One of my favourite “el-cheapo” errand bikes is this purple 1990s model Giant Boulder 550 ex-MTB, which I found early this year in a very bad way, as a rusty (but straight) discarded frame with crank set and derailleurs fitted, but no wheels, seat post or brake pads.
I really liked the purple and gold colours and also the shape of the steel frame on this old MTB, so I set about de-rusting it, re-greasing the bearings and adding a different crank set as many teeth were broken off the old micro chainwheels.
I fitted some alloy upright bars and salvaged alloy (Huffy!) V-brakes, found a couple of spare wheels (front alloy, rear steel rim were all I had that suited). The front derailleur was removed and the chain run on the smaller 40 tooth front ring, with the option of manually using the larger one if desired ( I don’t ).
It’s a low geared 6-speed with one indexed click shifter simply replacing the two original 21 speed twist grips. It all sounds iffy and was a minimal cost project – but rides rather well even if the bouncy clapped out old Apollo sprung saddle was formerly on my rusty old Speedwell before its restoration and the cheap plastic index click shifter sounds like snapping twigs when I change gears ….
The balloon like Serfas drifter tyres from a past bike have a lot of grip and a give a comfortable ride – and it is a bike that’s fun to ride, can be thrown around safely in corners and it turns quite tightly at low speed. As it’s a “run-around” bike, I fitted it with a rack that I use for a basil clip-on carry basket. . I like the look of horizontal top tubes much better than the sloping ones found on modern diamond frame bikes – that’s a personal preference.
The Giant is a little bit too tall for me, the seat is set at it’s lowest height – but not really enough to worry about, I can just touch the ground …
This bike is a work in progress as parts are occasionally added and removed according to the requirements of my other bikes. I now find that I would like to use the “north road” style bars for my Roadmaster “department store refurb.” but don’t know what I could replace them with to make this Giant as likeable as it is … I’ll figure it out though.