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Does a Bridgestone 400 fit in here and what would you guys do with this bike?

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Does a Bridgestone 400 fit in here and what would you guys do with this bike?

Old 12-08-19, 05:34 PM
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3S1M
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Does a Bridgestone 400 fit in here and what would you guys do with this bike?

Two caveats... I would like to set it up to be an all season bike, and I don't have a lot of money. So I'm not sure what to do....

Someone turned it into a fixed gear bike. (it was at the end of a driveway with a "FREE" sign on it) I'm not sure I want that. I like having gears for the snow and wind...... I'm not sure how that size tire would do in the snow..... It looks like it could have wider rims but not sure if they made 27" rims that were wider. Or what I could do for cheap.

I talked with a guy at a local bike store and he said he could custom build a rear rim with internal gears and a coaster brake. I kind of like that idea because one time I tried to stop in the rain with my daughter's MTB with regular brakes and they just slipped. It has shiny chrome wheels though and that might be the problem.

Anyways... just curious what you guys would do with little money if you had this bike.... If anything. My main bike I ride is a girls cruiser so I wouldn't mind having a guys bike set up for myself finally. Not sure why but they do look better. Although honestly I'm 5'7" and the bar comes close to dangerous territory when I straddle it. I almost like girls bikes more for this reason..... But the guys bikes just look better. LOL.


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Old 12-08-19, 05:53 PM
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I had the same color and model 400 for years. I loved that bike
As far as close to tender parts. how close? That's a small frame and should give you plenty of clearance at 5"7'
How are your mechanic skills?
what's your local Craigslist like for bikes in your town?
any communtiy bike shops that can help you on the cheap?
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Old 12-08-19, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
I kind of like that idea because one time I tried to stop in the rain with my daughter's MTB with regular brakes and they just slipped. It has shiny chrome wheels though and that might be the problem.
Chrome rims with rim brakes are bad indeed.

Looks like your bike has aluminum rims, in which case tou can ride with rim brakes in the rain, you just have to brake a little earlier.

I wouldn't mess with a coaster brake, just have it setup with decent rim brakes. It looks like the current front brake doesn't reach the rim properly, like maybe the bike was designed for 27 inch rims but has 700c rims. You can get long reach caliper brakes that will work with that setup.
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Old 12-08-19, 08:30 PM
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Get that bad boy cleaned up and on the road! It's a lower-end bike in the Bridgestone lineup so I wouldn't go overboard with anything fancy.

I built mine up as a racer but it's not really the right bike for that. Plenty of tire clearance so I currently have it torn down and am rebuilding as sort of a vintage graveler.


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Old 12-08-19, 08:33 PM
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Had one of these pass through my hands - It was pretty decent.
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Old 12-09-19, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by norcalmike View Post
I had the same color and model 400 for years. I loved that bike
As far as close to tender parts. how close? That's a small frame and should give you plenty of clearance at 5"7'
How are your mechanic skills?
what's your local Craigslist like for bikes in your town?
any communtiy bike shops that can help you on the cheap?

I've got SOME skills as a mechanic. I've cleaned up, this will be my fourth this year. I was a gearhead growing up and did some work on cars. I mean I didn't rebuild any car engines and no really big stuff. But I rebuilt a mower engine in shop class and got an A cuz it started right up. I have a sort of decent amount of tools but not like a full blown mechanic. But I've got a few bike specific tools and am working on my collection of that. I can true a rim left to right pretty well with just doing it on the bike. Etc. You probably get the point.

My big thing is I've never built a rim, and this one is missing two spokes. And I'm not sure I want to keep it a fixed gear bike. So I may be on the prowl for either buying a hub and respoking it, or finding a wheel from another bike....

And yeah, facebook and craigslist are pretty decent with bikes. Although admittedly when I looked for them these 10 speeds were not usually on my radar. My vague memory tells me I've seen some in different shapes, good to bad but this type of bike is the least common. By far the most common bikes you see on these are mountain bikes of all different quality. BMX has a pretty good showing and kids bikes. 10 speeds and decent road bikes are not all that prevalent.

I have an extra set of front derraileurs / gear changer but the shifter is toast.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
Get that bad boy cleaned up and on the road! It's a lower-end bike in the Bridgestone lineup so I wouldn't go overboard with anything fancy.

