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  1. #1
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    On the philosophy of building a bike

    Once you read this one, you'll be firmly convinced that 'ol Syke has way too much time on his hands. This thought comes out of a series of PM's that redneckwes and I have been tossing back and forth. We just completed a frame trade: My '81 Raleigh Gran Prix (the former TT Bike for the Homeless) for his '84 Trek 460, giving us both frames in the size that we should be riding.

    I got the Trek built last weekend, and have put about 150 miles on it over the past two weekends. No, East Hill, no pictures, because the bike isn't what I want to show at the moment. I have other plans for it . . . .

    Which got me to thinking: Why do the rest of you put a bike together? OK, I'm not asking for the obvious reply: To have a new bike to ride. Obviously. Air to breath, food to eat, beer to drink, clothes to wear, bikes to ride - such are the absolute necessities of life.

    The angle I'm thinking of is, "When you've got the first part(s), how do you plan it? What is your intention as to why the bike is going to be built a certain way?"

    Just to start it off, I normally run from one of two directions: 1. To restore a bike to what it originally was, or, 2. To come up with a theme or purpose for building said bike. The latter is far and away my favorite way of doing things, and it's the same way I'd build my annual new spring bike back in Erie 35 years ago.

    Thoughts?
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  2. #2
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    the first bike i built... got tired of department store junk, picked up a load of vintage steel that was about to get scrapped, and started just having fun with it. nice hub from one, bearings from another, cool set of mustache handlebars, and whatever else could possibly bolt on. crazy contraption that still draws attention in all its chrome bedecked glory. and when riding with friends, i know exactly what she can do and will often have her outperforming new bikes (kickstand, fenders, and rear rack rattling all the way as i breeze by). nothing better than riding something you had completely disassembled to the spokes.

  3. #3
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    #1 History will guide me

    #2 The bike will tell me what it was, and what it wants to be...

    #3 Whatever I have in the parts pile of stuff I dreged out of the thrift store
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  4. #4
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Up until this year, I'd just grab anything I could get my hands on. I had a vague idea of what I liked and when I found an opportunity that sounded reasonable, I went for it. The purpose was to glom onto bikes I liked.

    This year, I came to the realization that I was spending far to much time working on my bikes, and had too little to show for it (quality-wise). I took a step back and considered what I wanted to have, and I came up with a list.

    I wanted the following - to keep.

    A go-fast hot rod - steel frame, lugs, modern drive train
    A super long-distance tourer
    A really pretty, drool-worthy vintage bike built generally period correctly
    A British club-style bike
    A "city bike"
    A fixed gear bike
    A rigid MTB

    and I didn't have the heart to part with the Super Course that reminds me of my roots in nice lightweights, or the Fuji "Finest" that was my first rehab after I got started. Finding acceptable frames is one part of the task, but acquiring all the bits necessary to build them up is another matter. I took the approach of finding some nice things at bargain prices (sometims in bulk) and either trading them for things needed, putting them on my own bikes, or adding them to bikes I built to sell. You should see all the tubular wheels I have right now.

    Once I get to the planned state, everything else I get my hands on will either be an upgrade to something I already have, or will get flipped to contribute to the bicycle hobby fund.

    Consequently, I'm finding myself with a bunch of bikes I'm trying to sell. I'm set on the city bike (Raleigh Superbe), the British club-style bike (J.A. Holland - thanks Sammyboy), have functional - and for the moment acceptable fixed gear (Schwinn Traveler) and MTB (Trek 830), and in the process of building up the hot rod and the drooler (Trek 760 and Raleigh Professional - both sporting fresh Dr. Deltron paint jobs ) .

    The current focus of acquisition is the long distance bike - which I expect will be my primary mileage machine from here on out. I'm heading towards a new Surly Long Haul Trucker, because it seems the best mix of what I like and think I need in an affordable bicycle (for randonneuring). This will allow me to catch up on the maintenance I need to do to all the others, and hopefully put myself in the state where I can focus far more on riding than on projects.

    This leaves a few bikes that I've accumulated, as odd men out - including the Bob Jackson that I truly do enjoy riding, and the Miyata 210 that Poguemahone so kindly found and passed along to me. I have to treat these as means to the desired end-state. I hope to have 9 road-worthy bikes in the permanent stable 24/7 before spring arrives. I'm seeing the end in sight.

    As I go forward, I think my primary interest will be finding bikes/parts that I can sell and make a profit on. Kind of crass I suppose, but I will be keeping vintage bikes on the road, and fitting them out in ways that are generally true to their heritage.
    Last edited by USAZorro; 12-11-07 at 12:14 AM.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  5. #5
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
    Up until this year, I'd just grab anything I could get my hands on. I had a vague idea of what I liked and when I found an opportunity that sounded reasonable, I went for it. The purpose was to glom onto bikes I liked.

    This year, I came to the realization that I was spending far to much time working on my bikes, and had too little to show for it (quality-wise). I took a step back and considered what I wanted to have, and I came up with a list.
    I think I am slowly headed that way. I was surprised today to realize I had three frames that were not gas-pipe!
    http://bicyclenut.bravehost.com/Bicy...nt%20page.html

    The last two bikes on my list are a 50's Lenton Grand Prix and a '64 Raleigh Record.

  6. #6
    WATERFORD22
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    Interesting thread! I usually accunulate parts and then look for a frame. Sometime it's the otherway around. In my part bin and rims I always have enough quality parts to build two or three bikes. I might have find the right stem or bottom bracket or the right set of handlebars, but the majority of stuff is there.
    It not uncommon for me to start off thinking retro then modern or vise versa which always means I have extra parts on hand. I buy nice parts when they become available not knowing what they will be used for and sometimes they just become trade material for something I really need. This year is crazy though - building a fairly modern Cinelli - had stem, bottom bracket, but the right fluted seatpost has alluded me. Just about done - but I have a vintage mountain bike project just getting underway - started retro suntour and it's turned into modern shimano accept the brakes. None of these turn out to be show bikes, but impressive riders till I get rid of them and start a new project.

  7. #7
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Great question Skye!

    I'll only add my two cents worth on the bike I've been planning for quite a number of months now, the '73 Schwinn Super Sport frame I bought from el twe early last spring.

    The first choice was the paint and theme/style. I decided to not redo the original opaque green and go with a custom color and theme. Which led to picking a color based on---

    1) What color bike don't I have?
    2) What color would I like to have?
    3) Is there a color and theme I prefer that is different from what Schwinn normally painted Super Sports?

    The second choice was which components to use. Since I basically had a frame and I didn't want to use the one piece heavy crank, I would replace as much of the original steal bits as possible. So I found myself asking these questions---

    1) What kind of components would I use and which ones would work?
    2) Which components would have the curb appeal to match Dr.D's paint and JR's decals?
    3) How would I ride the bike and in what kind of terrain?

    In the end this Super Sport will be very different from "PC" (period correct), but I will have had a great deal of fun, and it has been wonderful experience.

    In 2008 I plan to pedal more and wrench less, if I can only avoid the temptation of going to the dump.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Love the answers so far. As to my own end, with the rationale for building each bike:

    1. Historically correct restorations - that's my UO-8 and Tour de France (when completed this winter).
    2. Italian steel on a budget - '88 Rossin RL, done up all 7400 Dura Ace (I knew when I was dreaming up this bike that I couldn't afford Campagnolo).
    3. Memorial bike to my beloved old tourer, World Voyageur - couldn't come up with another Voyageur frame nice enough within my budget, so the '69 Magneet Sprint that Poguemahone gave me got the nod. Still need some wider gearing, but otherwise it does the job. Still keeping my eye out for a blue Voyageur, however.
    4. Fixie - The '77 Shogun 200 was a good start, but too tall. And fixies are too bloody profitable at the moment. This winter I'll be redoing the bike that got me back into the sport, my '64 Raleigh Gran Sport into that slot. It's too beat and damaged to restore back to original specs, as it was backed into in the garage by the original owner.
    5. Crash course in catching up on 28 years of missed technology - '03 Fuji Finest, all 9-speed Ultegra.
    6. Learn to paint a bike properly - see Fixie.
    7. General purpose mule - '93 Bianchi Nyala, my heavy tourer/bad weather trainer/urban bike/machine to hook to the garage trainer. This year it's got more mileage on it than any three of my other bikes.
    8. Work lunch time errand runner - I've gone through three bikes in this position this year, the '91 GT Passage seems to be the current keeper.
    9. Memory bike to my college days - '71 Raleigh Sports. I have a feeling it'll be gone before spring, as I never ride it. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

    At which point, I've got enough hanging around to start getting esoteric in my plans. The TT Bike for the Homeless, although unsuccessful, was the first shot of my getting a bit on the wierd side. Swapping out the frame has me started on my next project: the European Failure Bike.

    This is the Trek 460, eventually to be kitted out with as much last (or near last) generation European components from the days when the European industry was being ground into the dust by Shimano. At the moment, it's a mish-mash of what I have on the shelf, slowly evolving into 'no Shimano' (won the Sugino crank last night, waiting for the DiaCompe calipers to arrive). Then I'll do some first pics.

    Eventually, the plan is: Mailliard Helicomatic based wheels (already mounted and running with Vittoria tubular rims), post SunTour patent Simplex derailleurs (have the rear, a virtual copy of the Cyclone, still trying to figure out the proper front and levers), Mavic 631 Starfish crank (have the crank, need 114mm bottom bracket), open to suggestions on brakes. Everything needs to be 1984-86ish.

    I find the bikes are a lot more interesting to build when you've got a definite plan to challenge you, rather than just tossing parts on a frame. By the way, some of the above were planned out from the beginning in detail, some were planned once I got the first part or two to give me the concept, and a few of the above just happened, starting with both of my correct restorations.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
    Just to start it off, I normally run from one of two directions: 1. To restore a bike to what it originally was, or, 2. To come up with a theme or purpose for building said bike.
    I tend to the latter as I'm aiming for as much diversity in my fleet as possible (and vintage seems to trump diversity at times as I have a 1950 and a 1951 Raleigh Clubman, pretty much the same bike, but one is in serious need of a resto). So I'm building with specific purposes in mind. The latest project is a Raleigh International with a Bendix 2-speed kickback hub built into a 700c rim. It's intended to be a fun bike for zipping around town, but I'm also thinking that it would be a fine longer-distance bike if I swap components from another and make it derailleur equipped. I've also traded my 22" Schwinn Super Sport frameset for a 24" SS frameset from a BF member (which should fit me properly), and that's a project looking for a purpose at the moment. Perhaps that'll be the 2-speed kickback fun bike instead of the Int'l. Ultimately, my test of whether to keep a bike or not is if I'm riding it regularly. If it's just hanging in the basement, it'll go up for sale. I've got two or three that'll meet that fate in the spring.

    Neal

  10. #10
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    There are only two bikes in the barn I'd consider frame-up builds rather than extreme, aggressive upgrades, and in both cases I had something in mind before I began. the Miyata Triplecross with drops was to ride on dirt roads and farm paths with my wife and kids on their ATBs. It was also to be a budget build using what I had laying around. The fact that it was also the perfect all-around bike was a happy accident
    A Kona Hahanna was a shot at building a flat-out off road bike using a dump frameset and take-off parts.
    There's a third frame up build in progress, a Miyata 710 that will be a faux rando-type crusier.
    Top
    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    "1. To restore a bike to what it originally was, or, 2. To come up with a theme or purpose for building said bike"

    I have gone both ways but usually do the #2. Sometimes I plan the bike out, then find all the parts but a few of my favorite bikes happened when I realized that I had all the parts needed to build up a nice ride.

    The median quality level of my fleet jumped way up thanks to our recent move. I sold off or gave away all but 11 complete bikes. All the bare frames and quite a few parts went as well. About the time our home sold, I weakened & bought a fillet brazed Motobecane Grand Record frame. I even managed to get it powder coated before moving day.

    Almost all my bike tools are packed away for the duration while I try to finish the foundation of our new home prior to New Year's day. I won't be doing any bike builds until next Winter at the earliest. Don
    visit my homebuilding blog: www.monoplanar.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    excellent question.
    for me, like redneckwes the bike sort of tells me what it needs to be.
    My Pogliaghi Pista had no choice but to be built up with as much campy as I could
    find, and italian wheels (building up a set of Fiamme reds for it).
    My Jan de Reus looked modern, was the newest frame I own (1990) and clearly the
    aero cable routing said "Croce D'Aune" because it's an oddball frame and an oddball gruppo.
    My RIH came with full campy gruppo (N.Record) with the exception of crankset. It stayed that way.
    The Zieleman was funny, I always expected to build it with Campy Nuovo Record, but it just
    didn't feel right, so it's being built up with Suntour 1st gen cyclone and Superbe. What is truely
    ironic is that Ko Zieleman did not like either japanese components, nor the Japanese as a people.
    The Remy also had no choice, it's got campy decals all over it so it's getting a super record,
    mixed year gruppo.
    my other two? for starters they are not dutch bikes all of the above are.
    The Serotta is campy 8 speed ergo, it's my daily rider and my first ergo build.
    I have a Trek 770 hanging on the rack, unbuilt for 3 years now (or is it 4?) needs paint, and I
    have no clue what I'm going to do with it. maybe my first foray into fixed gear.

    marty
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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  13. #13
    dbg
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    Themes and categories.
    Category 1: Lightweight touring- I like light steel with slightly relaxed road geometries that can be loaded up just a little bit. Picture 1 below hit my target for minimalist light touring while 2 and 3 are other versions, but I'm also tending toward canti brake cross frames as a primary base for this category. I do an annual summer trip with the same folks every year, and every couple years I bring a new build and give it away (pict 2).
    Category 2: College beaters. I like non-suspension mtb frames with horizontal rear drops so I can do a minimilist single speed build and give it away to a neighbor kid or distant relative for college.
    Category 3: "Johnny Appleseed" I like to restore neighbor throw-outs and see if they want it back after being nicely restored. If not I'll give it to another neighbor who looking to start riding but doesn't know where to start. Ideally this starts someone else into the whole bike craze again.
    Category 4: Specialties - I have a recumbent and several tandems and am trying to figure out the sweet spots in those types.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    I know it sounds cliché, but I build a bike for one reason - to enjoy riding it. I put on whatever components that will most effectively let me do that. I don't build single speeds or fixed gear bikes because my knees can't take it. I put on triples or compact cranks because I need them. I run STI shifters because that's how I like to shift. I put on wheels that can take abuse, since I'm fat.

    So, for me, I build out of necessity. I don't have the luxury of having a whole stable of bikes at my disposal, so my bikes often serve multiple purposes. It would be nice to have a whole basement full of period-correct, fully restored former racing bikes. But, until I hit the lottery, that isn't going to happen...

  15. #15
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have rebuilt, restored, and upgraded numerous bicycles over the years, but I have built only one from a brand-new bare frame. I was a starving newlywed grad student working part-time at a Peugeot/Nishiki dealership, and my wife needed a good transportation bicycle. Through the shop I bought a red 21" Peugeot UO-8 frame and a chrome aftermarket fork designed as a replacement part. When one of the guys bought a new crankset for his LeJeune, I grabbed his castoff TA Professional 3-bolt unit for $30. Not wanting to retap the cranks, I bought plain French-threaded rat-trap pedals. Not wanting to pay for new chainrings, I built up a 16-18-21-24-32 freewheel, giving me essentially the then-popular road racing 1.5-step setup of 52-42 / 14-16-18-21-24, but with the 32-tooth wall-climber replacing the top gear. This gave my wife a very useful gear range of 35 to 88 gear-inches. The 32-tooth low gear cog dictated a wide-range derailleur, and I just happened to have the SunTour V-GT from my 1971 Nishiki, which I had converted to narrower-range gearing (54-44/14-24 for the Double Century, 50-42/14-23 thereafter). Since we were car-free, I needed a Pletscher mousetrap rear rack for shopping and textbook transporting. I got a great deal on nearly-new Normandy Luxe Competition hubs left over from a clincher wheel conversion on a PX-10. Since my wife never has liked drop bars, Peugeot UO-18 nearly-straight bars were the obvious choice. For the gearshift, I knocked off the single brazed-on downtube lever mount and installed a set of Schwinn TwinStiks I had lying aroud. The bottom line was that opportunity knocked with various components, and we ended up with a road bike which served her well for 10 years, until she decided she really preferred trail riding and began using my mountain bike. I have since built her a mountain bike and converted the UO-8 to be my cyclocross and commuter by adding drop bars, barcons, and narrow-range gears. After almost 35 years, that lowly UO-8 has endeared itself to us, and it still serves me admirably.
    "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
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  16. #16
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    How I build depends on what I'm building for, but in general I'm a "meat and potatoes" kind of builder.

    I started building bikes as therapy. I was in the throes of an extended unemployed period ( dot com boom/bust), had a lot of time on my hands, and was getting pretty depressed from not being able to find any work at all. One day, as I was haunting a thrift, I saw a beat up bike in the pile and took it home. I had spent some of my youth on a bicycle manufacturing line, and it reminded me of when I was 16.

    I took it home and played with it some - got it cleaned up and working as best I could with the tools at hand. Working on it took my mind off of my troubles for a bit, and it lifted my spirits. Once done, I rode it until I found another, sold it and rebuilt the new one. Fast forward today, where I'm flipping them for fun and profit.

    Which gets me to my build philosophies. As most of you that have met me can attest, my eye is always scanning for the next bike to build and sell. To that end, I build them to what my market wants - inexpensive, solid, reliable riders. Components don't matter too much, as long as they are clean and function well. I try to match the level of components to the quality of the frame in question, but I don't have any problem using steel parts - wheels, cranks, etc., as long as they work and are presentable. Like I said, meat and potatoes. When I get my hands on an upper level bike, naturally I use parts that match the rest of the group.

    Now, I've used that "pin" money (as mom used to say) to fuel my own bike addiction. I like bikes, and I like building bikes and looking at bikes almost as much as I like riding them. So, I have more than one for myself. When I build for myself I like pretty and I like quality, but I also like function, reliability, and saving a buck. So I find a pretty frame that appeals to me and start from there. Witness the Palo Alto and the Pinarello. Also witness that they are outfitted with modern Campy Centaur, which is pretty, functional, reliable, and can be had at a good price point.

    One day, I'm going to find a really top drawer frame and go to town on it. But for right now, I'm happy building meat and potatoes - interestingly enough, it is still very therapeutic, and the main draw for me is saving something that was once trash and making it both useful and desirable to someone else.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  17. #17
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    For me it has to do with what I want to use the bike for. My last bike build was meant to be used for commuting and occasional long distance rides. I bought a Miyata 1000 and striped it down. I didn't like the industrial gray paint so I had it painted. Most of the components were shot so I upgraded. One thing I'll always do with older bike builds is replace the handlebars. I don't like the narrow bars that were common on these bikes. I also don't like downtube shifters. Switching to bar ends made the bike easier for me to shift. It's not original (some will call it bastidized), but now it's comfortable, and a joy to ride and that's what it's all about.

    Now I'd love to build a classic Italian bike with all the period correct parts. The fun for me would be in the build and finding the right parts. I doubt that I would ride it much after it's completed.
    Last edited by Mariner Fan; 12-11-07 at 10:02 AM.

  18. #18
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I guess I am still in my juvenile stage where most any bike is a fun thing to mess around with. I am constantly building/modifying bikes for myself and for sale. I have noticed that I have gotten somewhat pickier recently, but still I can hardly resist any thirft store/garbage/LBS castoff so long as it has three-piece cranks.

    Bikes that I am working on or will work on include one in the shop right now, and about a dozen or so (complete bikes or framesets) in the basement that will get attention sometime in the near future.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
    --------------------------
    SB forever

  19. #19
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner Fan View Post
    For me it has to do with what I want to use the bike for. My last bike build was meant to be used for commuting and occasional long distance rides. I bought a Miyata 1000 and striped it down. I didn't like the industrial gray paint so I had it painted. Most of the components were shot so I upgraded. One thing I'll always do with older bike builds is replace the handlebars. I don't like the narrow bars that were common on these bikes. I also don't like downtube shifters. Switching to bar ends made the bike easier for me to shift. It's not original (some will call it bastidized), but now it's comfortable, and a joy to ride and that's what it's all about.

    Now I'd love to build a classic Italian bike with all the period correct parts. The fun for me would be in the build and finding the right parts. I doubt that I would ride it much after it's completed.
    Feel free to let me be your narrow handlebar dumping ground.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  20. #20
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    I generally start with the bike's intended use first and once the frame is chosen, I let it determine the what kind of story it wants to tell.

    Last year I built up an around town bike from an 83 Cambio Rino.Constructed with Faulk tubing and predominantly equipped with it's original Rino components,it just cried out 'classic junior italian racer on a tight budget'.

    Any component additions/changes I did had to be of second tier or low-end italian origin - an area that I'd never really explored before.

