Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fit For A King

1984 was a great year for Japanese bikes. The yen/dollar exchange rate was still about triple what it is now. Index shifting hadn't quite yet reared its head, which is why this is the cutoff year for Classic Rendezvous. So one got gobs of Japanese workmanship on friction shifting bikes at their point of highest technical refinement.

Readers may recall that last year I picked up 2 identical 1984 Del Reys and kept one. I rode it a few times, was suitably impressed, and put it in the project buffer. A while back, I repacked the headset, then laid it aside. Today, I undertook repacking the rear wheel and starting some cleanup.

Here it is with some dissassembly. I've removed the bar tape and installed new brake hoods, the original ones were terminally rotted.

Dia Compe G 500 brakes awaiting a little lovin'. In my opinion, these are underappreciated units, still available rather cheaply. Reflectors are probably welded to the shelf.

Rear wheel disassembled with ease, no problems there. The gold portion of the rims is still quite nice. I originally believed that the silver sides of the rims were due to brake wear, but a careful examination of the catalog reveals that the sides were not anodized. That correlates to the low mileage apparent on this bike and the lack of any residual gold anodization on the rim braking surfaces.

The races are in great shape on these Sunshine hubs.

Fit for a king indeed. All this bike needs is some cleanup, bearing repacks, and some cables, toeclips and it is ready to go. It is going to get some no longer available green handlebar tape and shiny braided steel cable housings. Stay tuned.

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