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Old 05-27-11, 01:09 PM   #1
superbleu
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'87 C'dale ST400, what should I do first

I still have my very first real bike, an '87 ST400.
The bike has been neglected by me but still rides fine. Most everything is original even the cables and housing. The only thing that isn't original are the saddle, pedals, handlebar tape, brake shoes and the Wheels, I switched over from 27" to 700c wheels after I was t-boned by a Harley and taco'ed my rear wheel.

My question is what should I do to it first besides replace the cables. Everything still works ok, despite never being taken in for a tune.

Is it worth the expense to upgrade the drivetrain or leave as is?
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Old 05-27-11, 01:28 PM   #2
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Ride it first, upgrade it later.

Whether or not "Its worth it" is a matter of opinion, however, I like mine.
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Old 05-27-11, 01:45 PM   #3
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I've got an '87 ST400 in the stand myself right now. The catalog shows two colors, white and 'banana'. I've got the 'banana' with red decals, 100% original. I plan to upgrade the drivetrain in the future but for now it'll remain mostly original. I did however order a new 7 speed Shimano freewheel to replace the shot 6 speed SunTour. I've got indexed 7 speed downtube shifters to go with the new freewheel. Also have new chain, cables/housing, bar wrap, tires, tubes, and brake pads ready to install also.

I haven't ridden it yet but when I sat on it I smiled because the fit is near perfect. And with those long chain stays I think I'm going to like the way it rides. I already have plenty of 'race' bikes. So I'm thinking 'yeah', it'll be worth upgrading.

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Old 05-27-11, 01:46 PM   #4
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I do ride it although mostly on the trainer when the weather stinks, but I'm thinking of using it for commuting to work. I have an R800 as my main bike, although that is only about 10 years newer than the '87

Mine is white with the orange-ish lettering. I liked the Yellow Imron paint they used back then too, but they only had the white in my size. I really wanted the SR-400, but now I'm glad I ended up getting the ST-400 instead.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:04 PM   #5
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Everything still works ok, despite never being taken in for a tune. Is it worth the expense to upgrade the drivetrain or leave as is?
I wish I had left mine alone. . . then again I was working on my second bent rear axle due to the freewheel setup. . . if bent axles become a problem you might could look at the rear wheel as first target. Verify that your rear spacing is 128mm or not. Mine is.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:13 PM   #6
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I did however order a new 7 speed Shimano freewheel to replace the shot 6 speed SunTour.
Oh, yeah, I forgot I did that too a long time ago. SACHS 7 speed 12-21T. . . I've long since worn that out. So that along with the bent axle, I'm in three times the cost of the bike on a 100% SRAM Rival redeux.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:16 PM   #7
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I bought an old ST 400 at a fleamarket and it looks like the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame? Sorry for a stupid question but I am quite perplexed by this frame. If it is straight I could use modern 130 mm rear wheels and I have an old Record Normal reach brakeset that allows me to use 700 cc wheels instead of the 27" set it was made for.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:34 PM   #8
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....the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame?
No but sometimes the heat treatment did some funny things to the tubes. It is not critical, just align it between the chain stays and seat stays when you put the wheel in or, if your really anal, you can file the dropout, gently and carefully, with a round file using some dropout alignment tools to get it dialed in. Personally, I don't worry about it since I have to spread the frame anyway to put in 130mm hub.

My ST is the bike I do my longer distances on. Very rarely does it do less than 60 miles on a ride.
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Old 05-27-11, 02:39 PM   #9
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Verify that your rear spacing is 128mm or not. Mine is.
Lucky you... I read this in rccardr's thread and thought 'great, I can use some modern wheels'. Upon measuring I find mine at actually 125mm which seems to much to spread an aluminum frame to put my modern 130mm wheel in there.

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I bought an old ST 400 at a fleamarket and it looks like the rear wheel is off center because it is closer to one chainstay near the crankbox. Is this normal for this frame?
I don't know if it's normal but I've noticed that with mine also.

~kn
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Old 05-27-11, 02:44 PM   #10
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I have to spread the frame anyway to put in 130mm hub.
Is your ST frame rear spacing in the 125-126mm range? Or more near 128mm others have mentioned?

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Old 05-27-11, 03:39 PM   #11
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.....
... what should I do to it first ...

Lube it up first.
Do the bottom bracket, headset and hubs too (if they weren't recently done when you replaced the wheels)
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Old 05-27-11, 05:37 PM   #12
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I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.
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Old 05-27-11, 07:58 PM   #13
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Is your ST frame rear spacing in the 125-126mm range? Or more near 128mm others have mentioned?

