Hi all you awesome bike mechanics!
I'm in a bit of a pinch here. I know absolutely nothing about bike mechanics/nomenclature, but would like to update/re-build my Schwinn Mesa Runner (1984 or 85 model) w/26" wheels and steel frame.
I'm very mechanical (re-build car motors, change brakes/transmissions/shocks/struts/u-joints/etc), but simply don't know bike 'stuff'. I believe i can handle most repairs, though specific-tool tasks will be impossible for me (straightening wheels, etc) as i simply don't own the bike-specific tools.
I use my bike for commuting, utility and exercise (paved/gravel surfaces - *never* in a mountain-bike role). I intend on riding year 'round. I have a rack set up on the back (just added a basket to it tonight!) and will eventually get a heavy-duty rack up front as well.
I'm a Clydesdale, but will be dropping a good bit of wgt. off and am interested in learning the following:
1) How do i know what size "gear cassette (?)" fit my bike? It currently has 12 - i'd like 18 or so (i do like the very simple thumb levers and want to keep 'em if possible)
2) How do i know what size "gear crank-sets (?)" fit my bike?
3) How do i know which of the above components are best for my bike?
4) How do i know if/what size "disc brakes (?)" fit my bike?
OK, that's ALOT.
Thanks in advance for any "piece of the puzzle" you can help with!!!