Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Diamond in the rough...

When this Steve Potts bike showed up for dismantling, it was in rough shape.  Rough is an understatement.  Rust and corrosion had taken over and not one square inch was unaffected by the passing of time and the fact that the bike had been ridden hard during its life and then languished for nearly a decade before it was rescued and "restored" to its current condition.  

I use "restored" loosely because restoring an item usually means bringing it back to its like-new condition.  Doing that to this bike would have meant replacing every single part and repainting.  Doing that would have decimated the character of the bike.  There is such a great patina that deserved to be retained.  Some parts were replaced with newer parts.  Parts that typically wore out or were destroyed during normal use such as derailleurs.  

The Phil Wood hubs had such a bad corrosion problem on their centers that it was questionable that they could be salvaged.  However, there is a product called Evapo-Rust which did a great job of removing the rust and corrosion on many of the parts.  The hub shells were soaked overnight in Evapo-Rust which thoroughly removed the rust, but did leave the cadmium plating pitted and scarred from the rust, but free from rust.  Phil Wood pressed in new bearings and a new front axle then I built up the wheels with a lightly used set of original Araya 7X rims.  

Everything was disassembled and cleaned before being reinstalled.  There were a few parts that were replaced with new old parts such as the derailleurs, chainrings, and Sedisport chain.  The original Campagnolo seat post had been fused inside the seat tube virtually from day one according to the original owner so it was simply left there since the sometime in the early 80s.  Clamping the head into the vise and using the frame as a lever busted the seat post free and then some twisting and out it came.  It was pretty far gone by that point that a new old Super Record post replaced it.  The end result is pretty outstanding.  

Newman Potts

Magura & Suntour

Phil Wood
The hubs and freewheel cogs after their Evapo-Rust bath.


Press Fit 35 x 17
Press fit bottom bracket.  I'll call this PF17.  Way ahead of its time.

You simply can't repaint something like this.  This bike earned every single chip and ding.

More Patina





In the photo above, you can see the modified Mafac brake blocks.  Originally, there were 5 "bumps" on the pads.  However, on some of these older frames, the long pads prohibit proper brake function.  Roller-cam brakes on Steve's and Charlie's bikes were always set as close as possible to the chainstay or fork blade for minimal brake post flex.  This meant that the pads were always close to the frame or fork.  In this case, the 5th bump was removed offsetting the pad and giving just enough clearance for the brake to operate.  

Minimal clearance at the fork, but just enough for proper brake operation.

Single bumps
The bumps that were removed.

(What's playing:  Son Volt Hanging Blue Side)


Mark Inglis Taylor said...

Really cool. What are those tires? I'm guessing they're NOS? Does anyone still make a knobby gumwall?

blackmountaincycles said...

The tires are old Specialized Hardpacks. First Flight Bikes had (maybe still has) some reproduction tan skinwall tires.

Anonymous said...

Wow not sure if its just the picture but those are some slack angles. Whats the seat and head tube?

blackmountaincycles said...

Not sure on the angles. The bike is now at its home. But, yes, they are slack yet the bike steers with a very nice precision.