Sunday, February 13, 2011

Small touches

I must be running out of changes to make to my bicycles.  I got pretty excited this week about the success of a truly tiny project.

Some time ago, I bought stainless steel frame pumps from Sunlite.  The pumps very nicely approximate the original pumps that came on Raleigh Superbes and Sports and make a handsome addition to other bikes as well.  Besides, with these in place, I don't have to stuff a pump into a saddle bag or try to remember which bike has the pump mounted on it before I set off to the office.

For the Raleigh's, attaching the pump is too simple.  There are brazed-on pump pegs on the down tubes and that's that.  For the Schwinns and the 10-speeds, however, there are no pegs.  The pumps come with black plastic straps that have a peg fitting, and these do the job pretty well.  They are not, however, terribly pretty.

So, I picked up a pair of cast-off clamp-style pegs from Mike at Vintage Bicycle Supply.  In a moment of inspiration, I painted them metallic gold first.  This took them from dingy steel to sparkly gold, which matches the details of the Corsaro perfectly.  It also made the tiny "made in France" engraving vivid and readable.

After some consternation trying to mount them on the seat tube, it occurred to me that not all tubing is of the same diameter.  They fit perfectly on the top tube and the Corsaro has a distinctly unique, new look.

Don't try to read it here... my photography will give you a migraine.  But it's there and it's clear and it's cool.

Like I said, sometimes it's the small things that provide a bit of excitement in a quiet week.


  1. Nice job! It's something that I've thought of for my Raleigh--getting an "appropriate" pump for it. It doesn't have braze-ons, so something like you did should work. Nice bike, too!

  2. Thank you, Adventure! It remains to be seen if the top-tube method will withstand bumps in the road, but I'm hopeful.

    The pegs seem to be available only as a swap-meet, salvage kind of thing. I couldn't find them new anywhere.

    The good news is, they're not worth much to 99 percent of the riding market, so they're unlikely to cost a lot. I also picked up a beautiful Campagnolo peg for another bike.

    The pumps themselves are dead cheap and seem to work fine.

  3. I've recently discovered the Sunlite pumps as well. Here's a picture of my mounting. You might also like the clamp on pump pegs I found.

  4. @SlyRed,
    Thanks for sending these links along! Your mounting was by far my first preference, but the downtube on my Corsaro is the only location for bottle cage mounts. Even I decided to forego the bottle, I'd still have the bolts to contend with. Hence, the top-tube decision. I'd really prefer the down tube, though. That's where the brazed-on ones are on my Raleighs, etc.

    Did you buy the clamp ons? I know this is silly, but I have some hesitation about international orders on Ebay. Can't explain it, as it's irrational, but always imagine the item being lost somewhere over that big ocean.

    I have found that the clamp on pegs are not commercially available in the U.S. from any source other than a bike salvager/collector.

    Many thanks for stopping by and for leaving such helpful information!

  5. Yes, I bought these from the eBay vendor. It is H. Lloyd the Raleigh (and other vintage bike) decal guy in England. Check out my Guv'nor clone. It has braze on pegs on the top tube. The frame was built this way.
    My personal e-mail is in my Flickr profile. I'd love to hear about your Raleigh. I might be able to offer some tips.

  6. Mike, there are far too many things that come under the heading of 'I can't live without' to not buy from foreign countries. I've been lucky and have always received my goods. There are no suppliers in the United States that have a good assortment of Raleigh decals. The good suppliers are in Australia and England. I also buy Busch & Muller lighting accessories and Sturmey Archer parts from England. They just have more of an assortment of parts.

  7. Mike,
    If you are running out of things to do to your bikes there is only one solution...get more bikes :-D


  8. Aaron, I have to say that my recovery from Craigslist addiction is going pretty well. I still check and I still covet the occasional vintage bike, but I've found the strength to move on... so far.

  9. I don't have a Craigs List problem, all they have on the ones around here are overpriced big box store junk.

    But I have my means and methods... ;-)