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Old Beater, New Love(10 posts)

Old Beater, New LoveGadfly
Apr 6, 2001 6:40 AM
Some friends of mine decided to temporarily give up on their middle class lifestyle and travel the world for a few years while they can still enjoy it. (Last I heard, they were living in northern Thailand.) Knowing that I'm a bike geek, they bequeathed to me their three bikes: a Cannondale hybrid, a vintage Schwinn Deluxe tandem and a beat-to-crap Schwinn "Sprint" 10-speed. The C-dale became a token gift in healing a wounded friendship, the tandem has become a restoration project. But the Sprint... let's just say that my expression was one of abject horror as they unloaded it into my garage. "When was the last time you even cleaned the chain," I asked. "Never," was the reply. Of course I readied myself for the task. Even a beater bike deserves to be maintained. I cleaned, lubed, adjusted, repacked bearings, replaced nylon tires with rubber. I figured it would make a nice bike for running to the post office, the grocery store or pulling the kids in the trailer. But something interesting happened the first time I took it out. I liked it. It's a different kind of ride. It's heavy. It lumbers away from the start, and with the trailer, gives a new meaning to the word inertia. But it also soaks up rough roads, handles better than I anticipated and it has a kind of casualness that I haven't felt in years. I just jump on and go. No lycra, no SPD shoes. Just jeans and a pair of Adidas. No computer, no heart rate monitor. Simple freedom. Like the kind you had when you were a kid and you jumped on your bike for a day's worth of adventure. I still live for road rides on my Klein Q-Pro or hitting the trails on one of my mtn bikes. But I also take pleasure in knowing that the old Schwinn is there for pulling the kids around town after work or running out to buy a gallon of milk at the store. It's pure. Anybody else love their beater bike?
All bikes are loved.Jiggy
Apr 6, 2001 6:47 AM
otherwise we would get rid them, right?
For suremuncher
Apr 6, 2001 6:58 AM
I recently got a great deal on a full suspension MTB, which I though would replace my beater old Grisley. To be fair, it's a nice new bike, very comfy, etc etc, but it's up for sale. Why? - I have had the old Grisley for 6 years, and about the only things that are orig are the front wheel (just keeps going, the frount derail (ditto), the bars and (what's left of) the paint. But, there is hours of fun maintainence and riding in that frame, and evey time I get on it, it makes me want to pedal faster and mess about just for a grin - you can't buy that from new....
Domestic abuse is unnacceptable!!!jayz
Apr 6, 2001 7:12 AM
Many times I miss the old "purity of riding." The "soul" of ...Jimbob
Apr 6, 2001 7:34 AM
cycling seems harder to feel these days with so much emphasis on technology rather than just the freedom of riding. Just seemed to be different when I first started. Maybe its just me and my years of pedaling have jaded me. Maybe the people who are newer to the sport, feel it like I did when I was starting. I hope. Cause I miss it. I want my original bike back to hopefully bring back those feelings.
I think maybe racing can push the purity away. (nm)Jimbob
Apr 6, 2001 7:35 AM
Many times I miss the old "purity of riding." The "soul" of ...Ray Sachs
Apr 6, 2001 9:40 AM
So, blow off the technology. Or even just every now and then. Keep a high tech bike and ride it with all the hi tech accessories, but also keep a bike with clips 'n straps, friction shifting, and a saddle you can handle with street clothes. Just hop on it and ride for a half hour every now and then. Check out the next neighborhood over. Do a couple of errands. Ride 20 miles but don't document or catalog ANY of it. It's still possible to have a lot of fun on the bike if you let yourself.

I do it almost every ride. I keep a computer on one bike only and probably don't ride it more than a dozen or so times a year.

love my schwinn continental..doug in co
Apr 6, 2001 7:38 AM
a fine go shopping / pull kids' trailer / general purpose kinda bike. Also use it to go fishing, up Waterton canyon, 6 miles of dirt road closed to cars. There are a lot of MT bikers up there, even an old beater road bike is still faster than most MTB's: it amuses me to speed past MTB's on the way up the hill, with my waders flapping in the breeze..
I can never sell the damn things...Cory
Apr 6, 2001 8:11 AM
I have more bikes than I have time to ride, but I can't bring myself to get rid of any of them. Never know when a riding condition will arise that absolutely DEMANDS a 15-year-old Trek tourer with straight bars, 27-inch wheels and thumbshifters, or a 12-year-old Bridgestone mountain bike with priest bars and slicks...meanwhile, the Allez has been in the back of my pickup for two weeks, the real mountain bike hasn't been out of the garage since January and the new Atlantis (which was going to make everything else redundant) has accumulated 30 miles in a month.
The reason I got the Atlantis was that I wanted a simple, do-(almost)-everything bike to simplify my garage, and never mind that I already had at least two of those. Now I can't force myself to part with any of it...
My beater is the new bike ...Humma Hah
Apr 6, 2001 10:08 AM
... the cruiser's my first love. Yeah, the feel is so radically different, massive wheels spooling smoothly up to speed, awesome stability, fat tires that take bumps that'll potato-chip a roadbike's wheels. Turns fine when you want it to, but only if asked. Simple, reliable, rugged as a Mack truck, and curiously satisfying to take on long trips. No fuss, just get on and ride.