A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, July 04, 2008

Cheap Commuter Bike

I purchased the Raleigh M-30 on a whim at Neil's pawn shop for thirty bucks. Since that time, I have decided to make it into a dirt cheap commuter bike. Click to enlargeIt was rideable, but the chain, cogs, nuts and bolts were rusty. I sprayed them down with Liquid Wrench.

The bike was a bit small for me, so one of the first things I did was clamp on some riser handlebars from a little girl's powder puff bike. I thought about painting them black, but I just could not bring myself to purchase unneeded spray paint. Instead, I stuck some wheelchair hand grips on the ends, and called it quits. They give me a more upright riding position, allowing me to see over automobiles easier. The polymer pedals were trashed, so a pair of cheap metal rat trap pedals were installed.

The seat was a piece of hard dried dung. One of my scrub techs was wanting a wider seat for her Trek mountain bike, so I told her about the local bike shop's bargain bin. She got an Electra cruiser style seat for $15, I got her barely used Bontrager seat for free, as thanks for the information. Click to enlargeTo protect my new seat from bike thieves, I installed a NYC seat retention system made from a bike chain.

I was fortunate to find Bell rear racks on sale at Toys R Us for the unbelievable price of $1.60 each. Yeah baby, that's clearance! It bolted right up, and a wire gym basket zip tied to the top of it will increase my carrying capacity. Fenders and lights are also in the works. I've seen the water bottle fenders, but I'm thinking of something a little more durable. The knobby tires will be replaced with street tires when they wear out.

The Raleigh M-30 rides great. The smallish BMX style handlebars make it very maneuverable, and the gearing works well for getting around town quickly. So far I have $31.60 invested in it.

Click to enlarge

I have zip tied the laundry basket to the rear rack. A trigger lock in the center makes certain nobody will clip the zip ties and make off with the basket.....At least not without a hole in the bottom.

Click to enlarge

I added some fenders that I had in the back of the garage.

.Click to enlarge

The final permutation, with a Kryptonite chain lock, lights, Armadillo street tires and an uglier set of fenders.

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Blogger nature223 said...

dude has entirely too much crap attached to his bike for safe handling

2:11 PM  
Blogger Isaac PC said...

I love cheap bikes. We have a police auction down here once a year, and people routinely walk away from it with functional bikes for under a dollar. I picked up a little fourteen-speed for $.50 last year. Sold it to a buddy for $5.00.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous loki said...

Finally -- a use for trigger locks.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous E said...

In NYC we often slip that bit of seat retention chain through a segment of a dead road bike tube to keep the noisy rattle down, and protect the intentionally ruined paint job.

I wish I knew a local police auction spot. There's a great site online, but browsing would be awesome. 'cause ya know, I need more bikes.

My human word verification string is "uride". Duh.


10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:03 PM  
Anonymous mikey said...

Aww, c'mon man, invest in a rattle can and paint those fenders black already, sheesh!

3:28 PM  

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