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Old 06-24-08, 09:18 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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My poor neglected beater bike

About 18 months ago I purchased a Trek 820 MTB for $50 for use as an about town bike from my office. Intent was to leave it locked up on campus, in an outdoor rack. The bike was well used, the previous owner, a woman, had used it in mountain bike races in Alaska. She left a $100+ Terry Fly Ti saddle on it, which I moved to my primary bike and loved it. So I considered the rest of the bike to be a freebie.

I did use it about 10 times last year. Then got away from it when our cold, icy winter swept in. I had it locked in a rack that was under a roof, but it was buried in snow drifts from time to time.

This Spring I admit that I never got around to cleaning it up. I walked past it on occasion to check to see if it was still there, but never even touched it until today. So it had been 8 months since I had even laid hands on it.

I found it dusty, dirty, rusty, and there were cobwebs on the frame. I felt bad when I saw that. So I cleaned it up, lubricated it, filled the tires, adjusted the brakes a little, and took it on a 4-5 mile spin. It ran well. But there's a lot more rust on it than when I got it ... some on the handlebars, several of the screws are badly rusted, the cables, and the chain. Cleaned that up some, but it needs more TLC. At least it doesn't look like it has been abandoned.

Don't know why I didn't get to it sooner. I walk past it every day to/from my parking lot.
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Old 06-24-08, 09:31 PM   #2
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About 18 months ago I purchased a Trek 820 MTB for $50 for use as an about town bike from my office. Intent was to leave it locked up on campus, in an outdoor rack. The bike was well used, the previous owner, a woman, had used it in mountain bike races in Alaska. She left a $100+ Terry Fly Ti saddle on it, which I moved to my primary bike and loved it. So I considered the rest of the bike to be a freebie.

I did use it about 10 times last year. Then got away from it when our cold, icy winter swept in. I had it locked in a rack that was under a roof, but it was buried in snow drifts from time to time.

This Spring I admit that I never got around to cleaning it up. I walked past it on occasion to check to see if it was still there, but never even touched it until today. So it had been 8 months since I had even laid hands on it.

I found it dusty, dirty, rusty, and there were cobwebs on the frame. I felt bad when I saw that. So I cleaned it up, lubricated it, filled the tires, adjusted the brakes a little, and took it on a 4-5 mile spin. It ran well. But there's a lot more rust on it than when I got it ... some on the handlebars, several of the screws are badly rusted, the cables, and the chain. Cleaned that up some, but it needs more TLC. At least it doesn't look like it has been abandoned.

Don't know why I didn't get to it sooner. I walk past it every day to/from my parking lot.
I'm calling the authorities. That's just plain abuse!
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Old 06-24-08, 09:35 PM   #3
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Shame on you!! It probably felt unloved all that time but it still loved you. It still rode nice for you didn't it?

Unconditional love. *sigh*
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Old 06-24-08, 09:42 PM   #4
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I'm not sure it even likes me, much less loves me. It is like an old race horse, sold off in its later years to serve out its last years pulling a wagon.
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Old 06-24-08, 10:07 PM   #5
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I've got a 1991 820 Antelope I picked up for $20.
I've swapped a few parts off it, so it's definitely paid for itself.
It sits in the garage and maybe gets ridden about 6 blocks every other month.
I kind of feel guilty, but it was gotten as a back up. I've got my 86 Rockhopper set up for me, so the TREK will just continue to sit. Some day I might have a flat on the Hopper and need to call the TREK into action.
Now I feel so guilty, I guess it'll get 6 more blocks put on it!
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Old 06-25-08, 12:27 PM   #6
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I don't feel overly bad about this bike. I have no history with it. The person who had the history beat the crap out of it. It is all scratched up, it has multiple bumper stickers adorning the frame, the shock fork is nearly shot ... it bottoms out on potholes. But it still rides fine. I use it as a 4-speed. Always leave it in the middle front ring and I use gears 3-6 (out of 7) on the rear.

