Sunday, 20 March 2016

Bicycle renovations

On Tuesday night, I was about to cycle home from uni on my cruiser, Grace, when, on the first pedal stroke, the chain came apart. Not only that, but when I inspected her drivetrain trying to figure out what had happened, I noticed that the chainring was very, very bent:

Added to a back wheel that was already again in need of replacement anyway (broken spoke, out of true), I knew that the repair bill would exceed the cost of the bike. What to do?

  • I already had existing ideas that at some stage I would take Grace off the road for a while for some planned upgrades — a repaint to repair deep scratches and damage from early days of learning to ride, plus better drivetrain components.
  • In the course of a normal week, I park my bike for long periods unattended in places I’m not comfortable leaving my Bianchi roadbike, so I needed a replacement for commuting. 
  • With uni semester already started, I needed a replacement now
  • Buying bike similar to Grace would allow me to make use of components, accessories, and spares that I’d already bought, and 
  • Facebook ads had informed me that Reid is currently running out remaining stock of this model: the Vintage Ladies 7-Speed Classic. 

So the time seemed right to give this bike a well-earned rest, and on Thursday, I plonked down $199 for a near-twin:

I spent Saturday afternoon transferring components and accessories from old to new, until I had my beloved cruiser down to little more than frame and forks:

I put aside the brand-new Reid components, so that when Grace’s rebuild is complete, I can swap these back and hopefully sell or donate the bike I just bought as a complete and new-looking unit. 

A few friends and family members have asked me why I didn’t just buy a “better” bike instead of this stand-in and the planned extensive upgrades.

Two reasons. First, I’m very sentimental, and I feel a deep sense of attachment to this bike (my first bike, the bike that took me to the Gold Coast on one of the biggest and most fun adventures of my life). Second, the aesthetics of a bike are crucial to any notion of “better” to me, and I’m yet to find any readily-available cruiser whose looks I prefer, or any hybrid I like the looks of at all.

Next steps will be to complete Grace’s disassembly, buy the rack and fenders I want to upgrade to, and start looking at powdercoating options.

No comments:

Post a Comment