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Advice For Noob

Old 04-01-11, 02:43 PM
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kbarbuti
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Advice For Noob

I just bought a older single speed road bike. (Prob at least 20 years old)

I want to paint this bike & get it on the road so I can start having fun riding - but I also don't want to get killed on it.

Can you guys give me some pointers on what to check out to make sure the bike is road worthy?

Or direct me to some sites.

Thank you.

Keith.
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Old 04-01-11, 03:26 PM
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Fenway
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Clear pictures always help us diagnose issues and give specific tips.
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Old 04-01-11, 03:37 PM
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kbarbuti
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There's nothing in particular wrong with the bike.

Just looking for a general

What to check list.
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Old 04-01-11, 06:11 PM
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Velo Dog
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Originally Posted by kbarbuti View Post
There's nothing in particular wrong with the bike.

Just looking for a general

What to check list.
As the other post said, pix or a description would help. If it were mine, though:
--Tires and tubes. Are the tires old, grayish, cracked? Replace 'em. If the tubes hold air, I'd use them, but new ones aren't that expensive.
--Brakes. You don't mention if it's a coaster brake bike, but if it is, there's not much to go wrong. They generally live forever. Don't take it apart if you don't have to.
If it has hand-operated brakes, check the pads where they contact the rims. You may be able to sand some life back into them, but if they're glazed, dried out, cracked or whatever, take the old ones to a shop and say, "Gimme some of these." Either replace the cables and housings or pull out the cables, lube them with grease or something (doesn't much matter what) and slide them back in.
--Bearings. They live in the wheel hubs, headset (where the handlebar stem plugs into the frame) and the bottom bracket (where the spindle that holds the crankarms goes through the bottom of the frame). In a bike that old, they probably need replacing or at least repacking (clean and reassemble with new grease). This may look intimidating, but it's definitely a do-it-yourself job). www.parktool.com is one place to check for advice. I use StaLube Marine Grease, made for boat trailers, but any decent grease is fine.
--check the wheels for trueness by holding a Magic Marker or something near the rims and spinning the tire so the high spots on the rim get marks on them. If it's way out of true, google "truing bicycle wheels" and do what it says. Minor deviations (1/8 inch or so, depending on your tolerance for imperfection) are nothing to worry about.
--Lube or maybe replace the chain. Parktool can tell you how to check it.
I'm assuming the frame is sound, no terminal rust in the fork, stuff like that. Then paint it orange and ride it forever.
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Old 04-01-11, 06:19 PM
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garage sale GT
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Don't paint it unless it's really beat up and rusty. It's a huge pain and either costs too much or just doesn't come out as good as you thought. Polish up the old paint complete with dings and scratches and ride it.

You need to make sure the ball bearings are correctly adjusted in the pedals, bottom bracket, hubs, and headset (steering.)

The brake pads might be dry.

Unless it's a singlespeed conversion, it could have dried up grease in the bearings which won't lubricate, but will just squish out of the way.

Everyone says to change out the cables and housings, but I never do and the old ones work fine.

The spokes need to be trued and tensioned. If you have a loose one, it will overstress the ones around it and they will soon fatigue and snap. There's also a chance that the rims are worn too thin from braking, but you would see deep gouges.

The frame or any of the components could be cracked and it needs checking.
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