Luckily help came in the form of my fellow LBC member and navigator extraordinaire, David P who kindly let me borrow the correct tool for the job - a Park Tool BBT-4.
Using this made the process of removing the bottom bracket fairly painless. The previous day I had taken the chain set off and detected that the bottom bracket had quite a grinding sound when turned.
|Quite a sorry looking state
|Not cleaned since the Monopoly Challenge Ride!
When I removed the old bottom bracket I could see that there was a fair amount of surface rust. Giving the now empty space a good clean I put a good amount of good quality grease on the threads to help with the seal.
|In a pretty bad state.
|Not a view I have seen before.
Carefully I inserted the new bottom bracket and using the BBT-4 tightened things up but not too tight. Putting on the new chain set was easy and my first major DIY Brompton work was done.
|Not too badly worn.
Out with the old. Not in too bad a shape, but what do I do with it now?
Going out on a small test run to make sure that all was okay, I have to say the bike felt very good and a great deal better than it has been. The new chain set is a good update and well worth considering. The grinding sounds had gone and pedalling felt smoother.
|All new 2013 chain set.
I have to admit to feeling rather pleased with myself as only a few months ago I am ashamed to report that I didn't know how or have the confidence to repair a puncture, let alone take a wheel off. I have come a long way. For that I have to thank Co-founder of the LBC Mick B who kindly invited me to his home to take me through the basics.
There are a few more jobs to do on my Original Orange Brompton:
New 2013 brake levers to be fitted (when they become available to buy).
New brake cables.
New gear cable.
New derailer cable.
New M-type handlebar.
New black 2013 grips.
Once this has all been done there isn't that much more to do to this bike and I am confident that it will provide many more years of active service. I don't know how many miles I have done in the two and a bit years I have had this bike? It must be quite a bit as I have only used my car on my commute about a dozen times. Added to this all the rides I have been on individually and as part of a group, it must amount to a lot of miles.
This is perhaps one of the great things about buying a Brompton. As new parts and innovations come out the owners of older bikes usually have the option of retrofitting to their existing bicycles. It must be said that you don't have to do this at all but for me the sentimentality of keeping my Original Orange Brompton means that when a good upgrade comes along and it coincides with a part that is in need of replacing anyway, it just seems to make sense to me. Whatever your view, look after your Brompton and it will look after you.