Code name: Bluebell – the build #cycling

Here is the final photo of Thunder (Thorn Raven Tour), I didn’t even go to the effort of cleaning it:

The plan:
Move all components over to Bluebell (Thorn Raven Sport Tour)
Use new headset spacers because Thunder doesn’t have enough
Use new crank bolts because I can
Replace non allen bolts with allen bolts (e.g. mudguard bolts)
Clean and grease every bolt thread except crank bolts
Clean and grease v-brakes because they are old and need some TLC
Try and retain as much of the original filth on the other components and wheels as possible

Starting midday I could see the clock was against me, I first disconnected the Rohloff bayonet connectors incase there was trouble there, then I pulled the cables through and lined up Bluebell for a photo:

I really dislike the Rohloff transfer, I think it’s the yellow “look at me” colour, so I taped that up, the blue tape doesn’t match as I’d have liked:

So I was ready to begin, I undid the rear brake cable so all the cables going through the braze-ons were out. I was going to start with the rear brake, but I thought I’d quickly move the seat post first. Eert errr… it was stuck solid. I took the hammer and helped it out:

Nice and rusty!
A quick and gentle rub with some sandpaper sorted that out:

I fitted the seat post and then the rear brake. The rear brake was a bit fiddly to take apart, but once I’d done one side the other was easy. Next I removed the chain and cranks, gave the chain a good clean (nothing worse than a gritty chain) and put them to one side. I then incorrectly fitted the headset and handlebars, more on that later. Then the front brake, what a nightmare, the least said about that the better, needless to say it took a lot of fiddling to get it back together and working properly. Since it is now rearwards facing I had to swap brake blocks left to right. I’d run out of time and needed another day to get it finished, so I stopped before it got too late, I took the following day off work rather than driving in and depriving the wife of the car.

The following day I fitted the front mudguard, some adjustment was needed as it was now sitting a lot closer to the tyre, stuck the front wheel on and here we go:

I then realised where I’d gone wrong with the headset, it did seem odd that I had two thin headset spacers left over, I had bought the right amount hadn’t I? Well, I’d missed the bottom washer (seal, erm, whatever you call it) and I had two in the top. So I redid that and it felt better and all the spacers I thought I needed fitted as planned. It wasn’t that much of a mistake, Thunder actually only had one washer anyway.
Going back to the rear again I removed the wheel and set about trying to remove the mudguard, the bolt was so badly corroded it sheared off, doh!

The mudguard woes didn’t end there, the bolt holes didn’t line up:

I attached with a cable tie then taped the frame thinking that would protect rubbing, then I decided to trim the mudguard too:

I changed my mind about this, decided I needed a new hole, so I drilled one and fitted it:

Great, mudguards fitted, but I still wasn’t happy with the front one, it was very close to the headset, so I filed off a fraction of a millimetre just to set my mind at rest. I fitted the rear wheel and most things were done now, just the cranks, chain and a bit of cabling and tweaking I thought. It turns out the bottom brackets I had didn’t fit with my cranks as they weren’t long enough! Thunder had a Shimano BB-UN53 68 BC 1.37 x 24 MM110, Bluebell had the same sized Shimano BB-UN54:

Both these fitted Thunder:


But when fitted on Bluebell there wasn’t enough room for the LHS crank to turn. Fear not, that wretched Nexus bike was about to be useful again:

Muhahahaaa! I did check my cycle spreadsheet to find out what size I bought for it 3 years ago, so I was 99% confident it would fit. Comparing:

The bottom bracket was thankfully long enough! A Shimano BB-UN54 68 BC 1.37 x 24 XL118.



Next I fitted the chain, but it was two links two long, Bluebell having the bigger frame too!

Just goes to show the Thorn Raven Sport Tour has a tighter rear.
The final touch before tweaking and a test ride was the speedo (another thing taken off the Nexus), oh, aero spokes, doh! Fortunately the magnet fits really close to the hub:

I’ve no idea what the settings should be, but I know how far my commute is, so I can tweak those over the coming week or so.
Final (pre tweaks) pictures:


Some tweaks and then a fast 2 mile spring around the local estates to test Bluebell out, tomorrow she’s got to earn her money šŸ™‚

See also Code name: Bluebell ā€“ The first ride

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11 responses to “Code name: Bluebell – the build #cycling

  1. What are you going to do with Thunder, the frame? If nothing, then I’ll have it as the starting component of my new baby hauler…

    • I have no immediate plans and it won’t like sitting in my leaky shed for too long without TLC.
      It’s only worth a hundred or so pounds given the non Thorn forks and the condition, so you can have it for Ā£200 LOL
      Seriously though, it’s only good for a Rohloff, a lesser Shimano hub or single speed as there is no deraileur mount point. There are also no disc brake mount points.
      What are you thinking of building?

      • I was thinking as a replacement for the very old and knackered mountain bike I have as my child carrier. I could then actually do something about the “look at this Rolhoff on Ebay” emails you keep sending me.

        I could then change the MTB into a fixie to leave in Norfolk.

    • don’t give it to him give it to me for project Fixie

    • It’s his (on loan) now, I even gave him a nearly new bottom bracket too.
      Chances of him building this bike I am putting at 25% šŸ™‚

  2. Phew! Full marks for stamina and perseverance! šŸ™‚

  3. welshcyclist

    I’m green with envy, great job. One day, I hope to have a Thornton.

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