Monday, 15 April 2013

Rebuilding my hybrid

Since getting my new bike I haven't ridden my hybrid even once. This isn't because I don't like it, but rather because it actually needs quite a bit of work.

My hybrid, aka The Trusty Steed
So this had me thinking - perhaps I should rebuild it completely. It's a Raleigh Pioneer, strong enough to batter a main battle tank to bits and ride away on afterwards (or nearly strong enough for that, anyhow) and far too good to get rid off.

Some time ago I fit Schwalbe Marathon puncture resistant tyres to it and as a result the bike didn't have a single puncture since fitting the new tyres. I believe I've done some 2 500 miles on those tyres. With it's 700C wheels and fairly chunky tyres, I used to ride it over pretty rough terrain, too.

Silver-grey in colour, it isn't exactly the most attention-seeking bike I've ever seen, nor the easiest on the eye, so I guess a frame respray is in order, perhaps a deep green, with some gold highlights? Also, currently it has straight bars, with bar-ends and I think a change to drops would be in order.

The saddle would simply have to be a Brooks, in honey and with matching bar-tape on the drops. Furthermore, I'd like to add faux-leather covers over the chain-stays, to give a bit of additional protection to the frame there.

The rack that is currently on the bike is on it's last legs and simply has to go, and be replaced with something else a bit more decent.

I'm happy with the wheels on the bike, though I'm toying with the idea of spraying them, to colour-match the frame. Naturally I'd leave the outside rim walls bare, as that is where the brakes grab on. Now to do this properly, I'd have to disassemble the wheels completely, mask them, spray them, then rebuild the wheels from scratch, perhaps using stainless steel spokes and brass nipples.

I'm thinking that if I'm going to go through that whole process I may as well rebuild the front wheel around a hub dynamo. I'm not at all certain if I should fit a front rack, or simply go for a bar-bag. Time will tell on this one, I guess.

The bike needs a new bottom bracket and a new chain. All cables need to be renewed too, but with changing from straight bars to drops, that was always going to be required anyway.

I'm somewhat stuck on what to do for mudguards and actually would rather like wooden ones, with brass stays.

Obviously this will be a longer-term project that I'll work on as and when time and finances allows, but I think, once done, my old Raleigh would be a very nice fast tourer.