Author Topic: What can you do to a bike?  (Read 3183 times)

Jschange

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What can you do to a bike?
« on: November 15, 2016, 10:16:49 PM »
I just emailed the store that I bought my bike at 16 years ago. I told them 15-ish because I don't want my age to be too obvious.

This is a road bike that was around 2000 back-then dollars and it has seen lots of riding and also some accidents. Not so much riding in the past 5 years because of the wheels being a teensy bit wonky, and then getting hit by a car.

I want: grippier tires, wheels that go in perfect circles, cooler handlebars and a basket. Are these reasonable things to be asking for? How much would said things cost?

I've been searching for a new bike for 2 years and I can't find one that seems awesome enough. I also think I might want this lightweight bike and also a cheap mountain bike, if I start winter biking (i.e. fix this up and then IF and only IF I'm biking enough).

Can this happen? Has anyone non-mechanical done a bike makeover like this?


TrMama

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 10:53:21 PM »
Those are super simple mods. The tires and wheels are also wear items. I'm shocked you haven't already had to replace them. Check mec.ca to get an idea for prices and then expect your bike shop to charge 10-20% more. There will also be a charge for installation. If you want to save some money, install the tires and basket yourself. The shop should swap the rear gear cassette off your back tire for free and you can easily put the new wheels on. Only changing the handlebars is tricky, and that's because you'll also have to swap the shifters and brake levers over.

Goldielocks

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 12:20:30 AM »
Do you have nice brakes?  I was looking recently and was surprised how inexpensive uber-quality (to me) brakes are these days.  Well worth the upgrade to go to disc brakes, or even hydraulic if you are aggressive rider / mountain biker.

Jschange

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2016, 07:08:50 AM »
I have...brakes. we switched out a bunch of components when I bought it, and then I have heavily used it but not replaced anything. I will add brakes to my list of things that might need replacing. And I may need to attend a bike workshop to learn more.


JJsfr

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2016, 10:45:03 AM »
Post a photo of the bike.

Grippier tires: look into touring tires. $30-$50 / tire. You could also get a knobbier tire than the touring tires typically are for more grip.
Wheels that go in perfect circles: Called "truing" a wheel. Maintenance item.  A bike shop should do this for you given your experience. Can run you anywhere between $20-$30 per wheel and $100/$150 for a new wheel if necessary.
Cooler handlebars: What do you have? What do you want? What you can have vs what you want depends on  your shifting components and can cost you $150-$250 to swap out shifters to get your "cooler" handlebars. Can run you $30-$75, plus tape, grips, installation, etc.
Basket: Your handlebars could constrain the basket you get. $30-$40 for a front basket.

What makes the bike you want "awesome" versus those that you've been looking for?

GuitarStv

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2016, 11:57:45 AM »
I just emailed the store that I bought my bike at 16 years ago. I told them 15-ish because I don't want my age to be too obvious.

This is a road bike that was around 2000 back-then dollars and it has seen lots of riding and also some accidents. Not so much riding in the past 5 years because of the wheels being a teensy bit wonky, and then getting hit by a car.

I want: grippier tires, wheels that go in perfect circles, cooler handlebars and a basket. Are these reasonable things to be asking for? How much would said things cost?

I've been searching for a new bike for 2 years and I can't find one that seems awesome enough. I also think I might want this lightweight bike and also a cheap mountain bike, if I start winter biking (i.e. fix this up and then IF and only IF I'm biking enough).

Can this happen? Has anyone non-mechanical done a bike makeover like this?



15 years old isn't particularly old when it comes to bikes.

Bikes are pretty simple mechanical beasts . . . I say this as someone who five years ago couldn't change a flat tire.  Last year I built myself a very nice wheelset from some hubs, rims, and spokes . . . the year before I replaced the entire drivetrain (shifters, derailleurs, chain, cassette, running new cables, cutting new cable housing, running cables) on a bike.  You just need the internet and some patience.

The things that you want:

Grippier tires:
- Do you have problems with the wheels sliding out from under your bike as you turn corners sharply?  This would indicate that your tires are overinflated.  Do you know how to calculate the correct pressure for your weight/tire width?
- Are you riding the bike on road, or off road?  On road, you'll actually get better grip from a very smooth tread.  Knobs and a heavily patterened design on the tire will grip better in deep mud/snow, but actually make handling worse on pavement.
- Do you just want a more stable feeling bike?  Getting tires that are wider will mean that you can run lower pressure (comfort and better grip), but they also make the bike handle in a noticeably more stable manner.

Some tires are actually made of grippier rubber than others.  This is very rarely what people really want though when they talk about grippier tires though.


Wheels that go in perfect circles:
- Your wheels need to be trued.  This is not a complicated task, you just need a spoke wrench and some internet instructions.  http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/wheel-and-rim-truing#article-section-5  If those instructions seem to complicated, take it down to your local bike store and they should be able to true the wheels for not too much money (should be under 40$ and half an hour for both wheels as long as the spoke nipples aren't fused to the rims).


Cooler handlebars:
- Very easy to do, and handlebars can be had pretty cheaply if you look around for sales.

The bars are bolted to something like that^.  Replacing them is a matter of unscrewing everything from one set of handlebars and screwing them on to another set.  Note:  You need to buy handlebars that are the same diameter at the stem as the ones you're replacing, so be sure to measure this.


Basket:
- Very easy to install on most bikes, can be had pretty cheaply.

Reynolds531

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 07:35:13 PM »
Weight on your outside foot in the corners. That will fix your grip problem.

You can do a spoke transfer onto a new rim. Cheaper and easier than new spokes. Just use new nipples. And you can probably do it then have the shop tighten and true, dish the wheels.

Make sure you have clearance in the frame for the new tires.

Swap out the stem and keep handlebars. May take some searching for one inch parts.

New brake pads yes, but new brakes are a waste of money and you're limited by braze ons.

GuitarStv

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 04:55:33 AM »
The wheels have been trued in the past, but they hit a point where the people doing it said they were limited by the damage (and oddly didn't suggest an alternative).

Thank you for all the advice so that I have a better idea going in.


Ah.  If the spoke nipples are aluminum they will eventually fuse to the aluminum rim and the wheel will be unfixable.  They are marginally heavier (maybe 100 grams?) but brass nipples won't do this and will remain adjustable for ages.  It might be time for a new wheelset if that's the case.

TrMama

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 04:36:04 PM »
Before you spend any time messing around with truing the wheel, feel the rims to make sure they're not totally worn out. Your bike probably has rim brakes. If you've ridden the bike a lot (especially if it's been ridden in wet weather) then grit that gets trapped between the brakes and the rim act like sandpaper. Over time, the rims become dished. If you leave it long enough, your brake pads will wear unevenly and eventually the rims will collapse. The only fix for this is to get new wheels. You can try to replace just the rims, and keep the old spokes and hubs, but new wheels are so cheap this ends up being a waste of time.

https://www.rei.com/c/road-bike-wheels?r=category%3Acycling%7Cbike-components%7Cbike-tires-tubes-and-wheels%7Cbike-wheels%7Croad-bike-wheels&ir=category%3Abike-components&page=1&sort=min-price

Jschange

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Re: What can you do to a bike?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2016, 08:25:09 PM »
For clarity, I can barely put air in a tire and will be doing none of this.

But I'll leave all these helpful ideas up for the mechanically minded, and hope that my estimate comes out to less than a new bike

Guitarstv...yes, I think new wheels, handlebars, basket and tires, and the mechanic can be judge and jury on the brakes and gears.