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Old 07-07-02, 12:16 AM   #1
oceanrider
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upgrades practical for old bike?

I don't pretend to know much about mechanics so I need some input from some of you experts. I've got an old 10 speed, circa late 80's early 90's, low end Nishiki. It's got no-name brake components with the old fashioned safety levers, steel rims and gut ripper index/friction shifters on the stem. It's a Suntour accushift gruppo. The frame is a ladies frame of high tensile steel. Because of the placement of the shifters, the shifting is pretty sloppy.

What I'd like to do with this bike in the immediate is:
(a) change out the shifters to???
(b) switch to aluminum wheels for better braking in the wet
(c) get rid of the brake safety levers and change to ???

later I'd like to go to a triple chainring.

Can these things be done to this bike? The frame doesn't sound worth much but I'm looking at buying a new bike which will be a huge sacrifice if I'm able to do it at all. The thing with this frame is that it fits my small frame like a glove. I'm not looking for a pro or high comp level bike. Something that performs around the same level as say the Trek 1200. What do you all think?
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Old 07-07-02, 12:39 AM   #2
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Yes, all those things can be done to the bike. You would, however have to replace the shifters with Suntour because Suntour equipment was not compatible with Shimano --the current standard. It might be easier to replace the Freewheel (the rear cogs) with Shimano and then you could use their shifters as well. But everything else is do able. It might be more expensive than the bike is really worth though.
Of course, if you can find used parts, the savings would be considerable.
Checking yard sales, may be a way of finding what you want already built and cheaper than you could do it yourself. Or transfer the parts onto the Nishiki.
How it would compare to a TREK I don't know.
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Old 07-07-02, 03:48 AM   #3
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Honestly your better of buying a new bike,
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Old 07-07-02, 06:26 AM   #4
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As I said in past discussions, when first you wanted an upgrade bike from your comfort bike for $500, and then got the ten speed for $100, spend the money and get a real quality bike that you love and will last you for a long time.

You obviously are in this for the long haul, you obviously love biking. Riding on a bike you love absolutely makes a difference. Treat yourself. You deserve it.
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Old 07-07-02, 08:44 AM   #5
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Oceanrider,
Personally I can see right off the bat at a total expense of around $80 to 100 labor included. Since you want to relocate shifter's on a ladies frame, the only other alternative short of STI (not reccomended) is to go with drop bar shifter's. Eventually you want to go with a triple chainring up front which may include a different b.b spindle, and front der.
IMHO it is not worth the expense. I am for Orguasch's opinion.
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Old 07-07-02, 08:54 AM   #6
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Oooooooooook. Not worth it. I knew it deep down but in my own way, I love this bike. Maybe it's because I haven't ridden anything else and have no basis for comparison. I'm looking at 2 bikes:

Trek 1200
Giant ocr3

Probably somewhere around October I'll be riding with new wheels.
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Old 07-07-02, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by oceanrider
Oooooooooook. Not worth it. I knew it deep down but in my own way, I love this bike. Maybe it's because I haven't ridden anything else and have no basis for comparison. I'm looking at 2 bikes:

Trek 1200
Giant ocr3

Probably somewhere around October I'll be riding with new wheels.
yeah as one of the member have said treat yourself you deserved it
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Old 07-07-02, 11:43 AM   #8
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While I agree with many who say "get a new bike," I disagree due to my experience with an old Schwinn LeToure, which I still have and am continuing to upgrade. Perhaps what I've done there will help you out too. I got old, friction bar-end shifters for the Schwinn, to replace the original shifters, for under $10 at a shop with old equipment. I got a $25 whole bicycle, with alluminum alloy 27" tires to replace the steel rims I had (but continue to use--they are almost indestructable). I got new aluminum drop bars this way too. I reploced the brakes with newer old-style brake levers a bike shop almost gave away. Recently (and I'll say more about this in a new thread later), I replaced the stem with a much longer stem (see the Rivendell Bicycles web site for an explaination). I got a front bag for under $20, because it is now unusable with the new stems. In short, there is much that can be done, and if you happen to love the feel of this particular bike, you can make it work. Get a set of mechanic's tools, and work on it. The old bikes can be maintained more easily than the newer ones, due to the much simpler components. If nothing else, then you have a "beater bike" you don't mind taking public transportation, or to town, for fear of it being stolen. If you get a new bike, then you can still use this one on those occasions where taking the new one would make you uncomfortable. Oh yes, go to a used-book shop, and look up the older manuals on bicycles to get a feel for maintenance and what you can change. Some titles to shoot for are:

Raymond Bridge, Bike Touring , The Sierra Club Guide to Outings on Wheels, 1979.

