Sunday, August 21, 2011

RM-20 Rebuild

After stripping, cleaning, and rust-checking the frame, I moved to do the same with the components. Despite the Sekine's composition of a few relatively simple parts, a thorough cleaning took hours.

Dirty essentials in the parts box

The derailleurs looked the most interesting, so I started with them. A rag and screwdriver to clean off decades of accumulated grime, and a bottle of Phil Wood oil to re-lube pivots and screw threads. Repeat the procedure with the brake calipers. The crankset was pretty dirty. Pulled all the chainring bolts, and spent twenty minutes wiping old, dried-up grease from the chainrings. Some oil on the bolt threads, and it all went back together smoothly.
The wheels that came on this bike when I bought it were mismatched, and not in particularly good shape. I replaced them with some other wheels I had lying around- from another Sekine, incidentally. Araya 27x1 1/4" alloy rims, laced with 36 spokes to Shimano hubs, with some choice new Continental tires.

Shimano Altus LT derailleurs, date code EI; 1980/Sep

The re-build went rather smoothly. Packed the old steel headset with fresh grease, gave it a push and watched it twirl. The cup-and-cone bottom bracket, Takagi brand matching the cranks, was an easy overhaul. New bearings with lots of grease, shielded by an inner dust shield, spins almost like new. Throw on the matching Takagi Tourney cranks, tighten down the spindle nuts, install pedals. Add on the Shimano Altus LT derailleurs and down-tube shifters, followed by the Tourney long-reach brake calipers. Bars and stem go next, install brake levers and line them up. A nice Brooks saddle goes onto the seatpost, because I don't much like riding on anything else. Some brand-new cartridge brake pads onto the calipers, and install wheels into frame. Brake cables go into new Jagwire kevlar housing, to make those brakes feel as good as possible. A new Shimano chain to drive the machine. Then it's a matter of final touches; adjusting derailleur limit screws, cable tension, brake pad alignment, snugging down nuts and bolts. Last to go on is the bar tape, and I hum and haw over flashier colours before defaulting to the basic black.

Taking only a brief moment to step back and admire the new Sekine, I head out the door. The red machine surely looks a gem, but only a ride will tell; and that's the next post.

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