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  2022 Bikes...
In 2020, due to my mum running a thrift shop and there being a demand for bikes, I got involved in fixing some up. I'm not sure why that didn't reoccur in 2021, but in 2022 it has, and more bikes required attention.

The bike at the front, an Apollo Outrage was already in great condition, and just needed the rear brake's outer cable replacing as it had got rusty inside and the cable was jammed.

The small pink one, a Molly bike, with miss-matched saddle, and Action Man stabilizers, needed the tyres pumping up and a test ride (the spokies demanded it - I remember having them on my own bike, up until I was 10)... The test ride revealed that even when the saddle was as tight as I could get it, it would still tilt under the weight of a 40 year old guy, but would probably be fine for a small girl... I noted that due to the lack of factory-fitted rear bake, it wasn't technically road legal; to improve things I fitted a (pink) bell.

The white bike at the back, another Apollo-branded one, needed the rear gear cable replacing as it had been cut short and there was insufficient length remaining to adjust the gears correctly. The bike also needed a clean but I didn't get round to doing that... #beyondmypaygrade

The following peach/orange/sun-bleached-red-coloured bike just needed some air in the tyres:

Next up, this vintage 'R.E.W. Reynolds' caught my eye:

Mechanically it was sound and just required a new innertube for the rear wheel and the handlebars straightening a little. The previous owner must have only recently replaced the chain and tyres (although they were clearly cheap ones); the brakes and gears were perfect with just some fine-tuning required.

There was surface rust on the frame but I elected to leave that as it was since it needed time and dedication to do it justice rather than a quick 'tart-up' from a can of gloss black. The wheel rims were also heavily patina'd and while I had the rear one off to replace the innertube I attempted to tackle it with 'WD-40' and 600-grit wet and dry. Sadly this did next to nothing for the patch between the spokes I tried it on (I have used this method on rusty suspension forks), but it improved the braking surface of the rims.

Now with the rear tyre with air in I gave the bike the obligatory test ride, and I have to say I quite liked riding it! I attached a rear reflector to the seat post... and then realised there was one on the rear mud-guard... oh well, now it has two!



Some weeks passed and then some more bikes arrived. One was similar to the previous one; a Raleigh Pioneer Commute in green. One issue was that it was missing one of the original mud guard bolts. Someone had MacGyvor'd a replacement (by drilling a hole through a bolt) but it was lose and snapped when I tried to tighten it. Thankfully I found a set of proper replacements on ebay. Being an old bike it has the typical rust issues, namely on the wheels, seat post, handlebar and saddle stems. I just focussed my attention on the rims to improve the braking surfaces by using "WD40" and 600-grit paper.

A further two Apollo-branded bikes both needed new chains. A blue and white one needed new brake pads, cables, and handlebar grips.

One of the bikes was of the folding variety (although I didn't test that aspect of it). It ideally needed new tyres as they were somewhat split but I deemed them to be ok for the time-being and the price of new ones couldn't really be justified; ideally they needed to be with white walls like the originals as they suited the pale blue colour of the bike.

There was a small Muddy Fox branded bike that was already in good order and I just added a rear reflector to make it road-legal.

This poor photo [right] is of a large mountain bike; essentially all it needed was new inner tubes as they were split. I thought I could pinch at least one from a parts bike, but it turned out to have 26" wheels. I also had to work my WD40-magic on the rims, again, the braking surfaces at least. Once the tyres were pumped up, the wheel hubs adjusted, and the chain given some lubrication, a quick test ride revealed all was in order; the gears shifted fine with no adjustment needed.

There have been a couple of bikes I have not been able to repair this year.

The first one is an Emmelle Rapier. This bike simply needed too many replacement parts (a rear derailleur and gear shifter and a tyre to name a few), and given that the frame was pretty rusty (albeit only surface rust), it was deemed that it wasn't worth throwing the required money at it to get it roadworthy as it wouldn't look the part at the end of it. This was a shame for me because seeing the Emmelle brand was quite nostalgic for me as this was a popular brand from my youth and I once owned an Emmelle branded BMX. All was not lost though; I used one of the tyres/inner tubes on another bike.

Another bike I couldn't fix was a strange one; it was one of the newer bikes but it transpired that the rear wheel had suffered bearing damage at some point and someone else had dismantled the axel. From what I could determine some parts were missing from the axel and not only was one side of cage-bearings destroyed, so was the cup/cone part of the wheel. Because this was a bike with disc brakes and a non-Shimano rear hub, and I couldn't figure out what was exactly missing/damaged, all I could say was that it needed a new back wheel and that buying one for it probably wasn't worth it. Another option would be to convert the bike to a e-bike as the kits include a wheel, but again, it would need to be a disc brake version.

This small Muddyfox mountain bike needed next to nothing doing to it:

This Apollo Gradient also looked quite smart and was in good condition, I mainly just put the saddle down ready for the new owner (kids grow out of their bikes and so the saddle has generally worked its way up, and the new owner needs to start out with it at a lower position):

A red Apollo needing similar treatment:

This next bike reminded me of the R.E.W. Reynolds from earlier in the year. This one is an old Raleigh but was in a sound mechanical condition and really only needed a repleacement mudguard bolt fitting - someone had evidently replaced it with a regular nut and bolt which they'd drilled a hole through for the mudguard stay, but this was not tight and when I attempted to tighten it, it snapped (the hole wasn't quite central to the bolt so it was weak on one side) - a simple fix with the correct part sourced from ebay.

Fast-forward to November and a couple of other bikes came in; a cheap and crusty "Westbeach" BMX and a somewhat reasonable Apollo Saxon mountain bike.

The BMX will need a chain, a brake lever, brake pads and possibly other braking components (the mechanism on the handlebar stem that allows the handlebars to do a full 360 also looks iffy), along with a saddle. It could also do with some new handlebar grips, and a de-rusting and lick of paint on the chain-ring to make it look like it's not going to fold in on itself on the first heavy-footed pedal-stroke. There is also a combination lock round the frame... I'll either take a hacksaw to it or sit and work my way through the combinations...

The Apollo Saxon also requires a chain, handlebar grips, and brake pads, but other than that it might be good to go.


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