As some people know, I purchased a bike a little while ago. The idea was just something super cheap to get me out as I can’t run for a while (plantar fasciitis). I spent about £170 on a cheap Muddyfox hybrid (which they then dropped the price on further, much to my annoyance), after reading some decent reviews. I had intention of mostly just using it to get from A – B (1km each way to work) or a lap or two around the town to get in some exercise.

After a couple of weeks, I realised I wanted to start commuting on my bike to my morning job, which is closer to 10km each way. I could probably do with a better bike to be fair but we can’t really afford to at the moment. Zeta just purchased a £400 Diamondback mountain bike as that is how she gets between clients, and we both needed more gear to make our lives easier (locks, helmet for me, backpacks). I could get a bike on finance but I don’t want to right now.

So basically, instead, I’ve decided on a little bike project. I’m going to keep the cheap Muddyfox hybrid and upgrade it gradually. I plan on replacing certain parts of the bike (though I’ll just leave certain aspects, like the gears). I plan on giving it a paint job too, which will probably be done soon.

Today I spent time putting on my (full) mudguards, mounting my u-lock to the seat stay and figuring out how the hell I can mount the bottle cage so that I can actually get to it. Due to being short, I have a the smallest frame I could get. It’s also the women’s Tempo 200, which has the curved top tube (why do they do that?). It makes it impossible to get a bottle in and out of my bottle cage. Cue Matt with the idea of putting ON the top tube and it works perfect for me. I’ve only secured it with velcro straps at the moment but plan to use some cable ties at some point.

I plan on keeping a journal and photo progress of the project, so you can expect somewhat regular posts about it. I’ll include a list below of some of the ideas I have for changes and paint.

  • Paint job – Not entirely sure on the colours yet, but probably sticking to the matte black and adding yellow/gold. I want to keep the painting minimal to the top and down tube, and probably head tube, and use a matte black vinyl wrap for the seat and chain stays. I’m pondering on throwing in some green and going with a ‘green and gold’ Aussie style.
  • New saddle – The saddle that came with the bike isn’t all that comfortable and I find myself sliding on it too much. Hopefully a more performance-style saddle will help (Zeta’s is sooo comfy).
  • Break pads – Pretty sure any would be better than the default.
  • New riser bar (handlebar) and grips – if I’m getting a new bar, I might as well deck it out with new grips! I already have my eye on a bar (the black with yellow), but I need to take measurements first before I settle on it. Not sure about the grips yet. I could go yellow, green or just stick with black comfort grips or something.
  • New pedals – I’m thinking I might get some flat pedals, yellow ones of course
  • Handlebar extender – Would be nice to keep my handlebar itself clutter free and have any lights or computer attached to an extender of some sort

Well, those are my only ideas so far. I guess better rims and tires at some point but, that’s a larger upgrade. I can’t currently decide whether I’d like a saddle bag or add a pannier rack and bag. I’m sure it’ll come to me eventually though. I’d also like to play around a bit and see what I can do with some 3M Diamond-grade reflective tape.

It’s amazing how you can start with one bike and have it eventually be something completely different. At least, I hope that is what I will have. 😉

The featured image in full.


  1. Great little project idea you have here Nyssa, If your budget can stretch and you are comfortable doing it, you should look at upgrading your brakes to disc brakes. If you have never experienced them you may think “But, why? Brakes are brakes” – Disc brakes though make a masssssive difference. 🙂

    1. Thanks Niels. I’m looking forward to doing more on the bike! Disc brakes are wonderful (Zeta’s DB has them) but it’d be too expensive to convert to them on my bike, not least because the frame doesn’t have the required mounts for it.

      My next bike however will definitely have disc brakes! 😀

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