Do I need to replace my bicycle ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Do I need to replace my bicycle ?

Postby GingerMagic » 27 Jan 2020, 6:35pm

Hi people.

I just wanted to introduce myself to the forum :D

I use forums quite a lot for car maintenance etc, but I hadn't considered joining one for my bike.. :idea:

Basically, I need some advice - it's along the lines of 'do I need a new bike' however with no storage and little funds I'm hoping for a different answer...

I have an old Orange C16 which I bought from a mate back when I was a lad, say around 25 years ago. He fitted titanium handlebars, bar ends, Mavic wheels - otherwise it's the OEM Shimano LX set up.

Truthfully it was sat in my shed for many years until I got a job transfer closer to home - now I use my bike to commute to work ( it's about 5 mins :mrgreen: )

However, it's starting to show its age, the frame has surface rust, the crank is creaking and grinding and the gear change is like throwing a dice - however, I absolutely love the bike, it's light and agile and I'm kind of attached to it - I do get positive comments from other bike riders, and the local cycle shop loved the fact it was 'old skool'... :lol:

So, the question is...
A) Should I keep the bike I enjoy, and adapt it so it's better suited to my commute ( change the ring set as I only use the outer one anyway ) fit road tyres which hopefully someone can recommend, and give it a good service...

B) Invest in a proper road bike off the shelf, like an Allez or a Btwin ( probably from eBay to be honest ) and find a new owner for the Orange?

Any help gratefully received.

Much obliged 8)

Edit: I had never heard of a Gravel Bike...!!
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

hayers
Posts: 128
Joined: 27 Apr 2016, 1:50pm

Re: Introduction....

Postby hayers » 27 Jan 2020, 7:35pm

A!

GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Introduction....

Postby GingerMagic » 27 Jan 2020, 7:42pm

Brief, but effective :lol:

Thanks for the vote...!!
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

peetee
Posts: 1800
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Introduction....

Postby peetee » 27 Jan 2020, 9:02pm

It’s a very fine bike and you like it. The answer is obvious.
If you asked the same question on Retrobike forum half the reposes round be “keep it”, the other half would be “I’ll have it!”.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Introduction....

Postby GingerMagic » 27 Jan 2020, 9:39pm

Thanks, it does seem to be a popular bike in its day - even now I haven't picked up a modern bike that's half as light as the Orange :wink:

The next stage will be to find a suitable ring set for my 90% commute, 10% bombing about with the kids...

Looks like I'll be tinkering with the old girl then 8)
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

slowster
Posts: 1186
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Introduction....

Postby slowster » 27 Jan 2020, 9:58pm

Given that funds are limited, I would try to get it into as good a condition and running order as possible without any major expenditure. Since you are using the bike for commuting, my biggest concern (for the longer term*) would be the rust, and I would suggest you take some photographs of it and post them on a new thread requesting advice on stopping the progression of the rust/removing it.

(* In other words, if you leave it, it might be too late to remedy later on. That won't matter if after another few years you decide that you no longer want or need the bike, but conversely by that point you might be so attached to the frame that you want to keep it and get it resprayed, and that might not then be possible/worthwhile if the rust has progressed.)

Everything else like the cranks/bottom bracket etc. you can tackle as the need arises and/or as and when you fancy tackling the task. In the meantime you can take your time to decide how you will deal with each task when the time comes. For example, it might be that when you examine them you find that the cranks and chainrings are in good condition, and all you need is a new compatible bottom bracket (and good quality square taper bottom brackets like Shimano's UN55 models are available for £15). Ideally then you want a mate with the appropriate crank extractor and bottom bracket tools. If you have to buy tools as well as parts when you do each job (or pay a shop to do it), it will greatly increase the cost of the process (and although it's nice to acquire good tools, many of the more specialist tools would not be usable on the parts fitted to a lot of modern bikes).

If you are patient and take your time to determine what you need to do and buy, and keep an eye on Ebay and other sources for bargains, you will probably be able to get the bike running to your satisfaction for very little money, and will have learned a lot about maintaining and repairing bikes in the process.

GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Introduction....

Postby GingerMagic » 27 Jan 2020, 11:15pm

Thank you very much for those wise words.

The general census is to keep the bike, which is kind of what I wanted to do but just needed confirmation - I was tempted by some road bikes on eBay and was just weighing up the costs of buying a used bike, or tarting mine up.

Yes, I do need to prioritise the work on the bike - I will probably do a project thread once I get myself organised.

I do have basic tools, for working on the cars, but nothing specialist for the bike - I'll add my location to my profile and maybe a local member could assist.

Cheers 8)
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

LollyKat
Posts: 2935
Joined: 28 May 2011, 11:25pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Introduction....

Postby LollyKat » 27 Jan 2020, 11:33pm

Some towns have charitable workshops, maybe open on just one or two days a week, specifically to help people get back on their bikes. They can offer advice, expertise, and proved tools for you to use on the spot.

GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Introduction....

Postby GingerMagic » 28 Jan 2020, 8:18am

Thanks.

There are a couple of local bike repair shops, aimed at Students and locals on a low income - I will probably swing by one of these and have a chat...

