What a treat to look back at my post from March 4, 2008. As of this weekend I have accomplished all the goals listed there and more.
On the list for upgrading I had:
- a front rack
- a wine box from a good vineyard for carrying groceries (we'll have to buy the wine too, this is an expensive upgrade)
- better tires
- maybe go singlespeed
Well, as to this last goal, I decided that an internal hub might be better for my needs while still accomplishing the winter protection I was looking for. My husband built the wheel and we got it installed yesterday. The only challenge was that my handlebars are not round, and not standard, so getting the shifter on was a big deal. Everything else went smoothly. I chose a new Sturmey-Archer three speed mostly because it was already sized for my very narrow dropouts and I didn't want to have to spread the rear triangle. We laced it to a Salsa Delgado rim. My only complaint thus far is that I didn't realize the hub would click whether I was pedaling or coasting. I used to be much more stealthy! But that's not much of a complaint and I'm thrilled with how the bike now just smoooothly glides. I had no idea how much resistance had built up in the old wheel and derailleur. I know the derailleur was contributing because now when I backpedal I marvel at the lack of friction.
In the photo below you can see the results of my fender painting. After all these years of full-time commuting my Honjos are not looking as shiny as they did. I'm liking the pinstripe that now picks up my frame color on the fenders.
I still have more upgrades planned. I have a tire and new brake pads waiting for a new front wheel, I'd like it to match the rear. Hmmm. Is that it? Might I be getting close to the end of upgrades for the bike? Is that possible?
I might have saved some money (maybe) if I'd just bought a new bike and was done with it. Especially now that there are some cute, affordable city bikes (though probably made in Taiwan).
I am perhaps more proud of this old bike. I created this. It's my bike, there's not another one like it in the world, and I have learned so much in doing this. My husband has also learned a lot, I have him to thank for taking the wheel-building class. We've both grown in bike knowledge (and if we can, anyone can).
There's a wealth of old 10-speeds out there, and many are great bikes. Please don't send them to the dump! There's an adventure, sometimes frustrating, always informative, to be had in recycling them into lightweight beautiful city bikes.