The 1981 Free Spirit Pinnacle is my road bike which I bought back in 2011 for $20 at a garage sale. However, I’m breathing new life into the old bike – hopefully in time for college (August 2017.)I actually had the old bike running fine (with some minor issues) until just about a month ago. Sadly, the last time I rode it – a very nice day, a gigantic nail got embedded into the front tire. Thankfully, I wasn’t far from home. It only took about two or three seconds for the tire to completely deflate, and when I got home I took a look at the damage. Not good. The entire inner tube was shredded, beyond repair.
The front tire (and now inner tube) both need to be replaced. The front tire had a hole in the sidewall where the inner tube “bubbled out.” My plan is to replace the front tire by next year, as it is necessary to get the bike running again. I’m also probably going to replace both rims – as they are the originals from 1981. While the age isn’t the issue, they’re an archaic style of rim known as a “steel rim.” The steel rims have no “bead-lip”, and many modern tires require a bead-lip in order to accept the high pressures. (The original tires which came from the factory on the bike when I bought it required only 70-75 PSI. The new tires require 90 PSI.) My experience with my current rims is that 80PSI is the maximum. Inflating to only 75 PSI often results in a “snakebite” flat from too little pressure, and going to 90 results in a loud “BANG!” a couple minutes later and me walking the rest of the way home.
My second priority is the brakes. The brakes are nearly non-existant, which made it dangerous to ride. The brake pads were previously replaced back in 2012, shortly before the bike entered it’s two-year slumber, but they don’t stop the bike.
My third item is to give the old bike some TLC. Since many components are original to the bike, they will be lubricated and receive the attention they require. The pedals squeak (loudly) because the pin which holds the pedal to the crank-arm assembly has partially came loose. These pins are loose enough to cause a loud squeak on each revolution, but are still tight enough that even a tap with a hammer won’t budge it. I’m not sure what it’ll take to remove it to fix the squeak.
I’m hoping to have the 1981 Pinnacle up and road-ready by August. However, the Pintomobile : a 1989 Ford F-150 which serves as my main source of transportation (my only motor vehicle) takes priority.
You can learn more about the 1981 Pinnacle here.