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  1. #1
    Senior Member toegnix's Avatar
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    Riding a 20 yr old clunker to work

    I have a cool story I thought I'd share.

    I ride a ~20 year old Nishiki road bike to work. Just 3 miles round trip, but it's commuting.

    Some of the parts have changed (for example, I put some old 105 brake levers on it), but it's still the original Nishiki frame. The coolest thing is it used to be the bike my brother rode to junior high and high school. It had some time off, but it's back to work getting me back to work. I'm glad we kept it around.

    I love bicycles.

    [Edited 14 MAY 2009 to include a photo of my commuting beauty!]
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    Last edited by toegnix; 05-14-09 at 10:27 AM. Reason: added photo
    Anthony -- [this signature neutered by BF]
    I'D LIKE YOU TO SEE MY BIKE STUFF --> http://www.imadm.com/

  2. #2
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
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    Unlike cars, there's not a damn thing wrong with a 20 year old bike. Or a 50 year old one, for that matter. If I still had the old Firestone single speed I grew up with, I'd still ride it.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by toegnix View Post
    I have a cool story I thought I'd share.

    I ride a ~20 year old Nishiki road bike to work. Just 3 miles round trip, but it's commuting.

    Some of the parts have changed (for example, I put some old 105 brake levers on it), but it's still the original Nishiki frame. The coolest thing is it used to be the bike my brother rode to junior high and high school. It had some time off, but it's back to work getting me back to work. I'm glad we kept it around.

    I love bicycles.
    I still have access to my '79 or '80 model Raleigh bike (you can see it here: My predicament)

    I would love to get back riding it. To me, an older bike which shares a history with you is something special. You are a fortunate man. :-)

    -Jon

  4. #4
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    40205 'ViLLeBiLLie
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    Sngl Spd's, 70's- 80's vintage, D-tube Folder
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    I cycle though bikes like crazy just.......because ?!?!?
    I ALWAYS end up with the 25-30 year old stovepiper(cheepo) and
    wonder why I keep bothering with other stuff.
    My current 28-30 year old Ross feels like an old friend.
    Comfortable, strong as Festus Hagens Mule and parts available
    at K-Mart. What more could you want !
    Old bikes are GREAT !

  5. #5
    Senior Member rugerben's Avatar
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    My mom doesn't use it for commuting, but back in May I restored her old Motobecane Grand Jubile Mixte. It's a 1982 model. It had probably been ridden 100 miles and then put in the basement. It was covered in gunky, sticky, nastiness, with hardened grease in the chain and whatnot. after an afternoon with Ben, the bike turned into this: (the guys in C&V were drooling when I posted these)





    It could be ridden around today just like it could 26 years ago when it was new. Old bikes are great like that. Awesome values. I see them all the time on CL for $75-$150. For cheaper than an X-mart bike, you get a bike that will last the next 100 years.
    MOLON LABE

  6. #6
    Cheese toThinkistoBe's Avatar
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    I love my '89 Trek 520. Just need to find a backup bike now...
    "Physics makes us all its *****es."

  7. #7
    Needing more power Scotty riddei's Avatar
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    2006 Trek T-80 (commuter) 1982 Bianchi SS (classic 12 speed)
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    Here is my 1982 Bianchi that a just did a half-century on this morning. I bought it in 83' as a leftover when I was 14. It is now my daily (good-weather) commuter. I wouldn't sell it for a thousand dollars.
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    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=60371&dateline=1202849788[/SIGPIC]

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I still occasionally ride the bike my dad gave me from the late 70s or early 80s. An All-Pro 10-speed.



    I swapped out the old hard plastic grips for some nice new foam handlebar tape, and adjusted it to fit me better. It rides pretty nicely, but I only take it out occasionally because my Giant Kronos is a much faster and smoother ride. This bike is fixing for a good overhaul of the bearings, new tires, and a better seat and it'll be smooth as day one.

  9. #9
    Surf Bum
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    Vintage Trek, Vintage Diamond Back Mountain Bike, Bianchi Axis CrossBike
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Unlike cars, there's not a damn thing wrong with a 20 year old bike.
    There's not necessarily anything wrong with old cars either. If you're going to have one, might as well have one that's beautiful and a pleasure to drive. My only car is a 40 year-old Italian convertible.

  10. #10
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
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    My 31 year old Schwinn Le Tour II. Built the year I graduated high school, rescued from a dumpster earlier this year and now my commuter for my 10 mile round trip to work and back.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    On Friday and Saturday I rode my 1948 Rudge Whitworth Roadster and my 1933 CCM Rambler to the shop... they are everything a decent commuter should be in that they are comfortable, smooth, and surprisingly fast once you get them rolling.

  12. #12
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)
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    Here are a couple of my clunkers I ride to work.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    stringbreaker- Those are hideous and I suppose you don't have to worry about those being stolen.


  14. #14
    Reeks of aged cotton duck Hydrated's Avatar
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    2008 Kogswell PR mkII, 1976 Raleigh Professional, 1996 Serotta Atlanta, 1984 Trek 520, 1979 Raleigh Comp GS, 1995 Trek 950, 1979 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
    You really ought to avoid parking your bike in front of trucks like that!
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.-Aristotle

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post

    My 31 year old Schwinn Le Tour II. Built the year I graduated high school, rescued from a dumpster earlier this year and now my commuter for my 10 mile round trip to work and back.
    I love that! I have an old Raleigh in my garage getting ready for a second life. I picked it up from the recycling pile at the dumps. It was about to be melted.

