Bianchi Restoration: Removing the cranks & digging up pristine paint


The unhappy bottom bracket turns for no one.

Quick update tonight: Took a little time to remove the cranks, which came off pretty easily and look to be in great condition. Bottom bracket looks more and more sad the more I unearth it, however. More rust keeps appearing and it’s making some awfully suspicious grinding sounds. I tried to remove it, but the cheap spanner wrench and pin spanner that came with my basic bike kit are both crap. So I need to buy some nice ones, as the BB seems to be somewhat rusted in place. Sprayed it down with WD40 and will let that soak in for awhile.

Since the BB delay had me feeling somewhat disappointed and with some extra time and energy on my hands, I decided to get out my trusty heat gun and take a stab at removing one of the barber pole reflective decals that were on the bike. These are not original and were reportedly added on by the original owner.

Before and after. It's like travelling back in time.

Before and after. It’s like travelling back in time.

The heat gun got through one of the stickers on the fork in about a half hour. It will be slow going to remove the rest of them, not to mention the concern of the displaced heat damaging some of the decals on the down tube, where another one of these decals lives. I may have to take a different approach with that one. Anyhow, beneath the decal was hiding the original appearance of the paint job, untouched by dirt and grease, undamaged from UV rays. Wow. It looks amazing… if only the entire bike had that sheen. Now, when I clean the frame, I will have something to compare my cleaning job against.

Also, I have a new feature today: sound clips! I recorded the BB crank and the headset rotating with my iPhone and you can hear just how awful these sound:

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Not sure when the next update will come, as I am pretty busy for the next week or so. That, and I need to acquire a couple more tools. If nothing else, I might remove more of the barber pole stickers. Can’t wait to get this frame cleaned up!

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