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I was gifted an old bike that I've decided I want to fix up and use. I believe it's a hybrid, not quite road and not quite mountain bike. It's 21 speed and it's an Apollo quick cross (I can't find anything about it on the web, have emailed the manufacturer asking for the manual).

Despite knowing nothing about bike maintenance I can tell the drive train is in fairly desperate need of replacing (missing and worn teeth on the chain set). The idea I have is finding a donor bike and borrowing its drive train. Is this possible and what should I be looking for in a suitable donor bike?

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  • If you find a decent donor bike then why not just ride it? – paparazzo Nov 22 '15 at 1:55
  • Chances are for how much I'm willing to pay for a donor bike (I'll probably find it), it probably wont be rideable? Also for experience, curiosity? By decent I meant a suitable donor, I'll reword that part. – Kamu Nov 22 '15 at 2:01
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    If this is in the UK, Apollo is a Halfords house brand. They vary from utter rubbish to rideable but nothing special, and cover a range of flat-bar types. They certainly used to use bottom-of-the-range shimano components quite widely, making direct replacements or minor upgrades fairly easy to obtain. But finding a donor bike with usable components can be harder than finding a usable bike unless you're after parts for an unusual frame size and the donor can be a common size. – Chris H Nov 22 '15 at 14:34
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It looks like a relatively basic hybrid based on a quick google search.

You can probably find another bike and get the parts off it and onto this bike, but this is almost never cost effective (you either need to borrow/buy the special tools you need for removing cranks, replacing the chain, etc. and the time to learn how to do this or pay a shop to do it, and the labor at a bike shop won't make it cost effective).

I'd suggest having someone look over the bike to make sure its safe to ride (is the headset loose, are the brakes doing their job, is the frame cracked, etc.), since it sounds like this bike has been neglected. A bike shop should do this for a nominal fee and tell you how much you'd need to get it into decent condition. You may find that for the cost of repairs (labor + parts or time investment) may not be worth it for you (and you may want to sell this bike and get something else).

Without knowledge of the bike, there are several things that are commonly needed to recondition bikes:

  • Cables + housing for shifters+brakes
  • Brake pads (sometimes the whole brake is more cost effective if the old one is in poor shape)
  • Shifters (they wear out/break)
  • Freewheel/Cassette (gears in the back)
  • Chain
  • Truing the wheels
  • Repacking the hubs of the wheels

And then various adjustments (e.g. headset). Crankset+BB in some cases as well. Note that the crankset might not actually be damaged -- some teeth are designed to look worn out, but without a picture of the bike or something, we can't even begin to make some sort of assessment.

Most of these require bike-specific special tools, so if you're not inclined to take up the maintenance on your own regularly, you're best off finding a shop to look it over.

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  • I've spent a couple of hours tinkering with it and watched a couple of videos. Brakes seem to be working okay, the back pad on one side doesn't contact the rim properly so it needs to be adjusted and front brake pads need replacing. Chainset deraulier I was able to adjust and works fine, rear seems to have trouble switching to largest gear), wheels inflated (rear tyre needs replacing, worn and cracked rubber). I should be able to gain access to various tools I imagine. I can take some pictures if that would help. I was more interested in what specificat of donor drive trains I should look for. – Kamu Nov 22 '15 at 8:31
  • Well, you need more information than what you've provided (i.e. whats on the bike now). But the current 21 speed drivetrain from Shimano is the Tourney line, though you'll likely want to opt for acera or higher if you can move up to 8 speed in the back. – Batman Nov 22 '15 at 14:43

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