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Old 06-15-08, 07:13 AM   #1
rench123
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Building a Minivelo - need handlebar/stem advice.

Hi! I recently got a good deal an old, but unused minivelo frame in one of the bike shops here in the Philippines. It was in my size (53cm TT) so I grabbed it. Besides, the price was too good to resist.

The frame is lugged steel, weighing a bit under five pounds. These bikes were called "semi-racers" or "mini-racers", and were popular over here in the 70's and early 80's i think, but not in recent years.

After building it up and doing a few rides with it, I've found the handlebars to be a bit low. I've been looking for either a long quilled stem, or a stem extender, they don't seem to be available in the local bike shops here. I know I can order from the internet and have it shipped over here, but considering what the bike has cost me so far (~$100) I'm not keen on pursuing that route.

I think my best bet, considering the local parts availability would be to get BMX handlebars and get it over with, but something tells me it just won't look right. Would you put BMX handlebars on this bike just to get the handlebars up?



The build:
53cm minivelo steel lugged frame
Araya 451 wheels
Local 20 X 1-3/8" tires (only tires i could find over here)
Stainless steel spokes
BMX rear hub, Shimano front hub
Shimano BB, square taper
Shimano Acera cranks, 48 T single chainring
BMX freewheel, 16T
Kalloy seatpost, 410mm X 26mm
Cheap quilled stem, about 4" rise.
"Arc" shaped handlebars (not sure of the brand)
Cheapo saddle
Grips wrapped with cork tape
Aluminum fenders
Tange standard 1" headset
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Old 06-15-08, 09:40 AM   #2
James H Haury
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No,but if you need to ride it right now do that and keep looking for what you really want.
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Old 06-15-08, 02:40 PM   #3
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Surely someone in the forums in the correct hemisphere (Jur? Stevegor? Raxel?) might be able to help sourcing a long quill stem. They can't be that hard to get hold of.

Lovely frame - I wish minivelo frames were easily found in the UK. I personally wouldn't go the BMX bars route - I think they might actually end up too high.
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Old 06-15-08, 08:26 PM   #4
rench123
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There are still a few local bike shops I can check. One thing that Ive noticed is that the current stem/handlebar combo twists a bit when I stand on the pedals when climbing up hills. It's single speed, so I think there will be considerable torque to deal with. With the current stem/handlebar combo, it's 5-1/2 inches above the top tube. Ive done the measuring, and I want to bring the top of the handlebar about eight to ten inches above the frame. Then I'll decide what handlebar to use. I'd like to be able to use bullhorns to complete the SS roadie look, but that'll only work if I can find a long quill or an extender. I also have some riser bars in my parts bin that might work, but it will be less stylish. The BMX handlebar will really drive the style points down several notches, but it will bring the handlebar to the correct height. I've seen a good Answer brand aluminum BMX bar from a nearby shop for less than $10, and a good BMX stem for $5. I think it can be a cheap stop gap until I find a proper quill.
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Old 06-15-08, 09:07 PM   #5
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If you can get hold of a 1" or 1 1/8" aluminium (or even steel) seat post, straight type with narrowing to 7/8" top, then you can make your own. I did, using an old quill stem's bottom wedge and a easily made long bolt. Then you can clamp a standard ahead stem to it. I can have pics tonight if you want to, but check if you can get such a straight type seatpost first.
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Old 06-15-08, 09:39 PM   #6
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Oh hai kababayan! Why did I never see those when I was back home? Grrr. Wala lang, nothing to add to the thread but that
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Old 06-15-08, 11:56 PM   #7
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@jur - I sent you a PM on where you can send the photos. Thanks!

@nikohime - Kamusta? You didn't see these frames because they aren't popular anymore. I accidentally saw the frame in Bike City Cubao. Wasn't looking for a semi-racer/minivelo, but this was in my size, and it was 1000 pesos frame + fork (about $23). It had a couple of scratches but was otherwise unused. I've checked bike shops in Quiapo, Cartimar and QC to look for appropriate parts. These frames are hard to find. I'm planning to go to Marikina shops this week.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:15 AM   #8
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Old 06-16-08, 09:11 PM   #9
rench123
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Thank you for the photos Jur. I might just copy these mods. You've got excellent bikes by the way. I like the twenty in particular.
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