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Need recommendation for old bike
Hello! This is my first post.

My son (age 11) wants to refurbish my old Huffy mountain bike from the 1980s. The bike is in horrendous shape, and it would be cheaper to simply purchase a new bike. However this is one of those "father-son opportunities" that I cannot resist. We've stripped the bike down completely, painted it (today), and will install a new bottom bracket and wheel bearings this week.

I've been looking to purchase derailleurs, but the online catalogs have left me confused. The last time I touched a derailleur was in 1986, and it seems that things have changed a lot. There are so many more choices. Can someone be so kind to point me in the right direction? Here are my needs:

1. Inexpensive. This is an old Huffy... Wal-mart special from the 1980s.
2. Two gears in the front (largest sprocket has 48 teeth)
3. Six gears in back (largest sprocket has 28 teeth)
4. Tube diameter (for front derailleur) is 1-1/8".
5. Mountain bike
6. Need shifters too.

I truly appreciate any help I get.
Hi, welcome to the Forum

Here's my advice
Shimano Acera front mech. Cheap, but still fairly indestructible and shifts well. I'm running one on my Specialized Hardrock that sees heavy abuse on a weekly basis. That mech is one of the few original parts left on it and it still functions well.

Shifter wise it gets quite personal. You can either have a Shimano Deore one (again, cheap but not rubbish; you might be able to pick up a fairly unused one 2nd hand on an MTB forum) which shifts up with the thumb and down with your index finger. Or a SRAM X5 (similar to the Deore in terms of price and quality), which shifts up and down using only your thumb (I prefer these as it means I can always keep one finger on the brake lever, but it's whatever feels right to you). Higher end Shimano shifters have "2-way release" which allow you to change down with either your finger or your thumb, but these are expensive and probably for this bike.

There aren't that many "two-gear" shifters out there (I can't name any), but what I'd suggest is to use the 3-ring stuff I've suggested above and set the limit screw so that you can't really use the 3rd position on the shifter (which is what I do, I'm running two rings and a bash-guard so Gear 3 is redundant on the shifter), or possibly pick up a cheap triple crank set if you want to splash out (something like a Truvativ Husevelt or FSA ISIS drive, could probably pick up cheaply 2nd hand from an MTB forum).
Great priceless project for you and your son.
All good recommendations on upgrade equipment from JonB.

Out of curiosity I did a quick google search for Huffy parts and this link popped up. Why not call them and see what they have for your bike.

FYI Lots of Huffy bikes at thrift stores you can buy one for $40 or less and strip the parts needed.


Never Give Up!!!
Thank you for the help! I'll check out what both of you suggest. Smile
Rebuild project is nearly complete. It only needs brakes. Other than that, it runs fine. We salvaged a rear derailleur, and it skips 3rd gear. I'm not sure if the culprit is the derailleur or the $5 shifter. I told my son we can upgrade parts later if he likes the bike.

Well, I'm off to buy brake pads.
Great congratulations. Check out Alex's video on this site for tuning dérailleurs.

First make sure the cable and the derailleur and shifter are clean lubricated and move smoothly.

Once you set the inner and outer stop on the derailleur the fine tuning for shifting is done with the barrel adjustment at the shifter or most likely at the derailleur.
If that does not do it get a new shifter.
Never Give Up!!!

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