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Back In The Saddle

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by MisterMeg, 16 Aug 2007.

  1. MisterMeg

    MisterMeg New Member

    Location:
    Penicuik
    Hello, I'm a bit new on here, i hope this is the right place to ask this question (if not i'll yahoo for another forum).

    I have not long retired and I'm thinking about getting back on my bike. I'm quite fit, as I play squash with a friend once a week, and have done for ages so I don't think that will be a problem. I haven't ridden a bike for about 20 years but I'm sure I'll manage.

    My first question (I'm sure it will be the first of many) is:

    I have an old bike in the shed. I got it new in the 80s and I think it cost about £200 then. It's a racing bike, or at least it has dropped handlebars with tape. It's not rusty and the paintwork is still quite nice so I might keep with it, as I remember it was nice to ride before. So, any thoughts on how to get it road worthy? I think new tyres are in order but other than that is there anything else I need to do?
     
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    New tyres and tubes and some new bar tape - maybe a new chain !
     
  3. Blue

    Blue Legendary Member

    Location:
    Cyprus
    Cables may need a check.

    Ease your way back as too much too soon may cause problems.

    Welcome, and enjoy your retirement.
     
  4. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    It depends how long the bike has been in the shed and how handy you are with tools. Apart from the very good suggestions above I would say to removed and clean every moving part on the bike, could take a day to do I guess, but would be worth it IMO!!!
     
  5. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Location:
    Deal, Kent
    I agree better safe than sorry
     
  6. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    New Chain - if at all 'stretched' or rusty, though this may also mean getting a new cassette (set of rear gear sprockets) as a new chain doesn't always marry too well with an old, worn casette.

    New brake blocks - old ones can be brittle and disintergrate. Technology has moved on and good modern brake blocks are made of better compounds than some of the older types which means better braking, especially in the wet.

    New brake and gear cables - get inner and outers - or at least, check outers for kinks and cracks and re-lube the inners, as they tend to get water inside and get sticky, so you can't change gear properly. Cables can also fray with wear and age, which can lead to brake cables snapping at a crucial moment!

    New inner tubes and tyres - the old ones could be perished.

    Clean and lubricate all moving parts, especially the piviot points on the chain derailleurs - front and rear - it helps with smooth changing of gear. You may want to lube or at least spray some water repellant into the pivot point/s on the front and rear brake callipers too (taking care not to get any lube the wheel rims!). This will prevent them from sticking and make braking easy and efficient.

    Check headest for tightness by holding front brake on and pushing forwards and backwards - if you can feel any movement or 'play', it needs a tighten. It should feel smooth and easy to turn the handle bars - if it feels 'gritty' you may need new bearings in the headset. Same with the bottom bracket - when you rotate the cranks by hand, it should feel really smooth and easy. Check for 'play' in the bottom bracket too, by trying to 'wobble' the cranks from side to side rather than turning them round. If there is any sideways movement at all, you need a new bottom bracket.

    Ready to roll! Good luck and enjoy it!
     
  7. OP
    OP
    MisterMeg

    MisterMeg New Member

    Location:
    Penicuik
    Blimey, thanks everyone! I think my spanner skills aren't what they might be so I will see what the local bike shops can do. Any advice in what to look for in a good bike shop these days?
     
  8. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    Depends whether you want high-end bling or not. 'Ordinary' stuff is sometimes harder to find, but staff at a good bike shop will listen to what you want rather than trying to sell you something you don't. Getting new parts for old bikes (anything lower than an 8 speed cassette, non-aero brake levers, down tube shifters etc) isn't always straightforward but a good bike shop will order something in for you, if they haven't got it in stock.
     
  9. chris42

    chris42 New Member

    Location:
    Deal, Kent
    Where in the country are you?
    if you tell us you may find locals who know.
     
  10. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    May I suggest getting a copy of Cyclecraft to read and inwardly digest? Also, if possible, get a spot of cycle training? This'll bring you up-to-date on cycling in today's traffic and will help you ride safely, assertively (not aggressively) and help you enjoy cycling as you're doing it *properly*.

    The above assumes you're in the UK.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    MisterMeg

    MisterMeg New Member

    Location:
    Penicuik
    I'm not bothered about looking like Eddy Merxx if that's what you mean. :ohmy:
     
  12. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    depending on your budget, mistermeg, you may find it cheaper to buy a new bike by the time you have replaced all the bits and pieces that are worn out etc.

    certainly "modern" stuff like combined brake and gear levers make for a more user friendly experience on dropped handlebar bikes, once you start upgrading bits like this i'm sure you'd be better off getting a new bike.

    that said, if your bike is a good quality steel frame (reynolds 531 or above, should be a sticker on the seat tube to that effect if it is) and in good nick, then it may be worth doing if you want to do it as a "project", if you see what i mean.

    loving the hmhb ref by the way :ohmy:
     
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    Unless like me, you're not good at adapting to 'new fangled' stuff! There is also something to be said for keeping it simple. Like with cars - modern bits seem less likely to be user-servicable - all throw-it-away-and-get-a-new-bit...

    So it depends, mistermeg, how much of an 'old fogey' you want to be!:ohmy:

    Oh, and hello, and welcome. First consideration should be, I think, the stuff that's safety critical - brakes, cables, chain, bolts all done up properly. You can play with the other stuff as you get back into riding and start to think "I wonder if this would be better if...";)
     
  14. OP
    OP
    MisterMeg

    MisterMeg New Member

    Location:
    Penicuik
    How much of an 'old fogey' do you want me to be young man :biggrin: :ohmy:

    I'm afraid I'm no handyman so I'll have to take the bike into a bike shop (which means a trip in to Edinburgh). Does anyone know how much I should expect to pay for a service that will get the bike roadworthy? If it's more than £100 I might treat myself to a new bike, I just assumed that it would be cheaper to fix what I've got already.

    alecstilleyedye: what is an "hmbh ref"?
     
  15. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Location:
    York, UK
    How much of an 'old fogey' do you want me to be young man :biggrin: :ohmy:

    [/QUOTE]

    :biggrin:

    Ah, you're new aren't you? You'll find out soon why that makes me laugh!:biggrin:

    Can't help with the hmhb thingy at all I'm afraid...:biggrin: