Maple Leaf Test Rides

The continuing saga of test riding a Supercycle SC1800 (Canadian Tire product # 71-1556)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Expanding scope

The SC1800 is in limbo. Althoug it is a wickedly inexpensive beater bike for foul weather riding, there is a plethora of finer bicycles out there. This means that for the summer the focus of the test ride will transfer from the 2005 Supercycle SC1800 to a 1991 Breezer Thunder.

Thunder was acquired from my buddy Bob at the turn of the century. He upgraded to a Breezer Lightning and as such the other bike was offered to me. Small difference between the two models, except the Lightning has thinner walled tubing and is Black instead of Blue. There was also much less mileage on Lightning.

As Thunder had been around the block a couple of times, it was showing appropriate paint chips and the headset was chronically loose. All the same, it was a sensible bike for riding around the neighbourhood and as such was locked up outside of my apartment in Kensington 24/7/365 for a couple of years. It got a makeover of the addition of a rack and fenders. The fenders were from a CCM Breeze and were another shade of blue with pinstripes. The wheels (Mavic 117/Deore LX) were from a friend and assured me they have been built properly. True to his word they remain straight to this day with no nipple twisitng whatsoever. The parts were an eclectic mix of Shimano, Sugino and Mavic with the rarely seen 27 speed thumbie friction shifting. In short, a way fun scoot.

Fast forward to 2003, when the electricity bill was mounting and had to liquidate assets to pay for the juice. My friend Kristen was kind enough to provide a home for it under the condition it not leave Toronto and I have a buy back option when things got flush again. She seemed to receive some practical use from the beast and even left the country with it to take it to the Burning Man festival!

This winter, negotiated the return of Thunder from Kristen. It sat around the shop getting dusty whilst the Sc1800 experiement began. Then it hit me like a load of water from a squirtgun when my roommate suggested to remove the fenders and make it sporty again. He said it would be an OK offroad machine, which would be a nice option as the Team Marin had been sold in the last couple of months. After the Park MK-129 arrived, it was time to give it a total overhaul and pimp it out again. The BB was rusted in a bit and one of the rack bolts sheared. Much to my chagrin, there was found to be serious damage to the lower part of the head tube, the crown race of the fork and the drive side chain stay! Totally wrecked!

Built it up best as possible by using pop can shims in the mushroom shaped head tube and ovalized crown race. Drilled the tips of the crack on the chain stay. Dressed it up again without the rack and fenders and rode it in the 2006 five boro ride.

And still riding it, knowing it's gonna need some brass brazed onto the weak areas. It run OK.


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