Saturday, July 18, 2009

Update on Aaron's Bike

I am finally getting around to refurbishing my old Nishiki Competition for my nephew Aaron. I pulled it down from the hook on my balcony and walked it downstairs to my mechanic's apt. I am very fortunate that he used to be a mechanic back in that mid-80's era and still has all of his tools.

I wanted to pull the headset and bottom bracket first and make sure the bearings were OK and there was no rust on the races. If either of those needed replacing the project would get pretty expensive. Amazingly, except for the grease degrading to wax (grease in those days was made of oil mixed with wax, and eventually the oil oxidizes and dissipates) both assemblies were in absolutely pristine condition. I was a bit worried because I lived at the beach in Florida for nearly 5 years and that warm Atlantic salt air can eat steel alive.

I used a little carburetor cleaner to thoroughly clean the bottom bracket cups, wiped out the inside of the BB tube on the bike, wiped off the solid steel bracket, wiped the bearings dry and clean with a clean rag and repacked them with Mobile 1 synthetic grease. Ditto for the Omas Italian headset and bearings.

Awed by the condition of the bike I decided to really push my luck and air up the tires. I don't think I have ridden this bike since 2000, so was shaking my head in amazement that the tires have now held 40psi for over 4 hours. No kidding folks, I could get on it and ride it down the road!

I am ordering new chain, gum brake block hoods, and a properly sized handlebar (I will hate to part with a pristine Cinelli bar, but at least the Cinelli aero stem is going to see many more years of service) The Campy chainrings and Sugino crank are in perfect condition, as is the DuraAce rear deurailler, SunTour front deurailler, and SunTour downtube shifters. I have some beautiful Robin-egg blue, dappled grey and white Torelli Moda Chunky handlebar tape that will match the blue on the bike perfectly.

After new tubes and tires, all new cables and cable housing, chain, handlebars and tape, I'll put on a new seat and go do some riding. I'll have to wear my mtn bike shoes, as the pedals are aero racing SPD, but classics in their own right. I am super-psyched! Can you tell? What a beautiful machine! I'll take some pics, I promise. Too good to not share.

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