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rustbucket back into a commuter?

mayanorange2010-04-28 18:38:21 +0000 #1
I've started train/bike commuting a couple times a week and have been taking my roadie. It's only about .6 miles to the train from home, then 2 miles from the train to work. Both have lots of lights, so I'm not sure I like being clipped in for it- plus carrying the weight of shoes. And I got stuck in the rain the other day, which makes me nervous with my roadie- I dried it off once I got home.

So my question is DH has a ~6 yr old Scott MTB with slicks that has been sat outside untouched for 3 yrs that would fit me (we're the same size). Is it totally destroyed? The chain is rusted, the cartridge looks rusty, the cables and some bolts too. The rims and seatpost must be aluminum- they're shiny and new looking. It also has a front suspension- the rubber over the shocks looks dead- does that mean the shocks might have been compromised?
Crankin2010-04-28 18:41:30 +0000 #2
Are you taking your bike on the commuter rail? How is that working out? When I came home from class (Porter Square) Thursday night, there were 3 people with bikes on the train. One, a kid, was struggling to get it down the stairs when he got off. Another guy had bars so wide, he hit me as he was rolling his bike past my seat!

Just wondering. I am getting up the courage to ride my bike to the station (5 miles) and leave it locked up at the bike store, and then ride home in the dark...

Not sure about the clothing issue, either. I just can't ride in regular clothes, but it seems silly to change for a 5 mile ride.
mayanorange2010-04-28 19:18:06 +0000 #3
Cranklin- yeah, I took the commuter rail from wellesley to worcester. There was actually lots of people with bikes both directions. It was a bit hairy carrying my bike up the metal stairs with road shoes and cleats on

but then at worcester, it was a level platform. It was narrow enough, you really have to keep one hand on the handlebars to steer your way through and the other hand holding it on your shoulder, so no hands for railings. Most people were helpful if I was struggling. I was worried I might beat my bike into things around those narrow and doubly doored corners! Make sure you look for the handicapped areas where the seats flip up- they're on both kinds of cars. Once I get in, I've been taking my bike up to the lab with me- there are racks in the garage, but this is the same garage they had a rash of GPS thefts in a couple months ago.

Yet another reason to clean up DH's as a beater.

PS- I went out to look at it and it is a Scott Purgatory, which seems to be a precursor to the Sportster hybrid. Maybe I'll take some cleaner to it and see if there's pitting in the metal.
mudmucker2010-04-28 18:50:26 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by mayanorange

Cranklin- yeah, I took the commuter rail from wellesley to worcester. There was actually lots of people with bikes both directions. It was a bit hairy carrying my bike up the metal stairs with road shoes and cleats on

but then at worcester, it was a level platform. It was narrow enough, you really have to keep one hand on the handlebars to steer your way through and the other hand holding it on your shoulder, so no hands for railings. Most people were helpful if I was struggling. I was worried I might beat my bike into things around those narrow and doubly doored corners! Make sure you look for the handicapped areas where the seats flip up- they're on both kinds of cars. Once I get in, I've been taking my bike up to the lab with me- there are racks in the garage, but this is the same garage they had a rash of GPS thefts in a couple months ago.

Yet another reason to clean up DH's as a beater.

PS- I went out to look at it and it is a Scott Purgatory, which seems to be a precursor to the Sportster hybrid. Maybe I'll take some cleaner to it and see if there's pitting in the metal.

Sure, I'd give it a go and salvage it. Especially that it sounds like it'll be a commuter beater bike? I'd get a new chain for sure. To remove rust I don't use solvent. I've used steel wool on some components like an old freewheel (you say cartridge in your post but did you mean cassette/freewheel?) But you may want to get a new one depending on how much pitting there is. I will also use a fine wire sander to put on the end of a drill and I'll wire sand the rust off. I've done this for chrome parts, and have salvaged rusty pedals, and bolts this way. If the pitting is deep, the rust will come back but you can keep on top of it and maybe put WD40 on it in the meantime.
mayanorange2010-04-28 19:52:05 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by mudmucker

Sure, I'd give it a go and salvage it. Especially that it sounds like it'll be a commuter beater bike? I'd get a new chain for sure. To remove rust I don't use solvent. I've used steel wool on some components like an old freewheel (you say cartridge in your post but did you mean cassette/freewheel?) But you may want to get a new one depending on how much pitting there is. I will also use a fine wire sander to put on the end of a drill and I'll wire sand the rust off. I've done this for chrome parts, and have salvaged rusty pedals, and bolts this way. If the pitting is deep, the rust will come back but you can keep on top of it and maybe put WD40 on it in the meantime.

MM- Yes, commuter, and yeah, I meant cassette.

I just pulled it inside to look at the damage better- Brakes and brake cables are fine, frame is fine, seatpost and headset (quilled) seem fine. Chain is dead. Cassette and derailleurs look salvageable. Looks like I'd need new shifter cables, but the it shifts (things moved when I clicked the shifters, but I didn't want to force it with the chain being frozen). Hard to tell about the front gears- at least the big gear looks like a couple of teeth might be damaged (tips shortened). I'd need to get the chain off to see the rest. Rims are fine, but a few of the spokes have some rust- might just be surface, they feel rather strong. I cut the rotted rubber off the shocks- there's a smidge of rust under there on one side, but it looks like stainless, so it should come off. I slathered some naval jelly on the rusted bits and will see how it looks tomorrow.

How do I tell if the BB and wheel bearings are okay? And how can I be sure the gears will be okay? (I guess more importantly, will I die if a tooth busts while riding? )
mudmucker2010-04-28 19:41:03 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by mayanorange

MM- Yes, commuter, and yeah, I meant cassette.

