Here’s Bob’s lovely Falcon, on its first test run after a thorough overhaul in my workshop this week. Working to his fairly moderate budget, I’ve refurbished the 35 year old 10 speed using as much of the original bike as possible. It’s been completely stripped and rebuilt, during which it’s also had the benefit new all-alloy 27 x 1 1/4″ wheels and tyres, cables, pads and bar tape. The original wheels were heavy 100% steel and the rims were consumed by rust, so it was a no-brainer to spend most of the parts budget on replacing them. Other points of note include the fitment of early Shimano brakes and friction drivetrain which work remarkably well now they’ve been cleaned and regreased.

Back in 1980 Shimano were the new kids on the block and still had a lot to prove! The crankset and bottom bracket feature the Japanese manufacturer’s seminal Selecta splined interface, which they resurrected years later with the (now also obsolete) Octalink system and – after some work – the system spins very smoothly indeed. Ride-wise, the bike is fairly comfortable with the 27 x 1 1/4″ (32mm wide) tyres soaking up the bumps with ease and, once up to speed, handles pretty well – though stopping-power is moderate at best! Within a decade of this bike’s production manufacturers finally finished moving from 27″ wheels to 700c, aluminium and carbon fibre began to be the norm for frame construction and, of course, Shimano grew to completely dominate the component sector, experimenting along the way with Biopace chainrings, SPD pedals and indexed STI systems featuring the integration of brake & gear levers. So the Falcon is an interesting timewarp to which I’ve become rather attached over the past few days and it’s been a pleasure to bring it back to life!

SPEC:

Frame & Fork: 1980 Falcon , high tensile steel*
Headset: unknown 1″ threaded*
Stem: SR Japan*
Handlebar: SR Road Champion*
Bar Tape: Brand X (new)
Brake Levers: Shimano Dee-50*
Brake Calipers: Shimano Tourney* (new pads & cables)
Shifters: Shimano*
Front Derailleur: Shimano FE*
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RS*
Derailleur Cables: new
Freewheel: Shimano UG 5-speed*
Chain: unknown*
Cranks: Shimano Selecta B1*
Chainrings: Shimano Selecta B1*
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Selecta B1*
Pedals: Lyotard*
Rims: Weinmann RM19 (new)
Hubs: Quando (new)
Tyres: Cheng Shin (new)
Saddle: Selle Bassano (1990s upgrade?)
Seatpost: chromed steel* with replacement galvanised saddle clamp
Seatpost Binder: Chromed steel bolt*
Extras: Shimano pie-plate*, top-tube cable clips fitted as part of refurbishment

* = original 1980 part