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  1. #1
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    What to do with this bike....

    Perhaps inspired by Taxi777s new Fixed gear/SS he posted here, I dragged my oldie out of the garage and cleaned it up.

    It was my almost-first real roadie. I got it used in 1976 and, like a kid, thought I could turn it into the bike I wish I had by changing parts one at a time as the years passed.

    Here's the spec:
    • Mid-70s Gitane Tour de France
    • Had it painted and had braze on shifter and water bottle bosses added
    • Fork had problems, so I added a new one, but Columbus instead of Reynolds steel, and a Shimano 600 headset
    • New brakes (Old Weinmans were awful)
    • New seatpost and seat
    • New bars and stem ( I relly on't know why)
    • Campy high flange hub new wheels (36 spokes, dude!)
    • Replaced bar end shifters with real carbon downtube shifters
    • I just ordered new brake levers. What's on there now is an old Diacomp tandem lever that pulls both brakes (Don't ask why). I never liked it.


    It really is a FrankenBike. It has no historic value. But It's kinda cool and I had a ton of miles on it in the olden days. Plus, I think I can't sell it for much, so I should have some fun, right?

    But what to do? Whatever it is, it has to be cheap.
    Commuter? But the downtube friction shifters are so....
    • Tour bike? But then I'd want a lot of expensive changes....
    • Single speed? I think all I need is a single speed BMX style freewheel.
    • Fixie? But then don't I need a new rear wheel, or at least hub?


    What should I do that's cheap and fun?




    Look, I bought carbon shifter levers because I thought I'd have a cool bike


    Shimano Crane. FIVE speeds baby!


    Sugino cranks


    I don't even remember buying these, but I do remember the Weinmans were really bad...


    I even had my name added when i got it repainted
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com 覧 Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    I rather like it send it to me and I'll change my name to Curtis Corlew. Seriously if it doesn't matter just make it fixed for as least amount as you can and if you want to change it back ever then you're not out a lot. I really do like the black with the red cable housing and I'm used the Crane RD on my Volare and my wifes mixte, a very nice shifting piece if you want to get rid of it let me know.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  3. #3
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    Cool bike, keep it as is.

  4. #4
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Cool bike, keep it as is.
    It is cool, but as it is I'm just not going to ride it. I have a nice Kestrel RT700 I love, and a Mountain bike turned commuter bike.

    I don't see myself making a big effort to ride a down tube shifters 10 speed.

    I want to make it something I'll actually use.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com 覧 Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    Cool bike, keep it as is.
    I second the motion.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  6. #6
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    I agree with the other posters, it's cool the way it is. I love that fork...what is the frame made of? I can't read the decal but unless it's made of gas pipe, it's a keeper.

    If you put it in the rotation with your other bikes, it will save wear and tear on them.

    Hell, Curtis...it would be like a fling with an old girl friend.

  7. #7
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    The frame is Reynold 531. The steerer had weird problems, so when I got it painted (in about 81 maybe) I had a Columbus steel fork put on.

    I'm leaning toward singlespeed. That way it could always go back if there was a need... And it would still look cool.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com 覧 Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    531...ooooooh If you've a hankerin' for ss, go for it. I can't advise...I've never done a conversion, but it can't be too difficult.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Catweazle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    It is cool, but as it is I'm just not going to ride it. I have a nice Kestrel RT700 I love, and a Mountain bike turned commuter bike.

    I don't see myself making a big effort to ride a down tube shifters 10 speed.

    I want to make it something I'll actually use.
    It does look seriously nice as is, and there's more than one way to "use it". I'd be happy enough to have the thing around just for those "Yeah, I'd love to go for a ride if...." moments.

  10. #10
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Leave it alone - it's a beaut. Ride it in style - like tooling around down in a mint MG.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I understand. Cool bike but it doesn't fill a nitch in the stable. Singlespeed would be easy, but fixed would be more appealing (to me).

    I have a similar problem with my Fuji. Really nice wheels with freewheel - not practical to convert to fixie without a wheel change.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I understand. Cool bike but it doesn't fill a nitch in the stable. Singlespeed would be easy, but fixed would be more appealing (to me).

    I have a similar problem with my Fuji. Really nice wheels with freewheel - not practical to convert to fixie without a wheel change.
    Converting to a singlespeed freewheel would make no sense whatsoever, because you can obtain the same result simply by not shifting. I am not a fixed gear fan, but I do concede that fixed gear would give you an entirely different riding experience.

    If you dislike taking a hand off the bars to change gears, why not convert to friction barcons?
    "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
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  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    The frame is Reynold 531. The steerer had weird problems, so when I got it painted (in about 81 maybe) I had a Columbus steel fork put on.
    What kind of problems? My first bike has weirdness too, but they say the fork is straight. But it doesn't act like it.

  14. #14
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    If you dislike taking a hand off the bars to change gears, why not convert to friction barcons?
    Oddly, that's what it had when i got it. I just never liked them. I lived with downtube shifters until last year. Those darn brifters are a thing of wonder and delight.
    Single speeds I hear are quieter and feel different than just not shifting. Maybe they are more efficient as well, in their own way. Or so says Sheldon Brown.

    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    What kind of problems? My first bike has weirdness too, but they say the fork is straight. But it doesn't act like it.
    I almost remember. It was something like...The steerer tube was very short, and the headset got loose and the threads got chewed up beyond being able to salvage. There just wasn't enough there to screw anything on to.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com 覧 Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Wow, that is one fine looking vintage ride. As I look at your close ups I recognize so many parts that I've had on bikes in the past. I especially enjoyed the Crane rear d駻ailleur. I had a short and long cage version. Both performed flawlessly. While I understand those who say leave it the way it is, I also understand your sense of utility. I'd probably go with a fixie in order to try that particular riding experience. I implore you, however, to keep all of the parts so it can be restored in the wonderful condition displayed in your photos. Who knows, maybe some day you'll be in to riding it much in the same manner folks with vintage cars like driving them... not as an everyday ride, but as something special on the odd occasion.
    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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat as you, I've got 2 older 10 speeds that don't get ridden as much as the 2 newer road bikes. I've been down the fixed path once before and that doesn't have any special appeal to me and I can't ride fixed from my house with our 1.5 mile steep hill. So I've made the older ones the foul weather gear with fenders, etc. Gets me out on days when I might otherwise pass.

  17. #17
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    I like it as is--but if you've got to have a project, it's a no brainer. Fixed gear.

    Why?

    Because it's the cheapest while also being the most rad change you can make with that bike. And it will make you a cycling god.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  18. #18
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I do want to be a cycling god...
    But I don't want to buy a new hub or wheel....
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com 覧 Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  19. #19
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    I do want to be a cycling god...
    It's your fate. You must bear it with dignity.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  20. #20
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    If I had a nice older frame with a good drive train in good shape AND if it had clearance for largish tires and fenders, I'd put 32-35 mm tires and fenders and a rear rack and bag on it and ride it back and forth to work.

  21. #21
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    A fixed gear with a set of these in RED

  22. #22
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Fixie or single speed would be nice. It's not like it's irreversable in any event. You may need to look around for a special needs rear wheel to do it but it's not hard.

    The big ring may need to move to the inside of the crankarm so it lines up. But again there's nothing that you can't undo with such a conversion.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

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