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  1. #1
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Building a tourer

    Hi!
    My first post on BF, just thought Id share my touring bike project. Last week I picked up a Dawes bike for cheap from a local guy who probably didnt know what he was selling.. It was in alright shape but it had been fitted with a lot of odd parts that I had no interest in. So the idea of a full restoration takes form. Yesterday I stripped everything from the frame, and next week Im having it sandblasted, then painted in classic British racing green.
    The bike is probably from late 80s-early 90s so its hardly a classic per se, but its still a very nice lugged Reynolds 531st frame and Im looking to fit it with mostly classic touring parts. I want to do a longer, loaded tour next summer with this bike. These are some components Ive been thinking about, opinions are highly appreciated!
    -Maxicar hubs (40h rear and 36h front) fitted to Mavic A719 rims. My lbs has the hubs and I just have to get to terms with paying that much for a wheelset..Im sure Ill be very happy with them!
    -Brakes. Not sure here yet..Ive bin outbid on some Mafac cantilevers wich would be very nice..The Pauls are a bit pricey. What about Frogglegs? anybody use them for touring? I sort of like the look of them.
    -Cranks. I have some Deores and 600s lying around, but maybe I should try to get a hold of some vintage TAs or Nervars?
    -Racks. Im having my lbs custom making me front and rear. Ill be hangning Carradice panniers on them.
    A lot of parts I already have, like brooks B17, original handlebar (wich will be shellaced), downtube shifters etc. Well anyhow, any ideas, suggestions and opinions are appreciated! Ill keep posting as the build progresses.
    /Erik
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  2. #2
    jon bon stovie
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    small world....

    a few months ago, i picked up a dawes frame very similar to yours. also is Reynolds 531. mine has been powdercoated over the original finish, but is almost the same color as yours is. i am very happy wth it.

    it is missing the logo on the front, and the powdercoating filled in most of the dawes stamp on the top of the seat stays, so it looks very anonymous. haven't had the funds to build it up yet. lately, i've been looking at my current ride and seeing parts.....

    post a pic when you are done.

  3. #3
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Cool! Have you got any pic of it? I belive mine is a Galaxy but it´s hard to find relevant information. Dawes only keeps records from 98´ and onward.
    I have been able to track down the original Reynolds transfers, but no Dawes so far. I might go with something a bit more vintage (60´s 70´s), wich will no doubt piss of some purists out there..

  4. #4
    Pedalpower clayface's Avatar
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    Sounds you'll be building a very BOBish tourer! Would love to see pics when the job is done.
    Downtube shifter are OK, but if you're planning on loaded touring and keeping the retro looks, go for some old SunTour barcons.
    Old Deore cranks are very nice and quality is similar to XT and they'll provide a better gear ratio than the 600's when the bike is loaded.
    Roberto

    Thorn Club Tour

  5. #5
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    BOBish indeed! About the downtube shifters, yes barcons would be nice, but since there is braze-ons for downtubes I think I´ll just go with them. A bit easier to service too from what I understand?

  6. #6
    Pedalpower clayface's Avatar
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    Well, barcons are just the same downtube shifters, but placed on the bars, so servicing should be just the same (I have put indexed Shimano barends on downtube shifter bosses and they fit the same) But in my experience (when I first built my Thorn tourer, I used downtube shifters), if you plan to load the bike up front, you'll need to keep both hands on the bars.
    Roberto

    Thorn Club Tour

  7. #7
    jon bon stovie
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    no pic, but it is VERY similar.

    i also think that mine is a galaxy, but i have no way of knowing. i would like to know the age, but again, i've had no luck. i wonder dawes stopped using downtube shifters?

  8. #8
    Tweaker-Tinkerer Lotum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    Well, barcons are just the same downtube shifters, but placed on the bars, so servicing should be just the same (I have put indexed Shimano barends on downtube shifter bosses and they fit the same) But in my experience (when I first built my Thorn tourer, I used downtube shifters), if you plan to load the bike up front, you'll need to keep both hands on the bars.
    Downtube shifters are decidedly simpler to service than barcons. Simplicity is a very worthwhile goal when building a touring bike. Shorter cables also make for a more positive 'feel'. Downtube shifters are also much less likely to be damaged in a crash.