I just pulled it inside to look at the damage better- Brakes and brake cables are fine, frame is fine, seatpost and headset (quilled) seem fine. Chain is dead. Cassette and derailleurs look salvageable. Looks like I'd need new shifter cables, but the it shifts (things moved when I clicked the shifters, but I didn't want to force it with the chain being frozen). Hard to tell about the front gears- at least the big gear looks like a couple of teeth might be damaged (tips shortened). I'd need to get the chain off to see the rest. Rims are fine, but a few of the spokes have some rust- might just be surface, they feel rather strong. I cut the rotted rubber off the shocks- there's a smidge of rust under there on one side, but it looks like stainless, so it should come off. I slathered some naval jelly on the rusted bits and will see how it looks tomorrow.

How do I tell if the BB and wheel bearings are okay? And how can I be sure the gears will be okay? (I guess more importantly, will I die if a tooth busts while riding? )

Sounds like you got a keeper - if the frame is fine and brake/cables are already ok. Cool. I just overhauled a 14 yr old red steel bike, and I am overhauling my mt bike as we speak.

1. Stick with the derailleurs and cassette for the moment if they look fine. Alternatively in the future, since this is not a glamour bike - I've often gone to my LBS and they have some older stock/cheaper/good used parts to sell for cheap.

2. You can either get new shifter cables and housing, or slide the housing off and lube the cables with oil for now and see how that goes. New cables/housing isn't too expensive. If you get new cables/housing, you'll want a cable cutter than doesn't crush the housing. I have the Park Tool one.

3. If you don't have any, you might want to purchase some needed bike tools - you'll always have them and it's very rewarding to do your own work. I have a few and it wasn't "hundreds of dollars". Get them as you need them, if you can afford this - and you'll find that you don't need some of the extended expensive kits that they have out there.

4. When you say front gears I'm assuming chain rings. I had old damaged chainrings too. You can try bending them back in line if they're bent, but I didn't mess with it and I just bought 2 new ones. Chain rings can be any where from $15 to $30 or so. Check how many bolts you have and then look at Sheldon Brown's website to determine the #mm BCD you'll need.

5. I know nothing of front shocks.

6. You'll want a new chain. I like to get a Wipperman Connex masterlink (Shimano compatible) suitable for the size/speed chain you have when I change out chains. You put this masterlink on the new chain and it allows you pull the chain totally off the bike and put it back on without breaking a chain pin and needing a new one. I think SRAM 8&9 speeds have this removable masterlink. The SRAM 10 speed masterlink is not removable.

7. Try moving your cranks side to side, or take the cranks off and try moving the axle and see if there is play in the bottom bracket. There shouldn't be any. To check the bearings you have to pull out the BB. Check for pitting. You'll know if it's bad. Same with the hubs. You'll need a crank remover and a bottom bracket tool. But you'll have them and it's fun, if you happen to like this stuff.

If you don't know how to do some of this or unsure what things are supposed to look like, and you don't already have their Blue Book, check the Park Tool website: www.parktool.com/ .

It has pictures and step by step.

Alternatively, you can bring the bike in and have them tell you what part you need, making sure you tell them only what you want and not have them sell you everything under the sun even if you don't need it. Same with getting the right tool. You are still purchasing from them but just doing the labor yourself.

Overall I spent around $65 overhauling my bike back to perfection. It was rewarding and a lot less expensive than a new bike.

If it's been sitting around in the elements for 3 years, I'd want to take it apart, replace some things, lube it, repack hubs, etc. and give it the lovin' it deserves.

Hopefully DebW will see this as well as others and make some additional helpful comments and suggestions.
mayanorange2010-04-28 20:45:24 +0000 #7
This is my crankset

www.bikepartsplace.c...ount/crankset-altus/

Doesn't have separate chainrings

And it's pretty bad- I should replace it. Not that I know how to get one of those kind off.

Cassette is cleaning up well. Going to attempt to take apart the shock to clean it properly.
DebW2010-04-28 19:35:33 +0000 #8
wheel bearings - definitely good to repack them with new grease. But for starters, with the wheels on the bike, grab the rims and see if you can move them side to side relative to the frame or fork. If you find play, the cones need to be adjusted. See if the wheels spin freely and if they will continue to spin for a long time. Then remove the wheels from the bike and turn the axle in your hand. You want it to feel smooth and silky. If it feels and sound metallic, the cones are too tight or are lacking grease. If it feels rough and uneven, the cones are pitted.

bottom bracket - with the chain off the crank, grab a crank arm near its end and try to move it side to side without turning it. Any movement relative to the frame indicated improper bottom bracket adjustment or crank arms not properly secured to the bottom bracket. Spin the crank and see if it moves freely. To actually feel the bearings, you have to remove the crank arms (crank puller required). Is this an adjustable bottom bracket with a lock ring or a cartridge? If it's a cartridge and it has play or feels tight or rough, then it needs to be replace for ~$30. If it's adjustable, you can open it up and repack with fresh grease.

gears - if the derailleurs aren't moving freely, a solvent bath followed by lubrication will help. But they'll probably be fine. Lube all the pivot points and remove and grease the jockey wheel bushings.

will you die if a tooth busts while riding? - the only major stress on teeth is during the shift, otherwise many teeth bear the load equally. So probably the worst that would happen is a failed shift and chain that jumps back to a smaller chainring. The cheaper cranksets are riveted together, so you can't replace just a chainring.

careful dismantling the shock. Some contain oil, some springs, some air. Even pro shops won't overhaul every suspension.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mayanorange

How do I tell if the BB and wheel bearings are okay? And how can I be sure the gears will be okay? (I guess more importantly, will I die if a tooth busts while riding? )

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