Originally Posted by Hazen
Thanks for the input. Anything worth upgrading here? I'm thinking of maybe converting to a hybird with slicks and keeping it rigid. The teeth on the front cranks are a little bent and the brakes are only just adequate. Any suggestions?
The Crank is fine. The teeth do not wear down, but warp into what you could think of as "shark fins". If your crank teeth have fins, the crank is bad and has to be replaced. And no, you cannot just replace the chain rings. But it's fine.
Cantilever brakes are very finicky, but after you have set them correctly, then they work fine. Make sure the pads will touch the rim perfectly on contact and also sand flat the pad surface. Otherwise you'd like to replace the pads. I got a good deal for 4 pads at nashbar for $5. I highly stress how the pads hit the rim, because if they are off by a small bit, then they will not work as well and squeal.
Tear down the bike, oil-grease-lube everything, assemble correctly and clean up. You can add slicks, but make sure you get a thin 26" tires. Grips, saddle, pedals, and you'd might want to look into SS the bike if you'd only go around the town with it.