Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cruiser Restored

Last year I fixed up a simple cruiser for my daughter to ride.

It is a Huffy of indeterminate age. Mostly I cleaned a lot of rust although the chrome fenders were in good shape. I did replace the fender stays and the handlebars, both of which had no chrome under the rust. I repacked the wheel and headset bearings.

The seat and grips were new along with the white wall tires. I added the Wald Grocery basket on the front and it makes a nice ride.

I did a lot of cleaning. The decals were pretty messed up but the blue metallic paint was in good shape. So I used a heat gun to get the decals off and a Black & Decker rotary tool to remove rust and plush the finish. My other favorite trick (found on the internet of course) to remove rust is to put some diet soda on the area and rub it with aluminum foil. You can use regular soda but it makes a sticky mess because of the sugar.

My daughter seems to like this bike pretty much. She rode with me to a local farm to get some vegetables. It is 15 miles round trip and there are some pretty decent hills. She tackled them pretty well on this single speed. On one particularly steep section she walked, but she got back on before the top when the slope eased off a little. I think she would have made even the steep section but the swept back handlebars don't give the best leverage for standing up and climbing.

If you are thinking of tackling a project like this for a commuter or errand bike, I would encourage you to go for it. I didn't spend much money and got a lot of satisfaction from the finished bike.

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