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July 12, 2005

The Dumpster Bike

Today at work my bike was stolen so I was stranded at work. But then by God's grace I found a dumpster bike. It's and old Schwinn 10 speed that's in pretty sorry shape. But I qickly disconnected the derailer, shortened the chain and made it a single speed, patched up the tires, adjusted the brakes and rode it home.
For nothing I rode it home. It was a good day. Going up the Ohio hill though was brutal. I don't know how you single-speed, fixed gear's do it! Maybe you are flatlanders.
I plan on riding this bike in place of my stolen bike as a commuter bike, but I have to go the longer route home because the slope is more gradual. I could replace the derailer but why? In the original Tour de France they didn't have derailers.
It's too bad that whoever threw this bike out didn't know how valuable it is. It will make an excellent replacement for my commuter bike.

Now I just have to figure out how to convert this freewheel into a fixed gear. I think Sheldon Brown had an article on that...

I'm happy my bike was stolen. Someone else gets a good ride and so do I.

Posted by carl1236 at July 12, 2005 11:12 PM | Attitude


That's too bad about your bike getting stolen. I'm glad to see you don't seem too upset about it. Good luck single-speeding.

Posted by: Jim at July 13, 2005 6:34 AM

You have an amazingly good attitude about this. You are an inspiration to me!

Posted by: Shane at July 13, 2005 8:35 AM

hey, congrats on the dumpster find. I am currently trying to convert my single speed to a fixed. The only problem im having , at the moment, is whether to buy a new rear wheel and track hub or to remove my freewheel and just add a cog and thread it on. its quite confusing. ( sheldon brown is a great source of info) -matt

Posted by: matt at September 14, 2006 5:33 PM

Isn't fixing up old bicycles, which others consider "trash", fun? I have a 1977 Schwinn Speedster, rescued from against a backuatyd shed wall, which I am riding.

I had to replace the rear hub/wheel (Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed), spindle indicator & new gear shifter cable, new seat, and the handle bars I took off my beach cruiser when i put 'ape-hangers' on it, plus new "Lizard-Skin" handgrips.

For about $100 I have a ride unmatchable in todays market. I love the S-A/AW 3 speed hub for "go for" runs.

I had a Schwinn Collegiate (5 speed 'Tourister') back in the early 1970s, and, except it doesn't have the 5 speed rear, this bike is a twin! I love it! The beach cruiser is feeling neglected! I mostly ride my "new" Schwinn!

Such a shame Schwinn "went down." The new Schwinn is trying it's best to be "Schwinn" once again but they got a long way to go in my opinion. Bring back the 3 speed "lightweight" Not everyone wants to ride a mountainbuke/cum hybrid/cum comfort bike. Some of us remember what a bicycle is supposed to be. My old $89 Huffy 10 speed beats the heck outta a $1000 roadbike!

Fix 'um and ride 'um!

Larry Henry
Bradenton, Florida.

Posted by: Larry Henry at September 17, 2006 8:59 AM

yes. Speed and less weight also have a cost in durability. I do racing and leisure rides and I'm replacing more parts on my racing bike that wear out, ie chainrings and tires, which are lighter but also thinner and softer than an old, cheap tire and steel chainring. I've only had one flat on my commuter bike but I have to fix a lot of flats on my racing bike. The rubber is just more prone to flats. Anyway, there is a place for all kinds of bikes, but one point I feel like you hit on that I so much like about salvaging a bike from the scrap heap is the idea of re-using, instead of replacing. We waste so much in this country! Now I just got a second old ten-speed wheel as a backup and two new tires for my dumpster bike, which I plan on riding all winter. I'm actually purging one newer bike which I've been riding every day for an old(er) Schwinn.
I find the more I ride, the more I appreciate my crappy old steel bike. It's tough and it's reliable. I still have to do maintenance, but that's easy enough now.
Good luck on your future bike projects! And thanks for your comments.

Posted by: John at September 19, 2006 8:38 PM