Monday, March 11, 2019

New Bikes for the Retro-Kids: Headbadges

I'm making progress on the new bikes for the Retro-Kids - bit by bit. One update I'd like to share at the moment is on headbadges.

After getting the frames powder coated, I decided not to re-decal the bikes. With these entry-level Japanese bikes from the '80s, they aren't exactly collectable or valuable, and I figure a person can do whatever they wish with them - no need to "preserve" any kind of history. As previously shown, I did outline the lugs to dress them up a little - and next came headbadges. I decided to "personalize" the girls' bikes by choosing badges that reflect a little of their personalities and tastes.

The purple bike started out as a Centurion Le Mans and did have a badge originally (a big "C" for Centurion) that had to be removed before painting. Instead of simply re-attaching the original badge, I searched through eBay listings and found something pretty cool from a seller in China. There are a number of sellers who offer reproduction badges for known brands, as well as some unique "no-name" badges that can personalize a bike like I am doing here. The badges are metal and are applied with double-sided adhesive tape - the same stuff that is used for attaching automotive trim.

In this case, my younger daughter really loves unicorns. I was able to find this badge with a pair of rearing unicorns. I know she's going to love it.
For the second bike, which had started out as a Miyata 100, I had to get a little more creative. My older daughter really loves dragons, but searching through vintage and reproduction badges (including the same sources that provided the unicorn badge above) I couldn't find anything that seemed suitable. But looking through some jewelry pendants at the craft store, I happened to find a very cool pewter dragon and I thought "that just might work."

First, I filed off the loop at the top where the pendant would attach to a chain. Then I curved the pendant to fit the shape of the head tube and attached it with 2-part epoxy.
To make a form to curve the pendant, I bored a 1¼-inch hole in a block of wood, then split the block to reveal a half-round channel. I placed the pendant face down into the channel, then put a piece of pipe on top of that and tapped it with a hammer. The pendant gently curved to fit flush onto the head tube.

Here are a couple more progress pics:

I was able to find two sets of these old '80s vintage Sakae cranks - new old stock, but without chainrings. I had a couple of chainrings already that were the right size, and was able to find a couple more easily enough. The 110/74 bcd is still pretty common today. So both bikes will have the same cranks.
I also got a great deal on this 3rd generation SunTour Cyclone rear derailleur. It was in really good shape cosmetically, except for the logo (which was just screened on) was scratched up. I simply removed the logo completely with some fine steel wool and aluminum polish. These old SunTour derailleurs were fantastic, and this particular generation Cyclone was very robust. I have a matching Cyclone front derailleur to go with it.
That's all for now. More updates to come. . .


  1. I've always wanted to use Rivendell's "Resurrectio" decals on an unbranded/repainted frame. Quite stylish for a set produced to be put on any bike.

    1. I considered those - but ultimately decided to just keep them unbranded.

  2. Nice work thinking outside of the box.

  3. I want a special beat up Rear Derailleur. I am a physically challenged cyclist with multiple physical challenges. I want Crampagnolo Nuovo Spazzo. The perfect Racing derailleur for a Cerebral Palsied performance minded cyclist.