Well I was looking for a used road bike and I had a budget of around 500.00 dollars. Though I did not want to part with that money (cheap charlie!) One day I was dreaming in a bike shop. Checking out the latest in Carbon Fiber ultra lite road bikes. Nice.
Up on the second hand top shelf sat a red thing with a price tag of 100.00 dollars, so I took it for a ride around the parking lot. Felt like a Ferrari compared to my other clunker. Paid and gently put my new baby in the back of my truck bed.
Got home and took it for a spin. My butt ached and I discovered the brakes needed replaced. So I bought a new saddle and updated the brake lines and pads for a total of around 70.00 dollars. Not bad.
This bike is a Schwinn Chicago Super Le Tour (around 34 years old). The frames paint is pretty much kaput, but everything else is pretty good shape. Seems like this was a project bike abandoned. New tires, rims, rear cassette and chain. Bike store mechanic said the previous owner put about 250.00 dollars in it.
Reading up on this frame I discovered it’s bomb proof. Steel and solid. Hand crafted. Suntour components still shift smooth as silk. Took some getting used to though. Old style shifting levers mounted on the frame. Not indexed. Funny how the body adapts quickly.
Can I hang with the big boys and girls on the new carbon fiber bikes? Nope!
All I can tell you about the 2000 dollar bikes is they are fast. So fast they disappear ahead of me. The good news is we usually end up in the same place.
Now I treat my Schwinn like a 2000 dollar bike. Wash it and wax over the scars from 34 years of use. Dry it off after coming off a rainy day ride. Make sure the tire pressure is correct. Lube the chain. You know.
I’ve been having a blast on this Schwinn Chicago bike. Even stopped and rescued a turtle on one ride. No helmet for me. It seems the only time I’ve ever wrecked on a bike is when I had those fancy pedals that you clip in your shoes. This bike has the normal steel pedals that you wear tennis shoes with. I like that!
The point of this article is about joining the fun on the cheap. Yeah, it’s nice having the latest and greatest equipment, but you can still join the fun on the cheap.
Who knows I might even buy an obnoxious horn for giggles.