My cranky little problem

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Apr 29, 2021
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I am in the middle of a difficult problem that effects most of my bikes, because most of them are old Romets, the make of bike that almost everyone who was going to ride a bike in communist Poland would have to ride. The company, created from some prewar bicycle companies in the late 1940s, began to fall apart after Communism came to an end in 1989, until they were finally bought out by a new, post-1989 Polish bicycle company, Arkus, probably in 2005.

They are doing very well today.

I have about eight Romets, although if you wandered into my garage in the city or workshop in my village you might think that I have only one. Some people specialise in Romets from the 1940s to the mid 1960s, when they were known as 'ZZR', some people focus in those Romets made between the mid 1960s and 1989, and others choose those modern bikes made since about 2005 or 2010.

For me, it is those made by Romet under another name between 1989 and 2005, or those old Romet bikes made between about 2005 and 2015. Essentially those Romet-made bikes sold by someone else, or made using ex-Romet tooling.


Here is a bike made by Romet, sold under someone else's name. At the moment I do not even know what the Romet model name is, only that it probably dates to around the year 2000.

So, other than the introductory history that I have given above, what is this post about?

The BB

Here are a couple of cranks typically found on a Romet, and the problem is that the two-piece crank on the left no longer has a BB available for it, since they stopped making the crank about six years ago. There is nothing currently available on the market to rebuild the BB, and many of the unmarked Romets were not built that well. I think that there may be a quality bearing kit out there somewhere, but in the meantime I am going to be replacing all my 2-piece cranks with something that fits the hub.


One of my options are cheap hubs like these, which I often find fitted to the bikes that I find dumped or which are given to me. I have already stripped off the cracked plastic in which they were wrapped, cleaned up the poor casting finish and painted.


Here is my supply of old and new BB and fork bearing kits. There is a BB kit marked 'WHITEY' in there, which came off a Dutch bike, and that will be tested to see if it will fit.


So I am going to be stripping out and replacing a few cranks here, and hopefully eventually solving by my problem.
Here are both of my stored 2-piece Romet cranks, and both have damaged inner bearings, which are a snug fit. The crank on the right is off my unknown model of Romet, right after stripping the bike down, where all the bearings except the coaster brake were damaged.

Well, the bike was given to me free.

The crank on the left is relatively unworn and in good condition, so I would like to repair it, while the one on the left has significant tooth wear, but it would have been nice if it did not have one dent on the bush that cracked it...


This is my similar Romet and my Amsterdam frames, similar except that the Amsterdam has a far better build quality.


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