Color Me Frustrated

Right now, I’m frustrated over my bike. Those who are cyclists—please go over to the LJ article and comment/vote in the poll.

As background, I’m riding an old Peuguot U08 that I got back in my high school days, around 1975. This is an old-style 10-speed with friction shifting, and mostly original equipment. I’ve replaced the seats and handlebars, and the front derailleur is not working. In fact, that’s the source of frustration. The manufacturer of the derailleur is long out of business, and the only source for the true replacement (a Simplex front bottom-pull 26.5 derailleur — perhaps like this) is Ebay. But the Simplex supposedly was made of crappy plastic, so I hunted around and ordered a Sun Tour Cyclone 7000, which was supposedly an equivalent bottom-pull 26.5 front derailleur. I just went down to the bike store to have it installed… only to find I’m lacking a cable stop that no one has (perhaps something like this), and I’d have to figure out how to order it. The general attitude from both shops I visited (CycleWorld and Bicycle Johns) was that the bike was so old and so mediocre to begin with that it really isn’t worth putting the time and effort into it. One option is to just forget about the front derailleur and just treat the bike as a 5-speed, and ride it until it dies.

Now, I could replace the bike. Doing so I would give in to my daughter’s belief that I’m having a mid-life crisis. I would guess a new bike would run $700&ndash$1000 or more: I’d be looking for a 10-speed bike with a comfortable seat primarily for exercise and around town (town being defined as the San Fernando Valley) riding. I’m not looking into competition cycling or true long-haul cycling. I could easily pull the money for the bike from savings; I just hate pulling money from savings and spending large sums on myself.

So, I’m torn on what to do. I’d like some suggestions, either via the poll below or in the comments. Facebook readers: I’m betting you can log in with your Facebook ID to vote in the poll.