I built mine up as a racer but it's not really the right bike for that. Plenty of tire clearance so I currently have it torn down and am rebuilding as sort of a vintage graveler.


Cool! Would like to see what you come up with when you're done. Although it's beautiful now too!

That basically is the type of bike I want to do this one up as, what you're changing yours into. A road and gravel path rider. No need for an off roader, I don't really ride on those types of paths. I ride in my neighborhood and we have lots of gravel paths around us that as soon as I get some kind of carrier for my car I will be doing more of that. I need a change of scenery over my current routes that I do every day.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Chrome rims with rim brakes are bad indeed.

Looks like your bike has aluminum rims, in which case tou can ride with rim brakes in the rain, you just have to brake a little earlier.

I wouldn't mess with a coaster brake, just have it setup with decent rim brakes. It looks like the current front brake doesn't reach the rim properly, like maybe the bike was designed for 27 inch rims but has 700c rims. You can get long reach caliper brakes that will work with that setup.
I think it just needs some adjustment. According to the tires it's a 27x 1-1/4. Which I believe would be the stock type of rims for that bike, eh? I was looking for tires with some tread on amazon last night and put them in my list. There were like 3 or 4. The current tires are toast. They're cracking and coming apart as I handle them.

Thanks for the tips on the rims. I had a feeling that was the problem with that one. The chrome. The one I got and cleaned up for my son is a 90's Schwinn MTB (15 bucks) and it has aluminum weimann rims that seem to stop better. But my Daughters is this cool American Made Murray with 2.3" kenda tires and it feels really good to ride. But I won't be using that one in the wet any more. Those rims had a bunch of rust when I rescued it and we both worked pretty hard on those with steel wool. I even did some chrome cleaning treatment to them to get the stubborn stuff off. She really likes that bike though and she hasn't ridden in the winter with me. So no biggy that they don't stop in the wet. She doesn't ride in the rain either. LOL.






It's amazing how light this bike is. When I picked it up to put it in my trunk I was like WOW!!!!

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Old 12-09-19, 10:33 AM
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Check to see if it's a flip-flop hub, or if a single-speed freewheel could be installed in place of the fixed sprocket. That would at least get you freewheeling instead of fixed. You'll probably need to remove that sprocket anyway to replace the broken spokes. Otherwise, just measure the rear dropout spacing (I'd bet a nickel it's 126mm), and get a cheap used rear wheel and driveline components at your local bike co-op. In either case, if you go to anything freewheeling, yes, you'll need a rear brake. Again, your local co-op is your friend. For rim brakes in rain/snow, you can't beat Kool-Stop "salmon" pads.

If you're not in a hurry, and are up for a couple hours' road trip next month, you'll probably find everything you need at the big bike swap here in Madison - https://www.brazendropouts.org/bike-swap .

Oh - and to answer your first question, YES, that bike fits squarely into this section of the forums.

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Old 12-09-19, 10:47 AM
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I ran a c.1985 400 for about 10 years as an everyday bike, commuter, single speed, and finally geared off road bike. The limitation I ran into on tire size was clearance to the underside of the Tektro dual pivot side pulls I was running. I think I ended up with 700x28 with good clearance. It might have taken 32s. I really liked how the bike handled and thought the frame build was top notch. I think Sheldon said the frames were the same across the top range of these bikes, only the components determined the model level.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:54 AM
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I'll have to look up what a flip flop hub is.... I do know this, the dude that built it has a BUNCH of washers as spacers on both sides on the rear.... LOL. So obviously that rim is not ideal. It's probably cuz he deleted the cassette, eh?

I also had something dawn on me last night. I was like I wonder if I could rob the rims from the cruiser I'm riding now. 26"ers. And yeah, you could but the tires on there now are too wide. Although in the back it might fit, the front forks are too close together. I do think a 1.9" tire would fit but it would be really close...... I'm not sure if they make anything thinner for 26"ers. That would be a cheap way to go. I like the cruiser I ride. Its comfy. But it's very girly looking. LOL. It was my wifes bike and it was the only one we had at the beginning of summer. My daughter and I cleaned it up and we both rode it until I found hers and worked on that. And then we finally got one for all 4 of us and I ended up with this girly cruiser. LOL. I would feel more manly on this Bridgestone. Although it really doesn't matter either way. I just like to ride. But this is a cool project to work on.

