Thursday, July 3, 2008

(Re-)refurbishing my bicycle

I have been talking about (re-)refurbishing my old mid 1990's Diamondback Ascent mountain bike for quite some time now and I'm actually (finally) getting around to starting it.

Last weekend I hit up a couple local bike shops to look for a comfortable new seat and more road-worthy tires. The plan is to cruise the roads to get back in shape and then convert the bike back into an off-roader or pick up a new mountain bike once I'm back in shape enough to get back off road again.

I ended up picking up some semi-slick 26" x 1.9" tires at Wal-Mart because the one local shop that had the right size wanted $22-something each for their generic, no-brand tires. They were half that at Wal-Mart. I would have rather bought them at a bike shop but I couldn't justify spending double the money for practically the same tire. I also couldn't find a seat that looked comfortable enough that was less than $50 at the local bike shops, either, so I passed on picking up a seat. Last Sunday I was going to tear the whole bike apart and get repainting (orange, of course) but I realized that I didn't have a chain tool. So, I just put the new tires on and swapped out my Manitou suspension fork for the original rigid fork and gave the bike a quick test ride. Much better... but the seat is still a horrible implement of butt torture and the stem and handlebar I put on a couple years ago still makes the steering feel weird and the riding position is too stretched out for me.

So, I went a little crazy last night with buying new parts for my old mountain bike. I happened upon some good deals at JensonUSA and I ordered a Park chain tool, Sportourer Zoo Gel seat, Easton Vice DH stem and handlebars, Avid Single Digit 5 v-brakes, Cane Creek Direct Curve brake levers, brake cables, Shimano STX/Alivio shifters, derailleur cables and a Cane Creek S-1 headset.

The slicks and rigid fork along with the shorter, higher rise (50mm-10 degree) stem, riser bars and gel seat should make the bike more comfortable to get back into riding. The other stuff will upgrade worn out (mostly 10+ year old) parts. The only stock stuff on the bike when I'm done will be the frame, rigid fork, seat post clamp, wheels, freewheel, derailleurs and bottom bracket (which might also be replaced once I get it off and see what shape it's in).

I figure that I'll either attempt to make some of my money back selling some of my replaced parts on craigslist/eBay or put them on one of my other older bikes that I gave to my father when I bought this bike...

I can't wait to start riding again!

1 comment :

Jeremy said...

NH: The original bottom bracket on my Diamondback was completely shot, but to be fair, in the many years that I owned the bike that was the one thing that I NEVER maintained...

My bike is fairly old (1994) but it appears that the bottom bracket is a standard Shimano square taper setup.