I set about today making a start on my bike project, preparing the bike itself for the paint job. But let me firstly say that I have made more changes in what’s happening with the project. Now I’m doing it on a completely different bike!

We picked up a second-hand Raleigh Venture mountain bike for £50 in October so Zeta had a bike to get between clients’ houses. Obviously she purchased a new bike and so it has been sitting around in the way doing nothing. It was in decent condition when we picked it up, or so we thought. It had only been used a couple of times, and that was quite obvious by the lack of wear of the tires and frame. What wasn’t obvious was how bad some of the parts had become from sitting in their garage for however long. But anyway… we both decided that I would fix up that bike instead of my hybrid. A kind of test bike I guess.

Here is what she looks (looked) like:

Raleigh Venture Before

Not a great looking bike by any stretch of the imagination. Those butterflies? gag Also, that colour. Mehhhh. The fonts? Even worse! So, that’s the bike. Or was the bike. Today I stripped her down the best I could. Unfortunately I did run into some problems, which I will explain along the way.

I started at the front of the bike, removing the grips (which were split when we got the bike), front light and reflector. I removed the front wheel, brakes and gear shifters (twist shifters at that). Nice and easy! No real issues with any of that. I peeled all of the stickers off which was nice and easy too. The stickers were still like new so that is probably why they came off so easy, only leaving behind a bit of sticky residue. I had a good, close look at the brake pads and they were pretty awful. I’m guessing they were quite dry from being in storage from so long, which would explain why so much gunk came off them (see the inner fork in the before photo, you can see black dribbles – that’s from the brake pads).

One other thing to mention about the front of the bike: the handlebar is rusty beyond repair (honestly, I just don’t want to repair it). I had already decided last night that I will replace the handlebar. This bike has a quill stem however, so I will replace it with a quill stem-to-Ahead adaptor or maybe this quill stem. The existing handlebar, in any case, is way too small, so needs replacing anyway! Ideally a nice flat bar but I won’t rule out a riser.

I focused on getting the back wheel and brakes of next. Again, not too hard. Everything came off easily. I also removed the kickstand and handlebars at this point, all easy enough too. The kickstand was rusted like you wouldn’t believe so it isn’t salvageable, and even if it were, I wouldn’t put it back on! Then off with the horrible saddle and seatpost. The gear cables were also pretty easy to detach from the bottom tube. This is where things start to get problematic.

  1. I don’t have a chain tool and the chain doesn’t have a quick link. Can’t take the chain off. Great. I tried the frequent suggestion I found on YouTube and elsewhere: placing it on a piece of wood and half-hammering out a pin. Nope, not going to work for me. Annoyingly, the rear derailleur seriously needs a clean but I need the chain out for that. I could take apart the derailleur, sure, but there are so many parts I’m not sure I’ll put it back together right! I am still very much new to this bike stuff, you see…
  2. The pedals are seriously stuck! I applied some WD40 and that didn’t really help much. After a lot of grunting I managed to get the left one off but the right one is pretty much done in. Whomever built the bike originally didn’t thread the pedal in straight.
  3. I could just remove the entire crankset. I could. But I don’t have a crank puller and I really need one.

So… what to do, what to do? Not only is that right pedal not coming out, I discovered the crank arms are actually (at least partially) plastic so I’m damaging them while I’m trying to get the pedals out. Good thing I decided 10 minutes ago I’m just going to replace the whole lot with a new chainset. No idea what I’m doing, but I’ll figure it out. Can’t be that difficult and there are always people willing to help. Obviously my previous budget of around £120 is very much creeping up now! First things first though, I will buy a chain tool and a crank puller!

The rest of my day was spent cleaning up the frame. It took a while as there was quite a bit of sticky residue left in all sorts of places from various stickers and decals. I got them all off without much hassle. You know what got it all off the best? A pencil eraser. Worked a charm!

The crown and stanchions on the fork were pretty rusty. Mostly surface rust, especially on the stanchions but the crown was pretty bad. I managed to get it up looking pretty nice. I used aluminium foil and water, and a little bit of WD40 later. I’ll come back it at a later time and continue to rub it down. I’ll touch it up at some point with some Rust-oleum chrome or something. Right at the end of the afternoon I made a small start on masking (the crown and stanchions because I could not be bothered pulling that stuff apart – they’re shit anyway so I am not bothered as long as it’s well lubed) and brake posts. I did a little sanding as well, but won’t do a lot of that. I want to keep a good amount of the original paintwork underneath the new paint.

Speaking of paint…

Spray.Bike Bomber and Chicago Yellow! Awwhhyeah!


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