Every year I choose one sad-sack bike early in the Spring to rebuild. These are bikes that I picked up for nothing, or bikes that came with other deals, etc. They are typically department store bikes, which back then, did not signify low quality–but they were heavier and not as pretty as their bike shop counterparts. Last year it was my Huffy Thunder Trail 20″ kid’s dirt bike with a banana seat and a cool chain guard. This year it’s a Canadian-made CCM Turismo. It’s a heavy old 10-speed from the era of high striped socks, tinted prescription glasses, and The Six Million Dollar Man TV series.
This bike was given to me by someone selling me a much nicer bike that turned out to have a bent frame (a parts bike). That frame is now under 6″ of snow in the back of my ’91 Silverado, awaiting my semi-annual trip to the scrapyard. If there’s any opportunity of recuperating my losses ($40 plus gas), it’s in the form of this heavy but well-built Canadian 10-speed.
I don’t buy too many bikes with the cranks having the cotter pin as their fastening mechanism. Years of atmospheric moisture and oxidation cause the pins to seize–to almost become the same piece of metal as the crank they’re holding on. Today, after trying heat, soaking overnight in PB Blaster, and many a “tap tap wham!” with the hammer, I had to resort to drilling out the pin. Otherwise, I’m not going to be able to overhaul the bottom bracket. Often times I will replace the whole crankset and bottom bracket set with square taper ones I’ve taken from parts bikes. I sold a yellow Motobecane Mirage last year with a Sugino square-tapered crankset with ‘Fuji” emblazoned on the crank arms. They were black, which looked great on the yellow. I’ll likely not replace this one. It’s in great shape.
(March 21, 2022) I finished her up today. During this overhaul I found every bearing to be in great shape and the wheels to be dent-free. Those are signs of low mileage. The wheels are now wonderfully trued and tensioned.
It shifts easily and doesn’t lose the chain or skip. The brakes stop smoothly and without honking.
I’ve installed cable stops and routers to replace the fully-housed shifter cables that it came with (floppy and cheap-looking), and now everything is routed nicely.
New bar wrap, new grease, new cables, new cable housing, new tubes, new tires, new chain and new freewheel cassette.
This bike ushers in Spring for me. It’s been on the stand since February 9th. I finally crossed the finish line. Now it’s back to 1 bike per two days. Easier jobs abound over here.