He took all sorts of measurements and photographs, and then we disassembled the Condor, to try me out in different riding positions, and see which set-up would work best. And in doing so, we discovered that:
1. My headset is on its way out, after less than a year.
2. My forks are also on their way out, after less than two years. The steering tube’s coming apart from the crown, which means at some point, when I least want them to, they’ll break (followed closely by my front teeth).
3. My front brake caliper has totally jammed. (Which means I’ve been riding round brakeless for the past few weeks – something I didn’t actually think I was capable of.)
4. My handlebars are bent (I haven’t got round to replacing them since I got knocked off in New York last year), and will probably snap at some point, in all likelihood when I’m putting the most power in, i.e. hammering it along Euston Road or the Highway. (Almost every mechanic who’s looked at my bike in the past year has told me this, and I’ve smiled and nodded and …done nothing.)
So what does this mean? It means the Condor is still trying to kill me. It means I’d be a fool to ride it till it’s fixed (I rode it home, and then out to Rotherhithe later that evening, so it looks like I’m a fool). It means the whole front end of the bike needs to be replaced. It means I won’t get much change from £200, which is what I originally spent on the bike itself. (Don’t ask me how much I’ve spent on it since then. I’d rather not think about it. And don’t ask me how this sum compares to what I’ll earn this week.)
It means I have to decide whether it’s really worth wasting any more money on this murderous, ugly, knackered, rusty pile of junk, or whether I should just cut my losses and get (another) new bike.
What do you think?