Monday, July 24, 2006

From wreck to ride or how not to buy a new bike.

Need a new ride? Before spending your hard earned dollar on a new one, look at the curb or local dump for your next ride. It is amazing on how many bikes are left in the garbage that would only require some small repairs to return to active duty. And the best part, they are free. Even if the one you find requires some replacement parts, chances are you can find another bike in the trash to use for spare parts. No matter how bad a bike is in the trash, there are always some parts on it you can use.

Hence this blog, by knowing how to repair a bicycle, you can free yourself in many ways. Not only from the oil barons, but also by knowing your ride inside and out. Warning! This collecting of bikes in the trash for parts or ride is addictive! My last new bike was bought over 14 years ago and I have owned about 40 since. That's without the ones I have stripped for parts! Keep your eyes open and have fun.

The two rides pictured here were found in the trash. The cruiser is my daily ride and the Chopper was restored by me and sold for $250 after 6 years of enjoyment.

Tip of the day: Check your local municipality for found bike auctions. Treasures to be found there as well.


josh said...

Love the site! I'd love to see any how-to's on chopping or restoration. The bikes in the post are great and I would be interested in knowing how you got them from the state they were found in to the state shown above.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Hi Josh, that's a great idea. This won't happen overnite, but I've been itching for a new project. I'll find an old bike and do a resto job with pics, Keep posted for a trailer project that I'm about to finish soon.

Anonymous said...

Now that I got a you a rusted bike......get to work and stop flirting chicks with your chain tool! ;)

Anonymous said...

I got my Peugeot mountain bike via a free online swap mailing list. It's in bad shape however, and a wheel and chain just got stolen ($100 to replace!). I put $50 into it before the theft happened.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Look at how much it would cost to replace new and ask yourself if you enjoy it's riding qualities. Then decide if it's worth spending the money to fix it. Man, I gotta do an article on bicycle theft soon.

charlie said...

getting into your site here. pretty neat.

i fully believe in the power of giving an abandoned bike a new life.

well, due to budget constraints, it's all i can do to get the bikes into a decent functional state. some day, when the money is there, i might consider actually refurbisihng to hightened state of grace.

well, this summer my son and i picked up a bunch of abandoned bikes, stripped the worse-off bikes for parts and came up with two of our own. i'd also done it with a previous bike.

here are some pics:

to me, the goal was to get my son into it (and now he really is) and get his mind off of buying some new and really really expensive bike. i think it has, for the mean time.

btw, have you heard of the la bike kitchen. yeah, i want to do something like that here in finland.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Thanks Charlie, I checked out your rides on flickr, pretty amazing work. Keep it up. Working on bikes with your kids is a very rewarding activity. I do the same with mine and they enjoy it very much. I'll check out the LA bike kitchen, this is the first time I hear about them, thank you for the info.

Riley said...

It's awesome to see a fellow Montrealer running such a great bicycle blog. I don't know where any of the dumps near the city are located... what are your favourite spots for scavenging?

Gerry Lauzon said...

There are no dumps per se. The best place to find bikes for free in Montreal is at the curb before garbage day in the outlying boroughs and cities on the island. Suburbia as no respect for the two wheel wonder. Forget about the inner city. I've seen stuff that I wouldn't even look at in the trash in the West Island go for $50+ around here. So dude, go for a trash safari in the burbs and thank you for your support. Maybe someday we will meet on the bikepath of life. Til then, ride safe.


p.s. Any blogger who sees me in the flesh may flag me down anytime.

Riley said...

Haha, I know what you mean. I live downtown and have friends in Lachine, so I often find myself riding the canal bike path home at night. I can't count the number of times I've come across people on a bike that's barely holding together, and tell me something like "ouais, j'l'ai trouvé dans un dumpster c't'après-midi."

But I could totally see myself scoping out Pointe-Claire or Kirkland someday.

steelchick said...

Gerry, your site is just what I needed to find today! But there is some serious education to be had on my part. Until today I had never really looked at the setup of a bike. Beyond the obvious (read: chain, seat, tires), I haven't even any idea what the parts on a bike are called. I have just saved two bikes from the trash, and brought them home with me here in Montreal. The one is in really good shape but is missing the pedals, the chain and front wheel/gear half of the gear assembly. The other has those pieces, but I have no idea how to tell if they are compatible. Any advice on how to start would be appreciated.

p.s. I last bought a new bike a few years back and had it stolen after only a few weeks (I'm still not over it). So I really would like to make this this project work.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Congrats on your finds steechick. You just gave me an idea for a new post. Knowing all this bike stuff sometimes makes me forget that most people don't know about the basics. If you want to meet me to discuss your project, I'll be trying to get the Freak Bikes together tomorrow at 16H00 for a ride at the corner of Rachel and St-Urbain if weather permits or just email me some pics of your junkers at xddorox@gmail.com

Thanks for your comments


Anonymous said...

Garbage bikes rule. I've been building them since I was a kid. First it was out of necessity, but I love it. Plus, you always get what you want. Just never enough 26" wheels with coaster brakes.vpeichd

Ryan said...

Love the site, great help. You should try to do a topic on spraypainting bikes. Im still trying to figure out just how to get all those annoying stickers off, remove the sticky stuff. And paint my bike so it doesnt look like a 4 year old did it.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Ryan, funny you should mention that, I have an entire blog dedicated to a bike rebuild and paint. Check out: http://bikeoverhaul.blogspot.com As for removing stickers, if you're repainting the bike, just remove them with a metal or brass brush wheel on a drill.

Gerry :)

Evil Heshley said...

Dude your blog site is great! When I was a young boy, I use to love trash night. I'd walk with my Grandmother looking for bikes that people were throwing away and I would take them home, dismantle them and then build a one good one for free. I use to call them "frankencycles". Your blog has brought back a lot of good memories for me.

Anonymous said...

i like tha choper one
u site is cool and u should put more how toos
i buy bikes off bums and theifs and fix them up my garage looks like a bike chop shop
but its all good
u should fix up more bikes and show them off

Gerry Lauzon said...

Thanks for the comment. I do have a bike in the works right now and some articles are coming up.

Gerry :)