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  1. #1
    Biking Viking
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    Retrofitting an older frame?

    Hello. I am a newbie, the Biking Viking.

    I would like to get a second road bike to store at my good friend's place in Santa Barbara (we live in Chicago, and travel to SB 3-4x per year to visit. Who wouldn't?)

    Here in Chicago, I ride a 63cm Serotta Colorado. I am tall with very long legs, and this frame fits wonderfully. I love the steel construction, which seems more forgiving the carbon (I rode a Giant OCR (59cm-bad fit) for 4 years, getting ready to sell the frameset).

    I am wondering if it makes sense to buy an 80's frame, like a Schwinn World Sport, and try to retrofit it with the 105 grupo and other components from my Giant OCR. I have some Ultegra wheels too.

    Is this feasible? Or am I asking for a world of pain in attempting to do this? I am thinking compatibility is going to be an issue for the bottom bracket and perhaps the wheels.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    There are plenty of old frames with modern components. You may have to spread the dropouts open a bit to get the 130mm wheel in each time, assuming it's a 126mm frame. Or you can cold set to 130mm permanently. You'll need a quill stem, or the stem adapter so you can use your existing stem & bars. Threaded 1" headset. Probably a different seatpost. Your brake calipers might need different nuts. Downtube shifter boss cable stops . Get a frame with standard English 68 mm Bottom Bracket and you're good to go.

    Edit ... yeah, forgot about fd.

    I've converted older bikes, so I kept the headset, fd, seatpost etc ... and swapped over the drivetrain.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 09-19-11 at 10:57 AM.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  3. #3
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    Have you measured it up? Would expect a lot of incompatibilities with using any pre-2000 frame with any new kit.

    The main issues will be headset size, and rear OLD size, bottom bracket, then FD size, seatpost, stem, handlebar etc, the only things which have stayed the same since the mid 80's is the 100mm front wheel, shifter clamp size and bar tape.

    If all these fit, then great, but would be supprised if many do, you would probably find it easier to get a more modern frame which your current parts will fit onto. Again, you would need to research before you knew if this was possible

  4. #4
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    If the ocr has a standard english bb and a braze on fd it wouldn't be that bad:
    Braze on adaptor for fd
    Seatpost (maybe)
    Cable stops
    New cable
    Bar tape
    Quill adaptor (if you want to keep your stem and bars)
    Headset (if the new frame doesn't have one)

    126mm to 130mm spacing on an older steel frame is a real non issue. My 126mm yokota has had a 130mm hub in it for 15 or more years.


    If you ever get to iowa I could perform the swap and find a home for the carbon...

  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    Have you measured it up? Would expect a lot of incompatibilities with using any pre-2000 frame with any new kit.

    The main issues will be headset size, and rear OLD size, bottom bracket, then FD size, seatpost, stem, handlebar etc, the only things which have stayed the same since the mid 80's is the 100mm front wheel, shifter clamp size and bar tape.

    If all these fit, then great, but would be supprised if many do, you would probably find it easier to get a more modern frame which your current parts will fit onto. Again, you would need to research before you knew if this was possible
    I put new kit on old bikes all of the time. All of my 1980s keeper bikes have new kit. Note, this is with a forgiving steel frame, that can handle the wider rear wheels on modern bikes. I use a spacer on the FD clamp, cost about $3. BB? I typically use modern cartridge, on two of my bikes, I used Shimano Hollowtech II outboard bearing bbs, worked just fine.

    The C & V forum is full of updated vintage bikes, read the thread on STI conversions.

    Now all that being said, unless you score a great deal on parts, such an undertaking is expensive. I typically buy a modern, used donor bike, and swap the entire drivetrain: wheels, derailleurs, shifters, cassette, crankset, brakes, etc.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I put new kit on old bikes all of the time. All of my 1980s keeper bikes have new kit. Note, this is with a forgiving steel frame, that can handle the wider rear wheels on modern bikes. I use a spacer on the FD clamp, cost about $3. BB? I typically use modern cartridge, on two of my bikes, I used Shimano Hollowtech II outboard bearing bbs, worked just fine.

    The C & V forum is full of updated vintage bikes, read the thread on STI conversions.

    Now all that being said, unless you score a great deal on parts, such an undertaking is expensive. I typically buy a modern, used donor bike, and swap the entire drivetrain: wheels, derailleurs, shifters, cassette, crankset, brakes, etc.
    You have missed a major point of the OP's post. The OP has parts from Giant OCR, which is being a doner bike, if you are going to use new parts on an old frame, and buy them for this purpose, then of course they will fit, in the OP's case, he has to work with the parts from the OCR, which may or not fit, if they don't new parts will be required.

