Bike Saviours Build-a-Bike: Day 4 & 5 – Bike Saviours – Tempe, AZ – 12.16.2015 & 12.22.2015

This is a day-to-day account of my first Build-a-Bike. Read Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 first.

 

I fell a bit behind in my posts. Everything has just been very busy with the holiday season. But I can finally say I am done with my first Build-a-Bike! I love my 1979 Chicago Schwinn Varsity Sport.

Day 4

Time: About two hours.

Was helped by: Nicole, Brandon and Patrick

Worked on: Gears

So first things first. No, I do not have to be done in 30 days. As long as I come in regularly to work on the bike, I can get an extension.

Moving on.

I brought Nate with me again, but he had to work on his bike. So he was absolutely useless to me 🙂

Bike Saviours was really busy today, and the volunteers were being spread a bit thin. Nate was really busy with his bike, which meant I had to do a lot of this on my own.

Bike Saviours was busy today, and the volunteers were being spread a bit thin. I’m usually the one hogging all the volunteers, so I thought I would be nice and try to do this mostly on my own.

After inspecting the derailour and shifters I had to take out and replace the gear cables. This seemed to be very similar to brakes, which I worked on last week with Nate. And for the most part it was.

After inspecting the derailleur and shifters, I realized all I had to do was take out and replace the gear cables. This seemed to be very similar to brakes, which I worked on last week with Nate. And for the most part it was.

Replace the gear cables and housing. I think I would have been able to do it by myself if it weren't because the new housing was too big for the slots in my bike. It seems there's always something stumping me.

I also had to replace the housing, just like brakes last week. I think I would have been able to do this by myself if it weren’t because the new housing was too big for the slots in my bike. It seems there’s always something stumping me.

But luckily Brandon was there to help me with all of that.

But luckily Brandon was there to help me with all of that.

And that was that for Day 4. I took my time, took my time catching up with friends and decided I would call it a day. Next week I would be able to fly past Final Steps and be all done!

And that was that for Day 4. I took it easy, took my time catching up with friends and decided I would call it a day. Next week I would be able to fly past Final Steps and be all done!

Day 5

Time: 5 hours 30 minutes * I worked on a separate project today.

Was helped by: Patrick, Rob, Bryce, Chris, Nicole and Cori

Worked on: Final Steps (and a little Santa gift on the side)

I sold Little’s bike and found a new one that would fit her better on Craigslist. Like I mentioned on the last family biking post, she has outgrown the 12″. This new 16″ bike looked great but the hub and chain were very, very dirty and rusty. Also the grips were torn badly and the wheels were flat. When I saw it I knew that I could fix those issues, but I still managed to talk the previous owner down $30 from the original list price.

Thinking that Final Steps would be easy-peasy, and because it was almost Christmas, I took the little 16″ bike to work on before I finished my bike. What I did not see coming is that it would take me almost two hours to finish Little’s bike and Final Steps was not the breeze I was expecting. So I was there forever!

Still, it was great knowing that I could make Little’s bike new again.

And this is Little's new 16" Specialized Hot Rock. I cannot believe I didn't take a proper before picture, with details of the horror, but you'll just have to to trust it looked like shit. Absolutely unacceptable for a Santa gift. Because this is not a Build-a-Bike things work a little different. When working on a bike of your own you pay $4/hr for the workshop and tools. You still get help from all the volunteers... whew!

And this is Little’s new 16″ Specialized Hot Rock. I cannot believe I didn’t take a proper before picture with close-ups of the horror spots, but you’ll just have to trust it looked bad. Absolutely unacceptable for a Santa gift. Because this is not a Build-a-Bike things work a little different. When working on a bike of your own you pay $4/hr or $12/day for their Tool Share program; which includes use of the workshop, tools and help from all the volunteers.

First thing I did was remove the chain and put it in the Ultrasonic Cleaner. The chain looked rough. I really wanted to keep the total price down so I was crossing my fingers the Ultrasonic Cleaner would do the trick. Then I scrubbed the sprockets and hub with a wire brush. All the dirt and rust came right off!

First thing I did was remove the chain and put it in the Ultrasonic Cleaner. The chain looked rough. I really wanted to keep the total price (and my own labor) low so I was crossing my fingers the Ultrasonic Cleaner would do the trick and I wouldn’t have to buy a new chain. Then I scrubbed the sprockets and hub with a wire brush. All the dirt and rust came right off!

Patrick taking my chain out of the Ultrasonic Cleaner. Luckily it was all dirt and it all came right off looking like new. The chain can still be used!

Patrick taking my chain out of the Ultrasonic Cleaner. Definitely good to go!

Looking good!

Looking so good! Like new!

Bryce showing me how to quickly remove old grips... just cut them off with a box-cutter. That was easy and strangely satisfying.

Bryce showing me how to quickly remove old grips… just cut them off with a box-cutter. That was easy and strangely satisfying.

New grips just $10.

New grips just $10.

All done with Little's bike! Hanging it in the office with the big guys for safe keeping while I work on my Build-a-Bike.

