Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Duchess

This was the hardest tire/tube replacement I've done. Not that I've done more than four or five, but these two were the toughest. The whitewall was cracking and falling from the tire as I worked. The tire bead had completely adhered to the rim of the wheel. There was very little flexibility, and it was tempting to grab a pair of heavy duty shears from the tool chest and cut the @#$!%!!! thing off. Tire levers, pinched fingers and I have no idea how many minutes later, here's one of the tires, along with tube and something which used to be rim tape:

After several hours with wire brushes, oil, degreaser, brasso, bronze wool and rags, both wheels were back on the bike, sporting black 27 x 1-1/4 tires. (I learned while buying the tires the 1-1/4 is important. Even though you'd think 1.25 is the same thing, it's not. I took the fellow at his word, but... really?)

Headed over to the LBS to get a safety inspection before riding. Was given the all clear for commuting, along with a short list of items I should have done before going on any really long rides, and a suggestion I stay out of the lowest gear. At least until the rear derailleur's been adjusted.

General consensus in the shop was that the frame is in great shape, it's amazing the original lights are both working, and that for the $175 put into it so far, it's a heck of a deal. I'm happy with this, as the rust removal, polishing and mini-overhauls will be going on for a while. Plan to put the bicycle maintenance and repair book to good use, and do as much as possible myself.

Back home, I handed my traveling companions over to Dad, strapped on the panniers, and headed to the bakery, then to Trader Joe's. Bike rides beautifully. It sounds a bit rattly on the bumpy bits of pavement, but I really don't feel it. The seat is comfortable, the weight balances so much better over the rear wheel than the front, and... well, it's just so much FUN to ride. The upright position made my jaunt in tan skirt quite easy.

Was a fairly light load today, while getting the feel of the new bike, but doesn't she look great?

1 comment:

Slamdunk said...

Wow that is too cool. I dropped the bike off at the repair shop this weekend. The older kid got tired of hearing, "wow, it would be great to take a ride today."

Happy belated Mother's Day.