Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Maintenance Carousel

Once you have a small collection of bikes, you will soon find that maintenance and repairs become a carousel: one bike needs some work; you do it; then another bike needs work; you do it; then another needs something, and so on.

This weekend, my 1958 Raleigh Sports 4-speed developed a flat tire in the back. I was not sure why the tire went flat.

I found that the tube had rotted in one particular spot on the inside circumference. There was no hole or damage to the tire itself. I put the rear wheel in a vise and decided to refresh the grease seals at the cones, then to reset the cone tightness.

After that, I put on new rim tape and a new tube. I reused the existing tire.

While I had the rear wheel in the vise, I took a quick picture of the spoke heads. If you look closely, you'll see each has a tiny "R" on it. These 1950s-era Raleighs had some really luxurious touches, and this is just one of them - stamped spoke heads. This Raleigh also has stainless steel Westrick rims.

On this bike, I modified Kool Stop Mafac-style tandem brake pads to fit the old, 1950s-era Raleigh brake pad holders. I get the classic look and originality of the old holders with the modern stopping power of the Kool Stops. The work is done by carefully measuring the holder dovetail and modifying the rubber pads with a Dremel tool.

I re-mounted the wheel and took the bike for a ride. I love these Sturmey Archer FW hubs.

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