Saturday, June 10, 2006


I was given 2 bikes from a guy I know. They have been sitting outside his house for years and he was just going to trash them. One is a California Crusier, single speed, frame looks good, rims/hubs/crank need to be checked out more to determine if they are usable, the chain is shot. The second is a GranDelta road bike, I could't really find any information on it except it may be a line that was purchased by Releigh a few decades back. It looks like it's in pretty fair condition, no rust on the drivetrain. A front brake is totally missing and the back brake is totally screwed up. It will be a good learning experience getting these back up and running. The cruiser looks fun. I'm not sure if the road bike is a touring bike, the tires are much wider than on a typical road bike. Maybe I can get some hints from Dr. Frank-n-Bike aka Steve aka Biking in Halifax and start playing with electricity and chemicals...woohoo, I always LOVED chemistry. I will post some pictures later.

Took my Bike Kid to the bike shop yesterday. He doesn't know about his birthday bike so he's still pushing hard to get another bike for his birthday. He received $50 from his grandparents for "promoting" from 8th grade to high school. That wasn't done when I was in school so it seems a bit silly to me, but ok, now he's offically in high school. Anyway, the $50 was burning a hole in his pocket and he wanted to go to the bike shop.

I gotta say, I LOVE the bike shop. It's one of my Happy Places. Pretty, shiny bikes all around. I'm a constant source of amusument to Bike Guy, my ignorance is pretty funny sometimes. Like the time I was looking at a Santa Cruz he was building, I started squeezing the brake handles and that sort of thing, Bike Guy started talking about the "air" brakes on that bike. I'm going "wow, I never heard of those", then I notice there are no LINES attached. HaHa! Yesterday I was looking at a triathalon bike that wasn't yet finished. I asked how the gears are shifted because it has aerobars rather than the drop bars. He grabs the brake handle and said "squeeze once, up shift. Squeeze twice, downshift. Squeeze 3 times, braking". I'm again going "gee, really??" but I caught on a bit quicker this time, but DAMN, he got me again. Big laughs on that one. In my defense, the smell of bike tires and lube drops my IQ by a few dozen points, ok??? I have to laugh at my own gulibility. I'd rather laugh at myself than get twisted over stuff.

My son didn't buy anything there but I think he checked out EVERY SINGLE ITEM in the shop. I can't wait until Wednesday!! Pick up the bike, give it to the kid!! Bike Guy is upgrading it to XR at no charge (a trade for the amusement I bring to his shop or maybe the Red Bull I keep him supplied with or maybe because I've spent into the 4 digits in his shop in 1 year and gave brought 5 other people in there who all purchased bikes from him??) My son is going to LOVE IT!! I'm such a good MOM! :)

1 comment:

steve said...

Number one tip: Take photos of everything before you disassemble - including closeups. That way, you'll know how everything goes back together.

Number two tip: Download the pictures and make sure they're not all blurry before you do the actual disassembly. The LCD image may look fairly sharp, but that's just because it's scaled down so much - there's no detail on the image either.

If you want to go the electrolysis route, it's reasonably safe; the voltages you're dealing with are fairly low, and so long as you're doing it in a fairly well ventilated place you should be fine. You will need:

* a piece of sacrificial iron based metal. Plain old iron rebar would be best, if you can lay your hands on some - it doesn't matter about rust, just use a wire brush to brush off the worst of it so there's some exposed surface. Steel will work, but make sure it isn't galvanised (something to check if you use nails) or stainless (cutlery, etc).
* Some hookup wire. Radio Shack carry it, 3 spools of 22AWG wire is what I got, but a heavier gauge wire might not be a bad idea - it tends to disintegrate after a while.
* Transformer with an output of somewhere in the region of 10VDC and 1000mA. A battery recharger would be perfect. Any wall wart type transformer will do, but you'll need to know where the + and - terminals are (through trial and error, if needs be). The higher the output the quicker it will be, but the more hydrogen, etc will be given off per minute.
* If the transformer doesn't have an off switch, a power bar with an off switch (probably not a bad idea anyway)
* Some form of sodium such as baking soda (what I used) or washing soda (but not plain salt, because Mr Chlorine Gas is Not Our Friend).
* Plastic (or at least, non-metal) bucket
* Water
* Wire cutters (failing that, a sharp knife)
* Pokey stick (I used a broken spoke)
* Rubber gloves (that's some pretty nasty looking goop that accumulates in there)

Prep work:
Fill the bucket with water. Add a shake of baking soda; I never measured it, but I guess I was using around a teaspoon or so per litre - it doesn't take much. Stir the water a couple of times - the baking soda doesn't have to dissolve, just mix in. Cut off two lengths of hookup wire long enough to go from the transformer's terminals into the bucket. Strip off enough cable housing to wrap around the terminals a couple of times. At the other end, strip off enough housing to wrap around whatever you're cleaning, and on the other cable to wrap onto the sacrificial metal.

Use the black cable to run from the negative terminal to whatever you're cleaning. Red cable goes from the positive terminal to the sacrificial metal. The sacrificial metal must not touch the stuff to be cleaned, but it needs to be pretty close - around a centimetre or so; that's what the pokey stick is for, pushing it all around. Plug the transformer in, switch it on, and after 5-10 seconds you should see bubbles coming off the item being cleaned. After a while the rust will start rising off and bubbles of goop start forming on the surface. Let it run for an hour or so and it should be done. Switch off and unplug the power, pull the cleaned item out with the pokey stick and rinse it off. Immediately dry it and rub away at the rust (it should have turned black and will rub off easily). Put a light sheen of grease or oil on it straight away and you will be fine. If you don't clean it immediately it will re-rust again in around 15-20 minutes.

Once you get the hang of things you can "mass produce" the process by daisy-chaining bits to be cleaned with hookup cable; as long as there's an electrical circuit there and the items to be cleaned are close enough to the sacrifical metal you're good to go. You don't need to change the water at all, no matter how gunky it gets - all the goop dissolves back into rust and settles at the bottom of the bucket if you leave it overnight.

Good luck!