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New Old Bike

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by John the Monkey, 4 Oct 2007.

  1. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    My bike is a second hand one, a drop bar tourer, and quite old (chap at the LBS reckons it might have been built in the mid - late '80s - the guy I bought it from had owned it since 1993).

    My recent Brake Cable Experience has got me thinking about other stuff that could be dodgy on a bike this old. I'm doing visual checks on cables and frame on a weekly basis, but are there any parts I should be particularly worried about (brakes you can take as a given :biggrin: ) or any that I should just replace as a matter of course?
     
  2. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    I've never replaced anything as a matter of course. I wait until there is something visibly wrong with the part, or there is unexpected play, noise or poor performance.

    Someone will shortly be along to tell me that I am going to die by following this course of action.

    PS ONe of my bikes is a 1980s tourer with lots of original parts on it too. The dents, rust patches etc give it character.
     
  3. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    By the way, weekly checks on the frame seem a little OTT. If you are worried about what happenend with the previous owner then concentrae on the areas that might have been crash affected. Also, think about things that would be nasty if they broke (e.g. handlebars)
     
  4. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    You could get your LBS to check the wheels. The rims will get wear from the brakes and eventually weakened so they can no longer stand the pressure from tyres. If the braking surface feels grooved and or concave, then wear may be critical. Getting the wheels trued and spokes tightened is about £5-7 a wheel IME.

    When I bought my 1987 British Eagle Touristique recently I took the bike apart before riding it, replaced all cables, the bottom bracket (sealed unit), headset and wheel bearings (all had been overtightened by some berk), pedals, saddle and stem. The bars were GB units and quite heavy gauge, so I reckoned they'd be ok. I was able to check the inside of the frame and was pleased to see it was as 'clean' as the day it was built.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Thanks for the answers - I guess I might be a bit paranoid about it after missing the problem with the brakes.

    Chris - the frame checks are weekly because my commute is pretty grimy at the moment - I tend to clean the gunk off the bike on Sundays, and it's a good opportunity to check it over too. I have to admit, the bars (after reading various horror stories about their sudden failure on CTC's forum) are one area that does worry me. I did re-tape them a few weeks ago, and didn't notice anything untoward then though.

    Asterix - thanks, I'll take a look at the wheels, and ask the LBS about them when they've time to do a service. If the parts you list, I was intending to get new pedals (I'd like to try clipless at some point) and saddle (for something slightly more modern). D'you reckon the other bits should be done at some point too?
     
  6. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Location:
    Limoges or York
    I couldn't say without being able to look at the bike. The main reason I replaced the stem was because it was a very long one and I needed a shorter reach. If yours is for a 'threaded' steerer, it's not likely to suffer the same failure an Aheadset might. As for the bars, I can say I have never, ever had a bar-failure. I tend to check that the point at which they pass through the stem is a smooth fit with no ridges to make stress points and would not use bars with signs of damage. The saddle was replaced because it was a bargain basement plastic one. Probably because a previous owner wanted to keep an old favourite!

    The bottom bracket was the old cup and cone job, done up so tight it was hard to turn the pedals! Fairly straightforward to replace with a sealed unit so long as you get the right shell width and spindle length and your bike has conventional threading.

    The headset was a ball-bearing type. Once these are taken apart it's next to impossible to reassemble them without replacing the balls. This is because they become ovalised over time and cannot be replaced in their original position. It's a good idea to check the race surfaces carefully once it's apart to ensure they are smooth without pitting or notching as this would make it hard to get the bars turning smoothly. I've found headsets to be long-lived, but a competent LBS should be able to replace it if need be.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Asterix - thanks again for the answers - the stem is one of the quill tightening types, and both it, and the bars seemed to be ok when I had a look at them. The bike isn't exhibiting any problems in terms of odd noises from the bottom bracket or uneven (or too much) resistance to the pedal stroke.

    I'll have the LBS check it properly in any case, but I feel slightly more confident in knowing what to check for myself now - thanks again.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    Incidentally, found the article I was thinking of (partly) in terms of bar replacement here.

    They give a rule of thumb of replacing lightweight bars each year, "ordinary" bars every 3 years, and touring bars every 5...