I don’t like to see bikes tossed aside simply because the bike has flat tires, needs a new chain, and some elbow grease. I have been fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to come across some really cool project bikes lately. The last two projects were both Mixte style frames. (AKA Ladies frames)
Both bikes only needed some basic parts to get running once again. The upside of both builds is that there were Japanese frames from the 1980’s. Japan pumped out a a lot of good quality bikes in that era. They were cheap, well built, and cost effective. There are a lot of those frames out there today. If you can score one for free, take it. It will cost you any were from $50 to $100 to get it running again for the next 20 years.
The Sekai was given to me by some fixed gear riding kids in the downtown neighborhood. I was dropping off a roller racing meter, and say it in the bushes. They had no interest in it. I asked if I could have it, and they just gave it to me.
It was quite the dirty little pig. All the years of service had pulled the grease out the races, onto the frame, where it mixed with particles in the air to create the dingy film. Almost all of the parts were still on the bike though, and that is most important. The cranks turned, the seat came out, the stem came out, and the wheels turned. After that little inspection it was time to take an inventory and order some parts on the cheap.
Finding new parts for really cheap that meet a certain aesthetic is kind of hard, but persistence paid off. All parts were ordered for a total of $63.00. Bars, stem, cables, seat, tube, and brake levers. In the mean time I started washing the bike and polishing with some cutter wax. The parts arrived and the bike went together nicely.
The aesthetic produced a nice ladies townie bike with a happy bright spirit. It’s not a racing machine, but it will take some one of the local shops rather quickly and in style. The red paint turned out to be quite vibrant. It was kind of a nail polish red with metallic glitter that gave it a some shimmer in the sunlight.
Once the bike was done, it sat here for about a week. A friend of mine called to tell me her bike was stolen the night before. I sold her the bike for my cost and some BEER money. End of story.