Monday, July 19, 2010

To Restore, or Not to Restore... THAT is the Question

So, the lovely Raleigh/Triumph three speed bicycle currently sits in the garage after our fun camping trip this summer. While it was nice to have a bicycle to ride on vacation, I feel as though there are improvements that could be made to this bike. After Sam took the time to clean the bicycle, we discovered that the hub is actually in pretty good shape (as in almost new, despite the fact that it's a 34 year old bike), and overall it's in decent shape, but I was thinking that it would be nice to make it a bit easier to peddle with a larger cog on the back, getting a nicer saddle (the Brooks has now spoiled me that's on the Pashley) and perhaps grips, and I'm thinking about changing the wheels, simply because I hate trying to find 27 inch tires. They do exist, but the ones that I want don't seem to be readily available. Then I think that it is a back up bicycle, so perhaps it isn't that big of a deal. I'd also like to repaint the bike and find some new decals and a head badge to complete the look. I suppose the question is, do I really want to spend the time/money as an investment in this bicycle when it runs perfectly well now?

I can't help but think how pretty she'd look though if she had some restoration done. I think the biggest thing is that I'd want it to be a different color, but the classic colors would be the black or the darker green color, much like the Pashley. I thought about a red, but my word, I've had so many issues with red bicycles, that I feel it would be a jinx on her. I also thought about a brown or possibly cream color. I guess I feel as though it's a commitment though once I start the project. It obviously wouldn't all have to be done at once, but if I started it, I would want to finish the job.

On the side of not wanting to put in the work is of course the costs involved, the fact that the bicycle is a bit cramped for my preferences, despite the reality that the frame size is actually larger than the experts say I should be riding, and it was supposed to be the bicycle I could actually just kind of throw around and not worry about. If I do put the work in, I won't want it to be mistreated (not that I would really mistreat her anyway, but I just don't have the paranoia I would have).

The debate rages on, and in the mean time, I keep my eyes open
for any deals that might sway
me into working on the project, like a Brooks B66s/B67s saddle for one quarter the regular price, as an example, or finding 27" Schwalbe Delta's in a nice cream color. A girl can dream, right?

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