As part of Bike Week UK 2018 (9th to 17th June), here at Smarter Travel Ltd, we are restoring an old bike with the aim of getting it back on the road as cheaply as possible. We want to show that it doesn’t cost a fortune to get cycling and travelling more sustainably.
During the week, we will be updating our Twitter feed and this blog post daily, with details of what we have done to the bike to fix it up! Alternatively, search for #my35poundbike. By the end of Bike Week, we will be taking the bike for a peaceful ride along a great Sustrans route; Marriott’s Way, near Norwich. Above is a photograph of the bike before starting, having been stored at the bottom of the garden for let’s just say….a little while and also note, we are talking about the green bike in the picture, not the small purple one!
So, it’s day one of Bike Week 2018! To start with, we have retrieved the bike from the depths of the garden scrap heap. As pretty as the flowers look growing around the bike, it’s time to get started! In the next five days, we hope to be up and running ready for that cycle ride along Marriott’s Way.
Once the bike is out of the bushes and the ivy has been removed, it’s time to give the chain a little TLC. As you can see from the picture, the chain is looking rather rusty and it’s a bit stiff, so with some careful attention to remove the debris and mud the chain is released! Fortunately, we had some WD40 knocking about but it did take a couple of hours of cleaning. Hooray! We have some movement and the back wheel is turning so we are now a step closer to that bike ride on Friday!
So, it’s day number two of Bike Week and the next step in #my35poundbike is to take off all the broken parts, this includes; the handles, gear shifters and brake levers. Tools were required for this; allen keys and spanners as well as some elbow grease! There are hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube if you search for ‘bike repair tutorial’, so if you’re looking for some help in fixing up your bike, this is probably a good place to start or your local friendly cycle shop!
Once the broken parts have been taken off the bike, the extent of the repairs required can be seen. Tomorrow we will get these parts replaced.
So yesterday we took the broken parts off the bike, this included; handles, gear shifters and the brake levers. Today it’s time to replace them! So firstly, a quick clean up is required then we are ready to fit the replacement parts to the bike. As mentioned yesterday, there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube to watch. The parts replaced today were, brake levers at £9, gear shifters at £12 and the replacement handles, just £4. Head down to your local bike shop or check out offers online with well-known internet shopping sites.
Tomorrow we will be looking at the axle.
Well, we are nearly there and tomorrow is the big day – the cycle ride down Marriott’s Way! However, there’s a bit of a problem which needs to be resolved. Back on Monday, we managed to clean up the chain after a little TLC and get the back wheel moving but now on a closer inspection, it’s clear to see that the rear wheel isn’t aligned correctly and the axle is bent, therefore not rotating smoothly. The only thing for this is the removal of the back axle, replacement costs £5 and luckily we are back up and running. Looking forward to tomorrow and the big day!
It’s the last working day within Bike Week and it’s also our deadline day for the cycle ride along Marriott’s Way in Norwich, this is an off-road cycle route which follows an old disused railway line. So, it’s time for the final preparations! You can see all the final parts and tools required for the final stages. We replaced one of the inner tubes at a cost of £4 and then a quick pump of the tyres and we are good to go! Oh, actually, a little more cleaning involved before we head off – we need to make sure the bike is looking it’s best and sparkly for its trip out!
A smooth ride down Marriott’s Way as we had hoped and promised. The slightly rusty and neglected bike back up and running for £35!
If you’ve got an old bike knocking around and you’d like to get it back on the road but you’re not confident in your ability or you don’t have the required tools, get in touch with your local bike shop and we are sure they will be able to help. Most bike shops will offer some safety checks and servicing options. Alternatively, there are workshops and classes up and down the country which can teach you the basics of bike maintenance.
The 9th to 17th June 2018 is the return of Bike Week UK. This annual event, delivered by We are Cycling UK, aims to get everyone to experience cycling during the week, including; young, old, beginners and professionals. A variety of events will be taking place across the country to promote cycling, a lot of which are free to participate in! Find out about events local to you here. You can also organise your own event and advertise it online through the Bike Week website.
Additionally, throughout Bike Week, partner, Love to Ride are giving away a bike a day as well as other prizes from t-shirts to dream holidays! So, log any rides you complete during the week to be in with a chance of winning!