Back-to-back twofer posts courtesy of Art F in Rockville. Below we have an OTSG First C Itoh “WFBPM” and a nondescript Falcon.
Today was a good day for the old bike flipper . I sold two Nishikis ( a Sport and an Olympic 12 ) and a C Itoh 10 speed . I think this was only the second C Itoh I’ve ever had. The first one was an organ donor and the derailleurs and brake assemblies are either in my parts pile or riding around on a bunch of Schwinns . This one looked very solid and I decided to rebuild it to sell . What was especially encouraging was the writing on the downtube that said ” World’s Finest Bicycle Precision Mechanism” . that’s an even better endorsement than”Campy equipped” . The first problem I ran into was the rear wheel was bent up and had rusted on the spoke nipples . So i couldn’t get a good brake adjustment. This is really critical to get wobble down to about 1/16″ when you have suicide brake levers and steel rims . So I brought the wheel over to Mr Oh at the local bike shop who is a pro at truing wheels with a hammer . I got the wheel back and changed out tires , handlebar wrap, chain , and a derailleur pulley. Pumped the tires up to 80 psi and put the bike aside to wait for the snow to melt to give it a test ride. A week later I went to take it out and noticed that the rear tire had popped off the rim but the brake caliper was holding the tire in place so the tube didn’t blow out. Decided to add a few more rim strips to the front and back wheels which is a trick that usually works to make tires fit better. Pumped up the tires again and a few hours later heard a loud pop from the basement . This time the front tire blew off . Replaced the tube and was real careful about keeping tire straight as I pumped it up. then I decided to do a little more tweaking of the spokes on the rear wheel . One spoke was really tight and snapped as I turned the nipple. this was on the freewheel side so I decided I didn’t want to fight the tire crookedness again and remove and replace the freewheel so I brought the whole bike into the bike shop and said “fix it’ . When I went to pick up 2 days later Mr Oh told me that the wheel was hopeless with too many spokes cut by the rim holes so he replaced the wheel and the freewheel with used ones from his parts pile and charged me $25 .the tire problem was partly due to not completely seating the valve stem. I bring the bike shop all my difficult repair jobs like straightening forks so he gives me a break on prices. A wheel replacement for his other customers would probably cost around $80 . Last week I finally took the C Itoh for a test ride and it shifted and braked nicely . I listed it in Washington DC craigslist for $120 and sold it in 1 day . I’m not sure if I made any profit on it but it will probably be still running while I’m pushing up daisies . How do you like the electrical tape frame decoration put on by a previous owner . I left them on for a bit of class . And the frame color is perfect for hiding the bike on the beach.
Nothing special about this one except it’s the second Falcon from the United States to be submitted to the Old Ten Speed Gallery. I got it when it was traded in on a Bridgestone MB-6 mountain bike I sold in December. I’m amazed that it hasn’t been snapped up by some vintage lover reading craigslist for only $150 with it’s cottered crank and Simplex rear derailleur . But I’m told that it doesn’t have the distinctive Falcon paint job as it is all refrigerator white. Somewhere along the way somebody did a repaint job and it is very good quality but doesn’t let the lugwork stand out. I’m sure I’ll sell it because it has a 25″ frame good for someone 6’4″ . super large frames like this are hard to find.