Monthly Archives: October 2014

Still More Miele


Over the last couple of weeks I was lucky enough to score two more Miele bikes. One came out of the garden of a fellow club member,


the other one from the small ads.


Both are about the same age, mid/late fifties, both are top-of-the-range Originals, but they seem to have had widely varying fates. While the gents´ bike was painted over at some stage, and then used to display a basket of flowers in a garden for some considerable time, the ladies´ bike has led a more sheltered life.

I must say that I would really like to make the ladies bike into the nice bike it was, and I think there is a good chance that a serious clean, new grease in the bearings and some black wax over the rust may make a great deal of a difference, while the gents´ bike will not even end up as my son´s town hack to be parked at the university campus because the front fork is damaged. Hard to photograph, it is bent just above the fork crown. The bike will yield its b/b and headset bearings, the chainguard, and little else. A series of uncaring owners is to be blamed for this. The ladies´ bike actually seems to be three years older than the gents´ , but it was obviously much better cared for.

The Gents´ Bike

Let´s start with a few pics of the gents´. It has a dented top tube and there are hardly any Miele specific parts left. The unusable saddle is one of those horribly heavy and soft Leppers, the bell is wrong, and so on.


Unbelievably, the Bosch lights are still working, fore and aft. After a re-paint, they will perhaps be grafted onto the ladies´ as its lights are about 20 years out.


Also the spokes will be transferred as the gents´ wheels have at some time been rebuilt with s/s spokes, and those in the ladies´ are rusty.


Many Miele specific small parts, like the rubber grommet in the mudguard, are gone. XGchaing XGcrankrust  Acres of rust after all the time out in the open.XGforkcr XGfthubrustXGhbargrip The handlebar grips are modern, and old ones are not easy to get nowadays. XGlwrheadl XGplungerbksplit

The lower tube of the plunger brake is so rusty that is has split. This is less dangerous than it sounds; plunger brakes were completely useless anyway.XGrack

The rubber inserts which go between the traverse wires are gone.XGrearmudg  This is what the rear mudguard looks like.XGttdentsThe dents in the top tube.

The Ladies´ Bike

It´s a model 512, meaning Miele Original, 28 inch wheel diameter, 52 cms frame size.

In a case like this, grime is your friend.


The oiler is missing its cap, but that is not much of a problem.XLbell

Both on the bell and the cranks, 99 per cent of the chrome will be saved.XLchainguard

The gold lining and the lettering are still there.XLchainguardbolt XLchainwhcrankchrome Hardly any rust here, and absolutely no play in the bearing.

XLchromerimgrimeEven on the chromed rims, which were an expensive extra, underneath the grime…


… there is some chrome left, easily uncovered by a fingernail. Much rust will stay on the rims, however.XLdyntiresize XLlamprefl

Neither headlight nor dynamo are even remotely suitable for a mid-fifties bike. The Miele lighting seen on some of my other bikes was an extra. At the time bikes were sold without lighting. Miele parts were expensive, so many customers chose cheaper Bosch or Impex lighting. The first owner of this bike spent a lot of money on the Original model plus chrome rims, so the idea about the gents´ Bosch equipment might not be good after all. I´ll cross that river when I come to it.XLflammungabblättern

This is bad. The geflammte paint is flaking off. White was sprayed over black, and then specially trained workmen would put on the lining and actually take a small flame to the white paint. Its soot would then be covered with a clear coat. Lots of stages to commit mistakes, which I assume to have happened. Just figured that warranty has run out. Heck.XLforkcr XLfrontmudguardgrime

I guess that underneath all the dirt, much of the paintwotk will be quite good still.XLftdoXLgeptrbef XLheadb  XLlightconnect

The little connector which connects the interior lighting cable to the exterior one coming from the dynamo. XLpletscherpllightgrommetAnd this is where the cable re-surfaces again. Note the rubber grommet which in this case survives. The Pletscher plate holding the kick stand is a hint at the bike being a late production one. XLnetting Also the protective netting still is in place. Its rubbery parts however are not rubbery any longer, letting the netting hanging down slack, so it will have to be replaced. XLpumppegsawedoff

The top pump peg – or what´s left of it. It protruded from the seat lug and must have caused holes in the rider´s clothing. It really is in a daft place, so it was sawed off.XLpumppegstillon

