When I bought my De Rosa frame in the early 80’s, I built it with Campagnolo Record and Super Record components. When the new C-Record group came out, I upgraded some of the components piecemeal – cranks, Delta brakes and derailleurs. I’ve been riding the same bike all these years and time has transformed it into a “classic,” according to a guy who rode up next to me.
I had the chain off the other day for its paraffin treatment and when I turned the cranks, I heard grinding. I pulled out my Campagnolo bottom bracket wrenches, removed the bottom bracket and saw that the grease had dried out and one of the cup races and one of the axle races had been scored. Deferred maintenance isn’t good.
Instead of buying 20 year-old NOS bottom bracket cups and an axle on eBay, I bought a modern, sealed bearing, Chorus bottom bracket. I just want it to work.
I took a close look at my 28 year old De Rosa, which I had been avoiding for years, and saw the corrosion, rust and scratches that have taken their toll. The chrome on the the drop-outs and the fork crown were now rust. The stainless steel hardware on the brakes and derailleurs had rust. The chrome on the quick release skewers sprouted rust. The braze-on top tube cable guides were rusty.
I disassembled the entire bike and cleaned every part with a wire brush and solvent. I even replaced the bearings in the freewheel. I used Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease in all the ball bearings, because that’s what I had.
I’m not interested in a restoration, so re-chroming wasn’t an option. I just want to do preservation, so I can ride my bike. I used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on the large areas of rust. It has been very effective in stopping rust on my Alfa Romeo. For the small parts, I’ve been using Boeshield T-9 for rust prevention. I don’t know yet how effectively Boeshield stops the rust (on the small steel parts) and the corrosion on the anodized aluminum – I live less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean.