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[personal profile] giglet posting in [community profile] bicycles
I have a cheap bike that is only half-functional at the moment. Should I kick it to the curb? Salvage reusable bits from it, and then kick the carcass to the curb? Or save it and try to fix it with found bits from other cheap bikes?

Provisos:
Time and money are both in limited supply, but knowledge is the big barrier for me.
I like fiddling with bikes, know almost nothing about how bikes are put together, have almost no spare cash to spend on a bike and only limited time. I also have too many half-finished projects to lightly engage in a new one.


Ex-housemate explicitly abandoned a dubious 10-speed with a flat tire. Other than the flat tire, it looked pretty serviceable: a step-through frame, thin 1.5 inch tires, upright handlebars, good brakes. Also, the frame has attachment points for a rack and fenders. (My current bike does not have these, and the kludges I've indulged in to attach them cause frequent problems).

This weekend, I learned the theory of how to change a tire and bought a new inner tube, and fixed the flat. In the process, I learned many different wrong ways to disassemble and reassemble the back tire on the bike (and finally went out and replaced my ratchet wrench), so that was an educational experience.

It's rideable, and riding on thin tires was a revelation. Much easier to coast, much easier to get moving than my current mountain bike.

But it isn't entirely functional. Some of the rear gear teeth are broken/worn down. Also, the chainring (if that's the word I want? The metal ring between the front gears (sprockets?) and the pedal that sometimes stops the front gears from eating my pants leg) is bent so that it sometimes catches the chain if I ride in the lower gear. It is, effectively, a not-very-good 3-speed.

Should I even think about replacing gears? I suspect that that is crazy talk, but I don't know.

[Edited to add: Thank you for the help and encouragement! In the end I didn't trash the bike. I now have another thin-tired bike, with rotten tires, but good gears. There will be swapping of bits and attempts to build a single bike that I like in my future.]
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