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  1. #1
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    updating classic road bike

    Hi --

    I've come back to biking after a while, and currently commute on an 06 Rockhopper comp with semi-slick tires. I like that it's tough, modern and comfy.

    In the back of the garage, I have a late-80's road bike...it's a "Miele", which is steel framed (I think it's Chromoly) and from what I remember, very quick but with fragile wheels (I'm 6'3, and was close to 250 when i rode it but am 220 now). It's got old friction gears, old wheels etc, but I think it's in good shape.

    I've become pretty good at minor things (adjustments, insalling stuff) but have steered away from the harder-core stuff like truing wheels, installing new derailleurs, etc. Here's what I'm thinking I'd like to do...basically turn this into a second option commuting / weekend tourer, by doing the following:

    - get and install new wheels and tires
    - upgrade friction gears to the "clicky" ones (is that just the shifter, or will it need a new derailleur)
    - update other stuff as indicated (cables, chain, main bearing, etc).

    So...how hard would it be, what sort of budget should I ask the wife for, and would you do it if you were me? would you do it all yourself, or just some and use the bike store for the rest? How tough can I make it with new wheels?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Updating a classic? Sweet. See this thread New components on a vintage frame?. To put a modern 9 or 10spd group on it, you'll probably have to have the rear triangle spread. It's called "cold setting" but that's just a fancy term for "bending the stays." Sheldon Brown's website shows you how to do it yourself, but I felt alot better about spending $35 to have a local framebuilder do it correctly.

    And, as you say, you'll want new wheels and shifters and all those other bits. I suppose you could do it as cheaply as a couple of hundred dollars all the way to several thousand if you went all Carbon Record.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  3. #3
    Life is short Ride hard
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    THe "clicky" ones are called indexed shifting. You need to replace your drive train to indexed? I am trying to go new school with my old school cycle
    The Ferrari ('05 Bianchi Forza) had a flat (Stupid Glass) the Japanese wagon ('77 Nishiki with Arkel Utility Basket) was in the body shop (On my bench being repainted...repent ye rust)
    so I took the SUV ( Cannondale V2000 Active 100SL)

  4. #4
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    The answer is 95% of the time, yes, it is very possible. Photos and/or more details of your particular bike will allow us to point out any potential pitfalls that you may be up against. The biggest two:

    1) Wheel size - and thus - brake reach
    2) current Shift lever style

    There have been numerous threads about such an idea, and lots of info in them to start with. Again, specific information about your bike will be needed to get an idea of any real problems or if its really worth persuing. Then again, if the bike rides great, then it's always worth it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    ok, you've convinced me. will do some stuff moving to dig it out and take some digital shots this weekend. stay tuned.

  6. #6
    Senior Member euroford's Avatar
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    IMO: first thing, get it all cleaned up, replace the cables, housings, bar tape, repack the bearings, probobly new tires, brake pads to, or anything else thats actually busted, then go ride it.

    i still have the orginal friction 6spd drivetrain on my 20 year old bianchi. i ride the thing every day, over 200 miles a week. initially i was dead set on upgrading the whole thing to campy centaur, and though i would still like to i've currently shelved the plans in favor of building up a new mountain bike. i replaced the downtube friction shifters with bar end shifters, really i'm pretty dang happy with it.

    if i upgraded, sure it would be nicer, but i seriously doubt it would be any faster.

    one thing i did do was replace the steel fork with a carbon model, was over 1.5lbs of weight savings.

  7. #7
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    here she is...

    Okay...dug it out.

    Frame has some nicks in it, but is in good shape. it had fenders and a rack, which I took off, gave her a good bath and snapped some shots.

    The frame has a sticker that reads "High Manganese Steel / Ogi original frame tubes".

    Wheels are 28 X 1 5/8 X 1 1/4.

    Crank is shot (mid set, teeth are bent) and the pedals are temporaries I put on just before I put it in storage.

    Brakes and derailleurs are all Shimanos. After a clean up, she shifted nicely.

    And -- I'm really surprised at how light it is. When I put it next to the mountain commuter (picture also attached) it was a little lower and a good 3 inches longer.

    I'm getting excited here.

