Monday, December 13, 2010

Project Wild Cat, Part II (Done!)

Remember this? Well, it's done now. We managed to restore it with period-correct parts as much as possible. And yes, it's not just a showpiece, it's been ridden on a daily basis.
This is the first Federal we have in the family. Bought in 1991, it is originally equipped with 3x6-speed friction shift Suntour Allegro drivetrain, steel wheels, steel cockpit and rigid fork. As days gone by, it managed to survive many stages of upgrades with plethora of parts, and my father used to ride this bike for light cross-country riding almost every weekends.

Yes, that's me back in 2006.
Long before this shop was established, I already have so many friends trusting in me fixing their bikes. Sometimes, after an upgrade or retrofit, some of them just gave me their used parts because they simply didn't need the anymore. Some of those parts are middle to high level parts from Shimano dated from the nineties. And when recently a good friend gave me his used 1991 Deore FC-MT60 170mm crank arms, we realised that it's time for a major upgrade. A resurrection, to be exact.

The process begun by stripping off the frame from its aging 19 years old paintjob. It's kinda sad watching all those layers of memories being removed away. But when the frame returned from the painter showing its original shade of gray, all we can say is that we're satisfied. And when we put back on the decals we meticulously remake ourselves, everything's seems right with the world.

The rigid fork that was previously replaced with 100mm suspension is now replaced with a period correct short-travel suspension that was sourced from a 1994 Federal Mt. Everest. The lower leg is painted gray to match the frame. The steerer is originally threaded, we convert it into threadless system to ensure perfect and easy adjustment. And to match the Controltech 1" 100mm threadless stem we already have in stock, of course.

The brakes are Deore LX BR-M560 cantilever brakes combined with BR-R440 levers, since the leverage is just spot on. And because we just love two-finger levers. Transferring the power from the shifters and brake levers are Shimano M-System brake cables and Shimano SP-41 shifter cables. Why yes, those are Avid link-wires, they make cantilever brake adjustment easier compared to traditional separate hanger-and-cable setup. And because they looked clean.

This is the crankset we talked about earlier. The 46T chainring is the only chainring attached to the crank arm when we get them, so we managed to salvage the 36T and 24T chainrings from another good friend who converted his Shimano Exage triple crankset into single. Since the spacers needed to install the 24T chainring was missing, we have to machine them out of brass. Shifting is taken care by Shimano Deore LX FD-M550 front derailer.
Back in the nineties, Shimano issued a device to prevent chain from slapping against the chainstay and get jammed in case of the chain being overshifted to the smallest chainring. The device is called Shark Fin, since it has a projection near the front that resembles, well, a shark's fin.
We already owned the yellow plastic Cat Eye bottle cage for a long time. And when we found this yellow Shark Fin copy (the original color is black) laying around useless in our local bike shop, we know we have to put yellow Cat Eye Snake toe clips and straps on those Wellgo flat pedals to compliment the color scheme. They matched the labels on the Maxxis Larsen TT 26 x 1,90 tires as well. That's the maximum tire size we can squeeze between the chainstays without rubbing them.

Shifting the Shimano CN-HG53 chain on the Deore XT CS-HG70 13-30T 7-speed cassette is a Deore DX RD-M650SGS long cage rear derailer. We need to install claw derailer hanger adapter since the frame didn't came with them. The wheels are Rigida ZAC-2000 rims, laced 3-cross with 36 plain gauge stainless spokes to Shimano Exage hubset. Those are brass nipples, and you can see our signature: gold nipple on the spoke near the valve stem hole that laced to the drive side hub flange. Controlling the derailers are Deore SL-MT62 friction front shifter and 7-speed indexed rear shifter. Frankly, they shifts faster than those newer trigger shifters.

Why is that saddle looked like a Selle San Marco Concor Supercorsa? Well, because it is. Another good friend gave us an old Supercorsa with bent rails and torn off cover. After straightening the rail and recover it with synthetic perforated leather, we paired it with 25,4 x 300mm Zoom alloy seatpost.

So, what do you think? This is what we always love to do, putting new spirits into old bicycles. Make sure you tell us what you think in the comments.


  1. good job brother panji, i know that place kompertalom no 1 right? he