I tend to pull old bike things apart in my spare moments, and while some might call it insanity, to me it’s therapy.
I find it amazing how something that seemed so useless when found can be so unexpectedly handy later on in time.
Take for example Vicki’s old Speedwell wheels that she donated to me some time ago after upgrading to her Nexus 3 coaster. It’s worth referring to her blog “Bicycles in Newcastle” ( on the above link ) about the issues she went through with it.
The rear wheel had a Renak model 60 – 40 hole hub with poor braking, and for some reason I thought of it when dismantling the horrendously rusty Favorit hub from the salvaged Apollo II.
The internals seemed very similar, but the brake shoes on the Favorit seemed much less worn. Could they be used to improve the Renak ? The shoes on the Favorit measured slightly larger in diameter than the Renak’s and the other mating parts looked very similar.
The Favorit is a 36H from a later 27″ wheel, but of course this is irrelevant to the internal compatability – if it works, it works !
Dismantling and cleaning these hubs is easy work apart from some stubborn grease in various crevices like those of the ball bearing cages – I use kerosene and a toothbrush and rags, and also a brass wire brush for the axle threads etc.
Upon reassembly with plenty of fresh grease everywhere, the hub seems to be working but there’s no real way to tell what the brakes are like until fitting it to the rim, to a bike, and riding it. I don’t have a use for this hub/wheel yet, but I’m sure one will eventuate !
These old hubs use track cogs and a left hand threaded lockring – the cogs are still available in plenty of sizes thanks to the fixed gear craze …
Tip – use a penetrating catalyst like PB Blaster on both ends of the nipples before attempting rusty spoke removal. The steel eyelet washers were almost corroded right away, probably from electrolytic reaction with the brass nipples.
As you can see, you can make old hubs really clean and shiny when they’re out of the wheel and clear of all the spokes – the same with rims too.
The painted steel rims are in reasonable structural condition and may be recycled – well, they will need to be if this hub works, as the rear is the only spare 40 hole rim I have !
If the coaster brake doesn’t work sufficiently there’s not much point re-doing the front wheel as these painted rims aren’t really suited to calliper brakes.
I will need to find a 32H hub if I’m to get the matching front wheel going again, as the front hub internals were used by the bike shop to fit Vicki’s new 700C wheels to the Speedwell.
But that’s for another day …
Here’s one I came across today on my ride, but :
a) it’s total crap, and
b) who knows, the owner might actually come back for it …
A good recyclist is an honest recyclist —- Karma !