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Fixing up Dawes Discovery 201eq gents 2011
#1
Hi all,
I have a Dawes Discovery 201eq gents from 2011 that I want to fix up after a couple of years without use. The goal is to get it into good enough shape that I can use it for commuting and some training. I know it's not ideal for training, but I can't afford a road bike at the moment. Also I need the Dawes bike for occasional family trips (with kid on the back) so that's why I want to fix it up rather than save up and buy a road bike right away.

Here are the original specs for the bike along with some status of them:

Frame type:             7005 aluminum (22 inch)
Fork type:                Hi-tensile steel
Rims type:        Alloy with CNC sidewall - ZC1000 rims by Alex(back wheel misshaped)
Hub front:        Alloy 36H
Hub rear:          Alloy 36H
Spokes:            14G steel
Tyres:              Kenda K-948 700 x 35c (broken)
Skewers:                QR
Shifters:            Shimano EF-50 21 speed (rusty wires)
Front derailleur: Shimano FD-C051
Rear derailleur: Shimano RD-TX51
Crankset:         48/38/28T with 170mm alloy crank (completely broken)
Cassette:           Shimano 14-34T (rusty)
Pedals:             Black resin with grey grip (completely broken)
Bottom bracket:   Semi-cartridge
Seat post:         Alloy 27.2mmx350mm
Saddle:             Dawes sports
Handlebars:       Steel riser
Stem:               Alloy quill
Headset:             Threaded 1.1/8”
Brakes:             Alloy V-brake (rusty wires, needs new pads at least)
Chain:               KMC Z51 (rusty)
Brake levers:       Shimano

So basically at bare minimum, I need to replace the crankset, pedals, tyres and do something about the slightly misshaped back wheel.

Any suggestions on what I should buy keeping in mind that I do want to use the bike for training as well as commuting? I would like to keep the total cost under 350-400$ and with that at least make it an upgrade over the original specs (since otherwise I might as well buy a cheap new commuter bike).
I'm open to all suggestions and if there's a good bike I could buy new that would be superior for my purposes and in my price range I'd be open for that too.

Thanks for the help. Let me know if there is any other info I can provide.
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#2
Any bike is suitable for "training" so it seems likely worth fixing it up, especially since it will be useful in a way a road bike will not. Nothing trains you like hauling around a chunk bike with 50 lbs of kids and junk on the back of it!
But there's some questions you need to answer first.

1. You hint that the back wheel is out of true (straightness). This could either mean that it needs minor adjustment or a completely new wheel. You can look at some "how to true a wheel" videos to get a sense or take it in to someone professional to look at. This is a big decision point because if the wheel is wrecked, it may make more sense to get another bike anyway.

2. What happened to/is broken on the crank? Was the bike hit by a car or anything? Again, it points to whether there might be other damage you're not aware of that could impact the frame, bottom bracket, whole bike.

3. Assuming the wheel's ok and there's no other unknown damage, I would:
- get a new chain, cassette, tires, tubes, pedals, and brake pads.
- try getting some lubrication into the cables and housing. Unless the rust is serious or they aren't functioning well, it's probably fine to leave them as is. Of course, check the brake cable's carefully as they are a safety issue.
- If you think you'll want to be riding the bike faster and harder than it was set up for, you can up the gearing a little by getting a cassette with higher gearing (lower tooth count) or a crank with higher gearing (higher tooth count). But I would change it more than a couple teeth either way or you'll run into trouble with the derailleurs/shifting.
- Get good quality tires and brake pads. They make a big difference.
- if you want to get a slightly more aggressive position on the bike, you may be able to lower the bars some or change bars or stem to adjust your position. It'll never be a road bike, but you shouldn't try to make it one anyway.

Finally, check out what you can buy used. It might make more sense to get a decent used bike than fix this one. Again depends on what exactly needs replacing. (You might even find a similar 'parts bike' that has some of the parts you need cheaper than buying new.)

good luck
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#3
Thanks for the great answer DaveM. I'm pretty much completely new to this but want to learn so it's much appreciated!

Quote:1. You hint that the back wheel is out of true (straightness). This could either mean that it needs minor adjustment or a completely new wheel. You can look at some "how to true a wheel" videos to get a sense or take it in to someone professional to look at. This is a big decision point because if the wheel is wrecked, it may make more sense to get another bike anyway.

The wheel isn't too bad, it's stil ridable at the moment but looks a little wobbly. It was caused by a fall. I will take it to an acquaintance of mine who has a workshop and some experience doing adjustments next week (if he has time). I'll have a look at some videos as you suggest in the meantime.

Quote:2. What happened to/is broken on the crank? Was the bike hit by a car or anything? Again, it points to whether there might be other damage you're not aware of that could impact the frame, bottom bracket, whole bike.

There is no other damage than to the crank threads that are completely shredded on one side (and some rust + wear and tear)

Quote:3. Assuming the wheel's ok and there's no other unknown damage, I would:
- If you think you'll want to be riding the bike faster and harder than it was set up for, you can up the gearing a little by getting a cassette with higher gearing (lower tooth count) or a crank with higher gearing (higher tooth count). But I would change it more than a couple teeth either way or you'll run into trouble with the derailleurs/shifting.

This is interesting and something I think I would like to do. Is it either or, regarding the lower/higher tooth count or will changing both make things "even better"? Is there an optimal combination and how do I know that the stock derailleurs/shifting can handle it?  

Quote:Finally, check out what you can buy used. It might make more sense to get a decent used bike than fix this one. Again depends on what exactly needs replacing. (You might even find a similar 'parts bike' that has some of the parts you need cheaper than buying new.)

I've been looking at the second hand websites in my city and it's slim pickings I'm afraid so doesn't look at the moment that I would be able to find anything suitable for me.
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#4
Crankset:         48/38/28T with 170mm alloy crank (completely broken)
Cassette:           Shimano 14-34T (rusty)


You should be able to go to a 12-34 cassette or 12-30, something like that. I don't think you can go down to a 11 tooth. Going to a 12 would up your highest gear by about 15% so it's a fairly big jump.

You should be able to go up to a 50 tooth on your crankset. But you may have trouble finding something like that. Probably best just to try to find as similar a crank as you can get so you don't have other problems with alignment and shifting.

Remember that higher gears don't make you go faster. They just mean that if you can already pedal the bike at a good pedaling pace in the highest gear, it would give you the ability to go a bit faster than that. Unless you can already pedal the bike in it's highest gear at 90-100 rpms, you don't really "need" higher gearing. One of the things you would want to "train" if you're getting serious about road biking anyway it the ability to pedal at fairly high revolutions (80-100). Most people pedal at too slow a speed which uses more energy.

But bikes like this are usually geared pretty moderately, so I would think it would be fine to up the gearing on the cassette a little since you're getting a new one anyway.

But yeah, get that wheel checked out first.
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