Introduction: Poppys Bike Rebuild

About: toolmaker turned sparky

My Niece learnt to ride her bike this summer and has rapidly outgrown her first bike. I asked her what type of bike she would like and was told that black with flames was what she wanted. There is a bike that is black with flames available but its a boys frame and they seem expensive and where would the fun be in just buying one? A few weeks later a suitable bike appeared on ebay which i won and soon stripped down. i removed all of the old paint with my trusty wire brush on an angle grinder. I took extra care not to push it too hard as the frame is alluminium and i didnt want to gouge big lumps out of it. it did a really good job and didnt seem to remove any metal. 

Step 1:

I washed the frame and then took it indoors for a week to let it dry in the warm but also so that it would be warm when i got around to painting. I also stored the spray cans indoors for the same reason. On the chosen day i got an electric heater in the garage to take the chill off before hanging the frame from the rafters. Ive never painted an ally frame before and couldnt find any etching primer in my local car store. After a bit of thinking i decided to use grey oxide primer and i roughed the surface a bit with some emery cloth to aid adhesion. I gave it three coats of primer then three coats of matt black paint leaving it to dry above the convector heater ( i wouldnt normaly bother with the heater but the frost on the lawn hasnt budged today). I masked the bottom bracket holes with old bearing shells that i keep just for painting.

Step 2:

Next I had a problem with the bottom bracket. When stripping the bike i had noticed that a previous owner had managed to wind the drive side cup in crooked and this had damaged the threads so when you screwed it back it just followed the damaged thread. After trolling through the internet I read about how a man had done this whilst rebuilding his ally bike and he used a cartridge bottom bracket to right the threads. He did this by puting the guide side in all the way first. This then kept the cartridge straight when this was wound in. Luckily I had an old worn cartridge bb in my garage and had nothing to loose. It was hard work but it did straighten the threads and a trick well worth remembering!!!!!!

Step 3:

Now it was just a straight forward rebuild cleaning everything and regreasing the bearings as I went. I used new cables. I soon had avery smart looking bike hanging from my stand.

Step 4:

lastly I added a new saddle and some flame stickers as finnishing touches.
now we just need abreak in the rain so Poppy can take it for a ride!!!!!!

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