Replacing the front fork on my Batavus Touring bicycle

Replacing the front fork on my Batavus Touring bicycle

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Well, good morning everyone. It looks like it's  going to be another one of those dark days.   But at least it's the not raining or very windy.  So here's my Batavus touring bicycle again.   And I think it's time that I started doing some  work on it. As you might know from a previous  

video, this bicycle has some brake issues.  It also has a problem with the front fork.   Whenever I hit the um, feels like it's  starting to rain. Whenever I hit the brakes   and it feels like the fork is bending  backwards. And I already checked the  

the headset and I didn't find any problem  there. Just a bunch of dried up grease.   But when I use the brakes and I move  the bicycle forwards and backwards it feels like there is some something loose.  There's some movements that I cannot really   pinpoint. It might be in the top of the fork,  something might be loose, a welt or something.   I already checked the crown  and there's no play on on it.   So in this video I'm going to replace the  front fork with the one that I got from the   Altra bicycle that I scrapped. And that will  hopefully also take out of that brake issue.

Let's move this shit show inside, where  we won't get caught out by any rain.   Just after I moved the bicycle  inside it started to drizzle again.   Like it has been doing most of the week.  So, this is your is a the front fork   from the Altra bicycle. Well, I think this is  going to work. It's basically the same size. So   I don't think this Fork will change the geometry  of the bicycle a whole lot. And the headset tube   also looks like the same size. And as you can  see, I kept the front wheel from the Altra bicycle  

So that's a shoot make swapping out this fork  a little bit easier. It also has the same   Sachs front hub. As you can see this  wheel does have a rather skinny 28mm tire,   I definitely prefer my tires a bit loftier. But  yeah, this is a front wheel and only a test setup,   so it'll be fine. It still holds  air that's more important :) Unfortunately I cannot start using this  nice aluminium handlebar, that came from   the Altra bicycle. Because the Batavus has some  sort of strapless setup for the brake grips,   and the shifter, and also the bell. The bell by  the way is a a terrible design it has some sort of

well difficult to reach clitoris! It's awkward to use, so I  installed this little thingy. Sounds terrible, but it does do the job. For some  reason I always struggle with allen head bolts.   And this one is no exception.   Because it has some damage and my  allen head a key keeps making it worse.

So this bolt will definitely have to be replaced. Yeah, I think it's moving :) Bit by bit. Always the same struggle with these things! All right, I need my hammer. And now I should be able  to take out the handlebar. I was going to say wheel :) And I would like to replace  this with something a bit longer. Well, I found something longer  bigger, and also a whole lot uglier.

With some frozen up allen head  bolts, just my luck I guess :) I'll also have to swap out the handlebar. Because the other one has  those strapless brake levers. And also a integrated shifting mechanism. Not sure how difficult that will be Great, more allen heads, just my luck! I guess this brake lever bolts  straight into the handlebar. I guess there must be a hole with some  thread in here. How else would this work? So I took this handlebar and stem to the  face and I was able to loosen everything up.

So looks like I am going to use this stem. Although I should clean up the aluminium a bit. But I will do that later  because that is boring video. I took this stem from a Pointer Arena  bicycle, that I recently scrapped. A video about that is coming soon.

I just loosened up this brake cable. to gain access to the allen head  bolt that's in the brake lever. And I just noticed that there's a  difference between the front hubs.

This one says Sachs VT5000, and the other one from the Altra  bicycle says Sachs Orbit VT. What's is a name? They look the same and should be swappable. While I was getting ready to take out this  allen head bolt, and then remove this grip. Which would be a terrible struggle. But I just found out that the stem that I  took from the Pointer bicycle has two bolts.

So I do not have to push the handlebar  through this stem from the side. So no need to take off the handlebars,  the shifter or those damn grips. But I am going to loosen this up because  I'm curious how this all bolts together. There it is. Look at that long bolt. A rather large hole, and I think there's another piece  inside the handlebar with a thread.

But it doesn't look like it is movable. This bolt by the way is also bent a little bit. I will put everything back together  and then I can move the handlebar. I must say that I'm not overly  impressed with this strapless design.

And there's probably a reason  why this never caught on. Because it's the first time that I see this. And I guess it's hard with  this setup to swap things out.

All right, let's replace this fork. Because the weather has changed,  and the sun started shining, so I want to take this  bicycle out for a test ride. I think a bicycle without a handlebar  is a headless bicycle, and it looks odd! And I will have to reuse the   ball cages with the steel ball bearings, because  I lost a few from the ones in the Altra bicycle. Okay; everything is loose, now let's  swap out this fork complete with wheel. In one smooth operation just  like a pro would do it :) Sigh! Damn it! I had to step away for a moment  to clean off my greasy hands. I think, this might be working.

