The weather is getting colder still, and the coffeeneuring is on its way, though I’ve had a bit of a break this last week due to a mini holiday and some illness. The refurb of the Holdsworth has now begun! It’s still early days, and I’m still in the process of choosing what my long term goal for it will be and what I’d like to change, but I may as well share what I’ve been up to and how it’s going.
The most immediately noticeable difference (aside from the removed parts) is the bike is much much cleaner now. I’ve scrubbed everything down with hot soapy water, using wd40 on the tougher bits, and though you still see the nicks and smudges closer up it does look a great deal nicer, though I’ve put cleaning the frame on hiatus for a while. The stem is aluminium, and with the frame being steel there was some galvanic corrosion, seizing it and the fork together. Penetrating oil has, eventually, done the job and separated the two, but it’s messy work so I’ll have to do another round of cleaning. On inspection it looks like the stem wasn’t greased when it was fitted, which is the usual cause of seized parts, though the seatpost didn’t suffer from the same problem.
Something that didn’t fare so well are the friction shifters. They’re not brazed on, so they can be removed, and my plan has always been to strip everything down to overhaul and polish, but the nut and bolt has seized on it. The penetrating oil probably won’t do the trick on this, so I’m probably going to cut the bolt with a hacksaw and just break the thing off. The shifters aren’t branded, or particularly good looking (though I do like the old sticker) so I’ll look for something nicer online that matches the aesthetic.
One cosmetic touch I couldn’t help but get started with was touching up the paint. A few knocks in the paint here and there are marks of pride in a bike, but there are some chunks missing on this one along with some spots of rust. Some steel wool cleared the rust up, and once I’d covered the decals up (which I should have done first, really) it was time to paint those marks up! Rather than take a guess at the shade of paint I needed I took the frame to a model railway shop and said “I need the same colour as this”. The touch ups never come out quite perfect but it’s more about not attracting your eye more than a perfect recreation, and using enamel paint with a coat of varnish will make it nice and sturdy. It will probably need a second coat before varnishing, but I’m happy with the progress. Here’s a before and after of a lug:
You can still see the metal close up, but from a distance the new paint blends in nicely, and the second coat should improve things further. I’d like to line the lugs too, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to try it! The next job for me will be to pick up a crank puller and take the crankset off, so I can finish cleaning the frame down properly. I’m not planning on keeping the crankset as it’s not particularly good and the two cranks don’t match, bizarrely. It gives me a chance to get a more compact set up front better suited to my riding style. That’s all in the future though, so let’s see where I end up.