I actually am getting close to finish up a cheap BMX bike, and I've been doing tricks after my daily ride on my cruiser. But once the BMX bike is done I'll have a bike for tricks and if I do this one I'll have a daily rider bike.... I'm not sure I wanna do my daily rides with my BMX bike. It's only 20" and probably not the most comfy for longer rides. Although my rides are only 2 miles. Don't laugh. I'm recovering from Lyme Disease and I'm stoked that I did 2 miles for many months now. I have only missed 3 days. Woooohoooooo!!!!! I'm starting to map out more routes of similar length and I think once spring comes I'll push the distance. In the winter the wind has been more prevalent and the rides feel harder than in the summer. So the cold has pushed me already and with lyme you have to be careful to not overdo it sometimes.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:39 PM
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Oh sorry - flip-flop hub is one with a fixed gear sprocket on one side, and a single-speed freewheel on the other. You would only use a tire that doesn't have a specific directional tread, and you can mount the wheel either way, depending on how you want to ride. Do you see threads on the non-drive side of the hub?

There are narrower tires for 26" wheels nowadays (a lot of folks like to fit old MTBs with 26x1.5 "street tread" tires as commuters / city bikes). Your limitation would be the brakes. The frame was built for 27" wheels. 700s (slightly smaller) could probably be adapted. But 26" wheels are quite a bit smaller diameter, and I doubt there are any brakes that could reach that far.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:39 PM
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I have a 1984 model I've owned since new. I found a set of 700c wheels on CL for pretty cheap and have nice cushy 35 mm Michelin tires on it that make for a great smooth ride on trails and gravel. As 73StellaSX76 noted the clearance to the underside of the brakes is the main restriction and I'm running awfully close. The other issue is you need some type of quick release brake levers to open the calipers enough to get a wider tire through. I have them but still need to have the tire a bit under inflated to make it. The brake calipers have enough room to slide the brake blocks down to mesh with 700c rims easily.

It is a triple butted frame and pretty light. Another nice feature that it looks like yours has is that the crank is tapped to add a triple granny ring if you need lower gears. All you need is a bit longer BB spindle. I've taken several loaded tours on mine in the past and now have it set up with mustache bars for urban riding. Overall a nice comfortable ride and pretty versatile. Nice find for you - especially at the price!
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Old 12-09-19, 12:40 PM
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B'stone 400 is an excellent bike. If the frame fits you, maybe find a donor for parts?

This is one I built up for my bride before she decided cycling wasn't for her -




- Note that these are 700C wheels, and there is a LOT of clearance there. If you ran 27 x 1 1/4 Panaracer Pasela tires at 70 lbs psi you would be astounded at how smooth a ride you would get ...
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Old 12-09-19, 01:23 PM
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Do you have a bike co-op near you? they can be an excellent source of parts like alloy rimmed wheelsets and vintage derailleurs . New wheelsets with freewheel hubs for 5/6/7 speed freewheels are available on Amazon and Velomine in both 700c and 27" but would be cheaper at a co-op or as has been suggested via a cheap donor bike that you salvage for parts, just bring a magnet to make sure you are getting alloy and not steel/chromed wheels. Looks like a solid bike and a good candidate for what you have in mind. I built up a single speed back in 2007 and had a LBS dish the rear wheel for me, I commuted on it for about 5 months including a 6% one mile hill until my knees mentioned to me that gears were are good thing

Take your time and have fun with the rebuild.

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Old 12-09-19, 03:23 PM
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I'll see if there is a bike co-op near me.

If I used the 26" rims I have, it has a coaster brake.... not need to match up the regular brake. I might look into these 26 x 1.5 tires. But there is an allure to the 1-1/4" sized tires cuz i don't have a bike like this yet...... I'm not sure how good they would be in the snow. In another thread one guy was adamant about how skinnier tires are better in the snow cuz they dig down to the pavement better. I can see the reasoning but I'm not sure I agree. Seems like the prevailing train of thought is to go wider for snow.

