Friday, August 22, 2008

The Runwell: Days 11 & 12

After one day spent badly bungling trying to re-lace my rear wheel, an evening carefully studying Sheldon Brown's guide, and another afternoon finally getting the stupid thing right, I can now say that I've built a wheel, or rather rebuilt a wheel. Once I actually pulled my head out of my...well...and thought about it for a minute, it all went pretty well, with the exception that I stripped a nipple (cue childish snickering) that's going to have to be replaced and the wheel trued.

I also greased and reassembled the rear hub, and now have a functional rear wheel that's in much better shape than when I found it. Here's the before picture for a comparison.
I've even tested the coaster brake by spinning the wheel in my hands, and it seems to work just fine. Like I said before, it's not quite as shiny as I would have liked, but there's only so much one can do after years of weather. 

On a side note, after exchanging emails with a very nice gent and former mechanic in England (who remembered when Runwell was still around in the 1960s as a smallish parts distributor), I believe I'm dealing with what's left of the original nickel plating, rather than chrome, which does a little more to explain why it was so badly deteriorated. Chrome was apparently introduced in 1928, but nickel plating was still applied after that date, so it remains hard to pin down exactly when my bike was manufactured.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,i have a Runwell ladies bike with an unusual frame.Bought as 1938.Wrong front gaurd,slightly bent frame,3 speed,cable brakes,rusty wheels.traces of old decals on rear gaurd and frame.I could paint frame and revive using vintage Raleigh bits or keep as is.Would welcome your thoughts.Thanks,Bob.