Author Topic: Got this bike, but is it safe?  (Read 3841 times)

spaniard999

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Got this bike, but is it safe?
« on: June 16, 2017, 12:29:05 PM »
Hi fellow mustachians.
So I got this bike 4-5 years ago. I think I paid $25 for it.
Now I am considering trying to ride to work (9 miles each way) several times a week.

In order to do this, I want to put my bike up to date and check for things.
I have absolutely no knowledge about bicycles.

My breaks are weak, my tires look very old, with some little cracks on it.
So I'm here to ask for your help and guidelines.

Since the pictures are big, I put them in a google shared album that can be visited HERE

Thank you
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 12:57:37 PM by aalferez »

BigHaus89

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 12:42:51 PM »
Sweet looking bike! This could be quite a project to get it in tip top shape. I would at the very least clean the hell out of it, grease the chain and change the brake pads. I'm not seeing the cracks in the tires from the pics, but you might want to consider changing those and getting new tubes. The chain doesn't appear to be in bad shape, but for a 9 mile commute I would probably replace the chain as well.

I'm sure more experienced riders can chime in with more help, as I am still learning about bike maintenance.

Dave1442397

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 12:49:18 PM »
At the very least, it needs new tires and inner tubes, and new brake pads.

It also needs a good cleaning and lubrication of all moving parts.

You can do the work yourself if you invest in a few basic tools. You can get decent tires for $15-20 online, and tubes might set you back another $4 each depending on where you buy them. Brake pads are cheap too, but make sure you get the right ones.

The chain can be cleaned on the bike. If you plan on doing the work yourself on a regular basis, you can buy a Park Tools chain cleaner, but some cleaning fluid and an old rag will work too. Try to get all the old grease off the chain and the cogs.

You can probably get away with using the cables that you have, as long as they aren't too frayed or rusted inside the casings.

If you prefer not to DIY, take it to a bike shop and ask them to do it for you, but you'll pay a lot more than if you source parts and do the work yourself.

spaniard999

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 01:01:00 PM »
I updated the link with more pictures where the tires can be appreciated.

I see the tires are 27 x 1 1/4. Is this all I need to know about the tires? Road profile tires I guess, right?

https://www.amazon.com/Bell-27-Inch-Road-Bike-KEVLAR/dp/B000LNS21A/ref=sr_1_5?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1497639604&sr=1-5&keywords=bike%2Btire&th=1&psc=1
This should work I guess. Front and rear are the same?

I'm looking for tubes but there are so many brands prices and sizes that I am confused.

Which parts need lubrication ? Chain, cables, brake levers? What product do I use?
Thank you
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 01:08:34 PM by aalferez »

GuitarStv

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 08:28:51 PM »
Those look like steel rims.  If they are, don't ride in the rain.  Stopping on steel rims in the rain even with perfectly tuned brakes and new brake pads is extremely exciting.

There's nothing magical about lube.  Get any bike specific chain lube and apply it to your chain occasionally, let it sit for a few hours (or overnight) and then wipe off most of it.  Put a drop of lube on the pivots of your brakes every once in a while so they don't rust into place.  Do the same with the pivots on your rear and front derailleurs.  NOTE - Don't use WD-40.  It is not lube, it's a degreaser and will actually strip the lubricant away from your chain and cause rust.

scottish

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2017, 05:54:31 PM »
I've notice that with steel rims as well.    Disk brakes are one alternative, they work when wet.   Are there others?

GuitarStv

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2017, 06:28:42 PM »
Aluminum alloy rims (like the majority of bike rims made in the last 20+ years) will grip OK with the right brake pads in rain when properly set up.  The older steel rims are just horrific though, no matter how you set them up. This is coming from a guy who rides to work through blizzards on regular bike tires all winter long.  :P

meghan88

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 11:06:10 AM »
Interesting ... I'd never put two and two together re. wet brakes and steel wheels.  I've just been very happy with my Trek for better stopping ability, and simply chalked it up to better brake components.  Most, if not all, of my old beaters over the years had steel wheels, now that I think about it.