It doesn't necessarily snow a lot here, but I'm determined to not have that stop me from riding when it does. I actually LIKE riding in the snow. A LOT. I love the snow. I was using my wife's bike and could continue to but I wouldn't mind having my own set up for that. And just leave hers set up as is. I don't like her seat and hers makes a noise that annoys me and I can't figure out where it's coming from. LOL. Every time my left leg is forward it makes a noise. I haven't pulled apart the cranks but I suspect there is something in there rubbing. At first I thought it was the chain but it's in the same exact spot every revolution / crank.

Anyways... part of my point was that hers is a cruiser with gears and the cruiser tires did very well in the snow. And of course they're fatter. So I'm unconvinced about skinny tires being good in the snow but I've yet to try it. I'm also not sure how skinnier tires would do on gravel. Seems like they'd have a tenancy to dig in and be harder on the spots that are a bit softer. Sometimes it's not always super hard packed. Especially when it rains. Or has been wet for a while.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:23 PM
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if you live someplace dead flat a coaster brake set up could work, if you have any hills at all I would not use one IMHO they aren't meant for any hard braking.

I can't speak to snow worthiness but Kenda make a 27 X1 3/8 wider tire with knobbies the K161 Knobbie cross. Just a thought.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:26 PM
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I found a Bridgestone 400 frame, fork, crank brakes and seatpost, in the dump abour 15 years ago> built it up with 700c wheels, 32mm wide Paselas, and some other parts I happened to have. It was, and still is, a nice bike that was my favorite bike, utility bike, light tourer, etc. for a few years.

I would not put 26" wheels and a coaster brake on it. 650B might be possible. I think it would take 42mm tires. I hope whoever converted yours toa a fixie didn't butcher it by cutting off the rear derailleur hanger.
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Old 12-09-19, 04:58 PM
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I think the hangar is still there. I'll start getting more close up pics since it seems like it might help with figuring things out.

The main bike I ride is a coaster brake bike. My cruiser. The gear inches is 63 and I avoid hills. LOL. I would like to tackle some hills more. Also, when it's real windy and when is snowed I grab one of the kids bikes or my wifes cuz it's not a lot of fun with that gear inches. I have not even tried mine in the snow. Now on a calm day and no hills I love the gearing on that one. But only if it's pretty darn flat. LOL. I thought about putting a smaller front sprocket on it cuz I figured a smaller gear / less gear inches would make hills and wind more doable. And snow. I even have one I could install on the current crank on my cruiser. I have to count the teeth on the smaller gear on the 400.... Not sure where it'll end up but the cruiser has a 48 tooth sprocket and a 18 rear hub gear.

If the smaller sprocket on the 400 is smaller than 48, it would give me a smaller gear inches with those rims and also the smaller tires would too.

That would be the cheapest way to go. But I like the idea of seeing if I can go to a co op and not spend an arm and a leg for the stuff I need. I did some perusing on facebook and craiglist today and like I say, these types of bikes and parts are few and far between. It's all mountain bikes and kids bikes.
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Old 12-10-19, 10:34 AM
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If there are spacers on the rear wheel it is probably the original. All you need is a 6 speed freewheel, rear derailleur, shifter,rear brake, chain and cables to get it functional again.

Here is what your bike looked like originally.




I got my 400 as a frame a frame and built it with 700x32 wheels and 9 speeds. Unfortunately the last few years it has had most of it's miles on the trainer or vacations at the shore. It was my main bike for many years and I would have no problem going back to it.


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Old 12-10-19, 10:56 AM
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I had a juant down the driveway on it last night after I pumped the tires up. I don't really like the fixed gear thing. Plus when I was making a tight turn at the end of the drive in the street the tire hit my foot. I usually put the pedal like in the middle of my foot. Feels most comfortable to me.

Anyways......

Did you ride yours in the snow with those size tires? I'm stoked cuz so far they seem to be holding air, So the tubes are good..... I'm going to start breaking it all down maybe tonight and I'll have a closer look at the hub........ Not sure if there was welding going on in there or what. How do they make the gear fixed on a stock hub???




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Old 12-10-19, 12:02 PM
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Smart move is sell it to somebody who wants a fixed, take the bucks and buy something with gears... but knowing me I'd probably start screwing around with it and buying parts. +1 try to find a some cheap wheels used or at a coop.

I like "female" mtbs also. Because they ride fine and they aren't worth anything. Low top tube doesn't bug me. But.. if you already have a mtb to ride.. you're already set.

