1982 Elswick Superstar  RSS Feed

#1 2009-02-28 8:05am

2Fresh
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1982 Elswick Superstar

http://bmxmuseum.com//image/elswick_26042009_1.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/elswick_26042009_13.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/elswick_26042009_19.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com//image/elswick_26042009_2.jpg

1982 Elswick Superstar

British Elswick BMX restored, cleaned & polished during nov 2008 - feb 2009. Paint, decals and most of the original components.

I purchased this bike in mid november 2008 for £30 (about $43) in used but not totally abused condition although there was a lot of rust and grime to get rid of and it was completed in about three months. The bike came with everything else except wheels, tires and chain. I had never heard of Elswick Cycles before and the frame looked intriguing. It had nice basic (mostly unbranded) components and loads of that early BMX racer looks so i went for it. The bike appeared to be in nice restorable condition although before you could go out and ride, it would require some work. Elswick, which was obviously British, turned out to be more or less legendary old bicycle brand with long roots dating back all the way to late 1800's. This was interesting and gave the restoration project a whole new perspective and certain humbleness on my way to preserve a piece of British BMX history. I was told this bike was realistically what most kids rode back then in the UK, nothing more, but nothing less than a £100 mild steel frame and fork with mediocre componentry while with the same amount of money you could get a $200 tri-moly frame in the States.
I found absolutely nothing regarding Elswick's ventures with BMX bikes but i did find a few pretty good articles about the overall history of the company. The frame type appears to be made by a certain manufacturer in taiwan and then distributed around the world and branded accordingly. For example what was Elswick in the UK could be Cross Rider in Australia, obviously with different gussets and whatnot, but the point is the frames were identical regardless of what it read on the downtube. I was also very fascinated by the additional gusset plates around the bottom bracket which sort of gives you, not only the impression of a bike built like a tank but also the actual weight of a tank. The frame is heavy duty. I wanted to keep as many of the original components as possible without replacing too many so i began a massive cleaning, rust removal and polishing operation. I took everything apart to see what can be saved and what's beyond help.
Stop reading here if you don't care about the gory details...