But I do plan to continue to clean it up a bit and ride it now and then. If the cables or chain rusts too badly, then I'll unlock it and leave a "Free for the taking" sign on it. I keep it locked, but I'm not sure I need to. I doubt anyone would bother to steal it even if it were unlocked.
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Old 06-25-08, 12:43 PM   #7
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Old 06-25-08, 01:25 PM   #8
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At least it is just about theft proof now..........
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Old 06-25-08, 01:31 PM   #9
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That battle weary beast deserves to be properly cleaned up and moved into your
office so it can remain close to you and it can "Feel the Love" that every bike
thrives on.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:45 PM   #10
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Don't walk, run to get it back in good stead. The humble 820 is one of the world's premier beater bikes. It will happily survive a crash that kills its owner and then soldier on for another two decades. Good bike, good friend, a plowhorse worthy of the effort.
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Old 06-25-08, 02:01 PM   #11
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I'm not allowed to store it in my office. That is the crux of the issue. If I were allowed to store a bike in my office, I would have brought my Bridgestone CB-1 to the office years ago.
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Old 06-25-08, 02:38 PM   #12
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I'm not allowed to store it in my office. That is the crux of the issue. If I were allowed to store a bike in my office, I would have brought my Bridgestone CB-1 to the office years ago.
Ouch. I've got the same problem here at the plant. In the busted bike rack
out by the gate just seems like a crumby place to leave my trusty ride.
It sucks to be us sometimes.
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Old 06-25-08, 02:45 PM   #13
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Unlock it and let someone steal it. They might use it.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:18 PM   #14
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Using BikePedia, I see that the 820 had a rigid fork up through 1999. Mine is a 2001 whose low-end suspension fork has been pounded to near death. Would be nicer if it were rigid. Those late 90's models look nice.
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Old 06-25-08, 09:20 PM   #15
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The earlier ones used decent chromoly for frame tubes. The later ones were hi-ten crap.
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Old 06-25-08, 10:27 PM   #16
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Yeah, I noticed that. Mine is 100% hi-ten crap. But that's okay, as I essentially paid $50 for the Terry saddle and the bike was free. This is why I don't feel a lot of guilt about letting it get away from me. But I do hope to get out on it about once a week for the rest of the summer.

A '93 was lugged cro-moly. I would deserve a whipping if I let that rust up.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:56 PM   #17
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The rust is the bike crying because it misses you. Show it some love!
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Old 06-26-08, 12:25 AM   #18
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See? If you had a Rubbermaid Bike Butler, you'd be in good shape.

You know, the Bike Butler could have an even tinier footprint if the owners took the front wheel off.
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Old 06-26-08, 12:26 AM   #19
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Keeping the rust off of a steel bike, that has a lot of scratches and stays outside 365x24, is difficult.
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Old 06-26-08, 12:27 AM   #20
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You know, the Bike Butler could have an even tinier footprint if the owners took the front wheel off.
The Bike Butler has a front wheel?
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Old 06-26-08, 12:59 AM   #21
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A '93 was lugged cro-moly. I would deserve a whipping if I let that rust up.
True dat.
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Old 06-26-08, 01:56 AM   #22
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I don't feel overly bad about this bike. I have no history with it. The person who had the history beat the crap out of it. It is all scratched up, it has multiple bumper stickers adorning the frame, the shock fork is nearly shot ... it bottoms out on potholes. But it still rides fine. I use it as a 4-speed. Always leave it in the middle front ring and I use gears 3-6 (out of 7) on the rear.

But I do plan to continue to clean it up a bit and ride it now and then. If the cables or chain rusts too badly, then I'll unlock it and leave a "Free for the taking" sign on it. I keep it locked, but I'm not sure I need to. I doubt anyone would bother to steal it even if it were unlocked.
Mine sounds similar. Lots of scratches. ALL the cable ends splayed out etc.
The shifters didn't work. Front was revived with a couple soakingd with WD40, PO tried to "repair" the front, so it was replaced with a friction shifter from a RoadMaster.
I found it on CL. Contacted the guy and he was just potting it in his truck to haul to Goodwill. Since I lived on his way there, I got free delivery and he got $20, sight unseen.
It had a Free Hub, so that's now on my "Hopper.
I actually took it out last night and rode 12 BLOCKS, because I was feeling so guilty! I also remembered I have to do something about those brakes
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Old 06-26-08, 08:49 AM   #23
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So I considered the rest of the bike to be a freebie.
That says it all in this sordid tale of woe. I'm glad to see you've attempted to make amends.
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Old 07-01-08, 12:20 PM   #24
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The poor ol' beater has seen action twice more since the first post. Still needs some attention, but at least the wheels are going around now & then.
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Old 07-01-08, 03:13 PM   #25
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Keeping the rust off of a steel bike, that has a lot of scratches and stays outside 365x24, is difficult.
Where does it spend "Leap Day"? If it can be there on that one day, why not the
other 365?

My 820 is an '88, I believe. You're right about those earlier bikes. I use mine as a year 'round commuter and it is one tuff "Son of a Bike".

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