22 December 2010

Minus Fourteen

That was the temperature in Bremen when I checked the weather forecast before I left for work. 


Nevertheless I opted for Bad Boy to take me to the university where I arrived much later than usual because I had to ride slow and carefully over large patches of exposed ice on the road. That is still much better than being left stranded at Frankfurt or Heathrow airport. Winter salt is now much in demand but also useless at this temperatures to unfreeze the ice.


My Assos early winter gloves are also now useless: Being designed for down to six degrees plus, their protective value doesn't last for the 15 minutes ride to work.


Surprisingly enough the German postal system is still working and another batches of parts for the Galibier project arrived on Sunday and today.


I cheaply bought a set of wheels, consisting of Maillard 700 high flange hubs and Mavic rims with glued-on old tubeless tires. I am not a big fan of tubeless tires, to cumbersome in event of a puncture on the road, so I completely de-assembled the front and rear wheel. Then I de-assembled the front wheel bearings. There were only eight balls instead of nine on one side of the bearing so I will need to look for an replacement. Nevertheless I greased the bearing and started to polish the chrome of the which now looks pretty good. Supported by a red rubber bear.


I will buy some spokes and a new rim and try to built my first wheel. Well at least I will give it a try and complete it as far as I can but most likely the truing needs  to be done by a pro from a bike shop.


The same for the rear hub. The spokes on the side of the cogs couldn't be removed so I cut them with a cable cutter. Then I went to the local bike shop and asked them to remove the cassette, which is old-style, screwed on cassette with integrated freewheel. They gave me a big laugh and told me that it is impossible to remove the cassette without the complete wheel: Opposed to modern cassettes, where only the last and smallest cog is screwed on to hold all other cogs in place and where you need to counter the against the stripping tool with a chain whip on any other cog, here need to unscrew the complete cassette with the freewheel that is screwed as one piece on the hub. So you need to counter with the lever of the rims. So it could very well be that this hub will never be usable any more at is neither possible to put new spokes in nor to remove the cassette. I should have read the Sheldon Brown advise before starting where all of this is described in detail. So let's see if I perhaps cannot find another way.


By the way, this thing is pretty heavy, perhaps more than a set of lightweight wheels.


I also have now a almost new Shimano 600 Arabesque front derailleur. Design-wise that was my first choice for the Galibier and I am happy that I could buy one rather cheaply. I still need to de-assemble, grease and polish this baby. These derailleurs are still working friction-based and not indexed so it depends on the rider to adjust it properly while riding. It can be used with index shifters nevertheless, so I will have a wide range of options. I will probably end-up with a strange mix of components, so the re-sale value of the bike will be rather low as real connoisseurs will not be interested. But I would like to use the components I think will look best, regardless of epoch-correct assembly.


During assembly I found out that I am really a poor mechanic. For me, perhaps because of my academic-theoretical background, if a problem is intellectually solved, I am not much interested in the implementation. I guess my marriage may serve as a prime example. I am getting really impatient when the bloody handle bar can be fiddled around the bloody handle. Or the rust cannot be polished away on the hub. So perhaps by doing this kind of mechanical work I can learn to become slightly more modest, patient and thereby by also nicer to my wife.
The question is, will she be nice to me, when in due time even more nice bike that bought will arrive on our door steps. Ah, the temptations are so big in Germany and the winter is so long. So I better start working patiently on this beautiful piece of Shimano 600EX Arabesque rear derailleur. Again, this one was produced between 1978 and 1984, as the FD. The cage is open, so it is possible to remove the chain from the derailleur without opening the chain. I am not sure what this is good for, but I like this small, useless engineering details.


The Galibier, however will need some more time. I will keep posting pictures 
of it's progress.

3 comments:

David L. said...

MOB:

The weather got cold recently on the East Coast of the US and then I got an email from a friend which noted that he is going to try his first wheel-building project. I am detecting a pattern here of how cyclists must spend the winter who live in cold/snowy climates. Then again, I remember building up my Giant TCR frame in the winter of 2004 ... back when I lived on the East Coast and had my bicycle tools in a warm, well lit and roomy basement shop, instead of in a dark, cold garage.

The classic parts look beautiful, and heavy. The rear hub and cassette will make a very nice paper weight, if it cannot be salvaged.

Richard said...

You might lust over the Grand Bois web site:

http://www.cyclesgrandbois.com/

David L. said...

MOB:

As for the weather in Bremen, I note that Bremen is located at 53 degrees N latitude ... with Sunrise at 08:37 today and Sunset at 16:10, for a day of just 7h 32m.

On the other hand, on June 21, 2011, the day in Bremen is almost 17 hours long, and Sunset is at 21:55, so you will be able to work a full day and then complete your final Transalp training rides before dark.

In contrast, Tokyo is 40 degrees N, and Sapporo even is only 43 degrees N., and we do not have daylight savings time in summer, so no "daylight after work rides" here.

Please keep warm, and don't eat too much.