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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 09-24-11, 08:32 AM   #1
corwin1968
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Looking for recommendations for components

I have decided to get some training in bicycle mechanics so that I can maintain my own bikes without having to leave them at an LBS for several days. The local vo-tech offers basic routine maintenance as well as an advanced class covering complete overhauls. I plan to use these skills to overhaul and upgrade my old 1995 Trek 730.

The Trek has the old grip-shifters which I plan to replace and since the brake levers feel pretty flimsy and cheap, I plan to use integrated shifter/brake lever units. I also want to replace the drivetrain so that I'll have new, silver, 9-speed components.

Any recommendations on what components would be good? This will be my primary bicycle for an exercise program and while I don't want to spend a fortune, I would like to get components on the lighter side. I plan to ride 50+ miles per week, maybe more. My riding will be 100% pavement and I definately want to stick with a 3-ring crankset. I basically want to build a good, high quality bicycle that I can use for many more years. This bike has a lot of sentimental value and I love the way it rides.

My budget is somewhere around $300 for drivetrain and shifters. I don't include BB, chain & cassette in that budget. This is as much a hobby project as it is a practical upgrade so I'm sure I'll be replacing some things that are still serviceable.


Last edited by corwin1968; 09-24-11 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 09-24-11, 10:17 AM   #2
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corwin1968: I'm in the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" camp, but if it's something you want to do, go for it. It's your bike and your money. My personal preference is to stay away from integrated brake/shifter setups, if only so I can set the control positions and angles separately. In my opinion going from 7 cogs in the rear to 9 doesn't get you much performance improvement at an increased cost and "finickeyness" and probably poorer chain and cassette life. YMMV.
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Old 09-24-11, 12:52 PM   #3
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I didn't know that changing from 7 to 9 cogs might make things more "fickle" and possibly affect component longevity. One of the reasons I post in forums like this is that I always learn things I didn't know and they sometimes change my thinking and/or plans. The bike is at my parents' house and I haven't ridden it in years. I hope to pick it up this fall and I'll spend some time on it to see how it's working. Maybe a complete overhaul and new shifters is all I'll really need. I don't mind fixing something that isn't broken but I'm definately a simpler-is-better type person.
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Old 09-24-11, 01:35 PM   #4
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corwin1968: The 9-speed chain you will need has narrower side plates than the 6-7-8-speed chain you are currently running, so it has less bearing area for the pins for the same amount of stress and thus will wear faster. You may also find that it will have trouble cleanly making the jump across the gap to the current small front chainring, which is slightly wider than on a 9-speed setup. Careful limit screw adjustment and a chainwatcher (I recommend the N-Gear Jump Stop) may help avoid this. If you plan on changing the crankset and chainrings this should not be an issue, although I still recommend the chainwatcher.
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Old 09-24-11, 05:39 PM   #5
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Looks like a well preserved frame. My personal preference for mod'ding a city/hybrid like that would be the following:

1. Shorter reach/Taller rise stem - e.g. Nashbar comfort stem - aluminum, beefy, but inexpensive
2. Wide drops with flared sides, maybe an old randonneur style bars
3. tektro or Origin8 econo V-brakes front/rear
4. some shimano brifters 2200 or 3400 series and low-end long arm SGS RD w/ 9spd chain
5. rebuilt wheels with new rims/db spokes/ 9speed cassette/freehub
6. fat slicks

You'll brake on a dime and ride drops giving more hand positions. Tilt the bars up higher and ride the hoods in supreme comfort too.

Oh, and I had to flip the image around.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg trek.jpg (55.0 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by gyozadude; 09-24-11 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Had to flip the image around.
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Old 09-24-11, 05:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for information!

I can tell that even with the maintenance classes, I'll have a lot to learn about bicycle mechanics.
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