Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The end of the road

A person I know brought his old bicycle to me rather than throw it in the skip. The bike was in 1970s trim and had been repainted black at some stage. 27” x 1 1/4” wheels, short mudguards, dynamo and a mechanical odometer driven off the front wheel which also gave an indication of the speed of the rider. 

The chrome steel rims had reached the end of their useful life, but a cursory glance at the frame seemed to indicate it didn't look too bad, but there was a question about the fork...

The bike was stripped down with patience to the bare frame with all the parts put to one side in a parts bin. It was my intention to have the frame powder coated once it had been checked for track. However, during the stripping down, it became obvious the bike had been hit at the front end. Close examinaton revealed the down tube was bent a not far from the head lug. 

It was also obvious once the headset was removed that the front fork steerer tube was bent above the fork crown and the fork blades had also bent as the wheel twisted in the fork (see above). As the frame is steel, it didn't break and in theory, the frame is repairable. However, the frame tubing is Hi-ten and the residual value of the bike makes it uneconomic to repair. I had to break the news to the owner this afternoon. It should be possible to source a replacement of similar vintage, in good condition for him and at less cost if he wants. It is a straightforward job to clean and refit the dynamo, mudguards and speedometer. So what to do with the damaged frame? It has been moved to the 'donor' pile. It can now have a further life as a source of parts to repair other frames.

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