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Project Bike

My life is all about change and adaptation. So why am I obsessed with stock when it comes to my bike? My little road bike is my pride and joy. Purchased on Craigslist used a few years ago I delved into its history: Marin “Limited Edition” road bike in blaring neon green (all the rage in its 1993 vintage). Full Shimano 105 components, 7-speed, shifters on the downs. They don’t make them like this anymore.

Literally, they don’t make them. If I want to buy a new wheel set I have to spread the frame. It’s not wide enough to accept today’s 8-10 speed cog sets. If I want to buy new shifters they are not made for 7-speeds either. The stem is a quill stem, if I want to go threadless I have to buy a whole new fork.

But all is not lost, the frame is beautiful steel, light and strong and infinitely adaptable. The shifters and brakes are simple, cheap and easy to fix. The bearings in the hubs are smooth as the day is long. It’s a hobbyist’s dream, just as long as you are willing to let go of the past.

I have spent 2 years on my bike preserving its integrity. Riding in an uncomfortable position because I did not want to swap my neon green stem with a longer one. Lugging my commuter bag on my back and getting soaked because I didn’t want to mount a frame or fenders. It was my race bike, even though I never raced it.

That’s about to change. If I am for adaptability, then I need to adapt my machine to my needs. I use this bike for commuting 99% of the time, it should be set up for that purpose. If that means changing parts, adding after market items, or even…gasp…bending and welding, then I should be open to that. Face it, this is not a $5000 race bike, it’s a $100 Craigslist special. If I can screw anything up without feeling like I’m out a ton of money, it’s this. I’m officially declaring it a “project bike.” If something is not working for my purposes, I’m changing it. Because I should love my bike, not just put up with it.

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  • Recordredace

    Hey, I’m in the same boat with the same bike same color, I’m going to spread the frame to accept new wheels, 5mm is doable. Great frame, I need a smaller green neon quill stem to fit me better as the bike is large for me as is. But no doubt it is a great steel frame, and I still pass folks going up hill on featherweight carbon. Good luck.

    • Awesome! I may eventually have to spread the frame, but I didn’t want to have to deal with aligning the dropouts just yet. I actually need a longer stem as the bike is too small for me! Tradesies? 😉

  • Cartwheels79

    i also have a 93 ltd (lg frame) in all its technicolor glory….. seems to fit me pretty good however……… the bike rides fast and smooth. great bike if you wanna swap emails i d love to see some pics of your ltd it really is a fairly rare bike
    cheers, bb

  • Ty

    I wasn’t sure that the Shimano 105’s on mine were original– glad to hear it!

    Anyone else get honked at on theirs?
    All the time, for me. Especially riding it in NYC.