Friday, November 13, 2009

The Huffy

I knew this day would come. The day that someone shows up with a Walmart bike for me to fix. The bike that cost less than what I need to charge for the service. My buddies warned me and said I should just say no but I couldn’t do that. How could I tell someone they should toss their bike in a dumpster and save up for something better?

I got a lot of responses when I mentioned that working on the Huffy made me feel dirty. It seems a lot of people started out on Huffys. The famous 7-Eleven Team road Huffys. They were actually made by Ben Serrotta and

then branded Huffy. There really wasn’t anything terribly wrong with the old Huffys. They were heavy and the components were not top drawer but they worked, they were tough and they would get you from point A to Point B.

The bike that came to me was not your fondly remembered old Huffy. This is a Chinese beast that could scare Godzilla. (Oh no, there goes Tokyo!) It is not a road bike and no self respecting fattie would claim it. I could go on all day as to what is wrong with this bike starting with the color. Instead, I will just give you the highlights.

It has an Ashtabula crank. These are easy to work on, all you need is a large crescent wrench and a screwdriver. Aside from that and the cool name they have little else to offer. They were phased out many many years ago and are only compatible with Granny’s garters.

It weighs 38 pounds. That is more than two of my road bikes. It is hard to lift. I can’t imagine trying to pedal it uphill. The brakes are stamped tin and I would not want to ride this behemoth downhill with out steel toed boots and full body armor.

The components are not Shimano, SRAM, Campy or even Tektro. I’m not sure who exactly makes them. Enzo or something. I’ve never heard of them and have placed several industrial strength hex signs on the shop to keep them from ever haunting me again.

The stem is 7/8”. Okay this a bit of a mystery to non-mechanics. It falls into the Bermuda Triangle of reason. Stems are 1” or 1 1/8” for the most part. They are also threadless these days. This one is under sized and a quill. It is a pencil neck. Nobody uses this one except possibly the North Koreans.

So why didn’t I run and hide? It wasn’t bravery, never been my strong suit. The couple were a wee bit heavy and young enough to do something about it. They were having fun riding in the park and above all they were riding. I told them the down side to their bikes and fixed them up cheap. I also promised to take them shopping when they are ready to trade up. The important thing is here is a couple concerned about their health willing to take the first steps to get better. Who am I to let my pride get in their way?

Ride on.



Blogger hbrogan57 said...

If HUFFY made an airplane.....Would YOU fly in it???

7:48 PM  
Blogger tofusulu said...

Well done! Now I know a bike out on Jaraschinas Road that might be worse even than the aforementioned Huffy...

7:30 AM  
Blogger said...

When I was in high school my friend Alex Janson rode his first-ever real bike ride, a century, on a Huffy. I don't think he ever shifted and the ride was flat so he didn't need to brake much.

It took every single daylight moment of a May afternoon, but he made it.

Alex Janson was a tough dude.


6:56 PM  
Blogger MrDaveyGie said...

You handled the Huffy folks quite well, perhaps now headed to bikeoholics like many of us. :)

11:32 PM  

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