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Thursday, March 12, 2015

HEY! What's He Doing With That Thing?!

Gracing all our craigslist ad's, Offer-Up and not to mention, continuously in the blog, is the term FULLY RE-FURBED as it applies to any and (almost) all of the bikes we have to offer.  Quite a few folks (daily) inquire as to what exactly DOES it mean to be so (this also includes the SCANT few people who actually have the moxie to question the PRICING of said bikes).  Long ago I learned to abbreviate my answer to "we tear it down to frame, all the parts are checked, damaged ones replace, cleaned and reassembled", as I discovered, if I go into TOO much detail, their eye's glaze over, they start to drool and they develop a "twitch".  Also, the redesigning of the word to "RE" hyphen "Furbed" is just a cleaver play on "RE-CYCLE".  Aren't we the devishly impish ones?
I've been promising to do a whole "Before and After" spread for some time, and this weekend we got in the PERFECT bike for it!  So, without further adieu, here's a time lapsed, step by step, slideshow depicting "HOW WE DO IT!"
and if you're good and stay in your seat, I'll show you my "selected shorts" after!

First, comes the victim....

This is an older model Peugeot Mountain bike. At some point in it's life the original owner did some modifications, putting a thinner set of road tires, and a few tweaks to the brakes, as there is a rear hook up for center pull, but they opted for linear pull.  As we try real hard to "use what's there" we chose not to go back.  Besides, we're going to make some "modifications" of our own, as you will see!   Pretty rough, huh? Well, first step, we strip it down to frame, I mean ALL the way down!  Ten minuets later, you get this...

OK, at this point, the paint is way too far gone to save, so we are going to do a repaint!  Now, with some of the deep chips, scratches and gouges we have to sand.
That's the worst part.  With the help of four grits, ranging from 80 to 1500, and a LOT of elbow grease (yes, folks, this is HAND sanding!  No machine can do it justice, or do it right!) 
SOOOO, after about two hours, you get this....

Once it's sprayed with a degreaser, wiped down then spray dried, we go for the primer!  Four coats of primer later, and we have gotten this far....

When Kaleb went to grab the paint he was advised to try an appliance paint meant for barbecue grills for primer as it made this particular color show well!  After we fine sand the primer (and yes clean and spray THAT off) we go for the paint!  I choose to stick close to the original olive green, but went for a metal fleck version to really make it pop!  Six coats of THAT later (with a VERY light sanding inbetween) and we get to here!

I really dig that green!  NOW, in between coats of paint, I'm not sitting around on my laurels!  Oh nay, nay!  (because accidently sitting on your "laurels" HURTS!!!) It's then that we set up and inspect the components and see what can be saved, and what has to be replaced.  In order to keep the price of the bike as low as we can, we opt to clean and repair what is viable.  Oh, you can look at these photos and say to yourself "It' ALL junk!" but, nope, most of this stuff CAN be re-furbed (there's that word again!) Check it out!

The springs in the derailleurs are tight, as well as in the brakes.  Bearings show very little wear, as well as the cups and races.  Pedals, surprisingly, not bent, with tight spindles and NO play!  Chain shows little gaping, and normal flex, with no pitting.  The brake shoes are unevenly worn so they have to go, as well as the cogs on the rear derailleur.  The crank teeth are sharking out, so we have to do something about that, and even though the handle bars could be sanded and painted, I've got a real sweet set I want to put on this ride that will REALLY make her stand out!  I just hope the shifters and brakes fit!  We'll see.....

So, after a few hours of grinding, sanding, liberal amounts of PB Blaster (can NOT promote that product ENOUGH!) a few layers of skin accidently buffed off, and some paint, all that rusted junk up there looks like this....

