Thursday, July 7, 2016

I'll just do a little bit....(Raleigh Super Course Part IXa)

That was the plan anyway, I was just going to a little bit; attach the saddle to the seat post, mount it to the frame and run the brake cables.  Just a little bit...(yes I know I am cheating with the titles so I can end up on part X)
The freewheel wasn't supposed to be arriving until today (Thursday) so it wasn't part of the plan, but when I arrived home what was in my mailbox?

shiny and new

Since the rear wheel was just waiting on a free wheel I have to mount it right?  Part of my prep for mounting a freewheel is greasing the threads first, someone, somewhere years later, who is removing your freewheel will thank you for this bit of prep.

Well now that the free wheel is mounted I kind of have to mount the rear wheel right? And this is where I encounter the first issue of the night.  Lets be honest when you are mounting new parts to a 40 year old bike issues ("opportunities") are the rule rather than the exception. 

In my case I had no issues getting the wheel into the drops but after I tightened it  I would get about one spin and then the wheel would slip just slightly and the tire ended up rubbing on the drive side chain-stay effectively braking the wheel.  You don't get far if your tire is flush on the chain stay...sigh.  I tried a few things but it was still happening so I decided to take the wheel out and walk away from that piece for a while.  When I came back I decided to try the skewer from original wheel just to see if I would get a different result and I now noticed that with the old skewer the piece where the quick release snugs up against the drop out wasn't quite able to reach- there was just a smidge of a gap, and it occurred to me that maybe this rear wheel had an axle that was just slightly longer than the original.  Enter the magic washer hack to bridge the gap and problem solved, the quick release snugged up and the wheel spun like a champ with no slippage or interference from the chain stay.

The magic washer
Yippee the rear wheel is mounted! so I kind of need to run the chain now right? When I first started out doing my own maintenance I was a Shimano loyalist and used 9 speed chains and that meant I used pins to connect my chain.
stinking chain pin
It was a process getting the pin to seat just right, snapping off the excess using a special tool for the whole thing, learning to get the feel of when you had it just right etc.  Amazing what you will put up with when you don't know any better.  Somewhere along the way I tried a different brand of chain and discovered the master link, and I vowed I would never use a $#%^*&! chain pin again if I could help it.

master link- beauty!

So long story short I ran the chain around the cranks over the freewheel and through the rear derailleur and, using only my hands, got it all connected with the master link.  So now I have a drive train hooked up I 've got to dial in the shifting right?  I mean I ran the shift cables last night and they are in place, they just need to be tightened up and then I can check the shifting.  I did have one hack along the way.  I couldn't get the rear derailleur cable housing to seat the way I wanted in the cable braze on,  so I resorted to a zip tie which should help it stay in place.

zipped up
One of the many things I love about friction shifting is that when you set it up you only really need to worry about the high and low settings, i.e. making sure you aren't over shifting into the spokes or going the opposite way into the frame.  In the bike stand its all working great and we'll see if the same holds true when I go for a test ride.  I've noticed that the bike doesn't always behave the same on the road as it did in the work stand so a test drive with some caution is always a good idea before your bombing down a hill and realize the brake cables are a bit slack.

Now what was it I actually planned to do this evening?...oh yeah saddle and brakes.  As you will see at the end the Saddle piece went off no problem, still need to do some final snugging up of bolts but its mounted.  The brakes, well they were another story.  I first realized I had an issue when I started unwrapping the brake cables and housing.  Normally I get cables that have different types of "heads" on either end of the cable so you can keep the one you want and snip the one you don't - like the shot below.

What I needed was the head that looks like a puck to work with my brake levers, however what I had ordered was a set with only one head, the more modern one, the one looks kind of like a small nail or screw which would not work with my brake levers. 

Fortunately, I am a bike geek and I have cables and housing to spare including a couple new sets, unfortunately to get it all to work I had to use black housing rather than the cool Gold braided housing like I used with the shifters.  The important thing is to get it all to work and I was able to end the night with the brake cables and housing run front and rear and now they are just waiting to be tighten up so I can test the brakes, but that's for another night.....

late at night -very close...

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel... or an oncoming train?  Until next time, hopefully a real part X..

Ride. Smile.Repeat.


  1. Thank you for posting these - I really enjoy following your progress. Looking forward to the next project!

    1. Hey Colston thanks so much for stopping by I am glad you are enjoying this series.