-PIECE BY PIECE-
First thing i saw the seat was wasted. Although it was structually sound, it had rusty rails, guts and the padding just bursting out along with numerous cuts allover the vinyl cover. The post, clamp, cranks and forks had rust partially through chrome while the bottom bracket and sprocket required just a good clean up. Pedals used to be gold laquered but half of it was gone. Bars looked decent regular v-bars and had generic hard plastic grips on. The bike came with unbranded gold front and rear brakes and bent levers. The frame had numerous scars on the paintjob and those scars had rust, the worst combination because i was not going to repaint it so ihad to figure out something else not to harm the original colour more than that. I dipped the frame in acid to get rid of the rust and then did a touch up with matching metallic blue enamel paint. Fortunately the original frame decals were in pretty decent shape for their age so they needed just a bit of cleaning. Forks had a few bad rusty areas thru chrome but in the end turned out ok after intensive polishing.
I replaced the 165mm cranks with 175's because the 165's were too short for my taste. The original cranks had a layer of gold laquer which in most part was gone but i wanted to stick with the gold theme. I painted the SR cranks with transparent yellow over chrome which gives you the impression of "gold" also known as candy colour, and applied a double layer of hard clear coat on top of it. Time will tell how it stays on the cranks.
I didn't use the original chrome bars because they didn't fit my colour plans, instead i put on a lightly used set of british made aluminum V-bars which seemed like good quality. They are stamped "01 82 (GB) British Made" however i haven't been able to fully ID their make yet. Just a few good guesses. They are pretty narrow but i guess it goes with the style of era so i will adjust to it. The original grips were nice tone of yellow but made of cheap plastic and were uncomfortable to say the least so i replaced them with O.G.K. grips which have slightly pale yellow tone to match with the decals and seat. Stem underwent same treatment as the cranks, the top was polished and painted while the quill was soaked in acid.
The seat resto... Despite trying, i wasn't able to find same kind of padded Velo diamond seat anywhere. I did find a Troxel seat in söightly different tone of yellow, those with removable cover and plastic rails. I thought since the original seat is so chewed up i have nothing to lose if i try and restore the original. And should something go sour i could always come back and just use the Troxel seat then. I had no idea what i had put my hands into with the seat resto. It turned out the most demanding single step of a project so far.
First I completely dismantled the seat, all the way to its bare plastic skeleton of a seat, removed and dipped the rails in acid, drilled out the rusty rivets and cracked seatcover holder plates and washed the fillings and the actual cover. There was pieces missing from the nose of the cover so i had to figure out a way to patch them. I used contact glue and some yellow nylon fabric patches and pressed them carefully on to the backside of the vinyl cover with hot iron. Next i had to take apart the black lining of the cover, re-shape it and sew it back on after replacing the wire that goes inside it.
The seat cover is pre tightened with the wire and finally secured in place with those small steel plates looking like jaws which are riveted around the inside edge of the seat. The original jaws were so rusty that they cracked during seat cover removal so i had to make new ones from scratch by fabricating them from a sheet of mild steel. The jaws were then drilled, bent and ultimately riveted back on. Then the padding was glued onto the seat and finally the repaired vinyl cover was shaped over the plastic skeleton. The cover was then pre-tightened and secured with the new sharp jaws. During the process i almost gave up at one point because there i was, restoring approximately $5 seat which seemed to ewquire more work than the whole bike. It is still not perfect but atleast it's repaired, clean and original. The original unbranded seatpost had to be replaced with fluted aluminum post which i had really hard time fitting into the frame. Seatclamp was dipped in acid and polished and for the most part it turned out great.
I have no idea what kind of wheels there there used to be but looking at the brake pads i assumed they had been rubbing on some type of mags. For colour balance the bike definitely needed blue wheels whether spoked or mags so i began looking for some. Originally i was trying to find blue aluminum rims so i could use my leftover gold Shimano coaster brake at the back but the plans changed when i found a really nice set of blue Tuff I's with Bendix coaster for $78. I felt the bike deserves clean, straight-forward early looks so i didn't want to install hand brakes and on top of that, i would get away with less adjusting.
The bike came with 40-tooth japanese Keihin brand steel sprocket which left me wondering what size gears there might have been. The Tuff I's had 16T Bendix sized cog and there wasn't any smaller to be found while 40/16 would have been too light for me to pedal. Then i remembered you can use Suntour driver on a Bendix hub which enabled me to put a 14T cog and get proper gearing. Problem solved. The Tuffs were otherwise in great condition for their age but quite dirty and faded as usual. After cleaning and soaking them with oil the colour came back as expected. They were finalized with good final layer of silicone, complete polish on the Bendix hardware and here we have a set of some 30 year old wheels looking like new!
I used whatever vinyl pads i could find cheap. I didn't know what the original pads might have looked like or what colour they were si just used what looked best to me. I am especially proud of the "Moto One" v-bar pad and te yellow stem pad makes the colour balance more interesting. The frame is metallic blue even though you might not see it in the pics, and it is all original just like the decals.
At first hand the bike feels helplessly small for a guy my size with its 17" top tube and lazy steering angle. The front triangle is short while the rear seems longer than necessary. However i am used to this but it's just something i noticed. I am expecting the bike to be small while up and pedaling and roomy while sitting down and enjoying the view, but most of all, i am so much looking forward to get pedaling on this thing!


April 28th. And yes, small it is. Incredibly small frame for a guy my size, i was constantly hitting my knees to bars although the bike feels roomy while sitting, as expected. The Tuff I's roll great and so do the Michelin Cobras. The 40/14 gearing feels great! Not too heavy, and certainly not too light and you can easily hit good speeds if you have the muscle (or room) to turn the cranks. I just wish the bike was slightly bigger as in longer top tube OR steeper headtube angle but it is what it is. Despite these size "limitations" i absolutely love it!
Update july 16th 2012. The bike has been fully disassembled due to lack of use. As cool as it might be, it is too small for me to ride and i have to make room for other projects. Too bad. sad


Parts & Specs:


* Frame: 1982 Elswick Superstar BMX

* Serial#: DS20802643 Taiwan ..1982 apparently

* Fork: 1" threaded (original stock)
* Headset: chrome plated, caged bearings (original stock)
* Stem: JY quill 21.1mm steel neck, alloy top (original stock)
* Stem pad: yellow Pro Neck vinyl snap pad

