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Ludo 1983 - Modernisation of "vintage" bike

defeverdefever Posts: 171
edited June 2018 in Vintage bikes forum
Hello fellow cyclists,

First post and I'm quite excited to share my "vintage" bike - Ludo 1983:

20140814_105406.jpg

20140814_105432.jpg

20140814_105500.jpg

20140814_105925.jpg

20140814_105932.jpg

My dad originally got it brand new or near brand new, must have been around 1983 / 1984. I've known the bike being stored up in the garage the whole time and never been used. Maybe he used to ride it before I was born (1984) and stopped when my sister and I (and mum) needed his time and attention more than his bike. I adopted it a couple of years ago when they downsized their home and needed to shift quite a lot of their belongings.

The images are from when I got it from him. It was in excellent condition, hardly used, all looked original. It's a Belgian bike, “Ludo” referring to the professional Belgian cyclist, maybe Ludo Peeters. There seem to be few Belgian cyclists called Ludo in that era so I'm not sure exactly who! It would be nice to know a little bit more about the bike, if any fellow cyclists have knowledge of Belgian cycling scene.

I've been using it for a casual cycle ride on and off. But since the beginning of this year, I've started to use it as part of the daily commute (1.7mile to the train station, then another 0.5mile to work). And since July I've been cycling more and less train ride to commute, cycling any distance from 7miles to nearly 29miles round trip daily (home - work distance is 14.5miles).

And I love it! I get occasional "nice bike!" / "nice steel!" / "good on you for staying retro!" comments from fellow train commuters, cyclists, pedestrians etc. Although it's not an iconic or historically significant bike, I’m so glad that he kept the bike so pristine and it has such a sentimental feel that I am now riding his bike, possibly around the same age as he used to ride it!

However, due to the nature of using it as a commuter, some components need attention and unfortunately some parts are currently unusable.

So far:
  • The metal bracket to guide the front derailleur cable by the bottom bracket rusted away, rendering the front shifting unusable (the cable slips off from the remaining guide)
  • This was soon followed by the front derailleur seizing up due to rust
  • I hadn’t taken notice that the chaining bolts were coming off until it was too late and three of the five bolts were already gone
  • rear rim was so buckled the spokes were coming off loose
I decided to:
  • Remove the front derailleur completely
  • Drill out the chaining bolt holes to fit current 10mm bolt size
  • Remove 42T chainring and keep 52T as single chainring
  • Install full mud guard
I took it to a locally reputable bike shop for full service and it came out with:
  • New rear wheel
  • New rear brake blocks and pads (Aztec)
  • New brake and shifter cables
Ludo is so much better with the new wheel and cables, it’s almost like a brand new bike. I’m so much more confident on my commute. Currently the drive train is 52T at the front and 5 speed freewheel (14, 17, 20, 22, 24, I think); I experimented with swapping 42T at the front but it was too light for my liking.

So, this got me thinking… rather than trying to keep it as much original with “retro” parts, would it make more sense to upgrade components as they require: “modernising” a vintage bike that has plenty of life in it.

Though not quite a “project” thread, I want to keep a log of modernising my good old Ludo, with the help of wise and knowledgeable fellow cyclists on here, to enjoy my riding experience and gain knowledge about bicycles in general.

I think the next upgrades are:
  • Doubling the bar tape so that the grip is gibber and softer to my hands (gets quite uncomfortable after 10miles or so)
  • Front brakes to match Aztec on the rear (they are so sharp and effective!)
  • Prepare for winter commute (what should I consider besides mud guards?)

Does anyone commute with vintage bike? Has anyone modernised their vintage bike? Any advice / suggestions / recoomendations on upgrades or what to be careful of?

Happy cycling everyone!
«13

Posts

  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    That's looking well cool - hat.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks very much Matthewfalle.

    Current condition:

    Mudguards and lights = essential commuting components
    IMG_2307.jpg

    Original Aero Coronado 52T chainring with 170mm crankset
    IMG_2308.jpg

    Huret (French?) rear derailleur
    IMG_2309.jpg

    Rusted and broken cable guide for the front derailleur. The front part is still in situ but the cable slips off...
    IMG_2310.jpg

    IMG_2311.jpg
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    A lot of that is too cool to lose - the crankset is particulary cool.

    I'd give it a really deep clean, get rid of the mudguards (get wet and be damned), new chain, fit a cool retro saddle (loads on here http://www.planetx.co.uk/c/q/components ... it/saddles), some nicer bars and new tape and maybe source some new retro wheels. Maybe some Campagnolo brakes and levers from a couple of years ago so they still look retro but perform modern, like.

