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Clunker 100 Challenge #8

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Clunker 100 Challenge #8

Old 06-27-22, 06:46 PM
  #426  
jdawginsc 
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And a shakedown ride of a few miles. Not a fan of bullhorns, but it is a decent ride nonetheless. Good thing is I live in the low country. Any hill of consequence would result in braking death.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:29 AM
  #427  
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My 1st ride was on 5/21, but betweenbeing on my Cino bikes training for Montana, plus home repairs/yardwork that piled up over the winter while away in Florida, had no time to get my Super Course running again until last week. Cleaning/lubing the rear derailleur revived it, but next day I found it had a flat rear tire. Pulled the tube and saw multiple patches, including a big patch over a smaller one which was now leaking. Hard to understand how this tube had managed to hold air for 5 years, and gave no trouble until now. Anyway, tossed it and put in a used tube ($3) that only had 2 patches



Friday, 6/24, rode the Super Course on one of my training routes to the nearby town of Aumsville and back (13.7 Miles/22Km) but forgot my phone and camera. It was early afternoon, pretty hot, low 90's, that day, so when I repeated the same rioute on Sunday 6/26, I went later, 8:30-9:30 PM when it had cooled to the low 80's. I took a pic every time I needed a drink. Route was West into the setting sun with a light breeze, which meant a return at dusk with a dying tail wind. Was a nice ride, Total miles so far: 24 + 13.7 + 13.7 =51.4 Miles/82.6 Km.



Oregon 22 West near town of Stayton



still West bound



Southbound near Stayton city limits



Southbound towards Stayton



Same spot, different angle



Only 4 miles to home. Looks bright, but dusk forced removal of my sunglasses at this point

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Old 06-29-22, 11:44 AM
  #428  
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Second test ride went great. 1983 SR Pro-Am, feat. Suntour Symmetric Shifters.


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Old 07-01-22, 11:18 PM
  #429  
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Still creeping towards the finish. Today I hauled the Centurion Clunker to a local Park and Ride to make for an easier ride in to the office and back. Another 20 kilometers brings my total to 80.64. I'm definitely feeling the struggle @nlerner mentioned of just really preferring to ride other bikes, though honestly this one is very well suited to a suburban commute.

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Old 07-02-22, 01:36 AM
  #430  
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Completed another 30 miles today. I slapped on an extra pannier that I bought a while ago for $5, in case I needed the extra space. I took the BART subway and headed to Oakland to pick up some bike stuff, then took the subway back to downtown S.F. where I disembarked at Embarcadero. From there, I proceeded to the trail along the Great Highway. The Bay Area has been seeing some strong winds, so riding back was a bit of a struggle. None of this can be levelled at the bike, which has so far performed admirably. The TX700 provides ample comfort and easy handling, so while I won't be winning any races I can definitely see this setup as a lightweight tourer. 99 miles in, just one more to go.

On the BART to Oakland. Both the TX700 and subway have seen better days, but I sure know which mode of transportation I would have preferred using. Too bad I was in a rush.

Bought for a friend. Pretty cheap, but still ended up costing more than my clunker.

Biking through Golden Gate Park. Encountered lots of wind in while riding home. On the upside, much of the park was closed to traffic.

Original bar tape is pretty much disintegrated, riding on bare metal now. Hands are numb, but not much further till I complete the challenge.
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Old 07-02-22, 05:22 AM
  #431  
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Green Mirage - black hole

I've been remiss in posting on the Green Mirage challenge, because I have been trying to find the right blue 🔵 color for a recently acquired ($40 beater) Raleigh Gran Sport. I'll post on the Challenge tomorrow or so.
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Old 07-02-22, 05:45 AM
  #432  
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3 more weeks!
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Old 07-02-22, 05:59 AM
  #433  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
$30 Entry
$20 Kool Stops
$10 brake adjuster
$10 is market rate for a 22.0 SR stem from my Grand Jubile.
$3 SS fasteners for top tube brake cable clips
$2 75%worn Sedis chain
$2 Misc. cable housing from long gone flips
$1 once used rear brake cable
$0 rusty shift cables
$0 too short for front brakes cables used for new straddle cables.
$78 Subtotal.

