Donor Bike Number 2

Posted: 15th June 2010 by Nigel in Bamboo Bike, Gathering Parts

The easy thing would have been to cut up the track frame from my donor bike. It was about my size, so I could replace the steel sections, one at a time, making only small adjustments to the frame size. That, however, would go against my goal of minimizing waste. Instead, I sold that perfectly good frame so it can be used for years to come, and I am using a circa 1980 steel frame Norco road bike which has clearly reached the end of its useful life. The brakes were shot, as was the derailer and tires. The wheels needed truing, and the bottom bracket had a very significant amount of play in it. The bike could have been restored, but it was at best an entry level bike 30 years ago, so it was not really worth the cost to restore. As a side note, I just finished restoring my dad’s 70-something Guerciotti to new condition, and it cost well over $1000.

The first step was to assess what I could use which parts could be useful on this bike. My original plan was to just use the bottom bracket shell, head tube and drop outs, and I was going to get a carbon fork. However, on closer inspection, the rust on the fork is surface level only, so I will brush the paint and rust off and wrap it in the leftover carbon from my frame layup. I can also use the stem, and I will keep the chain stays, wrapping them in carbon for extra strength (and look). I also found that the headset was surprisingly usable. None of the bearings had cracked, and there was only light grooving in the bearing seat. It seemed as if it hadn’t had the bearings cleaned and greased in over a decade, but one of the great things about these old road bikes is that everything is designed to be rebuild able. Sealed cartridges are nice, but when they need to be rebuilt, you often either have to ship them back to the supplier or throw them out.

Next I had to take all the parts off, and hack off the frame parts that I will keep, and then grind off all the paint to prep them for the layup. I ran into a snag when I tried to remove the cranks. I have the right tools to remove the bottom bracket, but I don’t have a square taper crank puller. I dropped it off at my LBS (Jubilee Cycles), but being June, they were too busy to pop them off on the spot. I could only get as far as prepping the head tube. To be continued…