Sunday, 2 November 2014

Weekend Round Up --- or not, as becomes apparent

I finished my week's holiday with a rather lazy weekend. My significant activities seemed to either involve dog walking or pottering in the garage and it is pottering that is the subject of this entry.

The Enfield is now at a transitional stage. The deconstruction has now been completed and, with parts being refurbished and a pile of shiny new components sat waiting on the work bench,  it is reaching the point where reassembly will soon commence, This next stage will, no doubt, include ongoing refurbishment and replacement of components as parts are found to be filthy or damaged beyond the point of economical repair.*

As this project has progressed I have attempted to compile a list of parts that will be needed and jobs that need doing. One of those jobs is the rebuilding of the wheels. At the moment the Enfield has 19" wheels front and rear but the new bike will have a 21" wheel up front and an 18" at the rear. I have the new rims and spokes and the plan was to employ a local chap to build the new wheels on the original hubs.

This is a perfectly normal approach but seemed to involve a huge amount of faffing around. The wheel builder would need to take possession of the intact wheels to take crucial measurements such as any offset of the hubs. These measurements would need to be recorded before the wheels were dismantled. I would then need to collect the hubs, remove the bearings and then ship them over to a Powder Coater to refurbish the bubbling mess that passes for paintwork. Only once the hubs had been refurbished would I be able to take them back to the wheel builder for incorporation in to my shiny new rims.

I started to tot up estimates for the refurbishment of the hubs along with replacements for components corroded or worn beyond acceptable use and wondered whether a new pair of hubs might be a more sensible approach. A few minutes on eBay located exactly what I needed. Both are located in India and will take a few weeks to arrive here but the price is remarkable and I will end up with brand new wheels … and none of the to-ing and fro-ing to the wheel builder and powder coater.

I appreciate that there is an element of risk buying components from Indian Suppliers via eBay but the damned bikes are made there, have minimal variation between models and all I am really doing is cutting out the significant mark up that the best known UK Spare Parts Supplier seems to be applying.
* I am well aware that the Enfield is beyond economical repair but it wasn't bought with motivations for financial gain. It was about having something that is almost the antithesis of my working life … an oily, mechanical Yin to the sterile, electronic Yang of modern working life.

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