Upgrading to a 18 year old bicycle!

Last summer I decided to rev up my bicycle riding. I love bicycling but find it hard to get motivated enough to get out and ride. Last summer I managed to put about 450 miles on my 7-year-old bike. I bought a Next Avalon CS bike from Wal-Mart about 7 years ago. I’ve done my best to keep it maintained and out of the weather. If I didn’t keep it in my apartment I kept it in a garage. By the end of last summer the rear rim had taken a beating and I replaced it. It cost about $40 for the rim and other than a different seat I haven’t put much money into it.

What I have always loved about this bike is that its dual suspension. It really absorbs the small bumps and smooths out the ride. I’ve ridden it on and off-road and have been really happy with it. At times I wish it had more than seven gears, but I always remind myself why I bought it knowing there were just seven gears. So I’d work harder to get a good bike workout in! This bike was also my first hybrid bike. Up until this bike all of the bicycles I have owned in my adult life were mountain bikes.

By the time I bought the Avalon bike I had grown tired of slumping over the handlebars and being uncomfortable. I was ready for a more comfortable ride and I knew I wouldn’t be riding the dirt trials like I once did. The bike has been great and lasted longer than any other bike I’ve owned. The brakes and shifting are wearing out. Over the years I added a rear rack, bike computer, bigger seat and headlight.

Last year I had a friend give me his bike out of gratitude for helping him. He had surgery to remove a brain tumor and couldn’t ride his bike anymore. As a friend I was helping where I could. At the time he didn’t have a car and I’d take him for his chemo treatments. I am very grateful for his friendship and this great bike. He said he’d had it for at least 15 years. A short web search and I’ve narrowed it to around 1994 or 1995 which would make it about 18 years old.

It’s a Giant Sedona ATX mountain bike in excellent shape. It’s loaded with Shimano STX parts. Every thing works great, even better than my seven-year old bike. Being a mountain bike and an older version of the Sedona model it has no suspension, something I have come to love lol. I wouldn’t be able to comfortably ride it as is so I decided to swap a few parts of the Avalon hybrid bike. I took the handlebars, computer, lights and seat off of the Avalon and put them on the Giant.

I added a folding basket to the side of the rear rack so I’d have more room when I make bike trips to the grocery store. The Giant had mountain bike tires which can have a rougher ride on normal streets so I’m using my street tires from the Avalon bike. I haven’t yet taken it for long trips outside of town so I’m not sure how much I’ll miss the comfort of the suspension. If it’s rough I’ll hunt down a suspension seat post. It may be 18 years old with some 7-year-old parts but it feels nearly new. From an environmental aspect it’s great to keep a good bike on the road versus buying another.

I heard throughout my youth that if I took care of my stuff and it’d last longer. Both of these bikes are great examples of taking care of something and in return getting years of enjoyment out of it. I drive a car from 1995 and really hope it lasts for years to come also! I don’t plan on buying a new bike until this one totally gives out and is beyond repair. Now that’s recycling!

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