This is the lower one.XLrack

Rubber strips still in place.XLrearlight

Rarely still present: The original rear light. The chrome is gone, however, so it will be painted black.XLrearmudguard

The horse – let´s hope it will come off without either leaving a sticky mess or taking the paint with it.XLsaddle

Original leather saddle in very nice condition.XLtoolpouch

Worth its weight in gold – the tool pouch in good condition. Its leather straps will be easily replaced – only one is moe or less intact and the pouche´s life literally hung by a thread.XLtopsteerhead XLtorpyear

Funnily enough, no frame number could be found. Usually this is in the seat lug, but not this time. I guess I´ll surprised by it jumping in my face when I´ll be busy cleaning. Until then, the little “55” must serve as a hint at how old the bike is.XLUnionfthubNo Miele hub – not that late. The Union hub is great, indestructible, but it´s not the same, is it, not having the “Miele” script on the hub. Neither is it on the pedals. Again, the oily grime will clean up very nicely.

So far, so good. I´ll keep you posted.

Season´s End

Last weekend it was the end of this year´s century riding season in Germany, not very successful for me, but the two rides on Saturday and Sunday were great. Inspired routes, great company, great bikes. One of which is a Koga Miyara Arabesque which was in the 2012 edition of Eroica. Not many words needed, wonderful craftsmanship and luckily an owner who appreciates this marvel. Cramped quarters and lack of time make this a somewhat incomplete set of snaps.

KAfullKAbbembell KAbrakebr KAchainstaybent KAforkcrKAheadb KAlwrheadl KAreardo KAseatcl KAseatl KAtopheadl KAtubingstickerLastly, two views of the early morning start on Sunday.

HalternNebel Halternsonnenaufg

Kids´ Stuff


“Bluschke” is the private label of the cycle sport shop in the town near to where we are situated

A few days ago our cycling club decided to get rid of two old bikes which had been used as training bikes for young riders years and years ago. Both have been snapped up quickly by their new owners.

One is a kid´s bike which I found remarkable as it has tubs and a complete RX 100 groupset. Once staple diet, these parts are becoming rarer, but they still are more or less indestructible alternatives for riders who want to keep it simple.

Like all hire bikes this child´s bike has had a hard life, but its new owner is a cycle nut who has a lot of knowledge and is a great mechanic, plus he has the daughter to go with the bike, so chances are that it will see a renaissance. Nuff said, here´s some snaps.


xkbshiftlevers xkbseatcl:lack xkbschaltw xkbrim xkbreifen xkbrear xkbkurbellänge xkbkettenbl xkbforkleg:Lack xkbforkcr xkbbrakeleverxkbftder


Taking photographs of this bike made me think about a really cute little thing which has been languishing in my basement for many years.


I bought it in a fleamarket for 30 French Francs while on holidays in Britanny – must be nearly twenty years ago. I had planned it to be my son´s first randonneur, so I got some tires in France in a size unobtainable here. The bike had come without pedals, and at home I realized that the pedal threads were French too, so during our next French holidays I had to get some pedals.


As all dads do, I got the bike with lots of time to spare, and even after I bought the pedals, my son still had to wait for quite some time until he grew into the frame size. I kept the bike in my attic study, and my son would come up ever so often to see if he hadn´t yet grown sufficiently. When he had, we did some beginner´s touring on it, among other things we attended a huge cycle meeting called 1000 Räder Bünde (1,000 cycles in Bünde). Aged 8, my son completed a 25 km course, for which he received a medal.

JM1000RBMedHere´s some details of the Moto-B:


The shop does not seem to exist anymore


Faux lugs


The infamous Delrin


Child-size brake levers

JM3spJMbb JMforkcr JMfrontbk JMfthubJMheadbadge JMrack JMseatclAfter this, my son grew into and out of a 48cm Alan, a 52 cm Trek 5200 which he crashed, though it wasn´t his fault, a 52 cm Gazelle AB, and an Ellis-Briggs Randonneur which he has been using since 2009. Time flies, and the bikes with it.

News on Iron Leg Veteran Bike Ride

(Nederlandse versie beneden.)

(Deutsch ist auch weiter unten.)

