Rehabilitating my old commuter bike
Instead of throwing a ton of money at getting my old early 90's commuter bike back on the road with new shifters/derailers/etc, I decided to rip out all the shifter/derailer systems and simplify the drivetrain by installing a singlespeed setup. Realizing that I need to keep the front chain rings together (else I spend more $$ on a new single ring crank set), I kept the two smaller front rings on while removing the big ring. About that time I decided to add a second cog to the wheel hub and make 2 speeds to manually choose from (called a "dinglespeed" or double singlespeed). Along with some new brake levers and fresh brake line, I put on some new grips after the previous ones rotted on the bar and had to be cut off to fit the new brake levers.
The chain was shot and so were most of the gears, but I still haven't replaced the gears since they're an awkward configuration (and thus difficult to find replacement parts for). I never really noticed how messed up the chain rings were before. I have bent/broken teeth and the original rear cogs are all worn to hell. I replaced the bearings in the rear hub and replaced the grease. There was some pitting on the bearing races, but it'll do for now.
SS conversion kit: $18
brake line: $2
misc grease/lube: $5
Tool cost (chain whip, chain tool, freewheel tool, flat wrenches): ~ $25
So, for less than $75, I have a fun beater bike AND a small set of bike tools. I'd feel comfortable leaving this bike locked to my trailer hitch at work so I could do evening/lunch rides without having to lug a bike up an elevator.
So now, I have the new chain soaking in degreaser overninght to unseat the packing oil from it in preparation for a helping of White Lightning tomorrow after it dries.