It didn’t need much. I repacked all the bearings with fresh grease (none needed it, but you can’t tell without opening and once you are in there it makes sense to freshen things up), cleaned the chain, cogs and rings (pretty clean as they come, but not to my standards), installed the original specification seatpost and rear quick release skewer, adjusted the bar wrap (it was coming up short of the ends because of the addition of Nitto shock pads installed in the curves), trued the front wheel (the spokes were not evenly tensioned and some were shockingly slack) and gave it a light surface cleaning.
I obtained the dummy levers to complete the stock set up on the bars, but opted not to install them. Dummy levers are the black brake levers behind the bar in the picture below. They are called dummy levers because they do not operate brakes. They are in place to provide additional hand holds most typically on drop bars for the stoker on a tandem bicycle. I like the idea of the bicycle being stock, but the dummy levers make no sense to me and look terrible. I will just keep them on hand.
The bicycle is wonderfully minty despite being old enough to view rated R movies. I can’t find a scratch on it except for light marring under the quick release skewers. I removed the front tire while truing the wheel and noted that the tube is marked Bridgestone and has no patches. I don’t know about the rear, but I don’t care enough to remove the tire. Despite plenty of chances to become an expert installer of tubes, I pinch far too many for my comfort. Best leave it alone.
The Shimano chain is surely original and now has two replacement pins. It came with one that was installed improperly, so I shortened the chain by one link and correctly installed two pins. Shimano chains are finicky. Three rules. First, the pins are to be installed on the leading edge of an outer plate in the direction of travel for the chain. That is hard to visualize. See the picture below. Second, replacement pins are only to be installed in place of an original pin. You can’t, that is, replace a replacement pin. Once you replace a pin if you open the chain again you need to do it at a new location. The replacement pins slightly enlarge the holes. If you were to replace a pin in a spot that had already had a replacement pin, the second replacement pin would be more likely to fail. Third, the replacement pins need to extend evenly beyond the edges of the outer plates on both sides. The pin that was in the chain when I got the bicycle was on the trailing edge of the direction of travel and was not evenly protruding. In fact, on one side the face of the link was puckered. I should have taken a picture. It was sketchy. It probably would not have failed, but I needed to shorten the chain anyway. I didn’t like the way it sagged when run on the smallest ring and cog combo. I did the same thing on my 1992 XO-1. After all that, my recommendation is to replace Shimano chains with SRAM chains. They have a master link that makes removal for cleaning so much easier. I kept the Shimano chain only because of my interest in keeping the bicycle stock. If it had signs of any wear, I would have replaced it in a heartbeat.
Chain wear! Do you have a chain wear indicator tool? If not, buy one and use it. A worn chain will wear both the front rings and the rear cogs. Eventually the chain will skip when pedaling hard. To correct it, you need to replace the worn chain, rings and cogs. Very expensive and sometimes difficult to find the parts for vintage bicycles. If you ride a fair amount, check the chain at the beginning and the end of the season. Replace it before it is worn. If you only have one bicycle and ride it regularly, consider replacing the chain once a year. This can cost as little as $15 and will result in a smooth drive train and longer life for your rings and cogs. The other great use for a chain wear tool is to check the condition of a chain before you buy a used bicycle. Knowing that the chain is worn before you buy the bicycle can save a lot of heartache. Just add the tool to your bag when you pedal to garage sales.
Time to bundle up and walk the dog. Not looking forward to it, but the sun is out. Twenty percent chance I will actually enjoy it.