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8/05/2005
build a bike class
Sarah and Sam from the Hub Housing Cooperative teach a Build Your Own Bike class. Tonight was the 1st meeting of their 3rd time though the 8 week class and I'm a student this time. Tonight we each brought a bike with us, or had one at the shop (West Town Bikes) in advance. I rode my Schwinn Suburban in. The we stripped everything off. Wheels first. Brake and shifter cables. Brakes themselves. Pedals. Cranks and bottom bracket (there are bearings in there - totally cool!). Handlebars with stem (left the headset in place). What am I forgetting? Chain guard had to come off to get at the cranks.

Most people were starting with either a functional bike that they wanted to upgrade or turn into something really cool and fast with lighter, newer parts or just change stuff, like handlebars and seats or whatever. All women except for me, by the way. None of us knowing very much about our bikes. Mostly about on my level it seems, though maybe I knew a bit less than average. Anyway, turns out my bike, though around the same age as me, is in really good condition. I'm replacing the cables and cable housing, but nothing substantive. Even the original brake pads are salvagable. The wheels are in good shape. The thing is really heavy. Heavy and solid. I figure I'd rather have a really cool bike with it's original parts that works really well (once I know how to fix and adjust stuff) than some frankenstein bike with mix and match parts.

When I want a fast road bike, I'll get a nice frame and build that one at that time. Once I know all this good stuff from this class.

So my bike was simpler to take apart than the others, I think, which meant faster. So I learned how to clean and adjust my bottom bracket when re-installing it. That's what they're doing next week when I'm not going to be there because I have to work.