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  1. #1
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I bet not many of you have a bike like this

    I just turned my 1980(ish) Fuji road bike into an all terrain bike and took it out for a test run on the local trails. Here is more than you could possibly want to know about it.
    (see below)

    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-10-07 at 11:57 PM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  2. #2
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Can't get access to that link without a password!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    User = BF50
    pw = geezer
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
    2012 Masi Evoluzione
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    The beast lives! And it works better than I expected. [:0]

    Uncle Duke has been transformed into something that most closely resembles a cyclocross bike, but not quite. It is a 27 year old, lugged steel framed, drop bar road bike with 700C X 40mm cyclocross tires, side pull road brakes and friction bar end shifters. It is designed as a do it all road bike suitable for dirt roads and even offroad trails.


    A little history:

    In 1987, Bridgestone took a side trip from the normal and equipped their top of the line MTB, the MB-1, with drop bars.


    A couple of years ago, I took an old rigid Giant Rincon MTB and made a bike inspired by the MB-1. It was more road oriented than the MB-1, but it turned out very nice. It was a big bike and I called it Sasquatch.


    The only thing I didn't like about Sasquatch was the heavy, low end frame. So I bought a good Trek 970 lugged steel rigid MTB frame to build up as my all purpose bike. I decided to try some Nitto Moustache handlebars on it and I called the bike Snidely Whiplash.


    About this time I got interested in mountain biking again, but I had sold my old MTB. I dismantled Snidely and set it up in its natural state as a rigid MTB and called it Lugnut.


    I had so much fun with Lugnut that I let Bud talk me into trying MTB racing. [**] That required a more modern MTB with front suspension, so I bought a Rockhopper I call Norin Radd.


    Lugnut was demoted to an around town bike.


    Somewhere along the way, I got an old Fuji road bike to use as a bad weather bike. I put the Moustache bar on it just to be different. That bike turned out to be a really good ride. I called it Uncle Duke.


    I decided to make my main road bike more specialized for fast rides, so I am building lighter wheels for it. This left a pair of very good custom wheels with a 7 speed freewheel and 36 spoke Phil Wood hubs. A very tough set of wheels. Too good to leave unused.
    I decided to use them on Uncle Duke in place of the 27" wheels that came on it. That meant I would have a little more room for larger tires. Then I remembered how I had really wished that Sasquatch had been based on a road bike instead of a MTB. [8D] So Duke got new rubber along with the new wheels. I decided to go back to the drop bars that I had used on Sasquatch. So I put it all together and today I put its offroad abilities to the test. It passed with flying colors.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    The post giving the history and evolution of Uncle Duke became so long that I never got around to describing the bike and how it did on its test ride.

    Specs:
    frame - 1980 Fuji S-12S. Lugged chromoly steel.
    crank - original Sugino (labeled Fuji) 42/52 double.
    pedals - Crank Bros. Smarty (eggbeater type).
    frt & rear derailleurs - original Suntour VX (labeled Fuji).
    brakes
    - original Dia Compe "G". Kool Stop Continental Salmon pads.
    wheels - custom, Torelli Master rims, 36 DT Competition DB spokes 3X, Phil Wood hubs (freewheel type rear).
    tires - Kenda Kross, 700C X 40
    freewheel - Shimano 7 speed Megarange, 13-34.
    chain - KMC 7/8 speed
    stem - Nitto Dirt Drop
    handlebar - Nitto Randonneur
    brake levers - Cane Creek
    shifters - Suntour bar end friction (labeled Schwinn)
    saddle - Brooks B17 Champion Special
    frame pump - Zefal HpX 3

    Not much unusual about the build. Surprised that the brake calipers had enough reach to handle the smaller diameter wheels. Surprised that the rear derailleur could handle the 34 tooth cog on the freewheel.
    Knobs on rear tire rubbed the chainstays initially, so I filed them down to fit.

    Offroad test ride:

    Bartram Forest trails. sunny, mid 80s, dry.
    I rode the 4 mile double track loop first. No problems. Long wheelbase , relaxed geometry and fat tires rode reasonably smooth. Felt the bumps, but they were not harsh. (steel is real[]) A little squirrelly in the loose sand, but only slightly more so than my MTB. Never felt like I was about to be dumped. Felt more secure in the drops than on the hoods on the bumpy sections and the turns and sand.
    Never used more than the lowest 3 or 4 gears. The big jump from 24 to 34 teeth on the megarange freewheel meant I had to keep the speed up to stay in 2nd or slow down and spin in 1st. Could have used some in between on the grassy climb. Brakes nearly worthless. They only gently suggested slowing the bike. May go with something stiffer later.

    Then I gave the singletrack section a try. The big wheels rolled over bumps pretty well. Only the roots really shook it up. Couldn't take those with much speed. Mostly used 2 gears. Low was low enough (42x34) that I could handle all the hills without too much strain, but would not mind lower gears. I would probably want a triple with 26/36/46 to ride here much. Also will switch to the Brooks Flyer saddle with springs to ride offroad. Not a terribly harsh ride, but springs would be better.

    I took the side trail to the Vet cemetery. Handled the fast section through the woods and the dry creek crossing just fine. Had to stand to climb the hills, but not too hard. Again, lower gears would be welcome.

    The bike was most at home on the flat, smooth sections around the pond. Felt very stable in the sweeping turns. I think it will be a great dirt road bike.

    Pictures:







    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    That riderless bike sure gets around! Were you chasing it, taking pictures??

    Your bikes have interested and varied histories. Do they ever get confused about themselves?

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    That riderless bike sure gets around! Were you chasing it, taking pictures??

