You’ll probably have seen I bought a second bike, and quickly set about dismantling it. Having gone through it all as I took it off there’s a lot of it that’s not really worth putting back on, namely:
- Kinked wheels
- Broken chainring
- Tyres just about rideable but badly cracked
- Knackered old derallieur mechanisms
- Knackered, uncomfortable-looking saddle
- Pitted head tube bearing cups
- Brakes (may be salvageable, but looked a little bent and need new pads and bolts as a minimum)
So it looks like this is going to be an expensive project, which means it may take some time waiting from paycheck to paycheck to fund it. Even worse, I think I’m swaying towards certain features that will make it even more expensive. For one, a three-speed hub, which will necessitate gear cable, a trigger and a special bracket on the chainstay. It will also of course have to be built into a wheel, and that’s one job I’ll have to leave to the bike shop. I’ll need a new front wheel, and a rear rim to build the wheel from, and two new tyres.
Then there’s handlebars. It had some OK racing bars but I don’t like the style of them so may opt for some North Road bars – I might even turn them upside down, path racer style. In contrast to my current bike, I really couldn’t be less interested in keeping this one “stock”, what’s shaping up in my mind is a sort of pared down, sporty version of my current bike, with the minimum of unnecessary accessories.
The saddle’s easy enough to replace – the saddle I replaced on my fiancé’s bike is a nice old Iscaselle which didn’t suit that bike (it’s far too narrow for a sit-up-and-beg) but should be just fine for this one. The only snag is I’ll need a new saddle post as the one that came off is laughably small. Speaking of laughably small, I do wonder whether I should hang on to those tiny mudguards. There’s a certain charm to their total silliness…
One thing I will have to do is strip off and respray the paintwork. I know you’re supposed to preserve the “patina” and the labels on vintage bikes, but there’s too many rust spots and too much exposed steel for me to just leave it as it is. It also means I get to choose the colour, and that’s going to take some thinking about. I’ll refit some new Tour of Britain stickers so it’s still identifiable, but one thing I won’t keep is the colour. You might like it, but I don’t. And it’s my bike…