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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-13-08, 03:35 PM   #1
nickicha
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Is the bike worth fixing?

I know this is a very novice question, but I hope to learn quickly and not bug you too much
I've never had my own bike before ... don't ask... so it's very exciting

I saved a bike from going to the landfill, however now I wanted to know if it's hopeless or too expensive.

When I measured the wheel, it was a bit over 25', I'm not sure what this means.. Is it 26' bike?

I need to replace the tires + tubes, that's about 2*15 + 2*5= $40 CAD.
The rear wheel, when rotating touches the frame, it's that bent, so I guess I need a new wheel - $35.

The front one only touches the brakes when rotates, so probably could be fixed a bit..

Do you think the bike is worth fixing or not? If it's at the break-even point, I guess by fixing it I could learn a bit.. Or should I start with some decent $50 or $100 used bike..

There's a bike that I really like at Costco, hybrid something, similar size, for $299 CAD, but then I'd be worried someone might steal it... I'm northern suburbs of Toronto.

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Old 05-13-08, 04:17 PM   #2
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I wouldn't put any money into that bike. I'm thinking that the previous owner knew what it was worth.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:50 PM   #3
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I wouldn't put any money into that bike. I'm thinking that the previous owner knew what it was worth.
+1
Looking at the one piece cranks etc., it appears to have been a lower quality bike when new. It's the old "silk purse/sows ear" scenario.
By the time you spend $10-20 here and $20-30 there...., you'll have way too much into it. You can do much better by watching Craigslist etc. and "pouncing" when the opportunity arises. Just be patient.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:51 PM   #4
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That bike has 27" wheels, and is a bottom of the line cheapie. Not worth much at all, but if you can get it rolling then there you go.
Why do you think you need new tires? Those look OK to me. The rim strip in the front wheel is broken, but a new one of those is $1 - or you could just use a layer or 2 of electrical tape.
A bike that has been sitting around for a long time will naturally lose pressure in the tires/tubes. Most of the time, you just need to pump them up again and they're fine. And the rear wheel can probably be straightened out.
You don't need to pay more than $10 each for basic 27" tires. And $5 for a tube is a little on the expensive side. $35 for a steel rear wheel is overpriced - my shop has alloy ones for cheaper than that.
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Old 05-13-08, 04:55 PM   #5
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That is ancient.
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Old 05-13-08, 06:01 PM   #6
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Is the rear wheel out of true (one section deviates a bit out of alignment) or is it just mounted crookedly in the drops? If it rubs against the chain stay (the arm of the frame) all the time, it is just mounted crookedly and can easily be shifted into alignment by loosening the axle bolts, pushing the rim to the centre while pulling the axle back in the slots, and then re tightening the bolts.

If only one section of the rim rubs, the wheel is out of true. You might be able to true the wheels yourself and since the bike is free there is no downside. Basically spin the wheel a few times and identify the section of wheel that is bent out of line. Mark that section lightly with pencil or something to remind you where it is. Then you slowly and carefully tighten the spokes on one side of the hub and loosen the ones on the other side, in that section of rim, pulling the bent section of rim into line with the rest of the wheel. If the wheel bends to the right, you tighten the spokes on the left and loosen the ones on the right. Between adjustments, keep spinning the wheel and assessing your progress. You tighten the spokes by turning the "Spoke nipples" where the spokes enter the rim, one quarter turn at a time.

That was a quick and dirty explanation. Here is the master's version: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/truing.html from the late esteemed Sheldon Brown.

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Old 05-13-08, 09:05 PM   #7
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If you spend $40 on that bike, you will have roughly 4 times it's value invested and it still will not work as well as a department store bike - not that I'm recommending that as an alternative. It was suggested above that you look instead at decent used bikes that are more serviceable and would last much longer for slightly more money. In the end, you would be happier and get far more enjoyment. Sorry to disappoint and I know you want to save this one from the gallows but ulimately, it would serve the cycling community best by being recycled into new steel for a new bike.
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Old 05-13-08, 09:49 PM   #8
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'nuff said.
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Old 05-14-08, 02:35 PM   #9
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The rear wheel touching the frame is common and probably repairable, as is the front. The tires look fine. try airing them up slowly. If they leak see if you can feel it comming out around the valve. If so a few bucks in a stem remover and some stems will probably do the trick. This is a good investment if you will work on bikes in the future. I have had several old tires leak and the stems where just loose. That bike looks like with bath (maybe polish), relubing, and a little straightening out of the wheels she could have many more years left in her. She would be a great bike to learn on. Check those brake pads before you ride. they can look fine and work terrible. Not expensive to fix. Probably only a buck or two for four. I recommend riding most bikes before you write them off. I had an old 3 speed huffy I picked up free for parts. Was usable. Happen to have it with me and wanted to stop for a quick ride. Never took a part off except to grease. Still riding and loving it.
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Old 05-14-08, 02:39 PM   #10
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That bike has a few redeeming qualities, though maybe not for you. It has a crank style very conducive to changing to a singlespeed or fixed gear. It is not a good quality bike, but I refuse to suggest any bike that is fixable is worthless.

