Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Memphis TN
Bikes: Raleigh, Benotto, Schwinn, Trek
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I have one complete rebuild under my belt. It was also a 80's vintage bike. So, from my limited experience, here's my take on it:
If you intend to replace ALL compoenents, you won't encounter the compatability issue. For instance, if you decided to make your bike a modern 18 speed, you can slightly spread the drop outs (best done by a bike shop) to accomodate a new 130mm 9 speed wheel. The entire drive train can be replaced with a solid Shimano 105 set with down tube indexed shifters. This would also include replacing the bottom bracket.
Your brake levers would most likely be reusable. Or, you can replace with new for about $50. The brakes themselves could be reused or replaced depending on how much of a restoration your doing and the thickness of your wallet. Good luck!