Over the weekend I started work on my first SS / FG conversion. I bought an old Royce Union 10-speed off of Craigslist last week that was in rough, but working condition. It's a heavy frame, probably gas-pipe (although that makes for a smoother ride on NYC streets, compared to my aluminum frame Trek SS.)
On Saturday I stripped off the shifters, derailleur, seat, chain, kickstand, and bar tape. Then I put on a new SRAM chain, flipped the bars, and put on a new seat. I also got a 16T freewheel to put on there, but haven't gotten that far yet.
Tomorrow night I'm heading over to the Times Up! bike co-op to true the wheels, re-dish the rear and add the freewheel. I'm also planning on chopping & flipping the bars into a bullhorn-type configuration. I'd also like to strip off the stickers, sand down the rust spots, and then rattle-can the whole frame a new shade of yellow... but I'm kind of on the fence because I'm not sure the bike fits me!
I rode it to work today and it felt cramped. My hands wanted to be about 3-4 inches more forward than they were. It got better as I raised up the seat, but still, my legs and arms hurt in ways they don't normally, when I ride my regular bike, an SS Trek Soho S. Here's the measurements: 21" top tube, 18.75" seat tube. Stem is 3.5" long, 3.75" high. I'm 5' 6" lightweight guy, used to an upright hybrid riding position (from the Trek).
So here's some questions, looking for opinions:
1. Is it too small for me? (see above measurements)
2. if so, will changing the bars and stem to something with a longer reach fix that, or is it not worth the trouble?
3. i'm also considering changing the cranks, chainring, and bottom bracket. however, the cranks are cottered, which (i think) will make that a pain in the @ss. is it worth it? i honestly have no complaints about the current setup right now, other than looks.