Bridgestone MB-4 Headset replaced (mostly)
with Tange Levin headset, but for spacer had to use
an additional lock-washer from the original headset
as well as the original headset’s locknut.
Yes, I know it looks rough, but it is finally done. You have no idea how difficult it was for me to get the fixed cones set into the headtube and that other part pressed onto the fork. After that, about four attempts to assemble the headset, fork, handlebars were required to get everything put together correctly with brake and gear cables right and left of the headtube and fork. Also, I learned that the locknut that came with the Tange Levin replacement headset wouldn’t tighten down very far on the fork’s steerer tube, so I used the locknut that came with the bike’s original, generic headset. One more disassembly after I discovered there remained a gap between the shiny new lock-washer and the locknut, which I resolved by adding the original black lock-washer as a makeshift spacer. I rode the bike around the neighborhood and my bumpy yard, yesterday, and the repair seems sound enough. It’s good to have the Bridgestone back – I haven’t had it to ride since Easter weekend.
Because the Bridgestone had been out of service for so long, I started riding my wife’s Suteki around the neighborhood and local bike path with my young son. Because the seat’s already been adjusted for The Cautious One, I didn’t raise it to suit me, just pedaled with bent knees like a supplicant or one of those morons who ride bikes made for children. There was a funnier thread about those guys at prince.org – a Prince fan-site (that doofus has fans?) – but my browser quit responding every time I opened the page.
Anyway, that Suteki bike is a pleasure to ride, early Shimano 600 derailleurs and shifters work so smoothly and predictably that indexed shifting would seem clumsy in comparison, and for $40 in nearly new condition is more than a match for Public’s mixte and has a lugged steel frame that’d cost an arm and a leg if made by the serious cyclists at Rivendell. A couple of weeks ago through Craigslist, I located and bought an older Trek Jet 20 with Alpha Aluminum frame; cost way less than half the price of new. Needs new grips but is otherwise in excellent condition. My son’s learning to ride the bike without training wheels, but isn’t ready yet to take it out in the neighborhood or on the bike path with me. The features he likes best about the Trek are that he can ride it on the grass in the yard, and that it has a kickstand.
Finally, instead of needing a root-canal, my dentist was able to repair my molar with a filling – a lot less time and money spent and I can eat normal food again. Ate my first salad in a month, last night.