5 miles in chasing fasteners for the cable clips and I worried about the rear tire. I hope the Co-op has a cheap tire to complete the challenge and I hope this tire gets me the 14 miles to the coop.


Looking forward to riding this with a nice set of wheels.

Duct tape?
I've redone your math for you. Old stem and used cables, chain and housing estimates were generous. Get some tires.
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Old 07-02-22, 02:37 PM
  #434  
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As follow up still riding the stone grinder bit found a purpose for the bike. Turns out the combination of slightly odd low gearing and sturdy hard frame make for a great short range cargo bike put a rack and box on it and road it with about 40lbs cargo in the box flowers in pots across town to library handled fine.

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Old 07-05-22, 07:32 PM
  #435  
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
I've redone your math for you. Old stem and used cables, chain and housing estimates were generous. Get some tires.
OK! IO'm Back.
Used tires (from my Motobecane which will get some folding paellas)-- $8.00
Rim Strips: $4.00
A tube with 4 patches--$2.00 And I'll be replacing the other tube that hissed at me through its stem while I was adjusting the saddle hieghtwith another patched tube: $2.00

I ran a few errands and did a beach cruise shake down for another few miles. There are big plans for tomorrow.


Non Velox!? Only for the CC.



Needed a bolt to keep my Bear Cat alive and some roller covers for painting a patch.


What is market value for Thrice+ patched tubes?

They found a way to charge watching boys play volleyball.

This is a neat bike with a lot of charm and it feels fast.
I'm at $94.00
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Old 07-06-22, 06:55 AM
  #436  
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Green Mirage Finished

Saturday (6/19) (yes, a while ago) the Green Mirage was returned to the bicycle underworld. Iíll remember it as a basically good frame. The ride and steering werenít t bad. I found it rideable on gravel, and it was really good for hands-free riding. It taught me a few things

- be careful not to lose crank cotters because they are not necessarily interchangeable
- stem shifters are sensitive to handlebar stem height
- French bikes and components are, letís say, unconventional.

It was far from perfect, in particular the shifting was frustratingly unpredictable*. It was heavy (30 pounds), and a sluggish climber, but not bad on descents.

I rode it a total of 9 times to get beyond 100 Km. The first 4 rides were shakedowns, and I documented them in earlier posts. I was remiss in posting over the final 5 rides. Throughout the challenge, the Mirage always made a one-per-pedal-rev noise. I tried to oil the pedals, tighten the cotters, ride standing, and tighten the seat post to quiet it, to no avail. Anyways, so here are some pictures from the last 5 rides.

Before ride #5 I discovered a flat rear tire. Went to re-inflate, and found the entire valve (schraeder) missing. I decided it was a bad idea to run on the as-found tubes, so had to replace front and rear. I used used tubes from my stuff in bins, I added Ĺ half the cost of new tubes to my budget.

On rides 5 & 6 Iíve found that this road bike can also serve as a hybrid/cross/gravel bike (never understood the difference among those labels). I had some fun traversing gravel roads, some trails, and across apple orchards (apple blossoms have come and gone). Ride 7 was the rail trail to a flower shop.

Two breakdowns on ride #8, a longish ride over diverse surfaces including gravel roads, orchards, and grass. Lost the chain from the small chainwheel at some random point on the ride, not sure why, canít remember if I was downshifting. Might have been bounced off on a bump? Towards the end of the ride, heard a strange noise and then the bike became hard to pedal. I had to stop and I found a brake pad on the rear had loosened and was rubbing hard on the sidewall of the tire. Maybe the rough unpaved roads again. Repositioned and tightened and finished ride.

Rides 7 & 8 had some steep descents, which were not frightening. The climbs were arduous though.