    Keep it essentially as is but with some really nice low budget modern touches - save weight, better functioning, safer. You want to compact it all all and draw the eye in - once scrubbed clean and polished the colours should pop really nicely.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks Matt,

    Deep clean - yep. I've been meaning to do but whenever I'm keen to do the weather gets wet (like today).

    Mudguards - I'm not keen but it's a must for commuting, unfortunately, and I see the benefit of having them on. It makes commuting so much hassle-free with it (I've commuted during the winter without it and I know how mucky the bike and I can get...). I really wished I had them installed much earlier as they would have contributed to protect the front derailleur and cable guide from rusting away.

    New chain - yup, on my list.

    New saddle, bar + tape - also on my list, but I might gamble through the coming winter and revamp everything in the spring when the weather gets dry. They are all ok at the moment so I'm going to use them over the winter rather than replace them now and get immediately dirty from commuting...

    I wonder the typical brown colour saddle with metal punches goes well with blue frame... I'm not sure. An image from Google for some inspiration...
    04d50f89767055f86b4f6bf96f4a1458.jpg

    Brakes & levers - since the bike shop put Aztec brake blocks on the rear, the braking has been a lot sharper and so much better. I felt a massive difference between the typical retro and tiny Weinmann blocks to more up to date brakes. Definite upgrade before winter. When I upgrade to a new bar / tape, I wonder if I can also get aero type levers so that the cables can be hidden under the bar tape. I realise having a massive cable overhang at the bar is one of the signatures of retro bike, but sometimes they are bit annoying...

    RJ The Bike Guy on YouTube is currently my favourite channel to watch!
    How To Install Aero Brake Levers On Vintage Bike

    Happy cycling!
  • Resist the temptation of brown... it will look awful
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    I agree ugo. I don't think brown matches the blue....

    Black saddle and black tape aren't exciting though:
    img231.jpg

    White saddle and white bar? (best I can find on google image):
    IMG_3390.jpg
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Yellow/blue tape and saddle?
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks cld531c,

    I see where you're coming from. I also thought of incorporating the colours that are already on the frame (i.e. blue, yellow, orange, red).

    Yellow tape and saddle?
    Image_Fetch_ashx.jpg

    fceb908caa6475d968acd065655ba967.jpg


    Or two tone Harlequin tape technique?! Bar the plug pom pom.
    mercian_AEDmissy1.jpg
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Plain yellow looks good to me. I had Cinelli yellow and blue splash cork ribbon and a yellow saddle with blue corners on mine when it was blue (resprayed since). With yellow tyres looked great :-)
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Ps why no Pom poms ;-)
  • On the Peugeot Vitus thing I'm now running a green saddle with white bar tape and it rocks.

    If it stops raining tomorrow I'll take a picture so you can see.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    I bought Lidl bike work stand for £24.99 on Saturday by luck; what a life changer to have a work stand!

    So I cleaned my bike! I followed GCN's 30min bike clean guide:
    The 30 Minute Bike Wash - How To Clean & Degrease Your Bike

    Before:
    IMG_2317.jpg

    After:
    IMG_2318.jpg

    Not much change!

    When I took the wheels off and replaced the inner tube (I punctured one), I noticed that the tyre beads were crumbling in some places (I'm sure the tyres are original, 34yrs old...) so I'll need to find a replacement soon. And I only realised that my tyre width is 32mm. I might get 28mm so that I don't have to deflate the tyres to clear the brakes every time I remove them... Any suggestions on which tyre to get?

    I used car brake cleaner to clean the drive train, which I now realised wasn't particularly the best idea. But brake cleaner rinses all levels of grease, dirt, crud in a second. Amazing but must be very toxic stuff. Dried, re-applied wet oil. The gear change is now smoothest I’ve felt on this bike and there’s no gear noise when pedalling. It’s a revelation. I will aim to clean every month or so.

    Happy cycling!
  • Brilliant stuff - top work.

    I'd get a tube of Silvio out and start polishing the shiny bits to make it look double cool.

    Let me check for tyres - I had some budget Michelins in 28mm with tan walls that would rock that build.

    Top work all round though!

    Oh - level that saddle while you are at it! :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Thanks Matt,

    It's encouraging to be told "top work", so thank you so much. On my way home yesterday evening, I was slowly hovering over Red Light Jumpers (pedestrians) at a junction and one of them gawked at me with a smile commenting “nice frame!” I said thanks and didn’t comment on his RLJ behaviour. It’s a nice feeling to be recognised and commented, despite the situation!