    For example If the OP's bike (OCR) has an integrated headset, how do you propose fitting that into a 1' frame (Schwinn), if the OP has 31.9mm bottom pull FD, and needs say a 26.8mm top pull, how do you fit that? the list goes on, if you were purchasing new parts, then this would not be an issue as you could buy parts with the correct sizes / specs.

  7. #7
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    Jack: I like the old steel frames. I think you will find it worth the trouble. If you get a bike in decent shape try riding it for a while as-is. You may find that you don't want to change it much.

  8. #8
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    You aren't asking for A world of pain but you may be in for a world of expense. Your '80's frame would have to be spread from 126 to 130 mm to accept the newer wheel. Whether you cold set it permanantly or just force the wider hub into place is your choice. Both methods work.

    I expect your ocr's seatpost won't fit the old frame and neither will the headset. The front derailleur, if it's a braze on, will need a suitable diameter (1-1/8" probably) adapter clamp oryou will need a new clamp-on fd. Depending on your bottom bracket configuration, you may need a new one.

    So, yes it can certainly be done. Is the cost worthwhile? That's up to you.

  9. #9
    Biking Viking
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    Thanks

    Thank you for the many replies. Retrofitting the Schwinn World Sport would be a real undertaking for me. As much as I would like to try it, it is probably not the most judicious use of my limited spare time (Little Hungry gets most of that).

    The advice about buying an older bike as is is tempting. I just have visions of some 35 lb behemoth that feel like I am pulling a cinder block up some of Santa Barbara's steeper streets.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungryJack View Post
    The advice about buying an older bike as is is tempting. I just have visions of some 35 lb behemoth that feel like I am pulling a cinder block up some of Santa Barbara's steeper streets.
    Not at all. Older good quality steel bikes with decent components can easily weigh 20 pounds or a bit less. An Schwinn Varsity or similar will be a tank but there are a lot of better, lighter choices.

  11. #11
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    Jack: A good quality older bike doesn't become "not good anymore " just because something newer comes along. Properly maintained it should last for a lifetime of good service.

    I can't help but wonder how many of the latest high-tech carbon "superbikes" will be around in 20 or 30 years much less have parts available to keep them working.

  12. #12
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungryJack View Post
    I am wondering if it makes sense to buy an 80's frame, like a Schwinn World Sport, and try to retrofit it with the 105 grupo and other components from my Giant OCR. I have some Ultegra wheels too.
    yes, this is a great idea... though I would pick a higher end frame, or just go with a complete older bike my steel Centurion Ironman is ~21lbs.. with lighter wheels i could push it under 20 i bet.

    if you're just riding for recreation you don't even need STI or anything fancy anyways

    see this thread for inspiration: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...STI-s-or-Ergos
    Last edited by frantik; 09-19-11 at 07:30 PM.
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  13. #13
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungryJack View Post
    I would like to get a second road bike to store at my good friend's place in Santa Barbara (we live in Chicago, and travel to SB 3-4x per year to visit. Who wouldn't?)
    Hey... I do this all the time. I have several bikes kind of stashed. My son lives in Toronto and I bought his a MTB a few years ago, which I take full advantage of on visits.

    Anyway, one thing I'm not seeing is how you are going to get this C & V bike? Will you buy it in Santa Barbara? Will you build it in Chicago and ship it?

    If I were looking for a project bike to keep for visits, I'd shoot for something more upscale than a Schwinn World Sport. Maybe a Prelude. Or a LeTour.
    Nice bikes.

  14. #14
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
    You have missed a major point of the OP's post. The OP has parts from Giant OCR, which is being a doner bike, if you are going to use new parts on an old frame, and buy them for this purpose, then of course they will fit, in the OP's case, he has to work with the parts from the OCR, which may or not fit, if they don't new parts will be required.

    For example If the OP's bike (OCR) has an integrated headset, how do you propose fitting that into a 1' frame (Schwinn), if the OP has 31.9mm bottom pull FD, and needs say a 26.8mm top pull, how do you fit that? the list goes on, if you were purchasing new parts, then this would not be an issue as you could buy parts with the correct sizes / specs.
    1 inch threaded headsets are cheap. I certainly would not put much money into a World Sport. WS I believe had a bottom pull FD, at least the one I had did, so it just needs a spacer, which I mentioned.