If you can find a bike that's ready to go for less than what it would cost for you to fix it, I'd try selling it. As I said, someone would probably take as a build project. You could put the money toward a bike in better shape.
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Old 05-14-08, 03:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nickicha View Post

The rear wheel, when rotating touches the frame, it's that bent, so I guess I need a new wheel - $35.
Looking at the third photo, it seems that the right seat stay tube is bent where the paint is scratched.
That can be the reason of the wheel misalignment. You can try to unbend it.
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Old 05-14-08, 03:42 PM   #12
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Looking at the third photo, it seems that the right seat stay tube is bent where the paint is scratched.
That can be the reason of the wheel misalignment. You can try to unbend it.

Okay, I looked closely at that picture. You have several broken rear spokes. They are cheap to repair but you need a special tool to remove the rear gear clusters, and the freewheel may be so tightly locked to the hub from use and rust that it may be close to impossible to remove. This is not a great bike but it might be usefull for learning repair skills. If you don't want to learn how to do a bunch of repairs, toss the bike - it's starting to look like way more trouble than it's worth.

Last edited by cooker; 05-14-08 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 05-14-08, 04:29 PM   #13
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If you have plenty of garage space hang that bike on the wall and get a better one to ride. At some point, if you need to do major repair work on the newer bike and you want to attempt it yourself, practise on the red one first!
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Old 05-14-08, 04:32 PM   #14
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It is not a good quality bike, but I refuse to suggest any bike that is fixable is worthless.
Yeah, there is always potential sentimental or DIY project value. Value not measured in $$$ (or $CAD).
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Old 05-14-08, 05:56 PM   #15
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if you could do it yourself with used parts id say go, but personally i dont think that bike is even worth the cost of a new chain and its certianly going to need one of those. picture in your mind the ammound of money that you were willing to comfortably drop on fixing this steamer,, and then go to craigslist with that nuimber in mind.
you will probably find something thats better and already working. my opinion.
when searching for bikes, if you can afford it, id stay away from cheap or ancient bikes like this. anything with one piece cranks is a giveaway,, generally going to weigh a thousand pounds and probably feel like garbage.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:15 PM   #16
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the wheels are 26 3/8 not 27 .the wheels can be true. yes new rubber all the way around ,new chain. new cables ,brake shoes . clean up the crank arms with steel wool.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:28 PM   #17
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I would donate to the thrift store of your choice. It is not worth fixing, unless you just want to practice. You are better off investing time in a fixer that has some redeeming value. If this bike was in pristine condition, it would still have very little value. By donating it to the thrift store, you will help them make a little income off of it (assuming someone buys it) and perhaps someone with spare parts would buy it just to play around with it.
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Old 05-14-08, 08:37 PM   #18
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People - there's no way he's going to be able to fix those broken drive-side spokes on the rear wheel. Who knows what freewheel tool fits it? Can it even be unscrewed, or is it permanently fused to the hub and would have to be destroyed to be removed?
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Old 05-15-08, 02:15 AM   #19
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Looks like the rims are alloy.. would say there 700c. But cant see numbers on them.

The bike has centrepulls. So would say its late 70s to early 80s.

With so many broken spokes on an old wheel I think the freewheel will be very difficult to remove. Plus the wheel may flex out of shape while doing so.
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Old 05-15-08, 06:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I wouldn't put any money into that bike. I'm thinking that the previous owner knew what it was worth.
That is cruel Retro. It would make a nice budget single speed. The Ashtabula crank is heavy as heck but indestructable. Give it a shot.

Tim
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Old 05-15-08, 10:20 AM   #21
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If you have plenty of garage space hang that bike on the wall and get a better one to ride. At some point, if you need to do major repair work on the newer bike and you want to attempt it yourself, practise on the red one first!
It's cheaper than a college course on bike repair! And just as helpful!
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Old 05-15-08, 09:30 PM   #22
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if you can do the work yourself, then it might be worth it. If you have to pay someone to do it, give it away or throw it back into the trash.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:52 PM   #23
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That is cruel Retro. It would make a nice budget single speed. The Ashtabula crank is heavy as heck but indestructable. Give it a shot.

Tim
I agree. I've saved bikes that were in far worse shape. And single speeds are all the rage now. The local college kids snap 'em up.
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Old 05-16-08, 11:53 AM   #24
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I'd never say it belongs in a landfill if it's rideable or can be made so with minimal expense. That's what places like Working Bikes in Chicago do, then put them in the hands of people whose lives are greatly improved by having transportation. But fixing it up for your own purposes is another matter. You have choices, and I think you could make a better one. Look for a bargain on a mid-range vintage bike and fix that up. It's much more satisfying to work on one that has even slightly better quality components.
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Old 05-19-08, 08:01 AM   #25
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Sell on craigslist for $5.
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