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Saturday, 5 May 2012

The wheels on the bike go round and round.....

In preparation for my trip to the Coupes Moto Legende in a couple of weeks, I dug out my 'spare' set of wheels and arranged for them to be powder coated before being fitted with a new pair of tyres. These wheels came from a 'non running' Tour I had bought a few years ago, and the previous owner had painted them with aerosol black paint, but had not bothered marking the tyres or preparing the surface. Therefore, they looked a mess!
I knocked the old bearings out and had a look at them. The front pair looked like the originals, but water had got in at some time and one of them was starting to rust. The rear bearings had a word printed on them that we all fear - 'China'! Why anyone would buy and fit Chinese bearings is completely beyond me. They are rubbish quality, bound to fail, and decent bearings only cost about £2 more.
I had ordered my bearings from Simply Bearings, a company I've used many times before. They stock just about every size of bearing (and have a useful 'find bearings by size' box), are very competitively priced, and always deliver very quickly.

At the left: decent bearings. Upper right: rusty bearing from front wheel. Lower right: cheap nasty Chinese bearing that I wouldn't use even if they were free!

I took my wheels to a local powder coater that I'd used before and had been very happy with their work. Chameleon in Renfrew. They gave them a very nice coat of metallic dark grey (they called it 'Titanium') for £100. They dip the wheels in a tank of some chemical to soften the paint, then blast them to remove everything and to provide a 'key' for the coating. The parts of the wheel that aren't to be coated (disc screw holes, bearing holes, etc) are carefully masked, then the coating is applied. I think they then bake them in an oven. (I haven't seen this bit done.)
A week later, and the wheels are ready for collection. The finish is absolutely superb and even, and the wheels I had done a few years ago look as good as new, so the durability is very high.
I fitted my new bearings then took my wheels to have the tyres fitted by my brother Stuart. I had bought a pair of Avon Roadriders. Not the 'sportiest' tyres you can buy, but they suit my style of riding. Good grip, long life, and a reasonable price all add up to make them a good choice. I looked round the Web to see who was selling them at the best price, roundandblack on Ebay.
I bought a 110/70 - 17 for the front and a 140/70 - 17 for the rear. I'll let you know how I get on with them.
To make it easier to inflate the tyres, I fitted 'Ariete' angled valves. Much nicer than the cheap rubber ones. Link 11mm ones fit the Skorpion's wheels.
I fitted the wheels and took the bike out for a run to see how they were. Ever noticed that I bike feels much nicer of new, round  tyres before the 'square off' a bit? I then filled my panniers then took the bike back out to check whether I needed to adjust the pressures to cope with the extra weight. The bike felt nice and stable, so that's it ready for its trip to France.
New tyre, newly coated wheel, Brembo caliper, and stainless bolts.

Nice deep tread, should wear well.

Ready for France!

And for the source of the title - sing along, children......

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