Plans for the Iron Leg are progressing. At the moment we´re looking at Sunday 19 April 2015, with a 10 a.m. start in the parking lot on the corner of Ringstraße and Goerdelerstraße, between Edeka and the bakery, in 49191 Belm, close to Osnabrück. Can´t be missed. Please re-check this post closer to the time just in case. Also, could you please register before taking part; among other things I need to know how much raisin bread to get, don´t I? Thanks.

We have been checking out a route with loads of hills (not mountains, we don´t have any of those around) and of about 80km length. We will be riding in one group, unless there´s more than about 20 participants, at a 20-22kph average. The ride is mainly for hand made steel framed bicycles, possibly older than 1984, but not necessarily so: Modern steel framed bikes are welcome, too.

Here are the villages I would like to visit: Starting out in Belm, passing through Mönkehöfen (hill with rough stuff), Bad Essen (big hill), Schledehausen, Wissingen (hill), Melle (break from the hills), Wellingholzhausen, Holte (really big hill), Bissendorf (last hill) and back to Belm. Check the route on the internet, and if the hills are too numerous leave a comment, we can change things.

Please bring bikes with effective brakes and gears, and let´s avoid a repeat of the Amerongen tubular shootout if possible.

There will be mostly small roads,


a moated castle,

EBSchelenbsomething hardly recognizable as a castle,

Yholteburgone of the few places in the world where rivers (streams?) bifurcate,


a village sporting a number of half timbered houses,


a really steep hill on which one of the few remaining hill climb races for cars are held (not when we will be there, though), and other picturesque places.

EBHäuschenWe will meet in a village with ample free parking spaces and an ice cream parlour, there will be at least one spot in which participants will be handed refreshments, and of course the weather will be horrible, most likely.

The meeting place in Belm is about 222 km away from Amerongen, 223 km from Rommerskirchen, 272km from Haarlem, 232 km from Neerkant, 420 km from Oudenaarde, 181 km from Kiel-Windeweer and 291 km from Voorburg.

You can register now (in spite of participation being free), but please re-check this category nearer to the time.

I have for once added sharing buttons, please make liberal use of them.

Die wichtigste Info zur Eisenbein-Tour auf deutsch:

Voraussichtlich am 19. April 2015, 10 Uhr, veranstalten wir eine kleine 80km – Ausfahrt mit alten Rennrädern mit einem 20-22er Schnitt. Kommt bitte auf handgemachten Fahrrädern mit Stahlrahmen vor 1984 (grober Anhaltspunkt). Start ist in 49191 Belm, Ecke Ringstraße/Goerdelerstraße, wo es reichlich kostenlose Parkplätze gibt. Bitte meldet Euch auf dem Kontaktformular oben an; ich muss ja wissen, wieviel Rosinenbrot ich besorgen muss, oder?

Es ist ganz schön hügelig bei uns (Route oben im englischen Teil), daher bitte Schaltung und Bremsen checken. Falls mehrere Leute sagen, dass es zu viele Hügel sind, können wir das noch ändern.

Die Tour soll Spaß machen, daher schauen wir uns ein paar hübsche Dörfchen an, ein Wasserschloss gibt´s auch unterwegs, und mindestens einen Erfrischungspunkt. Wir werden meist auf kleinen Sträßchen unterwegs sein, nicht überall ist die Straße asphaltiert, also auch die Reifen prüfen, besonders Schlauchreifen.

Bitte demnächst nochmal diese Blog-Kategorie (Iron Leg) prüfen, ob es etwas neues gibt.

Nu is er ook een Nederlandse versie.

Het plannen van de Ijzeren Been tourtocht is in volle gang. Op dit moment denk ik aan zondag 19 April 2015, vertrek 10 uur. De rit zal worden gehouden in een heuvelachtige omgeving, afstand rond de 80 km, gemiddelte snelheid 20 – 22 km/u. Er zal tenminste één lunchstop zijn met broodjes en frisdrank. De route voert langs diverse rustieke dorpjes en zelfs een kasteel met slotgracht. Een routebeschrijving is beschikbaar in het engels; stuur een comment als het te heuvelachtig is.

Start is in 49191 Belm, Ringstraße/Goerdelerstraße, vanaf een openbare en gratis parkeerplaats, dus geen parkeerproblemen. Belm ligt tegen het Teutoburger woud, vanaf Amerongen is het 222km, vanaf Haarlem 272km, Neerkant 232km, Oudenaarde 420km, Kiel-Windeweer 181km en Voorburg 291km.