Ride #9 I passed 100Km. Iíd thought I needed 10Km, but my spreadsheet had an error, and I actually only needed about 1.5Km. So I completed the challenge with 112Km total. Throughout the challenge, the Mirage always made a one-per-pedal-rev noise. I'd tried to oil the pedals, tighten the cotters, ride standing, and tighten the seat post to quiet it, to no avail. On my last ride it squeaked so loudly that I truly was just relieved to finish before something broke. Turns out the drive side crank had the wrong cotter installed (probably one from an old Raleigh Super Course).



*post-mortem: I subsequently mounted the Green Mirage wheels on my newly found Gran Sport, whose tires were not safe enough to ride. Lo, with the Gran Sport on the bike stand, the rear wheel would unpredictably shift off of 2nd gear, just like it did on the Mirage. The original Gran Sport wheels shifted great. Of course these are non-indexed friction shifters, so I wouldnít suspect cable mis-adjustment. I donít know how, but I now think the freewheel is the culprit. Iíll have to investigate further. Maybe next year.
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Old 07-06-22, 08:05 AM
  #437  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
A tube with 4 patches--$2.00 And I'll be replacing the other tube that hissed at me through its stem while I was adjusting the saddle height with another patched tube: $2.00



What is market value for Thrice+ patched tubes?

This is a neat bike with a lot of charm and it feels fast.
I'm at $94.00
I think each patch could be a percentage of depreciation. Say each patch reduces the value by 50%, then a $10 tube with 4 patches is worth 63 cents. Beyond that, the patches cost more than the tube is worth.
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Old 07-06-22, 02:26 PM
  #438  
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Did 42 miles on the Clunker PA-10E this morning before the tourists sign their e-bike waivers. 13 miles to go. This Peugeot is my Fantasy TDF EroicaCA bike. On stage 6 today, I heard that many riders were using a 54/46 which is close enough to the Peugeot's 52/45 with a 5 speed 13/21 in the rear instead of the pro's 12 speed 11/30.

Along the bike path skirting the Marina.


The still sleepy Santa Monica Pier.


The northern terminus of the bike path.
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Old 07-06-22, 05:36 PM
  #439  
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Challenge Complete 101 miles

Now I can put the tubulars, clips, and straps back on and take that saddle off. (Not all leather saddles can be saved.)


The Southern Terminus of the Bike Path.

I had to keep going up the hill to finish the challenge today. Some Ideales are not very precious.
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Old 07-08-22, 12:53 AM
  #440  
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Challenge complete! I actually finished on Saturday, but I had some work to finish and an exam to prepare for so I put off posting until now. I decided to finish off the challenge with a bang by attended the monthly Saturday ride for C&V folks. Roughly 56 miles (for me) of descents, climbs, and flat out pedaling. I started off pretty badly, since I arrived late to the meeting point. In a rush, I eventually caught up to the group but I was pretty spent. I bonked out on one of the climbs, so the last couple of miles were spent performing the walk of shame, and SwimmerMike was kind enough to wait for me the entire time. Not one of my greatest rides, but at least I completed the entire ride. I believe that brings my total up to 155 miles.
Some pictures:

Late to the meeting point.





Rest stop. Perfect time to ogle other bikes that are nicer than mine.

Celebrated the ride and completion of Clunker Challenge by regaining the calories I lost.
Over the course of 155 miles absolutely nothing went wrong; I certainly got my money's worth. The TX700 rides well, handles well, and is eminently practical, which is something I really look for in a bike. It's not the fastest bike, but that's more an issue with the engine powering it. The quality of the frame and components are excellent and will last with basic maintenance. The Trek will definitely be a keeper.

Cost breakdown:
- 1977 Trek TX700 - $40
- F/R racks - $30
- fenders - $0
- new chain - $0
- single pannier - $5
- handlebar bag - $0
Total: $75
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Old 07-18-22, 01:37 PM
  #441  
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Long story short, I acquired my klunker, a 1983 Serotta Club Special, one month ago for the sum of $60. I then immediately moved out of state, from Kentucky to Minnesota. Last week I was reunited with the bike and brought it back to Minnesota. Today I completed my first ride of 34 miles. I have done nothing except raise the seat post and move the saddle back. Tires are sketchy but will make it. I wanted to put new grease in bb, headset, and hubs, but I am still separated from some critical tools and I have less than a week to do my miles.

