Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Outlook

Not more than a few days later, still ecstatic about my purchase, I found another Diamondback on Craisgslist. Under the wrong impression that Diamondbacks were all built from higher quality components than department store bikes, I jumped on it. It wasn't a bad investment. It was a 1998 Diamondback Outlook. This gentleman had gotten it for Christmas some 8 years ago, but only rode it around his cul-de-sac before hanging it upside down, dormant, un-used, for close to a decade.

It was practically given to me. Much to my chagrin, I found a cheap freewheel rear wheel on it once I got it inside. Since I got the bike so cheap, I went ahead and took the bike shop up on a new freehub rear wheel with a cassette. The shop had a cassette that was a take-off from a brand new bike, so they pretty much threw it in for free. Even though the Outlook has only 7 speeds on the rear derailleur, I went ahead and got an 8-speed cassette so I could use both wheelsets between my 24-speed Sorrento and the 21-speed Outlook. The Outlook barely set me back $100, all costs added up.

So, I had two bikes, one with knobby tires and one with slicks. Interchangeable wheels, interchangeable lights, cargo rack, seats, and whatnot. There are very few things as satisfying as having a backup vehicle in case of mechanical failure.

I also strapped a toolbox to the rack, for carrying my tools, a change of clothes, and my lunch. You can see it in the photo above.

Shortly thereafter, I went ahead and sold what was left of my cheap wal-mart bike on Craigslist as well. A gentleman came and picked it up to give to his son for Christmas. He had a spare rear wheel for it, so it was not going to cost anything to fix it up. Hopefully his son weighs less than I do, and takes care of it. It treated me well for the short time I had it, and it had plenty of life left in it except for the rear wheel.

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