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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 02-05-10, 10:02 PM   #1
Beerslinger
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What to check when refurbishing bike from outside.

My wife recently was offered the use of a Norco Scorcher that our nephew had outgrown. It's been sitting outside under partial cover for the better part of 2 years. The chain will have to be replaced, but the tires look to be in ok condition, and the chainrings and cogs look decent enough. I've yet to check out the condition of the brakes which are disc. Can anybody give me any other ideas on what to look out for, little things that may slip past my attention.
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Old 02-05-10, 10:16 PM   #2
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check all bearings, bb headset, hubs. cables
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Old 02-05-10, 10:18 PM   #3
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I'm going to have a mini-rant here and express my amazement and frustration with people who store bikes outside for months on end. You'd never do that with skis or golf clubs and expect them to still be usable, but people seem to be under the impression that it's OK to do this with bikes. Corrosion absolutely destroys everything, and the only way to prevent it from proliferating is to keep stuff as dry and condensation-free as possible.

Anyway, if the chain was obviously rusted to death, the same could have happened to all the cables, the shifters, all the bearings, etc. and there may be water pooled in the frame that will need to be drained. If you can get the seatpost out.
You're likely looking at a complete strip-down and rebuild.
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Old 02-06-10, 02:24 AM   #4
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I have to agree with Torchy to some extent. Even under cover our wet climate up this way and ESPECIALLY up your way will wreak merry hell with anything made from steel and most other things as well.

All of which means that you'll want to look everything over with a close inspection.

You already mentioned the chain which I'm sure is rusted solid by now or darn near it. Rust on the freewheel (I checked the Norco site and it's a 7speed freewheel) is fine but you'll likely want to lay the wheel on its side and get some oil down into the freewheel bearings and pawls to help things along. Cables may not operate as freely as they did when new. Stainless isn't all that stainless after all when subjected to fairly extreme conditions. If the wheels and steering head all seem to turn silently then fine for now. But at some point if the bike is serving her needs well I'd look at doing a strip, clean and repack with grease to all these points.

Also since the seat post can weld itself into place with corrosion pull it out, clean it off as well as cleaning the inside of the seat post and grease all those parts before putting them back together.

Other than this just clean and wax or grease everything you see depending on if it needs waxing or greasing.
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Old 02-06-10, 07:03 AM   #5
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+10. Pull the bb, make sure there is not water in the frame, regrease bearings or possibly replace it with a cartridge unit. New cables and housings, replace wheel bearings and grease, regrease headset bearings, pull the seat post and stem and grease them up, and you will be good to go.

While this might look like a long list, you are only talking about $10 if you don't replace the bb, and a few hours of work if you do it yourself. A couple of years outside in the weather really accelerates the aging process. Well worth the time and small investment.
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Old 02-08-10, 09:18 AM   #6
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After checking out your lists, I decided that it was a job for my L.B.S. as I don't have all the tools for pulling the BB and freewheel, etc. The Bike didn't seem to be in to bad a shape, but we shall see.
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Old 02-08-10, 11:45 AM   #7
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I would replace the tires and tubes. I know you said that you check them, but I still wouldn't trust them.
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Old 02-08-10, 12:09 PM   #8
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The first question you need to ask yourself is, Is this bike worth the cost of paying an LBS to restore it?

I live in a semiarid region, 14" of precip per year and low humidity so don't worry about rust. I still store my bikes inside.
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Old 02-08-10, 01:29 PM   #9
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I gather that it's already at the LBS. For the cost of that visit you COULD have used the money to buy the specialty bike tools needed. With them you could have learned how to do this yourself and gotten a good start on the whole side hobby of bike maintainence.
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Old 02-10-10, 01:11 AM   #10
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What tools would I have needed? I took it to the lbs, and got it all tuned up, was fairly cheap imo. I am interested in learning about rebuilding older bikes. I even walk through our local landfill salvaging old frames and whatnot. Just no one to learn from around here, I'm kinda in the boonies. The "local" bike shop is a 3 hour round trip, and that's if I can get everything done in an hour.
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Old 02-10-10, 02:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerslinger View Post
What tools would I have needed?
That's not really an answerable question. Old bikes and junkers will require nearly everything but the kitchen sink to work on. It really depends.
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