OP, have you done a few test runs over that distance?  9 miles each way could be a challenge at first if you haven't biked much.  Even if you're in shape in other ways (e.g., a gym rat or a runner), you'll be using new muscles and your seat might be sore.  It's not a huge distance though, so it shouldn't take you much time at all to get used to it.  My other advice would be to plan your route carefully, and be ever-vigilant.  Don't assume drivers can - or want to - see you.

spaniard999

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 01:17:51 PM »
Well I did 7 miles the other day, no big deal.
I play vball once a week, soccer twice a week. I'm not a runner at all, I HATE IT!.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2017, 01:32:38 PM »
Looks like a low end "bike boom" bike from the 70s.  The "suicide" brake levers are usually an indication that a bike is low end.  TBH, I would have a hard time putting money into that bike. You are looking at $75+ for tires, tubes, cables, and chain.  The u-brake performance will still be rubbish even if you put new pads on them.  I would suggest putting that money towards a used CL bike instead.  I would almost guarantee that you can find something far superior in the $100 range.  I'd be happy to do some shopping for you if you want to point us in the direction of your local CL. :)

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2017, 02:24:26 PM »
Agree with Debts_of_Despair. That was a cheap, crappy bike when it was new. It's not worth putting any money into.

moof

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2017, 04:48:20 PM »
If you really intend to commute regularly, go to a bike shop and get a decent commuter bike.  Plan on spending $500 for a "good" bike.  Spending much more gets you features and performance you won't notice for commuting purposes.  A decent shop will help you find a frame that works, and also help fit the bike to you.  Changing out handlebars and seat can really change how a bike works with or against you.

If you plan on riding in the rain, get fenders.

If you plan on commuting a lot, get a luggage rack and panniers.  Backpacks suck after a while.

Get a couple spare tubes, patch kit, chain lube, a small air pump, and a bike multi-tool and you'll be set for 99% of the snags that you will run into.  Take it back to the shop every year or two for things you can't handle yourself.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 07:08:04 PM »
If you really intend to commute regularly, go to a bike shop and get a decent commuter bike.  Plan on spending $500 for a "good" bike.  Spending much more gets you features and performance you won't notice for commuting purposes.  A decent shop will help you find a frame that works, and also help fit the bike to you.  Changing out handlebars and seat can really change how a bike works with or against you.

If you plan on riding in the rain, get fenders.

If you plan on commuting a lot, get a luggage rack and panniers.  Backpacks suck after a while.

Get a couple spare tubes, patch kit, chain lube, a small air pump, and a bike multi-tool and you'll be set for 99% of the snags that you will run into.  Take it back to the shop every year or two for things you can't handle yourself.

This is what I really wanted to say but feared an attack for suggesting spending so much money. 

FreeAsADragon

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2017, 11:46:50 PM »
Looks like a low end "bike boom" bike from the 70s.  The "suicide" brake levers are usually an indication that a bike is low end.  TBH, I would have a hard time putting money into that bike. You are looking at $75+ for tires, tubes, cables, and chain.  The u-brake performance will still be rubbish even if you put new pads on them.  I would suggest putting that money towards a used CL bike instead.  I would almost guarantee that you can find something far superior in the $100 range.  I'd be happy to do some shopping for you if you want to point us in the direction of your local CL. :)

+1, completely agree. If you have unlimited time and a local community bike place where you can get all the parts for say under $10 total, this may be a learning project. Else, I would also completely agree with this poster.

Sydneystache

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 02:14:32 AM »
I would keep it as they don't make those things anymore. Was it made in the USA? It looks like a Peugeot knock-off and being steely gives it a bit of street cred still.

dilinger

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2017, 02:19:41 AM »
Put $0 into the bike, other than lubing the chain.  Ride it for those 9mi trips until the tires disintegrate.  The cracking on the sidewalls may mean the tires are shot - or they may last a little while longer.  Once the tires are no longer usable, sell the bike on Craigslist for $50.  Advertise it as being stainless steel and having horizontal drop-outs, perfect for a fixie conversion.  Someone will take it and throw those awful steel rims away, turning it into a fixed gear w/ alloy wheels.

Or, if you like riding it, find some cheap tires to replace the ones you have on there.  I wouldn't even consider this a project bike for learning on; cottered cranks are a massive pain in the ass.

BTW, as others have mentioned - don't ride that thing in the rain.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 02:22:41 AM by dilinger »

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2017, 07:38:08 AM »
^^ Also good advice.  Bottom line is don't put any money into it.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Got this bike, but is it safe?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2017, 07:41:48 AM »
I would keep it as they don't make those things anymore. Was it made in the USA? It looks like a Peugeot knock-off and being steely gives it a bit of street cred still.

Don't make what anymore?  Road bikes?  Or this off brand that most people have never heard of?  That is no indication of value.  There were LOADS of bike brands in the 70s and 80s that no longer exist.  Most of them were junk.

Tons to read here: http://www.mytenspeeds.com