Friday, May 30, 2008

The Cannoli Project - Assessment

Folding bikes (not unlike cannolis) can be quite compact when folded properly, but even then should be enjoyed only in moderation. Also, with any restoration project, what may seem inviting on the exterior may, in fact, be hiding a slightly nauseating interior (see also: supermodels). Well, as the first step in the restoration of a 1970's era Bianchi folding bike, I decided to strip the beast of all its components and assess the rusty damage. As the photo suggests, there were many parts that have seen better days. Upon close inspection, it was apparent that the bike needed a handful of new components:
  • Bottom bracket (that tricky 70mm Italian size)
  • Crank arms
  • Seat post (didn't come with one)
  • Saddle (didn't come with one... besides, using someone's old saddle is like kissing an adult film star)
  • Wheels (20x1.75 size or similar)
  • Tires
  • Chain
  • Headset
  • Stem
  • Handlebars (not that the current ones wouldn't work, but for each inch of mini-ape-hanger rise on those bars, I equally lose an inch of my manhood)

The rust, although abundant, is surprisingly superficial. After chatting to a Nipple Works associate about the chemistry of rust removal, a phosphor-based acid like naval jelly (not navel jelly) is the way to go. Apparently, chlorine-based acids like muriatic acid will remove the rust, but it will quickly return.

I'll probably look into some BMX parts for this project. These bikes can often have 20" wheels and long seatposts - perfect for The Cannoli Project.

Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. Awesome.


-p said...

Nothing says business like a tackle box for small parts and a diamond plate work surface. The ape hangers are a tad nerdy, but where will you find a quill stem long enough to sky-jack a flat bar?

-d said...

Funny you should ask... I scoured the internet for minutes, yes minutes, until I found this beauty:

-p said...

1" Sky high quill stem - long on length, short on girth.