I already cleaned out these ball bearings, or these  cages with balls last month. But a little extra rust prevention is probably, well, it shouldn't hurt. Make it all nice and smooth. Let's close up the patient.

I don't think it will be a problem if I reuse  this ball race from the Batavus bicycle.   It is not the same as the one from  the Altra, but it looks very close. Maybe a little bit too much rust prevention :) Lock washer. Hmm there is not a whole  lot of thread left. Maybe I should try   the part from the Altra bicycle.  It might be a little bit lower. Here's the ball race from the Altra  bicycle. And it is definitely lower   than the one from the Batavus.  Of course, I got greasy fingers!

Why is it threading on so poorly? It's not at an angle. It's just difficult! I  guess you could use a special tool on here.   I don't have that special tool, but  I might try some needle nose pliers. And this is difficult. Yeah, this sucks! I'm not going to do this on camera.

For some reason the second time I threaded this on, It all went without problems. Here's that lock. And as you can see there is now more than enough thread left. This is the piece from the Batavus and it is a lot higher than this piece from the Altra bicycle. So I'm going to use the piece from the Altra bicycle.

And there's an annoying pigeon outside! I don't know if you can hear it on camera? But if it keeps making noises like  that. I'm going to get my pellet gun. Bastard, shut up! If it isn't chickens, it's pidgins :) It feels good.   Not sure if it is good. But before I can find that out, I will have to install a handlebar.

Here's the stem that I got from the Pointer bicycle. And it is difficult. Come on move down a bit more. I think that's okay. If not I will have to make re-adjustments later. For a moment I thought it would be easy to install this handlebar using this Pointer stem.

That has two bolts. But I cannot install this handlebar before I remove the strapless brake levers. Those annoying stupid strapless shit! Man, I hate those things! Because now I need to  take off the grips. And they feel terribly tight. They are fine grips by the way. I like these thicker grips.

You know, old bicycles had these thin  grips. They were hardly thicker than the handlebar. And yeah, I really don't like those! These are from Vredestein and they are great. But now I need to remove them. And that will be cursing and frustration and yeah it won't be pretty. Luckily I only have to remove one side.

Well, I got it done. And it wasn't too bad, there was not a whole lot of cursing. As soon as I stuck the grip in the vice, I was able to pinch it, and then there was some play, between the handlebar and the grip. And I was able to squirt in some some silicone spray. And that made it easy to remove the grip.

It actually was harder to remove the old  stem. Because there was some aluminium corrosion on here. So that was stuck. But still I stick with the theory that strapless levers on the work of the devil! And now I need to reinstall those  devilish things.

Well, I managed to reinstall this strapless lever. Yeah, it is what it is! And now I'm working on the cables. By the way, have you ever seen such a lubrication  point. In line in the cable? It's a first for me.

I think it's kind of neat. So I just ran into a problem. This is not going to fit on here. The other one had two sides and this piece would sit in between.

Lucky for me I've been hoarding some bicycle  parts. And this is the original setup from the Altra bicycle. And this fits. I'm not sure if the other side will fit into the devilish strapless brake lever. But I will find out. Well, this is not going to fit because these two cable ends are just too different.

This is Altra this is Batavus. And I've tried this one but it just rolls out of the brake lever. When you apply some brake pressure, so it's not safe. It might work if I grind this a little bit.

So it will fit inside the brake lever. Another option would be to cut off the end from this Batavus brake lever. So I can bolt on this piece onto that cable. I'm not sure if these are cables are any anything special. I think they might be.

So I'm choosing for option number one. Modify this end a little bit. It's amazing how much problems you can solve with an angle grinder :) After a bit of grinding it looks like this. And I'm not sure how safe this will be. But it does seem to work it is not coming out.

And I have looked into replacing this  aluminium piece, with the original plastic piece, but that is not possible without destroying the original cable. Well, I tried but this setup is not going to work. The cable is too short and that modified cable end, well, it just came loose when I applied a little  bit of pressure on the brake lever.

So it's not really safe. So plan B is to take off this metal piece, and screw it on to the original Batavus brake cable. But I will leave this cable end in place and I will also keep this barrel.  And hopefully then I can always  go back to the original setup.

Not sure if that will ever be needed, but it might. I also looked into swapping these levers But they are mounted in different ways. This one is screwed and the other one is just peened over.

Well I finally got a setup that looks to be working. So I'm using the Batavus cable, with the metal piece from the Altra bicycle. And here's that barrel from the Batavus setup.

