Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes: 1954 Raleigh Sports 1974 Raleigh Competition 1969 Raleigh Twenty 1964 Raleigh LTD-3
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I would suggest you look for something in an 8-speed geartrain. 8-speed is older, proven technology and is much more robust and long-lived than 10 or even 9-speed. The chain is beefier and lasts nearly 2x the miles as as well as the cassettes. they are also almost 1/2 the price for replacements. So that 4x the savings over 9+ geartrains/mile.
To save a little money if you go 8-speed you can get yourself a set of 8-speed Ultegra bar-ends
if the donor bike you buy has busted up brifters (many often are) or cheaper Sora. Heck, you could probably sell a decent set of brifters sometimes for nearly what you pay for a donor bike if they are Tiagra or better. That would help you fund the rest of the project. Brifters often are troublesome while the Ultegra Bar-ends are darn near bomb-proof.
One thing to watch out for is brake reach. If you are upgrading from a 27" wheel to a 700c wheelset then you probably will have an issue with reach -especially with modern Shimano groupset dual-pivots. They are only 49mm of reach. Measure the reach you have now from the pivot to the center of your rims and add 4 more mm for the conversion. You might have to get Tektro R559
long-reach brakes which can do 55-73mm of reach. Sell the brakes you get on your donor bike on CL to recoup losses. Sell everything you don't end up using on CL. You will have to learn to be a buy/sell madman on CL if you are going to do this without spending a ton of money on this project.
A word to the wise with buying and selling on CL loose parts are worth more on CL than groups of parts or whole bikes. Buying things individually will almost always cost more than buying a whole bike or a whole set. Same with selling. Always sell stuff individually for the maximum price.
You could finance a whole bike build if you bought cheap but fairly modern bikes, stripped them for parts and sold them off individually. This is the mindset you will need if you want to take on this project and not end up spending more money for a frankenbike than you could have bought a WHOLE NEW BIKE lightly used a couple of years old -or even new from online like a place like bikesdirect.com
Last edited by Amesja; 07-17-12 at 08:06 PM.