Saturday, April 28, 2012

Junk Bike 1a

I suppose a good place to start a blog called "junk miles" would be with a junk bike.  Specifically, an attempt to resurrect a cheap, junky, rusty, crappy (can you say that on the internet?) neglected, crummy old Walmart-type kid's 24-inch-wheeled "mountain bike". 

This is what I'm talking about:
Have you ever seen anything more pathetic?  This is an example of what ends up on your doorstep when you place an ad on your local recycling website asking for "any and all old bikes and bike parts to refurbish and give away to people who want a bike."  I spent my first 5  minutes with this thing just gazing in admiration that steel rim of only about 1 1/4" width could physically support such amazingly 3-D colonies of rust.  Another 5 minutes with the Shop Vac sucking up the leafy debris that had glommed onto the tires, spokes, chainrings and freewheel

I took this photo after about 40 minutes of bending this chain with two hefty pairs of pliers, link by link, back and forth, breaking the rust so the chain would even go around when you turn the pedals.  My hands are pretty sore right now.  But after all that work and copious amounts of WD-40, I managed to get an apparently solid hunk of steel frozen into what looked like an outline of the island of Guam to sorta-kinda run across the cogs and through the rear deraileur.

Not without protest, however.  It sounds like SFX from an especially bad 1950's sci-fi movie.  (Reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!)

We'll give that WD-40 overnight, a chance to work its magic, along with a couple more shots of the juice tomorrow and see if the chain can stay in place on short test ride.

EDIT:  Well, after a couple of weeks soaked in WD-40, this chain is still a bit frozen in places, and won't run over the cogs without jumping and jamming.  In for a penny; in for a pound I guess, so I decide to go over the whole length of the chain again, link by link, with two pairs of pliers, breaking those rusted joints up.   Actually kind of a dumb way to spend 40 minutes, when I could walk across the street to the bike store and get a new chain for, what, twenty bucks?

Not really what I want to do for a bike that'll be worth $20 when I get it working.

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