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Thread: DIY Boomer Bike

  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    DIY Boomer Bike

    Since nobody made what I wanted, I bought a new Kona Dew Deluxe and modified it. Changes included:

    Avid Road Disc calipers
    Full Campy drive train - Centaur cranks & brifters, Chorus front derailleur, Record rear derailleur
    48cm road bars




    What this bike is for:

    1. Having FUN
    2. Fitness riding
    3. Occasional errands
    4. Weekend day trips

    What this bike is not for:

    1. Racing
    2. Trying to look like a racer
    3. Climbing
    4. Off road or long-distance touring

    Things I like about this bike:

    1. The long top tube length fits my long torso & arms
    2. The compact frame geometry lets me stand over this 60cm bike with a 32 inch inseam
    3. The 44cm chainstays give this bike enough wheelbase that I can sit bolt upright with no hands on the bars, and still feel comfortably in control.
    4. The 48cm wide bars fit my shoulders
    5. The platform pedals let me ride at a moment's notice without having to change shoes
    6. The Campy drivetrain makes it different from other folks' bikes (Is it better than Shimano - probably not, but it is different!)
    7. The disc brakes suit my technological preferences
    8. The fat tires soak up the potholes
    9. The quick release seat post binder lets me change heights in seconds
    10. It's unique

    Things I'm not completely satisfied about on this bike:

    1. The fork has no rake - it transmits vibration directly to the rider. In the short term, I plan to use Aztec Vibe Wrap to muffle the vibration. Eventually, I'll have a custom fork made with lots of rake AND disc brake mounts.
    2. The frame is aluminum. It would probably ride better if it were steel, but I'm not going there until I'm ready to build or have a frame built.
    3. The paint job isn't to my liking, but isn't worth changing.
    4. I'd like the handlebars to be higher. I've a fork tube extender on order.
    5. I'm not sure I quite like the brifters. If they don't grow on me, I'll revert to bar ends.

    Before anyone gives me grief over the overly long chain - I have a larger cassette on order and will resize the chain once it is installed. In the meantime, yes, it shifts sloppily, but it works.

    I'm sure this probably isn't the bike for many of you, but it is very close to THE bike for me. Judging from the number of folks who stop me while I'm riding to ask about the bike, I'm not the only one who likes the style. The bike shop who sold me the Dew has asked for photos so other potential customers who want this modification can see what one looks like.

    If I want to embarrass my buddy who bought a Cannondale 5000, I'll just switch to a spare, narrower set of wheels & tires.

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I am not going to give you grief over anything. I am a great believer in customization and in adapting the bike to fit the rider and the mission, rather than expecting the rider to adapt to the machine. If it serves you well, go for it!
    "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

  3. #3
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Thanks, John. I had almost assumed from the lack of feedback that the "Bikeforums crowd" was too embarrassed to comment.

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    Looks about what I'd like. What kind of tires do you run and what is the PSI.
    Thanks SLW

  5. #5
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    Kona seem to make pretty good bikes to start off with. The Dr Dew has estabished quite a reputation for a practical, no-nonsense bike, and this one is obviously up there with it.

    You set down a group of things you wanted this bike to do, and made the modifications to do achieve them. It appears to be a nicely balanced machine. You might need to talk to a frame builder about the fork and how it might change the handling characteristics of the bike.

    Putting that aside, though, about the only things I'd add are a Brooks B17 saddle and clips-and-straps to the pedals.

    Oh, and the brifters will grow on you. There's a lot of hoo-haa about them from the bar-end crowd, but you have access to the shifters and brakes all at once; you can shift under braking AND while climbing out of the seat; and their durability has improved immensely over the originals way back then... mine are about to click over 36,000km of use without anything except a clean-out with WD40 and relubing with oil.

  6. #6
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo35
    Looks about what I'd like. What kind of tires do you run and what is the PSI.
    Thanks SLW
    Tires are 700x28c. The max pressure rating on these (the stock rubber) is 80 psig. I have 700x37c and 700x26c spares on hand. The 26c units run up to 130 psig.

    So far, I'm happy with 70 psig in the front and 85 in the rear. Comfortable ride & good traction.

  7. #7
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Putting that aside, though, about the only things I'd add are a Brooks B17 saddle and clips-and-straps to the pedals.
    The Brooks is something I may try down the road. To date, my favorite is a Selle Italia "Future." Most hate this saddle, but it fits my bum well. I'm not a clip and strap kind of guy, thanks, but I can understand those who are.