    Your bikes have interested and varied histories. Do they ever get confused about themselves?
    Yeah. That sucker was fast! That's the closest I could get before it would dart off again.
    My bikes get very confused. A bike reflects the personality of the builder.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    I'm impressed. You remember the names of all your bikes and I often have a hard time remembering family member's names

    Nice looking bikes.
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  9. #9
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    I've got a Trek 970 Single Track only it's white. So, it must be faster.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I wish you didn't do that, now I'm thinking about the Surly Cross Check.
    George

  11. #11
    Streetfire HopedaleHills's Avatar
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    Great looking bikes. I love that Bridgestone.
    Tim
    Singing Do Wah Ditty, Ditty Dum Ditty Do

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopedaleHills View Post
    Great looking bikes. I love that Bridgestone.
    Yeah, that MB-1 is a beauty. That one isn't mine though . I only show it as the inspiration of some of my bikes.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Nice break from work reading this thread. Wish I had more pics of bike I've had. Those leaves a little slippery when wet?
    You know, Jaquie Phelan, (Alice B. Toeclips), and even John Tomac raced off-road with drop bars.

  14. #14
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    Nice but how do you shift the barcons when pulling a hill on the drop bar?

  15. #15
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    I can't even see a link, let alone open it, but I think my singlespeed counts. It started life as an '85 (approx--I bought it used) Trek touring bike, with triple crank and five-speed freewheel. I got a new roadie and wanted a mountain bike, but couldn't afford one, so I mountainized the Trek and rode it all over the Sierra near Reno for a couple of years. It was surprisingly competent, and I learned a lot from it. Eventually I got a real MB, and the Trek has been a singlespeed (took off all but the middle ring and spun on a BMX freewheel) for about five years. I still ride it on gravel and dirt occasionally, but I can't pull the hills without gears anymore.

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    I can't even see a link, let alone open it, but I think my singlespeed counts. It started life as an '85 (approx--I bought it used) Trek touring bike, with triple crank and five-speed freewheel. I got a new roadie and wanted a mountain bike, but couldn't afford one, so I mountainized the Trek and rode it all over the Sierra near Reno for a couple of years. It was surprisingly competent, and I learned a lot from it. Eventually I got a real MB, and the Trek has been a singlespeed (took off all but the middle ring and spun on a BMX freewheel) for about five years. I still ride it on gravel and dirt occasionally, but I can't pull the hills without gears anymore.
    Initially, I posted a link to my club's forum where I originally posted this. DG reported that he couldn't get to it without an account. I was going to set up a dummy account that the 50+ers could use, but decided that wasn't a great idea. So I copied the posts and put them here and edited out the link.

    I took the bike on a downtown road ride today. The fatter tires didn't seem to slow the bike down much and they cornered better than I expected with those knobs on the sides. They made bounding over rough pavement and railroad tracks a blast. The gearing that was marginal on the trails was plenty low for even the steep hills we attacked. The good wheels made a big improvement in the overall feel of the bike. I like the drop bars much better than the Moustache bars for just about any kind of riding.

    I'm happy with the changes I made to the bike. It is more versatile and more comfortable than before. It works pretty well for anything short of extreme offroad riding and very fast road riding. I feel that I could take the bike anywhere and not worry about being able to get through a section of rough pavement or no pavement.

    Now it is time to turn my attention to Ribby, my Bridgestone RB-1, and make her into an even better fast road and century bike.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Nice but how do you shift the barcons when pulling a hill on the drop bar?
    Generally I don't. I pick a gear and I climb. Same as I do on my MTB with rapidfire trigger shifters and 9 speed rear end. Shifting under a heavy load is a good way to wreck a drivetrain. Under lighter loads I have no problem shifting the bar end shifters, seated or standing. That is all I have used on all my road bikes for many years.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I really like what you did, and I loved reading the whole process of it. I think the trek is a great-looking bike. Are you short a bike now? Are you going to get a new rain beater?

  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    I really like what you did, and I loved reading the whole process of it. I think the trek is a great-looking bike. Are you short a bike now? Are you going to get a new rain beater?
    As a loyal follower of the N+1 mandate, I am perpetually short a bike.
    But Uncle Duke can still fill the beater/rain bike role as well if not better than before. I do need to get some wider fenders as the old ones are now too narrow. Lugnut (the Trek) covers some of that same ground, too. But I'm not completely satisfied with the way Lugnut is set up right now. The bars are not as comfortable as I expected. I have a set of trekking bars like George uses that I will probably put on it. But in a way I would like to make it back into a MTB. I think it looked and worked best that way.

    I think what I really need next is a fixie. Or maybe a single speed rigid 29er. Or...
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-12-07 at 10:27 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Happy Rider
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    Mr. Dawg, awsome looking bike. Old steel is beautiful. I'm coming up w/about 33+ gear inches on the low side. You gotta be one strong rider to ride trails w/that ratio--if I figured correctly!
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by card View Post
    Mr. Dawg, awsome looking bike. Old steel is beautiful. I'm coming up w/about 33+ gear inches on the low side. You gotta be one strong rider to ride trails w/that ratio--if I figured correctly!
    33 gear inches is what I calculate too. Like I said in the OP, it was doable but not optimum. If I planned to do much of this type riding on the bike, I would definitely change to a triple crank. I have a Sugino XD that would work great with 26/36/46 rings. But I really like the original crank with the Fuji name worked into the crank arms. and the gear ratios work fine for casual road and dirt road riding, which is the real purpose of the bike. The trail ride was just to see if the bike could handle a situation more extreme than what I would expect to see in normal use. Now I have a good idea what kind of conditions it can handle. I don't expect to come across much that it can't do.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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