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  1. #1
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    '94 Kestrel SCi in need of upgrades - fork, stem, etc

    I'm the original owner of a '94 Kestrel SCi - it probably has about 5000 miles on it and continues to serve me well despite being wholly original. That said, I think it's time to bring it into the current century.

    The easy target for upgrading first is the fork and stem. Since this was the "base" model, it came with an AL fork and "old style" (whatever it's called) stem. Kinda funny, today you can get a $500 bike with a carbon fork and my carbon bike has an AL one!

    I'm reasonably mechanically inclined, but limited in my practical bike knowledge to know what I've got and what I can replace it with. I don't mind buying something good-condition used, but need to better educate myself on what to look for.

    Can anyone provide some guidance? Feel free to reference a link or two.

    TIA...
    Brad

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Just keep the original stuff for later. Kestrels are pretty popular.

    Myself, I would hunt up a threaded carbon fork and keep the "old fashioned" stem. Once you dial in the stem length to fit, I really don't see much advantage of a modern stem.

    Myself, I just picked up a 1992 Kestrel built Schwinn Paramount 9C. I am sticking with a quill stem.

    Cheapest way to modernize a bike is to find a donor bike with the components you want and do a swap. I just bought a donor bike yesterday to build up my Paramount frameset. Bought right, you can even swap the Kestrel parts onto the donor, and resell the donor and recoup most if not all of your cost.

    I am assuming you have the 105 model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I am assuming you have the 105 model.
    Yes, correct. IIRC, at the time, it became the new "entry model" in the Kestrel line-up as they tried to reach "down-market" a bit.

    Appreciate the input and ideas.
    Brad

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    That's helpful. I was thinking what I had was a 1" threaded fork. Does that mean I can't go with a threadless type of headset as those are all 1 1/8"?
    Brad

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    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    do you have any pics? your quill stem was the current style back them as threadless headsets and stems were just coming onto the market and were still mostly a MTB thing.

    5000 miles is alot on what is likely a Dura Ace drive train yes? have you been repplacein your chain frequently? I would say you should be on your 4th by not. if you haven't been your first upgrades (or repairs) should be chain, cassette, chain wheels.

    depending what you do with the bike most people will agree a good set of wheels is a good starting place for an upgrade. depending on your current wheels and again what you do with the bike you can shave a few pounds and get better performance. changing the wheels would also be a stasrting point to upgrade your drivetrain to 10spd. you can buy new wheels and run 8spd then upgrade your shifters later and buy the new cassette then too.

    odda are that while a new carbon fork will look good it will change the ride you are comfortable with. it may seem stiffer or harsher as the carbon fork may not dampen road shock like your Alloy fork.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  7. #7
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
    Yes, correct. IIRC, at the time, it became the new "entry model" in the Kestrel line-up as they tried to reach "down-market" a bit.

    Appreciate the input and ideas.
    OH so you have..... 105 group? the same still applies about regular chain replacement.

    Quote Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
    That's helpful. I was thinking what I had was a 1" threaded fork. Does that mean I can't go with a threadless type of headset as those are all 1 1/8"?
    you can go threadless but you need 1" as that is what your frame was built for.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    OH so you have..... 105 group? the same still applies about regular chain replacement.
    Correct. 105 all the way around. Funny, I was thinking about the chain just the other day as I struggled up a massively steep hill... "This wouldn't be good if the chain snapped right now." Indeed it IS the original chain. I guess I'll do that first.

    Regarding the wheels, I do have two sets, and it's actually the non-original Campys which have seen most of the miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    you can go threadless but you need 1" as that is what your frame was built for.
    Okay, that makes sense. I was thinking "threadless" wasn't even an option with 1". I presume it would require new headset bearings, yes? Looks like that *might* be a requirement even with a new carbon 1" threaded fork, judging from this comment from the Nashbar 1" threaded fork..... One caution. Older bikes had a 26.4mm headset compared to the newer 27 mm headset bearing size. My old fork bearing race would not fit this fork. I had to update my headset to fit the fork to my bike.
    Any idea what size the 105 bearings of that era would be?

