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Deja Vu All Over Again

March 6, 2013
by Erin B

This scene was so familiar, I almost didn’t bother posting.



It’s the other half of my in laws matched set of folding bikes.  I renovated father in law’s last year; this year, mother in law’s got the exact same treatment… almost.

There are a couple of differences.  Both frames are the same, but the female of the species (that is the 1970’s Yugoslavian folding bike species) has a rat trap rack for your purse, because that was how they sold bikes in the early 1970’s.  It also had a stripped crank arm because if you don’t know the trick about pedals, and one falls off…..  well, the internet wasn’t around to look up why the pedal wasn’t going back on, so you just wrenched harder, right?

I don’t have first hand knowledge of how the crank arm got stripped, it happened many years ago and any guess I make is pure speculation.  Plus it isn’t always intuitive that some bike jobs need special tools….  a pedal wrench is really nice to have.

Aside from the new crank arms (which had to be specially ordered and took many, MANY months to arrive) this bike got new tires and tubes.  It also got new chrome fenders, the old ones were….  I don’t even know.  I would guess aluminium based on the greyish oxidation and that the front one on the other bike had just ripped through where one of the bolts attached.  It ripped like paper…. or al-wrap. They both got new-er saddles.  In some weird twist of fate, I had a matched set of foam saddles in the box of spare parts I have taken off my bikes over the years, so both bikes still match.

The bike got a good clean and eventually a new chain.  I had dropped of a parts list at my LBS in the fall and just came back to pick up a sack full.  The chain in the bag was the wrong size.  Fortunately, they are a really nice LBS and cheerfully exchanged the chain for me, even though I had no receipt and had opened the box.  New bell, new brake pads and brake cable for the front (it’s a coaster brake in the back).  I also moved the front brake pull to the non-signalling side.  This is a quirk that I tend to do on all my bikes, even if bike people are fairly consistent about rolling their eyes at me over it.  I lubed everything up and took it back to the in laws, who I hope call on me for all their future bike repair needs.

I really hope they call on me, because at some point, someone had used a deck screw to attach the front fender to this bike, poor thing!



And there she is.  Yes, I adjusted the back wheel to tighten up the chain a little after the picture.  I hope to get side by side pictures next time we are at the lake.  They are still a really cute pair, even in disco orange with gold sparkle highlights.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. LAT permalink
    March 7, 2013 3:08 pm


    Doesn’t it make sense to have the brake on your non-signalling hand?

    • Erin B permalink
      March 8, 2013 7:56 am

      In North America, I think it does make more sense to have the strong front brake on the opposite side as your signal arm, but in most of the bicycling world, people signal with their left arm.

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