As far as ride quality, it is wonderful. This bike is a 59cm, and I normally ride 63, but I do not feel cramped. I maxed out the seat post, and I am Less than an inch below my normal saddle height. I realized at the end of my ride that the post slipped down about an inch and a half, but it was hot and I must have been miserable enough to not notice. If I keep the bike I have a longer post that will fit. I am not in ďbike shapeĒ at all right now but this bike reminds me of my 1985 Schwinn Peloton, in that the steering is super fast and the bike feels best when you are pedaling at top speed. Hopefully I can ride myself into good enough shape to do it justice!


Already loving the bike infrastructure in my new town, Rochester MN

13 mile multi use path




Some tempting gravel intersects path but I will get closer to my 100th mile before I put the 30 year old 23ís to the test!
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Old 07-18-22, 02:34 PM
  #442  
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Originally Posted by ramones71 View Post
...and I have less than a week to do my miles.
I realized yesterday that we were down to the final week, and I was still sitting on 80 km.

I rode my clunker to work today. I'll hit 100 km on the way home. Final pics and wrapup report to follow.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:38 PM
  #443  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I realized yesterday that we were down to the final week, and I was still sitting on 80 km.

I rode my clunker to work today. I'll hit 100 km on the way home. Final pics and wrapup report to follow.
I realized I am going to fail again to meet the deadline. Life happens. At least retirement SHOULD make my summer freeeeee next year.

I still intend on finishing 100km for this one and last year's two if it kills me.

Who knows, maybe I will find the gumption to finish...
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Old 07-18-22, 04:57 PM
  #444  
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
I realized I am going to fail again to meet the deadline. Life happens. At least retirement SHOULD make my summer freeeeee next year.

I still intend on finishing 100km for this one and last year's two if it kills me.

Who knows, maybe I will find the gumption to finish...

Thanks for the reminder. Turns out that I'm likely NOT going to complete adding the "Bumblebee" stencil to the rear fender, so I should summarize before the deadline passes. It would have been a great touch, but this is a "new trick" for me - which would mean a bunch of trial and error where I can't justify spending the time given to my wife's return from a seven-month caregiving mission and a whole new priority list.

Original bicycle: $76.50
Wheels, brake and cable & guides from a 1970-ish Raleigh Sports $20.00
Scrap metal rebate for the stripped frame (which I couldn't give away) -$3.50
Tires: $9.90
Fender stay braces fabricated from steel sheeting: $0.90
Fender stay connectors: $0.35
Washer/front brake stop: $0.59
Brake adjuster barrel (one from a lot of 50) $0.14
Fenders, grip shifter, saddles shift indicator chain and anchor: $0.00
Labor and ingenuity: $0.00
Total $105.88

Bumblebee was ridden a total of 101 miles and change. I genuinely enjoyed the challenges posed by taking a 75+ year old bicycle that originally came as a single-speed coaster brake run-about, upgrading it to a 3-speed with a front brake, and adding a bit of pizzazz by giving it accenting mud guards. Once again - huge thanks to cudak88 for several of the items that were crucial to making this feasible.

and the image that most resonates with me from the entire endeavor:


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Old 07-18-22, 06:23 PM
  #445  
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5 more days or thereabouts.
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Old 07-18-22, 10:37 PM
  #446  
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OK, as previously claimed, I'm finished. With the post-work commute I'm now officially at 104 km. For this morning's ride, I stopped off at the local KP medical center for a vaccine booster. When I was leaving, one of the staff members said he was admiring my bike and that he was jealous. It's nice to hear that about a clunker. Here's my final pic in Challenge form.



And, to refresh the judge's memory, here's the "before" picture.