    My current commuter is a '75 Peugeot from a yard sale.

    I love bikes.

  16. #16
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Picking up a Le Tour III tomorrow for a commuter project.
    Andrew

    Life On Two Wheels

    Car free, one day at a time...

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by politicalgeek View Post
    Picking up a Le Tour III tomorrow for a commuter project.
    nice. post pics!

  18. #18
    nashcommguy
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    Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300
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    There's nothing like the satisfaction of bringing an old bike back to rideable condidtion. Recently(within the last year), I've done 2 complete rebuild/conversions w/20+ year old bikes. One was an 85 C'Dale SR300 and the other is a 70s Fuji Del-Rey. Had them both sb and pc, The Cdale I made into a 1x8 w/bar-end shifting and the Fuji into a singlespeed. Really fun projects. Either could've been done w/o the re-painting, but they both look real clean. No decals and the Fuji doesn't have any wb or rack braze-ons. Used the same Sugino 103mm sealed track bb for both. I've had the Fuji over 20 years and the C'dale was a 20.00 garage sale find. I've another bike that's a 90s Specialized Crossroads hybrid I paid 60.00 for and upgraded the bb w/a Shimano cartridge and replaced the chain, cassette and cables. It's a hoss. Got airless tires and I only ride it as a last resort.

    Gotta love old bikes.

  19. #19
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I rode a 1983 Nishiki Olympic 12 to work for about 6 months this year (I was cycle commuting about 1/3 of the time at the point). I bought it new in '84, and it was just hanging around in the garage when my work site changed I was suddenly less than 10 miles from work.



    The second time out, I hit the end of a sidewalk and went over the handlebars. I bent the fork back far enough that the tire was behind the down tube. The down tube itself was buckled a bit just behind the head tube. I bent the fork back and continued to ride it until I finally got a replacement for it at the end of August (which happened to be another Nishiki):



    I also happened to pick up a 1960s Raleigh 3-speed, and I've ridden that to work too:



    So, yeah, I know about riding old bikes.
    Last edited by Doohickie; 10-07-08 at 08:55 AM.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  20. #20
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
    You really ought to avoid parking your bike in front of trucks like that!
    Oh that old thing its just a 77 Schwinn Volare that someone stripped the paint off. Its my favorite bike of all 7 of my own it rides like a dream. I don't worry about someone stealing them. I park my bike at my workbench so its safe.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  21. #21
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by slloth View Post
    nice. post pics!
    Yup can't wait. I'm trading my hybrid for the Le Tour.
    Andrew

    Life On Two Wheels

    Car free, one day at a time...

  22. #22
    perpetually frazzled mickey85's Avatar
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    1977 Bridgestone Kabuki Super Speed; 1979 Raleigh Professional; 1983 Raleigh Rapide mixte; 1974 Peugeot UO-8; 1993 Univega Activa Trail; 1972 Raleigh Sports; 1967 Phillips; 1981 Schwinn World Tourist; 1976 Schwinn LeTour mixte; 1964 Western Flyer
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    Heck, my commuter (admittedly, at this point only 2-3 days/week) is a "sheffield" Free Spirit that was my grandfather's bike. I think in the past month, I've ridden it more than he ever did. Swapped out the crappy mustache handlebars for drops, got a comfy seat, and ride it 20 miles a day at least.

  23. #23
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    After reading this thread commuting newbies might come to understand the true value
    of the older bikes that were so well made they last for decades!

    A little elbow grease, some love and vision to see what these bikes are yet today will get a newbie
    a swell ride that might just last them a few more decades.

    I seriously doubt that many production bikes built today will last for decades 'cause they really
    don't "build bikes like they used to".
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  24. #24
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Seattle, Washington, USA
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    2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom, 1985 Univega Gran Turismo; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
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    After restoring the 25-year-old Univega in my signature line this summer, I sold my 2006 Trek 520; the Univega is now my daily commuter. It's got relaxed touring geometry; plenty of clearance for fenders and big tires; commuter-friendly gearing with its triple crankset; and a rugged frame that holds up well to carrying loads. It has horizontal dropouts, too -- some day I may build up a rear wheel with an internal hub and give that a try. After I finished restoring it, I figured I didn't need the new Trek 520 any more.

    The old Stumpjumper in my signature line is morphing into my winter commuter -- an idea I picked up on BF. So far I have less than $300 invested in the bike: $100 for the bike; new Marathon tires; new brake pads; fenders; rack; a $17 Nashbar trekking bar; a couple of new cables; handlebar tape. It's already a much better bike than anything you can pick up for under $500 at the LBS, and with an extra set of tires around it's still off-road capable. I believe it's also very tour-capable; the geometry is not that far off from today's touring bikes.

    Craigslist is filled with two kinds of old bikes that make great commuters:

    - Japanese bikes from the 80's (double-butted frames, good to excellent quality components)
    - Old mountain bikes that are easy conversions to tough city commuters
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 10-06-08 at 11:47 AM.

  25. #25
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    IRO Mark V, Karate Monkey half fat, Trek 620 IGH, Cannondale 26/24 MTB, Amp Research B3, and more.
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    I commute on two bikes. One is a Cross Check, and the other is an old Trek 620 touring bike with canti's. I have it set up with a 7 speed Nexus hub and flat bars. Very nice ride.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
    --------------------------
    SB forever

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