Frankenbike went tits-up last winter. The freewheel went completely free around mid-March, so the Trek came out a few weeks early. Cut to May and getting ready to move, when Frankenbike comes out of the basement and the entire thing has rusted together. The freewheel went from spinning to being so fused it might as well be a fixed cog, both wheels had spokes rusted off, the chain was one long piece of rust, and the front brake had fused into place. Joy.
The summer started with me determined to get the bike into ride-able shape for this winter. The chain and the brake weren't too hard, but the wheels were a challenge. Ultimately it would be cheaper to get a new set versus having a shop rebuild them. But in the research into affordable options, I saw a $99 fixed gear at a big box. Namely, Walmart.
Ew. But that was where Frankenbike had originally come from, and it had lasted about 5 years in truly heinous conditions. If I could get an entire bike for the price of a cheap track wheelset, it might be worth picking up and parting out. So that's exactly what I did yesterday.
Actually we were out in the 'burbs to pick up several other items, including a new comforter for our kick ass bed, dog food for the next few weeks, and a Sam Adams winter brew package (more on that later). So tacking a stop at wally-world wasn't too out of our way. Even better, the closest one claimed this bike was still in stock.
Which it did, even though it took finding a stock-guy and having him grab it from the back. That actually worked out for the best, since that meant the crappy bike was still in it's crappy box. I'm glad we ended up with the Caliber, b/c anything any smaller wouldn't have been able to get everything home last night.Notice on the top of the box:What a useful warning. I wonder what prompted them to put that on the box versus other warnings.Anyway, not a terrible packing job. They did offer to put the thing together for me at the store, but I figured at this point I had more than enough experience dealing with shitty bikes to handle it. So far so good, but there's plenty of little detail work I need to get to before it'll be ready to actually ride.
One such issue:
How the fuck is that supposed to work?
Anyway, the thing is basically together and man does it look ugly. Surprisingly one thing I thought I would immediately change would be the tires, but they're actually in decent shape and might work well for a winter. We'll see. If I can get fenders around them they'll stay.
At least there's still some time before I have to have it ready to ride. It was in the 50's this morning, and even with some rain coming the Trek can handle that. Here's to a nicer fall.
Current beer-scale: 7.7