The handlebar blues

I woke up this morning, I’d got those handlebar blues.

Well, I woke up this morning, knew I’d just gotta choose.

Two sets of handlebars, Such a dilemma ensues.

Bars

The silver ones are HOAP ones and they are in very good condition.   The black ones are from Little Project and frankly they have seen better days (are you overly surprised?).   They have been in the WD40 bath for some time because the switches and levers attached to them were all rusted solid.  They switches have now come off and will be re-useable.   I’ll just mention that again, some of the electrics from Little Project will be re-useable!    Little Project handlebars are very rusty.   You would never imagine that rust can hold plastic solid but the throttle mechanism was in such a state I had to resort to using a Dremel with a miniature circular saw to cut it off.  I then had to use the little angle grinder type attachments to smooth down some of the rust so that the switches (did I mention they can be re-used?) would slide off gracefully.   I think that I am inclined to rub down the Little Project ones and then find some satin black spray to bring them back up to their former glory.

I bet that you have never thought “I wonder what a handlebar lever looks like when it has been attached to Little Project?”  I assumed they were cast from aluminium (note, this word is pronounced Al-you-min-e-um), but looking at the state of this one I am not so sure.

Lever

They’re sort of layered and a bit like they were once made from nylon.   Very weird.   You’ll also notice in the above picture the effects of taking a mini angle grinder to ones handlebars.

We have made progress this weekend.   Unfortunately not with the forks.   I am not sure why they are being so recalcitrant.  There is an ever-growing pile of fork bits with which I have lost patience.   The original awkward one (the one with a spring rusted solid inside it) has now become a most useful door prop.   It could probably also be used for fending off a zombie attack (should Twickenham ever be afflicted by such a thing) but it will never bounce joyfully up and down again (except perhaps off a zombie head).   It’s cousins seem to want to go the same way.   The two really good forks don’t fit and the others all have bits that don’t unscrew or unscrew when they shouldn’t.   I shall persevere.

Where we did make progress was in screwing bits back onto the frame.    All of the holes are drilled out and re-tapped.   The airbox is in position, as is the back half of the mudguard.   The back half of the mudguard being the first bit that I fitted and then also the first bit that I had to take off because the airbox only goes in when the mudguard bit isn’t there.     The rack is up and running (or at least in a position to hold things when the bike is up and running) and the weird shaped piece of wire that holds the headlamp and the speedo in place is also, ermm, in place.

Most importantly, you may remember the bit of brake that took four weeks to remove.   I put the new one on (or in, I’m not sure).    It has a lot of grease on it so in thirty years time when somebody else decides it needs replacing it will not be such a challenge.

Next weekend is going to involve trying to find all of the bits that make up the rear wheel so that I can re-assemble the hub and fit the wheel.  It will probably also involve some buffing and almost inevitably involve me swearing at something.   There is also potential for a photo of the new overalls that I am going to have to purchase as an embarrassing moment with my cargo trousers led to me showing my backside to the majority of  the customers of Twickenham Tesco’s.

This post has benefited greatly from the input of a very good 2011 Sancerre (I am hoping that if I persist in mentioning what I am drinking then we might get a sponsor – “Little Project, bought to you by Berry Bros and Rudd” or some such similar), I promise to share if we do.

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