    Here's what I' think I must do:

    - retape bars
    - new crank
    - new wheels with a deep V
    - new tires and tubes

    Optional:

    - new derailleurs, shifters
    -- new brakes
    - new forks

    ...so: what do you guys think? Is it worth it over trying to buy, say a new Sequoia at a late-season sale?

    If I set $400 or so as a budget, what could i do?

    Pictures below
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    400$ you could buy a whole sora bike, and tranfer all the parts over.
    for a cheaper update;
    i would aim for 8 speed for commuting and light use, as 8 speed stuff is cheaper and very durable. no point in a 30 speed bike for pottering around

    new crank: sugino (xd) 70$
    [new wheels: find some with an 8/9 speed shimano freehub, and some decent rims. i'm sure qpb have some.]
    cassette for new wheels
    note; you could just buy a seven speed freewheel, and have you rear wheel redished. much cheaper!
    shifters: if you buy new sti shifter, you will need to buy new derailleurs. this is the expensive bit. if i were doing that, i would get sora shifters in 7 or 8 speed, an alivio rear mech and maybe a sora front mech. keep costs down!
    but you could just buy some indexed down tube levers. in that case, you would have to buy a near rear mech (like the alivio), and keep using the old fron mech. the reasons i suggest the mtb mech are that they are cheap, and that they can cope with the high gears on mtb cogs (like 32). these are nice to have!

    put the fenders back on; this is an absolute must. you can'r ride in winter without them, and if this is your back-up bike, it may as well be your foul weather bike too. whilst you are at it, get some reflectors!

    if you don't buy sti lever, get some new brake levers. tektro aero levers are cheap, and nice (they are shaped around campagnolo ergo levers).

    also, note that campagnolo ergo levers are much cheaper than shimano sti levers. there are way of running say 7/8 speed shimano with these levers, and this should probably be investigated

    dave

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrien
    Okay...dug it out.

    Frame has some nicks in it, but is in good shape. it had fenders and a rack, which I took off, gave her a good bath and snapped some shots.

    The frame has a sticker that reads "High Manganese Steel / Ogi original frame tubes".

    Wheels are 28 X 1 5/8 X 1 1/4.

    Crank is shot (mid set, teeth are bent) and the pedals are temporaries I put on just before I put it in storage.

    Brakes and derailleurs are all Shimanos. After a clean up, she shifted nicely.

    And -- I'm really surprised at how light it is. When I put it next to the mountain commuter (picture also attached) it was a little lower and a good 3 inches longer.

    I'm getting excited here.

    Here's what I' think I must do:

    - retape bars
    - new crank
    - new wheels with a deep V
    - new tires and tubes

    Optional:

    - new derailleurs, shifters
    -- new brakes
    - new forks

    ...so: what do you guys think? Is it worth it over trying to buy, say a new Sequoia at a late-season sale?

    If I set $400 or so as a budget, what could i do?

    Pictures below
    You have three options, restoration, rebuid or replace.

    Restoration

    Your brakes are probably okay -- replace the pads though, after 20 years they are probably hard as a rock, new tires (the size should be on the sidewall, if they are 27" you can still get those, although 700mm is more common these days), replace the tubes as well. Get the shop to overhaul the hubs (new balls), and true and tension the wheels.

    New bar tape, new cables and housings, overhaul the headset and bottom bracket, replace the chainrings, crank and freewheel cluster, and put on some nice rat trap pedals with clips. Pop back on the rack and fenders, and you have a nice distance touring bike. You might be able to get away spending under $200 if you do all the work yourself, to around $400 if the shop does all the work.

    Okay, maybe you do spend $400, it's kinda cool to ride around on a retro steel bike, especially when you clean the clock of some guy on a $5,000 CF bike

    Rebuild

    Strip everything off the frame, then using a nice mixture of experienced and new components, build up a new bike on the existing frame. This can cost a lot more, most guys who do a rebuild end up spending $1000 or more, and they do all their own labour.

    Replace

    For well under $1000 you can buy a nice new road bike, with all of the latest features, sell the old bike on Craigs list or ebay, if you get even $50 for it, that can go into your new bike budget.

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