Here we have a Dawes Galaxy from the late 1970'. I bought this bike on whim from Gumtree some 18 months ago - I guess I wanted a geared bike as I had a vague intention of trying out touring.
When I went to view it, the bike looked to be in reasonable shape. It was free of dings and dents, the paint work was crisp and it bore the alluring decal, 'hand built'. I paid £95 for it and went home with what I though was a bargain. However, as I am sure you all know the world of retro bikes, can throw you some curve balls.
The first thing one does with a new old bike is get some air in the tires and take it for a spin. About 50 yards from my house, just as I was getting some momentum, there was the most almighty bang. Though still upright, I was somewhat stunned. The rear rim had literally blown up. Later I found out this can happen when a on old worn rim is exposed to high air pressure. So I was soon on my way to Wheel Craft and spending the first of what seems a never ending amount on my project. Big Al rebuilt the wheel for me, and though I can't remember the exact price, it was somewhere in the region of £50, as it was only the rim and spokes that were replaced, Big Al judged the Maillard hubs to still be decent enough.
The next purchase was I decided should be a new chain. However, once fitted it was constantly slipping - I guess the old 6 speed cassette, the front rings and old chain were all in synch with each other and introducing a new element, such as a chain, disturbed the flow. The old chain went back on. Tires I thought were the next thing to be sorted out. A pair of Panaracer Pasela TG tires were ordered up and fitted. (£40'ish) Next I turned my attention to the bars and brakes. I wanted to persist with the drop bars, despite it feeling totally weird. (never owned a road bike before). So a nice new shiney set of Miche levers were purchased from the local bike shop. While there I had new bar tape installed. (another £40'sish spent).
That was as far as I got with it last summer. Over the winter I decided I had to upgrade the drive train. A nice set of retro TA Cyclotourist cranks were purchased from the 'bay. (£55) But it was here I made a critical mistake / mess. I managed to strip, not one, but both cranks as I attempted to remove them. Perhaps I didn't engage the extractor tool far enough? Whatever I did wrong, I now had a problem. I rode the bike many times around the block hoping that motion would loosen them, but to no avail. The hack saw was the next option. For this operation I went to Glasgow's local Bike Shed for their 'repair your own bike' session on a Wednesday afternoon. I figured I might need access to their tools and their mechanic's expertise. Sawing off the cranks wasn't too hard, but stupidly I was not careful when setting up the bike on the stand and I inadvertantly compressed one of the top tube cable guides into the cross bar. I now had a dent in my top tube and it was self inflicted. Doh! Next up was an attempt to remove the BB. But weirdly the cups / lockrings were made of black plastic that appeared to be perishing. Tapping it with a screw driver simply cut though the plastic. Like wise grips bit into it, but we couldn't seem to get the necessary purchase to get them moving. The saw came back out, then the heatgun, and various sharp pokey tools. About 3 hours later I had basically melted and scarped away the housing that held the BB in place. Next stop was Kinetics bike shop, where Ben repaired my top tube with liquid brass and re-aligned the cable guide. (£35). He did a splendid job, next stop for the frame is the powder coaters for a new paint job. (£75)
Other parts I have gathered for this project are some vintage Bluemels mudguards (£24 from ebay) and a Brooks B17 saddle with Titanium rails that I was given as part payment for a job I did. Once the frame comes back from the paint shop I can start rebuilding this lovely, but expensive, project.
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