John Forrester, Effective Cycling .

Gary Ferguson, Freewheeling, Bicycling the Open Road , The Mountaineers, 1984.

Clarence W. Coles and Harold T. Glenn, Glenn's Complete Bicycle Manual, Selection, Maintenance and Repair , Crown Publishers, NY, 1973.

Good luck,

John
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Old 07-07-02, 12:45 PM   #9
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That's an excellent idea John. I would sure hate to part with it totally and it could be of good use for me to learn basic bike mechanics.
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Old 07-07-02, 04:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by oceanrider
Oooooooooook. Not worth it. I knew it deep down but in my own way, I love this bike. Maybe it's because I haven't ridden anything else and have no basis for comparison. I'm looking at 2 bikes:

Trek 1200
Giant ocr3

Probably somewhere around October I'll be riding with new wheels.
Don't forget to check out Lemond - great bikes.
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Old 07-07-02, 04:43 PM   #11
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If: 1) the frame fits you properly; 2) you genuinely enjoy the bike; 3) you can patiently accumulate the parts used (eBay, thrift stores, friends, etc.); and 4) you can do some of the work yourself, then (and only then) go for the upgrade, although I would feel much more comfortable recommending this if you had a higher-quality frame, such as an old Austro-Daimler mixte with 531 tubing. I have done plenty of 10-speed to 12-, 14-, 15-, or 18-speed conversions, numerous brake, derailleur, wheel, and shifter swaps, etc., but I also have a goodly assortment of tools and spare parts and genuinely enjoy experimenting with bicycle rebuilds and don't get frustrated by an occasional dead end.
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Old 07-07-02, 04:56 PM   #12
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I had an old 1970s bike from new, unbutted chromoly, nice enough but not worth an upgrade. When I needed a decent utility bike, one with no emotional attatchment in case of theft, I bought a slightly better one used, butted chromoly with lovely handling. It started out with basic components, but over the years I have upgraded it to mid-range Shimano.

The best upgrade I made was the brakes, from Weinman sidepull to Shimano 105 dual pivot. The difference in stopping power and control was unbelievable.

You could fit out some decent components and transfer them to a decent frame when you can pick one up. Just upgrading a hi-ten steel frame is probably not worth the effort.
Shimano 105, with bar end shifters would work. Does your bike take 700c or 27" wheels ? 27" is not worth upgrading.
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Old 07-07-02, 05:50 PM   #13
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Honestly, from your description, it sure sounds like a $25 bike. Why bother upgrading? After you spend $400 in parts, you are still going to have a boat-anchor heavy mixte frame bike that's worth, what, maybe $50?

Sounds like money thrown away to me.........
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Old 07-09-02, 09:58 PM   #14
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Well,actually Ijbike.................the suntour and shimano 6 and 7 speed index stuff is compatible. am running several different mixes of the stuff.
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Old 07-09-02, 10:03 PM   #15
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oceanrider....you won't get to trek 1200 level with that piece of crap. It will be a black hole money disposal and will still be a POC. Year old trek 1000s are going for $450 new.There are other similar deals around on low end closouts that will give you alot more for your $$$.
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Old 07-10-02, 07:35 AM   #16
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Hey, I resemble that remark Pokey!! I've put several hundred miles on it with no mishap or problem thus far. and I have every intention of keeping it as a beater bike. But I do understand now that it's not worth trying to upgrade. My list of prospective bikes is now:

Giant OCR2
Trek 1200
Cannondale R500

I have lots of time to check them out and my Nishiki will get me through till October or November I'm sure.
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