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Posts Tagged ‘commuter’

Project Bike

March 22nd, 2012 4 comments

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.

Categories: bike, commute Tags: , ,