100% Recycled Bicycles
much of our gear
1980's Specialized Rock Hopper Comp
Take a good look at any of the new bikes made specifically for
long distance touring. They are remarkably similar to 1980's
mountain bikes with an upright seating position, fixed
non-shock fork, bomb proof frame, and a couple of cup
Some say, "Yeah but new bikes weigh less
than old ones." This is true. A comparable new
bike can weigh up to a pound less than its older
counterpart. But what makes the new bikes
Honest bike mechanics admit that these plastic
components break easier, are more difficult to
repair, and require more specialized tools than
their older counterparts.
They are designed to last just a few years, and
when they break the replacement parts are
priced at a level that causes the owner to ask,
"Maybe it would be cheaper to just buy a whole
Planned obsolescence at its finest.
|We have not been
sponsored by any
If a product stinks,
we'll tell you.
Does it make sense to get a new bike?
Deciding to head out on a journey like this can
often be a new start in life, a new beginning. We
in the west tend to associate new beginnings
with new stuff. When planning a big cycling
journey it is tempting to splurge for a new bike.
We've learned that there is value in having old,
With only two days left on a visa it is good to be
able to pile the cycles on a bus and get to the
border in time. Watching the bus porter cram
an expensive bike into the luggage
compartment of a Thai bus could do serious
mental damage to a fastidious traveling cyclist.
Taking apart a brand new, untouched, $500
Deore XT crank is quite different from removing
a $14.99 Deore XT crank. When mechanical
trouble strikes, an older, inexpensive bike is far
easier to tinker with than it's brand new
And don't forget rain. The owner of a
top-of-the-line bike can be sent back to the
protective arms of his mother if forced to leave
his steed outside in a week long, non-stop
rainstorm. Many of us associate success with
the perfection of our possessions. Those
inevitable first streaks of rust will make him feel
like a failure.
And scratches. Some can look at a long
gouging scrape in their beautifully painted frame
and think, "Eh, well, it adds a bit of character."
Others will spend every evening of their journey
searching for nicks and covering them over with
a computer-matched jar of touch-up paint. Old
bikes come with built in scratches.
Rich's bike cost $29 at the Veterans Thrift Store and
Amanda's was only $14.99 from the Salvation Army.
One of the braze-ons connecting my rear rack
to my bike broke in rural Laos. We found a
guy with a welder and had him blast away at
the thing. That's the beauty of a steel bike,