~kn
127.5

If yours is spaced at 125 I would check it for any bending and alignment. All of mine have been 127 to 127.5. I don't remember any new ones back then having small spacing issues either.
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Old 05-28-11, 06:00 AM   #14
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I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.
Hey: steel strength at titanium weight-- i's a beautiful thing.
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Old 05-28-11, 07:57 AM   #15
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Even 125 is OK to take a 130 axle. Could be one of the dropouts is a little bent. No worries.

Anybody who wants replacement Suntour freewheels, Cyclone RD's or Accushift downtube shifters for these bikes, let me know. I have a bunch of them, yours for the cost of postage.
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Old 05-28-11, 09:24 AM   #16
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Even 125 is OK to take a 130 axle. Could be one of the dropouts is a little bent. No worries.
It's good to know that spreading the 125 to 130 hasn't been a problem. I think that'll be the direction I go on my ST400.


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Anybody who wants replacement Suntour freewheels, Cyclone RD's or Accushift downtube shifters for these bikes, let me know. I have a bunch of them, yours for the cost of postage.
Could've uses a freewheel a week or so ago but I ended up buying a 'Mega Range' Shimano Hyperglide freewheel in 7 speed to replace the original 6 speed. I've got my fingers crossed that the RD will handle the 34T low gear on it.

On a side note... Anybody with one of these late 80's ST400 frames find them a bit odd. I mean the frame is all decked out 'touring' ready with double eyelets front and back, lowrider mounts on the fork, long chainstays. But yet it's outfitted with a double crank with 52/42 rings. And I'm looking at the clearance after mounting only 25mm tires on the stock 27" rims thinking fenders would be a SQUEEZE, if they fit at all.

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Old 05-28-11, 02:40 PM   #17
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ST = sport/touring. Not intended for fat tires or fenders, more like relaxed geometry for credit card touring. If you go to 700's you canusually mount something a little thicker.

The higher end 600 and up ST's had triple rings, but so did many of the 400's even though they were not in the catalog. I've picked up two in the past six months that had SR Apex half step + grannies.
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Old 05-28-11, 02:45 PM   #18
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+1 New bearings and grease. You risk destroying bb cups and hubs if you ride it as is. Assume those haven't been serviced in 25 years.
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Old 05-28-11, 03:21 PM   #19
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+1 New bearings and grease. You risk destroying bb cups and hubs if you ride it as is. Assume those haven't been serviced in 25 years.
Don't forget the headset.

It doesn't take long to service a bike, if the special tools are handy. A LBS can service a bottom bracket and freewheel and shouldn't be too expensive.

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Old 05-28-11, 03:37 PM   #20
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ST = sport/touring. Not intended for fat tires or fenders, more like relaxed geometry for credit card touring. If you go to 700's you canusually mount something a little thicker.
A set of 700x32 and some 45mm fenders is the max you stuff under them. And you aren't taking that through any mud since the clearances are in the 2mm range.
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Old 06-10-11, 04:48 PM   #21
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Any suggestions on what currently available brakes might work with this frame and 700c wheels? The current/original brakes no longer stay centered and pull to one size when actuated.
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Old 06-10-11, 04:57 PM   #22
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Lucky you... I read this in rccardr's thread and thought 'great, I can use some modern wheels'. Upon measuring I find mine at actually 125mm which seems to much to spread an aluminum frame to put my modern 130mm wheel in there.



I don't know if it's normal but I've noticed that with mine also.

~kn
Actually, I have 130's on a 126. It really is no big deal and many on the forum have done it.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:33 PM   #23
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I had one of those a few months ago. The downtube if I recall was pretty massive and rivaled a soda can. lol.
Henry - it didn't happen to be a blue T400 did it? I noticed your location and my son bought a T400 a few weeks ago in Neenah. I'm doing a few tweaks on it for him and I had to chuckle at your comment because I thought the downtube was huge too. I never knew they were that oversized.
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Old 06-11-11, 09:08 AM   #24
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Hahaha that'd be the one! Your son works out at Gulfstream right? Small world!
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Old 06-12-11, 09:46 PM   #25
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Yeah that's him. I rode it a little but the plastic on the cable housing in front of the RD kind of shattered so the indexing was off. I replace that and am waiting for a new cartridge BB. The spindle was fairly pitted and the cups had a little to so I decided to replace the whole thing. I'm anxious to give it another spin and see how stiff that huge frame is. It should make a sweet tourer for him.
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