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Old 01-16-13, 01:33 PM   #1
mohatt
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Chris Chance: singel speed conversion or upgrade compoents?

Hi there! I am going through an identity crisis of sorts with my old, but classic and awesome riding bikes. In particular, I have a Chris Chance road bike that I've kept serviceable for 18 years now, but I'm still on the original rear wheel (campy vento), derailleurs (campy athena), shifters, as well as BB and headset. The issue is primarily that the rear wheel is dying and I am moving to Colorado where my current gear ration will kill me given my current state of conditioning. So, the question that I'd love some input on is, should I:

1) convert my beautiful Chris Chance into a killer commuter (fixed speed or single speed, maybe even some fenders and a rack), and buy a new road bike (looking at a Wilier La Triestina or Cannondale CAAD10); or
2) find a way to get new wheels and components onto my old frame and keep riding it as my roadie?

The LBS warns me that option 2 might be more expensive than option 1 and wont match the performance of a new road bike. And I have been pining a bit for a new, lighter ride. But before I commit full sail to option 1, I'd love to hear some other people's opinions, especially with regards to what the reality of completing option 2 might entail.

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-13, 01:38 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

my 2 cents on your conundrum: Get a cheap fixie to go around town and spend some time and effort on upgrading that Chris Chance to specs more to your current need. I'd suggest a period correct wheelbuild and a cassette with a wider range, and possibly a triple. This is a very short and condensed answer, but we're here to answer all your questions in detail and feel free to post some pics as well!
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Old 01-16-13, 02:17 PM   #3
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Be more specific when you say "my rear wheel is dying". You say your current gear ratio will kill you but are considering SS/FG. Seems like this would make it worse.

Chris Chance's are pretty special. I'd fix what was wrong with it. Bike shop is just trying to sell you another bike.
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Old 01-16-13, 02:21 PM   #4
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I suggest a new campy compatible wheelset of a shimano wheel set with jteck shiftmate and a modern compact crank. It's not expensive, your LBS is loath to do it because it take time and effort to think about how to make your bike work well with a little bit of money. They are saying that assuming you upgrade the entire group set, which will be more expensive than buying a bike already equipped with that group set one you pay for the labour, shop bits wheels etc... it all adds up. Let see photos of your bike!
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Old 01-16-13, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! And yes, the bike is very special and rides like a dream, handles much more than I can throw at it and is beautiful to boot. So, going SS/FG would be using it solely for commuting around town and doing flat(ish) rides instead of doing longer mountain rides and hills. There is no way I am abandoning this bike. I will continue to ride it as long as I can. Below is a recent pick, notthe greatest, but there she is.

The rear rim doesn't have a smooth braking surface, the hub bearings are rough, its not completely true, and at 18 years with little maintenance I'm surprised its held up this well. I also need a new cassette, new chain rings, new chain, new tires... so a mixture of normal repairs and bigger ones complicated by the new age of components. I already destroyed the original front wheel in an accident 5 years ago or so. I've thought it would be nice to replace both front and rear wheels with a lighter, new, and matching wheelset. But with today's components that means a whole new drive train and cold setting the frame to go from 7 speed to the newer cassettes... right? So yes, they are trying to sell me a bike, but yes getting my bike back to the working condition I'd like, and if possible shedding a little weight on the old wheels, would cost me a fair amount.

But I am wondering if I truly could get comparable performance for $1600 in a new bike... or better as the LBS likes to insist... If I could drop $4000+ on a new bike I wouldn't really be asking as I would just start looking for a new finely crafted bike. As is $1600 will hurt. But any which way I get to continue biking and continue enjoying this frame!

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Old 01-16-13, 04:53 PM   #6
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I'd get a custom set of wheels built and leave the bike as is. Replace chain and cassette and then leave the chain rings and do some riding in Colorado to see if going to a triple is a good idea.
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Old 01-16-13, 05:23 PM   #7
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I'd get a custom set of wheels built and leave the bike as is. Replace chain and cassette and then leave the chain rings and do some riding in Colorado to see if going to a triple is a good idea.
I agree. If the shifting works get a set of wheels to replace you current ones, if you have a 12-23 cassette go to a 12 or 13 -26 or so and see what happens when you get to Colorado.



