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April 25, 2009

Bike Restoration

As a kid, I subscribed to Hot Rod magazine and dreamed of building street rods. Alas, on a teacher's salary, that ain't a gonna happen.

So I decided recently to restore bikes. It's cheaper but still satisfying as I turn wrenches and get my hands dirty. Plus, it's fun to find machines that were the cat's meow in their day, bikes that have a soul, and get 'em on the road again. There's a beauty to mechanical things like rods and bikes, something about the poetry in the way the simplest of machines--levers, wheels, and pulleys--transcends the metal and rubber and begets a '57 Chevy, or, well, an '85 Raleigh Team USA.

Before on the left, after on the right:

The top bike is a 1977 Puch Pathfinder with Suntour and Dia-Compe components. I stripped and repainted it and now use it on commute and weekend rides.

The red, white, and blue bike on the bottom is a 1985 Raleigh Team USA, a tribute to the 1984 Olympic cycling team. A brochure from back in the day features it prominently. A nice bike.

Posted by tat at April 25, 2009 07:29 PM
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