Last week, Simon from Audax Australia kindly gave me an old steel road bike frame and forks to play with. They were covered in mud and water during the 2011 floods but only seem to have surface rust – nothing worse than the bikes I can find at the Trash n Treasure.
I’ve been daydreaming about building my own cool and funky single speed little while now. I was going to do it with the Purple Monster but haven’t been able to bring myself to pull it apart lest I break it. So I was excited to pick up the parts Simon offered me.
The picture above shows the condition of the frame and forks when I picked them up. As you can see, they’ve seen better days but have nice semi-horizontal dropouts, which are perfect for building a single speed.
I have big plans for this bike, including a pink and white paint job, a pink deep rim single speed wheel set, moustache handlebars with pink tape and maybe a white chain instead.
Today, I started my project by stripping the paint and as much rust as possible off the frame and forks. The lovely man at my local Mitre 10 hardware store took the time to help me find the right tools and products for the job (paint stripper and steel wool). He also talked me through the primer paint products I should use when I am ready to paint.
So this afternoon I spent about three hours sitting in the shade of a tree in my backyard burning the skin on my fingers and scrubbing the paint off the frame. (I realise I could have worn gloves but I hate rubber gloves so just kept dunking my fingers in a bucket of water to rinse of the paint stripper when it got a bit hot). I’m really happy with the result.
I coated the frame and forks with olive oil to protect the bare steel from oxidisation over the coming days until I have time to apply a primer.
The next step is to remove the forks (I need to by a wrench) and then to take the frame to my LBS who will remove the bottom bracket (it seems to be a non-standard BB so they don’t have a tool they can sell me). Once that’s done, I will start the painting process.
Watch this space.