MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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ALLEZ JUNKER II - INTRO

FINDING ALLEZ JUNKER II

BUILDING ALLEZ JUNKER II

RIDING ALLEZ JUNKER II

 

BICYCLES OF USA

 

 

 

RIDING THE SPECIALIZED JUNKER II

Almost every year a Junk Bike will be put together for around town use.  Most of the time an entry level steed of little value and offering barely acceptable ride quality characteristics, will be the bicycle of choice.  But the Junker II turned out to be anything but an entry level ride quality bicycle.

At just under 22 pounds, the bike is quite light and very agile.  It accelerates like a bullet (sort of considering an old man is the person pulling the trigger), and is easy to pedal.  The seating position is just about perfect, however, a new seat post does need to be found and installed.

Stopping ability is about the best encountered on a vintage road bicycle so far.  The inverted Aero levers are with-in comfortable reach and work perfectly, when applied.  With a squeeze of the levers, the bike all but screeches to a halt.  Easy to use, easy to reach and very effective.  What more could one ask of a vintage brake system?

The Junker II has been on the road for about a month, at the time of this writing, however; it has been used for short hops only.  Errand running and the odd around town tour, just for the fun of it.  Parking the bicycle is all but a non-issue, fearing neither damage nor theft.

Damage fear is gone simply because the bicycle is so banged up to begin with.  Locking the Junker to anything is a non-issue.  A bump or scratch, here or there, will mean nothing.  And theft..?

The bike is so banged up, dirty and fitted with a less that sought after, mismatched component group, that the average serious thief would look elsewhere.  The thief who is just looking for his/her next ride of convenience, could care less about a bikes pedigree or condition, as long as the bike is ride able.  With that in mind, and as is the case with every bicycle I ride, when not in sight, the bicycle is stored indoors or locked to something solid.

Though one would hardly believe the transmission to work well, its function is all but astounding.  Every shift is clean and bang on the money, front or back.  Few transmission encountered to date can match the user friendly performance of this chain jumping system.  And what seems most unusual is the rear derailleur.

The rear derailleur is of 1977 vintage, believe it or not.  That's right, almost fifteen years older than the bicycle itself.  Upon first glance and considering not only the derailleur itself, but also the filthy state it arrived in, one would expect that the unit would not even work.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The operation is flawless.

The only thing no appreciated about the tranny is the down tube shifters.  Even though they are indexed and work very well, the rider still has to reach down to access them.  And reaching all the way down to the down tube, every time a shift is needed, is somewhat dangerous.  With that in mind a set of bar shifters will likely find their way onto the bicycle sooner than later.

The handlebars offer excellent control and seating position for around town use.  The rider's stance is more upright and the brake levers are always close, except during shifts.  Width is not an issue and reach can be adjusted with a simple tilt of the handlebars.  Some experimentation was needed to find the most comfortable spot and, once found, the bars were locked in place for the last time.

The saddle, pirated from a department store Columbia mountain bike and a bit too shiny for the bike, is OK and comfortable enough, for short rides.  Were the bike to be used for long hauling, a new/old saddle would need to be fitted.  As luck would have it, an old Turbo found its way from the Dump to The Old Shed only a few days ago.  Perhaps that will be the new butt perch?

About the only item on the bicycle worth keeping safe would be the dual function pedals.  Regular street shoes or bike shoes, fitted with cleats, work just fine with this pedal set.  The pedals are a bit heavy but a snap (pardon the pun) to click into.  The pedals were selected on purpose, knowing that the bicycle would be used for errand running and the runner would not always want to change shoes just to go to the corner store for whatever.

And that about covers that.  The Specialized Junker II is fast becoming a favourite bicycle simply because it is so practical.  Jump on it, with or without bike shoes, worry not about dirt, damage or theft (well, a little about theft) and enjoy.  Anyone who collects and rides vintage bicycles, would be well advised to build up a Junk Bike, for everyday use.

Just an old man's opinion, of course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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