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Old 07-25-13, 12:04 PM   #1
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changing old Raleigh 10spd to modern gearing...HELP!

I did get my front derailleur problem solved at the LBS that sold me my used bike. (YA!)

Bike is a 1970 Raleigh 10sp that the LBS changed the cassette and made it a 12 spd. They also changed the drop bar to a straight bar and moved the brakes and shifters to the straight bar. The shifters are the old “find the spot if you can” shifters. Being new to biking I thought I wanted this set-up. I’m now ready to try going to the drop bar and modern parts.

After the LBS fixed the front derailleur problem (for free) they mentioned that they could change the gearing to a triple with a 7-casette and (with the drop bar) install modern shifter and brake controls. They said to bend the frame to fit a 9-cassette was problematic, but a small spread to a 7 cassette would be o.k.
I currently have a 40-52 crank-set and a 13-15-18-21-26-32 cassette.

My friend recommended Ultegra parts. Also said if I got a 9 cassette and removed the two smaller cogs it would work.
Being in the mountains I was thinking of a 24-38-52 triple and 15-17-20-23-26-30-34 cassette. I would like smaller cogs on the cassette like an 11-13 but it looks like those would need to be removed??

Currently the bike has 165mm cranks. Zinn (who I can’t afford) recommended 215 cranks to accommodate my 6’7” and long legged body. 215 probably wouldn’t work on this frame or with my budget. I thought to try 185mm cranks.

Any thoughts or help on this wide ranging change would be appreciated.
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Old 07-25-13, 12:50 PM   #2
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The guys in Classic and Vintage are really the experts to ask about this. They'll be all over this for you with the best of advice.

I'm still running freewheels myself and don't plan on upgrading.
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Old 07-25-13, 03:39 PM   #3
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I would look carefully at what you want and price it out. Then see what you would have. A 1970 Raleigh is probably no-name steel with 27" wheels. For the price you would pay for your proposed modifications, you could probably buy a more recent aluminum used bike that does not have to be bent and will weigh much less, and will have 700 wheels for which there is a much wider variety of easily available tires. The only possible reason I could see to proceed with your conversion is your height; it may not be that easy to find a used bike that fits you. Nevertheless, I would ride what you have as it is and keep an eye on Craigslist.
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Old 07-25-13, 04:50 PM   #4
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Honestly, I'm not sure I'd bother with brifters. If you really want to upgrade the gearing for modest money I'd be inclined to go to downtube or bar-end shifters, put a triple and a new FD on the front and keep the cassette. You'd then have a bike that could climb the side of a house without spending a great deal.

As for the cranks, I am a sceptic about the Zinn philosophy, I think 215 cranks would be absurd. Can't see any reason why 185 wpuldn't be fine. At 6'3" with a 35" inseam I have never felt the need to go above 175.
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Old 07-25-13, 05:51 PM   #5
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Any thoughts or help on this...would be appreciated.
This brand new bike would be cheaper than just the parts you're talking about. Available in 64cm frame size.

Bigger budget? This is available in a 64cm.
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Old 07-25-13, 06:13 PM   #6
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Honestly, I'm not sure I'd bother with brifters. If you really want to upgrade the gearing for modest money I'd be inclined to go to downtube or bar-end shifters, put a triple and a new FD on the front and keep the cassette. You'd then have a bike that could climb the side of a house without spending a great deal.

As for the cranks, I am a sceptic about the Zinn philosophy, I think 215 cranks would be absurd. Can't see any reason why 185 wpuldn't be fine. At 6'3" with a 35" inseam I have never felt the need to go above 175.
Yeah I was wondering if they make 215 crankarms when I read that. I've lost a pedal cap keeping in a paceline on a curve with 175s lol. Lucky for the guys behind me it wasn't worse than that. I don't think I'd go longer than 185 in any case.

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Old 07-25-13, 10:39 PM   #7
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Modern 5 speed IGH wont need frame spreading past the 120mm dropout that they had back in the day..

Ann Alfine 8 speed might fit, you can finda drop bar Brifter for those..
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Old 07-25-13, 11:30 PM   #8
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A LBS wise in vintage bike ways can spread the triangle no problem. The seat stays may still interfere with the chain on the smallest cog, or you may get lucky. You can always use the limit screws to lock the rear derailleur out of that cog.

