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Working on my Very First Project Bike
Last week, I found this mountain bike on the side of the road. It was all rusty and in pretty bad condition. It's a 24 inch Ladies Huffy bike. I looked this bike up online and it's only worth about $80.00 new, but, figured it'd be a good bike for me to learn on.

I've been working on the bike all week and fixed several issues it had and it looks very nice. I got All the rust off the rims/handlebar, lubed everything including the gear shifters and waxed the bike n put chrome polish on all the chrome parts to hopefully keep the rust away. I'm assuming this bike must've been kept outside a good part of it's life bc of the shape it was in when i picked it up.

I'm just having a few problems w/ it that I have no idea how to fix and was hoping some of you could give me some advice. This is a 21 speed bike -- the gears on the right handlebar, shift slowly and are hard to shift up and down -- (1-7) -- However, the gears on the left handlebar, i can't shift them up at all. It's stuck on 1 and I can't move it past that. I tried lubing both gear shifters but, the left one still doesn't budge and I have no idea what's wrong w/ it. Any ideas?!?

Also, whenever the bike shifts, it doesn't shift smoothly -- is there a way to fix that too?

The other problem I'm having w/ the bike is that both wheels (esp the front one), wobble a little bit -- the wobbly wheel doesn't really affect the bike ride until I hit the front brakes, then the front wheel jumps a little bit and gives me an uneasy feeling. I've tested the spokes on the front and back wheel, and, they seem tight so, i'm not sure what else to do for it to make both wheels to stop wobbling.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as, I'm trying to teach myself how to fix bikes and am new at all of this for now.
On the shifting, the cable and housings probably need to be replaced. If it was kept outdoors, chances are that the cable and/or housing may be rusted and hanging up when you attempt to shift. Replacing the cables is something that you can do on your own.

The wheel sounds like it needs to be trued. There are videos on this forum that explain how to do that, but it takes some experience as well to really get it right. Truing a wheel is something best left to someone that knowns how to do it correctly if you have never done it before.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Daily
(07-15-2011, 12:36 PM)JohnV Wrote:  The wheel sounds like it needs to be trued. There are videos on this forum that explain how to do that, but it takes some experience as well to really get it right. Truing a wheel is something best left to someone that knowns how to do it correctly if you have never done it before.

...or get a spokey (well, a spoke key that grabs the nipple form all four sides, google pics for "spokey") and try your luck. As you said: it is a bike to learn stuff at. However, chances are that the wheels had been assembled with dry spoke threads. You might run into problems when trying to true it (well, more problems than to be expected on your first wheel). What can help is using a penetrating oil on the spoke threads that are seized: apply oil to threads and let sit a while, repeat if it still won't budge. On the other hand: worst thing that can happen is that you shear off the spoke at the thread, then you need to replace it with a new one. Start with the front wheel as this is easier (especially when you break a spoke and need to replace one...). Take a look at Roger Musson's book (available online for a few bucks at wheelpro.co.uk ) or the one by Jobst Brandt, the vids on this site and what http://www.sheldonbrown.com wrote on that subject
I was able to get the gear shifter to "work" or should i say, move, but, it's not exactly working. Meaning, the gears are not shifting even though i can turn the shifter easily from 1,2, and 3.

I took a look at the gear shifter today, but, couldn't figure out how to take it apart as there isn't anything to unscrew or anything. I saw that the cable made a hole and is poking right thru the grip shifter which i kno is not correct. How or what can i do to take this apart so i can get a closer look at it?

I'll have to try to post a picture later on in case i'm not explaining it well.

I will def look at up the spokey as it sounds like a good tool and i'll look up the book u suggested too. Thanks!!

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