Know When To Fold ‘Em…

I was kicking around the Edmonton Bicycle Commuter’s new north side shop last Saturday as I have been covering for people while they are off touring the world on their bicycles and as I had some bikey things to pick up, had brought the Bikemobile with me.

Later in the afternoon a fellow brought in this poor little folding bike that looked as if it had spent at least a season out of doors and said he had planned to turn it into a trail-a-bike but had never gotten around to doing that… the chain was so petrified it had to be cut into several pieces to remove it and there was rust everywhere.

Looking at the bike I realized that with a little TLC it might just be a diamond in the rough and after fitting it with a new chain took it out for a spin found that was surprisingly nice to ride and looking at it next to the Bikemobile realized it was a nice match colour wise and decided to see how well it fit in the boot.

With a shiny new chain and all it’s stock bits, which were about as low end as they come… the bike weighed 33 pounds.

With the Bikemobile off at the shop for a pre-vacation check up I took the bike to the lab and started re-fitting and replacing the low end parts with better spares from my reservoir of nicer things and found a most suitable crank set at EBC south. After changing the crank, freewheel, derailleur, saddle, and seat post, and tyres to come racy little Comets I had the bike dropped almost 4 pounds. I also replaced the grip shift with a Sachs friction thumbie that is not shown here… and who needs a crappy indexed shifter on a 6 speed anyways ?

This morning my ex and I had to go to court to sign some papers (it was very amicable) and as she does not like driving down-town she swung by to pick me up and having things to do afterwards, I tossed what I have christened the “Velocycle” into the back of her Saturn, which has a very spacious trunk.

After we concluded our business I pulled the bike out and in under a minute was riding off to run errands and after a quick stop at home, went to my physiotherapy appointment and tested the fold and lockability of the bike.

That 50 tooth chain ring just clears the ground when the bike is folded up and sitting on it’s integral stand.

I figure that I rode at least 20 km on the Velocycle today and with the upgrades it is a remarkably zippy little bike that handles beautifully and is even more nimble than my Raleigh 20 and the Comets ride better than the stock tyres while running almost twice the psi.

When the Bikemobile is ready I will take the folder to pick it up and put it back in it’s resting place in the trunk as I figure it is always good to keep a decent spare with you.