OK to ride an old bike?

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  • 05-18-2020
    MTBkitty
    OK to ride an old bike?
    I'm back, again, I think ;) All this COVID-19 stuff has me re-interested in riding my bike again. Went for a 5 mile ride on a MUP this weekend and LOVED IT! My teenager isn't interested in biking with me but she does want to ride her Razor scooter and we will probably go out together on the MUPs as soon as her lid arrives.

    Anyway, to my point... Is it OK to ride an old bike? My Pumpkin was manufactured in probably 1999. She seems mechanically sound and has gotten full shop tune ups a couple times. I would consider myself a light use rider. Mostly ride MUPs here in the suburbs and several years ago when I was more active riding I'd hit singletrack once or twice a month.

    I felt safe on my ride this weekend. What signs should I look for to know my bike MUST be replaced? I'm guessing if we have a big crash and the frame gets bent, or if I see any cracks on the frame (which I'm guessing is highly unlikely)?
  • 05-18-2020
    phlegm
    I wouldn't say there's a de facto expiry date on a given bike (or frame specifically), so unless you spot cracks (which can be difficult to see), or significant rust, you're probably good. I'm also assuming you've done a check of main fasteners for tightness (wheels, stem/bar) and brakes prior to that first ride.

    You mention a couple of full tunes, that that amounts to one each decade. It might be worth a 3rd tuneup if it's been a while, or if you don't feel good about maintenance yourself.

    Assuming MUP is a multi-use path, I'd say the lighter use also helps with maintenance concerns.
  • 05-18-2020
    EABiker
    Make sure the brakes stop you well, grab each wheel and make sure it doesn't shake sided to side, and if the handlebars are tight, you are ready to go!



    I have a 1959 Schwinn Traveler 3spd that I ride from time to time. It pretty much does not pass any of the tests i mentioned for you to do, but I will pump up the tires and go for a spin without second thought.
  • 05-18-2020
    Rod
    Absolutely. If the bike is functioning correctly, everything is the correct torque, and you can't spot any cracks at the welds, use it.
  • 05-18-2020
    mack_turtle
    if it rolls and it stops, it should be fine for the cruise around the block. without seeing the bike in person, none of us can diagnose if there is anything seriously wrong with it. ride it and see if everything works. if something doesn't work, post a detailed description of the problem.
  • 05-18-2020
    MTBkitty
    This is all good news! Thanks for the replies.