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  1. #1
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Advice . best handlebars for fixing up a city beater

    Maybe this is not the right forum for this, but the bike I'm working with is from the 80's, so it's kinda on topic. I'm going to fix up a bike for someone who lives in a city where bike theft is problematic. The person has a history of heavy drinking, so I'm going to fix up an old Westpoint dept. store frame w/26" road tires, but I'm not sure what to do about handlebars. The bars on it currently are bmx style bars w/10-speed brake levers mounted to the tops. Sorry I don't have pics, but it's currently a bum bike configuration. I could put regular road bars on it, or keep the current bars and put some strait levers from an old 3-speed on it or put a rusty set of northroads/cruiser type bars I have laying around. The rider is in his 30's, and not so physically fit, partially from age, partially from hard living. I'm tempted to go with the rusty 3-speed bars just to maintain an upright riding style, but keeping the current bars could be ok too. Any thoughts? I don't want to make the bike nice, it's only value should be the ability to take a person from point A to point B. It shouldn't even look like it's worth trading for a 40(oz), of course I can't control what happens to it once it leaves my possession. I do think I'll either fit it with an old bent-up wald basket or a crappy rack, but I'm not sure which, the person says they'll use it for transportation to and from work. I do want to make the bike as safe as possible. It will be given with a cheap cable lock and a helmet. Any advice is welcome.

    *edit* oh, also the bike is missing the shifters. I will likely fit it with stem shifters because that's what I have laying around, or if I get lucky I'll be able to salvage some crappy falcon thumb shifters... in any case it will be friction.
    Last edited by BigPolishJimmy; 07-16-10 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    don't take offense to this but it sounds like your time would be better spent staging an intervention with your friend than building him a bike to get ****faced on, crash, and kill himself. whatever you do, give the bike some semblance of style. You don't want to make your friend feel like a bigger loser than he already does. the fact is, it doesn't matter if it looks like total crap, if it's left unlocked and somebody on foot that is tired of walking sees it, it's gonna be taken.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    No offense taken, this is not my friend, but I've been obligated, and so it will be done. The intervention was 10-years ago, didn't help, you can lead a horse to water... Still what you say has merit, I'll put my feelings on the matter aside and make the most of what I can from my bike pile. I would guess the bike was originally a 10-speed road bike with curved bars and I can make it that again. It would have the most style like that, but my gut is telling me a heads up configuration is better for the sidewalk riding that's likely to take place. I also have a decent set of kalloy hybrid-type bars--not flat, but with a bit of a rise--from a mountain bike-like-object that would work. I suppose if I put the drop bars on and kept the stem high and made sure the turkey legs work well, that would also promote an upright riding position too. hmmm.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    I'd go with the rusty northroads. I suppose you're talking about Detroit, where it will probably be stolen anyhow.

    I think hobbies are one of the best ways to beat alcoholism. When you drink as much as this fella probably does, and you stop even for one day, there's a lot of downtime, and that's dangerous. Cycling, martial arts, going to the gym or midnight basketball could easily be the key out of this guy's coffin. Or going to school for an associate's degree or a GED, or PhD or whatever. On this I speak from a wealth of experience.

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