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  1. #1
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    shimano 105/biospace era upgrade question

    bear with me, 'cause i'm a newbie here & newbie to dealing with these sort of mechanics (not a newbie to mechanics or bikes in general)....I just got a solid, but well-dated (technologically) Cannondale road bike for my wife. It still has the original 105 componentry, 6-speed rear, downtube shifters, and double front biospace chainrings. I'd like to add a triple chainring in the front & if it's at all possible, I'd be interested in looking at upgrading to at least a 7-speed rear (for the purpose of being able to add integrated brake/shifter controls). My question is what information do I need to get from the bike & what do I need to research to be able to answer. In truth, I don't even know the model #, but I guess I'll start with a serial number. I'm hoping I can find inexpensive cast-offs that can be used as pretty decent upgrades for her bike 'til she's ready for something more modern. Thanks in advance.

    -Chris

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    My advice is to leave it like it is. If she doesn't like reaching for the shifters put bar ends on it. For the costs of the parts you are talking about you can buy her a better bike when she wears this one out. Roger

  3. #3
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
    My advice is to leave it like it is. If she doesn't like reaching for the shifters put bar ends on it. For the costs of the parts you are talking about you can buy her a better bike when she wears this one out. Roger
    I love barcons but 6 sp are impossible to find. 7 sp are available on ebay but usually go anywhere from $50 to $70. I'm sure the spacing is 126mm in the rear. So, you can't really spread it. You might just want to strip the bike and sell the parts. Then you can use the money to buy a new bike.

    Tim
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  4. #4
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Is it freewheel or freehub? 7s freewheels are easier to come by than finding a Uniglide 7s cogset with the range you want. You could add a megarange freewheel instead of the triple. Cost ~ $20 if freewheel.

    If you do go megarange (or triple) you'd (probably) have to replace the rear derailleur. Cost ~$25

    Changing out the crankset. You probably have a cup&cone 115mm spindle. A triple will require a longer spindle - but I don't know the length of the top of my head. You could probably find a new spindle, or replace the BB with a new cartridge (UN-54) for about $25. Crankset? If you're lucky you might find someone to swap you a triple for your double in the C&V 'for trade' thread.

    7s STI - you're on your own there. Shimano still makes the 2300 series for x-mart bikes. I have no idea the cost
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  5. #5
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    thanks. both replies I was sorta thinking. probably won't strip/part/sell because the bike was 125$ and probably worth it/just fine for one (if not two, in time) of my kids to use as-is. Other than some cleaning, an tweaking some adjustments here & there, there's nothing that it needs. bar-located shifters were pretty much a "gravy" idea, it's the front triple chain ring that I was really counting on adding....that should be pretty low-tech, right? (EDIT: just saw the above comment.....thanks!)

    Oh, based on a quick ebay look of comparable bikes, it looks like it's an SR500....the PO (bought new) thinks about '85 vintage.
    Last edited by fiataccompli; 07-31-08 at 08:22 AM. Reason: comment added while I was writing

  6. #6
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Triple is actually a fair bit of work to add: you'd need a new crank (105 double cranks from that era aren't drilled for an inner chainring) as well as replace the front and rear derailers to have capacity for a wider range of gears.

    It's probably cheaper, and less work, to just start her on something more modern now. I would also say, keep the bike as-is, the amount of work and cost of upgrade isn't really worth it compared to just buying a more recent bike with at least 8-speed plus on-bar shifting (STI or bar-end shifters). You can get something along these lines for $300 or so, to start. If you can use the C-dale for one of your kids, that's just gravy

  7. #7
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    With a triple in the front, would I have to do anything to the rear? (18 speed is fine...don't need no stinkin' 24 speeds! ...lol)

    But, yes, I realize (hope, at least) that unless I get crazy I should be able to get my money back out of the bike if I need to.

  8. #8
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    To go to a triple on the front you need a long cage RD for the extra chain wrap to handle the difference of teeth between the large and small rings on the front.

    If you need to get some good climbing gears cheaply, you may want to find an old Sugino (or similar) 110mm bcd front crank, and rig up a compact double 48/34 or something, and get pretty low gearing with minimal changes. You should be able to do that while retaining the current BB, and just lower the FD a little and adjustments. Total cost, crank and rings...

    I have done a similar modifications to a vintage bike to get lower gearing.
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  9. #9
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    If you need to get some good climbing gears cheaply, you may want to find an old Sugino (or similar) 110mm bcd front crank, and rig up a compact double 48/34 or something, and get pretty low gearing with minimal changes. You should be able to do that while retaining the current BB, and just lower the FD a little and adjustments. Total cost, crank and rings...
    Very good point, I should have thought of recommending a compact double.

    I actually have a Sugino VP 110mm bcd crankset that I was planning to sell. 170mm arms. I've got a 34t (brand-new) aluminum chainring, but the only large rings I've got for 110mm BCD are either expensive (old XTR, new FSA) or made of steel.

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    Once I thought about upgrading my 7 speed and the math came out prohibitively expensive, not when the current setup works perfectly.

  11. #11
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    OK....so I'm on the hunt for that. Cursory research (plus, what you are saying, if I understand correctly) seems to say all I need to replace is the crank and (obviously) the gears. So, then here's the super newbie question; if I find one, how will I know it will work with what I have on the bike now?

