It read something like ‘Ladies Bike, 10 gears, Good condition, £25′ ‘Buy it now’ on Ebay so without a great deal of thought I pressed the button and bought it.
So off I went to Coventry and paid the man for the beauty that is the Raleigh Riva.
You see the lady, she wanted a bicycle so I, being the nice fellow that I am got one for her and she loved it. Up until the point last week where the ‘Beauty that is the Raleigh Riva’ turned into the heap of junk that is the Raleigh Riva. “This thing is a god damn piece of dog sh*t!” she shouted to me while we were cycling up Bradford street, well I say cycle, I was cycling, she was struggling.
Every single time there was a mere possibility of the thing going over a bump it would momentarily change gear, thus resulting in a ‘Crack!’ followed by unrepeatable curses and more importantly a real tough time for the rider attempting to climb the hill. No momentum here folks.
“Just tune em” I hear you holler. I did all that, several times. I am a bad boy mechanic if I do say so myself and I knew straight away that the poor old Sachs rear mech was not long for this world, Nor might I add were the barely operating plastic thumb shifters mounted to the stem. It had all gone horribly wrong, this thing that had started out so lovely had turned into a “piece of dog sh*t” as Amy put it.
On the only day off we get together due to work commitments we set about ripping the tired gears off because ladies and gentlemen Amy was relinquishing the option to change gear ratios whilst in transit.
She wanted it ‘singlespeed’.
The oil caked front and rear mechanisms came off a treat, just a couple of nuts undone and it is almost over. Next we put on a new chainring to replace the large and heavily worn out biopace ring, selected an appropriate gear on the rear cassette, shortened the chain, removed the non working rear brake, Pannier rack and mud guards and it is over. Apart from cosmetics of course! I had to do it, I had these bits lying around so…. BMX flats and Gold Finger lever attached. Done.
No more gear hopping, easier, lighter, more stable. Winner.
It isn’t that nice a bike to look at, some may say it is still a heap of junk but all of that is beside the point. It goes, corners, stops, is reliable, needs little maintenance, you can leave it outside a shop unchained and it will still be there when you return and most importantly, Amy, she likes it.