The future of commuter bikes?

At Cycle penistone C.I.C we recycle and reuse as many parts as we can whether it is for repairs, decoration, preparing donated bikes to sell or creating new bikes. There is something very satisfying about bringing pre-loved parts to a new project and giving them a new lease of life. Instead of being wasted they get their last bit of life used in a new way.

It was a misearble Friday afternoon and after cleaning up the workshop and sorting out all the pre-loved parts which we have collected, I had a moment of inspiration and wanted to build a new project bike. The frame which is a Peugeot Alpina had been hanging on the wall for around 9 months and I wanted to put it to good use but wasnt quite sure what to do with it. After searching through part bins, I found all the parts I would need and started to piece the bike together. I knew it wasnt going to be the most beautiful bike and had a lot of marks from years of use but it was only cosmetic and could be fixed at a later date when and if I wanted to. As the monster started to come to life, I began to fall in love with the mix match of colours and parts from different era's. It was evolving into Frankensteins ugly sister and I loved it!

Due to the mix match of colours, parts and styles it was looking like the perfect bike for commuting as surely nobody would want to steal this as it looked like it had just been dragged out of a muddy overgrown canal. This triggered a thought, what if the perfect commuter bikes should look as rough and unloved as possible to make them less of a target for bike thiefs?

I would never be worried leaving this outside of a shop or a train station, and surely it would be the last bike the thiefs would want to take when it is racked up next to the regular £500 plus commuter hybrids.

Rat look frankenstein bikes are definitely the future of city riding for me. Stylish, characterful, affordable, simple and lots of fun to create.

Breakdown of parts:

Frame: Peugeot Alpina which was donated from a garage clearence. Sanded off some rough spots on the chainstays and covered the bare metal with a light blow over of luminous yellow spray as thats all I had in the workshop.

Forks: 26" Apollo Powerblade in luminous pink from a donated ladies bike which was stripped for parts and the frame scrapped.

Wheels: Retro 27 x 1 1/4 road wheels, which were left by a customer when I fitted him a new wheelset. Both need truing badly. 16t BMX single speed sprocket fitted to the rear.

Chainset: Oval Concepts 520 crank arms, Praxis works 50t cold forged chainring. Praxis external bottom bracket. I received this from a customer when I fitted a new smaller chainset to his bike. Condition is like new only covered around 50 miles. Smaller ring needs removing.

Steering: Custom retro drop road stem and Beller France touring handlebars. These were taken off a Raleigh Wisp retro ladies town bike which was donated and stripped for parts.

Future Plans: Strip the bike down and rebuild properly so it is ready to ride now I know everyhting fits. True the wheels and change the tubes. Find a seat post to fit and try to arrange some sort of brake. Maybe some more spray work over time and some custom details.

I hope this has inspired you to raid your shed and put them boxes of old parts to good use. Upcycle yourself a quirky commuter bike.

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