I’ve been refurbishing a stable of bikes for a client to get them ready for the summer. There were eight bikes in all, six which were being ridden by members of the family to one degree or another. The bikes include two hybrids, three kids’ mountain bikes and two Trek 2100’s. It was requested that one of the hybrid bikes be derustified top to bottom. That bike took hours and quite a bit of EBay and internet time to find compatible parts. The other hybrid was well used and needed a scrub, lube and a few basics. The three kids and the road bikes were in near new condition requiring basic service to bring them to road ready.

It was the last two bikes that got my interest. The first was a Trek 950 mountain bike. This bike was ridden by my clients’ son who had passed away some years before. They wanted to restore the bike to its best self as a remembrance best I could tell.

He had taken the bike to the city and had taped nearly every tube with yellow duct tape in an effort to disguise it from would be thieves. He had also used an old chain to secure the saddle to the frame. I had to wrestle with how far to go to preserve the bikes’ original character but still bring it back to life. I opted to replace as little as possible in an effort to preserve its unique personality.

They gave me this bike stripped of the tape but not of the glue. I stripped the bike to the frame, cleaning each part to put it in the best shape possible. I used carb cleaner remove the tape glue leaving a rather nice royal blue finish on the bike. I then added a couple of new handlebar grips, tires/tubes and a wheel truing.  There you have it a new Trek steed. Below is a picture of the finished bike.

Refurbished Trek 950

Refurbished Trek 950

The prize for doing the 950 was to get to work on the last bike. The last bike was an old Columbia kid’s bike circa late seventy’s maybe. This gem was the sons’ first bike. It was a faded red color with ripped up tires, rusted chain & chopper bars and banged up and rusted wheels. This poor thing had seen better days.

I was able to derust the bars and wheel rims using tin foil and simple green. Rust on chrome comes off nicely that way.  Some tripple zero steal wool will also work but leaves a bit more mess. The rest of the work included a top to bottom scouring, a new chain, tires/tubes and a spit polish. Here is a picture of the final bike.

Columbia Kids Bike

Columbia Kids Bike

It was a real pleasure to work on the bike as it brought back memories of my first bike and its later modified incarnation. My first was a sky blue Schwinn Jr. Sting-Ray with chopper bars, a white banana seat and sissy bars. Here is a picture of a similar bike in red. I loved that bike and rode it everywhere.

Schwinn Junior Sting-Ray

Schwinn Junior Sting-Ray

After I had grown out of the bike, my brother modified it to be more of a BMX bike. Here is a pic of something similar to what he put together.

Modified Schwinn Sting-Ray

Modified Schwinn Sting-Ray

I had always thought it was cool of my dad to give me and my brothers a free hand to work on our bikes. I think both of us took pleasure in it at the time and made good use of the skill in later years.

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