the skill of upcycling old bikes that were destined for a life of decay in a shed or garden is for some’ a difficult task .
one of my personal favourites is to use old 1990s atb frames and forks upcycled into heavy load carrying tourers and heavy load pullers . if chosen correctly you can get a fine quality all butted cro-moly frame for under £50 . my choice for this post is a Marin Bolinas Ridge from 1997 .
its all cro mo ,triple butted and tough . i built this bike to save my vintage bikes from being damaged when hauling big loads , shopping etc . It also wont break my heart or upset the insurance company if it were to get pinched or wrecked .
the components are a mix of old atb parts from the shed with some later shimano sti shifters . LX cantilveres , cheap but reliable wheels and 26 x 1.35 schwalbe CX pro tyres . i run it with a stem riser to give a more heads up ride position . this thing is for slow rides with really rough sections, commuting, and shopping . it really can take a beating and the 26″ tyres and huge tyre clearance makes it cheap and easy to find rubber for it .
old 1990 7 speed deore derailleur , a modern deore hollow-tech 2 crankset . the shifters are 8 speed sora items but i only use 7 of the gears and it works perfectly well without any mods . The narrow width and open tread with connected centre row of knobles on the schwalbe tyres is awesome when the going gets muddy but are light enough to roll well on the smooth stuff .
the mudguards are aluminium as the plastic items always get cracked or worse . metal guards need a little more care in fitting or they can rattle a bit . They are also paintable which will be handy when i get round to giving this bike a respray in a light olive colour .
It has cost me less that £200 to put this bike together , granted i do have a large pile of old parts to draw on but i did purchase a few bits on ebay . While i like to see a thriving bike industry i am still fully commited to the recycling of stuff in general that has life it . My hi-fi is further evidence of this philosophy. It is from the 60s and took a lot of effort to revive but is a joyous group of things to use , as are vintage bikes. . All’ are of a time when built in obsolescence was a filthy phrase coming out of anyones mouth .
I choose to live a life that rejects the child like mentality of wanting new toys that are tossed aside as soon as a new toy is availabe . Seek the quality and look after it .