I typically commute on my Nishiki Cascade MTB, and occasionally on my newer Trek Soho S single speed. Both of them serve their purposes well and I really have no complaints.
The other day I was at a friends house and I noticed a bike hanging from the rafters in his garage. It was in pretty bad shape, but I asked about it just the same. He told me it was his old 1984 Schwinn Predator BMX bike and that it had been rotting/ rusting away for the past 15 years at least. I asked him what he planned on doing with it and he said it would eventually end up in the dumpster. Being a child of the 80's I told him that I would give it a nice home, and asked him what he wanted for it. He said that I could have it for free if I wanted it.
So... I came home that night with this:
Pretty ratty, surface rust everywhere, brakes didnt work, rims were bent. He did invest a bunch of money on it when he was a kid, and kept it pretty nice. It had a few add-on parts such as diamondback wheels, a CNC gooseneck and a few other misc. parts.
After a bunch of elbow grease I finished it up today, the only place that the surface rust is too deep to fix is on the back of the handlebars.
All told, I probably have 50$ or so in the resto job including pedals, tires, tubes, chain, bearings, sprocket and freewheel. Most of the parts I got pretty cheap from a really cool LBS that used to be huge in BMX parts in the 80's. The tires are original mid 80's kenda tires that they cant get rid of now. They charged me 5$ a piece for them.
Anyway, I rode it 3 miles today and while the first 1.5 miles was a BLAST after a while, it wasnt too fun. I am about 6'1 and I was majorly crunched down on that thing. I also felt like a bit of a goober riding on such a small bike, but I did notice one thing: As small as the bike is it handles incredible and will glide over almost anything. Its also incredibly quick from stops because of the way I have it geared (what it was designed for I guess). Because of that it seems to be probably my most effective bike at running a few blocks down the city/ riding down the sidewalk or something like that. No clipless pedals to mess with, no special gear, just jump on it and take off. After about a mile or so it gets pretty uncomfortable, but I think I will ride it occasionally for some very short trips around town here. Since I live in the city just short little commutes can be a pain getting geared up for and lugging the big bike in and out of the apartment for. I also noticed that it works out different muscles in my legs- more on top of my thighs due to the crank position.
Anyway, just thought I would share another little commuter beater that I got done restoring. Its not what you would typically commute on, but it may serve to mix up my commutes once in a while just to keep things interesting.
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