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Old 08-20-12, 09:36 PM   #1
hamiltonian
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Dumpster Bike Made New

I'm lucky to have a friend who's a talented scrounger who's also shorter than me. That means that I get first choice on the bikes he finds that are too big for him. Recently he gave me an old road bike he found in a dumpster. The drops had been burned somehow—I imagine that someone had set fire to them during a drunken party, but it could've been some kind of accidental chemical burn. In any case, the foam parts on the bars and brakes were a melted mess. I regret now that I have no picture, because it sure looked dramatically nasty.

Anyway, here's what I ended up with, using very cheap parts in the spirit of a free bike. I love it. I'm very pleased that I brought this bike back to life, and that it turned out to be such a nice ride.

Yeah, I know—I added riser bars. That's because I'm old and I don't like drops much anymore.

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Old 08-21-12, 12:27 AM   #2
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Nice old Nishiki, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to throw that out. You might want to check out the classic and vintage forums, you'll find a lot of people like Nishiki including myself.
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Old 08-21-12, 04:58 AM   #3
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Very nice. I'm old too and have replaced a few drops with other things. I like the look.

Did you rework the drop bar brake levers or use new? I have reshaped the old levers before.
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Old 08-21-12, 08:59 AM   #4
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Nice old Nishiki, it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to throw that out. You might want to check out the classic and vintage forums, you'll find a lot of people like Nishiki including myself.
Everyone values things differently, I guess. I never thought of this bike as classic, but perhaps it is. It says "designed by Norco" on the wheel stay, and "Toshiba" and "Regal" on the top tube. So it would be maybe 30 years old?

I'd be okay with moving this thread to the classic/vintage forum if that's where it belongs.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:02 AM   #5
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Did you rework the drop bar brake levers or use new? I have reshaped the old levers before.
The bar and brake levers were covered in melted foam, so I just got inexpensive replacements. I didn't know the levers could be reshaped—I might've tried it if they weren't such a mess.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:27 AM   #6
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Those foam grips are awful. My trash bike came with them. They rot over time. Nice Nishiki. It's a classic indeed. Looks good as a flat bar bike.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:28 AM   #7
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Nice! Recycling at its finest...
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Old 08-21-12, 11:15 AM   #8
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The bar and brake levers were covered in melted foam, so I just got inexpensive replacements. I didn't know the levers could be reshaped—I might've tried it if they weren't such a mess.

These levers were that old style drop bar type with the suicide handles you could work from the top position. I took the suicides off and took the brakes apart and reformed the arms from the hook shape for the drop bars to more of a slight hook shape and mounted them on the bars shown. I have reshaped them for straight risers also.

I know those old foam bars would get really nasty. I have taken a few of those down with a knife and scratchy pad.



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Old 08-23-12, 09:56 AM   #9
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All my bikes were salvaged for more than 20 years. On my days off I'd go through the alleys while running errands. Sometimes bikes would be put out with the trash, and if there was anything good about them, I'd save them. Sometimes it was just a few parts, but it could go all the way up to working condition.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:15 PM   #10
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I've become a big fan of salvaging/renewing bikes. It's very satisfying, and the price is right.

I need to learn a lot more about bike mechanics, though.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:25 PM   #11
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That's super nice for a dumpster find. Good for you!
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