I found a bike abandoned near my office last summer. The bike was beat and abused. Front shifter was broke. Rear brake handle was missing. Both tire were flat. The saddle and seat post were off a much older bike and the saddle was ripped to shreds. Several of the brakes allen wrench heads were stripped and the brakes were all out of sorts. I live near a large college campus and in a downtown area, I thought the bike to be stolen and abandoned when the said user could no longer use the bike in a functioning capacity. Many things end up in my parking lot and surrounding tree line, it is basically a homeless dump at times. No people, well most of the time, just their stuff. So, as I pulled the bike from the debris pile it was heaped in, as I could only see the wheels and rims sticking up in the air, I saw in the early morning light that is said Giant. Most of the things that end up here is somebody else’s trash. None of it is worth keeping and I figured the bike to be the same. So I was shocked to see it was actually a nice bike, or what had been a nice bike. I carried the bike in the office and leaned it at the front door. Got on the computer and searched the stolen bike website in my town too see if it had been reported stolen. Once nothing turned up, I figured finders keepers, losers weepers.
For some time I had wanted an adventure/gravel bike. I have many areas in my neck of the woods to take advantage of such a thing. As I started to research the hybrid I had found, I thought why not this bike. Its geometry was nearly spot on to the adventure bikes Giant is making now. Not identical in all categories, but not far off at all. I took it home and commenced to breaking it down. Stripped everything off down to the frame and neck. Then I stewed. I poured over blogs. articles and websites. Which drive trains, SRAM or Shimano, drop bars or flat, 1x or 2x, types of tires, mtb rim brakes or cantilever, every small detail down to the grip tape was sweated. There was a budget after all, and spending on somethings got cut in favor of spending more money on things I felt were difference makers.
For several months I collected gear and tried to decide what to do with the frame. Paint, powder coat, sprayed with plasti-dip, etc. I have always been drawn to bikes with raw metal looking frames. In the end I thought the look of bare aluminum brushed and coated with a clear coat with new Giant logos in blue would do the trick.
Last month I went into the lab. Lots of time and effort was rewarded after 3 weeks of work on the weekends and evenings. This past Friday, it went for its maiden voyage. Smooth as butter.
Wow, looks awesome! As someone who used to build recumbents as a hobby I can relate to the blood, sweat and sleepless nights spent planning things out and weighing the options. Might not hurt to check with the local PD and see if the bike’s been reported stolen, just to make sure.
The labor of love that’s gone into rejuvenating this frame is inspiring! It would have been a shame to see it go to waste.