My Old Mountain Bike

It's been a while since we posted. Back in October 2015 I mentioned that I was fixing my old mountain bike. It was a blue Probike Lazer, what many people would refer to as a BSO (bike shaped object), but something I had loved since I was a teenager. Shortly after that old post, I bought an old Townsend ladies mountain bike in a sparkly pink colour. I paid about a tenner for it, but my plan was to give it a nice paint job and generally sort it out for my wife to ride.

My son got involved - I think he wanted his mum to have a bike so that he could spend even more time on his bike. We painted the bike a nice red colour, and adjusted brakes and gears, and put on a new saddle and tyres. In the end we had a fairly tidy bike, although the technology was older - old style brakes and thumb shifters and 15 gears (3x5). We presented this to my wife, who said she loved it but the frame was too big for her. My son wasn't happy.

In the meantime, I had fixed up my old bike. However, it had by this stage stood in a shed for years, unused, bar a short stint when a friend borrowed it. When I started on it, it had a broken back hub, the chainset was completely knackered and slipping all over the place, the front forks were bent, and everything I took apart oozed rust. Riding it, far from the pleasure I enjoyed as a teenager was a deeply disturbing experience. I wasn't sure of the tracking, the gears, the brakes - as in would they actually stop me?! Aside from all this, I came to the startling realisation that the frame, being size L (the universal size of most BSOs) was too big for me! The bike that had practically been a part of me in my early teens was in fact a pretty bad fit. 

So I started riding the red bike, and I loved it. Yes it's a 'girl's' bike, but most frames slope these days - that straight bar from the saddle to the handlebars is mostly gone, replaced by the girl's sh
aped sloping bar on most mountain bikes today. The red and black paint scheme, and big black tyres look pretty manly in fact. And then the part swapping started. 

She's now a 7 speed, with V-brakes, and grip-shift gear changers. And I love it. I've simplified a few things along the way, totally removing the front derailleur and gear shifer, replacing cables, and fitting new rubber all round. It's a simple, well made little bike that goes well over forest tracks and stops reliably. Race ye?

(My old Probike has been stripped down and will be off to the dump soon. I will be sorry to see it go. I have so many happy memories especially of being out with mates until dark in the summer, or thrashing it around Tollymore forest. But it is time. The bike is knackered and in pieces and I'm no hoarder. It might have been a BSO, but how many people can truthfully say that they absolutely wore out the whole drivetrain on their bike? The teeth in my chainset weren't just a little worn, they all looked like shark fins, and were all different sizes. Shimano I wore your parts out completely! RIP Probike Lazer)


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