April 08, 2007


I just put the final touches on my new/refurbished REX '3 x 2' speed from 1981. A little background: I was talking with our neighbor about going together to buy some sand and gravel so I could build a stone patio out back. They're planning something similar. Our neighbor pointed apologetically at the pile of junk in thier driveway and said that her husband was going to bring that stuff to the dump. Like it would matter to me, but then I spied a cool looking bike sitting on the pile. I have been thinking it would be good to have a spare bike for commuting to the station, and who can stand to see a perfectly good rusting broken bike go to waste? Not me. A few careful observations and the bike was mine. Here is a before picture:

REX has been making bikes, mopeds and motorcycles in Halmstad Sweden since 1896; it's a classic brand.

Here are the handlebars before, showing the 'Sachs Torpedo' three-speed shifter. My goal with the project was to make a fun and reliable bike for under $75. I repainted it using some Hammerite paint, and remounted the 'REX' logo on the front tube.

Welcome to my workshop by the way. It may be the smallest room in the house but its also the most productive. The bike is 26 years old but it doesn't look like its been used a lot-- the insides of the fenders are as shiny as a bathroom mirror, as are the front rims where the brakes grip. The bike was set up with an electrical system like a VW bug (positive ground). There was a battery pack on the post, a generator, and lights front and back. None of it worked though and the plastic was faded and cracked so it got tossed along with the handlebars and tires.

Here's a shot of the back hub for Tim. I bought a new 'rustproof' chain that feels like its teflon coated. There are two fixed gears in the back, AND its a three-speed sealed hub. Go figure?? Besides the chain I bought a new handlebar and seat, tires and tubes, lock and cable. The bike has 27" wheels, and strangely the local bike store doesn't carry 27" tires but our supermarket does. If it wasn't raining and late I would take the bike out for the inaugural ride.


At April 13, 2007 9:38 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

It looks like a nice bike. I really like the head-tube badge. I've kept a few of them from severely bent frames I've stripped. They are little works of art, at least the older ones are. Many are handmade.

The sticker on the headtube of my Lemond is not art, that's for sure.

At April 14, 2007 10:24 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

This bike is speedy. The speedy feeling may just be due to torsion of the women's frame, but the frame is also an advantage-- the tube diameter is unusually small giving a light frame, and the smaller wheels are lighter. This bike has an enormous, sturdy package rack.


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