After nearly nineteen years, Steven has retired his road bike.
There was an attempt to give it a new lease on life about a month ago when we took it in for an evaluation. The problems we knew about included a clicking noise when he pedaled due to the bottom bracket (this is the part that the pedals rotate in on the frame) being an original part on the bike and worn out. Then there was the issue that the chain needed replacing because it had stretched and slowly ground all of the gears to have razor blade edges. Finally there was the issue of the back wheel being slightly oversized due to the emergency repairs that were done to get it road-worthy for daily commuting when the mountain bike was stolen. The bike had been riden hard and often, but was no longer capable of handling long rides (which Steven stopped doing in March because of the bike). This year alone, he has riden over 2,500 miles.
So last month we paid a visit to a shop called The Bike Barn on the recommendation of a friend from ASU. These guys were great, they listened to how Steven rides and what his goals are. They worked up a part list that included the word "vintage" too often. The bike has components that no one makes anything like anymore and replacing them would be somewhat difficult due to the "fit" required. In the end, all that would have been left of the bike we took in would have been the frame, seat, seat-post, handle bars, and brake levers. During the course of the conversation, it became obvious that a new bike would not cost us too much more than the repair bill we would have.
That was when Mary (the primary person we were working with there) had a stroke of genius. They have a large rental bike selection and one of the bikes I was looking at they had as a rental. When the "season" ends, they sell the bikes at a discount. Well, the season ends when the temperatures start to regularly hit 100 degrees. So we agreed to wait until then and see what kind of discount we could get for a new-to-us bike.
So we waited about a month and the payoff was worth the wait. Steven is now the owner of a Trek 2.1 road bike. We were even able to install clipless pedals and buy cycling shoes with the cleat for the pedals.
So this evening Steven commuted home on the bike. The ride was smooth, quiet, and fast. It was amazing to ride an aluminum framed bike with carbon fiber forks after riding a steel bike for so long. We were warned that the clipless pedals take a little getting used to and to expect to fall. Sure enough, while on the canal path waiting to cross the street, Steven failed to get out of the pedal in time and rolled over on his side, at which point the shoe popped out of the pedal. Hopefully that will not happen too many more times.
It is a great bike and Steven is looking forward to putting in some 100+ mile rides in before it gets to hot.