And there's the cable end from the Batavus setup. And I installed an extra nut here, safety  first right :) I think this is going to work. If not there might be an accident at some point. There's no real need for a dynamo on this bicycle And the one on my Altra transport bicycle  is broken. This plastic piece is fucked up. But this one is still okay, so I  have a new location for this one :)   And maybe I will install a generator wheel  on this bicycle, somewhere in the future.

And can you see that there  is something missing here?  So, I just noticed that the wheel is  not nicely in the middle of the fork. This looks better. But yeah, I got my doubts about this fork.

I never have ridden this blue Altra bicycle. Because there was just too much wrong with it. So I scrapped it the next day after I brought  it home.

I just removed the acorn nuts on both sides of the axle. And the um axle is not sitting at the top of the fork dropout. And I cannot really force it to go to the top.

And it's the same thing on the other side. I'm not sure what's wrong here. Maybe the wheel is stuck on  on the brake reaction arm. Or maybe this is just normal.

I don't know but it is weird. Let's find out if this Gazelle mud guard  can play nice with this Batavus bicycle.   And as you can see I just washed off  all of the mud. And did a little repair. Although this here might be a problem.

I can hear another one of those jumbo jets  dropping by. Man, I wish they would close Shiphol! Now I need to find some little bolts. Well, I managed to install the mud guard. But to be honest I'm not uh sure about  the looks. But I guess I will judge the final result when I have installed the mud guard on the on the rear wheel. I might need to modify this bracket, to gain a little bit more clearance on the top here.

But for now with these 28mm tires it's fine. There actually is a whole lot of clearance in  the back. But these stays are not adjustable, so there's nothing I can do about that.

But it should look better with a bigger tire. And a ty-rap for the brake cable. And I'm done for today.

You know I'm not totally happy about the picture. I guess I could paint this fork grey at some  point. Just with a rattle can, should be good enough. I think now I should go for a test ride.

And here's one last look at the Batavus bicycle before I go for a test ride. And next time I should have a look into that rear wheel. Because the sideways play, or the play on the cones, it's getting a bit excessive. Well, let's go for a ride, the sun is still shining. It's about eight o'clock. And I'm currently on a typical Dutch cycle path.

There's not a whole lot to see here. I did some brake testing. But I'm not going to repeat that while filming single-handedly. And I must say the fork didn't make a huge difference. It's still feels like it's being bent  backwards when braking.

I'll try to demonstrate :) It's also squealing a bit. Looks like I need both my hands. The weather actually improved a lot during the day. Sun started to shine :) And it got a whole lot warmer. Yeah, I think most of my work has been for  nothing.

Although the replacement of the stem is a nice Improvement. So I'm back on the tarmac road. All right, against the wind and against the sun :(   But up ahead they are playing with balloons. You know the big ones.

Wow, it's bumpy. I can hardly see anything. Because the low sun is blinding me. And probably also the camera.

Two of them. We got a bend coming up. Trying to break a bit. Sounds like my lawn mower. Ho!, there's a bit of a gate here. It's like a chicane.

Well, I'm still not happy about  the brakes on this bicycle.   Basically the rear one still sucks big time. Shit :) Man I don't see anything! I'll demonstrate this stupid bell! You see, I cannot ring the bell with my thumb. And now I'm trying my index finger. Yeah, but with some difficulty.

But no way I can ring this bell with my thumb. That one's just fine. This design totally sucks! Well, I made it back from my test ride. And this bicycle is still far from perfect. I guess there will be more videos to make :) While I tried to demonstrate the brakes on  camera, but yeah that's almost impossible for me.

This Fork is no much better than the  original one. It feels like... Well, it feels weak. And when you break, it feels like the wheel is being pulled backwards. And this drum brake is also making squealing noises. But it might be a little bit better, easier to modulate. The biggest Improvement that I did is  that other stem.

The higher handlebar is more comfortable for me. Especially since I like the handlebar to a slope down a bit. So there will not be a whole lot of pressure on my wrist. But if you do that, you also need a higher handlebar. There might be a little bit more stopping power in this drum brake.

Because the rear of the bicycle is coming up.  When I apply the front brake. Of course I'm not sitting on a saddle at the moment :) I think I will put the original fork back. This is no better than the original. It is just as bad.

And I must say that I have a similar problem with my Koga Miata Country tour bicycle from 1988. It also has a weak front fork. But maybe this is normal for drum brakes. I don't know, I don't have a whole lot of experience with drum brakes. I have used plenty of other brakes. V-brakes, center pull brakes, coaster brakes, even  disc brakes.

But no, not a lot of drum brakes.

2023-03-05 17:45

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