* Handlebars: Wassall aluminum v-bars stamped: "01 82 GB British Made"

* Handlebar pad: "Moto One" vinyl snap v-bar pad

* Grips: O.G.K. Osaka Grip MFG Co. ltd "non-slip" Hex grip model #77-17AR, made in Japan

* Number Plate: Hunt Wilde oval plate with custom handcut numbers

* Seat: Velo padded diamond seat repaired/restored (original stock)
* Seatpost: JY 25.4mm dia. fluted aluminum

* Seatpost Clamp: steel (original stock)
* Cranks: Sakae Ringyo SR Cro-Mo 175x24 one piece cranks stamped "A1 OG", gold laquered w/double protective clear coat

* Bottom Bracket: Tange Seiki co. LTD B.B.220-24 Japan w/caged bearings (original stock)
* Pedals: "Warrior BMX" branded steel rat-traps made by Wellgo, ½" spindle

* Chainwheel: Keihin 40T one piece steel (original stock)
* Chain: KMC 410 single speed

* Wheels: vintage Skyway Tuff Wheel I's with Bendix 76 coaster brake w/custom fitted Suntour driver for having small enough cog for optimal gearing with the 40T chainwheel combined

* Cog: 14T

* Tires: Michelin Cobra 20x2.125
* Frame Pad: 12" generic blue vinyl snap pad
* Tubes: Michelin Airstop rear, Kenda front both 20 x 1.75-2.125


http://bmxmuseum.com/img/view-bike-in-museum.gif

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#2 2009-02-28 12:42pm

Lasse.A
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Registered: 2008-02-05
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

On muuten kaunis pyörä!
Really nice bike!
cool Hooray for 2fresh!

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#3 2009-03-01 3:29am

2Fresh
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Registered: 2006-02-10
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Many thanks Lasse.
smile

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#4 2009-04-30 6:06am

CORVETTEJIM1968
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From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2008-06-10
Posts: 109
Bikes: 2

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

love the color combo my 1980 DG is blue/yellow:)


1980 DG Racer 2 weight 22Lbs 8oz
.......... __o
......... -\<
........(_)/(_)

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#5 2009-08-03 1:57pm

Poole Panther
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From: Bournemouth, UK
Registered: 2009-07-07
Posts: 209
Bikes: 7

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Outstanding job, a REAL restoration...cool

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#6 2009-12-14 12:31pm

trickyduk
Museum Newbie
From: North Lincolnshire, UK
Registered: 2009-12-11
Posts: 2

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Nice looking bike & good job well done!
I don't live far from Barton upon Humber from where Fred Hopper, the founder of Elswick Hopper cycles originated from.
smile


Original 80's Bmxer reliving my youth!

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#7 2010-01-03 10:24am

ROY
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From: TEXAS
Registered: 2007-09-20
Posts: 120
Bikes: 4

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

That is a super sweet looking bike.  The yellow/blue looks really good.


does anyone have a beat up lance mountain deck with the primitive design for sale or trade?

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#8 2010-01-06 3:08pm

brian90
Member
From: Kuching,Sarawak - Malaysia
Registered: 2009-12-18
Posts: 59
Bikes: 1

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Nice work on the chrome! what is that solution that you dipped the frame into...oil?


- Live Life To The Fullest! -     =CLUSTER BOMBERS= Free Riders Division

(Finally...My Raleigh RX280 is done!!!)

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#9 2010-02-07 1:40am

2Fresh
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

The frame and fork were dipped in Oxalic Acid to get rid of the rust in the scratches on the original paintcoat. When the rust was gone the frame and forks were carefully washed and then i was able to do touch up painting on them using a small brush and matching enamel paint.
I am really pleased with the final result, i only wish the frame was bigger. It's slightly too small for tall guy like me sad

Thanks for all the comments!
-Timo

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#10 2010-02-16 9:13am

dobermansgalore
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From: Dayton, OH
Registered: 2010-01-24
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Bikes: 2

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

:cool:nice color combo

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#11 2010-02-19 12:32am

missnova
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From: NorCal
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 243
Bikes: 10
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Very Nice!


