Pinnacle Update: Tires & Brakes

The saga on restoring the 1981 Free Spirit Pinnacle road bike continues…

Back in August, I had replaced the punctured tube in the rear tire. That tire has held air fine since – which is good news. The rear tire was easy as the only thing that needed to be replaced was the tube.

The front tire, however, is a different story. The tire on the front wheel has seen better days. It has a sidewall tear that allows the tube to “bubble out” when inflated. A puncture from a large nail marked the end of the tire. In addition to needing a new tire/tube, I also had to rewrap the rim in electrical tape (which acts somewhat as a “poor man’s rim strip.”)

After wrapping the rim in a couple of layers of electrical tape, I had installed the new tire. The new tire is a Vittoria Zaffiro, and I decided to try a thorn-resistant tube in order to combat snakebite flats, which have been a problem in addition to other types of punctures.

The replacement tire… a Vittoria Zaffiro

The nice thing about the Zaffiro is it has a lower recommended inflation pressure (at 70 PSI). The original tires that came with the bike (from 1981) required only 70 PSI in the rear, whereas newer tires required 90 PSI. This isn’t typically a problem, but this bike has the dreaded “steel rim” – or a type of rim that lacks the hook. The Zaffiro itself also seems to be pretty nice… it has a hard tread but the sidewall is fairly soft.

The worrysome thing is that the Zaffiro claims (on the sidewall) to not use with wheels that lack the hook. So I may have to jump back to square one and purchase another tire.

Installing the tire on the rim was much easier than many people stated in the reviews. Installing the tube, however, as a different story. The valve stem was being extremely stubborn, as it seemed to not fit the hole. While it went through eventually, it is only about 1/4 as long as it should be.

The valve stem was only able to be pushed 1/4 through the rim.

Inflating the tire revealed yet another issue: the tire seemed to have a gap between the bead of the tire casing and the rim. Since this looks like an omen for disaster, I decided to only pump it up to about 20 PSI or so.


Item number two on the agenda was to replace the brakes.

A comparison between the new brakes and the current brakes.

The issue with the original brake pads is that they had a strange wear pattern. The brake pads as a whole were not worn, which would be typical. Instead, both pairs had a strange “groove” cut into both. The brakes are positioned (as far as I know) properly, which makes the groove even more bizarre.

I ordered brake pads. After doing a lot of research and trying to find the right brakes, I ordered a pair of brakes that looked similar to the ones on my bike. They arrived and, unfortunately, did not fit.

In the next installment of the “Pinnacle mini-restoration”, I will hopefully figure out the tire problem and get the right brake pads.

This post typed on the IBM ThinkPad T42.

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