Belangrijk in verband met het klimmen en dalen: zorg ervoor dat versnellingen en remmen in goede staat zijn. Idem voor de banden, bespaar jezelf – en anderen- het tube knal feest van Amerongen!

Inschrijven aub, boven.

(Vertaling Marten Gerritsen)

Ride Report

So, a few days ago we´ve had a wonderful ride – the weather was really marvellous, spring at its best, and were well fed by my son and Martin, a friend from University. Thanks, boys!

There were 12 of us, all in all, and we had great fun. Another thank you, this time for attending.

People came from as far afield as Dortmund and the Netherlands, so the breaks (two in all) could have been much shorter, but the participants got talking over the great bikes that were brought. Also there were four of in the group who want to try PBP this year, which contributed greatly to the talking time. I´d love to repeat the ride next spring, but I´ll have to see if I can find the time (and the helpers) to stage it again. Here´s some snaps to convey a little of the atmosphere:


1960s Schumacher on fixed


Marschall which will hopefully cover PBP this year

EBbikesicp EBtrackder EBstation EBSchumreardo EBSchumlever EBSchumheadb EBpart EBfood EBCrec EBbikestree

Thin Air

Yes, I do think that a book on old planes can be right in a bicycle blog.

Historically, cycle and plane construction were connected, if only by the fact that both bicycle and aeroplane are made as light and as strong as possible at the same time. Also the people who cycled early on often became pilots when they found that planes were faster than cycles.

So my visit to the London RAF Museum this summer was not completely out of keeping, even if this might not have been clear from the outset.


Former gate guardians made from glass fiber reinforced plastic swooping down on the trusty Volvo

After an extended visit, I chanced onto the museum shop book stall, where donated second hand books on planes are sold. I bought a book with a battered dustjacket because it seemed right even after cursorily leafing through it.

ShapefullIt´s called The Shape of the Aeroplane, was published in 1953 and is not only written by James Hay Stevens (1913-73), an aircraft journalist, but also very ably illustrated by him. I am even tempted to call him the aeroplane Rebour, because the tome abounds with line drawings like these:

HayPistengfightShapejetdet ShapepioneersAlso Hay Stevens had a knack of explaining complicated things in a few words, which together with the drawings makes the book very readable for the non-aircraft engineer. Why can a landing plane suddenly lose its tail, for example, or what was so special about the Junkers Ju 52/3m wing?

ShapebuffetingBack to cycling. Or rather, the common denominator of bikes and planes, like strong, but lightweight structures. Take the Spitfire wing as an example. After reading Hay Stevens, you´ll know.Shapestressedskin

As I write, at least three copies of the book are available on the internet, all in the US, and all of them more expensive than mine. Get one nevertheless.


Two more things, once we´re at it. If you want to know still more about how old planes work, you could do worse than getting a set of these:


They are available on the net off and on, but as prices vary wildly, it pays shopping around or waiting. the books mostly explain about aircraft engines, but these are considered parts of the plane as a whole, and so one learns a lot in general. too. Don´t be put off by the books being in Dutch, it´s easily learned tech language. Some snippets:

VliegtmotorblEngines, of course, are explained in detail, but if you are planning to set up an aeroplane workshop, here´s a layout:

VliegtwerkplOr should you want to learn DC3 instrumentation, this is for you:

Vliegtdc3cockpYou may want to obtain a version printed during WWII under Fascist occupation because there´s loads of info on old German aero engines in those, hard to come by elsewhere, whilst pre-WWII versions will have very old engines explained. Later editions deal with American engines mostly.

Vliegt44And lastly, a superbe example of British excentricity and weird humour. did you know that there´s actually Haynes manuals on old planes? I got the Spitfire one for a quid in a charity shop some years ago, and the Lancaster one off the internet, also cheaply. They are available new, but the new ones are naughtily expensive.

HaynesfullThe similarity to the usual Haynes car or motorbike manuals is what intrigues me and has made me laugh more than once. It´s not only the exterior, but, for example, you are told quite without much ado how you can change the brakes on a Lancaster.

HaynesbrakereplI´m not really quite sure if these manuals are just products of British humour, but perhaps the idea that everyone should have a Spitfire in his or her back yard is not that far fetched in many Brits´ minds. After all, it was their Finest Hour when these planes still flew.