Initial purchase: $60
Paint and primer: $18
Water bottle braze-on hardware: $5
SunTour 7 front derailleur: $5
Bar tape: $8
Cables: $5

Total: $101
Distance ridden: 104 km

Now, having completed the challenge, I'll apply the $20 decals I got from lettering.com that didn't fit in the budget.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:06 AM
  #447  
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Built up some bikes and put the distance on, but with the deadline approaching Saturday I'd better get to posting. I'll retrofit in the photos when I reach 10 posts.

Entering into the 'greatest height differential between intended rider and current Clunkist' category, we've got a 1982 Venture Invader junior road bike.


Close to as found. A little cleanup and a few things removed.

Entry fee was $20. It's 46cm, so for somebody maybe about 5 ft. I'm a foot taller than that and ride 58cm bikes.

Heavy, cheap, most every part rusted. The 24" 540 tires are toast, the steel rims have deep pitting.

Conveniently, since I don't have the two prong Suntour tool, the freewheel is so rusted that it comes off with just a chain whip.

I'd figured I'd be replacing wheels anyway, but the 540 rim size is a concern at first - I thought I'd be converting 520 -> 504 and gaining tire clearance. Fortunately the bike uses long reach brakes with a slack headtube angle, and a 26" x 1.5" tire fits without toe overlap. I've got a set of wheels and tires fished out of the recycling ready perfect for it (+$0!).



Looks like it has potential to be a cool little bike with 26" slicks on. I start out with a pair of ambitious and conflicting goals that won't quite be reached during the challenge:
  • goal 1: turn this thing into a proper little bike that's easy to learn to work on. Not 'nice' but functional, minimizing weird gotchas that distract from understanding how stuff works. It should fit bottle cages and a rack. It should fit standard parts that swap right out.
    • goal 2: simultaneously, do everything in the hackiest way possible. Improvise tools for no good reason, experiment with bad ideas, rebuild stuff it makes no sense to rebuild, spend no money - embrace the true Clunker spirit.


I work in education and projects outside my comfort zone are useful to stay grounded. It's not the feeling for triumph in solving a problem I'm looking for this time, but the frustration, hesitation and uncertainty, the wasted time on stuff that won't work out, the instant-regret decisions that make it harder, and to sit with all that while trying to chart the path through. I spend a lot of time teaching mechanics as a co-op volunteer too and it's easy to forget that not everyone starts out having a good time when they first come round to those places. If it's frustration I'm after, this is a great bike for it - so here we go!


The 'downside' to my recycled rear wheel is that it's a freehub, and I don't get to see how far that old freewheel can go before cracking in half. Maybe on next year's clunker. It goes through rounds of rust remover and scraping for a few days anyway before eventually the cogs and locking cone come off, then into the miscellaneous pile awaiting the next misadventure.


I don't have the 16mm bottom bracket wrench and don't want to go into town to wreck the co-op's tool on a junk part, so I take off the left side with a hammer and punch.

The right's more stuck, and gets soaked in penetrating oil. With the spindle out, I can clamp an adjustable wrench to the fixed cup with a bolt & washers and hit that with the hammer, and as long as it's tight enough to not twist it works pretty well! I didn't succeed with the Sheldon Brown method of effectively locking a bolt to the cup. The approach that worked is like a trash heap version of the excellent Hozan tool.

Spend a while cleaning up the threads and then try to fit some cartridge bottom brackets (out of the recycling & rebuilt - +$0!) that just won't go for a while before I figure out what the problem is. The tubes weren't mitered well and stick out into the shell, bumping into the bottom bracket's centre sleeve. Filed the tube extensions down a bit and now a cartridge goes in.


Made me realize that I've probably seen the issue before on a bike someone else had built where the bottom bracket ended up tilted. The older Shimano UN26 and especially UN51 are compact and don't seem fussy about this, but the other brands and new Shimano UN300 that use standard industrial bearings run out of room.

Tucked away in the 'is this even useful to know...?' pile of information: a standard BSC cup will fit over the center sleeve of the discontinued UN26/UN51/.. style bottom brackets. All the other cartridge units I've seen have a larger outer sleeve.

