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  1. #1
    aspiring bicyclist Shinjiboy's Avatar
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    Buying new/Fixing a Scrapper

    I just wanted to know what option would be best for a novice like me: fixing my friend's ~1981 Miyata or buying a fresh new bike from the LBS?

    I plan to spend under $100 to purchase the bike from my friend and slowly work at replace components until it is a proper ride. It is a single speed bike and I've only ridden it once. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    Is the Miyata rideable right now? If it is, then go for it. If it needs work before you can even ride it, then realistically, you might want to ask yourself whether you'll have the time or inclination to work on it and whether an immediately-rideable bike might be a better value for you right now.

    Personally, I love old bikes and my vote would go toward the Miyata, but I also have a really bad habit of never finishing projects myself, so I know how that can go.

    Is it a fixed gear or single speed with a freewheel? Fixed gear can be a challenge for new riders. And if you have a lot of hills in your area, you may find yourself cursing your way up them all (and possibly down, on a fixie). On the other hand, fixed gear/single speed has a simplicity that is really appealing.

  3. #3
    aspiring bicyclist Shinjiboy's Avatar
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    I arranged w/ my friend to ride the bike next week. I'm getting really excited. It's a Single Speed.

    What I can remember for a few weeks back. The Miyata is old with rust spots. Nothing major, but I'm sure it is to be expected. Tires are worn, brakes very weak. Essentially, I'll replacing all the components one by one. I read on this forum that the best place the do this (and best price) is online, but I'll need your help in identifying which parts to buy (that'll fit).

    It looked very similar to this:


    If I do go through with the purchase, I'll create a new thread naming the bike "Blue." Are bikes feminine btw (like how guys do that with their cars)?

    The area in which I live is mainly flats, though I know of certain trails that will lead up the hill. In that case, I will just have to work a bit harder to push up those hills. I don't mind at this point unless there is a person who can convince me to ride w/ gears. I don't really know how to use them well anyway (tried on my brother's mountain bike). Oh, and I don't have to ride it right away. I'm just scared that it'll be very time consuming working on the bike.
    Last edited by Shinjiboy; 09-02-08 at 09:53 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinjiboy View Post
    I just wanted to know what option would be best for a novice like me: fixing my friend's ~1981 Miyata or buying a fresh new bike from the LBS?

    I plan to spend under $100 to purchase the bike from my friend and slowly work at replace components until it is a proper ride. It is a single speed bike and I've only ridden it once. What do you think?
    In all seriousness I think that it depends on what you plan to do with it.

    If you want to to fiddle and learn about bikes, buy your friend's Miyata. If you want to ride, buy a new bike from a local shop.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinjiboy View Post
    I arranged w/ my friend to ride the bike next week. I'm getting really excited. It's a Single Speed.

    What I can remember for a few weeks back. The Raleigh is old with rust spots. Nothing major, but I'm sure it is to be expected. Tires are worn, brakes very weak. Essentially, I'll replacing all the components one by one. I read on this forum that the best place the do this (and best price) is online, but I'll need your help in identifying which parts to buy (that'll fit).

    (SNIP)

    If I do go through with the purchase, I'll create a new thread naming the bike "Blue." Are bikes feminine btw (like how guys do that with their cars)?

    The area in which I live is mainly flats, though I know of certain trails that will lead up the hill. In that case, I will just have to work a bit harder to push up those hills. I don't mind at this point unless there is a person who can convince me to ride w/ gears. I don't really know how to use them well anyway (tried on my brother's mountain bike). Oh, and I don't have to ride it right away. I'm just scared that it'll be very time consuming working on the bike.
    Sounds good Start with new tires (and tubes), and replacing the brake pads. That will help a lot with the braking. Get salmon-colour Kool Stop pads, they are the best thing for steel rims. You may also want to replace the brake cables, which is very simple. Give everything a good cleaning and lubrication. That should get you on the road in a very short time.

    For upgrading components, talk to the folks in Classic & Vintage. They've been very helpful to me, although they did make me start collecting vintage bikes. (I SWEAR, the bikes are following me home!).

