If you’re going to buy a bike to ride across the USA …

I crashed my Surly Cross Check, buckling the steel frame, last week. It was a solid touring bike I fully expected to ride from San Diego to St. Augustine in March, but once you break the frame, it’s time to reconsider other options. I scoured Craigslist for the last half of the week, and spotted this headline on Sunday afternoon: 1980’s Team USA Raleigh Road Bike (56-58cm) – $100 (Broomfield)

I sent an e-mail as soon as I could, and got in touch with Chris, the guy selling the bike. When I got to his house and gave it a test ride, the bike was not awesome, but the frame was. Besides a couple of substantial scratches and dings. Once I got it home, I stripped everything but the crank and started working on it. On Monday, I rode down to Salvagetti and bought $150 worth of cables, housing, degreaser, a new chain, stem and brake pads, and by Tuesday evening, I had a new bike.

It’s a little big, I think. It’s going to take a little tweaking before I can get it to work, but I feel compelled to make it work, being that it says “TEAM USA” on the top tube. I did a little research and found that it’s a 1985 model, and retailed for $599 back then.

bike 1
bike 2
bike 3


2 responses to “If you’re going to buy a bike to ride across the USA …

  1. This bike makes me proud to be an American. Nice work on the build. Now you just need matching panniers.

  2. No need for one of those fancy 5k bikes next year. Just this thing, a gentle giant, and a TON of butt grease.

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