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  1. #1
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I couldn't get rid of it.....

    After getting a decent road bike, (actually 2 of them), and a cyclocross bike that will be my primary commuter, I thought that I'd be unloading my Trek 7300 comfort bike, but I found it hard to part with. It was the bike that got me back into riding. So, instead of leaving well enough alone, I've decided to upgrade some things, and change others, making it more into a bike that fits the way I ride now, and turn it into a faster flat-bar road bike.

    I've already got most of the parts, and should be getting started in the next week or two. Some things I'm going to have the LBS do (change out the fork and headset), but I'd like to do as much as I can myself. I've got the Park Tool manual and Zinn books, a workstand, and a decent tool kit. The wheelset will be a later upgrade, but here's what I plan to do:
    • Replace suspension fork with rigid fork
    • Replace threaded headset, comfort stem and riser bars with threadless headset, stem and flat bars.
    • Replace Gripshift with RapidFire Shifters
    • Upgrade SRAM drive train and cassette to 105FR, Ultegra RD and 105 cassette
    • Replace stock crankset with 105 triple
    • Replace comfort saddle with better road saddle
    • Replace 38mm city tires with 28mm slicks
    • POSSIBLY replace suspension seatpost (should I)?
    • Install new chain and brake/shifter cables
    • Install Ergon Race grips/bar ends
    • Replace BeaverBlade fenders with Freddies
    I figure that the LBS should do the headset/fork install, but if I take my time and am patient, can I do the rest of this? I think I've got all the tools.....

    Here's the BEFORE picture.....

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  2. #2
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Maybe its not a riding mode you ever use, but I find its nice to have a super comfy cruising bike for slow rides around the neighborhood.

    Many speed improvements can make a bike more comfortable when applying power, but at low speed can be uncomfortable due to so much less weight being supported by pedals.

    Al

  3. #3
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Maybe its not a riding mode you ever use, but I find its nice to have a super comfy cruising bike for slow rides around the neighborhood.

    Many speed improvements can make a bike more comfortable when applying power, but at low speed can be uncomfortable due to so much less weight being supported by pedals.

    Al

    I've still got my wife's (formerly my) Giant Cypress LX for that.....I figured that this would give me a chance to learn how to work on bikes a bit, as well as make the Trek a bit more fun/fast to ride.
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  4. #4
    500 Watts kill.cactus's Avatar
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    I'd take that off your hands if you don't want it anymore

    haha

    I suggest the fork replacement right away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kill.cactus
    I'd take that off your hands if you don't want it anymore

    haha

    I suggest the fork replacement right away.
    Got the fork. It even matches the frame.

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  6. #6
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    Aside from the headset install and fork cutting, the rest of the job could be done with a well-equipped multitool. My only comments are as follows:

    1. Be careful replacing the Grip shifters with Rapidfires and changing derailleurs. You need to be sure that the Rapdifires are compatible with the road derailleurs as the pull is different than with the MTB derailleurs you currently have. There are Rapidfire's that will work with road derailleurs but most won't.

    2. I personally would not bother with the drivetrain change, aside from swapping out the Grip shifters (personal preference). Assuming you have a 48 big ring on your crank, going to a 52 on the road crankset won't net you much more top end speed. Also, if your new cassette only has a 12 top cog like most road cassettes do and if your old cassette had an 11 like most MTB cassettes do, you will actually be losing top end speed. Unless the weight difference means a lot to you, I'd stick with what you've got.

    3. You'll probably not even notice the suspension seatpost is gone. Swapping out the suspension fork will make a huge difference in road feel though.

    4. Those Ergon grips are fantastic. You'll love them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951
    Aside from the headset install and fork cutting, the rest of the job could be done with a well-equipped multitool. My only comments are as follows:

    1. Be careful replacing the Grip shifters with Rapidfires and changing derailleurs. You need to be sure that the Rapdifires are compatible with the road derailleurs as the pull is different than with the MTB derailleurs you currently have. There are Rapidfire's that will work with road derailleurs but most won't.

    2. I personally would not bother with the drivetrain change, aside from swapping out the Grip shifters (personal preference). Assuming you have a 48 big ring on your crank, going to a 52 on the road crankset won't net you much more top end speed. Also, if your new cassette only has a 12 top cog like most road cassettes do and if your old cassette had an 11 like most MTB cassettes do, you will actually be losing top end speed. Unless the weight difference means a lot to you, I'd stick with what you've got.

    3. You'll probably not even notice the suspension seatpost is gone. Swapping out the suspension fork will make a huge difference in road feel though.

    4. Those Ergon grips are fantastic. You'll love them.
    I've got a matched set of SL-660 9-speed shifters with a 443 front DR. I also have a 105 front DR, I'll use which ever works...I have a 9-speed cassette with a 12-25, and an Ultegra long-cage RD, which should work well with the triple cranks.

    Hopefully this will all work (or at least I'll figure out what works and what doesn't). Part of this is to learn by doing....
    Last edited by kokomo61; 03-01-07 at 02:16 PM.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I used to have one old, bought used, road bike that was a "do everything" bike for me. I got a new road bike as a birthday present. I was considering throwing out the old one and concentrating on the new one, but I decided to wait for a little bit. I ended up stripping the bike down to the frame, overhauling everything, and refitting the bike to make it into my full time commuting bike. My new bike kept it's special status as the "fun" bike. Everyone is happy.