    I'll post some pics later today...
    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
    That's helpful. I was thinking what I had was a 1" threaded fork. Does that mean I can't go with a threadless type of headset as those are all 1 1/8"?
    There are lots of 1" threadless headsets available so that is no problem. Here's a good one available in 1" at a reasonable price: http://www.jensonusa.com/Headsets/Ca...ek-S-3-Headset

    You will also need a threadless stem. Most of these are 1-1/8" but come with reducer bushings to fit 1" steerers.

    odds are that while a new carbon fork will look good it will change the ride you are comfortable with. it may seem stiffer or harsher as the carbon fork may not dampen road shock like your Alloy fork.
    I disagree with this. Alloy forks tend to be harsh and carbon forks do damp out a bit of road buzz. The difference isn't dramatic but it's in the right direction. I had a Knesis alloy fork on one bike and changed it for a Kestral EMS Pro carbon. The ride certainly didn't get worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    There are lots of 1" threadless headsets available so that is no problem. Here's a good one available in 1" at a reasonable price: http://www.jensonusa.com/Headsets/Ca...ek-S-3-Headset

    You will also need a threadless stem. Most of these are 1-1/8" but come with reducer bushings to fit 1" steerers.
    Looks like there's a couple different ways to approach this...
    http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/parts/stem/stems.html

    BTW, here's the message I get if I try to select the 1" S-3 headset.... This sku is discontinued. No worries though, I'm sure this or one like it is available now that I know such a thing exists.
    Brad

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    Here's some pics. From the day I bought this bike I always figured that the "stack of washers" was a rather low-tech solution for a "lightweight" bike, but I've failed to do anything about it for the past 17 years. I guess that time has finally arrived.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Brad

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    + it's pretty easy to find a stem shim,
    to use the common 1.125" stem on a 1" threadless steerer tube.

    Looking at the picture , why not leave the fork,
    buy a quill to threadless adapter.
    and then ... use the abundant threadless stem options.

    personally leaving the fork steerer long is a good thing, so bar height is adequate.
    And,you can use any headset , irregardless of the stack height..

    And you still have room for one of these..
    http://www.ahrensbicycles.com/Bottle-Opener.htm
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-04-12 at 02:35 PM.

  13. #13
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I wish I had seen this when I bought my flask



    I agree Fietsbob, other than wanting to shake things up a bit I don't really understand the OP's reason for changing the fork.
    Last edited by Bianchigirll; 01-04-12 at 05:14 PM.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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    Quote Originally Posted by DPDISXR4Ti View Post
    Here's some pics. From the day I bought this bike I always figured that the "stack of washers" was a rather low-tech solution for a "lightweight" bike, but I've failed to do anything about it for the past 17 years. I guess that time has finally arrived.
    Well, to improve appearances you could replace that "stack of washers" with a single taller 1" headset spacer equal to the total of your stack. I have a bike similarly set up but with only two 10 mm spacers and they look like one smooth tube. A single 20 mm spacer would also work and look even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Looking at the picture , why not leave the fork,
    buy a quill to threadless adapter.
    and then ... use the abundant threadless stem options.
    I would think there's a much greater justification for swapping out the AL fork for carbon than changing to a threadless stem, no? I'd probably do both, but the driver would be the fork from my perspective. Heck, in 1994 when I bought the bike, that's the primary thing that differentiated the $600 price delta between this bike and the "better" 200 SCi.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    And you still have room for one of these..
    http://www.ahrensbicycles.com/Bottle-opener.htm
    Well that certainly is the easiest purchase to justify of them all!
    Brad

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's An Aluminum fork. all I saw was a Red fork.. matching paint.

    threadless stems dominate the market now, hard to find to many good Quill stems
    in a lot of different configuration..


