Monday, September 6, 2010

Gears, gears, gears.

While I primarily build fixed gear and single speed bicycles, due to the flatness of the region I live in, I do enjoy geared bikes. Too many gears can be silly, unless you're going on a serious tour crossing mountainous areas. For flat Chicago, a close range of gears is all that is needed, nothing drastic but enough to notice and be able to shift from 'get to where I'm going as fast as possible' to 'let's go for a leisurely ride.' I recently acquired a beautiful Schwinn Suburban. I thought it would probably sit for a while before I got the energy to work on it, but after getting it in the morning, it was completely rebuilt and ready to ride as I tested it out later that night. It features a close-range 14-18 freewheel in the rear, and was rebuilt with new wheels, brake assemblies, seat, and cork grips - of which I'm now a huge fan. Also, Schwinn managed to put on the worst derailleur I've seen, so this was swapped out for some solid vintage Suntour shifting parts - SEVEN derailleur (surprisingly smooth and accurate) and Power Shifter. This one went out already and will be ridden quite a bit I'm sure.