    I gotta tell you. Some of the best times I had was the process of refitting that bike. It went from an obsolete 7 speed to an 8 speed with 9 speed components on it's 7 speed hub (basically, take a good quality 9 speed hub apart, take off the upper cog, and assemble on a 7 speed hub to achieve 8 speeds). I rebuilt the wheels. I replaced the handle bars, stem, brake levers, shift levers and rear derailler. By the time I was done, the only "original" components left were the cranks minus the chainrings, the rear hub and the seatpost. I also fitted a good quality rack and full time fenders to it to make it a dedicated commuting bike.

    Finally, I got in a slight car accident with the bike which destroyed the frame, so I got a new frame. Now, as the bike sits, the only original renements of the original bike are the rear hub and the crankarms.

    The point is, don't throw stuff away. Once you get a new bike, use the opportunity to rebuild the old bike at your leasure. I applaud your decision to keep your old, trusty bike, and remake it into something that will have a nitch in your life!
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  9. #9
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    If I upgrade someday and have room to keep my old bike, I figure I'll make it into an xtracycle. It looks like a lot of fun for local trips without worrying about cargo space.

  10. #10
    aspiring dirtbag commuter max-a-mill's Avatar
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    so i guess i am going to be the dissenting voice here...

    your gonna psend how much to dress up a semi-crappy 500 dollar hybrid??? i'd figure out how much in total this will cost you and see if for that money you couldn't just get a brand new, less crappy, bike.

    my thoughts on this are summed up by one of my favorite quotes "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

    obvioulsy you may feel different... but i'd encourage you to look at how much all these upgrades will cost you before you jump in.
    - the revolution will not be motorized -

  11. #11
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    I've already got 3 less crappy bikes.

    By buying carefully and taking my time, probably about 100-125 bucks or so in parts and 40 in labor to swap the fork/headset. The rest is on me, and I want to use this for some hands-on experience in working on the bike. With the others available, I can have this one out of commission while I'm learning how to do it right.
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  12. #12
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    You should think about what you would use this bike for. I built up my old Bridgestone hybrid frame into my snow/winter/rain bike. I had the LBS put in and cut the new fork and the BB, I bought a new wheel set, and I bought and put the rest of it together. Very doable and I learned a lot. Enjoy.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    You should think about what you would use this bike for. I built up my old Bridgestone hybrid frame into my snow/winter/rain bike. I had the LBS put in and cut the new fork and the BB, I bought a new wheel set, and I bought and put the rest of it together. Very doable and I learned a lot. Enjoy.
    I want to make this bike a bit faster (by removing the 'comfort' parts of it that I don't need any more and using more road-oriented components), and use it during rainy/yucky days. I also want to learn how to do some of my own wrenching. I'll have the LBS install the fork and cut the steerer, and maybe have them swap the cranks, too. I'll do pretty much everything else.

    Gearing wise, I'm going from a 48/38/28 11-32 triple to a 52/42/30 12-25 triple. The shifters are a matched set with the FD, and according to Shimano's website, the crankset, RD and cassette are a good match, too.On the existing drive train, I've never been below a 1X4 on the existing 8-speed cassette, so I should be OK on the new setup. I don't expect to do any more climbing than I do on my commute, which is about 850-900 feet each way.

    In any case, this should be a learning experience (even if I only learn not to do it again....)
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    OK..I'm going to go out on a limb here and disagree. Do you really expect to ride this bike much? Honestly, once you are fit enough to enjoy a true road bike, there really isn't anything very exciting about a comfort tank bike converted to a half assed flat bar road bike. You already have the cyclocross bike for commuting and bad weather. I suggest that you look past your irrational attachment to this bike. With the amount of money and effort you are planning on putting into this, plus what you could get for selling this clunker, you could do something a lot more exciting, such as buy or build up a fixed gear or singlespeed. Something along these lines (or perhaps a mtb) will more greatly diversify your riding experiences and keep it more interesting.
    Last edited by mihlbach; 03-01-07 at 02:51 PM.

  15. #15
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomo61
    I've already got 3 less crappy bikes.

    By buying carefully and taking my time, probably about 100-125 bucks or so in parts and 40 in labor to swap the fork/headset. The rest is on me, and I want to use this for some hands-on experience in working on the bike. With the others available, I can have this one out of commission while I'm learning how to do it right.
    I know the desire to hold onto a bike with a history. I'm selling a nice beater bike to a coworker to make room, finance other projects, and keep the Mrs happy. It hurts. I won't have a bike I can feel comfortable leaving locked up outside. On the other hand, it's also fun to wheel and deal, to upgrade.
    Have you considered saving time and money by giving the bike to someone as an encouragement to start riding / commuting?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member kokomo61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtown
    I know the desire to hold onto a bike with a history. I'm selling a nice beater bike to a coworker to make room, finance other projects, and keep the Mrs happy. It hurts. I won't have a bike I can feel comfortable leaving locked up outside. On the other hand, it's also fun to wheel and deal, to upgrade.
    Have you considered saving time and money by giving the bike to someone as an encouragement to start riding / commuting?
    I don't want to hold on to it forever, but I do want to gain some skills in wrenching - this is as good of place as any to start. I figure that it'll give me a bike to ride for rainy days and to alternate off with the JTS, as well as shuttle things to and from the store (I might see if I can avoid driving to the grocery store for as long as possible). At a certain point, it makes sense to pass it to someone to get them into riding......that's a good idea.
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