Project bike, one week later.
The project bike is now stripped down to the frame and the bottom bracket and headset bearing cups, for the cleaning of the latter. When I finally got the headset apart last week, the races and bearings were in pretty good condition, although the grease looked like it had been in there since the bike was first built. The bottom bracket was even worse, with chunks of grease and foreign grit tumbling out when I disassembled it. All the bearings looked pretty good after a partial cleaning, though, so they should be fine after a thorough cleaning and regreasing. The cups and cones got a good wipedown with mineral spirits, and the races are soaking in alcohol until/unless I think of a better degreaser for the task…
I also purchased a BMX freewheel and substituted it for the old cog set. That may not have been the smartest thing to do just yet — the chainline is off by about 5-6 mm, which is marginal. The only real fix is to get some axle spacers, move the hub over by 5 mm, and (the fun part) redish the wheel to center the tire again so the bike rides straight and the rear brake works. It’ll probably be a while before I’m riding the bike, hopefully in a reasonably straight line
Of course, this is all the more interesting because of the lack of bike-mechanical aptitude I demonstrated today. We pedaled the kids to a playgroup at Como Zoo this morning, and I decided to fix my chain’s routing before I left — it had been running around the outside of part of the derailleur cage since I replaced it a couple weeks ago, making riding it quite noisy among whatever mechanical damage it was doing. The chain has a master link so it can be removed without tools. I couldn’t remove it without tools, so I broke out the chain tool, and re-routed the chain by separating it at a regular link.
Less than a mile into the trip, the link exploded…. I had some spare chain, so I replaced the link a bit more gently, but couldn’t get the links to actually rotate around the rivets smoothly. So, Jess and Arlo went to the playgroup, and I limped up to County Cycles with my skipping chain and Grace in tow (her choice — she really wanted the bike ride, apparently, even at ~8mph with occasional loud popping and cursing noises ). Of course the fix was trivial: flex the frozen links side-to-side after inserting the rivet, using much more force than I had tried. They also noticed and fixed the seriously loose headset I’d been riding on for <mumble> months. It took about five minutes, and was quite educational.
So, I still have a bunch to learn to become novice bike tinkerer, but at least I have something to play with without endangering my primary ride. Again :-/