    Oh, and the brifters will grow on you.
    They may and they may not. I surely haven't warmed to them yet.. Your reliability account makes me somewhat less pessimistic, though.

    Thanks for the feedback!

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    Nice bike, about how much have you got into that bike if I may ask, my old Trek 7000 is going to have to work for my "boomer" bike for now.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Trogon's Avatar
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    Interesting solution, I like it.

  10. #10
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldspark
    Nice bike, about how much have you got into that bike if I may ask, my old Trek 7000 is going to have to work for my "boomer" bike for now.
    Parts to date:

    Avid Road Calipers: $160 minus the salvage value of the MTB disc set on e-Bay (not yet sold)
    48cm Nitto Noodle Bars: $75 minus the salvage value of the MTB bars on e-Bay (not yet sold)
    Campy Brifters: $120 minus the salvage value of the MTB shifters/levers on e-Bay (not yet sold)
    Campy Derailleurs: $65 minus the $25 that the MTB set sold for on e-Bay
    Campy Cranks - $55 minus the salvage value of the Truvativ triple on e-Bay (not yet sold)
    Misc: bar tape, cables, bottom bracket, chain, cassette - about $60 after salvage
    Kona Dew Deluxe - $660 after tax

    Estimated grand total: right at $1,000

    This was my "target price" for this particular bike. If I were to spend significantly more, I would have started with a custom frame. So far, I'm satisfied with my purchase. Special thanks to the Bikeforums "Mechanics" forum guys (and ladies) for their generous assistance with my dumb questions!

  11. #11
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trogon
    Interesting solution, I like it.
    Coming from you, who seems to have such different preferences in cycles, I'll consider that high praise, indeed! Thanks!

  12. #12
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    I'm sure this probably isn't the bike for many of you, but it is very close to THE bike for me.
    --- Congratulations on your thoughtful and systematic modifications. Bicycles lend themselves well to self-customization. When I get a digital camera, I will show the mods I made to my '70's road bike to make it more comfortable for my (now) middle-aged joints.

    Well Done.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

  13. #13
    cs1
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    Far Horizon:

    I love that bike. How did you get a Campy/disc compatible rear hub? I would love to put disc brakes on one of my Campy bikes. Or did you use the American Classic ShimaNo/Campy conversion cassette? Thanks

    Tim

  14. #14
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    I love that bike. How did you get a Campy/disc compatible rear hub?
    Hi Tim!

    Curiously, with 9-speed rear ends, the cassette spacing is so close that Campy and Shimano cassettes are interchangable so far as the index-derailleur is concerned. My Kona came with a Shimano-compatible hub, so I just used a Shimano cassette - works fine. This isn't the case, I understand, with 7, 8, or ten speed rear cassettes, so 9 is the only bi-brandual mixer (unless you eschew index-shifting & use friction).

    I'm pleased that you like the bike. Judging from the attention the bike receives on my rides, others seem to like the concept too.

  15. #15
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega
    When I get a digital camera, I will show the mods I made to my '70's road bike to make it more comfortable for my (now) middle-aged joints.
    Thanks - and I look forward to seeing your photos!

  16. #16
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Not my kinda bike but an interesting good work never the less. I ,like you , could
    not find "my" kinda bike so ,again like you, built my own. I won't hijack your
    thread with details of my bike but building your own bike seem to be the only really
    good way to get "your kinda" bike as the LBS just won't stock anything but go
    fast stuff.......toys for the young adults....us older folk's get to build our own.
    YES!!!!!!!

  17. #17
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    I ,like you , could not find "my" kinda bike so ,again like you, built my own.
    Please post photos in this forum! I'd love to see what you built.

    Thanks!

  18. #18
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Please post photos in this forum! I'd love to see what you built.

    Thanks!
    Sorry but alas I don't have a digital camera. Besides it's your thread about a very nice bike you built.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    FarH,
    Did you consider the Kona Sutra? Steel frame, sloping TT, disc brakes, room for wider tires, drop handle bars. I almost bought Sutra for my daughter but she fell in love with Specialized Sequoia Elite.

  20. #20
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood
    Did you consider the Kona Sutra?
    I looked VERY closely at the Sutra. I rejected it because of the price difference. If I'm going to spend that much, I'm going custom. The Dew Deluxe has identical geometry, just an aluminum frame rather than steel. I could also justify swapping out parts on the $600 Dew, but not on a $1,400 Sutra.

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