Classic & Vintage - Fixing this bike up for my wife
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05-22-09, 11:13 AM
This is a Columbia Sports III (ladies). I got it for $20 at a flea market. She wanted a 'cruiser-style' bike, not a mountain bike. I wanted to paint it pearl white, but she wants it to be green apple in a "candy apple style" finish.
I will update you when I make changes.
05-22-09, 12:25 PM
Most of those old Columbia bikes weigh a ton, and are endowed with very poor components. While it may be suitable for taking downtown to pick up a half-gallon of milk and a newspaper, I would expect your wife/partner to not want to go on any long rides in the country on these bicycles.
Columbia's were noted, in my stomping-grounds, for being the bicycle of choice to leave outside in the winter to rust and slowly disintegrate. Along with the old washer and the '53 Chevy.
Most of those old Columbia bikes weigh a ton, and are endowed with very poor components...
Well, it probably does weigh a ton, but the components on it are probably serviceable. Is that a Sturmey Archer AW hub? If so, nothing wrong with that! (if it's a Shimano 333, and it gives you trouble, that's a problem). And are those Dia-Compe brakes? Again, nothing wrong with that.
All that said... the paint looks fine to me. In my experience, changing the color does not change the bike enough to be worth the effort.
If the cog on the rear wheel has 18 teeth (as is likely), I would suggest changing it to something bigger, somewhere around 22T. You may have to add a link or two to the chain, but it's really worth it; makes the bike feel a lot lighter.
If you want to do more than that, changing the rims to aluminum ones makes a big difference, both in weight and braking; and if you do that, you might as well change the front hub too, assuming it's a Wald or Union or other cheapie.
05-22-09, 01:24 PM
I love these old things - bulletproof, insanely comfy, and built to last through nuclear winters untold.
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