: The overflow valve for my mind
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Cycling - My Bikes - Bicycle restore

My old MTB is coming up for twenty years old, and to be honest has been badly abused for much of its life. This is the bike I first used all the time and I rode it everywhere, usually off road, and never cleaning it. When I decided it was too worn out and needed upgrading, it made more financial sense to get a new bike; this old one just got thrown into the back of the shed and abandoned.

I got it back out of the shed occasionally when my other bike at the time was being serviced, or when a friend desperately needed a temporary bike. Then my Dad decided to start cycling again and used this bike for daily commutes for a couple of years. When it came back to me it was still in a good state of repair regards the bearings and other moving parts; and had a complete new drive train.

I used it from then on mostly at weekends, when I just popped to the shops on it as I didnít mind leaving it unattended (other than a padlock). About ten months ago I stole the rack off the back of this for the tandem, rendering this bike useless for shopping trips. It got hung in the roof of the garage and not touched again; until I had to move it and spotted what a bad condition it was in!

My first task was to strip the bike back to the bare frame. Bolts that hadnít been touched in nearly twenty years, such as the bottle cage bolts, came out surprisingly easily using a socket set and extra long lever, rather than the cheap Allen Keys!

Other bolts, such as the one through the fork crown, needed driving out with a hammer. I still canít understand how it got bent before I started working.

I was pleased to have a garage equipped with a good socket set, spanners and other tools, rather than relying on a cheap multi-tool. It was also good to see that the problem was mostly surface damage, the working parts were still in good condition.

Once Iíd got back to the bare frame and forks it was time to start de-rusting and prepping. I used a simple knife to pop the blisters in the paint and flake off the worst of the loose paint. I then used a combination of emery paper, sanding machine, power tool with sanding discs and drums, and wire brush to remove the rust and key the existing paint.

When the frame was back to solid metal and keyed paint I wiped it down carefully with white spirit, then painted it carefully with two coats of Hammerite following the instructions on the can.

I then rebuilt the bike replacing damaged cables where applicable. I also fitted mudguards to try to prevent further stone chips and damage. As you can see from these photos, Iím rather pleased with the finished result.


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