Semi-Resurrecting the Pinnacle

Since November, the Pinnacle has been in my room, collecting dust while sitting upside down unused.

Back in November, I removed the rear wheel and the rear derailleur decided to free itself of the frame. Not having tools at the time and just being a couple weeks before I got the Sedona, I decided not to repair it at that time.

Because the Sedona has arrived and officially replaced the Pinnacle as my go-to (“daily driver”) bike, I decided to put the Pinnacle on the back burner. But, leaving the bike upside down isn’t what I want – and I’d still like to at least have the bike look “normal” to use it as indoor decor. (I’ve also thought about re-purposing the Pinnacle into a spare/back-up bike.)

A look at some of the rust on the front rim. The rim is obviously toast.

Then back in January, one of the tires decided to deflate on its own. After removing the old electrical tape being used as a poor-man’s rim strip, I found that both rims are plagued with rust. Not only are these rims too far gone due to being bent, but they’re also very rusted.

So, I went to my local Walmart and picked up the items needed to at least get the Pinnacle back upright and that derailleur reinstalled.

This ought to cover the job…
  • Two 27×1 1/4″ tubes
  • electrical tape
  • Phillips-style screwdriver

Resurrecting the Rims: Electrical Tape as rim strip

The place where I buy most of my bike parts doesn’t stock any 27″ rim strip, and I certainly wasn’t going to pay $8 just to have two tiny strips sent to me.

Plus, a good rim strip ordinarily costs $3 per strip. A roll of electrical tape, which provides more than enough to do both wheels, cost only 60 cents at my local Walmart.

I plan on eventually replacing the rims on this bike, whether it be now or decades from now. So I decided not to splurge on proper rim tape.

I learned this trick from a neighbor who originally helped me fix the Pinnacle after its four-year hiatus (when it was replaced by the Huffy Superia.) He wrapped both rims in electrical tape and used a knife to cut the valve hole.

I did the same. I wrapped the rim in two layers of tape and cut a hole for the valve… at least on one rim. The other rim I did it a little differently.

Electrical tape can be a cheap alternative to ordinary rim tape

On the other rim, I decided to try something different. Since cutting the hole for the valve can be a little tricky through two layers of tape, I decided to wrap the rim in two separate layers of tape instead of one continuous strip that winds over itself.

A look at the beginning and end of the first tape layer. Notice easy access for the valve to go through.

I haven’t had a problem with the electrical tape trick. When doing it, make sure to at least use two layers. With only one layer, the spoke nipples can still poke through, causing issues and flats.

Covering the Work

The poor-man rim strip is covered by the rubber… nobody will know unless you break the tire down, or if they look closely at some of the excess tape poking through the valve hole.

Now it’s time to install the tire and tube. One of the 27×1 1/4″ tubes I purchased back in October deflated on its own one day, rendering the tube useless. I don’t exactly remember what happened to the front tube when I stripped the electrical tape off the front rim, but I couldn’t find it.

Another sign of me trying to save money on this project is the tubes I used. I try to stay away with Bell tubes – especially their 26″ tubes. (I purchased a spare “Bell” tube recently for the Sedona that turned out to be defective out of the box.) I’ve had mixed results with their 27″ tubes, with one holding air perfectly and others not lasting too terribly long. (Which may have been skewed thanks to the condition of the rim.)

I installed the tires and pumped them up to 40 PSI. While the front tire went on fine, I had to reinstall the rear tube a couple times as its valve kept getting crooked. So perhaps my method of using two separate strips of tape works better – or at least the valve goes in smoother.

The crooked valve stem

Tangled Up: (Attempting to) Reinstall the Derailleur

The biggest problem is the rear derailleur… which decided to free itself from the frame back in November.

After letting the tires set for a day to make sure they hold air perfectly fine, I decided to deflate the rear tire. Unfortunately for the Pinnacle, it lacks the break quick-releases. (In other words, the tires must be deflated in order to fit them through the brakes.)

The Falcon rear derailleur has done a good job on this bike, despite being no Shimano or Sram…

On a bike forum I frequent, I was instructed on how to get the derailleur mounted back on the bike. Great! After getting it back on the bike, it seemed like things were moving along.

Then I hit a snag. I got the wheel back on the bike and started finagling with the chain. It is twisted and tangled, so it didn’t go back on like I planned.

The chain was all tangled up.

So, it’s back to the bike forums. Hopefully I will pick it back up later and get the derailleur back on properly. Stay tuned!