For many years, landscaping and skateboarding kept me fit, but now I am in a losing battle. I can tell that I am out of shape and this is a direct result of zero free time to exercise. I have been searching for some form of cardio to add to my limited workout time, something I could do while the boys take their afternoon nap.
Reflecting back to my overweight youth, cycling had helped me shed the weight in the past. A stationary bike made the most sense for my situation. So with this logic, I headed out to our local thrift stores. I was feeling pretty defeated after leaving the first two stores, then we made a last minute stop at our least favorite secondhand shop. Bingo! a really nice, vintage Schwinn fixed gear bike. I laid down the twenty dollars without a second thought and dragged it to the car, literally, it is very heavy.
I knew it needed a little love, but the ride felt really nice. I decided to set a budget of $60 dollars for new parts. The computer no longer worked and after an hour of trying to revive it, I had the epiphany to just buy a new road bike computer for $10. I was able to use the original sensor and splice it into the brain's harness. This was well worth the investment because of the motivational metrics such as speed and distance ridden.
The stem was sloppy and I was concerned about stability when leaning forward. This got swapped out as well as the busted seat and pedals. After the parts had been ordered and the decals removed, I just could not make peace with the vintage bronze paint job. I chose to go ahead and paint the bike white, I had to remove the cranks to grease the bottom bracket anyways.
The last touch was some craftiness from my shop. I had a set of MTB handlebar extensions that I wanted to add in order to take advantage of different riding positions. When assembled, they left a small, awkward gap in the middle. I headed to the box store with a vague idea, and came back with a 45 degree - 3/4" copper elbow that was a perfect union.
Why would anyone spend time and money on a project like this? Well, we have a small house and aesthetically, I will have to live with this bike in my space. There is little difference in performance compared to the trendy spin cycles which are several hundred dollars to start with. I was able to breathe new life into a gym-quality bike that will now ride on for another generation.