    I had a quick look online (Wiggle and some other online cycling shops) to see what sort of tan wall tyres I can buy, but I very quickly got overwhelmed by the sheer number of available types and quality of tyres. I’m very new to whole bike scene so I’ve got a lot to study.

    And thanks for pointing out about the saddle! I haven’t noticed it until now, it doesn’t look right does it?! I’ve been cycling like that since I got it, I never took notice of it! I’ll learn about how to adjust and optimise the saddle setting.

    Happy cycling everyone!
  • Re saddle adjust - you should have two bolts under that saddle, one on each side. 13 or 14mm.

    You'll need two spanners, one for each bolt.

    Put spanners on, turn one bolt, the unit will loosen.

    Then pop a small spirit level (mine cost a pound from B&Q, about 8 inches long) on the saddle

    Adjust until level then leaving the level on the level saddle do up the bolts.

    Job jobbed.

    HTH.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • These

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/je/e ... -prod61961

    Cheap
    Effective
    Very tan wall.

    Can you take off the mudguards please? They make me sad.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    edited September 2017
    Some shallower drop bars would also look lush.

    And losing the chain guard.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • And brake levers with hoods tha run the cables under the tape like on Peugeot Vitus

    viewtopic.php?f=40119&t=13069604

    2nd page for pics but without green saddle but you'll get the gist on the bars
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Different coloured saddle from bar tape, shallower drop bars (from a skip) "aero" levers (from the same skip. All period and tidies it all up, so may work on THE MIGHTY LUDO

    36350401354_6af2aca892_k.jpgvitus green saddle

    Please excuse crank placement - I didn't notice until I had taken the picture. They are to be replaced next week with matching Shimano 600 as the b/b has now turned up.

    Pedals are also being replaced by matching Shimano 600 when I have finished polishing them.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Nice, thanks very much as always Matt.

    I'll adjust the seat this weekend. And yes, there are big fat bolts on it. I might adjust the forward / backward position while I'm at it. I'm not sure if I ever had it properly for my profile.

    Re: mudguards... NO! I'm sorry. They make me sad too. BUT it makes the commute SO MUCH MORE pleasant. Alternative is I get another bike for commute. Which I haven't not thought of, but unrealistic...

    Thanks very much for the link for the tan wall tyres. It's nice to be recommended something and check for reviews rather than trying to find a needle in haystack.

    Chain guards will come off soon. Since the front derailleur seized and the chainring bolts disintegrated, I’ve been experimenting just having 42T or 52T on it. I started with 42T which was okay but the chain kept on falling (most probably because the chain was too long). I swapped it to 52T and only came of once in the three weeks. So once I’ve got my confidence up that the chain won’t fall off during the commute and keep my hands clean, the guard will come off. Or it might naturally fall off as the original tiny bolts of the guard are rusting away as we speak.

    Drop bars – Also yep. The bar flares out at the end which is a bit too wide for my liking. Maybe a narrower bar and more compact shape. I need to learn how to measure and compare different bar shapes and sizes.

    As with brake levers, too. I see that having massive cables looping over the bars are iconic of “retro” road bikes, but they do annoy me sometimes and I like simplicity and tidiness. I think I’ll overhaul the bar and brakes in the Spring whilst I do some research during the winter. I did consider STI-type brake lever shifter as well, but I do like the simplicity and total control of the downtube shifter so I’m keeping the friction shifter as it is.

    That’s a very nice bike Matt. Silver surfer.

    I can’t wait to modernise this bike to my taste and needs!

    Happy cycling!
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Attempted to level the saddle:

    IMG_2320.jpg

    IMG_2322.jpg

    Doesn't look much different from before. Is this right?

    Took the chain guard. Also cleaned the chain a bit. It's been raining / wet this week so my cleaning effort on last Saturday seemed in vein... But I'm glad it's been used.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    On another note, thinking about how to modernise Ludo...

    I like what this guy did.
    Bianchi - Celeste - Upgrading old parts to new modern silver parts

    It's early 90s Bianchi Campione D'Italia.

    He modernised it already with newer components, but I agree with him, it doesn't look right with all the black components:
    Screen_Shot_2017_09_14_at_14_41_25.png

    He explains in the video what he's put on and what he's going to exchange with "silver look" modern components:
    Screen_Shot_2017_09_14_at_14_42_04.png

    Silver look components make it look much more period appearance and with the benefit of modern components.