All done with Little’s bike! Hanging it in the office with the big guys for safe keeping while I work on my Build-a-Bike.

First thing I had to do today was adjust the seat to the right height. Easy! Then I had to check the tires, tubes and all that. The rear tire was good but the front one was not.

First thing I had to do today was adjust the seat to the right height. Easy! Then I had to check the tires, tubes and all that. The rear tire was good but the front one was not.

Nicole and Chris show me all their awesome tire tips. I needed a new tire. Because they didn't have any old tires in the size I needed I got a new one for free. Score.

Nicole and Chris show me all their awesome tire tips. New tire for my old bike.

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Then I had to remove the awful bar tape job and... surprise!! The original 1979 tape is still there! That was so neat to see. Most of it was rotted and in terrible shape. Taking it off was a pita.

Then I had to remove the awful bar tape job and… surprise!! The original 1979 tape was still there, underneath the crappy bar tape of the previous owner. That was so neat to see. Most of it was rotted and in terrible shape though. Taking it off was a pita.

Cory helped me skin the second bar. He's a pro!

Cori helped me skin the second bar. He’s a pro!

Photo credit: Patrick Gilbery. Slowly, and correctly, placing the new tape.

Photo credit: Patrick Gilbery. Slowly, and correctly, placing the new tape.

Clown tape!!! Clown tape cult!!! #clowntapecult Next member of the CTC is for sure going to be Nicole!

Clown tape!!! Clown tape cult!!! #clowntapecult Next member of the CTC is for sure going to be Nicole! Can’t get over how great it looks.

And I'm done!!! So done!

And I’m done!!! So done! It took me over a month to finish my bike, but it really wasn’t that much time. I just couldn’t get to the shop very often. It really ended up being a total five days – approximately 12 hours. So you really could finish a Build-a-Bike in a week depending on how much time you have available.

Cut the tag and pay up. My total was $70. Build-a-Bike was $60, new chain included, new tire was free because they didn't have any used ones which are normally included, new bar tape $10.

Cut the tag and pay up. My total was $70. Build-a-Bike $60 – New chain $0 (included with Build-a-Bike) – New tire $0 (free because they didn’t have any used ones which are normally included with Build-a-Bike) – New bar tape $10.

Time to place the coveted Bike Saviours sticker on my frame. Included with Build-a-Bike. Such an exciting moment.

Time to place the coveted Bike Saviours sticker on my frame. Included with Build-a-Bike.

Time for the official test ride. One of the volunteers takes your bike and tries to do anything that could compromise your bike... to make sure it's safe.

And then the official test ride. One of the volunteers takes your bike out and tries to do anything that could compromise your bike… to make sure it’s safe.

I shit you not my bike failed the test. The rear gear cable was loose. It was past 10PM at this time, when they normally close. I was so done, ready to come back in 2016 to fix this, but Patrick was not having it. This bike was GTFO that day. Luckily it was an easy fix. Just had to tighten the cable to the rear bolt correctly. Took less than 5 minutes and I was out the door with my new used bike!

I shit you not my bike failed the test. The rear gear cable was loose. It was past 10PM at this time, closing time. I was so done, ready to come back in 2016 to fix this, but Patrick was not having it. This bike was to GTFO that day. Luckily it was an easy fix. Just had to tighten the rear gear cable to the bolt correctly. Took less than 5 minutes and I was out the door with my new used bike!

So at first I was a little unsure about my bike. I was not used to the drop bars and I was a little, more like very scared of riding something that I put together. But I have been riding my new bike all weekend and I am so in love with it and it has not fallen apart.

This bike is very special to me, and although it doesn’t look like much, I would be heart-broken if it were stolen or if something happened to it. This is my bike. I chose it from the boneyard of donated bikes looking like hell and now it’s a happy bike that rides like a dream! Brakes, gears, everything is so smooth.

Also I feel that if something did fall apart on my bike… I could probably fix it.

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The last day in Bike Saviours was bitter-sweet. I was so happy to be done, but it was sad knowing that I wouldn’t have to come here every week anymore. I mean I could; like before just come to talk to people and hang out. But I don’t want to just do that anymore.

Why don’t you volunteer? We need volunteers. – Have been asked this by Patrick and Nicole several times.

I learned a lot about my bike but, unfortunately, not enough to tell people what to do.

Patrick explained to me that a lot of people don’t know a lot when they start volunteering. They shadow Patrick, Brandon or one of the pros for a few days until they are ready. And that if I really don’t feel comfortable working on bikes I could volunteer in the office. It’s hard for them to help all the people on their bikes and have to swing by the office every time someone walks in or is ready to check out.

My time is very limited, but after giving it some thought and talking it over with Ed, we agreed that I should do it. Bike Saviours‘ progressive impact on the local bike community is something I want to be a part of. Furthermore, I want to continue learning about bicycles.

So I guess I will be attending the next Volunteer Orientation 🙂

And here is a picture of Little riding her 16" bike to the store. First time solo on the road. #bikemcclintock.

And here is a picture of Little riding her 16″ bike to the store. First time solo on the road. #bikemcclintock.