I am a perpetually impatient person, so I couldn't possibly wait for all the parts to arrive before starting to put Wally back together. Since the last post, I went to BikeChain to get three things done on the bike:

  • Removing the freewheel
  • Removing the crankset and bottom bracket
  • Remove the fork to service/replace the headset bearing

On a very cold Friday in January, I got up and drove to the shop late morning, and then waited, and waited, until they opened just before noon. It was a quiet day there, after all, it was a very cold Friday in January. I got some help from the volunteer (whose name I forgot) and their head mechanic Kelly (and very capable and confident young woman). I mounted my bike on the bike stand and went to work.

As it turns out, the headset was in excellent good shape. The bearings were just put in there a little bit too tight. After re-greasing it, I slid the fork back in, and now everything work perfectly. Removing the freewheel took longer, mainly because it took the affable volunteer some time to find the correct removal tool for the Suntour freewheel. It was also screwed in very tightly; it took all the effort of the both of us to turn the wrench. But once it was loosen, it took seconds to remove it altogether. As for the crankset and bottom bracket, I used the tools (again with the volunteer's help) and wrenches to carefully get them off. It wasn't difficult as the threads were still in excellent shape. First major discovery: the "sealed bearing" BB stamped twice on the bike isn't the "sealed cartridge" type that I am very familiar with. Here's a picture of the Raleigh BB compared to the cup-and-bearing BB that I have in storage:

IMG_20150130_153926The difference? None except for the funky plastic accordion shaped tube in the middle. Apparently that's what made it "sealed". It seems that bottom bracket technology has come a long way in 30 years.

After spending about an hour at the shop, I drove home and had lunch. Of course, I'm too impatient to let everything sit in the corner while I wait for the shifters to arrive. Good thing too. In a few minutes of time (not an exaggeration) on the repair stand:

  • Greased up the threads on the rear hub
  • Installed the Sunrayce 7-speed free-wheel
  • Put the rear wheel back on the frame to make sure that the cogs didn't rub the frame
  • Installed a Microshift Bona rear derailleur
  • Adjusted the limiting screws to line up with the cogs
  • Greased up the stem and re-installed the handlebar
  • Greased up the seatpost and re-installed the saddle
  • Installed the SRAM cable stops
  • Installed the water bottle cage
  • Re-installed another cup-and-bearing bottom bracket
  • Installed the Shimano Tourney crankset
  • Installed the Shimano 600 Ultegra front derailleur
  • Installed the brake callipers

The last 4 items on the list are in italics because they, well, didn't work out. Before going to BikeChain, I loosely installed the front derailleur on the seat tube, and noticed that it didn't line up with the chainrings—the cranks were too far outboard. Initially I thought the BB spindle was too long, which is why I dug out the old cup-and-bearing BB with a shorter spindle. But once I installed the other BB and the Tourney crankset, I realized that it was still coming out too far, just like before:

Looking at the crankset and front derailleur from the top tube

Looking at the crankset and front derailleur from the top tube

My conclusion is that my problem has to do with the tapering on the BB spindle, and the solution is to replace the BB completely with a sealed cartridge one, e.g. Shimano BB-UN26 with a 110mm spindle. But this time I'll head to an actual bike shop—instead of a D.I.Y. shop—to get this sorted out.

I also found that the reach for the brakes were too short, despite the claims of the eBay seller otherwise. The front was almost okay, but the rear wheels were off by quite a bit. When I first looked on eBay for the brakes, I found a seller that sold Tektro R539 callipers. When I contacted him about it, he told me that the R539 wouldn't work (sort of correct) because my frame had recessed holes for new-type nuts, and his were for old-style bikes (correct), and that I should buy the R312 callipers instead (incorrect). I have since found out that (a) Not all R539 callipers have old-style nuts, and (b) there are two version of the R312 callipers, one long reach and one short reach—he sold me the wrong kind. I have since purchased the correct R539 brakes and who knows, it may actually arrive from Taiwan before the shifters!