    It's nice.
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Quill stem would look much better IMHO
  • Silver bits, white hoods, quill stem, thinner saddle, sorted.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,002
    This is a well trodden path, and certainly one I absolutley love to walk!

    My most recent is a '78 rouke, now sporting record ergoshifters and more modern wheels (it was a full on race bike with tubs), my favourite is probably my late 80's battaglin, now sporting veloce ergos.
    Insert bike here:
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    cld531c wrote:
    Quill stem would look much better IMHO

    I agree. Quill stem is one of the many aspects that defines the period. However, I'm starting to get pain in achilles tendon, back and neck so I will need to look at "bike fit" adjustment soon.

    I've seen how to ajudst the daddle height and forward adjustment, but I haven't looked at the bar setting yet.

    Oh, the more I get into the bike, the more I realised there are lots to sort out! Learn and ride.

    Happy cycling everyone!
  • defever wrote:
    Attempted to level the saddle:

    IMG_2320.jpg

    IMG_2322.jpg

    Doesn't look much different from before. Is this right?

    Took the chain guard. Also cleaned the chain a bit. It's been raining / wet this week so my cleaning effort on last Saturday seemed in vein... But I'm glad it's been used.


    Yup that is now level - top work.

    At least by cleaning it you're also getting a chance to see that it's all safe - no cleaning time is ever wasted :)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Changed the front brakes to match with rear Aztec brakes. So much more efficient braking, very happy with them.

    Now I think the next realistic upgrade is the tyres.

    I currently have 32C original tyres with labels:
    Made in Holland
    Fabrikaat Vredestein Doeto
    ETRTO 32 – 622 (700 – 32C)

    I think I want to try 28mm width tyre so that I they clear the brakes when removing the wheels. Currently I need to deflate the tyre a bit to remove the wheels and re-inflate when installing as the brakes don’t open wide enough to clear the tyres.

    I just looked up Vredestein tyres and this looks period:
    Vredestein Tyre - 28x1 1/2 40-635 - Reflection Retro – Cream £12.36
    113862.jpg

    But I realised the tyre size isn’t the usual 700C and it’s 40mm width as I understand?! So probably not an option.

    The second tyre I found is this:
    Clement Strada LGG Folding Road Tyre (Black – Tan 700 x 28C) £23.99
    $_1.JPG

    Clement Strada LGG seems to have a good reputation as all-round tyre. This one has gumwall look so that’s appealing to me.


    And Matthewfalle suggested this one few posts up (but it’s so cheap?!):
    Michelin Dynamic Classic 700x28 (Translucid / Black) £9.95
    Pneu-Michelin-Dynamic-Classic-unite_1235x735.jpg

    Is Clement Strada LGG a good choice?
    Is Michelin Dynamic Classic good enough?
    Does anybody know a white / cream 28C "period" looking tyres?
    Or does any fellow vintage bike riders have recommendations, by any chance?

    Happy cycling!
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    A little update...

    Been commuting with this very bike for the whole of Sept, increasing from 50miles a week on the first week to 100miles a week on the last week! I'm able to maintain 17mph pace on 14.5mile commute each way. I cannot believe how 1983 bike is still going so well. New found respect to the fine craftsmanship of the 80s!

    Since the last post, I changed the bike chain with was very likely to be an original chain. It was definitely stretched. I could lift the chain and see 2-3 teeth on 52t chainring, and 8 consecutive chains measured 8 1/8inch!. I replaced it with KMC 3 - 8 gear chain with quick link. So far so good. Just for experience, I soaked the old chain in a glass jar filled with white spirit. 1 hour later, the jar was pitch black but the chain came out very clean. I was impressed with the white spirit trick. I'll try this on the new chain next time I clean the drive train in couple of weeks time.

    To my surprise, this morning the original metal toe clips snapped at the pedal base within 5min of each other. Very ominous. But they were getting rather rusty and pitted so they were inevitable to fail at some point. Luckily, I found the exact same pair on eBay for £6.00 (NOS Rapid metal toe clips) so I'll have to endure with just the straps until I receive them.

    I've been busy with work recently so I haven't had much time to tinker what upgrades to do on the bike. But so far, I'm quite happy as it is. " Don't touch it when it doesn't need fixing"...

    Happy cycling!
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Sounds like you're enjoying the bike - thank you very much for the update as well: always great to read of people's cycling adventures.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
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