Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Restoring a neglected road bike I got for free (with pics)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: Is it worth restoring
Yes, it should be relatively easy to restore.
5
15.63%
No, it will be too hard to restore it, not worth it.
27
84.38%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

Restoring a neglected road bike I got for free (with pics)

Old 07-10-09, 07:51 AM
  #1  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Restoring a neglected road bike I got for free (with pics)

Hey all, I am 100% new to road biking. I never had a road bike until now. I was over at my neighbor's house to get my iguana that wandered into their yard (don't ask, long story...lol). Anyways they had a road bike propped up outside and I asked how come it was rusted etc. They said its been in that spot for a while and they never use it anymore. They asked me if I wanted it, so I said sure (I've always wanted a road bike but I'm in college and it wasn't a priority).

Its a Free Spirit brand bike (I did research, its from sears and about 15 years old). Its built without welds (crimps), pretty damn rusty, and a bit heavy (which sucks a bit but shouldn't be too bad), the chain is very rusted and will need replacing. Judging from the pics, is this bike going to be a headache or should I be able to clean and repair it easily?

One note, I have a trek bike frame (see pic). Its really light weight. Would it be a good idea to switch the frames?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
the bike.jpg (55.1 KB, 203 views)
File Type: jpg
Brake Levers.JPG (89.8 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg
Brakes.JPG (91.6 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg
Rusty wheels.JPG (95.6 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg
Rusted chain and deraileur.jpg (70.5 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg
the trek frame.JPG (93.1 KB, 132 views)
File Type: jpg
bike compared w trek frame.jpg (64.0 KB, 118 views)
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 07:56 AM
  #2  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also, I forgot to mention... I'll be riding mostly flat and smooth paved roads made just for biking. Also, a bit more about the trek frame. It is welded and it matches perfectly length-wise with the bike, but not height-wise. I'll need to raise the seat post a lot if you guys think I should switch them.
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 07:58 AM
  #3  
AngryScientist 
Lost
 
AngryScientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nutley, nj
Posts: 4,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
this bike needs a lot of tlc to get it into riding condition. at a minimum:

tires, tubes, brake pads, cables, chain, bartape.

probably: every bearing repacked, wheels, crank, shifters, front and rear derailleur, frame.

that said, i like project bikes, but understand what you're getting into before you start spending money on it. one of the biggest headaches you will find is those cottered cranks, they suck.

take this thread over to the classic/vintage forum, they'll help you out more.

- good luck.
AngryScientist is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:00 AM
  #4  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, wow quick replies already! How do I transfer the thread to the classics? I thought since its a road bike, it belongs here?

I'll definitely clean the rust and replace the cables, tubes, and brake pads. But what are a drivetrain and cottered cranks?
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:03 AM
  #5  
efranko
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
general points to consider:
a) which one fits the best
b) you wont be able to just "swap" parts between the bikes
c) if the trek fits, buy cheapish parts online and/or a full group and build it up
d) if your'e serious about road biking forget about both and buy a good road bike (caad9? anyone? anyone?)
e) establish a budget. whats your budget?
efranko is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:06 AM
  #6  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I wish I could buy a good road bike, but right now I am not very serious about road biking. I'm thinking this could be a beginner bike and also to learn how to fix and restore a bike?

If I find i enjoy it a lot, and I save up, I will definitely get a more modern bike.

My budget is around under $50. Is this reasonable or just cheapskate (to clean it and replace some parts).
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:07 AM
  #7  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Honesty that bike is not worth fixing up. If you brought it into my shop, I'd tell you that it was cheaply made, never intended to be ridden this long. I could work on it, but when I'm done, you'd have invested as much as a good used bike on eBay or Craigslist costs, and you'll still have a piece of crap. I would use nicer words, though.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:07 AM
  #8  
AngryScientist 
Lost
 
AngryScientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nutley, nj
Posts: 4,512
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BigMac23 View Post
Thanks, wow quick replies already! How do I transfer the thread to the classics? I thought since its a road bike, it belongs here?

I'll definitely clean the rust and replace the cables, tubes, and brake pads. But what are a drivetrain and cottered cranks?
i think one of the moderators needs to transfer the thread, no harm in starting another one over there though.

drivetrain = anything that touches the chain

cottered cranks = the crank arms (attached to the pedals) are connected to the bottom bracket with a pin - which is generally very difficult to remove (and in your bike's rusted case maybe nearly impossible).

i doubt you would be able to successfully remove any part of that bike in good enough condition to transfer to the trek frame, and you will surely have compatibility issues either way.

clean up the rust, replace the mandatory pieces. once you start riding it you will want a better bike anyway - consider this bike your gateway drug.
AngryScientist is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:09 AM
  #9  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BigMac23 View Post
I wish I could buy a good road bike, but right now I am not very serious about road biking. I'm thinking this could be a beginner bike and also to learn how to fix and restore a bike?

If I find i enjoy it a lot, and I save up, I will definitely get a more modern bike.

My budget is around under $50. Is this reasonable or just cheapskate (to clean it and replace some parts).
At an absolute minimum, you need new tires and brake pads. The tubes might be reusable, and if you do the work yourself, you can probably keep it under $50.

The bike will not work very well, but it can be done.
bonechilling is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:12 AM
  #10  
efranko
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BigMac23 View Post
I wish I could buy a good road bike, but right now I am not very serious about road biking. I'm thinking this could be a beginner bike and also to learn how to fix and restore a bike?

If I find i enjoy it a lot, and I save up, I will definitely get a more modern bike.

