How to fix up a used bike?

Momma_Bird_OHMay 10, 2003

4 of the 5 of us in my family received free bikes from a friend this week. I am SOOO greatful - DS #1 was eating his knees on his old bike and DH and I have bikes that are 25+ years old and in bad shape! The "new" bikes are used bikes but in better shape than what we had. 3 need new tires and DS #1's bike has busted back brakes (hand break type).

DH got a book out of the library on how to fix them, so labor will be $0. Now, where do we go for the parts? There are 2 bike stores in our neighborhood, plus Kmart, Target, and if we are really desparate, Wallmart. (I HATE Wallmart and only go there as a last resort!).

Does anyone have experience in this area that you can share? TIA!

Another great find this week - a child bike seat in BRAND NEW condition at a garage sale for $10. DH is installing it on my "new" bike so we can all ride on the bike path. DS #3 is still too young to ride on the patch - he might get run down! And, before anyone asks, YES we all have helmets.

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Pooh Bear

Rather than buy new parts at a bicycle store or Kmart or Walmart,
Check out the classified ads for used bicycles.
You can pick them up really cheap sometimes.
Sometimes you can even find bicycles that are being just thrown away.
And you can take these bicycles and use the parts from them
to put together a really nice bicycle.
Bicycles are really easy to work on.
I used to do it all the time when I was a kid.
I used to collect bicycle parts and build all kinds of bicycles.
Swynn (sp?) were not 100 percent compatable with other bicycles.
But mostly, all bicycle parts are standard and interchangable.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 1:19AM
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lazy_gardens

Where do you go for parts?

Depends on what parts you are talking about. One of the cheapest ways is to buy a few clunkers of the same species and cannibalize them.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 9:22AM
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Sunny3

Ditto what the other folks said. I would first see if the brakes and other parts can be taken from the bikes that you're getting rid of. If not, then check the dump for parts from the throw away bikes. It is easy to fix bicycles. I have almost no mechanical inclination whatsoever and I used to fix my own bike when I was a kid. I learned by taking it apart and trying to fix it myself. Sometimes you need a special tool, but that's the exception. If something gets really messed up, you can always bring it to the bicycle repair shop.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 12:58PM
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joyfulguy

Hi Momma Bird,

If it's convenient, maybe check nearby streets on the evening before garbage day. You may find more bikes than you can carry home, some of them in good condition.

Or check garage sales - they're sprouting like dandelions around here, these days.

Maybe you'll find enough that you can cobble together a couple more than you need - to add to your next garage sale.

Good wishes to you and all the family,

joyful guy

    Bookmark   May 13, 2003 at 5:16AM
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samchristie99_gmail_com

My brakes are crap because its a wal-mart bike, I have been working on bikes for a while now and theres two things you can do if you want good brakes, on late nights look in alleys for mountain bikes, why? because mountain bikes have realy good brakes most of the time, or you could go to your local bike shop and buy some brakes there because bike shop brakes are top of the line brakes but spend like $80.00.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:03PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Sam, I bet that bike is not longer in use, as this post is from EIGHT YEARS ago...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I have been working on bikes for a while now and theres two things you can do if you want good brakes, on late nights look in alleys for mountain bikes, why? because mountain bikes have realy good brakes most of the time,

Sam, are you saying that you stole the brakes off of bikes in the dark late at night? Are you a thief as well as a troll?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 7:47AM
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adellabedella_usa

LOL! Chemocurl, I wondered the same thing, but gave him a pass because the alleyways are wher trash bins are kept and that may have been what he meant.

This is an old post, but I'll respond anyway. I bought a $4 bike for one of my kids once that needed new tubes and training wheels. It was cheaper to go buy a new bike at Wal-Mart than it was to fix up the old one. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart bikes are also built cheap/disposable. We ditched those last year and bought good ones at the bike shop. It won't be cheap to replace the tires when the time comes, but at least the bike will be reusuable.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

LOL! Chemocurl, I wondered the same thing, but gave him a pass because the alleyways are where trash bins are kept and that may have been what he meant.

I refused the benefit of the doubt because he said, "on late nights look in alleys for mountain bikes". Why would one have to wait until late night for people to put their mountain bikes out for the trash?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 4:38PM
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adellabedella_usa

My guess is trash picking is embarrassing to him and he wouldn't want to be seen.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:59PM
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joyfulguy

When I left church 'tother day, there was a bike about three houses away at curbside ... in the middle of the day. Good catch ... and church yard sale was coming up.

Rang the bell to ask whether it was for sale (no sign), lady said it was trash/giveaway, to take it.

Took her in some asparagus ... she about junped up and down for joy.

A superior bike, having shock-absorber spring in the frame under the seat, but some rusty ... and a training wheel broken ... but I had some wheels from a grocery carry-home cart at home.

Axle was too large for the wheel, but a reaming out with a drill fixed that.

When the (larger) wheels were installed ... the rear tire was something over a half inch off of the ground, which would make for good exercise for the kid ... but pretty frustrating, with no travel achieved.

Taking a hammer to the frame holding the training wheels ... I succeeded in breaking a plastic spoke of one wheel, and made nary a dint in the height at which the wheels carried the rear end of the bike.

So I put the training wheels' frames in the vise and operated on them with a sledge hammer. Arranged the training wheels to be just slightly above ground, as they're supposed to be.

Made a sign saying that if adjustment was necessary, that I'd do it, giving my phone number ... but it got lost.

After sitting a while in the yard sale, when I came to check, it was gone ... one of the ladies said that a guy had offered $2.00 ... she'd refused ... and he ended up giving her $4.00.

I thought that it was a good thing that the offer of adjustment had not been included ... for having paid $4.00 for that nice (if old) bike, carrying the luxury of a shock absorber ... the guy could take care of his own adjustments!

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 3:52PM
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joyfulguy

I dropped in at the lady's house the other day to report to her the result regarding her bike ... and she thanked me for having done so.

ole joyfuelled

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:38PM
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