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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    It's An Aluminum fork. all I saw was a Red fork.. matching paint.
    Yea, but native carbon goes with everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    threadless stems dominate the market now, hard to find to many good Quill stems
    in a lot of different configuration..
    Right, and that's why I would likely go ahead and make the step up to threadless at the same time as the carbon fork.
    Brad

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    Given the current height of your bars and the spacers with your existing threaded headset stem, I advise getting a fork with a steel steerer so you can safely fit enought spacers. Also get an "up angle" stem. Carbon 1" steerers are typically limited to 25 mm or so of spacers and you will need more than that.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    True, carbon and aluminum steerers need there to be very little leverage
    of the stem on the end of them, particularly if aggressively riding.

    George Hincappie ended his Paris Roubaix challenge in a drainage ditch ,
    when his aluminum steerer broke , on what was likely a new fork that morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Given the current height of your bars and the spacers with your existing threaded headset stem, I advise getting a fork with a steel steerer so you can safely fit enought spacers. Also get an "up angle" stem. Carbon 1" steerers are typically limited to 25 mm or so of spacers and you will need more than that.
    Thanks - interesting point I hadn't really considered. Perhaps with an "up" stem though, I wouldn't need as much spacing. As you should be able to see from pic #3 above, the current stem is actually a slight down angle.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm all about not killing myself - I just wonder if you can even get a carbon fork with steel steerer - my search so far showed they all had carbon or AL tubes.
    Brad

  21. #21
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I think you will only find Alloy ones. the -71degree stem angle was typical road style for years.

    if you are comfortable on this bike and really want to change the fork and stem the first thing you need to do is take good measurements. measure from the nose of the saddle to center of the stem clamp area and from the front axle to the same place. the whaterever stem or fork you use make sure the new bars in the same spot. DO NOT move the saddle in any way once you take these measurements. if your getting a new saddle too wait until you are done with the bars.

    steel bikes and forks have been breaking for decades on the cobbles of Paris-Roubouix so I am not suprised a carbon/alloy fork failed
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  22. #22
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    Digging this thread back up as I recently purchase a 1" threadless Kestrel fork - see here... http://www.ebay.com/itm/110880568776...84.m1439.l2649

    And so now I need to get the rest of the stuff to make this work. I presume the two things I now need to do the swap are a 1" headset and threadless stem. Anything else?

    As for the headset, do I need to have any concerns about different bearing diameters or are all 1" headsets the same? Reason I ask this question is this comment pasted from above.... One caution. Older bikes had a 26.4mm headset compared to the newer 27 mm headset bearing size. My old fork bearing race would not fit this fork. I had to update my headset to fit the fork to my bike.

    For the stem, I know 1" stems are kinda rare. Should I hold out for one of those or just get a 1 1/8" and use a shim? Handlebar diameter is 26mm, which seems "standard" for the era. I plan to leave that as-is for now.
    Brad

  23. #23
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    The 26.4 / 27 mm refers to the crown race seating area on the fork. take the fork to the shop with you when looking for a HS. Since you are buying a complete HS you don't need to worry much about the size of the bearings themselves.

    Actually I would buy a stem and then take the bike, fork and stem to a shop to have a HS installed. they have the tools and the knowledge to get the job done correctly.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    The 26.4 / 27 mm refers to the crown race seating area on the fork
    Okay, got it. Just measured that and my fork is 26.4 so I'll need to make sure I get a headset that comes with a 26.4 race. But I'm seeing now that most of the new headsets come with both, so I guess it's not so much an issue after all.
    Brad

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    I'm digging this old thread up now that I'm actually getting around to installing my threadless carbon Kestrel fork. Along with it will go a new stem and bearings; and yes, I have the shim for this to work properly. But as I got everything together and realized the tape and brake levers will need to come off to get the old skool stem off, I realized now would be the time to upgrade to STI brake lever shifters and from 7 to 8 speed.

    I'm thinking since I spend most of my time on the hoods, ST-2300 would be fine for my needs - yes, no, maybe??? But has ST-2400 replaced 2300? Will my existing 105 der' make the jump from 7 to 8 without a problem?

    Feel free to provide any countering thoughts, but I'm not really willing to invest in a 9-10-11 speed. I'd probably just go buy another bike if I wanted to make that leap.
    Brad

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