How Post-war Bicycles are Made

I thought this was a fantastic “how it’s made” video from post-war Britain.

Couple of highlights for me: (“Spoilers”, watch video first)

  • OH&S? What? A delightful lack of regard for safety in many many places;
    • Worker dipping hot bike frames into some kind of cleaning bath, vapour enveloping him… Facemask, or protective clothing? Nope.
    • All manner of spinning, pressing, other moving parts… no guards anywhere, just try not to lose a finger/eye/arm.
    • Worker dipping bike frames into an enamel paint bath all day, with his bare hands.
  • Amazing machinery… The gadget that cuts the teeth into the main gear? (nom nom nom) Or any of the forging/pressing stuff? Wow.
  • The bottom bracket of each bike is formed from a single circular piece of steel, pressed into a cylinder, then gradually into the very complex final shape.
  • No Bowden cables back then, if you look carefully during the assembly steps these bikes actually use a Rod Brake system, and presumably something similar for the gear changer.
  • Very similar to today’s bikes. I’m sure you could take any person from the video, put them on a 2012 carbon-fibre fancy-bike, and they’d have no trouble riding it around. Compare to today’s fancy cars, and even working out what to do with the key. ^_^

Bicycle!

Apollo Exceed 20

Apollo Exceed 20

Had enough of waiting for new FUJI bikes to come in, ended up buying a mid-range Apollo flat-bar road bike. Aluminium frame, carbon forks. Very light!

Aaand here comes the rain. More info when I actually get to ride it.

Bicycle?

New bike time! The old Malvern Star has finally found another owner. Good luck to him, and I hope he remembers to carry some shifting spanners.

Walked into the local bike shop that afternoon, with the intention of purchasing two new wheels and all the fancy bits that go between them… and the store’s almost empty!

Grumble grumble… turns out their old supplier, Apollo, had been very unreliable when it came to actually¬†delivering the bikes they’d ordered. So they’d found a new supplier, Fuji. Only they didn’t have any new bikes, either…

Was told, delivery of new bikes expected on Thursday.
“Great! Which models?”
“All of them.”
“…great!”

Except Thursday comes, and I call them up, and
“Sorry, no bikes have been delivered. Hopefully by next Thursday.”
“…great.”
So I sit here, waiting. The Fuji website has a bunch of nice-looking bikes, and of course choosing one is the tough part.

The Malvern Star was a flat-bar road bike, extremely heavy, with tyres that made you worry about the slightest bit of gravel. (In fact, the last time I went touring was cut short due to the front tyre actually exploding.) So, the requirements for a new bike are; light and durable. ‘Light’ suggests road bike, ‘Durable’ suggests hybrid.

Of the Fuji range, two look quite interesting:

FUJI Sunfire 2.0

FUJI Sunfire 2.0

 

and:

FUJI Absolute 4.0

FUJI Absolute 4.0

 

I don’t have any numbers on ‘durability’, but for weight the Absolute 4.0 is 11.78kg to the Sunfire 2.0’s 13.06. Which is better for road riding in Sydney / occasional forays into the countryside with panniers attached?