I've been commuting since August and have since put in @ 1500 miles on my 1991 Diamond Back Ascent EX. Probably more miles than it had ever been ridden in its entire life. I've looked at and ridden about a dozen new bikes with the thought of more modern ride. Parts are a ***** to find for this thing. My verdict? I like the Diamond Back's ride. Why not do it up with new components? Reduce, reuse, recycle, etc. So, I want to build myself a bomb-proof commuter bike. I want to emphasize dependability and long-term easy availability of replacement parts. Here's the current configuration and pics. Any suggestions on new components? Right now I'm running it as a 1x7 and I'm thinking I want to keep it that way (Portland winters are hell on the drive train and the simpler the better). I'd like to start with a new drivetrain, probably a single-speed downhill or cyclo-cross crankset with a 39-40 chainring up front. I like running a seven speed cassette in the rear because you can run a wider chain, but maybe I'll have to go 8-speed for parts availability? I'd prefer a 11-? with maybe a 34 bailout cog.
Frame: Diamond Back Ascent EX Tru-Temper Chromoly; Wheelset: Araya RX-7 rims w/ Forté Fast City ST/K 1.25x26 tires; Derailure: Shimano Deore LX FD/RD-M550 (only using rear); Front Crank: Shimano FC-M550 175mm w/ Shimano SG C-36 chainwheel (originally 46-36-24); Rear Casette Shimano G30-26-23-20-17-15-13; Brakes: Shimano RB/BR-M650 Center Pull callipers; Shifter/Brake Levers: shimano STI-M060.
Front and rear hubs need new cups. Shimano Deore LX FB-M550 and HB-M550. Both pitted and couldn't find them. Bracket cups showing excess wear and are going to need replacement. I don't mind the cranks themselves, but would like to get a new chainring (39/40 tooth). There are a several broken teeth on chainring (I have vague memory of a pretty bad spill in the early 90's, probably the same one that broke the left shifter). Couldn't find a replacement STI shifter/lever so I just hacksawed the shifter off to run it 1x7 while I purchased another trigger shifter, then ealized I didn't need the other rings. Steel chainring for longevity? Have lost the chain a couple times on downhills since converting to 1x7. Chainguide? I hate adjusting the cantilevers. Despite following the exact shimano instructions (found a mountain bike maintenance book from 1992 w/ original instructions) for installation, it still seems like magic when they actually get dialed in. And even more so if they stay that way for a hundred miles.
Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
Originally Posted by I_bRAD
For the shifters- if you're sticking with 7sp (which is a good idea in my book) I'd ebay some XT or Deore thumb shifters and you're good to go for a long, long time.
Yup, and if you find the opportunity to pick up a second set, grab 'em just to keep for spares. I've got a new-in-the-box set of Ultegra 9-speed STI's in my shop just because Shimano tends to discontinue better quality after market parts that don't match the current standard.