Category: Bike Mechanics

Raleigh Wildcat – one step closer..

Serviced the pedals last night. They are solidly seized to the cranks, and didn’t have time to try freeing them, so removed the pedals from the in-situ spindles.

Gave everything a thorough clean, and replaced the bearings (happened to have some size matched bearings, originally purchased for the Fire Mountain headset, in my parts box), giving a liberal coating of grease.

One of the pedals is absolutely perfect in terms of friction-free and play-free movement; the first one I did has a mm or two too much play, so I’ll be tweaking that tonight. They were both incredibly graunchy prior to this, so a big difference.

Also chopped off the stubs of the pannier screw with a pound shop special junior hacksaw.. it’s pretty flush with the frame but needs a check for sharp edges.

I have a new chain and gear cables  on order; the cables being Muddy Fox from Sports Direct. These are £1.50 for inners and outers, so I bought four sets, leaving two left over as spares once those on the Wildcat are sorted.

Raleigh Wildcat update

I didn’t get to work on the Wildcat on Sunday as the Stamner Ride and subsequent bike cleaning took longer than expected.

So I’ve spent a couple of hours on it a few nights this week. I’ve now:

  • Fully replaced the brakes – arms, levers, cables
  • Removed the panniers (although the thread was ‘screwed’ on one of the bolts so I ended up snapping the head off, once I’d extracted it sufficiently using my new mole grips.. need to file it down now)
  • Indexed the gears (well, the rears, anyway.. the fronts are friction shift

Still on the list:

  • Buy and fit new chain
  • Remove the struts for the panniers – these are about four inches long, and have the stuck screw problem that I’ve experienced all over the bike, despite a liberal soaking with GT85. 
  • New gear inners and outers
  • Strip and refurb the pedals
  • Final PDI
  • Road test

Cost so far is:

  • Bike – £20
  • Brakes – £8 (EBay)
  • Cider vinegar – £4

The cost of tools I’ve purchased in the course of this aren’t included, since I’ll be using those hopefully for many years to come.

New brake components:

More cleaning / rust removal solution..

I only dismantled the front brakes for cleaning (along with various other bits), leaving the rears in situ.

So as I’d used all of the Cider Vinegar on the parts cleaned thus far, I tried my luck in the town centre whilst at work to see if I could find any more, to do the back brakes.

Couldn’t find any cider vinegar, but did find some white wine vinegar.. so I’ll be trying that tomorrow.

Bike parts cleaning update..

Rescued the bits from the vinegar before work this morning, by emptying the container.

Didn’t get a chance to then clean / dry then until after work.

Big improvement all round.. the small bolts and washers showed the best improvement, but the brake arms did well too.

Started the process of fitting it all back together, and only realised there was a spring in the brake lever when it fell out. Took a while, and the dismantling of the other brake lever, to work out its orientation, but got there in the end. I booked a day’s holiday tomorrow, for a big ride and some more tinkering!