I recently installed a 9 speed Campagnolo group on a 1974 Raleigh. Works perfectly.
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Old 07-26-13, 05:14 AM   #9
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Lots of options to decide on. I might leave it alone for now and save for a new bike next year. With my size I would love to get a custom frame and build from there. Not yet in the budget and I still have a lot to learn to do the build myself. I do like the learning curve, so I'll keep studying.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:47 AM   #10
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It's hard for me to see putting Ultegra parts on a 1970's frame.

I had a 1970 Lapierre that I gave up on modernizing back in the early 90's. Just wasn't worth it.

But to each his own.
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Old 07-26-13, 09:06 AM   #11
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Which bike shop do you use in AVL?
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Old 07-26-13, 09:09 AM   #12
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Honestly, I'm not sure I'd bother with brifters. If you really want to upgrade the gearing for modest money I'd be inclined to go to downtube or bar-end shifters, put a triple and a new FD on the front and keep the cassette. You'd then have a bike that could climb the side of a house without spending a great deal.

As for the cranks, I am a sceptic about the Zinn philosophy, I think 215 cranks would be absurd. Can't see any reason why 185 wpuldn't be fine. At 6'3" with a 35" inseam I have never felt the need to go above 175.
I'm the same size and use 175 cranks. I did use 177.5 for a couple years and they were fine too, a bit more leverage on hills and a bit slower cadence overall. 175 seems like a good compromise for me.
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Old 07-26-13, 09:12 AM   #13
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It's hard for me to see putting Ultegra parts on a 1970's frame.

I had a 1970 Lapierre that I gave up on modernizing back in the early 90's. Just wasn't worth it.

But to each his own.
I agree. Updating an older frame with new parts is often a money pit. Usually it is less expensive to buy a new bike. I guess it depends on just how much updating is needed.
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Old 07-26-13, 12:55 PM   #14
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What's the weight of the bike? That's the first indication of the quality of the frame and components that is easy to figure out. Stand on a scale and note your weight. Repeat, holding the bike steady. The difference is the weight of the bike. High quality road bikes of that era were in the low 20s (my 1973 Motobecane Le Champion weighted 21 lbs). Ordinary decent bikes were in the high 20s. Anything over 30 pounds is not worth spending any money upgrading the bike as the wheels/hubs are probably mediocre as well. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn't change the fact that it is a swine.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:22 PM   #15
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Which bike shop do you use in AVL?
HI, I bought the bike at Hearns. I've purchased supplies at Ski Country, Young Bloods, Motion Makers, and Liberty. Liked them all except Young Bloods. I don't know enough about bikes to say much else.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:24 PM   #16
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What's the weight of the bike? That's the first indication of the quality of the frame and components that is easy to figure out. Stand on a scale and note your weight. Repeat, holding the bike steady. The difference is the weight of the bike. High quality road bikes of that era were in the low 20s (my 1973 Motobecane Le Champion weighted 21 lbs). Ordinary decent bikes were in the high 20s. Anything over 30 pounds is not worth spending any money upgrading the bike as the wheels/hubs are probably mediocre as well. Putting lipstick on a pig doesn't change the fact that it is a swine.
The bike weighs 31lbs.
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Old 07-26-13, 01:27 PM   #17
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^ Seems low end. What model is it? A Reynolds 531 Raleigh frame bike from this time period would weigh no more than 24 lbs or so, lighter for the better models (Professional, etc.).
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Old 07-26-13, 02:59 PM   #18
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^ Seems low end. What model is it? A Reynolds 531 Raleigh frame bike from this time period would weigh no more than 24 lbs or so, lighter for the better models (Professional, etc.).
I've not been able to find or determine which model it is. It does say Nottingham, England on it. Also says something about produced under some right held in Holland.
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Old 07-26-13, 10:12 PM   #19
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I've not been able to find or determine which model it is. It does say Nottingham, England on it. Also says something about produced under some right held in Holland.
You need to be really careful with elderly bicycles, especially Raleigh ones, it's easy to spend $5,000 and end up with a $50 bicycle. First your looking at a frame that is almost a half century old, chances are that it's not square. By square I mean that the rear wheel lines up exactly behind the front wheel. Of the 40+ year old bicycles, most have suffered a crash or two, and they are a few mm out. Spreading the rear triangle is easy, keeping it lined up as you do, not so easy, especially if it's not lined up to start with. Someone who builds or repairs frames can do this using a special jig, but that can cost more then the frame is worth.

