So today I was at a loose end – taking a break from my writing and my client’s research work. Time to look at the Twenty. I’ve been stripping paint with much of the bike hardware still attached. I know. I know. Why? Well the why was because I was lazy and frankly until now it hasn’t been an issue. I’m now needing to get at the bottom bracket as I work the paint from the nooks and crannies which don’t get reached by the scouring pads.

So 1972 raleighs have their pedals attached to the spindle via cotter pins. These are tapered steel bolts which pass through the pedal arm on one side of the spindle which conveniently has a notch cut into it to accomodate the pin’s passage. Once in, the pin tightens as you pedal creating a solid connection between pedal and drive-train.The trouble with cotters is that they are a pain in the ass to remove unless you have a cotter press. This is a shop tool your average joe- or jane- cyclist does not have the space or resources (or indeed the need) to keep on hand. So barring access to said press it’s hammer time.

Sheldon Brown has a wonderful article here for the joys of pin removal. Suffice it to say today was the day to take a hammer and go at it with wild-abandon.

I braced the bottom bracket on a set of bricks and with four hard smacks the first pin was put through – a further smack on the pin with a scredriver between hammer and pin pushed it through.

Crank side was even easier. Pin popped out on the third strike.

Photographic evidence:

As you can see one pin got bent slightly out of true and the other mushroomed on impact. The first might be saved. The second one may become a tad shorter courtesy of the dremmel cut-off wheel but I need to make sure that shortening the bolt won’t compromise safety. Some work to do there.

For the meantime — hey the pedals are off. I’ll finish stripping the remaining hardware this week and stripping the remaining paint the week after.

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