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  1. #1
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    How many gears can I put on this bike?

    Hello,

    I have an old steel frame (ok, it's not that old). It is a 1992 Avanti Ultra, 6 speed downtube shifters, double chainring (got an icky biopace ring thing).

    I absolutely love the bike, but the rear wheel is in such a bad state that it is dangerous to ride, so it's sat in the garage for over a year now. If I was to get a wheel for it, how many gears can the bike take? I understand that the older frames with less gears had a narrower gap between the drop-outs.

    As for shifting, will it make a difference? I will use the friction rather than the index shifting. It has Shimano 105 groupset with downtube shifters, but not sure of the age of the grouppo.

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks.

    Sam.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Well, it really comes down to how much you are willing to mess with it to make everything work. The quick, dirty way would be to get new wheel with another 6-speed freewheel and be done with it. If you want to spend the money and do a little more work, you could spread the stays and replace everything but the front wheel and the brakes and go for 9 or 10 speeds. Course, since you say that you absolutely love the bike the way that it is, why would you want to go changing all of that?

  3. #3
    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    RetroGrouch has the answer. Yes you can, but how much $ would you spend to make it happen? A new(er) bike is usually the smarter choice. If you replace much of your old bike's componentry, the cost climbs fast.

    By the way, I still have hopes to bring my 1977 Peugeot up to todays specs. I love the ride, but adding up all the pieces necessary would buy another good used bike.
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

  4. #4
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    If the dropouts are 126mm, just spreading the dropouts will cause the dropout faces to be too much out of parallel and put additional bending forces on the axle. If you have a good LBS or frame builder nearby, they can cold set (i.e. bend) the stays to 130mm and make sure the dropouts are parallel and the derailer hanger is aligned. It costs me $30 to have this done at a local framebuilder.
    If the dropouts are 128mm, spreading the stays would probably suffice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlastRadius
    If the dropouts are 126mm, just spreading the dropouts will cause the dropout faces to be too much out of parallel and put additional bending forces on the axle. If you have a good LBS or frame builder nearby, they can cold set (i.e. bend) the stays to 130mm and make sure the dropouts are parallel and the derailer hanger is aligned. It costs me $30 to have this done at a local framebuilder.
    If the dropouts are 128mm, spreading the stays would probably suffice.
    You only need to worry about that stuff if you are AR.

  6. #6
    Queen of France Indolent58's Avatar
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    New rear wheel, new 9sp cassette, new 9sp chain and you are done. Your crank and derailleurs are fine if you are sticking with friction shifting. Cold setting of the frame is often not necessary. Usually you can pop the wheel in w/o much effort.

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indolent58
    New rear wheel, new 9sp cassette, new 9sp chain and you are done. Your crank and derailleurs are fine if you are sticking with friction shifting. Cold setting of the frame is often not necessary. Usually you can pop the wheel in w/o much effort.
    If it were my bike, this would be my course of action. If you can find a new cartridge BB or BB spindle cheaply, you could also consider a triple chainring.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    First of all, what is wrong with the rear wheel? Perhaps you just need a new rim and spokes and do a little hub maintenance and be back in business.

  9. #9
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    I have a 1985 Univega road frame that started life as a six speed friction shifter. It now runs 9 speed STI. I got tired of muscling the wider hub in and spread the dropouts myself with no tools. As a nine speed, it's seen over 20,000 miles with no trouble. Oh yeah, it used to have 27" wheels and now 700c. Also used to be a double, now a triple. God I love that bike.

  10. #10
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    I have an '81 steel framed Davidson that I put a new 9sp Ultegra wheel on. I have to spread the dropouts very slightly. I put a 9sp chain on, adjusted my derailleurs, and it works like a charm. It shifts smoothly, quietly, quickly with the old campy down-tube friction shifters. The only problem is the cage hits the spokes on the innermost cog. The clearance on the 9sp is much closer. Other than that, I wouldn't mess with mine any further.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    First of all, what is wrong with the rear wheel? Perhaps you just need a new rim and spokes and do a little hub maintenance and be back in business.
    well you see, I am lazy. but actually that may be the best option. What's a good strong rim, that doesn't cost terribly much? (Remember I live in NZ, so I can probably only get the better known brands)

    Oh and the old one? It has cracks all over the rim, the spokes are starting to pull out of it as the holes are mis-shpaed and bigger than they should be. I reckon it would explode if I hit a rock.
    Sam

    a few b0b sh0rt 0f a p0p tart

    "What goes up, must come down, and it must come down at least 5x as fast as it went up"

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