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Therapeutic Restoration

Old 07-24-20, 11:24 AM
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Therapeutic Restoration

I've had to sit out the July mileage thread as I'm still recovering from foot surgery, and though it has come a long way, the foot is not going as well as we'd like, so my hopes of wearing real bike shoes and riding again, thus being able to chart some miles, before the end of the month, appear to have been dashed. But at least I can wear regular shoes, so I thought, "Why not get my old, original, road bike out and get it into riding condition, and log some miles on flat pedals?" That will distribute the weight across a bigger area of the foot for less strain, and in the worst case, I can duck-pedal and at least get on the road. A little. For sanity's sake. It may not be podiatrically approved, but I don't see my doctor again for another week and a half, so I'll worry about that later.

So I pulled out my '75 Centurion Super LeMans, which I bought new on December 26th, 1975, and assessed what it needed.

Pumped up the tires, they held air (for now), I put those tubes and tires on a few years ago and rode it a couple miles, so maybe they'll hold. Put a new battery in the Cateye and it sprang to life again, so far, so good. But the handlebar tape crumbled and stuck to my hands, so that needed to go. I don't recall when I last changed the tape on this 45-year-old bike, but it's been a while. Went down to the LBS for some new tape, and concluded it probably didn't need $30 Specialized tape, but they didn't have any of the cheap stuff in black, only red, yellow, blue, and white. I chose white, figuring it would go better with the orange frame. In peeling off the old tape, I discovered Spenco pads in strategic places on the bars under the tape, a clever idea that I have NO recollection of doing, but no one else has worked on this so that narrows down who was responsible. It's been a while since I've applied bar tape, and my lack of practice showed, it's not terribly attractive. And with this bike's space-age fingertip shifters, I should have started at the other end. And all the dirt and grease I managed to get on the tape in the installation process reminded me why I've never used white tape before. But it's on.

In my teenage years of first owning this bike, I would tear it down every year and clean all the parts, re-pack the wheel bearings, lube everything, de-rustify anything that needed it, and wax the frame. That practice ended about the time I started working full-time after college. I'm tempted to do that now, but doing so would probably take until after my foot finally heals completely, and I want to ride NOW. So I've opted to first make it safely ride-able, and will clean up parts as time permits, aesthetics be damned, for the time being.

Somewhere early on, I upgraded the brakes to Weinmanns, got a new saddle after wearing out the original one, and put on the pedals that came with my Allez Elite that had been sitting in a drawer since I went clipless on that bike. As best I can recall, everything else, including the chain, is original. More work to do on it today, clean and lube all the cables, lube and adjust the SunTour drivetrain, make sure the brakes work like they should, maybe even get a little ride in. Maybe.

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Old 07-24-20, 11:32 AM
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Very nice. Wish I still had my 10 speed I got as a gift back in about 1975
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Old 07-24-20, 12:44 PM
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I have a road bike from 1978 and I'm planning on cleaning and repainting it this year. It's already been repainted more than once, so this will be the last time. Plus I bought a new used crankset on ebay for it. It's my baby.
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Old 07-24-20, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
Very nice. Wish I still had my 10 speed I got as a gift back in about 1975
Me too. I bought a Raleigh Pro in 1973, that was such a nice bike. Sold it when I went to college.
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