Hey all! I live up here in the NorthEast and have been out of work for a couple months so with the coming of spring I decided to do something besides losing what little physical fitness I have left to the couch potato lifestyle . I'm only 200 lbs so not hopeless yet ! Anyways I had a $100 department store 21-speed mountain bicycle I bought 15 years ago and rode once so I dragged it out of storage and checked out if it was worth working on. It had spent half it's life outdoors unprotected so had a bit of rust on some hardware but less than I expected. The seat and post had been stored seperately out of the weather so is fine. Half a can of WD40 later it was mostly working. The tires were badly cracked but held air long enough to ride it. Them knobby tires sure didn't roll so well, I had to sit on the ground to recover from almost passing out after that first hill! The rear tire still had about half its air the next day but the front was totally flat. After one more ride I got on the internet to look for new tires and other info. This bike actually had Shimano GS100 components with an elliptical "BioPace" chainwheel set, cassette rear hub and alloy rims so wasn't as hopeless as I feared . I went with Forte City ST tires (1.5x26 road tires) for $7 each with new tubes and I have to say it immediately pedaled twice as easily! I had to nip on down to the local shop for rim straps as they had mostly disintegrated. I originally had a seven speed 13-28 cassette but I found a new SRAM 12-32 on eBay for $5 so put that on. Now I can stay on the 38t front ring for anything around here. I have new brake and shift cables as they are rusted with some strands broken but have only put on the rear shift cable so far as it was sticky and not shifting right. The cable sheaths seem fine and I flushed the rear shift ones out with WD40 and cleaned out the thumb shifter when I replaced the cable and it shifts great now. I took the chain off and soaked it in kerosene as it had gotten caked with mud and a bit rusty being outside all those years. I'm just using WD40 as lube for now.
I added SKS Commuter fenders to it and a Kool Stop Chain Disk to keep my pant cuff out of the chain. I stuck on a $5 computer from eBay for laffs. I'm gonna stick on a $3 seatpost mounted rear rack for now and a mirror I think. I'd like to be able to carry a couple bags of groceries and am thinking about those folding rear side baskets that Wald makes?
Main problem I have is the handlebars are below the seat - I have plenty of seatpost left but ran out of handlebar stem . I don't yet know what to do about that - any (cheap) ideas out there?
Oh, and to complete my intro I stopped riding bicycles when I got my motorcycle license - which I got before my car license (mumble-mumble) years ago. I had a cheap Columbia "English Racer' back then with its 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub. Even with just using one front ring I now have a lower low than that bike did - spent many an hour pushing that POS up hills ! I have a 50cc gas scooter that can do 25 mph up most hills (after mods) for local errands and my 1200cc Harley for burnin' up the asphalt but really need to get in better shape. My car is a Geo Metro, the somewhat rare XFI model that was rated 68 MPG highway - we don't need no stinkin' hybrids ! Speaking of hybrids, I saw on the Tele today that Vespa is coming out with a scooter one in 2009 ...
Oh, and I'm a displaced high tech worker who most recently drove truck for a couple years - guess I shoulda moved to whatever country they shipped my job off to as trucking is hurting now too. You haven't lived until you've changed a 100+ lb tire off and on a 60 lb rim with hand tools - WhooWho!