    If your bike is so unstable when loaded up that you need to keep both hands on the bars, the frame or the fork may be twisted, the wheels may not be perfectly in line, or there is some other problem with the bike. Such a bike can be downright dangerous; steering it requires too much concentration. Downtube shifters work perfectly well on a fully loaded (4 panniers) touring bike, and their inherent simplicity offers an undeniable advantage over either barcons or brifters.
    "There is nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with spending money on a bike."--Richard Ballantine

  9. #9
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    Nice frameset and the wheelset gives me goosepimples, they will stay with you for many many years ! Brakes, I am very happy with first generation XT cantilevers with salmon Coolstop pads on my touring bike, and I have the old XT crank fitted out with Syncros 48 t, xtr 34 and Xt 22. A bit wide for the FD, but I am not racing so it works. First generation XTR cranks and brakes would be great if they can be had somewhere. Post some photos when you are done !

  10. #10
    Pedalpower clayface's Avatar
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    I don't want to hijack this thread with arguments for or against barend shifters because it has been dealt extensively before in this subforum, but I feel I should clarify a few things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lotum
    Downtube shifters are decidedly simpler to service than barcons. Simplicity is a very worthwhile goal when building a touring bike. Shorter cables also make for a more positive 'feel'. Downtube shifters are also much less likely to be damaged in a crash.
    As I said above, bar-end and downtube shifters use the same internals and fitting method. I have mounted Shimano bar-ends over downtube bosses and downtube shifters on bar-end brackets.
    Today's stainless cables and housings with Teflon lining have broguht a greatly reduced cable friction, so you still get that positive and direct feel of DT shifters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lotum
    If your bike is so unstable when loaded up that you need to keep both hands on the bars, the frame or the fork may be twisted, the wheels may not be perfectly in line, or there is some other problem with the bike. Such a bike can be downright dangerous; steering it requires too much concentration.
    Well I have never crashed my Thorn in all the years I have owned it and taking into account the reputation of the bikes sold by the people of SJSC I have no doubt that building quality is of the highest level. But what's more, in the test of the Club Tour model carried out by Cycling Plus magazine, this model scored 9/10 in the handling department ("impeccably sure-footed, problem free riding") But when I'm recommending B-E over DT shifters on a loaded tourer, I'm calling on my own experience. When pedalling the bike with 4 fully loaded panniers up a steep hill at a walking speed and with no giroscopic aid from the turning front wheel, well things are already unsteady enough to compromise them even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lotum
    Downtube shifters work perfectly well on a fully loaded (4 panniers) touring bike, and their inherent simplicity offers an undeniable advantage over either barcons or brifters.
    Yes but bar ends (I don't include brifters here) are just as simple and boost comfort. Or as the seasoned tourer Judy Colwell writes in the preface of her 1992 bike trip to Ireland:
    "I ride a 1987 Trek 400 (triple) which I have modified to have bar end shifters (I learned the hard way when touring Scotland about constant shifting up and down hills) which are wonderful!"
    Last edited by clayface; 10-13-06 at 02:41 PM.
    Roberto

    Thorn Club Tour

  11. #11
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, and don´t worry about the hijack, it´s all good input! Few updates coming next week.
    /Erik

  12. #12
    Tweaker-Tinkerer Lotum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    I don't want to hijack this thread with arguments for or against barend shifters because it has been dealt extensively before in this subforum, but I feel I should clarify a few things.
    I don't want to hijack it either, but you already did, so here goes!

    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    Well I have never crashed my Thorn in all the years I have owned it and taking into account the reputation of the bikes sold by the people of SJSC I have no doubt that building quality is of the highest level. But what's more, in the test of the Club Tour model carried out by Cycling Plus magazine, this model scored 9/10 in the handling department ("impeccably sure-footed, problem free riding")
    Having bought stuff from SJSC over the years (not complete bikes, though, at least not yet), and having been a subscriber to C+ for some time, I have nothing bad to say about either.

