Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bought another bike today

But this one is going to my sister in law. She lives close to downtown Kansas City MO (near 27th and Jackson for those who know KC) and uses the bus a lot. After riding with us back at the end of July, my sister in law seemed to warm up to bicycling for transportation. It's faster than walking and beats paying for the bus for short errands. She doesn't have a car.

Anyhow, I found this relic on Craigslist last night. It's a Murray 10-speed. All steel, of course. It's probably from the late 70s or early 80s. I've never seen a 10-speed with 26" wheels before. It may well be older than I am. It was only $15 but needed some love, despite being in seemingly good shape. I had to tighten a lot of stuff. The headset was loose. The rear derailleur limiter screws were all out of whack, letting the chain freely drop off both ends of the cluster. The bottom bracket was crunchy, so I took apart the one-piece crank and refurbished all the bearings. I cleaned them well, and applied a gratuitous amount of marine axle grease. That stuff is simply amazing in bottom brackets. It's a little more viscous than I'd desire, but it keeps things well protected.

Anyhow, I'm taking it over there tomorrow to see if it will work for her. It's very small, and given the adjustments I had to make to my MTB to get it set up for her, this should be just about right. It's got the OEM tires on it, but they appear to be in suitable shape to ride on for the time being. The good thing is that almost any mountain bike tire should fit on this bike, given the wheel size, frame clearance and brakes.

I put about a mile and a half on it between the initial shake-down run and all the little tweaks and adjustments I had to make.


Lee said...

Hi Noah, Actually 10 speeds with 26" wheels were very common back in the day (I'm 40), prior to the mountain bike craze of the 90's. The higher-end bikes, such as my Peugeot 12 speed which I still own, had 700c wheels. I always preferred the down tube shift levers to the stem mounted levers.

Noah said...

Yeah, doing some research (thanks, Sheldon Brown!) I found out that 26" wheels have meant different things throughout history, and that cheap MTB tires won't likely fit these wheels at all. The good thing is that Turner's (one of the older bike shops around here) always keeps a supply of new tires in stock for older, more obscure wheels, like 27" and 26" x 1-3/8"

My dad's Bianchi ('84, I believe) has downtube shifters. I can't stand them. Ergonomic, easy-to-reach shifters (STI, RapidFire) are more my type, but I'd even take stem shifters or bar-ends over suicide levers any day. Personal preference, of course.

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