Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday extra: Kansas bike no more

After hemming and hawing, and having difficulty finding a buyer in the Overland park area, I had to decide quickly whether to donate the Kansas bike, or ship it back to Portland.
This summer marked my last Incredible June where I would stay for nearly a whole month.
Next year, assuming the camp happens again, I've told my employers that I would only be available for a day of staff week and the two weeks of camp. I simply cannot be away from home a whole month anymore.

So in the end, I decided to ship the bike home. I figured that if it rode well enough after a light tuneup, then the seatpost height would make it fairly adjustable for a range of rider sizes and give us a guest bike to keep on hand. Tuning it up meant lubing the bearings, truing the wheel that got bumped in shipping, and adding a more permanent front fender cobbled together from parts (thanks, Bike Farm!).

The gearing is a little high for Portland's hills but I'm not going to invest too heavily in changing it before next spring. For now, it rides just fine. And now it's the Guest Bike.

 Zip-ties make bicycle add-ons easy and secure enough for city riding. The fender came from Bike Farm; the stay was pulled from a found metal fender that fits nothing. I may add a mudflap later.
This canvas saddle pouch came from a swap meet several years ago. It had been badly worn by tire rub on a saddle that was too close to the rear wheel. I patched the hole with a tire patch, conditioned the leather trim and let it be. Works fine.

The cockpit (below) includes a Misfit Psycles upright handlebar that works great with the bike's original stem. Very comfortable riding position. And of course, no city bike is complete without a way to carry coffee.

I HAD to swap in some better pedals; the ones I'd ridden on for the past four trips were already in bad shape and were wearing out. So I found these lovelies and decided they'd be a nice upgrade.

Add to that a Carradice "Overlander" pannier and a Bike Bucket on the other side, and now it's a totally fine, practical, comfortable bike for getting around the city, and just down-at-heel enough to be less attractive to a thief.

It's getting harder to find older mountain bikes to set up this way. Even cheaper brands found at big-box stores, like Motiv and Sherpa, now sell on eBay and Craigslist for between $75 and $150, USED. So this entry-level bike is actually something of a find.
Let's hope that things improve as folks decide that bikes are simply bikes, and not (shudder) investments. Ugh.
Cheers --

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