This is a good thing - a volunteer program that seeks bicycle donations, to fix up and redistribute for Christmas presents to poor kids. This year they have apparently received so many donations that they are reaching out to the public to come help them tune and clean to have their stock ready for the big morning. I'm not really a joiner of anything but I have done this for the neighborhood kids where I've lived for years, and one of the locations is the midtown Freewheel/Nice Ride which is convenient, so maybe it would be fun to get involved.
Even considering that many if not most of the bikes will be immediately trashed or stolen (and trashed) - or most likely: didn't get pumped up and got a flat tire and were never used again as no one is spending $5 on a tube, if even ten percent were appreciated and used that would be good. Imagine a city where generations of children, if they had nothing else, had access to a working bicycle.
Long long long overdue overhaul. Six years to be exact. Some of that stuff has never been changed or cleaned since the Green bike replacement was first built - gulp, could that be right? I had to cut the grip-bolts with a Dremel wheel, found the bars under powdery with corrosion. I bought my own Xmas presents this year I guess, in the form of that sweet XT above and the matching trigger shifters, as well as the variety of other parts (they add up fast) that were scheduled for replacement years ago.
I'm pretty confident I found the source of the funny ghost-shifting plaguing the last couple rides of the season; the derailleur hanger was loose, and when I took it off to clean it, discovered that it was cracked-through at one of the bolts. The cables were sliding in the housing as smoothly as sex at the beach too.
Going to start with a complete suspension tear-down and cleaning - as well as flipping the link back over to make the BB higher and the fork-rake steeper. The lower-slacker-stabler mode has been good, but I do hit my pedals noticeably more and don't get that aggressive stand-over stance as much as I want when I want it either. I think I may try clipless again too.
I've been having that conversation with myself for quite a while about fixing up vs buying new - but the reality is I can't afford to buy new, and Sean's example of building up and eventually swapping in a super-cool new frame has been pretty inspirational. This is the bike that takes the most beating - and gets the most use these days. It's also by far the one most due for upgrade. When first built, it was a mix of green-leftovers and hastily-sourced mid-line parts - that were not necessarily a quality-match for the sweet frame, and really of all the bikes, this is the one that will benefit the most from performance-light parts.
Stiff light cranks - check. Strong light wheels - check. New - Perfect sensitive shifting - check. New - Modern platform air fork... Um, nope, no new fork, but summer is still six months away.