It will take a whole lot of money to replace that ride.
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Old 01-16-13, 05:37 PM   #8
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You could invest in a modernish bike, but than you face a new problem: your Chris Chance is too good for being a commuter

Btw back in the day Chris Chance (the person) said that his competition aimed bikes were meant to become a commuter when they were retired from racing, so your possible intentions are in line with what the master hoped. Who am I to disagree with him, but I do.
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Old 01-16-13, 06:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mohatt View Post

The LBS warns me that option 2 might be more expensive than option 1 and wont match the performance of a new road bike. And I have been pining a bit for a new, lighter ride. But before I commit full sail to option 1, I'd love to hear some other people's opinions, especially with regards to what the reality of completing option 2 might entail.
Yeah, your bike is total garbage.

Find a new bike shop.
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Old 01-16-13, 06:52 PM   #10
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A frameset such as this deserves a very nice Campy gruppo.

Athena 11 or a nice used Chorus 10 speed would be nice, but think about a compact crankset in that mountainous region.

Treat yourself to a nice new wheelset as well.

Do you have any other pics of the Chris Chance btw?

Love to see them.
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Old 01-16-13, 07:00 PM   #11
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Your bike is new enough that is should have at least a 126mm rear spacing in which case you don't need to cold set and cold setting isn't a big deal, you need to find another shop. It may even be 128 as many frames in the early 1990s were. My 1992 Marinoni was spaced at 130 from the factory as they knew 130 was taking over. So you may even have 130 already.

So I would say, new wheelset, your bike should be 8seed I think so you should be able to get hubs compatible with campy 8speed on ebay and have them build up. Bit I would strongly going with shimano as a new modern 10 speed shimano hub will be readily available and you can put an 8s shimano cassette and chain on and it will shift fine. You can get something like a 12-28. Despite what others say I would still suggest replacing the crank with a compact, something like sram apex or rival or a shimano Sora. They are cheep but the technology has come so far that they are better than what you have, lighter and stiffer and it will be cheaper than buying new campagnolo rings. The reason I suggest going with a shimano chain, cassette and hub is the parts are cheaper and produced in a much larger quantity and you want to ride this thing, so use what is affordable and east to get.
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Old 01-22-13, 02:41 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the replies! I did find a different shop, and got similar advice to what you are all saying. I have 7 speed right now, btw. For the campy lover, yes I agree and would love to stay with campy, but given my current budget I don't think I can get it done with what I would want.

And, yes, when Chance designed these he put rack eyelets on them and wide enough spacing for a thicker tires. Basically, he was thinking of them as being options for light touring/commuting. I have a friend who turned his into a cyclocross bike when he retired it from road racing and "upgraded" to a new road bike. So, I've thought about it in a similar vein, but my wife pointed out that if I did do this I would forever compare my new bike to my Chris Chance and it won't compare until I can spend more on a new bike than I have.

SO, I am going to ride it as is until the rear end gives out completely. Then I'm going to upgrade it. You all helped me alot in making this decision. I think I might go SRAM with 12-32 rear cassette and compact chain rings, but I might wait until I get to CO to decide on gearing. Any opinions of SRAM vs Campy (I am not a shimano fan because I like the campy ergonomics and positive feel to gear shifting, nothing against shimano, just my preference).
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Old 01-22-13, 09:18 PM   #13
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Build it as you like and can afford. Nothing worse than a great bike sitting around cuz ya can't afford the the "correct" part. Ride it fixed if that keeps it on the road, you can always begin collecting parts and restore it when you are able.
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Old 07-16-14, 12:43 PM   #14
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Pics (finally) and an update

So, thank you all who provided input on this thread over a year ago. Since then I moved to Colorado, found a good bike shop, and confirmed that the shops I spoke with in CT were out of their league with this bike and didn't know their stuff. SO, I simply got better gearing for the mountains and a new crank (I know, a little silly from a performance for your $ perspective, but a treat for myself). Some day when i have the money I'll try to update the wheels. Here's some pics:









In other picture woreth news, I picked up a super cool classic custom TJ Quick (Reynolds 531, Sun Tour Cyclone mk1) set up for touring, and am now using that as my around town bike, and may start using for randoneurring...





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