I've officially started spending money to make my beater better. I'm not just talking about a seat and chain, which were necessary changes, but pedals and new brake levers. The original weighted pedals were too "square" for me, rolling around under my flat shoes each time I started at a green light. They were also slightly crushed from owners, me included, turning too sharply with the inner pedal down. They actually still worked fine, though. Before buying new pedals, I made sure the old pedal threads hadn't corroded to the aluminum cranks and much to my amazement, the pedals came right out. I bought BMX pedals for their flatness and width; they're perfect for the flat-bottomed shoes I always wear.
The brake and shifter cables also came in the mail, but the brake levers won't be arriving until December. Until then, I'll be hoping that my single rear brake is adequate.
I also got a pair of "winter tires" for this bike for free. At the moment, the front tire is a somewhat-worn Kenda Hybrid Nimbus tire, the same as what's on my Raleigh Sports except in 700c size. The rear is some kind of smoother tire. The letters have worn off and the sidewalls it's actually almost threadbare in places from the brakes rubbing on them some time in the past. As for the winter pair, the front is even more knobby than the hybrid tires, but the rear is another hybrid tire. Seeing that my Raleigh took the snow like a champ last year with the hybrid tires, this bike should be alright as well, despite not being as heavy or as stable. I still have to see how many teeth are on the gear set and compare it to the cluster on my "summer" rear wheel. That would affect my decision for which wheel to use once I retire the worn rear summer tire.
In related news, I finally got a new helmet. Retirement of my old, generic helmet was far overdue and it's almost ten years old, now that I think about it. The taped-on plastic cover has flown off a few times and the straps are held together by safety pins since the plastic buckle slot things are worn out.
This is not to mention the old helmet has been dropped a few times and has countless scars on it. Anyway, my new helmet is a Giro Trinity, which my friend suggested I try. It sits comfortably around my larger head (inner ring was adjusted to be as big as possible) yet doesn't hang over the front and rear too far. The old one looked so awkward on my head - just look at how long and flat it is! It used to sit on my head more, rather than around my head. The new helmet is noticeably lighter and is of a much higher quality, unsurprisingly.
He's some more size comparison, as well as a close-up of the damage to the old helmet. I'm glad I finally have a new helmet that not only fits and works perfectly, but looks okay. I'm sad to see the old one go at the moment, but I probably won't miss it.
The new helmet came with a sticker of the company logo (upside down helmet / sideways G) and I figured it wouldn't negatively affect the visibility of my bike at night if anything, so on the bike it went. Also, never fear, my old Raleigh Sports hasn't been sitting around. I think both of the bikes roughly equally share the duty of taking me to class and work these days.