The bike is a Kuwahara Sierra mountain bike that I purchased new around 1989. The frame is good, but has a bit of rust where the paint has been chipped or worn. It has full Deore drive train and brakes -- this is all in good condition and works fine. The bike as it sits now, is pretty fast on pavement and is a hoot to ride on smooth hard pack trails.
My objective is to build a bike that's going to be fairly fast, with good road capabilities but be able to do light hard packed trails -- with the emphasis on the road aspect. I don't intend to do any aggressive off road riding but I with it.
I won't be able to do this build all at once but will do it in stages and post updates here as I make the changes -- so this might go on for a while. It's been a while since I've been up to date on components and would really appreciate a bit of help selecting parts. As far as parts selection -- I'm not hesitant to spend a few bucks on parts if it gets me good quality.
First stage is tires... because I want to feel a big speed boost early in the build. I'd like a four-season tire for now and I'll change to a more knobby tire for the winter.
My rims are made by Ukai -- stamped on the rims is UKAI 25 x 1.50 HE
I have no idea where to even begin getting information about these rims and am hoping that someone here can advise. I'm assuming that I can use these rims with tires up to 90 lbs pressure?
Currently, I've got Continental CountryRIDE 700x37 tires on my Kona Dew FS and I've been pretty happy with these. I'd like to keep the tires on this project bike as narrow as possible -- the CountryRIDE comes only in 1.75 width for 26" tires. Can I go narrower with a different tire?
Aside from the tires, at this point I'd like to know what the possibilities of changing to a suspension fork are. I really like the suspension on my Dew and would like to entertain putting a suspension fork on this bike. I'm pretty sure that I'd have enough top tube clearance as I won't be doing any serious trail riding with it. It's an old style stem -- not sure what it's called. Are forks for that style of head tube still available?
I've never done a build like this before and would appreciate any help that any of you might be able to give me here. Thanks.
Last edited by WCoastPeddler; 08-21-09 at 04:35 AM.
I am pretty sure you are dealing with a 1 inch steerer being that the bike is quad butted Ishiwata... finding a decent suspension fork is pretty much impossible as these have been obsolete for some time and were never that good to start with.
Ukai made very good rims and the higher end models tend to be pretty much bombproof... they aren't light but are apocalypse worthy rims.
My favourite all around road and hard pack tires have been my Schwalbe Hurricanes (26 by 2)... at over 10,000 km they show very little wear, they roll fast on pavement at 75 psi and are super plush, and at 35-40 psi they tear up the singletrack and hard packed trails we have here. I have run them in the winter, in the rain, and had one flat in all those miles.
They use a multi cell compound so the slicker centre is a very hard rubber and the side lugs are much softer... the contact patch at 75 psi is very small.
Wider tires are not always slower tires and if you are happy with the riding position just leave things as they are.
If that was my bike I'd touch up the scuffed paint, keep the drive as is (might up the big ring a few teeth), rock some Hurricanes, and add dirt drops...
Sixty Fiver, thanks for the tire suggestion. The Hurricane looks like a tire that would work for me. Schwalbe is a make of tire that I've not seen around here but looking at their website, there are a couple of LBS's in Vancouver that handle them. I'll see if I can get them to order a set of Hurricane's in for me if they don't have them in stock.
I was thinking of changing the front chainring to a larger size too -- it's currently a 46 tooth that I can easily over spin. Would you go to a 50 or a 52? I think my fd can handle that.
Not sure I want to add drops to it -- the bars are already quite low (for me anyway).
I figured that the front suspension might be a problem with the older headset. I'll be happy with the fork that's already there.
After I change the tires, I'll most likely add fenders next and a new seat.
Last edited by WCoastPeddler; 08-21-09 at 11:23 AM.
You probably have a 26/36/46 on your current chain ring and going to a 52 without bringing the other rings into line might cause issues and you may not be able to find a 50 or 52 in that smaller bolt circle.
I think my Cascade ran a 28/38/50 when I got it (it has been a fixed gear for a long time) and that worked well with the Deore drive parts... I installed a 7 speed megarange freewheel so with the 11 in the back I had a much steeper top gear and with the 28/34 combo could climb straight up walls.