WALLAH!! Yea, I like the first pic of the cassette too!  Look's like some strange alien flower, like from Cybertron or something that creates it's own metal strand web to trap it's prey!
But I digress!
SO, holding true to our ideals of reusing what has already been produced, we began to labor at making the parts a whole.  In total, we used the majority of what came with the bike, with a few exceptions.  Of course, we used all new cables and housing's, as the originals were rusted to the point of fraying.  Sometimes we can recycle a cable here and there, with a little steel wool and PB, surface rust is a snap, but if it's frayed?  Forget it!  BELIEVE ME, you do NOT want to get poked by a frayed cable!
One of the tires was salvageable, but the other was just to far gone!  As this is a real special project,  we bit the Bullet and grabbed a new set.  Tubes of course got put aside for future handle bar wraps, and we threw in a new set of those, too.  The chain, as it turns out, while cleaned, WAS in fact too stretched out, so we threw a GOOD re-furbed one on. 
The rear wheel? 
OK, in ANY project of this magnitude, there are ALWAYS issues!  Anyone doing a restoration knows what I'm talking about.  Once I went through the trouble of seriously cleaning it, truing it and replacing the bearings, I mounted it and THEN realized the rear cassette had a wobble!!!  ARRGH!  I do not know how MANY times I have made THAT bonehead maneuver!  SO, I stripped it down, set the wheel aside for future spoke stripping, and grabbed another refurbed one!  This one was a BI...ear!  A racing rear with over sized lip, took a great deal of dish soap for lube and broke TWO tire levers getting the tire on!  It was only once I fought it on, did Kaleb come over and inform me that THAT wheel had a crack in the rim that I missed!!
SOOOOO....not having another cassette rear, I thought I was sunk.  As I absent mindedly stood, holding the cracked rim in my hand, lazily spinning the cassette as I thunk, did I notice, it was in fact the cassette that was bent! 
Now I had to fight the F...reaking tire OFF the wheel (which caught IMPRESSIVE air as I hurled it out the open back door to crash with a clang against the fence) and made quick work of slapping another cassette on the original!
At this point, the day wound down to a late close, and I headed home to the arms of my beloved to sob uncontrollably as she held my heaving body, racked with grief over the extent of my tribulations!  (OK, maybe not so much, but the drama lends to a higher asking price!! HA, HA!)
In this morning, after a bout of paying bills (yuck!!) I got back on it.  At this point it was just running cables, and fine tuning, then a joyous spin of triumph through the parking lot! 
OOOOOOOOOOO, she is so SAH-WEET!!  Lightweight frame, nice long crank arms lending to some awesome grab!! 
So, after roughly 14 hours of work, the end result justifies the effort!
......WAIT FOR IT....

(don't mind the crappy seat, we're replacing that with a new padded Cloud Nine)
OH yes.  I am THAT good!!  I LOVE those bars on this emerald pearl!  I know, some folks may find it slightly "goofy" but you get the luxury of upright riding (with room to adjust) and the lower position for aggressive riding!  You can easily lift her with just one hand, and she can REALLY get out of her own way!

So there you have it folks!  This is how we do what we do!  Now, not every ride get's or need's THIS much attention.  We get bikes all the time that need little more then a minor tweaking and tune up to make ready (like the Trek hybrid I'll be working on next) but it's THESE kind of rides I REALLY enjoy putting out!  Taking a hunk of metal on it's way to the scrap yard (in the case of this bike, that is the literal TRUTH!) and with a little effort, elbow grease (a few spare parts) and some TLC you get something entirely different that is going to give someone many, many years of fun rides!
And now, inspired by this success, I sat on the porch last night after dinner, having my coffee and my mind started to wander.  I've put the "truck" to the back burner for a bit (it's all planned out, but I don't want to put out the cash for materials JUST yet) and turned my attention to the '67 Schwinn Typhoon two speed kick back I've had in two buckets for five years now.  With the addition of a vintage paperboy basket and front basket and the fenders and classic springer front end off of an antique JC Higgins I got sitting out back, I'm going to build me the "Pimping Paper Boy!"
But that's a story for another day!
See y'all soon!
Thanks' for watching!


  1. Awesome job dude. Bike looks great. Love those trekking bars. More posts like this in the future please. =) You sir, are livin' the dream.

  2. Thank's man. Yea she's a peach! Yes, I figure perhaps, in the future, a blog about a bike shop, should have more bike stuff in it! Heh, heh!