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  1. #1
    Challenger 1988 Vincent100's Avatar
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    Advice on my 1988 challenger touring bike

    Hello, I have a 1988 challenger touring bike which my dad gave me. Its around 20 years old and has see quite a lot of action. Well I was looking to replace some parts on the bike like the chain rings (as they are a little worn out), the chain, front derailleur, cogset, back and front breaks, wheels, seat, crank arms and pedals and maybe the gear changers (they are the old style ones which are on the down tube) Also i am quite a novice when it comes to bikes and not sure which parts are the best and if they will even fit a 23 year old bike. I will try and get some photos up so you know what your looking at soon, I was just hoping that someone could possibly help me out and the bike, because at the moment it isn't in the best of shapes. I think the bike is great and I fear the old parts will give out and wreck the bike. At the moment the right pedal keeps seizing up, breaks don't always work well, the gear system doesn't feel write and sometimes changes gears on its own. I have already replaced the old rear derailleur after an incident of sorts, any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    You did not mention the Make - is it a Lotus Challenger perchance?
    If so finding parts for it will not be so difficult - though I suspect that at least some of those you mentioned could be R&R'd rather than replaced.
    - Auchen

  3. #3
    Challenger 1988 Vincent100's Avatar
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    oh my bad, its funny, i ride that bike everyday and yet i never really looked too closely at the name, I got that info from my dad. From looking at some pictures it looks like it is but I can't be sure I would have to check. At the moment though my bike is quite far away from me and i can't (ya know, came home for Christmas). Anyway it looks as though it might be that bike. thx for the help about the parts, still not quite sure on what I should refurbish and replace, I'll get a load of pics up soon, ty

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    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent100 View Post
    oh my bad, its funny, i ride that bike everyday and yet i never really looked too closely at the name, I got that info from my dad. From looking at some pictures it looks like it is but I can't be sure I would have to check. At the moment though my bike is quite far away from me and i can't (ya know, came home for Christmas). Anyway it looks as though it might be that bike. thx for the help about the parts, still not quite sure on what I should refurbish and replace, I'll get a load of pics up soon, ty
    Get some good clear pics of any labels as well as the components - there's a lot of people here who are pretty competent to advise on what you can do to get it in shape.
    - Auchen

  5. #5
    Challenger 1988 Vincent100's Avatar
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    thx for all the help, I will do my best

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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    You did not mention the Make - is it a Lotus Challenger perchance?
    If so finding parts for it will not be so difficult - though I suspect that at least some of those you mentioned could be R&R'd rather than replaced.
    I notice the OP is in the UK, so it's unlikely to be a Lotus. Regardless, given the era, obtaining parts should not be a problem. I agree that many of the parts probably do not need replacing. For instance, the brakes can likely be brought back up to performance with new pads, cables and housing. If all the listed parts truly do need replacing, he may be better off searching out another used bicycle. Still , pics are required, as he may have a diamond in the rough.

  7. #7
    Challenger 1988 Vincent100's Avatar
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    yeah i just talked to my dad this morning and he said it wasn't a lotus, and combined with what you said... I have no idea. It looks as though the frame is solid and good, my m8 is a biking enthusiast and he said it was pretty good, not sure its a diamond in the rough though . You are probably right about the parts, i thought when they get old its just better to replace them than refurbish them, but I don't know much lol. I definately think the pedals need replacing as the right one seizes up and all that stuff you said t-mar I thinks needs to be done as well. Really appreciate the help guys, ty pics coming soon lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent100 View Post
    Hello, I have a 1988 challenger touring bike which my dad gave me. Its around 20 years old and has see quite a lot of action. Well I was looking to replace some parts on the bike like the chain rings (as they are a little worn out), the chain, front derailleur, cogset, back and front breaks, wheels, seat, crank arms and pedals and maybe the gear changers (they are the old style ones which are on the down tube) Also i am quite a novice when it comes to bikes and not sure which parts are the best and if they will even fit a 23 year old bike. I will try and get some photos up so you know what your looking at soon, I was just hoping that someone could possibly help me out and the bike, because at the moment it isn't in the best of shapes. I think the bike is great and I fear the old parts will give out and wreck the bike. At the moment the right pedal keeps seizing up, breaks don't always work well, the gear system doesn't feel write and sometimes changes gears on its own. I have already replaced the old rear derailleur after an incident of sorts, any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance
    Chances are there are very few original parts that can't if necessary be replaced with stuff that's easily available. I'd worry about spending too much money replacing parts that are really just fine, once overhauled.

    I'd suggest you get a decent book on bike mechanics that discusses how to overhaul brakes, bottom brackets, and wheel bearings, and how to check and adjust the truing of wheels.

    Going away from down tube shifters can get intricate - you should break this project up into stages and attack them one at a time, learning as you go.

    Actual breakage of old parts is not common even under the worst of conditions. About the only thing that could break to damage the frame is that the rear derailleur could break or be out of adjustment and tangle in the spokes. This can result in bending the frame, but it's repairable in a steel (this is most likely steel) frame.

    But, please get pictures - we can definitely advise you as to what to keep and what not to.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
    I notice the OP is in the UK, so it's unlikely to be a Lotus. Regardless, given the era, obtaining parts should not be a problem. I agree that many of the parts probably do not need replacing. For instance, the brakes can likely be brought back up to performance with new pads, cables and housing. If all the listed parts truly do need replacing, he may be better off searching out another used bicycle. Still , pics are required, as he may have a diamond in the rough.
    And with caliper overhaul and lubing.

  10. #10
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    Pedal that sieze are a bearing issue. Provided the races aren't damaged, you can get by with just new bearings.

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