Jack Taylor Refurbishment Progress

I bought this bike about 10 years ago, it had a particularly scrappy paint job which was almost deliberate to hide what it was.  The guy I bought it off had done a good job of sourcing appropriate components and had been in touch with Jack (the man himself) in order to get spares for the french headset.  There comes a time in a bike’s life where a respray is needed to give it another 30 years.  So it was off to Argos Racing Cycles for a ‘flam red’ finish with a modest amount of box lining and decals.

It took some time to get around to the Jack Taylor build and it wasn’t until mid January when I started. The refurbishment was to include some new components from Velo Orange to give it that extra bling.  Getting the wheels right was the first job and the front wheel consists of a Maxi-Car hub onto a modern Mavic 26 inch rim.  I had not come across Maxi-Cars before but there was some information on the http://www.blackbirdsf.org/maxicar/ site. The dropout size is 110 and I soon discovered that the front forks were not that size which is a bit of a mystery because I didn’t notice this when I took the bike apart.  I disassembled the bearings which were in good condition and I wondered if I could get away without some of the lock-nuts which hold the bearing housing in place and instead lock it to the fork.  I will review this when I take it for its first ride.

The headset is a french non standard design that takes loose bearings.  I decided to keep it as its in good condition and sourcing a replacement would be time consuming.  This went back together again OK as did the sealed unit bottom brackets.  The original bolts on the adjustable bottom bracket were also OK but stainless steel replacements would be better.


I then added the new Velo Orange snakeskin mudguards that replace the originals which were looking a bit sad.  A previous owner had converted the wheel size from a probable 700C ( its a late 80s model) to 26 inch.  The resulting gap between the fenders and the tyre was a little too big with 1.5 Marathons but to tight for 2.4″ Big Apples and so I went for 2″ Kojaks which also raises the height of the bike and thus the pedal clearance.  The mudguard fittings are fiddly but once assembled provide a very sturdy arrangement.  The Velo Orange rear rack was very easy to fit and replaced the original Jack Taylor racks that although were build for the bike had lost its fitting at some point and was burdensome to fit.


The same drive train was cleaned and reassembled with a new chain.  A new XCD rear mech was also fitted together with the XCD brakes.  I added the drag brake to the HUGI hub a while back to control speeds during downhill descents.

I’ve not decided on the saddles and a few other bits so I will leave that for phase two.

To be continued

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