Austerity Bike Works

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  • Two wins in one lunch hour. Careful now, don’t jinx it.

  • Gave the freehub and hub a bit of a degrease and clean (Found a sticker I’ve never seen before!) then applied some (nearly period correct) grease and dropped on the new cassette. I’ll get the rest of the drivetrain sorted tomorrow hopefully.


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  • So, feeling on a roll, I went to stick the new chainring on. This was comparatively smooth but one of the little threaded things which the bolts screw into was rusted. Bit of encouragement from a hammer and all was well. However, my trendy 1x dreams were dealt a blow as the aforementioned lil thready guys are clearly made to accommodate two chainrings rather than the one. This problem seems like it should be quite fixable, but knowing quite how is a bit beyond me atm.

    Seemed most prudent to replace the 40t in its original position and add the 53 in as well. However I put the washers in the wrong place, then the right place, then managed to convince myself the right place was wrong so they’re currently in the wrong place, will rectify…

  • Rusted bit/1x phwoar/thready guy/too long!


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  • I’ve been here - 1x bolts are the thing - fun thread keep at it please !

  • sumink like this

  • Awesome! Thanks both and thanks for the link, too, Crunty. I assumed it was possible but that is very helpful - Good eggs the pair of you!

    I have another question while I’m here if anyone’s feeling charitable: what’s a good rule of thumb for chain length? I normally use the the old chain for reference length and drop a link or two but I’m hopping from a max 23 tooth to a max 28 tooth tooth cog. So where does that leave me?

  • Also well signed up on this and finally able to reply. So the freehub you've got is the very rare mid-90s one when Shimano was making the switch between Uniglide and Hyperglide. It can use Uniglide or Hyperglide cassettes. You can tell because it has those external threads for a Uniglide threaded locking cog and the internal threads for your Hyperlide lockring. If the freewheel ratchet dies or it gets too wobbly, you can switch it for pretty much any later Shimano 7-speed freehub body.

    I have another question while I’m here if anyone’s feeling charitable: what’s a good rule of thumb for chain length? I normally use the the old chain for reference length and drop a link or two but I’m hopping from a max 23 tooth to a max 28 tooth tooth cog. So where does that leave me?

    Probably need to add 3 or so links depending how long the old chain was. Try it out, then if the chain is a bit too slack you can take some links out. There are rules like pull the chain tight on the largest cogs and add two links, but I always find the chain is a little too tight like that and prefer a bit more slack.

  • Chain round chainring and biggest cog + two links has always worked a treat for me. Just if its half way, go a little longer. The longer the chain the more likely that it will make bids for freedom if you aren't using a clutch mech or n-w chainring.

  • Thanks for the input, both. I watched a few videos on youtube and the 'biggest cog/chainring +2 links' method seems a sensible way to size the chain. The one I removed is well knackered.

  • More low-level capers and frustration today. I corrected the chainring washer situation but found I’d bent up one of the washers due to mounting them in the wrong place. I corrected this with a hammer 🔨 but then made the hole of the washer misshapen and I couldn’t fit the thready guy into it. This annoyed me far, far more than was reasonable (especially given I’ve ordered some single ring chainring bolts) and I spent too much time with a needle file making it good but all was well in the end.

    Time to fit the chain, but first - removing the front derailleur. Piece of piss, right? Wrong! The bolt had rusted into the thready bit and they both spun happily together. No hex head or screwdriver bit in the threaded part and not enough sticking out to get any purchase on it with my pliers. After going through all the options I could think of, the only solution appears to be… dramatic pause… Junior hacksaw!!

    I had a check with a senior hacksaw but it’s way too big so will being one in from home, I’ll cover the frame to keep it safe and be very careful. Last job was to cut the chain to size which was completed without incident.


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  • So the freehub you've got is the very rare mid-90s one when Shimano was making the switch between Uniglide and Hyperglide

    Many thanks for the info, btw! I’m learning plenty mucking about with this.

  • Time to hacksaw off the front derailleur. True to form, I could find a few blades but not the actual junior hacksaw, so blades it was. I protected the frame with some old inner tube and managed to slip a small allen key between the bolt I was sawing and the frame for some actual metal protection. A couple of minutes with a loose blade and I was making shawshank redemption-level progress. I don't have 19 years or a poster of Raquel Welch so it was time to break out hacksaw senior. A bit more protection for the frame was needed but it whizzed through in no time and off popped the front derailleur.

    Next to fit the chain, which I'd sized yesterday using the big cog/big ring +2 rivets method. After a bit of lube I shifted through the gears and the chain popped satisfyingly into place for each. Celebrated with some cereal.


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  • What kind of cereal?

  • Sainsbury’s strawberry granola!! I feel I’m flirting with the golf club thread a little here.

  • Is it just me, or are these clamp marks not central? Should be 3mm or so to the right to my eyes.


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  • Yep there are definitely off by quite some way. Although the bar clamp bulge could not be central. How come you are running the big ring as well?

  • Ah got you!

    You can always break out the file. Been there done that in times of desperation. New ones are cheap enough though. Bikes looking good though.

  • Cheers! It's been fun.

    Fitted the off-centre bars (seemed appropriate somehow) and stuck on some old MTB grips, I don't much like these but the lock on fitting just makes everything easier for now. Added a bell and set off for a late lunch at the allotment I might get a second plot on. New drivetrain was an absolute joy to pedal, if nothing else it was almost completely silent - at least compared to what it replaced. I reckon the chain I took off was the original 1990s one (has HG - hyperglide I assume - on it.)

    Anyways I like this bike a lot, it’s straightforward and comfortable. Very low drama. I can see me keeping it for a long time.


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  • Lovely. Second plot looks good (if that’s the one photobombing your biek)

  • Second plot looks good

    Alas, no! That one is kept by a colleague and there is not a weed on it. He's tended it for years, it's immaculate. TBH the ones I will be offered may be a bit more work than I can manage.

  • Peaty's grips are ace and last forever! Spin them so the clamp area is on the underside. Way more comfortable.

  • Aye, they're good grips, but I don't feel they fit the bike so well. I will sore the orientation, cheers ;)

  • Single ring chain bolts arrived and so we’re now officially running 1x7. Found a ding in the downtube which is small but a bit disheartening. Dirty enough to suggest I didn’t do it while adding/removing bits. Final photo next to the skips where I found it.


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Austerity Bike Works

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