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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
    Posts
    104

    Would you fix up an old bike or donate it?

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    I love riding my new carbon Synapse but road bikes are pretty much limited to paved paths. I've encountered a few occasions where a paved bike trail turns into a gravel path. I'd love it if the 700x25 tires are versatile enough to handle it but I didn't want to try that out.

    My old bike is a navy blue Specialized Hardrock Sport from the late 1990s. It's heavy but I have fond memories with it and have been wondering if it would be worth it to fix it up for those random trails or casual rides in town.

    This bike has been parked outside through rainy seasons so the gears, chains and other areas are fairly rusty and dirty but still functions properly. What are some basic materials I would need to clean up the gears and such?

    I am hesitant to spend a lot of money to fix it up, such as getting new derailleurs and gears, but I have no problem with scrubbing the gears with a toothbrush and cleaning stuff, and oiling the chain. Have any of you fixed up an old bike and was it worth it or should I just donate it? I have no idea what kind of materials I'd need to clean and possibly fix it up, but I think it'll look very pretty again!
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    I was given an old beater bike and i did fix it up. It was not left outside to rust though; i have no idea how extensive the damage is on your bike, remember it has bearing and things like that. If they are rusty, they will have to be replaced. I think i put $250 into my bike (I replaced wheels, tires, saddle, handlebar tape and had some minor repairs done) and it was absolutely worth it.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
    Posts
    104
    It's not completely rusted out to the point that I'd be worried about riding it. However, the cassette, chain, etc. are pretty dirty so I will probably try to clean that up the best I can without taking stuff apart at this point. I used this bike back in the day and then had it sitting around just for the occasional ride. Now that I'm more into cycling I am thinking about at least trying to clean up the bike and see how good the condition is. What kinds of bike cleaning tools are recommended? I can use them for both bikes. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,302
    I used an orange cleaner to clean up an old bike. It works well at dissolving grease. I used rags and a couple of tooth brushes. I used strips of old rags with cleaner on them to clean between the cogs on the freewheel. On old good quality chrome on my old Schwinn I used a brass brush and it worked fabulous.

    I would take off and ditch the chain and at least invest in a new chain.

    When I took my bike maintenance class they used a bit of soapy water (dawn dish washing detergent) to clean bikes, wiping down with a damp rag. They also liked Windex for the frame, wheels and tires. And alcohol to wipe components as they won't sit wet. If things were horribly gunky, like derailleurs, they would take it off and soak it in something tougher.

    Park tool has this gear cleaning brush:



    I used it and wore it out quickly. I am finding that rags do as good a job.

    I also have Park Tool's chain cleaning thingie:



    You put some orange cleaner in the contraption, put it over your chain, and rotate the pedals. Kind of messy but good if you have a filthy chain.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 09-30-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by gocard View Post
    It's not completely rusted out to the point that I'd be worried about riding it. However, the cassette, chain, etc. are pretty dirty so I will probably try to clean that up the best I can without taking stuff apart at this point. I used this bike back in the day and then had it sitting around just for the occasional ride. Now that I'm more into cycling I am thinking about at least trying to clean up the bike and see how good the condition is. What kinds of bike cleaning tools are recommended? I can use them for both bikes. Thanks!

    Amen to old bikes with cherished memories- yeah!!! if I won the lotto I would maybe upgrade but I keep my aged beasts going with: citrus degreaser, chain lube, old toothbrush, discarded cut up tshirts....That being said- new wheels if bearings are shot- the kindly gentleman who replaced my wheels reminded me that for "only" 400$ more I could have a new bike (instead of just new wheels) As a protest to our throw away society and a testament to the memories of my pre kid biking days i kept my beast and got new wheels. Also, degreasing, cleaning and lubing chain etc... far more often and important on a mt bike (:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
    Posts
    104
    Thanks for the help - I am armed with old toothbrushes and rags and will be picking up some chain lube and degreaser. There are some trails that are paved and turn into gravel/dirt roads, so I think it'll be worth it to clean up my Specialized and ride out there to explore and scout out the roads for my road bike! I think this steel bike is probably at least 10 pounds heavier than my new bike. No idea how I was able to lift it into the car in the past!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Redding, CA
    Posts
    50
    Clean it up and if you can afford it a tune up by a shop may be in order. They will deep lub everything and change out the cables. I just had my Giant done and it cost $65.

 

 

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