An update on the bicycle

  
So here’s how Bicycle #1 looks right now. It’s had a little clean since these photos were taken, but you get the idea. Everything on the bicycle is from the original £30 bicycle apart from:

  • Front wheel (now alloy)
  • Tyres
  • Saddle (Brooks B66, with waterproof cover)
  • Brake blocks
  • Chain
  • Wheel reflectors (salvaged from an old mountain bike)
  • Kickstand (bought from a local bike co-operative)
  • Bell
  • Lights
  • Mudflap (cricket bat grip and bulldog clips)
  • Lock
  • Saddle bag
  • Pump
  • Computer

  
Double lights at the back, Spanninga SPX at the bottom is solid and bright, the one just below the saddle bag flashes and acts as a fail safe if the Spanninga runs out of batteries. Pedals are the originals, haven’t been touched and the bearings run perfectly smoothly.

  
Carradice zipped roll contains a multi-tool, 15mm spanner, spare tube, rain cape, Kendal Mint Cake (even my energy bars are old-school) and a spare t-shirt if needed. I’d love to show off that saddle and its beautiful chromed springs, but for the past month or so the cover’s been on because it’s been raining.

  
Handlebars are set as high as I could put them. There’s the familiar Sturmey Archer trigger, a fairly cheap wireless computer and a bell that I’ve had for twenty years or more. Can’t remember where it came from. Gives a pleasing and inoffensive “brrrring brrrring” noise. Brake levers and grips are original.

  
The front light contains three LEDs, not bright enough to see by on its own but bright enough to be seen. The lock was bought before the bicycle, and cost about the same… Not sure why BSA stickers of this age are always faded, there used to be red in the border instead of yellow. My fiancé’s bike (same age) looks the same. Tyres are Schwalbe Delta Cruiser gum walls. The brakes work so much better on alloy than on chrome steel. I shudder to think how I managed to stop in time before I replaced the front wheel.

  
Sturmey Archer AW 3 speed hub, original to the bicycle. Some people sell these on eBay for £20 or more – just the hub. For an extra £10 I got the rest of the bicycle thrown in! This hub has had no maintenance beyond a cosmetic clean and some oil in the oiling hole, and runs beautifully. The chain has since been replaced, you can see how dirty it was getting before I put the mudflap on the front wheel. The rear rim was pretty rusty and at some point I’ll have it replaced with alloy.

  

For £30 you can’t grumble, though obviously it’s had plenty more spent on it since. A very handsome and comfortable bicycle, though I say it myself! 

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