  12. #12
    cs1
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    So many great options have been discussed so far. Here's another one for low gearing on the cheap. How about an old MTB triple crank without the granny gear. It is basically a compact double.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

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    If u change the gearing, u may also have to change the RD and chain. RD have a gear-range it can handle. Switching to a tripple typically increases this range and ur old RD may not be able to handle it.

    What's your budget b4r we rack our brains out?

  14. #14
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    budget is tough....I figure I'm in for a smattering of small ticket items that will add up quickly. I was hoping that some good used/NOS stuff that may not be too valuable to the "latest & greatest" crowd may be had for under a hundred bucks & I'm not opposed at all to some experimentation or turning around and selling off what I don't end up using. I do the same sort of stuff all the time with cars....just learning all new details with bicycle parts

    Ending up with a couple hundred bucks + regular maintenance expenses in the bike would be great...and, could conceivably let the bike go forever. Over 3-400$ and I think we could have just bought a much "better" more modern bike, so I want to ultimately be wise & sell off/use elsewhere the pieces that don't work for us. I think everyone has pretty much convinced me that 2 chainrings with a more idealized gearing will be the way to go. Heck, that's just fewer complications for her to get used to with the whole road vs. comfort/mountain setup anyway! Thanks all.

  15. #15
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
    biospace chainrings
    Ha! I've never heard them called that!

    IMO, a triple, 7-speed, STI conversion will get pretty pricey.

    To get lower gears w/o a triple, first look at maxing out the freewheel big cog. If it's already a 28T or 30T, you are basically maxed out. If not, you can look at getting a new freewheel or, if it's a Shimano uniglide freewheel, you can look at getting a loose cog or two from www.loosescrews.com

    As cs1 wrote, you could also look at getting an old 110/74 MTB triple and take off the granny and use it as a double. Many of the old MTB triples used 3mm spacers for the granny ring that come off once you remove the granny making it even easier to use it as a double. You may not even need to change the bottom bracket. I took the old Deore triple off my MTB and put it on my road bike. The Deore requires a 122.5mm BB axle for use as a triple and my road bike has a 113 Dura-ace BB axle which works well with the Deore crank when used as a double.

    I bought some 7-speed SIS bar-ends not too long ago and they came with an adapter for 6-speed.

  16. #16
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    Bar end shifters.....hmm, I'd be interested in having the part # info....might be a good route to go. They work well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
    bear with me, 'cause i'm a newbie here & newbie to dealing with these sort of mechanics (not a newbie to mechanics or bikes in general)....I just got a solid, but well-dated (technologically) Cannondale road bike for my wife. It still has the original 105 componentry, 6-speed rear, downtube shifters, and double front biospace chainrings. I'd like to add a triple chainring in the front & if it's at all possible, I'd be interested in looking at upgrading to at least a 7-speed rear (for the purpose of being able to add integrated brake/shifter controls). My question is what information do I need to get from the bike & what do I need to research to be able to answer. In truth, I don't even know the model #, but I guess I'll start with a serial number. I'm hoping I can find inexpensive cast-offs that can be used as pretty decent upgrades for her bike 'til she's ready for something more modern. Thanks in advance.

    -Chris
    The changes you describe would be pretty expensive and complex.

    I ride a 1987 Miyata with a similar gearing setup to your Cannondale, so let me suggest one approach: I preserved (and have grown to love) the downtube shifters, and left the biopace double on the front. Both are mechanically simple and, well, already there.

    I swapped out the old freewheel for a megarange 6-speed, with a large 34 tooth cog. I also had to replace the rear derailer with a mountain-style.

    This gives me a nice low climbing gear and a satisfactory set of gears in the middle range where most people do most of their riding.

    It's a nice setup, and I shift a little less than on a brifter-equipped bike, but that's okay by me.


    edit: Here's a picture of the megarange freewheel: http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=779
    Last edited by ebike; 08-01-08 at 08:38 AM. Reason: addition

  18. #18
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    It will definitely be cheaper and easier to just buy a new (used) bike with the gearing you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    It will definitely be cheaper and easier to just buy a new (used) bike with the gearing you want.
    Unless u have emotional attachment (first kisss?) to said bike.

  20. #20
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    It sounds like there are some options for changing the front chainrings that wouldnt cost much money. I'm a tinkerer by nature, so I'm find with fooling around with some options. It's not like I'm considering putting hundreds of dollars into the bike. (purchase + some gears combined, that is). But, I like it & she does too....so that's worth something.

  21. #21
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
    Bar end shifters.....hmm, I'd be interested in having the part # info....might be a good route to go. They work well?
    Shimano SL-BS50-7D 7 Speed Barcon Shifters is what I bought. They work great.

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    I converted my commuter to bar end shifting with a pair of these. They are adapters to put the existing downtube shifters on the bar ends. They look great and work even better. A great deal at $25.

  23. #23
    Steel Member fiataccompli's Avatar
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    I understand 7 speed uses the same shift interval as 6 speed, so i can use a 7 indexed shifter & just block out the final 'click', right?

  24. #24
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
    I understand 7 speed uses the same shift interval as 6 speed, so i can use a 7 indexed shifter & just block out the final 'click', right?
    You understand wrong. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html 7 sp is 5mm and 6 sp is 5.3mm

    Tim
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    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  25. #25
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
    Shimano SL-BS50-7D 7 Speed Barcon Shifters is what I bought. They work great.
    7 sp aren't easy to find anymore. They regularly go used for more than 8 sp new.
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

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