Sunday, September 06, 2009

Malvern Star Single Speed conversion - Part 4

Things are taking shape in the project. After getting excited with the new parts that I arrived in Part 3 the majority of the tale since has been taken up with detailing - and there has been plenty to do.

First things first and I needed to fix the front forks so that the wheel axle fitted into the slots. I sent a text to my brother-in-law and I was kindly allowed to borrow his grinder. Once I had this in hand it was a simple 5 minutes job to make the slots slightly bigger to make them fit.

Then I was back on the frame to make it look like the real deal. I returned to cleaning up the rust patches and making the chrome bits shine. I partially followed the advice of a detailing expert except that for the rust i just went straight to the sandpaper and sanded back to bare metal. Ideally one day I will respray the entire frame but at the moment I like the old colour and the "Malvern Star" stickers.

Once the frame was in a state that I thought was reasonable it was time to make it ready to travel. This involved giving it a couple of all over sprays with a clear enamel coating. The clothes line came in handy for this job.

Now that the frame was ready it was time to focus my attention on the old handle bars and head stem. Using that detailing advice I used steal wool and WD40 to clean up the chrome parts and make it shine. I was surprised by how successful this was.

By the time I got back to it the frame had well and truly dried so it was time to reattach the front fork. I cleaned up the bearing housing and repacked with plenty of grease and screwed it all back together. Then attached the old - now gleaming - head stem and handle bars. This time though instead of the old upright position I flipped the handle bars over and had them facing down.

Next up I was installing the front brakes and lever. The old brakes from the Malvern wouldn't do though. They were just too rusted to clean up. So luckily I was able to scavenge an almost exact pair off an old SunTour bike that used to belong to my sister - well, it still officially does belong to her, but she hasn't used it in about 20 years.

I was once again getting excited and decided to put the wheels on to see what it looked liked. I liked what I saw.

The weekend wasn't entirely successful though. And the major disappointment of the last two days has been that I was unable to get any tyres. I went down to the bike shop on Saturday morning prepared to depart with cash to get some rubber only to be told they had one wheel of the size - 700x28 - I wanted.

One wheel is not much good so I resolved to check out, for the first time, the only other bike shop in town. Unfortunately by the time I got there they were closed and not to be opened until Monday. I would just have to put my desire to ride the new machine until I could get the tyres during the working week.

By the end of the weekend I had done as much as I could. I had stolen the other brake from the SunTour and tried out my seat options from my spare parts - none of which I am happy about. So with just a bit of shopping to do I can see the finish line approaching now.

continued in Part 5 ...

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