With college starting in a week, it is time to turn my attention towards what will (hopefully) become my primary mode of transportation around campus and town… the 1981 Free-Spirit Pinnacle road bike.I’ve had the replacement inner tubes for nearly a month now, but they sat in my trunk collecting dust. I finally got the correct size, and finally devoted some of my time towards fixing the bike.
Today marks the first step in getting this bike back in roadworthy shape. That included surveying the brakes and repairing the tires.
Further improvements will be made once the funds are available (bike parts aren’t cheap…) and I have time. The bike is currently being stored in my grandparent’s basement.
Step 1: Tires
Step 1 was replacing the tubes. This step is “half done”, as a new tire is required for the front rim. The back tire was fine, but this Spring the valve stem separated from the tube as I was inflating the tire. One new tube later and about 10 minutes of labor, the rear tire was fine. All it needs now is some scrubbing to remove the dirt from the practically new tire (it has less than 20 miles on it!) and getting it shiny.
The only issue with the rear tire is actually with the rim. Last year I was biking when I must have hit a fairly hard curb on accident, which slightly bent the rim. I’ve tried hammering it back into place, but that was not successful. Sadly, the slight bend does make the rim rub the brakes – which makes an annoying sound and requires more effort from the rider to accelerate.
The front tire, however, is going to require a little more work. The tire casing was in poor condition, and has seen a lot of wear. The casing was finally considered junk after a hole in the sidewall of the tire is letting the inner tube bulge slightly out. A large hole also formed in the top of the tire after I ran over a fairly big nail last year.
I’m looking at purchasing a similar tire for the front than what is on the back – a simple yet durable Bell tire with a Kevlar bead. The rim for the front is in fairly decent condition – and I added a new layer of electrical tape to cover the spokes, since the last layer started to wear out.
These rims, however, may be replaced later when I have the funds to do so. The rear rim (as previously mentioned) is slightly bent from an impact, and both rims can’t accommodate the high pressures that modern tires demand.
Step 2: Brakes
Before the bike can be safely rode… the brake pads must be replaced. I stopped riding the bike after I had a “close call” with a car when the brakes would not stop me.
However, the brake pads look okay. I’m going to investigate a little bit before I do replace the pads, to ensure that it is not something else going on to chew into the pads.