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  1. #1
    backwoods bicycle militia hobbsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    My Bikes
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo SS (woodland militia suv), 1983 Bianchi Nuovo Racing (fixed/ss conversion, commuter/urban terror tank), '74 Peugeot Mixte (wife's), '07 Specialized RockHopper (custom, wife's), (mostly) Montere Cruiser (custom, wife's).
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    Breathing new life into an old bike... on the cheap

    Haven't been on the forums for some time, it sure seems to be buzzing around here!

    I've been a singlespeed junkie for a while now and I'm dusting off my geared bike and tuning it up. I've noticed a few things about it that I'd like to work on and I'd like some advice.

    First off is in the brake area...

    I'm kind of on a tight budget lately (finally buying a house!!!) and I'm overhauling my geared bike at the same time. It's got v-brakes on it and I know the frame/fork will take discs, but my hubs aren't disc ready. I'll eventually need to replace a spoke in the back wheel (it's bent), but until then, I won't even think about replacing the hubs.

    So, for the time being, I was trying to think of ways to make v-brakes more efficient. Does anyone have any ideas?

    I've heard that people who ride trials and have hydro based v-brakes use tar on their rims to help stopping. Wouldn't this rub off in the winter snow or in the rain? Does anyone know how to tar your rims or if this is just an old wive's tale?

    Lastly is frame geometry. I'd like to adjust the handlebars a bit so I'm in a more forward position, like I am on my singlespeed.

    I've noticed that it feels like I sit upright moreso on the geared bike than I do on my others. I'd like to lower the handlebars a bit. How difficult (and how much of a bad idea) would it be to cut the stem down a little bit?

    Can anyone recommend some flat-ish handlebars as well? I've got a Bontrager Crowbar on there right now and it seems to taper up. I thought that maybe a flat bar might help the elevation as well.

    I don't want to change the geometry too much, I'd just like it to be a little more aggressive now that my riding style has changed over the years.

    Thanks!!!
    Namaste.

    http://altbit.org
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo (woodland assault vehicle)
    1983 Bianchi Nuovo (daily commuter and urban terror machine)

  2. #2
    backwoods bicycle militia hobbsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    My Bikes
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo SS (woodland militia suv), 1983 Bianchi Nuovo Racing (fixed/ss conversion, commuter/urban terror tank), '74 Peugeot Mixte (wife's), '07 Specialized RockHopper (custom, wife's), (mostly) Montere Cruiser (custom, wife's).
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    Make that steer tube, not stem.
    Namaste.

    http://altbit.org
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo (woodland assault vehicle)
    1983 Bianchi Nuovo (daily commuter and urban terror machine)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Edmonds, WA
    My Bikes
    87 Schwinn Sierra, 93 Cadex ALM 1
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    this is an excellent article on adjustment of vbrakes. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html following some of these theories should get you more power.

    I often sand and then wipe down my pads. this removes the glazing.

    aside from that, I have had good experience with eagle claw pads.

    As for the geometry, it seems like a different stem length and angle would help to accomplish your position change. You might even be able to get a good effect by flipping your current stem.

    Shortening the steer tube can be simulated or tested out by moving the spacers from below to above the stem - assuming you have spacers. If you don't have spacers, cutting the steer tube would not make much sense.

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