It says so on the sticker: my adventure dream bike is the 1998 Mountain Biking Magazine Bike of the Year! Two years ago, I spotted this tough little bike in Alameda’s community bike shop. It was love at first sight for that sparkley glitter saddle. What, you’ve never bought something because it was shiny?
But seriously. An 18 year old steel mountain bike is the perfect canvas to build into an off-road adventure vehicle. Here’s a problem/solution breakdown of how I upgraded my bike.
Problem 1: This awesome homemade frame bag leaves no space for water bottles.
Solution: Punch the bike full of holes and set it on fire (see below).
Step 1: Drill 2 holes for water bottle cage mounts.
Step 2: Clean up the area with sand paper. Hmm, this is tough paint. Try burning it off with a torch. Didn’t work. OK, hand over the power grinder!
Step 3: Pre drill a piece of aluminum plate. Stick a couple bolts through it and attach the cage mounts (available online from Nova Cycles).
Step 4. Install the jig on the bike.
Step 5: Set bike on fire with oxy-acetylene torch.
Step 6: All this burned paint and flux) cleans up real nice with steel wool and sandpaper. Seal up the exposed steel with a couple coats of clear spray paint.
Problem 2: Aaah, these rim brakes! I can’t stop!
Solution: Replace the original fork with a disc fork and set the bike on fire again (see below).
We welded on a rear disc mount (again, available from Nova Cycles) and reinforced the rear triangle with a cross bar.
I called King Kog bike shop for colored cable housing. They said, “We’ve got white, gold, red, puke yellow, fluorescent – no like really really bright – green.” Gold it is! And a pink cable end cap to make sure it all matches.
Problem 3: Boy this bike is awesome. Can I ride it?