This bike (like some other cheap bike boom models) has a 70mm BSC thread shell and ran the wider-shoulder 5S spindle, for a shell-end-to-right of about 29.5mm. A D-EL 127.5 bottom bracket has the same SER, so that keeps the chainline the same. Didn't do quite a good enough job fixing the tube mitering and the left cup won't fully seat, so I'll have to take this apart again and may face the shell, but not until after the challenge.

After a few days of testing rust remover on the old wheels and steel handlebars I give up on them entirely. The bars get replaced with another set of steel drops I've been meaning to get rid of. We've got wheels, cranks, and handlebars now, making this heavy lump of steel look an awful lot like a bike!

Last edited by 8.8.8.; 07-30-22 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:49 AM
  #448  
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Probably far too late for this advice, but never drill out crank cotter pins. If, like most normal people, you don't have access to a cotter press, support the back side of the crank arm and drive the cotter out. An experienced mechanic can usually get them out in good enough shape to use them again, and those don't look bad at all in the pic. If the threaded portion mushrooms out before the pin moves, you can break the threaded part off by driving it back and forth, then drive the tapered part out with an appropriately sized drift. The key is to support the crank arm so the blows are not being absorbed through the bearings (and likely ruining them.)
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Old 07-19-22, 05:17 PM
  #449  
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Getting the tiny Venture Invader ready for its first test ride, I need at least a front brake. The original non-aero levers have poor leverage and they've gotta go. I grab a set of Dia Compe Vx levers out of the stash (recycling bin - $0!). They've got the shortest pivot distance I've measured on anything at 17.5mm, so at first I figure that'll be nice for small hands. But there's more to it than leverage for junior levers, and I don't notice the obvious problem until near the end of the challenge. They'll have to get changed again.

The Vx levers need a weird little ferrule that I don't have, but the ferrules taken from the non-aero levers sorta fit and they stop the housing from pulling through the brake.


The old brake reach is too long. Swapped for a set of Dia Compe sidepulls (off my first adult bike, damaged and dismantled - counting +$5 for the set at co-op pricing). I think a little about going overboard with these - weaken the spring bend to work better with sprung levers? upgrade to Silly Little Retrofits braking with nylon bushings and spring liners? - but don't get to this. Maybe post-challenge.

The frame gets respaced to 135mm, clamping the frame in a bench vice by the old bottom bracket cups and using the string test for alignment.



The rear tire is a Panaracer Pasela without much wear but a slash through the tread.

It gets a boot made from ripping apart the layers of a worn out Gravelking (and a more permanent fix later). I'm able to reuse one of the tubes from the bike, and put the latest of 7ish patches on a punctured tube (counting the cost of the latest patch - +$.50).

Pedals are a plastic platform set (out of the recycling bin - +$0) that'll work nicely. The rear wheel gets 7 loose cogs and a bunch of spacers (dismantled cassettes from recycling - +$0). The chain comes off my main bike freshly worn past the .75 mark (let's call this 1/4 of new, +$4). The stem shifters that came with the bike are missing part of the mounting plate, so I use the single speed trick of running a cable just through the derailer to put it in low gear.

The first test ride is terrifying. Even in low gear it gets going pretty fast and I'm balancing way up above the seatpost, and the saddle is too uncomfortable to sit for long. The headset is severely pitted (both the crown race and the cups) and it's all the more unnerving for it. Round trip is less than 2km and my plan turns to trying to do about that distance every day of the challenge.



After the first ride we're at $29.50 and 2km.

Last edited by 8.8.8.; 07-30-22 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 07-20-22, 08:28 AM
  #450  
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Just a short comment conceding I'm unable to finish this years challenge. Stopped at 51.4 miles/92.6 kilometers after my Sunday June 26th Clunker ride due to a crash 7/3. Cracked ribs are healing, but still painful. Doctor says I may ride again end of August. Frustrating, as we sold our home July 4th. Have til 9/1/22 for pack and move, but depending on my 2 sons for everything I would normally be doing, since can't find any odd job/handyman types locally and Portland/Salem guys won't service our rural area. Don
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