Project: Enterprise

The Corona crisis thwarted my daily journey home-work-home. I thought it would be a good idea to use the time and repair my bike but … well … the whole thing escalated a bit;)

But lets take a look where it all started…

This bike from vsf Fahrrad manufaktur was my trusted companion over many of years. It was a workhorse and actually never let me down. However, the paint was damaged here and there and the shifts weren’t that smooth anymore. On top, I found out that I never really used more than one chainring on the crank so I found myself thinking “why not do a new paintjob on that thing and remove the front shift” …

I did a little research and ended up ordering spray cans from spray.bike but of course I had to get off the old paintjob first. So I started to disassemble my “old friend” with the hope to get it back together later 😉

As you can see there, I did actually a terrible job in removing the old bottom bracket. While I ordered some tools in order to be able to take all apart, I did a mistake in getting the right one for the bracket. In my limitless wisdom, I had the grandiose idea of using a pipe-wrench to screw off the plastic caps of the bottom bracket. The long story short: Don’t do that!
For the next 1 1/2 weeks I was busy drilling open the bracket and worried that I would destroy the thread in the frame. At the end of the odyssey I was able to heat the plastic with a heat gun (stinks!) so that I could knock out the bearing. Luckily – besides some small scratches –  the thread was alright 🙂

It was time now to prepare the frame for the paint… I did some mockups based on the photo I took in my cellar and after a while and some trying, I’ve ended up, using two colors to recreate the iconic Star Trek emblem on the frame… I know… it’s subtle, but that was the plan 😉

I will spare you the detailed execution of the process of removing the frame from its original paintwork. Actually I thought “oh come on, you’re going to drag this down”, but after a few attempts, it quickly became clear that I had to bring in bigger guns here. Ultimately, stain (stinks+++) achieved the desired effect in several steps … But here too, the frame had to be sanded and reworked a lot.

But after that was achieve it came to the fun part. In my wife’s workshop, I was able to set up a little paintshop. I prepared the frame and the fork with acetone to get it fat free and used painter tape to mask specific areas. Then I stand there… afraid to make the first spray attempt 😛 But after some hesitation, it wents pretty well.

And what should I say … my bike of my dreams became reality step by step… Everything so far worked well, but the sticker disappointed me. I ordered some nice looking stickers with the name “Enterprise” for application on the frame, but unfortunately, they did not stick (which is bad… for a STICKer). So even after applying clear varnish, the stickers peeled off again and I knew I wouldn’t be very happy with it.

So it was time to rework. I ordered new stickers and used them as a mask. This time, I wanted to apply the name directly as a paint. That worked too … unfortunately I was low and let the varnish dry for too long, which meant that the writing couldn’t be removed properly. But: It’s ok and so there is still a note of personal inadequacy;)

From here on it just got great. The parts that had been ordered in the meantime were assembled step by step and a load fell from my heart when I was able to screw in and tighten the bottom bracket without any problems. Chainring and crank followed, then the rear cassette and shift arm. I pulled new Bowden cables, renewed the brakes, and after adjusting a bit back and forth, I was able to put my new gearshift into operation … instead of 3×7 gears as before, I’ve had “only” 1×11 gears since then … but luckily is that completely ok, because I made a lot of calculations in advance to make sure that the gear ratios would be sufficient for me.

And then at some point, after a total of 2 1/2 months, the time had come … I took my first test drive and what should I say? It was a dream!
I am totally happy with my new bike and the only thing I have done afterwards is the application of paint protection film, because the stability of spray.bike paint was unfortunately not so suitable for everyday use. But – with the foil – everything is cool and I’ve already driven a few kilometers … the feeling is great and there have already been a few first envious looks;)

As a final touch, I added a little Star Trek emblem on the frame as well. What I might consider in future updates is to replace the fenders with silver ones and maybe have new pedals, but over all, I’m really happy with my “new” bike now and ready to boldly go 😀