    OP stated he was going to sell his Giant frameset, best to leave headset and seat post with any frameset sold, for the good of the buyer. Hopefully the frameset he picks up will come with a few bits: seat post and headset as a minimum. Chasing down the right sized seat post on an old bike can be a pain.

    To reuse parts, you do have to be prepared to get creative. I rarely buy new parts, except for consumables: tires, tubes, cables, bearings, etc. The Hollowtech II I mentioned above was bought new.

    To the OP, I would look for a higher end frame if you are going to pursue this. One of the Tenax frames or better (Prelude, Tempo, etc.). World Sport is really basic.

    +1 For basic recreation riding, nothing wrong with DT shifters.
    Last edited by wrk101; 09-19-11 at 08:40 PM.

  15. #15
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    Another option would be to get a more modern steel frame, new or used. One such frame would be a Surly Pacer (not the Cross check because it will only take cantilever brakes, I think and the frame is heavier.). Or a similar frame made by Jamis. Theres numerous modern steel frames out there, that would have a threadless stem so the parts from the OP's current bike would be more useable.

  16. #16
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Next time you visit your friend in SB, look on Craigslist and buy
    the bicycle you want here in California.

    I work with bikes all the time and have for forty years. I would not
    do what you are proposing both because of the time and expense, but
    also because there are so many excellent old road bikes here in Sacramento
    and the SF Bay area. It's like a classic steel Road bike guy's wet dream
    here, and i cannot believe Santa Barbara is all that different.

    Buy a bike that is complete, not a project or frame to build up.
    If it needs work, be prepared to perform it, and consider that in
    what you pay.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

  17. #17
    Senior Member justadude's Avatar
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    I think you can use most of the 105 components successfully, and save more money compared to buying all new components. Or use vintage components that come with the vintage bike. Either way, you win.
    "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." - Jesus, Matthew 6:21, KJV translation.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    fwiw,
    105 and road components in general don't have the weather seals of MTB hubs
    , but if not submitting the bike to foul weather , what the heck..

    63cm frames are bigguns, but if that's what fits and you find one

    hammer on..

    I'm just not a fan of the forced obsolescence in shimano and such components
    8 to 9 to 10, all the time thinner and more expensive drivetrain stuff.
    consumables..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-28-11 at 12:36 AM.

  19. #19
    Biking Viking
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    Thank you

    Great advice here. Thank you.

    I think I should look for a higher end "older" steel bike in Santa Barbara/Ventura and buy it. I would love to get some recommendations.

    I LOVE my new Serotta Colorado. It is hard for me to explain, but the steel frame somehow feels more forgiving and more responsive than my carbon OCR. It also helps to have a frame that fits. I only started road biking 5 years ago, and unfortunately got a really ****ty fitting from Mission Bay here in Chicago. They put me on a 58 frameset, and the Serotta (custom fit at Get a Grip) measures 63!

    So I'd like to replicate the Serotta dimensions as much as possible. I figure I need another 63 frame, and could probably replace the stem if needed. Any recommendations on an older model that might come close to the geometry of my Serotta? It would be awesome to keep the kit under 20lbs (the Ultegra wheels should help there).

    These forums are great, btw. Thanks.

  20. #20
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungryJack View Post
    Great advice here. Thank you.

    I think I should look for a higher end "older" steel bike in Santa Barbara/Ventura and buy it. I would love to get some recommendations.

    I LOVE my new Serotta Colorado. It is hard for me to explain, but the steel frame somehow feels more forgiving and more responsive than my carbon OCR. It also helps to have a frame that fits. I only started road biking 5 years ago, and unfortunately got a really ****ty fitting from Mission Bay here in Chicago. They put me on a 58 frameset, and the Serotta (custom fit at Get a Grip) measures 63!

    So I'd like to replicate the Serotta dimensions as much as possible. I figure I need another 63 frame, and could probably replace the stem if needed. Any recommendations on an older model that might come close to the geometry of my Serotta? It would be awesome to keep the kit under 20lbs (the Ultegra wheels should help there).