My budget is around under $50. Is this reasonable or just cheapskate (to clean it and replace some parts).
can't be done well and safely for $50. Your best bet would be a yard sale imo. You can usually get a working, relatively rust proof bike for <50. Troll craigslist as well. This restoration isnt gonna happen anytime soon...
efranko is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:12 AM
  #11  
BroadSTPhilly
The Haberdasher
 
BroadSTPhilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,018

Bikes: Panasonic AL-7000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Assertion: This projects does not make sense.

Four points:

1. The Trek 3700 is not a road bike.
2. Free spirits are pretty crappy road bikes.
3. The time, energy, and money spent on either restoring the Free Spirit or trying to swap parts could be better spent trolling craigslist.
4. It is highly likely that most of the part on the Free Spirit will not be compatible with the 3700.

Ergo. Do not waste alot of energy restoring the Free Spirit. Do not attempt to build up the 3700 with the Free Spirit parts. Troll craigslist until you find a good deal.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by BroadSTPhilly; 07-10-09 at 08:38 AM. Reason: absentmindedness
BroadSTPhilly is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:13 AM
  #12  
Flatballer
No matches
 
Flatballer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,157

Bikes: two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1036 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 8 Posts
The Trek frame you have is a mountain bike frame. And that bike is gonna be a huge headache.
Flatballer is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:14 AM
  #13  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Is the deraileur beyond restoration? After looking at it again (and you can see in the pic), its rusted really bad. Should I attempt to take it off and try to restore it (via instructions online and youtube). Or its not worth it and just replace it (will there be compatibility issues or they are standard size?)
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:16 AM
  #14  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hmm, damnit I was hoping it'd be worth restoring. I am a bit wary of going on craigslist because of crooks, and also the prices in the area suck.
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:18 AM
  #15  
jrobe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Your neighbor got the best of this deal.
jrobe is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:23 AM
  #16  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
Your neighbor got the best of this deal.
It was for free actually. Didn't pay anything for it. But you're probably right .
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:30 AM
  #17  
bonechilling
Run What 'Ya Brung
 
bonechilling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,694
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
Two points:

1.
2.
3.
4.
Two points?
bonechilling is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:37 AM
  #18  
Quijibo187
Custom User Title
 
Quijibo187's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 1,913

Bikes: 2006 Marin Stelvio, 1990s Steve Bauer, Marin Palisades Trail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
might want to try looking for a bike co-op in your area. They'll have tools and supplies, often free, to fix up a bike like that.
though, they may turn it into a fixie while you're not looking.
Quijibo187 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 08:46 AM
  #19  
BigMac23
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Guys, I noticed one more thing about the bike... the gear shifters are so rusted, its pretty sad. I'm really frustrated.

I have a cheap, crap "mountain bike" from a sporting goods store. could I take the chain and drive train off that and put it on the free spirit?

I'm leaning towards forgetting the whole ordeal and just saving up for a good, rust-free road bike. I'm really pissed off b/c I wanted to restore this one but after looking at the derailleur and gear shifters its probably not worth the brain aneurysm.
BigMac23 is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 10:56 AM
  #20  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 12,055
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
A guy I work with found a nice, clean road bike at the thrift store for $40! Look around, call some bike shops, you might get lucky. There has to be something rideable for cheap somewhere.
big john is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 11:03 AM
  #21  
pdedes
ka maté ka maté ka ora
 
pdedes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: wessex
Posts: 4,423

Bikes: breezer venturi - red novo bosberg - red, pedal force cg1 - red, neuvation f-100 - da, devinci phantom - xt, miele piste - miche/campy, bianchi reparto corse sbx, concorde squadra tsx - da, miele team issue sl - ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
it's not a road bike nor is it a classic. it's a boat anchor made of defective gas pipe. spray paint it orange and put it in a garden.
pdedes is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 11:09 AM
  #22  
Reynolds 
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,594

Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaña pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
What they said, even if you put that in working order it'll never be a good bicycle. You can find a better one for little money.
Reynolds is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 11:32 AM
  #23  
KiddSisko
Has coddling tendencies.
 
KiddSisko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Topanga Canyon
Posts: 8,352

Bikes: 2008 Blue RC8 w/ '09 Rival

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I could turn that into a ridable bike. The chain, derailers and pedals would be replaced, the rest de-rusted, lubed and polished, and away you go. I've restored several bikes not too far different than that Free Spirit in terms of condition. For me it's a matter of challenge and finding what's usable, then using steel wool and the Dremel tool to dig for the gold. If you like doing that sort of thing BigMac23, then have at it. I'll bet you'll find plenty of others over on the vintage thread who would agree.
KiddSisko is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 12:48 PM
  #24  
maddyfish
Senior Member
 
maddyfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ky. and FL.
Posts: 3,944

Bikes: KHS steel SS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dont spend a single dime on that ancient bike. That is A LOT older than 15 years. Try 30-35 years. And it was a cheap bike when new.

For your budget $50 fix that up into a single speed. That is the only value that artifact has.
maddyfish is offline  
Old 07-10-09, 01:07 PM
  #25  
kimconyc
Señor Member
 
kimconyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 3,729

Bikes: 2011 Hampsten Travelissimo Gran Paradiso Ti | 2007 Bianchi HoC 928 SL | 2001 De Rosa Neo Primato - Batik Del Monte, Genius | 1991 Eddy Merckx - Motorola, TSX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I voted for the second option. That Trek you have is just waiting to be built up though.

I'd put $1K+/- into the Trek (SRAM Rival group, or another used groupset if cheaper, extra into everything else), buy a cheap rear wheel, and put the newly acquired bike permanently on the trainer.

Actually, just build up the Trek.

Last edited by kimconyc; 07-10-09 at 01:11 PM.
kimconyc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.