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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    probably not worth it but I want to get my old bike fixed up

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    When I went off to college in the (cough) fall of 1987 my dad bought me a Giant Iguana. He called it my "parking sticker". I rode the heck out of that thing all through college and for a while after college. I'm not sure exactly why I stopped riding. I got into running about that time so that's probably it. The fact that my husband has never been into riding might be a factor too. He owns a bike though and from time to time we'd break them out. We've ridden to a couple of football games, it's faster than driving and way cheaper than parking anywhere near the stadium. This summer I decided I wanted to train for a tri so I started riding. I rather quickly clued in that it was going to take a road bike to do the tri so that's the direction I went.

    this is going somewhere hang in there

    So now I have this road bike which I just LOVE.

    I guess technically the Iguana is a mountain bike but that technology has changed so much since I got this bike that I dare say it is more of a hybrid now - no shocks for example.

    What I want to do is get it fixed up. I don't know what all that would require. Given the smoothness of shifting gears on the road bike compared to the Iguana I'm guessing that I'm looking at getting a new chain and probabl derailers. The wheels are rusty so yea new wheels. I'm sure that this bike isn't worth what its going to cost to do all of this but given the history here I'm actually rather fond of this bike. Has anyone else even done this sort of thing? There is no way I cayn do any of this myself so we're heading to the LBS this weekend to talk to them. I'm just wondering how bad the sticker shock is going to be.

    The bike in question is on the top. The cat seems impressed, he especially loves it when I fire up the air compressor to air up the tires.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by aponi; 09-06-2013 at 01:39 PM.
    cryin' won't help ya prayin' won't do ya no good

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Medford, MA
    I've done this -- new rear wheel, new cassette/chain, (derailleurs were A-OK after that, actually -- so I still have my wacky Suntour LePree three-pully rear derailleur), new seat post as the old one had frozen but could be crushed+removed, etc. It cost more than it was "worth" and the shop was up-front about that, but I'm glad I did -- the bike is still great fun to ride, and it's nice to have something I don't worry about when it's locked up in the city. You may want to find a shop that does a lot of work with older bikes if your usual LBS doesn't -- if you're in a good-sized city there's probably a shop somewhere that mostly does refurbished commuter rides/etc who will know exactly what it needs and what is fine even if it looks a little beat-up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Uncanny Valley
    I'm (still) in the same quandary with my 1987 race bike. The frame is worth it, but it will be a LOT of work and money and energy that I just haven't found the energy for yet.

    The biggest issue is the rear dropout spacing. If the frame is aluminum, you're stuck with whatever old parts you can find. If it's steel, you can find a shop with a frame alignment jig to spread the dropouts to accommodate a modern hub. You'll need to strip the frame down before you take it in. (May as well get it repainted while it's bare. )

    Are you okay with the quill stem? If not, I think you may need to replace the headset too. That requires a press - someone else can say whether a jerry-rigged press made from a threaded rod and big washers would be adequate.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Your bike is my age. I don't know how to feel about this.

    You can do it cheaply, provided that existing parts (that don't need replacement) and the frame are compatible with modern parts. I think the Iguana frames up until the mid-90's were steel, so you may be in luck. Your goal, I imagine, is to make it functional. You don't have to get anything fancy. Get the 26-inch wheels that are made as replacement wheels for entry-level hybrids if they work. You'll probably need a new cassette and chain. Definitely new cables. If need be, there are relatively cheap shifters out there. If it's been sitting a while, new grease everywhere that needs it.

    You don't need to replace the headset unless there is actually something wrong. I don't really care for the quill stem on mine, but I don't care enough to change it right now.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva

    Saving for the next one...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oslo, Norway
    Fixing up old bikes is great fun :-) But getting hold of non-standard parts is a pain. Your LBS will be able to tell you if it's possible or not. It needn't be that expensive, unless you want top-notch parts. Entry-level parts can be quite reasonable.

    But still - reckon that fixing it up will be more expensive than buying a new bike of similar quality, and consider it the price of getting a frame you like and a bike with a history.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    central NY
    I did something similar this year. I have a Trek 720 which I bought, say, in 1990. It was simply a hybrid, straight bars like a mountain bike, but narrower tires, no suspension. I rode that bike everywhere, for every purpose. After several years it ended up on the trainer. Then last year, after reading this board, I realized "Hey, I've got a nice steel mixte sitting here!" I took it to the shop and had it fixed up with a new cassette, derailleur, shifters, brake levers, and maybe some cables. I rode it home in the snow (carefully, it still had the slick "trainer tire" on the back) and had so much fun. When the road cleared I took it out again and I just felt sticking my legs out and yelling "wheeeee!"

    I think it came to about $200 US, using just basic parts. It was fun to give some life back to the bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I had a chat with the guys at the bike shop today and they told me the bike is in better shape than I thought. I explained that I wasn't planning to use it as a **real mountain bike** and that mostly what I wanted was to use it when the weather was bad and when I want to ride on gravel paths. They're doing some work on the derailleurs and I may need a new chain but I'm looking at about $50. I got some dual sided pedals for it so I can wear my cleats so that added another $120 but I should have it back on Tuesday. I'm excited, it almost feels like I'm getting a new bike.
    cryin' won't help ya prayin' won't do ya no good



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