If it were not for the rather large dent in the top tube of the Junker, then it would never have been built up for use.  Simply put, it is better to ride a Junk Bike for errand running purposes, as opposed to a really good bike.  Either bicycle could be stolen, in a heart beat, by a competent thief.  The one difference between the two is the Junk Bike represents considerably less value, both to the rider and to the thief.

In other words, a beat up old bicycle, fitted with beat up components, will not attract thieves.  And that is step one to preventing theft.  Step two is, of course, always locking the bike when not in use.

If the story surrounding the finding the the Junker II is interesting, then the story of building the bike can be described as anything but.  What is of interest is the philosophy that presented itself in the bicycle, once a closer look was taken.

Since the Junker II was to be a Junk Bike, no effort would be made to improve looks or upgrade anything.  Actually, the contrary would hold.  If the bike, as found, featured a high quality part that was in good condition, both mechanically and cosmetically, that part would be replaced with a lesser quality item.  Not much got replaced although considerable thought did go into keeping or replacing the light action Shimano Super SLX RX100 brake callipers.

Other than that, the balance of the componentry on the bike proved to be pretty much unimpressive.  Nothing stood out, however; everything worked very well.  That said, and even though the components fitted were mostly acceptable, fit and comfort issues would be addressed.

The first thing one would notice is the mismatched wheel set.  Though mismatched and grungy looking, the wheels were quite true, well lubricated and just kept on spinning when offered a little nudge.  Not only would the mismatched wheel set deter thieves, so too would the wheel attachments.

No steal me quickly quick release skewers present to make wheel theft easy.  Instead, the wheels are held in place with fasteners, threaded and requiring a special tool to remove.  Not too special but special enough to not be in the average thief's pocket.

The next thing that fell under the mechanic's microscope was the transmission.  Again, mismatched stuff but selected to offer a wide gearing range.  Surely the trans would require considerable attention and upgrade.  Nope.  The transmission works just fine, as found and as of this writing, no attempt has been made to adjust its operation.  It just works!

The brakes drew attention next and, once again a bit of a nice surprise.  As mentioned, the callipers were a treat and after some deliberation were kept.  The brake levers, however, were a different story.  So too were the handlebars.

Since component change-outs would be necessary to accommodate fit, the most likely candidates to go would be the too narrow drop handlebars, the brake levers, the saddle and perhaps the steering stem.  Replacing each with comfort inducing buy aesthetically displeasing components would become the task at hand.

Since the Junker II was an around town, short hop errand runner, a more upright seating position would be better for busy traffic riding.  Easy access to brake levers would be a concern.  With these two considerations in mind, a set of found at the dump Bullhorn handlebars were selected and fitted with a set of Aero brake levers and hoods.  The levers were scuffed up but the hoods were still supple and more than serviceable.

As a Junk Bike build, one of the mandates would be to spend little or nothing on the bicycle.  True, some items such as transmission and brake cables might require replacement.  So too would brake pads be considered for replacement, as would anything else that appeared worn to the point of not working, as it was intended.

Fortunately, cables were the only thing needing replacement for a total investment of four dollars, plus sixty cents sales tax.  The brake pads, though showing signs of wear, had been properly fitted and were still more than serviceable.  The tires, once again an item that is subjected to high wear conditions, presented lots of tread and little wear.  Obviously, the tires had been fitted not long before the bicycle fell into the hands of the Torontonian thief.

That left handlebar grips or tape.  With the handlebar style and brake lever position, grips were pretty much out of the question.  Bar tape would be the choice and, as luck would have it, a time and environmentally damaged set was on hand.

The bar tape selected was very old and the adhesive backing had, well, adhered.  Yup, the tape was stuck to itself.  It did take some time to unravel the sticky ribbon, tearing only a few times, but never damaging the tape to the point where it could not be used.  Interestingly enough, the old tape selected was virtually identical to that which was fitted to the bicycle "as found".  And it looks just as ugly on the Bullhorns as it did on the drop bars.

Needless to say, the as found saddle had seen better days.  Even though it was still useable, the butt perch was so ripped and torn that it would, in the event of a wet weather ride, suck up moisture like a sponge.  With that in mind, a replacement was sought out.

Sadly, few decently uglied-up saddles could be found in The Old Shed, a slightly ripped cheap saddle was selected.  The saddle selected was a cheap department store offering that would have been fitted to an entry level department store mountain bike.  Nothing really special but just a little too nice looking to fit in with the run down and dilapidated patina sported by the Junker.

The as found seat post was of the post and clamp design, rather than the more modern indexed unit.  By rummaging around in some spare parts boxes, a suitable and very ugly indexed post was found.  The post does work but does not work well.  It is just a tad short and tends to slip from time to time.  That post will be changed out for a better unit even though the better one is too nice for the bike.

And that about sums up the build of the Specialized Allez Junker II.  Aside from the typical lubrication chores, the rest of the bicycle was left pretty much untouched.  And the untouched mandate extended to the police sticker that was and still is attached to the bicycle.  That sticker will remain in place as long as the bicycle remains in my possession.  Why?

Because it is likely the only such sticker I will ever have on a bicycle.