticker variety, except for the two decals mounted to the forks.  Those were of water slide design and very fragile.  The water transfers did not hold up well during the bicycle's forty plus years of being.

The same could be said of the exposed chrome plated surfaces.  Rust, and lots of it.  But the oxidation appeared to have offended the surface only.  There appeared to be little, if any, actual pitting damage.  My hopes rose.

Once rust gets through the chrome plating and reaches the parent metal of the bicycle's tube set, pitting begins.  Caught soon enough, it can be arrested with different chemical treatments, and then sealed to prevent, or perhaps, retard oxidation would be a better way of putting it.  However, the rust did not look to have penetrated most of the surfaces.  A good cleaning would be in order, and possible build paths needed to be explored prior to taking the bicycle down for a full Street Restoration.

NEXT - BUILDING THE TORPADO FIVE SPEED

 

 

 

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