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Old 12-10-19, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
I had a juant down the driveway on it last night after I pumped the tires up. I don't really like the fixed gear thing. Plus when I was making a tight turn at the end of the drive in the street the tire hit my foot. I usually put the pedal like in the middle of my foot. Feels most comfortable to me.

Anyways......

Did you ride yours in the snow with those size tires? I'm stoked cuz so far they seem to be holding air, So the tubes are good..... I'm going to start breaking it all down maybe tonight and I'll have a closer look at the hub........ Not sure if there was welding going on in there or what. How do they make the gear fixed on a stock hub???




looks like a that's the original wheel that can reclaim it's freewheel
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Old 12-10-19, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 3S1M View Post
I think it just needs some adjustment. According to the tires it's a 27x 1-1/4. Which I believe would be the stock type of rims for that bike, eh? I was looking for tires with some tread on amazon last night and put them in my list. There were like 3 or 4. The current tires are toast. They're cracking and coming apart as I handle them.

Thanks for the tips on the rims. I had a feeling that was the problem with that one. The chrome. The one I got and cleaned up for my son is a 90's Schwinn MTB (15 bucks) and it has aluminum weimann rims that seem to stop better. But my Daughters is this cool American Made Murray with 2.3" kenda tires and it feels really good to ride. But I won't be using that one in the wet any more. Those rims had a bunch of rust when I rescued it and we both worked pretty hard on those with steel wool. I even did some chrome cleaning treatment to them to get the stubborn stuff off. She really likes that bike though and she hasn't ridden in the winter with me. So no biggy that they don't stop in the wet. She doesn't ride in the rain either. LOL.






It's amazing how light this bike is. When I picked it up to put it in my trunk I was like WOW!!!!
update your daughters brake pad's to kool stop Salmon....that will help wet braking performance
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Old 12-10-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
Smart move is sell it to somebody who wants a fixed, take the bucks and buy something with gears... but knowing me I'd probably start screwing around with it and buying parts. +1 try to find a some cheap wheels used or at a coop.

I like "female" mtbs also. Because they ride fine and they aren't worth anything. Low top tube doesn't bug me. But.. if you already have a mtb to ride.. you're already set.
That's an option.

I've gotten to the point that none of the bikes we have are ideal for what I want. So I guess I've been riding long enough that I know where I'd like to improve my rides. LOL. My bike is comfy and fun to ride, but not all that well suited for hills and weather cuz of the gearing. My wifes works well for all around stuff but it's heavy, I totally dislike the seat and she likes it and it's got that annoying sound that's driving me bonkers when I ride it. LOL. My Son's geometry is a little tight, but not too bad. But when I bought the tires for it, I wasn't thinking about winter and bought more street like tires. And even on the normal, dry pavement, they don't really feel all that planted so I'm hesitant on taking that one in the snow. My daughters bike is my second favorite riding bike and would be a good option but her bars are flat and I really don't like how far forward you have to ride it. And she likes it set up the way it is. I tried getting her grips off and putting on a more upright set of bars for the winter but they're on there so good I feel like I'd have to cut them off. But she told me she likes the way they feel so I don't want to do anything I can't undo in the spring for her. I have a similar issue with my son's bike. I would like to put more upright bars on it but the brake levers have stymied me on how to get them off. I've been told how to do it but I feel like I'd be rewiring all the brakes if I end up trying to mess with it and I've been hesitant. Plus his just feels a bit odd to me.

So, yeah, I'm being picky. I would like to set up a bike for myeslf that ticks all my boxes and it's possible this one MIGHT fit that bill. But yes, I'd be putting more upright bars on it too.

So I think my requirements are: Gears for hills and weather. Even if just a few... Either that or lower gearing than my current ride. Tires that will handle snow when needed. And a position that is comfy enough for me. And I guess brakes that work in the weather. Although I'm not opposed to learning how to stick my foot on the rear tires. That's how a lot of BMX dudes do it. I tried that a few times on my cruiser and it's not that bad. It does seem like it would wear the soles of your shoes out fast if you did it much though. LOL. Would probably be kind of a dangerous thing to do in wet weather though... Maybe.

I think this bike could possibly fit my requirements with some tweaking though.
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