While you all know I’m dreaming of the new hottness, I though I would post a few pictures of my current ride. This is a Univega Rover 304. It was purchased by my Dad on August 22, 1996. He used it off and on for several years but ultimately lost interest. I borrowed it sometime in 2000 or perhaps 2001 and rode it quite a bit for about a year before returning it to my Dad. After my Dad passed away, I got the bike from my Mom but, never really rode it. I wanted the bike but, I wasn’t really interested in riding it.
It’s been sitting in a shed in my backyard until I started working on this video project. I had to get it to the point where I could ride it at all before I started working on the video. The freewheel mechanism wasn’t working properly when I first tried riding it again. After looking around online, I found a solution and tried it. I took the wheel off the bike and sprayed it with a little WD-40. After letting that soak in a bit, it worked. Amazingly, the tires both held air. The derailer is however messed up, I can change between a few gears on on the rear but, not all of them. I can’t change cogs on the crank but, the middle cog has been fine for the very limited riding I needed to do. The foam grips are all cracked and about ready to fall off. I doubt the chain has ever been lubed. The breaks were misaligned on the front wheel. I managed to adjust them so that one pad wasn’t rubbing on the wheel. I also made certain that I could pull the break levers, both front and back, while pushing the handlebars forward and the bike would not move.
Now, I’m certainly not recommending you head out to your garage and start riding a 16 year old bike. On the contrary, before riding any bike you need to make sure it’s road worthy. Inspect the bike and fix what needs fixing before you ride it on the streets. If you don’t have the skills or the time to do-it-yourself, take it to a local bike shop for a tune-up.
I’ve basically only been using the bike as a prop and to do a tiny bit of riding, off the streets. I knew the risks I was taking riding this bike before I threw my leg over and I did what I needed to do so I felt comfortable it was safe enough for my limited needs.
So I thought you might be interested to see a few photos of what I’ve got to “ride” today. If I don’t become a Foundry Tradesman, I’ll purchase a new bike to get back into riding again. In addition to buying a new bike, I would like to strip down my Dad’s old Univega and put it back together again replacing or repairing the required parts myself. It would be a fun project, a good way for me to learn some bike maintenance and repair and a nice way to remember my Dad.
So here are the photos I took this afternoon. Enjoy.