Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hobo Bike!

Nicole found this bike totally crammed into some bushes out in Golden Gate Park. She was walking our huge dog, pushing our son in the stroller while our daughter was walking with her. Even though her hands were full already she somehow managed to push the bike-heap nearly a mile back to the house!

There's not much on the internet about it but I did find this link that says it was given away with other kinds of purchases "BUY A STEREO, GET A BIKE!" which cracks me up.

It was in pretty poor condition and had clearly been abandoned, maybe because the derailleur was broken or maybe because the brakes didn't work at all. Go figure!

I took the bike into the office to show all my bike-loving coworkers but it was clearly not rideable so I packed it into the xtracycle to haul it in.

With the help of a friend and a handful of scrap parts that were hanging around our office I managed to get it into a little bit more of interesting working order. I replaced the spindle but used the original bottom bracket cups and bearings and rebuilt the entire bottom bracket. Used the original pedals but replaced the cranks to match the spindle. The wheels and tires were totally shot and I was able to find a pair of 700c wheels and a set of knobby tires to go with them. The scrap bike I got most of these extra pieces from had been set up as a fixie which I definitely didn't want but the idea of a cyclocross-esque single speed sounded like fun. I hit up Roaring Mouse for a set of new tubes and a freewheel cog for the back wheel. This morning I finished off my initial modifications by swapping the spare saddle on to the original seat post and putting the new tubes and knobby tires on to the wheels.

I also had to tweak the brakes a bit but only managed to get them to barely work, clearly there's room for improvement here. I just took it for a little spin just a few blocks away from the house, it's definitely fun to ride though I think I may opt for some different handlebar arrangement. Oh, and the brakes need lots of love. :) I've been wanting a bike that I could learn to disassemble/reassemble but couldnt really fathom blindly taking apart any of our daily rides for fear of rendering them unusable.

Thanks Nicole for my new bike!

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