Changing A Low End Bike To A Racing Bike

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Ted Craver has been riding bikes since he was a child in the foothills of Los Angeles.

"I started mountain biking when I was eight or 10 and rode those forever and ever," said Ted Craver, bike enthusiast.

Now he's a Texan and he's taken his bike riding to a higher level. Later this month, he'll be racing in what we'll call the Tour de Texas. While the other racers will be riding bikes that cost up to 4-grand, Craver will be on a bike from Wal-Mart.

"We're taking a bike that a lot of people use for transportation for work, for making their living, and turning it into a fancy pants racing bike," said Craver.

Craver and his friend Alan Burdette, another bike enthusiast, saw an article in Bicycling Magazine about how to transform a low end bike into a racing bike. Burdette decided to take on the challenge.

"We had to modify the crank system and we had to get longer cranks so we could get more power out of the bike and use the modified pedal system. We also put larger wheels with narrower tires and changed the gearing because the gear wasn't sufficient for the speeds we needed to achieve," said Burdette.

That, along with a few other changes transformed the Wal-Mart bike into a racing bike that can go more than 30 miles per hour.

"People don't need the most expensive equipment to ride a bike and enjoy it. People rather need to be in good shape, they need to have a bike that fits them and that's well maintained," said Burdette.

Their hard work has already paid off. Bicycling Magazine has now done a feature on them in the August issue.

"We're in the Hub Bub section which is kind of just weird and interesting news in the cycling community," said Craver.

The true test of the bike will be when Craver races it later this month. In many ways, this team has already crossed the finish line.


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