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Old 04-02-07, 02:19 AM   #1
Sammyboy
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You've got a pile of parts and a friend without a bike. What do you do?

You use some weekend downtime, and build one! Friend of mine really wanted an upright light tourer. He borrowed a bike last year, and went to France with some friends for a few days, really enjoyed himself. So, I pulled out an old Falcon frame, threw on a triple crankset I had around, aluminium fenders, a (nasty) old rack, a reasonable wheelset, Suntour SVX in the back, Shimano Light Action on the front, Suntour Power Ratchet shifters, Weinmann sidepulls with a pair of levers from I forget where, some wideish cruiser bars, and here we are! Not bad for a couple of hours work.

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Old 04-02-07, 04:07 AM   #2
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That's a right smart lookin' bike Sammy. You have a very lucky friend.
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Old 04-02-07, 04:40 AM   #3
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I'm finding, though, that my projects are all held up by the things that you NEVER get off an old bike, ie, chains, cables, bar wrap, and grips! I could easily spend £60 on those things right now......
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Old 04-02-07, 07:41 AM   #4
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Just tell your friend (presuming they able) to bring you a chain and handles. If that's all that stood between me and a nice bicycle, I'd be quite happy to do that.
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Old 04-02-07, 07:54 AM   #5
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I have set several friends up with super cheap bikes.

I use hockey stick tape for inexpensive (and surprisingly decent) bar tape.

In one case, I converted the bike to a single speed. That had the advantage of getting rid of all derailleur issues, plus those two cables. Plus, chain quality is not so much of an issue when you do not have rely on a wimpy rear derailleur keeping the chain tight on the rear cog.

And, most people that would use a low performance beater will get along just fine with one good gear.

I even chopped and flipped the bars on one so that my friend would look all hip!

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Old 04-02-07, 08:18 AM   #6
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I have a craptastic gaspipe bike waiting on that treatment. All it needs is for me to spring for an SS freewheel......
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Old 04-02-07, 08:28 AM   #7
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what? a ss freewheel? Either spin on a super-cheap BMW freewheel (about $10-15) or, just use the freewheel already on there. I would cringe to ride a bike that was lugging around 4 extra cogs uselessly, but again for a person that wants a free bike so that they can putter around town, whats the difference.

And, using a multiple speed freewheel has two added advantages: You can pick a gear on it to get a good chainline. And (assuming a certain degree of allowable slop in chainline) allows your rider to move to a slightly larger or smaller gear to fit their needs.

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Old 04-02-07, 08:32 AM   #8
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Oh yeah, I forgot the most important value of using the existing freewheel: it will not require re-spacing and re-dishing the rear wheel. I am glad to do that work on a worthy wheel/bike, but it seems silly on a junker. And, anyway, a junker probably has old stuck spokes/nipples might not take kindly to redishing.
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Old 04-02-07, 08:35 AM   #9
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Plus, my wheelbuilding knowledge = 0
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Old 04-02-07, 08:40 AM   #10
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Those Suntour Power Ratchet shifters are my absolute favorite. Everytime I go to the LBS I dig through the used shifters to find them all.
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Old 04-02-07, 09:08 AM   #11
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I wish LBS'es here had used parts. It would make me happy.

I have a set on my Raleigh Royal, and I like them ok, but I'm looking forward to getting my Raleigh Gran Sport set up with the Simplex Retrofrictions, cos I heard they're good too......
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Old 04-02-07, 09:16 AM   #12
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The LBS here has an inordinate amount of used stuff...there's an entire room full of boxes and such to dig through. Most of it's old, too They'll buy parts that you bring in, so there's always a ton. I was there yesterday and some guy came in with a singlespeed wheelset on Wolber Super Champion rims with Conti Ultra Gatorskin tires, and they didn't want to buy them because the back one was really out of true...he just left them in the free box out front...for me! I like my LBS.
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Old 04-02-07, 09:46 AM   #13
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I seriously need to find a bike shop like that.
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Old 04-02-07, 10:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
I seriously need to find a bike shop like that.
Don't we all! My favorite LBS calls me when they put stuff on the clearance table, and will sell me old stuff at a deep discount. But the owner gets a wild streak everynow and again and dumpsters a whole bunch of stuff. They are supposed to call me the next time and I am going to park my truck next to the dumpster and collect the overflow

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Old 04-02-07, 10:26 AM   #15
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I just made my first single speed. I used a single speed freewheel off an old kids bike back tire. It worked fine, didnt need to redish anything. Cheap source for freewheels
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Old 04-02-07, 11:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Plus, my wheelbuilding knowledge = 0
Well, one way to cure that.

And, re-dishing is not really the same thing as wheelbuilding. Wheelbuilding requires some technical understanding, strategy, and art. Simple re-dishing is much simpler. Assuming you start with a relatively true wheel and assuming the nipples and spokes are not frozen together, then I think that one can gut their way through it. Wheelbuilding requires Zen wisdom. Re-dishing requires enough courage to tinker with the magical relationship between a rim, a hub, and a bunch of spokes. Wise, I am not. But audacious I can be.

You must have a crappy wheel hanging around. Give it a try. My rough-and-ready ability to re-dish has opened up a number of possibilities for building bikes that I would regret not having.

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Old 04-02-07, 11:28 AM   #17
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Even wheelbuilding isn't as hard as you might think. There are several good online references available. If you make a mistake, you start over - not such a big deal. How many mistakes you make in the process doesn't much matter (as long as you don't break something) - all that does is how it comes out in the end.
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Old 04-02-07, 12:13 PM   #18
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True enough. Wheel building is not nearly as scary as it seems. A little patience is really all that is needed. But my point is that re-dishing is even easier than that. I consider myself to have middle of the road mechanical skills and tools, and it is well within my abilities.
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Old 04-02-07, 01:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
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True enough. Wheel building is not nearly as scary as it seems. A little patience is really all that is needed. But my point is that re-dishing is even easier than that. I consider myself to have middle of the road mechanical skills and tools, and it is well within my abilities.
Agreed, and Sam has reasonable mechanical aptitude as well.
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Old 04-02-07, 02:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by braingel
Those Suntour Power Ratchet shifters are my absolute favorite. Everytime I go to the LBS I dig through the used shifters to find them all.
Well, looks like I need to get off my tail and get my for trade posting done. I think I have two sets of Suntour power ratchet shifters with stem mounting hardware... I know some people like them, but I haven't found my camera in case someone wants pictures of what I post...

I'm still looking for Corky's front derailleur for Cycletoine... I sure hope I didn't lose it... but if I get rid of other stuff, maybe it will surface, along with my camera.
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