Saturday, September 15, 2007
BICYCLE TEAR DOWN, WHAT'S LEFT
I took the time today to dismantle Victoria and she didn't give me too much of a hard time. That's good considering she was put together over 57 years ago and I found no evidence that she was ever overhauled. When you take a bike apart for a full rebuild, that's when you find out what you have to work with and whatever good original parts you have left.
In this case I realized that both wheels were completely shot. Too many broken spokes and too much corrosion on the rims to recover them. Thankfully, those wheels have 36 spokes, like a modern wheel, so I can reuse the hubs. I am trying to keep as many original parts as I can so the bike doesn't loose too much of it's original character. Besides, that CCM coaster hub is built as if it had to be bullet proof. I was surprised to find a slot in the gear cog to facilitate the addition or removal of the spokes, where in modern hubs, you have to remove the gear. All the chrome is rusted but seems all there. I will build new wheels with the original hubs on 26 inch mountain bike rims. This way I will have a bigger selection of tires. However, space between the fork legs and frame will limit how wide I can go. I will not use the fenders since the smaller wheels will make it look kinda goofy. It will also showcase that beautiful frame better without the fenders.
I have also decided to keep the original finish, scratches and all. I love the color and I figure it would be hard to reproduce that finish. I will stick with shooting it all with a coat of clear. It's now time to get out the brass brush, rags and Mother's polish and clean all the chrome.
To see how to dismantle a bike, check out bike overhaul 1.