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Old 09-12-05, 06:07 AM   #1
rizzlaboy
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Hello everyone, i need some help and advice please, so here goes...
I have a steel framed, touring bike, not sure of the make or age, i'm guessing 80's? Anyway after having a new MTB stolen i have had this bike for over 18 months and the anti-theft messures are working like a charm (hand painted frame and old style centre pulls seem to deter the thieves). I use this bike to cycle to and from work and everything else, all year round. Purchase price including new tyres £35 in LBS, maintenance costs so far, oil, grease, new chain, recycled RD, recyled freewheel £10 fitted, new cables, some spongy grip things on the drop bars $5, rear panniers £20 off ebay, small tin of paint and paint brush £3. Haha.... Love my bike...

So to my holidays, last year did the tweed valley cycle route and had a great time,this year did the great glen cycle route from fortwilliam to inverness and the lochs and glens cycle route from inverness to glasgow, with a small detour to nairn due to poor map reading or bad signposting or combination of both. Camped out and cycled for the whole time away and a great time was had by all...

The bike stood up reasonably well to this, but the holiday highlighted a few problems and this is where i need some advice.I like the gearing on my bike under normal conditions, very easy to ride in hilly edinburgh
and on weekend trips, but once under the load of panniers and camping equipment some of the steeper hills when i was on holiday were hard, just ran out of low gears (problem 1). The bike has two chain rings 53/40 teeth (stamped with sucino 52) and the screw on freewheel has 5 cogs: smallest/ largest = 15/34 teeth, friction shift on downtubes shimano altus, FD is altus and RD unkown MTB. So to solve problem 1 without changing too many things? I like the idea of adding a third chainring and i would gain 5 lower gears, problem solved???

Problem 2 involves the unknown MTB rear mech, while changing gear on very steep hill the bottom jockey wheel sprang out and rolled into the bushes by the side of a forestry commission track on the banks of loch ness, oh the fun and games deciding what to do in the middle of no where, but after a few minutes of looking there it was in the undergrowth. The mech just bolted back together and off we went,back in the game...haha! So with no idea what caused the problem, apart from maybe bad gear changing, unsure of how to solve the problem, all i know is that i dont want that to happen again

Probem 3 is about the braking, i replaced the cables and fitted new brake pads and the improvement was noticable and okay for daily cycling, but scottish hills added a new dimension in fear. The brakes are weimann vainquer 750 centrepulls with those strange levers that extend across the top of the bars for 2 ways of pulling brakes. These rattle incesantly too. I am going to invest in Tektro dual caliper long reach brakes to get round my full length mudguards and 27' wheels. I would appreciatte if anyone can suggest the cheapest online place to get these.
Also advice about levers would be appreciatted, cheep and cheerful will do, but not rattly. Want a brake setup i can squeeze from the top bar/hoods and wont require me to squeeze so hard i stretch the cables like i do now. oh and let me stop in a distance that doesnt make friends think i am being funny with them as i sail past and stop ten yards past them!!!!

Problem 4 is about riding position, the quill stem is at maximum height but i feel my shoulders are too low when on the tops, extending the height by and inch or so would be fine - how can this be acheived? is there longer quill stems out there?

Problem 5 is pedals, old stylee metal ones have nearly destroyed one pair of trainers, and i felt the pedals digging in to my feet towards the end of the trip any suggestions there?

Problem 6, front rack and panniers to prevent my bike from trying to lie down at the back and lift the front wheel in the air when negotiating through gates or turning sharply, this was a problem for my friend too. Not while riding but when off the bike. So front panniers seem like a must to balance the weight, doh! should have thought of that before going away! So what is recommended in the world of front racks and bags?

I know it seems like a big list of problems, but most, i would assume, can be easily overcome.
Dont want top end kit costing a fortune, just tried and tested cheapo kit. Dont mind reclaming / recycling parts from dead bikes (plenty here in edinbro'), or waiting for ebay! The main problem and the one that phases me the most is the gearing, my friend cruised past me on the long, steep hills as i ground my way up - upside is my legs are buff! Haha...

all the best and look forward to hearing some sound advice, thanks....

Last edited by rizzlaboy; 09-12-05 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 09-12-05, 10:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzlaboy
(problem 1). The bike has two chain rings 53/40 teeth (stamped with sucino 52) and the screw on freewheel has 5 cogs: smallest/ largest = 15/34 teeth, friction shift on downtubes shimano altus, FD is altus and RD unkown MTB. So to solve problem 1 without changing too many things? I like the idea of adding a third chainring and i would gain 5 lower gears, problem solved???
If the Sugino crank is a 110 BCD model you can replace the 40 tooth with a 34 tooth. If not you might want a triple. The problem is you have to change the front & rear derís. That is probably more money than you want to spend.


Quote:
Problem 2 involves the unknown MTB rear mech, while changing gear on very steep hill the bottom jockey wheel sprang out and rolled into the bushes by the side of a forestry commission track on the banks of loch ness, oh the fun and games deciding what to do in the middle of no where, but after a few minutes of looking there it was in the undergrowth. The mech just bolted back together and off we went,back in the game...haha! So with no idea what caused the problem, apart from maybe bad gear changing, unsure of how to solve the problem, all i know is that i dont want that to happen again.
Buy an new rear derailleur.