"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth."
                                                  - Friedrich von Schiller

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#12 2010-05-28 12:40pm

tsum71
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Registered: 2009-02-21
Posts: 12
Bikes: 8

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

nice won dude,shes looking sweet.you got this bike from me..... just to let you know this had yellow o.g.k mags on it.nice project timo

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#13 2010-06-18 3:03pm

ajon
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From: winnipeg, MB
Registered: 2010-06-01
Posts: 130

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

SICK RESTORE


ajon

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#14 2010-07-28 7:37am

.::Elite_Bmx::.
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Registered: 2010-07-27
Posts: 8

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

I'll give u $500 for the bike

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#15 2010-09-27 12:04am

jz56oval
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From: Nor Cal
Registered: 2010-08-13
Posts: 459
Bikes: 33
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

This is sweet

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#16 2011-07-22 1:26am

gulliver75
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From: London
Registered: 2011-07-22
Posts: 5

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Had one hell of a shock this morning outside the station on way to work. Leaned up against a lamp post, unlocked was my Elswick 1982 BMX.......... Not just the same model, but my actual old BMX! It had the same stickers, saddle and grips that I put on it before I turned 10 years old. I had to take a photo just to convince myself later that I hadnt gone mad - How freaky is that! I would upload the photo but the image icon above does nothing when I click it.

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#17 2011-07-22 1:30am

2Fresh
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Registered: 2006-02-10
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Upload the image to photobucket.com then copy the given "IMG" tag on here. The image icon you are clicking should have the URL address in it, otherwise it does nothing. Cool story, once in a life time. Anxious to see your Elswick!

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#18 2011-07-22 2:02am

gulliver75
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From: London
Registered: 2011-07-22
Posts: 5

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

I know - I think I am actually in a bit of shock. Here is the url. Let me know what you think. I lost the yellow pads when I was about 9. I loved that bike!

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#19 2011-07-22 2:02am

gulliver75
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From: London
Registered: 2011-07-22
Posts: 5

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#20 2011-07-22 2:08am

2Fresh
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Registered: 2006-02-10
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k605/gulliver75/BMX-ElswickSuperstar1982.jpg

There, fixed the image for you. That looks very cool, i have never seen a complete stock one until now. Always wondered how they came out. Great for reference. And appears to have all the original frame decals too. The backwards stem and the slammed seat indicates the previous rider was really really tiny person smile What are your plans with the bike?

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#21 2011-07-22 3:33am

gulliver75
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From: London
Registered: 2011-07-22
Posts: 5

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

I have no plans for the bike because I don't know who owns it. It wasn't even locked! I put that saddle on it, which is what started me to think that it was actually my old bike. I was 10 at the time and already 5"9'!

I have thought about putting a notice in the local shop windows asking if anyone knows the current owner and see if I can get it back. What do you think it would be worth to buy?

Thanks a million for sorting out the image. I'm very pleased with my little discovery. It's made my weekend!

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#22 2011-07-22 3:39am

gulliver75
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From: London
Registered: 2011-07-22
Posts: 5

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

I love your restoration job by the way!

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#23 2011-07-22 4:02am

2Fresh
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Registered: 2006-02-10
Posts: 865
Bikes: 29

Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Bike shop notice sound good but also, why not stick a note on the bike with your contact info phone/email saying you'd be very interested in buying it. Especially if you've ID'd that it's your actual old ride from way back! This might be the last last change you get, you'll never know. Anyway, it's pretty amazing to bump into your actual old bike just like that. I can imagine. Reminds me of how years and years ago i spotted my old '92 GT at a 2nd hand shop window, should've bought it back right away but didn't and regretted since.
Thanks!

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#24 2011-09-29 6:13pm

Brandonio
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From: New York, NY
Registered: 2011-08-29
Posts: 183
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

Damn! I didn't know Elswick made a BMX. My wife has a 1951 Elswick Ladies Roadster- all original. Found it at an estate sale here in Seattle. I'd love to have one of these to ride beside her. lol

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#25 2011-09-29 6:55pm

Skwerly
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From: Yucaipa, CA
Registered: 2011-05-02
Posts: 852
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Re: 1982 Elswick Superstar

That is a striking build!  Heckuva story with the one leaning on the post, too! I almost got shivers.  tongue


Looking for GT Performer forks - maybe.  Lemme know what you have!

V-bars, knobby tires, and chain guards - Oh, yeah!  big_smile

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