Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Runwell: Days 9 & 10

Despite my recent disappointment at the utter failure of Menotomy's "Vintage Bicycle Cleaning Kit" (grrrr), I've been plowing ahead with the rear wheel cleanup. Unfortunately, although it is certainly better than it was, I have had to settle for an "antique patina" finish rather than shiny chrome and steel. The chrome is simply wasted after years of rusting outside. As a testament to the heartiness of the old construction, everything is still structurally sound, just cosmetically ruined. I'm still pressing on with my plan to get the bike back up and running before thinking about repainting and re-chroming (after all, I've not even ridden the thing yet), but someday down the road, I'll do both. Until then, no riding in the rain (not hard in SoCal). Here's the after picture of the outside of the rear hub, with the Perry mark relatively clear. The shiny strip is the result of being covered by the dust clip for so many years. Below is the before picture, so you can see that I did accomplish something. Right now, I still have the wheel completely taken apart, and everything is clean (if not shiny). I've never taken apart or reassembled a wheel before, so I'm advancing with trepidation, but I have faith that I'll be able to figure it out. I only attempted it here because the single-speed wheel on the Westwood rim is built without a dish because there is no derailer and gear cluster to compensate for, making it a much more straightforward build. For those who are interested, the rear rim is a 40-spoke design, typical of old English bikes, but not otherwise very common.  I'm going to hold off posting a "how to" about reassembling the wheel until I see if I actually "can do," but check out Sheldon Brown on wheel building in the meantime. Once the wheel is back together, both wheels and the frame are off to the bike shop for truing and to have the cottered cranks and stubborn stuck pedal removed. Once that's done, I'll just need to assemble all the replacement parts, and put 'er back together. I'm sure it won't be that easy, however.
 

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