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Old 10-20-09, 10:40 PM   #1
kaboomex
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Upgrading a mini road bike

So I found this cool little road bike at a garage sale, and I've built it up for my son to ride. It's a little Pinnacle FS 5-speed, with a little lugged steel frame. I have a feeling its standard 70s hi-ten tubing. It came with 20-inch steel 451s, and the rear rim had a flat spot. I grabbed some craigslist BMX 406s (sealed bearings!) and put 20x1.5 Contis from the LBS recumbent specialists. I dug in the used bin for BMX brakes to reach, and luckily found some. Pretty much overhauled it completely with new cables and pads. Yanked the pie plate and tossed on a BMX bash guard to keep him from hooking up his jeans. I'd like to eventually get rid of the cottered cranks by swapping out the BB. Not sure how ambitious I am about that yet. My son is in heaven zipping around on that thing, and yes, he likes the drop bars (now taped and capped) with suicide levers. He gets a lot of attention in this bike-centric town (Portland OR) Here's a pic.



Now I haven't messed much with bikes since my childhood, when I took apart every bike I owned. While riding casually over the years, I've learned the basics. Since this is still a kids bike, I don't want to throw too much money at it. There's the younger brother in line too who will give it good use. Now however, I'm going to attempt for the first time to lace up some used Sun ICI BMX race 451s to slowly upgrade a bit at a time.

So finally to my question. . . can anyone suggest an inexpensive 36-hole hubset to lace to these rims? I was hoping for a used set of older Shimanos from the used bike shops bins, but I'm not that familiar with models--Aceras? Deores? The original spread was around 120mm with a threaded cassette. I'll probably have a pro dish and true the rear.

Any tips or advice greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long-winded question , and thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-09, 12:32 AM   #2
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Nice find!

The 120mm rear spacing is going to cause a bit of a problem for finding a replacement rear hub. What is wrong with the current wheels? Before wheels, I'd get a decent set of brake levers first - Tektro make some really nice ones that are pretty cheap - the Tektro R100A is even made for smaller hands. Add a pair of cross-top / interruptor levers on the top of the bars, and he should have much more control (and be able to impress even more people).
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Old 10-21-09, 01:02 AM   #3
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Nice find!

The 120mm rear spacing is going to cause a bit of a problem for finding a replacement rear hub. What is wrong with the current wheels? Before wheels, I'd get a decent set of brake levers first - Tektro make some really nice ones that are pretty cheap - the Tektro R100A is even made for smaller hands. Add a pair of cross-top / interruptor levers on the top of the bars, and he should have much more control (and be able to impress even more people).
I'd just spread it.
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Old 10-21-09, 11:19 AM   #4
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You won't have any trouble finding 120 mm freewheel hubs on eBay.
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Old 10-21-09, 11:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris_W
Nice find!

The 120mm rear spacing is going to cause a bit of a problem for finding a replacement rear hub. What is wrong with the current wheels? Before wheels, I'd get a decent set of brake levers first - Tektro make some really nice ones that are pretty cheap - the Tektro R100A is even made for smaller hands. Add a pair of cross-top / interruptor levers on the top of the bars, and he should have much more control (and be able to impress even more people).
The 451s are considerably larger than the 406s and will allow for skinnier tires. Also, it will enable me to upgrade more easily with standard calipers, since the reach won't have to be so long. I really don't think the spread will be that much of a problem, but I'm just ignorant about which inexpensive, decent quality 36-hole hubs to use. I should also check to see if both rims are actually 36-hole. The front could be different.

I did want to upgrade the levers, but he really likes the suicide levers. I should show him that setup, though. For a 9-year-old he's really very level-headed. He didn't want new pedals, he said, "There's no need. Otherwise these older ones will just end up in the garbage. Best to recycle them." That's mah boy!

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You won't have any trouble finding 120 mm freewheel hubs on eBay.
Any suggestions on what to look out for? Brands or models?
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Old 10-21-09, 12:47 PM   #6
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I did want to upgrade the levers, but he really likes the suicide levers. I should show him that setup, though.
Because he doesn't understand how to properly use brake hoods and not use an inferior device that encourages a riding position where you can't brake as well.
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Old 10-21-09, 01:25 PM   #7
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Because he doesn't understand how to properly use brake hoods and not use an inferior device that encourages a riding position where you can't brake as well.
That's true. I wish I was more of a knowledgeable cyclist to show him properly. However, at his age he just wants to go really fast. Also, it's lately all about trying to bike with no hands. Youthful vigor at work.
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