This is the turning point. The derailers were the last two pieces of this bike that had to be cleaned up / repaired. Mechanically they’re pretty much the most complicated parts of the bike. Modern derailers have a lot of plastic on them but these ones are all steel. This makes them super heavy but means as long as they’re not bent they’ll last forever.
So here are some before pics. The black stuff all over them is a mixture of old grease and dirt. This stuff’s like cement and to get it off I used a pretty serious degreaser, some scouring pads and a steel brush to clean it out of the threaded parts and some of the hard to reach places.
As always the bolts were a real pain to get out. I managed to get everything apart except for the bolt that holds the cable from the shifter. Luckily the bike shop had an extra kicking around that they just gave me. Gotta love those random boxes of spare parts.
The hardest part was getting it back together, not because I couldn’t remember how to though … but it did take some experimentation. It was hard because the spring that’s hiding under that black bushing is super strong. After breaking the whole thing down and cleaning it I had to re-pack the spring and use a screwdriver to leaver it into place so I could slip the bolt back in. I stabbed myself with the screwdriver a few times so that was awesome.
The rear derailer was in even worse shape. Again, not bent but completely caked with the dirt / grease mixture. This one has more moving parts: it has two wheels (with unsealed bearings) that guide the chain this time. So this time the whole thing’s caked with crap AND it has two guide wheels with bearings that are packed in cement instead of grease. Needless to say they don’t spin. Here are the before shots:
Again this one was a just a disassemble, clean, grease, reassemble. The cleaning this time was pretty intense. Had to team up the degreaser with a small finishing nail to scrape the crud (that’s a technical term) out of the guide wheels and a few other tight places. I really should have taken some shots when this thing was apart. It was pretty impressive.
Either way the story isn’t an interesting one: I cleaned it, got new bearings for the guide wheels and packed them with grease. Now it looks awesome and this thing is one step closer to being done. In fact these were the last two parts that needed cleaning. I’m waiting on new cups, races and bearings for the bottom bracket and then this thing gets put back together. Now the after shots: