I keep having to buy bike parts and tools. That’s what I’ve been up to. Not only is my own road bike in need of some repair but a friend gave me his mountain bike that’s in pieces and needs work. He told me a whole bunch of things that were wrong with it but they really didn’t sink in until I tried to fix it. Then I realized how much work it would take. No wonder he got rid of it.

Lets start with my road bike. It needs a new front rim. This winter I accidentally went over a curb with the bike and now the rim has a flat spot. I’ve been riding it like that but it really needs a new rim. I finally ordered one and the day after I did I walked out for my bike ride and noticed a bubble on my back tire.

Isn’t that always the way? Fix one thing and another comes up? Or at least order the part you need for the fix. I inspected the tire and the rim was bent out a little and the tread was damaged. I’m guessing it was from the same curb incident but I somehow never noticed. I stripped the tread and tube from the rim and them used some C clamps to bend the rim back into shape. This was an easy fix compared to having a flat spot in the rim. The tread was trashed but luckily my friend who gave me the mountain bike also gave me a tread for a road bike. So I was good to go.

The front brake on my road bike has been malfunctioning for years. It will stop me if I need it to but then it won’t let go. I have to reach down and pull it off the wheel by hand. It’s an emergency brake only. I used the rear brake almost all of the time, I’ve been meaning to replace the front brake but haven’t because all the winter riding I’ve done has frozen it in place with rust and road grime. I feared I’d have to break it off.

Since I ordered a new front rim I decided to order a new front brake too. After I ordered the new front brake I decided too try and get the old one off right then so the new one could go right on when it arrived. It took an hour to get it off the bike and, as I feared, in the end I had to break it off. I ended up grabbing it with vicegrips and snapping it off piece by piece. I had to drill out part of the bolt stem so I hope the new one fits right. We’ll see.

I also ordered a new rear derailleur for my road bike. The gears on the old one are worn down to almost nothing. I should have replaced it a while ago but you know how these things go. Why go to the trouble if it’s still rideable”

The mountain bike isn’t even rideable yet. When I got it the fork wasn’t even on it. I’ve never taken a fork off or put one on a bike before now. Turns out I needed a new headset for the fork. These are the ball bearing parts that go on the top and bottom of the fork that makes it turn. I ordered a new headset.

After I got the headset and went to put it on I discovered that I needed a special tool to remove a part of the old headset from the fork. I also needed a tool to put that same part on the fork. I ordered the part to take the old one off but then decided I could just turn that tool upside down to put the new one on. When I finally go the tool I was right. It was a little clumsy putting the new headset on but I got it done.

I went to finally install the fork and the next thing I discovered was that the star nut that kept the fork in place needed yet another special tool to install. I went online and ordered that tool. A week later it came and I could finally install the fork. I think all that took two weeks to do.

Next I decided to try and install the front derailleur. Turns out the shifter/brake handle was broken. But only the front one and not the rear one. But you have to order them in pairs so I did. Then I turned my attention to the rear derailleur. Turns out it was in pieces and some of the pieces were even missing. I had to order a new rear derailleur.

With all these problems this bike still has yet to get any wheels on it. But I got the new parts in the mail and went to install the rear derailleur. That’s when I discovered a new and even bigger problem. The derailleur bolts right to the frame but the threads on the frame were stripped. I have no idea how my friend managed this but I’ve never seen it before. No derailleur was going to attach to this frame. No wonder he didn’t want the bike anymore.

I did some research on the internet and found a possible solution. I would have to drill out the bolt hole and put in a replacement piece that has new threads in it. Of course I’d have to order the piece and the drill bit. I did but there is no guarantee that it’s work. I also found out that a lot of newer bikes have replaceable derailleur hangers in case this happens but this mountain bike has the derailleur hanger welded right on. Oh well.

Despite all the repairs I’ve been doing on my road bike it has still been rideable all this time. I’ve been putting off all the stuff I needed to do to it because I didn’t have the money for the parts. I finally do so it feels good to be getting it done.

The mountain bike has been a lot more trouble. I’ve never had a mountain bike before and have always wanted one so it’s cool to be fixing it up. I’ve ben patient with it and it has also given me something to look forward to during this quarantine time. I’ll get it up and running sooner or later.