In the metaphysics of identity, the ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether a ship—standing for an object in general—that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.
Around 2005 my friends pulled a bike out of the tip and very kindly gave it to me:
It was originally built in China by Magna bikes, a company which now seems to be out of business. They mostly sold directly to supermarkets. Pretty quickly I replaced the tires with slicks:
This bike went on a ton of journeys, including my first century in the North York Moors. I did that with a hiking rucksack, a tent lashed to the top-tube, and no panniers. After that I learnt my lesson and added a rack:
This was the bike that taught me how to fix bikes. Here you can see a nice shiny seatpost and new cantilever brakes. I think this was in Wales:
Eventually I took the bike over too big of a hump on MTB trails in Bristol and cracked the downtube. The guys at Jake’s bikes in Bristol were super helpful in setting up a new frame. We reamed the headtube, fitted a brand new headset, all sorts. Modelled here by Rob on his way to Number 10 Downing Street!
I made a nice waterproof pannier. This was probably peak infatuation with bikes.
At this point I was using the bike to commute on average two hours per day in central London. God knows what I was doing with these speakers.
Finally I moved to America, and left the bike in London. Now, nearly fifteen years later, it (fittingly) lives on a boat and is still doing work.
As far as I am aware, every single part of the original bike has now been replaced. Complete transformation from crankset to cables.