Project Postal: Strip her down

The first step with any good project bike is to give everything a proper inspection. This is an 18 year old bike that I’m pretty sure has spent a number of years sitting unused in a shed, so I needed to get a better idea of it’s actual condition. To do this, I’ve stripped the bike right down to the frame, the original 9-speed Ultegra groupset has been stored for safe keeping and each part has been given a good wash and looking over. There’s something quite cathartic about tinkering with bikes, don’t you think? :-)

There’s a few paint chips that I’ll touch up and some of the decals are scuffed, but apart from that it’s all apples. Thankfully no damage or issues to report. I certainly wouldn’t expect it to be perfect as it is knocking on two decades. After a polish the original “metallic blue fade to grey” paint job came a treat! It’s hard to accurately capture, but it truly sparkles in the daylight.

The eagle eyed may notice I haven’t removed the bottom bracket or crank axle. This is because it’s a different standard to modern cranks and requires specialist tools that I don’t have! I’ll only ever need to remove this part once (to replace with a modern one) so it’d be a waste to buy the tools. The frame is now in the hands of my trusted bike mechanic who will do that job for me.

In the meantime I’m going to sort out what parts I’ve got lying around spare. I’m definitely going to modernise it in some respects. All original would look so good but I don’t think it’d make me want to ride it, especially not with the 53/39T crankset! While I wait for the frame to come back I’ll take stock of what parts I’ve got spare and figure out what I need to purchase. I hope to keep it “budget” but still respect the bike by using quality parts it deserves!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. buckyrides says:

    Cool bike, I hope you try keep it somewhat close to its times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will try and do it justice. 🙂


  2. bgddyjim says:

    Plan on brooming that whole 9 speed drivetrain… you can’t get decent replacement parts anymore. Go 11 speed (105 or Ultegra) and you’ll be happier for years to come. I’ve got 10 and parts are starting to become scarce for that as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m gonna clean up the 9-speed stuff and eBay it. It’s in good nick and I’m sure somebody out there is after spares!


      1. bgddyjim says:

        No doubt about it.


  3. bgddyjim says:

    Oh, and watch the front derailleur hanger when you change chainrings. Make sure you have enough room to lower the front derailleur to your big chainring.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. alexmwilkins says:

    53/39 isn’t so bad. Being a bit retro (and never having bought a bike younger than 2007), all my bikes have this setup and I got used to it, even for decent climbs. I’d keep it original.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting used to it isn’t the same as it being good though. 😉 I might be a lightweight but I much prefer to spin, no way I’d be happy grinding climbs in a 39/25 bottom gear. The big 53T does look much nicer though!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. alexmwilkins says:

        True. And of course I don’t know what I’m missing out on 😁. Ultimately, whatever makes you use the bike more, is the right way to go. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

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