Raleigh was big enough that they built a lot of components in house, when the bicycle manufacturers outside of France and Italy standardized on English threading, Raleigh didn't have to comply, and didn't. This really affects 2 components, the Bottom Bracket and the headset. Replacing a double crank with a triple usually means replacing the spindle, not easy when you need an oddball size, it must be really long (the BB shell is about 8mm wider then normal) and the proper diameter to fit through the non-standard Raleigh cups. It is possible to bore out the shell and cut Italian threads, this must be done though by someone with the proper tool kit, a kit that the average bike shop probably does not have, unless they do frame building or repair. If you really want to swap the crank, how about a compact double?

If it were a bicycle that had deep sentimental value and meaning, it might be worth it, otherwise to fix it up. A bicycle you bought used, I would say other then regular maintenance, save your money for something newer.
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Old 07-27-13, 09:59 AM   #20
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I would look carefully at what you want and price it out.
I LOVE jacking around and updating the components on old bikes. Having said that - think it through before you start spending money. Your plan sounds to me like a good way to convert a cheap old bike into an expensive old bike.
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Old 07-27-13, 02:18 PM   #21
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If it were a bicycle that had deep sentimental value and meaning, it might be worth it, otherwise to fix it up. A bicycle you bought used, I would say other then regular maintenance, save your money for something newer.
Or something better with Reynolds, Columbus or Tange tubing. As mentioned before, 25 lbs or less is a good clue and if you aren't sure about a buy on something older check with the boys over in the C&V forum.
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Old 07-27-13, 04:41 PM   #22
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Or something better with Reynolds, Columbus or Tange tubing. As mentioned before, 25 lbs or less is a good clue and if you aren't sure about a buy on something older check with the boys over in the C&V forum.
I'm definitely convinced to wait and buy an appropriate frame (probably from a builder) and part it together...next year. I can't wait.
Had more problems today. This time the BACK derailleur sent the chain into the spokes and I couldn't pull it out. It's happened the last three rides, but this time I wasn't strong enough to extricate it. Had gone about 25 miles of a 34 mile loop. Luckily my wife had not ridden and she came and got me. I took it to a different LBS and they fixed it for 10 bucks AND they are getting me a new derailleur for the front chainrings to see it that problem can be remedied.
I will not be spending any money on "this old bike" if I can help it.
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Old 07-27-13, 06:58 PM   #23
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Let's see, weighs 31 lbs, with a Nottingham England badge. Smells like, sounds like a Grand Prix although possibly a Record. Heavy 80-20, non-butted steel frame, chrome wheels on early models, later had alloy. These are very common bikes that are not good candidates for upgrading. I've done the complete vintage upgrade thing. With the right frame it can be very rewarding, but you must be willing to accept that these modified bikes rarely perform as well as a new bike. Still, they perform better than they did originally. The first bike is a 92 Paramount, the second a Nishiki Prestige, with Tange 2 double butted chromoly tubing. These frames are both double butted chromoly frames and were originally mid-range or upper range road bikes in their day. The light chromoly frames are ideal for upgrading as these are newer, designed for 700C wheels and more adaptable to newer cable stops. Also, in the case of the Paramount, they are designed for recessed brake mounting as found on newer dual pivot brakes. The cost of upgrading the Nishiki was under $200 because I chose inexpensive brifters, but the Paramount is full on 10 Speed, Campy Chorus with Ksyrium wheels and Michelin Pro Race tires, cost for bike and upgrades, around $1,000.

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Old 07-27-13, 07:19 PM   #24
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Post a photo of it.
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Old 07-27-13, 08:59 PM   #25
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I'm definitely convinced to wait and buy an appropriate frame (probably from a builder) and part it together...next year. I can't wait.
Had more problems today. This time the BACK derailleur sent the chain into the spokes and I couldn't pull it out. It's happened the last three rides, but this time I wasn't strong enough to extricate it. Had gone about 25 miles of a 34 mile loop. Luckily my wife had not ridden and she came and got me. I took it to a different LBS and they fixed it for 10 bucks AND they are getting me a new derailleur for the front chainrings to see it that problem can be remedied.
I will not be spending any money on "this old bike" if I can help it.
Careful with that rear derailleur adjustment. That's critical and your old LBS dropped the ball when they didn't get that right.

Builders custom frames can be high dollar. Take your time and do some research. Us tall guys have a harder time finding quality old framesets to fit us.

If you like classic lugged steel looks and have deep pockets here are some links I just picked up over in C&V. They only go up to 61 though which would work for me but might just be short for you.

http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road/steel/tipo-corsa/
http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road.../tipo-corsa-2/
http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/road/steel/dolomiti/


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