Project Orange will be starting soon.
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

slowster
Posts: 1186
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Introduction....

Postby slowster » 28 Jan 2020, 8:45am

Some of the specialist tools are not too expensive, and you might decide that you can justify buying some of them. That is more likely to be the case where you decide to replace a component like for like, and you need the same tool to remove the existing component and to fit its replacement.

For example, you can buy a generic cotterless crank extractor for square taper chainsets from Wiggle for £4.39, and a Shimano square taper bottom bracket tool for £11.90. The latter fits Shimano UN55 and UN26 bottom brackets (the most common) and also some other brands' bottom brackets. It can be useful also to have this tool to use with the Shimano BB tool, especially for removal if you find that your existing bottom bracket is seized in the bottom bracket shell, since it holds the Shimano tool securely against the bottom bracket splines while you apply force.

The other main specialist tools are:

Headset spanners (which you might only need to use once, i.e. to dismantle the headset, check the bearings and races, pack with fresh grease and reassemble),

Cassette/freewheel tools. You'll need to check whether you've got a freehub with cassette or an old style threaded hub with freewheel (explanation of the differences and how to tell them apart here). I think it's likely that a quality bike of that era like your Orange will have a freehub/cassette. If so you'll need a cassette lockring tool and a chain whip. Cassettes have a limited lifespan, which can be prolonged by replacing the chain before it gets too worn, and since they are effectively consumables, it makes sense to get those tools. NB If you find your bike has a threaded freewheel instead, it might be better to buy a new rear wheel with a feehub which takes a cassette (check the rim wall thicknesses - if the brakes have worn them down to 1mm or less, it's time to replace the rim anyway, in which case it would definitely make sense to get a new rear wheel with a freehub).

Cone spanners. Thin spanners for adjusting the hub bearings - you'll need to measure the cones to determine what size(s) are needed. If the wheels spin freely you can probably put this task off for a while, but if they've not been greased for many years, you will need to disassemble, check the bearings and bearing surfaces, and re-grease.

Chain tool. It makes sense to carry a basic multi-tool or separate tools with you on the bike in addition to tyre levers and spare inner tube(s). If you get a multi-tool like the Topeak Hexus, it also has a chain tool (although the tyre levers on it are not good - you should carry separate tyre levers). Tip - if you have a 3/4" ratchet handle* and a 4mm(?) allen key bit for it, at home you can use that with the chain tool on the Hexus and it's then like having a large workshop chain tool in your hands.

Cable cutters for gear and brake cables and cable housing. The cutters on most pliers can usually be used in an emergency or as a short term fix, but they tend to crush cables and housing rather than cut cleanly.

* Edit - that should read 1/4", not 3/4"
Last edited by slowster on 28 Jan 2020, 9:27am, edited 1 time in total.

GingerMagic
Posts: 15
Joined: 26 Jan 2020, 9:42pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Do I need to replace my bicycle ?

Postby GingerMagic » 28 Jan 2020, 9:07am

That's a lot to take on board, however I really appreciate the explanations, the links and the fact I understand what you are saying.. :oops:

Until I properly grapple the task ( it can take time as walking to work is only 5 mins longer than cycling ) I won't really know which to do first.

To be fair the bike is in pretty good order, considering it's been ignored for 15 years, then doused in WD40 before just riding it...!!

The wheels spin effortlessly and silently, the steering is also silent - the main points to address are the noisy creaking crank, and the gearshift is not the accurate SIS system it once was...
Brakes are good, tyres are perishing ( I think they are Hutchinson semi slick, or whatever the term is nowadays.. )

Thanks again for everyone's input
Currently own a tired old Orange C16 - battered and bruised but a great bike.

slowster
Posts: 1186
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Do I need to replace my bicycle ?

Postby slowster » 28 Jan 2020, 9:19am

The other thing I would add is to do your homework before tackling a task. If you don't follow the correct technique or are careless, it can be very easy to make an expensive mistake.

For example, failing to screw a cotterless crank extractor fully into the threads of the crank is a classic mistake, which results in the hard steel tool stripping the softer aluminium threads of the crank (instead of pulling the crank off the square taper axle), leaving you facing the expense of buying a new chainset and also still needing to remove the old damaged one with its wrecked threads.

Park Tool has a lot of good guides and videos. You can usually find both good and bad videos on You Tube, and I would suggest looking at those by R J The Bike Guy, who has a lot of good advice and instruction on how to fix and look after bikes with traditional/older components without spending lots of money on tools.

hamster
Posts: 3315
Joined: 2 Feb 2007, 12:42pm

Re: Do I need to replace my bicycle ?

Postby hamster » 28 Jan 2020, 7:20pm

If the gears are sticky, then new cables and outers cures most things.

With time, Shimano shifters tend to gum up as the grease hardens. A good blast through with WD40 and exercising them usually fixes things - the innards are very robust and rarely break.

Finally, pop over to www.retrobike.co.uk for a crowd who are enthusiastic for rejuvenating old MTBs...plus encyclopedic knowledge in the hive mind.