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Found bikes ... Worth fixing?

Old 07-15-14, 04:42 PM
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AwesomeOpossum7
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Found bikes ... Worth fixing?

Hi! I'm new to the forums. I've fixed up a couple of bikes so far that I and my kids use frequently, so I have amateur experience in bike maintenance.

Today, we found a couple of old road bikes in an abandoned shed. One is a blue Spartan. The other appears to be a Murray, but I can't determine the model. It says "26 Racer", and has a sticker that says "Laurenceburg, Tenn, U.S.A.". I know Murray has a recent reputation for being "department store", but I don't know about older bikes.

Both of these bikes will take quite a bit of work; complete teardown and cleaning, lubing, replacement tires and tubes (though a little rusty, the rims look to be in fair shape), new paint and handlebar tape, and brake/derailer cables. One of them will need replacement pedals.



Info is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-14, 04:48 PM
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I wouldn't especially if the wheels are 26x1 3/8. Unless your kids are going to ride them you would have more work and parts invested in them than what you could sell them for.
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Old 07-15-14, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I wouldn't especially if the wheels are 26x1 3/8. Unless your kids are going to ride them you would have more work and parts invested in them than what you could sell them for.
Thank you for your input. What's the deal with the 26x1 3/8? Is it difficult to get parts for that size? The tires on these bikes are so dry-rotted I can't find any markings. Where on the rim can I find the info?

Upon closer inspection, I am concerned about is the condition of the rims. There is spotty rust on the rim sides, and and potentially heavy rust in a couple of locations. I'm afraid that might affect braking.

I'm not interested in fixing to resell, or restoring to perfect condition. My son is expressing an interest in having a road bike, fixing the men's bike up a bit. What this means is investment of time and money on my part. But it also means a meaningful project he and I can participate in together.
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Old 07-15-14, 05:41 PM
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Only the tires and rims are a little hard to find. More importantly the kids that would ride this size of bike don't want '10 speeds" they want mountain bikes. Or X boxes.
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Old 07-15-14, 05:47 PM
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First of all, good on you for wanting to share a project with your son. Wish my dad would have done that. I had to get into bikes on my own, he was not interested in the least.

How about finding a frame somewhere and then building it up with him? Ask him what he wants, have him do some research...make it a collaborative effort. Neither of these bikes strikes me as a good project to start with, but if you start with a nice frame and choose parts carefully, it could sing, and not for a ton of money.
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Old 07-15-14, 06:06 PM
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My guess is for what you'll spend getting that bike roadworthy for your son, you could find a bike on craigslist that's better quality and mostly roadworthy right from the sale. Especially if you put a monetary value on your time and/or swear words.

My wife fell in love with a destroyed-through-neglect '64 Schwinn Collegiate. We got it super cheap, but by the time everything was said and done I had thoroughly learned the lesson I shared in the first two sentences of this post.



(...after about a year I guess I forgot the lesson. Right now there's a recently acquired and well-thrashed Stumpjumper staring at me as I type. hahahaha)
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Old 07-15-14, 07:07 PM
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Keep a look out for something better to ride. These bikes really don't provide that great of a riding experience. Might be a fun hobby project ... that will cost you at least $40 each ... tires, brake pads....tubes, cables...??? Bikes with steel rims sometimes take a little longer to stop when you apply the brakes when it is wet outside. Those wheels can also be a real headache to "true" properly. Worse comes to worse...check out Niagara Cycle for reasonably priced parts. You can probably clean the rust off the rims and other chromed parts with a wet, soapy Brillo pad and then just hose them down. Good luck with it!
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Old 07-16-14, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum7 View Post
[h=2]Found bikes ... Worth fixing?[/h]
...sadly, succinctly, no, not worth fixing.
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Old 07-16-14, 01:48 PM
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I wasn't expecting anything other than "no", so I'm not too disappointed.

Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
More importantly the kids that would ride this size of bike don't want '10 speeds" they want mountain bikes. Or X boxes.
Heh, he already has a mountain bike, about a $350 model that my father bought for my sister 8 years ago, and that sat resting against a post outside for most of its life. I had to do a bit of work to get it road-worthy again. He's happy with it. I'm not sure why, but he's been talking about getting a road bike for a few months. Maybe he really has a liking for the bike hobby.

I'm thinking we'll toss these, as you guys recommend, and see if we can find something a little better. I appreciate everyone's input. Maybe you'll see me here with more questions about new bikes.
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Old 07-16-14, 01:49 PM
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Oh, I guess I could ask ... is there anything I should consider stripping from these bikes for parts?
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Old 07-20-14, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by AwesomeOpossum7 View Post
Oh, I guess I could ask ... is there anything I should consider stripping from these bikes for parts?
No, there is nothing on those that would translate to a quality road bike. The only monetary value would be maybe $20 to some one who does maintain department store bike - as a parts bike.

However... I would say that there is some non-monetary value. While you and your son are trying to figure out what he wants for hist first "real road bike", try wrenching on these. You might be able to get one on the road. Teach him how to open up a hub and re-pack the bearings, adjust the brakes, pull the rear mech off and clean it up and re-install it.
Many of those things are mechanically similar to what you will find on a "road bike" (well, you don't see loose bearing much anymore), but it never hurts to get a little experience, and learn how to wrench on some old clunkers.
That's how I got started. And I'm sure many of the other weekend-warrior mechanics here also started off by trying to maintain their old department store 10 speeds.

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