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Some questions regarding parts on a thrift shop bike...

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Some questions regarding parts on a thrift shop bike...

Old 05-17-04, 05:02 PM
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Some questions regarding parts on a thrift shop bike...

I'm looking to get a road bike on a budget to see if I even like them, so I'm about to go off to teh thrift shop and hopefully find a gem in the rough.

Now what kind of things should I look for on one of these bikes? is there any good websites that show the many kinds of worn out parts that can happen on a bike, or even a few good book references so I can hit the local library? What kind of reparis are typical on these bikes...is the gearing often shot...handlebars rusted, etc?
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Old 05-17-04, 05:17 PM
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Condition of frame and drive. Inspect the frame for cracks and dents (upside down too.)
Run the cranks, see if the bb rotation is still smooth.
Inspect all drive components teeth, how the rear hub rolls. Chain will probably have to go-ignore.

Handle bars, seatpost rusty? quick easy removal. Old brakes are easy to come by and replace.
Shifting is more of a problem, really your preference, probably will require tuning anyway.

Also look at seatpost diameters ect, you may find something you allready have replacements for.

Rust -if cosmetic can simply be removed, polished and steel clearcoated.
All I can think of-sorry no links.
Goodluck.
Jef.
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Old 05-17-04, 05:28 PM
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is there any "cheater" method to make sure the frame's joints are still good?

Sorry if these questions are a bit weird, I'm just new to doing any kind of bike service beyond the most basic of things.
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Old 05-17-04, 05:57 PM
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Flexing the bb with your foot, push sideways.
A guage for steel tensile frame torsion? On a limb here>

The bike if overridden, will flex too much @ the bb- go soft, noodle.
Do it with a newer steel road bike, a few older ones. Stiffer the better-not HARD though.
A guess, 2 inches is fine, more may lack the snap>back of the original tensile properties.
Also listen for creaks, may be bad news..
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Old 05-17-04, 06:18 PM
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I wouldn't bother with much of anything unless the bike looks clean and lightly used... you're obviously not an experienced mechanic and you could wind up just buying a money pit, paying $20 for a bike and then putting $$$ into it just to get it rideable. The biggest key with a roadbike is fit, so if you buy one that doesn't fit, you aren't going to like roadriding... so make sure you fully understand proper roadbike fit.

If stuff like the handlebars are rusty, thats a sign that its an old POS and probably not worth your time, since good quality bikes, even back 20 years ago or more, typically had aluminum/alloy bars and components vs. the steel which rusts easily.
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Old 05-17-04, 06:41 PM
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I don't mind having some repair work to do, since I'm getting a adequate space to use as a "bike garage", so I can learn how to do these things.

As far as using it anytime soon...I need to remove some more of this beer gut first so i can get into the proper roadbike posture, so I have plenty of time to learn how to fix it
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Old 05-17-04, 06:51 PM
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I went this route and found an old Bottechia for 15 bucks. I spent some more money on it (@$50) to get it running properly. Over the last weekend I put 90 kms on it at approximatley 30 kms an hour. I love the ugly old thing. Just make sure that everything on it is salvagable. Look over the main components; cranks, brakes, shifters, cables etc.. and replace what needs replacing. The bike I got is almost as old as I am from what I can tell and it has some slight rust on it, but its a champ and well worth the money I spent on it.
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Old 05-17-04, 06:57 PM
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Yeah I should add my bike is an old Paramount (high end Schwinn) I got from a guy pretty cheap... subsequently upgraded with 9spd Tiagra/Ultegra/600/105 stuff... but I mean for the $250 or so I have into it its been a fairly good deal, so its totally possible if you have the patience and know how to find a good cheap bike to fix up.

Zinn's series of books are a good reference for repair... they are geared towards newer bikes but 90% of the information still applies to the older bikes.
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Old 05-17-04, 07:40 PM
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Make sure the bike fits you. Look for rusty components and signs the bike has been stored outside. Expect to replace the tires, chain, bar tape, and perhaps the seat.

Test out the derailers. Do they move OK with the shifters? Do the shifters look to be in good shape? You will probably need to replace cables and housings so don't get too picky here. Just make sure the derailers move OK. Check the rear derailer for excessive play from wear.

Look over the rims. Do they bow out like they've hit a curb hard? Don't worry too much about them being true unless they are really badly warped.

Make sure the frame is not dented and the derailler hanger is straight. Check the headset for wear. Does the handlebars seem to 'snap' in place steering straight ahead? If so, the headset will have to be replaced (~$50 at an LBS).

If you get a bike, one of the first things to do is repack all the bearings with new grease. Both wheels, bottom bracket, and headset should be repacked. Used bikes are usually badly in need of grease and riding unlubed may damage the bearings.

Plan to buy, at a minimum, new brake shoes, chain, bar tape/grips, brake and derailler cables and housings, tires, and tubes. Get a good repair book (Zinn and the art of Road/Mountain Bike Maintenance is good) and get your hands dirty. Working on a thrift store bike is great. It's a good learning tool and if you screw it up, you're not out much money.
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Old 05-17-04, 08:37 PM
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Only thing I'd add: take a long piece of string and a ruler. Remove the bike's back wheel. Tie the string to one rear dropout, the loop the string over the bike's head-tube and back down to the opposite dropout. Measure the distance from the string to the seat tube on both sides. If these measurements are equal, it means the frame is straight.

Certainnly check the seatpost to see if it is stuck. Just loosen the seatpost bolt and twist the seat. Stuck seatposts are a nightmare. You may also want to loosen the stem and see if it comes loose as well; these are likewise a PIA if they are rusted in.

It does help to know a bit about frames and your frame size before you hunt down good thrift store bikes. Personally, I hunt for lugged steel frames that are double-butted, and I stay the heck away from cottered cranks for the most part.
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Old 05-18-04, 12:54 AM
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does frame sizing for moutain bike apply to roadbikes, or is there some sort of magical formua for this.

Like for me, i use an 18" mtn bike frame, and 5'9" with a 30" inseam. So would I get an 18" road bike frame or do i have to tweak the numbers a bit?
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Old 05-18-04, 02:48 AM
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No, yes. Horizontal toptube mtb yes, inclined no. (hint> seat hight\position>riser bars\stem angled frame geometry) I do do not often ride road frames and they are measured in cm.

I think>?
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Old 05-18-04, 02:54 AM
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Seely-reely?
"If stuff like the handlebars are rusty, thats a sign that its an old POS and probably not worth your time, since good quality bikes, even back 20 years ago or more, typically had aluminum/alloy bars and components vs. the steel which rusts easily.[/QUOTE]


Read again slowly. Figure out why you're wrong. XXXXX.
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Old 05-18-04, 11:43 AM
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An aluminium mtb handlebar from 1984 would be a terrible sight. Unless a solid bar, or never used.
Remove it.
Other hand, steel one may be rusty and hard to remove. Ride on.

Parts, a mix of steel and alu would be prone to electrolisis and oxidation.
A 15 year old alu seatpost in a steel frame bike,well used> garbage for the post-prob break right away.
A steel one will be heavy, but will not probably break.

Inspect the frame, headset, look for rust-the frame is paramount.
Parts smarts- go find a second more modern mtb with frame failure or neglect, and swap the derailler, brakes,wheeels. All Shimano for the common man.


Have a great ride today man.
peace.jef

Last edited by jeff williams; 05-18-04 at 12:33 PM.
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