1971 Dawes Galaxy

1971 Dawes Galaxy
Dawes Galaxy on train platform

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How shall I restore this Dawes Galaxy?

What philosophy should I take with this Dawes Galaxy frameset? Should I restore it to original condition? Should I update it with modern components? Or is there a middle path?

All I have of the original bike is the frameset, the handlebar stem, the crankset and a bottom bracket. I have since found or purchased the Weinmann brakes, and the Simplex Prestige derailleur set, including shifters, that would have been on the bike originally. I also have a backup Nevar crankset.

The Nevar cottered crankset is visually interesting and historically accurate, but it weighs a ton. Should I upgrade to something else that would have been available to the original owner? Or something ├╝ber-licht and technical? Part of the decision has been made for me. The original spindle has been replaced with something else, probably for its last incarnation as a fixie. (shown at top of photo) The original cups seem to me to be too worn to use. Each has the beginning of something, some wear or stress where the bearings ran. It looks like the kind of wear my dad, who first taught me how to work on bikes, would have considered carefully before putting back in the bike. So to keep it original I might need to replace everything, and learn how to install cottered cranks.

The middle path is looking better and better. My parts bin has a Stronglight TS crankset and bottom bracket (shown at bottom of photo) circa 1977. Its the right size and would look nice on the Dawes. I think this restoration will have to be proper to the period, but not original equipment specs. I can restore this bicycle as the original owner would have, as parts wore out, or new touring equipment came on the market. Its very likely the original spec Delrin derailleur might break when I finally get to tour on this bike. In that case I will replace with a better Simplex derailleur—which I think may have been the route taken by many Simplex Prestige owners.

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