    Ended up with Campy Nuovo Grand Sport & Nuovo Valentino deraillieurs, Rino crankset, Universal 66 calipers, Ambrosio Start bars & stem, silca frame pump,etc.- even decided to stick with 'burlap special' sew-ups -
    imo, pretty much what a working class, ex-racer, italian dad might have had set up for his kid's first 'serious race bike' in the early/mid 80's.

    A fun and interesting project and as it turned out, a surprisingly nice ride for minimal outlay.
    Last edited by caterham; 12-11-07 at 05:10 PM.

  21. #21
    N+1 redxj's Avatar
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    My builds generally revolve around what I think I can sell. I have been doing the flipping for profit for a little over a year and a half. I have learned a lot in that time (many thanks to the posters here!!). I can relatively easily look at a garage sale/thrift store bike figure out what it needs in new parts and what I think I can sell it for when finished. If it doesn't need that much or is worth it for parts I buy it.

    The next part is my biggest problem. What to do with it? Most of the bikes I get I strip down to the frame and fork and clean/regrease headset/BB and then it just sits there. I find it hard to make up my mind with what I end up doing with a bike. Return it to stock? Single Speed? Fixed Gear? sell it as a Frame/Fork for easy profit? Or something else?

    I will often change parts if the "original" part doesn't work well or is broken. I often change parts if they are higher end too. I have found many bikes are worth more in pieces than whole so I often remove nicer parts and sell those on CL or Ebay. I will then put on fully functioning but kind of basic parts to get the bike running again. I have done slight upgrades on a couple of occasions as well (aluminum rimmed wheels in place of Steel 5 speed to 6 speed freewheel, etc.).

    These are all for flippers. For my own bikes I tend to take things differently. My bikes are setup to be usable by me. So many of my vintage bikes have Thomson seat posts because they are strong, look nice, and are long enough for me to ride. The other is I ride clipless Time ATAC MTB pedals on almost every bike. I know they aren't PC on a vintage bike, but I don't care. I generally don't care much about period correctness and setting everything up as it came. Mainly because I don't have to means to find and purchase the needed parts. My 73' Paramount is the one exception as it is almost completely stock and will stay that way because it is my one period correct bike. I purchased it and my 76 P14 from the original owner and the P13 was almost complete period correct except he switched out the tubular wheelset for clinchers. Both of my vintage track bikes are more along the lines as what works for me. One has a carbon fork that made me like to ride the bike again and a Paul/Velocity Aerohead wheelset. The P14 has Phil Wood/Mavic MA3 wheelset. I couldn't bring myself to put a set of Deep Vs on the Paramount so I seeked out a nice set of track wheels with older box section rims. My other geared bike is a mid-80's Eddy Merckx Corsa with slightly later Shimano 7 speed brifter group. I bought it basically that way off of Ebay, and I think I might eventually make it a full Dura Ace group. I bought it because I wanted an older lugged steel road bike with newer STI. It isn't a full 9/10 speed Dura Ace or Record group, but for the price it has filled that need at least temporarily.

    The one bike I want to add to my collection is a touring bike. I would really like to find a Schwinn Paramount P15 to add to my Paramount collection. I would probably keep that close to original and PC as possible. Even if I did I would consider a newer touring bike for longer rides. I know it isn't C&V, but I would buy one of the complete Surly Long Haul Truckers if I had the money in a heartbeat. I would upgrade a few things on it like adding a Brooks saddle of course. A Rivendell would be nice, but the LHT complete is the price of many of there frames/forks.

  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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    Personal builds and for others are different.

    For personal builds the groups must be complete and as period correct as possible for pleasure and can be mixed as much as they want for utility. I have 4 pleasure bikes and 2 utility bikes

    1. Period Nuovo Record bike (corky 1971)
    2. Super record bike.. was the faggin but always have mavic hubs and simplex shifters and cobalto brakes... I think it's going to get 2nd generation C-record derailleurs and record doppler shifters. so the super record bits are gradually going into that box for the right early 80s italian steed.
    3. Lugged frame with modern ergo group (1992 marinoni special, 2005 centaur)
    4. Track bike, period record (1981 Marinoni Pista)
    5. Long haul touring bike (1984ish Nishiki International) has 8 speed shimano mixed bag of deore, specialised, onza, etc.
    6. Fixed gear with what works best but also has flair (mighty comp. cranks, maillard hubs, suntour pedals, campagnolo brakes, SR royal stem, zoom moustache bars, dura-ace cog, izumi chain etc.. 1975 jeunet, this is my true beater.

    My girlfriend's 3 bikes are much the same. A mixed SS guerciotti (have to remove the campy brakes because they hurt her hands). A GIOS professional with 1st gen. chorus. and a nishiki international with mixed shimano suntour.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lamplight's Avatar
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    I build/modify them as my taste changes. When I was a teenager I liked mountain bikes and I liked going fast on them. So when I rekindled my interest (after a too-long hiatus) I started by riding my KHS and buying a few things it needed.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._7818small.jpg
    Then my brother bought his early '80s Colnago and after riding it I knew I wanted an older road bike. It was shockingly fast and nimble, almost scary. So I began searching around town and on Craigslist, but kept coming up empty handed. Finally, I found my Peugeot. It was a little too big but I didn't care because I had finally found my road bike! All I did to it was get new tires and grip tape, and mount another seat I had.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...t/IMG_8117.jpg
    Well I rode it for a couple of months and loved it, But then I found this on Craigslist:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._8316small.jpg
    It felt great to have a bike that fit for a change (actually it's a tiny tiny bit small), and it was in much better shape than my Peugeot. However, it had a very harsh ride and really didn't handle as well. Plus I missed the chrome fork of the Peugeot. I really only changed parts that were worn out or didn't fit me right, like the bars and stem. I was still set on a "racing" bike. Then I found this:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._8669small.jpg
    It had the smoothness of the Peugeot but with better handling and non of the Bianchi's harshness, plus it fit me perfectly. It even had purty chrome! The components were pretty ragged, and a complete hodge-podge, so I made some large upgrades in the name of speed and efficiency:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...3copysmall.jpg
    It was now all I could want in a "fast" bike. Then I got my Nishiki just because it was a good deal.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._8839small.jpg
    It was very disappointing to me as far as the ride was concerned. It felt sluggish and not "together". Then I started commuting to work and thought, "what the heck, I'll put a rack on the Nishiki and use it for commuting in nice weather". A few minor upgrades here and there, and before long the bike really grew on me. It wasn't good for going fast, but it was great for meandering and just relaxing. Eventually, the bike ended up like this:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9422small.jpg
    My taste had officially changed. I didn't care about speed anymore, I wanted something comfortable and useful, that also happened to have a traditional vibe about it. As a result, I also found myself wanting a traditional style touring bike. It took a while but I found this:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9913small.jpg
    And it quickly became this:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...1cop2small.jpg
    Not as cosmetically nice as my Nishiki, but with more eyelets and loads of clearance all around. I have chrome Velo Orange front and rear racks that I plan to mount, and on it will go a traditional handlebar bag. Oh, and along the way I got these just because:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._8319small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9211small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...ightsg/002.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9709small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9806small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9827small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9833small.jpg
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2..._9903small.jpg

    If you read all of that, you must be as bored as I was to type it all.

  24. #24
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
    I guess I am still in my juvenile stage where most any bike is a fun thing to mess around with. I am constantly building/modifying bikes for myself and for sale. I have noticed that I have gotten somewhat pickier recently, but still I can hardly resist any thirft store/garbage/LBS castoff so long as it has three-piece cranks.

    Bikes that I am working on or will work on include one in the shop right now, and about a dozen or so (complete bikes or framesets) in the basement that will get attention sometime in the near future.

    jim
    Enjoy it. All too soon you'll realize that you're storing more bikes than you can possibly enjoy, and will start culling the herd down a bit, to more manageable levels.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  25. #25
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    I build a bike with a specific purpose in mind and the idea usually comes from one part. I have a 700c with a rebuilt Sturmey Archer AW hub that has been nagging me for a frame. I found a 1982 Dawes Atlantis frame that I am having some dropouts welded for a clean 3 speed then it is off to the powdercoater. With each bike I hope I'll have as much fun riding it as building it but building it usually wins!

    I like USAZorro's list and I hope to get down to just that many this summer.

    Peter Mooney, Raleigh Competition International & Twenty, Bridgestone Grand Velo MB1 & RBT, Paramount, Seven Cycles, Tom Ritchey, Koga Miyata, Specialized S-Works Cross

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