Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bargain Bin Special - Huffy 626 Road Bike

A few years ago I became intrigued by the idea of drop bars.  Yes, I know, they've been around since the dark ages - but I hadn't ridden a bike with anything of the sort since I was 12.  I stopped down to my local bike shop and wandered the aisles, dazed by the number of digits in the price tags.  Not sure I wanted to be quite so committed to a style of riding I'd never experienced, I went to my next favorite store: craigslist.  $10 later I was the proud owner of a beat-up but mostly functional Huffy 626 10-speed.

A little spit and polish, some cheap bar tape and a couple tire tubes later I was off to the races.  The first thing that struck me was the aerodynamics of the drop bar position.  The second thing was that riding in the drops was not entirely comfortable for my level of flexibility (or lack thereof).  The old-school 27" wheels definitely smoothed out the road a bit nicer than the 26's I'd been riding on other bikes, and as I rode along the not-so-smooth pathways in my neighborhood I realized probably the best feature of this particular bike: the very flexible steel fork which visibly absorbed a great deal of the path imperfections.  One other feature of note on this particular machine is that the rear dropouts are slotted relatively horizontally.  This makes it easy to convert the bike over to a single speed or fixie configuration as you can use the horizontal dropouts to slide the rear wheel fore and aft to tension the chain properly.  I don't have much else good to say about that bike except it opened my eyes to new frontiers of riding.  Bad brakes, old un-true-able wheels, extremely stiff and finicky stem mounted shift levers and a creaky one-piece crank all made this bike worth every penny of the price I paid for it, but it served well as a campus commuter for a short stint.  Plus, at that price point it gave me a wonderful peace of mind knowing that I spend more at the local coffee shop in a given week than I had invested in that bike, should someone be foolish enough to steal it.

3 comments:

  1. Does someone know the year of this bike ?

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  2. 1988 and its a twelve speed not a ten speed

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  3. love it , I have done the same to several huffys and made some money

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