tuning an old "sport tourer"
Yesterday I scored an old Shogun late 80s road bike off craigslist. It was stored in a garage, so it's in amazing condition for its age, quite rideable as-is, and the frame is made of Tange 900 cromoly. I bought it b/c I wanted a bike with: 1) enough clearance for fenders, to ride around in the wet Seattle fall/winter, 2) more stability than an old, fast 'racing'-type Fuji League I have.
Being one of those old "sport tourers", it's a 12-speed with 27 inch aluminum (not steel) wheels. Heavier than the Fuji, but not ridiculously so. I'm not hoping to win any speed races--but having said that, are there any easy tuning tips or cheap upgrades I could do to get as much speed as I can out of it?
I've already checked that wheels are fairly true and not rubbing brake pads, and oiled the chain and derailleurs.
Thanks everyone who's replied to my occasional questions! BF is a pretty amazing resource for beginners like me.
If it was mine, i'd do some modifications to make it more useful/personalised. Rear rack perhaps, other things befitting a light weight touring bike. I wouldn't be worried about speed, I'm sure it's plenty fast enough as it is.
The Improbable Bulk
Check and/or grease all bearings.
You may be able to find some slightly narrower tires. What size is it running? My guess is 1 1/4, you can go down to 1 1/8, and depending on the rims, maybe even 1"... If they are hooked rims, you may be able to go with higher pressure, if not, stay below about 70.
Depending on where in Seattle you are riding, if you are climbing hills anything to save weight would be helpful... whether on the bike or the rider.
Not much else you can do.
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Death fork? Naaaah!!
I'm building up a similar Shogun for my daughter. The first thing I'd do is replace the brake levers with a set of low-end 'Aero' levers (like the Tektro R100/200) and the pads with Koolstop Continentials.
After that, it's just preference. I'd go 7-speed myself, with either barcons or Take-Offs. And if you go 7 speed bifters are an option as well.
highlyselassie: yes, I do plan to add a rear rack. It doesn't have mounts on the seatstays, oddly, so I think I need p-clips. I wonder how much weight the 27 inch tires can handle at 70 psi...
Darwin: thanks for the tips. Not sure if they are hooked rims. One is a Weinmann 215, the other an unspecified Araya. (The etching on the Araya says "27 x 1 1/4 w/o Japan." I wonder what w/o means.) Guess I should deflate the tires and check the rims at some point. They're running at 80-ish right now.
top506: those Aero levers sound interesting; I'd been wondering if there are levers with better mechanical advantage. I'll definitely keep my eye out for a pair. I'm not crazy about the idea of bifters (brifters?). Sounds like more stuff that can potentially break, and I'm on a tight budget.
100% USDA certified
Brifters aren't breakable, but a pair of those will cost more than the whole bike. So yeah.
The Tektros are niiiice. I run a pair on my old 80s Schwinn Super Sport. They're comfortable as heck, and shaped just like Campy levers except of course without the shift levers. The hoods are grippy. And they look good as well. Not to mention they brake a lot smoother than the old Dia-Compes I had on there.
One possibility is to substitute 700c wheels for the current 27". You will have to be sure the brake pads will adjust the required 4 mm lower to make this change but it opens up an entire new world if it works. It will also provide even better clearance for fenders. I was able to do this on an early '80's Trek that originally came with 27" wheels.
Since the bike is currently a 6-speed, I expect the rear dropouts are 126 mm so you could fit a 7-speed freehub wheel and use cassettes. 7-speed indexing downtube shifters are still available and that would be a low-cost upgrade. You could even cold set or flex it to take a 130 mm 8/9/10-speed hub.
Another worthwhile addition is to spray the interior of the frame, stays and fork blades with Frame Saver or Amsoil HDMP for rust protection. This should be manditory in Seattle.
Of course, overhaul and relube all hub, headset and bottom bracket bearings before riding it at all.