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Old 05-30-06, 09:32 PM   #1
mwmistak
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Proposed upgrades to a Norco Folder (worth it?)

I'm mulling over the idea of upgrading a Norco folding bicycle to make it an easy to travel with (via plane) bike that I can use instead of my roadie when out of town...

See pic of actual bike:


I'd like to:
  • upgrade the saddle/Get a longer seat post
  • raise the handlebars and add drops
  • spread the rear triangle to accomidate a modern rear hub
  • add a rear derailleur/cassette
  • build a new set of wheels for higher pressure tires

I've mocked up the proposed changes (related to the riding position) in the photos below (This starting photo is not of the actual bike, but one that appears to be a carbon copy):


This may be a silly question, but does this frame seem worthy of this much work?
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Old 05-31-06, 11:56 AM   #2
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I've heard good and bad opinions of U Frame Folders in general, althought many agree that there are a few manufacturers that rise to the top...

I heard in another post that 80's Norco Folders may be rebadged Dahons.

Whether this is true or not would a frame like this fall amoungst the good or the bad?
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Old 05-31-06, 12:52 PM   #3
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Sounds like a fun project. I actually have a Bianchi Milano, which is pretty much exactly the same as yours. I have been mulling over the idea of modding it too, but the biggest problems I am having so far are raising the seat post, and the handlebars. I have ridden about 10 miles total on my Bianchi, and well, my knees are killing me. I can't get proper leg extension with the current seat post. I have been trying to find a longer one, but have not had any luck finding one that matches the diameter. I have measured my seatpost at 24.8mm and the closest I can find is 25mm or 25.4mm. I think once I get past that issue, I would be more inclined to continue working further on it. As for the handlebar issue, i think I have a solution, but it may not appeal to you. I was thinking about getting some rather large "ape hanger" handlebars and angle them forward a bit, but also, because it will be taller, and I still have the option of raising and lowering the stock stem since I am not changing that. I will try and post a crappy picture of my bike shortly, and a picture of the bike I got the idea about the ape hangers from.

In short, I think that the frame would be fun to mess with, but I have limited experience with folders at all.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:54 PM   #4
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bianchi.jpeg

I took this picture from lennytaylors web page about his raleigh twenty. If I need to remove this, please let me know.

Last edited by big boy phil; 05-31-06 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 05-31-06, 01:31 PM   #5
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The "ape hanger" bars are definately an option... Another option I've heard of is getting a replacement (or custom) fork with an extra long steerer tube...

I also see what you mean regarding the seatpost diameter... Did you have this measured at a your LBS?
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Old 05-31-06, 04:11 PM   #6
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i measured it with my calipers. You may want to check out some of the Raleigh 20 sites for some information on modding these older folders. I will list a few here to check out.
http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/mytwenty.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~cheg01/r20.html
http://lennytaylor.freeyellow.com/Twenty.htm
http://drumbent.com/folders.html <----this one has some info on extending his seat post, I don't know if it would be helpful or not.
http://www.guybouchard.ca/twenty.htm

Too bad theres not as many sites for the U frame folders.
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Old 05-31-06, 10:16 PM   #7
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Ok I decided to go in a different direction.
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Old 05-31-06, 10:38 PM   #8
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very nice direction change. Good luck with your modding. I hope to see some pictures soon.
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Old 05-31-06, 10:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big boy phil
very nice direction change. Good luck with your modding. I hope to see some pictures soon.
I definately hope to post them asap...
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