Calla Restoration Part 2 Posted on 13 Mar 18:00 , 0 comments

I know it has been a while, but the Calla restoration has been making slow progress, waiting for parts etc. I wanted to keep the 2 beautiful spun aluminium headlights, but I didn't want to be encumbered by the tyre driven dynamo, as I wanted to use Grand  Bois  Hetres, which are in my opinion the best 650B the world! They are hand made foldable tyres, light and flexible  as a racing tyre but in a 42mm width that gives a fast and comfy ride on any surface from smooth to gravel. You can find them here on the site if you want to experience the ultimate in 650B.

There is no way a tyre with sidewalls this light will drive a dynamo

So the search was on for a dynamo that wouldn't look out of place on the Calla. And

here it is the SP8. Tiny and only 350 Grammes. Top performing with maximum output and minimum drag. But will it drive 2 headlamps and a tail light. Well yes easily with LED replacement bulbs from Reflectalite. Dazzling bright at slow walking pace. So the front wheel was built with the dynamo and Grand Bois 650B rims and the rear with a SunXCD large flange hub. Darron at Sven Cycles widened the rear dropouts from 126mm to 130mm OLN before painting, so I could fit modern hubs. Here are the wheels :

Note the 10 speed cassette on the rear. I won't be walking up many hills! The rear derailleur will be a SunXCD, but the front will be the original "stick shift" with integrated chainguard. Works wonderfully well so why change it?

Under the polythene protection are Velo Orange Snakeskin Alloy mudguards. Darron was kind enough to use his panel beating expertise on the original 'guards but they looked wrong agains the new paintwork, so the guards and all the original parts we don't use will be stored in a box and given to the next owner so he can return it to original spec. if he wants to. The original racks have been powder coated black for durability.

The original leather saddle has seen better days and after a previous experience spending many hours restoring a re-rivetting a Brooks leather saddle only to have it tear in half on the 2nd ride, I decided on a a new Velo Orange which looks pretty much identical to the original. 

A new seat post was needed because the original is far too short for me. I love MAFAC cantilever brakes they are on all my tandems (I know). But the originals are the "shorties" and for maximum stopping power under heavy loads, it is preferable to fit the tandem version which has longer arms. I do have a quite a few of those , but we had them remanufactured recently in stainless steel to satisfy demand. Note the difference in leverage: 

I am still undecided about the levers for these brakes. I spent ages polishing the original and elegant Mafac Guidonnet levers, but on the test ride I found they didnt come easiliy to hand and when I was riding my Polyvalent this weekend I noticed that i was ridng a lot with my hands on the hoods. I would like to keep the levers, so I am going to try and cable them up as "cross tops". I have some period original MAFAC drop-bar levers which I can fit with Rustines gum rubber hoods. 


I spent a happy hour polishing the stem and Randonneur handlebars, as well as the levers. One thing is for sure, the horrible black plastic  handlebar sleeves will be replaced with V.O. brown leather sew-on covers! They were so horrid, I temporarily covered them with cloth tape.

So a good bit of progress has been made" just the lighting to fit and wire up. The transmission to be fitted and the brakes to be cabled up. More soon...