Quote:
Probem 3 is about the braking, i replaced the cables and fitted new brake pads and the improvement was noticable and okay for daily cycling, but scottish hills added a new dimension in fear. The brakes are weimann vainquer 750 centrepulls with those strange levers that extend across the top of the bars for 2 ways of pulling brakes. These rattle incesantly too. I am going to invest in Tektro dual caliper long reach brakes to get round my full length mudguards and 27' wheels. I would appreciatte if anyone can suggest the cheapest online place to get these.
Also advice about levers would be appreciatted, cheep and cheerful will do, but not rattly. Want a brake setup i can squeeze from the top bar/hoods and wont require me to squeeze so hard i stretch the cables like i do now. oh and let me stop in a distance that doesnt make friends think i am being funny with them as i sail past and stop ten yards past them.
Did you replace the housing besides the inner cables? Did you replace the straddle wires on the brakes themselves? Take the suicide levers off the brake levers and you will notice instantly improved braking.

Quote:
Problem 4 is about riding position, the quill stem is at maximum height but i feel my shoulders are too low when on the tops, extending the height by and inch or so would be fine - how can this be acheived? is there longer quill stems out there?
Yes, Nitto makes a 210 mm tall stem. Try ebay. They arenít cheap though.

Quote:
Problem 5 is pedals, old stylee metal ones have nearly destroyed one pair of trainers, and i felt the pedals digging in to my feet towards the end of the trip any suggestions there? .
Yes, invest in a new set of pedals and real cycling shoes.

Quote:
Problem 6, front rack and panniers to prevent my bike from trying to lie down at the back and lift the front wheel in the air when negotiating through gates or turning sharply, this was a problem for my friend too. Not while riding but when off the bike. So front panniers seem like a must to balance the weight, doh! should have thought of that before going away! So what is recommended in the world of front racks and bags? .
Nothing I can recommend here.

Tim
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Old 09-12-05, 10:49 AM   #3
schang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzlaboy
I like the gearing on my bike under normal conditions, very easy to ride in hilly edinburgh
and on weekend trips, but once under the load of panniers and camping equipment some of the steeper hills when i was on holiday were hard, just ran out of low gears (problem 1). The bike has two chain rings 53/40 teeth (stamped with sucino 52) and the screw on freewheel has 5 cogs: smallest/ largest = 15/34 teeth, friction shift on downtubes shimano altus, FD is altus and RD unkown MTB. So to solve problem 1 without changing too many things? I like the idea of adding a third chainring and i would gain 5 lower gears, problem solved???
To add an inner chainring to your double crank, you will need a "tripleizer", which generally entails a instaling a longer BB spindle, or possibly replacing your BB entirely. A new FD might also be desirable (or necessary if you are index shifting in front). For loaded touring a triple seems appropriate, but if you decide triplifying your front crank is too much trouble, maybe you should just swap out chainrings before your tour? Something like 46/34 would probably be better, though not as good as a real granny of course.

Sheldon Brown on tripleizers: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/c...gs.html#willow

There are several other good pages, just google "tripleizer".


Quote:
Also advice about levers would be appreciatted, cheep and cheerful will do, but not rattly. Want a brake setup i can squeeze from the top bar/hoods and wont require me to squeeze so hard i stretch the cables like i do now. oh and let me stop in a distance that doesnt make friends think i am being funny with them as i sail past and stop ten yards past them!!!!
I don't know a ton about centerpulls, so can't help you with that bit. But for the levers, get some new aero-style brake levers. They have better mechanical advantage and will let you brake pretty well from the hoods. Tektro 221A or 200A, or Shimano Tiagra are affordable and worth looking at. If you still want to also be able to brake from the tops, find some inline cyclocross style "interruptor" levers -- they can be had for ~$20 (though you can also find some that cost lots more).


Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzlaboy
Problem 4 is about riding position, the quill stem is at maximum height but i feel my shoulders are too low when on the tops, extending the height by and inch or so would be fine - how can this be acheived? is there longer quill stems out there?
Yes. Go to http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/handlebars_stems_tape/ -- the Nitto Technomic Deluxe is 19cm tall and the Nitto Technomic is 22cm tall. Remember that you will need at least 5 - 7 cm inside the steerer tube; that will give you an idea of the maximum height available. Rivendell is also a good source in general for parts and upgrades for your particular vintage of bike, so I encourage you to poke around the site. (Although since it sounds like you are not in the continental US, they will not be the ideal vendor for you.)
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Old 09-13-05, 04:44 AM   #4
rizzlaboy
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cs1 & shang, thank you for the advice - you guys certainly know your stuff.

After taking off the suicide levers and testing the braking performance i have decided to invest in a pair of tektro dual pivot long reach calipers from here: http://www.dotbike.com/Products/Prod...aspx?Track=FGL
very reasonable price, but without the quick release mechanism. Don't think i will really need that function. Also Shimano Tiagra Aero Brake Levers off ebay. I will see how i go with this set up before thinking about the interruptor levers.

The stem problem sounds easily solvable just a case of hunting down the right deal
Solved the rack problem with a lowrider front rack for £12

Adding a chain ring seems involved and tricky, but worth pursuing, already have the fd & rd (shimano xts xc) ready to put on, these are off a MTB and for indexed shifting, as i am sticking with downtube friction shifters i hope the fd / rd will be okay. only problem with the rd is that it is threaded into the frame with an allen bolt and my frame doesn't have the threaded hole hmmm! the old rd is held on by the axle nut. So i need some kind of adaptor i think?

I don't think i will be doing any more trips this year so i have plenty of time to get this sorted (probably by posting here. lol).

One thing i have learned from this is that my bike knowledge isn't too good beyond basic maintenance. The solution i think might be to volunteer here:
http://www.thebikestation.org.uk/
this way my knowledge improves and i can give something back

Anyway thanks for the advice and if you have any solution to the rd adaptor problem please post, thanks a lot
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