Sometimes it can be difficult to buy a new car or motorcycle or something like that which can require a relatively substantial amount of money. As a student this is often the case. Fortunately, with some skill, time, a dash of luck and, alas, a bit of money, one could repair, restore and eventually have that dream car, or, in my case a bicycle!

So in part 1, I got a road bike for free due to a broken shifter and after trying whatever repairs I could make, I did eventually have to replace the shifter.

After only a day of waiting, I get an SMS saying that my shifter has arrived at my local Postnet and I pretty much drop everything and take a quick stroll to collect it. On the way back I also stop at my local bike shop to pick up a lock and some handlebar tape as the current tape would need to be taken off and it was also showing its age. So I decided to replace it too. I’m always at my most impatient when I’m very close to doing something, so the 2 minute walk back from the bike shop felt like 30 minutes.

Now the restoration could begin in earnest. Fitting a shifter isn’t too complicated but it does require time and a bit of know how. Thankfully I had most of my day off that day and thanks to the great people over at GCN on YouTube, I was plenty confident in my shifter-changing skills. Fortunately it all goes down as planned and the new shifter works perfectly. Below you will see a gallery of the fitting of the shifter and bar tape.

Some other things on the bike did also need attention and although some of them were minor things that didn’t need fixing right away, I still mended and rebuilt what I could for the sake of as full a restoration as I could do by myself.

The first thing I tackled was the brakes. They were very hard to actuate which is a sure sign of gummed up cables and/or linkages in the calipers themselves. After cleaning and adding a thin film of grease to the cables and rebuilding the calipers, the levers were easy to pull again and powerful braking is once again possible. I also sanded down the pads slightly to get rid of the glazing (which decreases braking performance) while also picking out the little metal fragments from them.

The rear tyre was also beyond the end of its life as the wear indicators were gone and the tyre profile was also quite square (this is when the contact patch of the tyre is flat instead of being rounded like a new tyre is). Road bike tyres are marginally cheaper than their offroad counterparts but still sometimes quite ridiculous when you consider how much you’re paying for 200- 300 grams (but you do have to appreciate the technology applied to them). Either way, the front tyre was still in relatively good nick, so it wouldn’t need replacement for another few hundred kilometers. To be fair that will probably be in a couple weeks time.

Other miscellaneous repairs or things done included rebuilding and regreasing the derailleur hanger wheels, cleaning and relubing the chain, wear and tear inspection of the frame and comonents and bearings and naturally a good bike wash.

Finally the bike was complete, shining and ready to go for a ride. I was really fortunate to get the bike and I really am chuffed with how things turned out. Fishing for parts, fitting the parts and working on the bike was all just pure joy for me. I enjoyed every moment, except for a bit of time when I was frustrated by not being able to fix the shifter, but in the end it worked out very well!

Finally finished and yearning for the open road

I’m at the end of a 4 month long journey but fortunately the next one is ready and waiting to begin. My transition to becoming a roadie is almost complete. All that’s left now is the many thousands of happy miles with my road bike. If anything, this was much more rewarding then just going out and buying a new road bike. This bike already has my blood, sweat and tears on it and it hasn’t really even left my room yet!

From being an ornament in my room to ready for the open road. I look forward to every single kilo with my bike, be it through sunshine, rain, fog or hail (yes it actually hailed twice on me when I was once on a ride. Plus it was sunshine about 5 minutes before the hail fell…). Thanks for reading folks, see you guys next time.


Pick your poison.