‘Could you fix my bike?’ is becoming a more common question these days, and the latest request was a rebuild of two old well used bikes, which the owner wanted rebuilding into a decent commuter, preferably as cheaply as possible. This would be a challenge: one of the bikes was okay, if in need of urgent repairs, while the other was an unambiguously awful supermarket special with full suspension, shoddy components and a frame made of scaffolding.
First thing we did was take off any usable components from the suspension bike. This didn’t take long. Almost everything was either worn out or such poor quality it was unusable. The shifters turned out to be pretty good, which was fortunate as the front shifter was broken on the other bike. Andi also took the rear forks to some dark corner while muttering about a wheel jig. We then took everything off the other bike, repacked bearings, and swapped the shifter. It was all looking so easy, but then we found the cable to the front mech was 5mm too short, and this being a grip shift it took a lot of muttering to thread a new cable in.
German law states that a bike must have dynamo lights, so we (ie. Andi) somehow put together a system from the pile of bits that was once the supermarket special, and built a whole new bracket to fit them onto the MTB frame.
A new commuter, for the princely sum of €6.