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7/12/11 11:32 A

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25 years? My good bike is 25 years old and my beater is 35.

Actually my wife has been telling me I need to get a new bike for years. When we watched the video Hell of the North my wife said, look at all the old fashion bikes. They all look like yours! I tell her the day I have trouble keeping up with her I'll start shopping for a new ride. I did my first group ride, my first century, my first race, crashed a dozen or so times and rode many tens of thousands of miles all on my current bike so I'll probably ride it until it crumbles beneath me. Steel is real.

My Gitane beater started life as a 10 speed but I changed it to 7. I have a very classy old pair of 120mm Bullseye hubs in my tool box so I might change it back to 5 so I can use the old hubs.

DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,793
7/11/11 8:56 P

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One of my favorite cycling buddies didn't have the money for a new bike and bought a "beater" 10 speed from one of our bike club members...a decent road bike. She's made the most of it and has gone the distance on this bike.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

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LMB-ESQ's Photo LMB-ESQ Posts: 11,122
7/11/11 6:44 P

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I guess you'd call what I ride a beater bike of sorts. I didn't put it together myself, in fact, I bought it brand new. But it's close to 25 years old now and still going strong. I'm like Don in the mechanical department.... outrageously impaired (I like that!) Every time I have it tuned up I ask if I should buy a new one and they always say the same thing.... Why? It's a perfectly good bike!

It's only a 10 speed... do they even make those anymore? LOL

***** Laurie in Northeast Ohio *****

Fortunate are you if you love a dog, for that dog will surely love you.

Fly Free my friend.... for only in true freedom can we find our true selves

Treat stressful situations like a dog... If you can't eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away!

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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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7/11/11 5:13 P

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I keep saying I'll start doing this that and the other thing when I retire. Now it is so hard to find time to do all my hobbies, cycling, reading, music and brewing beer. Seems like every day I run out of hours before I get around to doing anything I want to do.
With the results of the market corrections and an expensive divorce I'll be lucky to retire by 70. Oh well.

DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,793
7/11/11 2:48 P

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There are many in my bike club who are SO gifted in cobbling together beater bikes! In fact they've pooled their efforts to make bikes available to poor kids who don't have a bike.

I am outrageously mechanically impaired and probably oughta bite the bullet and learn more about bicycles and doing this sort of thing. Problem is? Doubt I'll ever have time until I retire 10 or so years from now...lol!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,883
7/11/11 2:43 P

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Sold all my late 70's campy super record groups to a guy for a good price. He made double that from a source he had. There is an underground of these parts hunters. He took 4 Full Campy Super Record groups off my hands, one was 1978, 2-1980, 1-1981. I sold him 2 of my Campy Tool sets too. I have not seen him since, used to stop in to my shop a few times a month. He probably knows I would figured out how much the stuff was worth and knows I will give him a good head butt!

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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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7/11/11 2:21 P

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Some of my parts are beginning to be vintage enough to be valuable again. The thought crossed my mind to sell a few of the more collectable parts to finance more modern gear.

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
7/11/11 1:29 P

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I think I will look for a beater road bike .... so that when it looks like rain .... I don't make an excuse of not riding. I could just hop on the beater bike and ride and if I get caught in rain, then I am not sacrificing the good bike. As far as running to the grocery store for a few items; I could use the beater bike and go and be saving all around, miles on the car, gas, pollution, waist line, getting additional miles in .... gee a win win situation.

As far as doing the work on the bikes ... I always start with the kids bikes first for experimenting and practice and then go to my wife's road bike and then mine;-) LOL If I still have things screwed up I got a bike gear head, from his college days, just 3 blocks away to undo my damage. Thus, I learn how to it correctly from that point on .... it also lets me know which tools I need to work on the bikes ... that way I am not unnecessarily buying tools that I would not ever use or need. If fact my buddy said that if it is a specialty tool .... I am not to go out and buy it. He has indicated to me to bring the bike bike(s) over and he will either show me how to do the repair or walk me through it. This also would go for annual maintenance on the bikes as well.

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,883
7/11/11 1:03 P

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Beater Bike Specialized Roubaix 2004, use it to go to the gym at night, trainer, and bad weather conditions. Wheels are some Rock Crushers I built, 32 hole 14 gauge spokes on old Dura Ace hubs.

Lots of people want the frame and older Dura Ace, so maybe I'll dump it. I sold all the steel stuff from the 70's 80's and 90's.

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7/11/11 12:49 P

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I spent the first few years of my bike mechanic career doing little else but building beater bikes. I started wrenching at a bike shop in a small college town. Many students, especially foreign students didn't have a lot of money and couldn't afford a car. They needed a bike for transportation and didn't have a lot of money to spend. We would get junk bikes by the truckload and build as many working bikes out of them as we could. If we could make 2 working bikes out of 3 junkers we were doing pretty well. Our rule was that everything had to work but to keep things cheap we had to use as few new parts as possible. When we had a bike that was beyond hope we stripped any usable components off of before sending off to the big bike shop in the sky. Most of the finished bike's weren't pretty; often rusty with mismatched wheels, shifters and/or brakelevers but they rode in a straight line; tires held air, gears shifted, and brakes stopped. Most of them sold for $40 or so (1980's dollars). Not only that but every college student I knew who was a recreational rider or racer also had a beater bike of their own that they lovingly built with their own two hands. When I quit wrenching it was a source of pride to see my beaters on bike racks every time I locked up my own beater bike even a dozen years later, long after the original owner graduated; my handiwork helped generations of students get around. Funny thing is that I can remember building each one even though I built hundreds. Every one is unique like a snowflake or a fingerprint.
If you have a nice bike why would you want a beater? Short answer is to ride any time you don't want to ride your nice bike. You probably don't want to lock your nice bike up on a bike rack, burden it with a rack to carry groceries, or put fenders on for the rain but your beater can take all this abuse. If you start doing some of your errands on bicycle (and you should!) than you can put bulletproof tires on your beater and keep your recreational bike shod with high performance rubber.
Now you are hopefully eager to have a beater bike of your own. Where should you look for a beater? The answer is anywhere you can. Ideally you would get yours from a dumpster. Many bikes get tossed when all they need are a few parts and some love. Otherwise there are garage sales, police auctions and pawn shops. Most people wouldn't know a Huffy from a Colnago so you will occasionally find good bikes for a song simply because the seller has no idea what they got. If you buy new parts and pay someone else to fix up your beater than chances are you will pay more than the bike is worth so roll up your sleeves and get ready to get your hands dirty. You can fearlessly learn to fix things on your beater since you won't be imperiling your good bike. When you upgrade your nice bike the cast-off parts can be upgrades on your beater. You should also get to be on good terms with your local bike shop so you can raid their cache of used parts when you need something to keep your beater rolling cheap. The rate that drivetrains become obsolete almost guarantee a constant supply of parts. Remember that every time a cog was added chains and clusters became more expensive and less durable. A 5 to 7 speed freewheel bike is your best bet because freewheels are much cheaper than cassettes for freehubs but if you still have your 9 speed parts after upgrading to 10 or 11 speeds they would be great on your beater.
Now grasshopper, go and seek the beater the universe has lovingly provided for you.

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