My 40 year old bicycle is now rideable again

Posted By on June 20, 2023

Jamis 40 year old bicycle with new tires

Around the year Brenda and I were married (1982), we bought a couple of bicycles to ride around Aurora, Ohio where we bought our first house. Her 10-speed has long since disappeared (perhaps garage sale) but we kept mine through the years. It is a bit on the heavy side, Crankbut my Jamis bike was well built and sturdy … and still rides well even with the additional 20+ pounds I’ve added over the last 40 years! 

As mentioned over the weekend, the original tires were cracked and would no long hold air (although I have replaced the tubes a couple of times in the past). Recently I’m hoping a little TLC will help me fulfill a promise I made to my granddaughter: “I’ll fix my bike so we can ride around the lake together.”

It was difficult to find the narrower gum-sidewall original 1.5” tires, but after measuring, it looked as if I could install a 26” x 1.95 tire on the rims that were much more reasonably priced. So with a little fender adjustment, some cleaning and repacking the crank with new grease, the old bike rides well … and doesn’t look bad either (except for sore legs) … that was until Brenda commented, “it looks like an old man’s bike.”

New Tires for Jamis Commuter bike

In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, perhaps I should add a motor and electrify this old bike? But of course I need an e-bike about as much as I need the preverbial “hole in the head.” Nevertheless, stay tuned. 

Electric bike motors are located in one of three places: in the middle of the bike, in the rear hub or in the front hub.

Many systems will have mid-mounted motors that sit at the bottom bracket and power the ebike through the chain. It’s a good position for the motor because it puts the extra mass low down and centrally in the frame where it won’t affect the bike’s stability and handling.

The rear-wheel hub is also a popular place to put the motor. Again, it’s low down and since a lot of the rider’s weight is on the back wheel, handling and road grip are not too adversely affected by the extra weight and power.

Finally, the motor may be in the front hub. It’s a slightly trickier position because the motor unit can affect steering and generally there’s not as much weight on the front wheel, so grip may be impacted. It’s often used for folding ebikes and sometimes for hybrids.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog