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Old 10-25-08, 06:33 PM   #1
Joshua A.C. New
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Softride and some questions (pics)

I just got a Softride with some neat history.


  1. I can't figure out what size the wheels are. I'd assumed they were 650c, but they say "26 x 3/4" on the sidewall. Is that code for 650c?
  2. The bike is really too short for me, front to back. I can slide the saddle back, due to the unique Softride bar, and that puts my legs in the right place. I'm using a 1" threaded to 1-1/8" threadless adapter and a 12mm stem, along with risers, to get my body in a decent position. I'd really appreciate any advice on retro-sizing a bike.
  3. The cassette is a 7-speed. Downtube shifters are inconvenient, particularly from riser bars. What options might you suggest?
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Old 10-25-08, 06:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
I just got a Softride with some neat history.


  1. I can't figure out what size the wheels are. I'd assumed they were 650c, but they say "26 x 3/4" on the sidewall. Is that code for 650c?
  2. The bike is really too short for me, front to back. I can slide the saddle back, due to the unique Softride bar, and that puts my legs in the right place. I'm using a 1" threaded to 1-1/8" threadless adapter and a 12mm stem, along with risers, to get my body in a decent position. I'd really appreciate any advice on retro-sizing a bike.
  3. The cassette is a 7-speed. Downtube shifters are inconvenient, particularly from riser bars. What options might you suggest?

That is a tiny bike! Are you quite short? Because, cool as the bike may be, it's gonna be tough to make it fit properly... kinda like buying some 26" waist jeans then taking them to a tailor to get them to fit better.

Are you using mtb riser bars? If so then it is easy to find rapidfire shift levers for 7 speed, I think, and you can get cable stops (from Shimano and others) that bolt on to the downtube shifter boss. Shift cable housing leaves shifters and goes into the cable stops. Front derailleur might not shift very well with mtb shifters, but I am not sure. You could also try Paul's Components Thumbies to mount some 7sp barend shifters.


Edit: LINK TO CABLE STOPS
Good luck!

Last edited by LarDasse74; 10-25-08 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 10-25-08, 07:19 PM   #3
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That's exactly what I'm doing: I found a rare pair of jeans that I want tailored. If I could get the jeans in my size, I wouldn't bother, but that's not the case.

I'm 5'9". The previous owner was 5'6". The bike looks smaller than it is because of the small wheel diameter. In a pinch, the bike will go to my 5'4" wife. It's not like I need more bikes, frankly. But this is too awesome to pass up.

Yeah, I've been thinking about trigger shifters. I wonder if I can find a small, aesthetically pleasing set. I don't want the handlebars to look like a fighter cockpit like my mountain bike does.
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Old 10-25-08, 07:48 PM   #4
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I always had a thing for softride bikes, they just look so neat! If you go to drop bars, which is what i would use for that, you can get 2x8 or 3x8 brifters, and an 8 speed cassette should just drop in, no?
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Old 10-25-08, 08:20 PM   #5
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1. 650C wheels have an ETRTO/ISO diameter of 571 mm and the tires were specified in inch and fractional inch dimensions so the 26x3/4" implies they are 650C. Look at your tire sidewalls to see if they also say 571xXX. If so, the rims are 650C.

2. No ideas.

3. Measure the dropout width. Many late 7-speed bikes were spaced 130 or 128 so they will take any 8/9/10-speed wheel. 7-speed brifters are still available, mostly NOS RXS stuff, and 7-speed downtube shifters are too. 7-speed barcons are getting quite scarce. One work-around is the "8 of 9 on 7" approach (8 cogs from a 9-speed cassette fit perfectly on a 7-speed freehub) used with 9-speed shifters of any type.
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Old 10-25-08, 08:56 PM   #6
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Coldfeet, the issue is that I'm just too tall to use drops on this frame. I tried. I considered bullhorns, but I need to really get the bars up and away from the head tube.

Hill, thanks. It does, indeed, say 571! It's in some numbers that say,

2 0 - 5 7 1

The spacing between digits kept me from noticing. I'm a graphic designer. Kerning matters to me, I guess.

Quote:
(8 cogs from a 9-speed cassette fit perfectly on a 7-speed freehub) used with 9-speed shifters of any type.
Holy askterisks, that's awesome! I'll definitely consider that option. I've got a cassette in the workshop that I should try that with if I find the shifters I need!
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Old 10-26-08, 01:17 AM   #7
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What's the neat history? And I thought that kind of spacing was tracking.

I am not too familiar with Softride, though I've always known about it, but the saddle position in relation to the bike looks ridiculous - it looks impossible to reach to downtube shifters. Or it is one of the eye tricks due to a shortened seattube...?
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Old 10-26-08, 02:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
Coldfeet, the issue is that I'm just too tall to use drops on this frame. I tried. I considered bullhorns, but I need to really get the bars up and away from the head tube.

Hill, thanks. It does, indeed, say 571! It's in some numbers that say,

2 0 - 5 7 1

The spacing between digits kept me from noticing. I'm a graphic designer. Kerning matters to me, I guess.




Holy askterisks, that's awesome! I'll definitely consider that option. I've got a cassette in the workshop that I should try that with if I find the shifters I need!

4 ways of getting bars up.

A tall stem such as a Nitto or dirt drop stem.

A riser stem extension-some quill extensions can raise 10 or so inches, some Ahead risers may rise 3-5 inches.

Riser handlebars.

As for the shifters, getting hard to find, but if you put aerobars on that, there were some aerobar shifters designed to mount your downtube shifters where your hands are when on the bars.

I'd resolve the handlebar issue first-the downtube shifters are inconvenient, but still rideable. Once you figure out the handlebar option, then select the shifters accordingly.

If you go to a 8 of 9 on 7, remember you need change the chain too.

I'm a couple inches tall and also tried comparably undersized frames, and found even getting the bar height right still leaves my long torso cramped.
I have a 21 inch frame Raleigh Grand Prix I gave up on fit so I aquired ape handlebars, a sissy bar and bannana seat-am going to make it into a jumbo Sting Ray genre/muscle bike. I've already changed the tires to 700/35 & 700/38. Maybe a 150 reach stem could have solved the fit, but that forward weight bias would have been a clumsy handling bike. Besides, I wanted the jumbo ape handlebar bannana seat sissy bar bike, and this bike was a lost cause do to an undersized frame.

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Old 10-26-08, 10:12 AM   #9
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The neat history is that a woman named Woodring rode this bike as the triathlon champion for her age range in the 90s. She started doing triathlon in her early 50s and by her mid-50s was the US champion. I'm trying to find out more, but so far, that's all I've got.

The stem *height* seems OK. It's getting the bars out forward enough that's the challenge. I've got some risers on there now and a 120mm threadless stem. If I come across a 140, I'll try that.

I'm going to put some bar ends on for another, slightly farther out, hand position, too. Probably a long, old school pair like these:



Maybe a clip-on pair of aero bars, as well. I've got a couple of varieties of aero bars in the parts pile and I'll see if they'll help.
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Old 10-26-08, 10:38 AM   #10
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Oh, I missed a question:

Quote:
And I thought that kind of spacing was tracking.
Tracking is the space between letters. Kerning is the amount they overlap in particular pairs (which is, unfortunately, thanks to 500 years of ever-accumulating printing culture, now modified by changing tracking).

The forum software doesn't seem to allow multiple spaces (it looks like it translates everything straight into HTML, which doesn't allow multiple spaces), but the "1" is supposed to be hanging way out to the right:

2.0.-.5.7..1

That's because, if the characters are monospaced (that is, they all live in a rectangle the same size, like on a typewriter) the "1" is much narrower than the "7", particularly given that the "7" is narrow at the bottom.

Here's an obvious example:

IPAVA

Notice that P and A, and- the V and A overlap slightly (you'll see it slightly different in different browsers. Blame Microsoft if you don't see what I'm talking about). If they don't it looks like there's a space between them because they don't live in their own little rectangles.The I, though, doesn't overlap with anything. These relationships are built into decent fonts. Presumably, there's no "font" used to cast these tires, but rather, little numbers in little metal rectangles inserted into the mold.

And that's as much as I'm willing to go in to that on a bike forum.
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Old 10-26-08, 08:14 PM   #11
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Solutions, they spring forth!

The bars:




And the whole bike with them installed:


The remaining issue is the shifters. I don't think I'll be able to reach them very well down there. I want to use a set of these, but it turns out that the ID of those aero bars is like a mountain bike, not a road bike, so they juuuust don't fit. (which is weird because the clamps seem to be designed to fit a road bar and need some tweaking if they're going to get the torque they're going to get in this application and not move) I crammed in a Shimano that I had around, and the tip fit, but it made the wedges flair out.

Brifters might be a good solution (and they'll enhance the mantisy buggishness of the bike), but I can't seem to find them for an amount of money that I possess right now.

The clip-ons, by the way, give a lot of forward/backward and vertical adjustment options. It's hard for me to doubt that, in one configuration or another, they're going to work great.

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Old 10-27-08, 08:08 AM   #12
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Could you ream the tips of the aero extension's ID to accept the bar-end shifter adapters? It would theoretically weaken them but you will put no weight and very little force on them at that point so the lower structural integrety shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:33 PM   #13
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I was thinking that, too, but there's not very much material there.

On the other hand, trying to do such a thing might just stretch it enough to accept the barcons.
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