    One thing I did on my bike was to change the original brake levers, which were not very efficient, to modern aero levers. I also moved them up a bit on the curve of the handlebars, so that I could ride on the hoods (putting my weight on the tops of the brake levers) and didn't have to be right down with my hands IN the drops to get at the brakes. This is something that has changed over the last 20 years, I think - more people ride with their hands on the tops of the bars now, and only go right down with their hands in the curved part of the bars when they are going especially fast or fighting a head wind.

    Gel cushioned handlebar tape (or leather) is the best stuff ever.

    You'll probably need some metric allen keys (hexagonal bits) and some metric sockets/wrenches to work on that bike. Mine takes a 10mm for the brake caliper nuts, and 13mm for the seatpost.

  6. #6
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    I love classic bikes and as others have said it depends on what you want to do. If you just want to ride a bike for the lowest cost possible and the used bike is going to need some work, it may not be the way to go. You may end up investing a good deal of $$ to bring it up to riding shape, depending on what is going on with it now.

    However, if you not only want to ride a bike but also want to learn about a bike, then buying this used beauty (if it is a good fit) may work out well.

    Another thing about buying from an LBS is that relationship you develop. As a beginner you may find it very useful.

  7. #7
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Here is what I did with my 1987 Schwinn World Sport ...



    Shimano 105 / 10spd shifters / RD
    Sugino double hollowtech 2 cranks w/ dura-ace external BB.
    Carbon fork, new bars, brakes, cables.

    =)

    Since this pic was taken, I changed the 100mm stem to an 80mm stem because this frame is slightly too big for me =)

    Now the fit is fine and she rides so good =)
    Last edited by fordfasterr; 09-02-08 at 08:18 AM.
    Florida Velodrome Association.
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  8. #8
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    Sounds like the Miyata's in running condition, as you say you'd be replacing components a bit at a time. All I gotta say is that rehabbing an older bike is good for the soul. So, that's my vote.

  9. #9
    aspiring bicyclist Shinjiboy's Avatar
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    Not a Miyata...A Raleigh!

    So I finally got back into the scene/hobby with the inheritance of my new Single speed, a Raleigh 410 Steel frame. Given to me by my friend who is now in Ohio, I am really interested in upgrading/swapping parts as mentioned above.

    I'm plan to just start small, but eventually make the bike my own. When I brought it home the other day, one of the workers convinced me to buy a new tire. It was indeed in scary condition, so I replaced it with a $20 tire that works really well. It was a gamble, but I was able to ride home on it in almost an hour.

    Today I was at the shop and asked around, but I went cheepo and bought some brake pads for $1.25 each. Next up will be the saddle. There's a big hole in the seat and the Styrofoam is exposed...I haven't yet decided on the shape (or color if it matters). But the ones at the store weren't really for my tastes. They ranged from 20-30 for the decent looking ones.

    I promise to take a picture soon, just so I can possibly identify it under more exact terms.

    Thanks for reading.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinjiboy View Post
    Next up will be the saddle. There's a big hole in the seat and the Styrofoam is exposed...I haven't yet decided on the shape (or color if it matters). But the ones at the store weren't really for my tastes. They ranged from 20-30 for the decent looking ones.
    If you want a cheap saddle, ask if they have any OEM take offs. Every bike shop that I've worked in had a big box of those somewhere. They usually sell for around $10.00 each - and don't be afraid to haggle, to them it's money in the drawer vs. getting a bigger box for the OEM take off saddles.

  11. #11
    aspiring bicyclist Shinjiboy's Avatar
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    Can anyone help me ID her? Thanks

  12. #12
    Junior Member
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    Not real sure on that one, looks like a nice bike though. How much did you say you were paying?
    Genuine Innovations specializing in High Pressure Valve Technology
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  13. #13
    aspiring bicyclist Shinjiboy's Avatar
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    It was free. My friend got into Graduate school in Ohio so he left me the bike.

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