    These forums are great, btw. Thanks.
    If you can post a photo of your Serotta that you
    want to duplicate, I could take a shot, but I honestly
    have no idea what they look like. I think the newest
    bike I have ever had was early 90's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

  21. #21
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    It is a crapshoot looking for an old good steel framed road bike on Craigslist, in a particular and in your case very large size. Rather than search for a particular brand and model of vintage frame I think if you are going to buy used off Craiglist you have to search by frame size and see what comes up. It is unusual to find a used good steel frame in the size you want, in my experience looking on craigslist. One benefit of buying a NEW steel frame to put all your parts on is you could order your exact frame size (if the bike is sold in that size.) Another benefit as i said before is that it would most likely be a bike frame that uses a threadless stem so you could use more of the parts from your modern bike you want to move the parts from. So I again suggest you look at the Surly Pacer frame new. Also similar models from Jamis and Specialized, steel frames. new.

  22. #22
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryinLA View Post
    It is a crapshoot looking for an old good steel framed road bike on Craigslist, in a particular and in your case very large size. Rather than search for a particular brand and model of vintage frame I think if you are going to buy used off Craiglist you have to search by frame size and see what comes up. It is unusual to find a used good steel frame in the size you want, in my experience looking on craigslist. One benefit of buying a NEW steel frame to put all your parts on is you could order your exact frame size (if the bike is sold in that size.) Another benefit as i said before is that it would most likely be a bike frame that uses a threadless stem so you could use more of the parts from your modern bike you want to move the parts from. So I again suggest you look at the Surly Pacer frame new. Also similar models from Jamis and Specialized, steel frames. new.
    Agree with some of this, locking into finding a particular brand and a particular size will make C/L a waste of time. I was looking for a Schwinn Prologue in my size. Took two years to find it, and the one I found was on ebay, and the seller was in Utah (not exactly local). But if you are open to a lot of different brands, you will find a nice one.

    Other than the Prologue, all of my keeper bikes were not particular brands I was looking for, they were just deals I came across.

    As far as buying new, I have not bought a new bike since 1975, and I have bought a couple of hundred used bikes, just in the last couple of years. If you are patient, willing to look at nearby Craigs Lists (not just local), you will find something nice. My last C/L find two weeks ago, I drove two hours one way to get it.

  23. #23
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Possibly, I am just very lucky......

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryinLA View Post
    It is a crapshoot looking for an old good steel framed road bike on Craigslist, in a particular and in your case very large size. Rather than search for a particular brand and model of vintage frame I think if you are going to buy used off Craiglist you have to search by frame size and see what comes up. It is unusual to find a used good steel frame in the size you want, in my experience looking on craigslist. One benefit of buying a NEW steel frame to put all your parts on is you could order your exact frame size (if the bike is sold in that size.) Another benefit as i said before is that it would most likely be a bike frame that uses a threadless stem so you could use more of the parts from your modern bike you want to move the parts from. So I again suggest you look at the Surly Pacer frame new. Also similar models from Jamis and Specialized, steel frames. new.
    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Agree with some of this, locking into finding a particular brand and a particular size will make C/L a waste of time. I was looking for a Schwinn Prologue in my size. Took two years to find it, and the one I found was on ebay, and the seller was in Utah (not exactly local). But if you are open to a lot of different brands, you will find a nice one.

    Other than the Prologue, all of my keeper bikes were not particular brands I was looking for, they were just deals I came across.

    As far as buying new, I have not bought a new bike since 1975, and I have bought a couple of hundred used bikes, just in the last couple of years. If you are patient, willing to look at nearby Craigs Lists (not just local), you will find something nice. My last C/L find two weeks ago, I drove two hours one way to get it.
    but you guys do not seem to share my experiences with CL.

    Here's a link to the Santa Barbara CL bike section for the OP

    http://santabarbara.craigslist.org/bik/

    Here's a current for sale ad in 64 cm.........

    Old School Trek Roadbike, Ten Speed, Sun Tour Down Tube Shifters, 64 cm frame which is good for a person around 5'10'' to 6'2". The bike is in good condition and it goes fast thoughhhh!!! U-lock included. Hit me up xxxxxxxxx. I'll be in IV.
    $250 obo





    Again, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, there are more
    classic steel road bikes in California than in other parts of the USofA.

    They often cost more here, but the up side is that they are all over
    the place if you look around a little bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

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    thats a very old trek, with 5 speeds in back and 27 wheels, probably about 26 pounds.
    Last edited by GaryinLA; 09-28-11 at 10:38 PM.

  25. #25
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryinLA View Post
    thats a very old trek, with 5 speeds in back and 27 wheels, probably about 26 pounds.
    It's going to be very difficult to please you in this thread, isn't it ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Twain
    Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

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