Recycle Cycle

Shopper at the recycling centre

I was at an un-named recycling centre (nee ‘tip’ or ‘dump’ as they used to be known) last week, when I spotted a rusted shopper – a Halfords own brand knock off of the folding Raleigh R20. I knelt down to snap a few photos on the ol’ camera phone, next thing I know a florescent jacketed workman is helping me to load it into the back of the car. The location will remain nameless as apparently one is not supposed to take stuff away from the recycling centre once it’s there. This to me seems like utter nonsense – In order I think the mantra goes something like ‘reduce, repair, reuse, recycle’ – with recycling at the end of the line. I’m sure there are very good reasons why operatives are not allowed to let people have things from the centre, but surely people taking stuff away is going to firstly make their job easier, and secondly it will put less pressure on landfill etc. Anyway – good on the team of bleeeep recycling centre for giving the bike to me.

It folded up nicely to fit into the car. On arrival at home I got it out of the boot and gave it a good look.

  • Wheels – 3 speed SA rear hub – still functioning smoothly – badly buckled – both rims steel and shot through with rust – verdict – rebuild wheels (actually get someone else to rebuild wheels would be more accurate).
  • Brakes – nothing a bit of WD40 won’t cure – no terminal rusting – blocks fine.
  • Cables – shot – verdict – will need replacing – white housing.
  • Tyres – front is original whitewall – shot into oblivion – tube stuck to it. Rear has been replaced at somepoint, but is heavily cracked – surprisingly the tubes are holding air fine – verdict – new tyres – (sourced through ebay)
  • Frame – minor rust on bottom of rear triangle where paint has scratched – verdict – treat rust – respray blue and white.
  • Seatpost and saddle – Saddle needs a cover and some cleaning, seatpost could do with being replaced or at least sanded off and painted.
  • Handlebars/levers/grips – handlebars will need sanding off and painting – levers are fine as are white plastic grips.
  • Bottom Bracket/chainring/chain/cranks/pedals – all good apart from the chain. Verdict – cleaned up well except for the chain which is to be chucked.
  • Stand/bell/lamp – all dead and removed.
  • Mudguards – very rusty – verdict – take off sand down and repaint – if they hold together that is.

The Shopper\'s chainwheel

This could be a fun project. I’ll try and do it as cheaply and quickly as possible. I think there is potential to make this into a very characterful and fun bike, saving it from being scrapped and hopefully give it a new lease of life. I’ll post regular updates and let you know how it’s going.

Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. hey hows the shopper going?

  2. Thank you for your comment. Glad you asked. I have the front end rebuilt and put back together – that’s stem, handlebars gear changer and brake levers all cleaned up and finished – plus a new bell from Rivendell Bicycle Works and the grips put back on, very shiny. The frame is almost cleaned, but there is some caked on grime on the bottom bracket area which is very fiddly. The back wheel is proving tricky because of the spoke length calculations, but John Hayes is sorting that out for me. I aim to have it sprayed and ready for reassembly within two weeks.

    I’ll do a post shortly once I’ve got the frame cleaned up, stay tuned.


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