Of the many problems the ugly bike had when we bought it, I felt being called a ‘Didgeridoo’ was probably one of the most serious, so with parts on order and making their way slowly from Romania,of all places, we decided to do something about the matter. As usual in our projects, “do something” generally meant “attack the problem with whatever seemed like a good idea at the time.”


We were pretty sure that the letters were stickers, rather than transfers, so we turned on the hairdrier and put it close against the frame.

Fifteen seconds later it overheated and tripped the circuit breakers.

A couple of minutes later we tried again, this time with the hairdryer a more prudent distance away and after what seemed a decent amount of time, I scratched at the sticker with a fingernail. This worked, but ten minutes later only two letters had been removed and so had most of my fingernails. Either we were going to have to work at a rate of two letters a week and allow fingernails to grow back in between or we needed another scraper.


We Started searching for a scraper, and found a Japanese 10 yen coin that I’ve kept for reasons far too boring to go on about here. This proved to be the ideal scraper: sharper corners than European coins, but soft metal so it didn’t damage the frame.

A few minutes getting rid of the sticky remains with a cloth and some cleaning alcohol, and we had:


Next step, sanding the frame and talking someone at work into adding the braze-ons for the gear levers. Of course that means getting the frame into Stuttgart and back, but I’ll think of something…