    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    When pedalling the bike with 4 fully loaded panniers up a steep hill at a walking speed and with no giroscopic aid from the turning front wheel, well things are already unsteady enough to compromise them even more.
    If you find yourself in the situation where you have difficulties in balancing the bike because of the slow speed, you have either broken one of the Golden Rules of bicycling, i.e., "Downshift before you have to", or you are simply riding too slowly. Some hills can, of course, be too steep. In such a situation it's best to swallow one's ego, dismount, and walk & push the bike, instead of creating a potentially dangerous situation by a precarious balancing act in the middle of traffic. Trackstands are, in any case, best performed on fixies, not on free-wheeled touring bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    Yes but bar ends (I don't include brifters here) are just as simple
    No, they are not. By separating the shifters completely from the steering and braking functions, i.e., removing them from the bars, and by being able to leave out the cable housings almost completely, one ends up with a system that is inherently simpler. It's simply an application of the divide-and-conquer principle. Simpler systems are less likely to give problems, and they are easier to service and repair--especially on the road. Simplicity rules in touring bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by clayface
    Or as the seasoned tourer Judy Colwell writes in the preface of her 1992 bike trip to Ireland: "I ride a 1987 Trek 400 (triple) which I have modified to have bar end shifters (I learned the hard way when touring Scotland about constant shifting up and down hills) which are wonderful!"
    Name dropping is always an interesting way to defend one's fixations. While I enjoy and have enjoyed Judy's writings very much, it is not difficult at all to come up with names of *far* more "seasoned" riders than Judy (or Rufus!) who still prefer downtube shifters.

    To bring the discussion back to Erik's bike, you seem to be forgetting that Erik is doing a restoration project. He is not building a tourer from scratch. Erik's frame has bosses for downtube shifters, and it would be a sacrilege to remove them. OTOH, leaving them in place, and using barcons, would make the bike into an inaesthetic mutant. A proper restoration job takes into consideration what the bike originally was, and tries to retain the spirit and flavour of the original machine as much as possible. And I suspect that, as he already has the downtube shifters, Erik has seen the light!
    "There is nothing, nothing, nothing wrong with spending money on a bike."--Richard Ballantine

  13. #13
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lotum
    To bring the discussion back to Erik's bike, you seem to be forgetting that Erik is doing a restoration project. He is not building a tourer from scratch. Erik's frame has bosses for downtube shifters, and it would be a sacrilege to remove them. OTOH, leaving them in place, and using barcons, would make the bike into an inaesthetic mutant. A proper restoration job takes into consideration what the bike originally was, and tries to retain the spirit and flavour of the original machine as much as possible. And I suspect that, as he already has the downtube shifters, Erik has seen the light!
    Too funny! And yes, the light has been seen.. The frame is being sandblasted right now, Ill pick it up friday and post some pics!
    /Erik

  14. #14
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Just picked the frame and fork up from the blasters. Hi did a really good (and cheap) job, and I´ll definately do business with him again. It´s funny seeing the frame exactly like it looked when it was new, without any blemishes..Anyhow, here are a coupe of pics. I´ll keep posting when there´s any progress.Oh, and please keep the suggestions and comments coming!
    /Erik
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    Old XT canti's would be a cheap and good brake alternative. With Salmon Coolstop pads they are very good brakes. I use them with ordinary 600 Shimano Aero levers and that works flawlessly. (and don't take my Colnago !)

  16. #16
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Yeah, I´m definately looking for a pair of those, there starting to fetch pretty high prices on ebay though. And don´t worry, I won´t touch your italian beauty!
    /Erik

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    Quote Originally Posted by erikasberg
    Yeah, Im definately looking for a pair of those, there starting to fetch pretty high prices on ebay though. And dont worry, I wont touch your italian beauty!
    /Erik
    Thanks Many years ago I bought a Nishiki Ultra Tour in Falun and bicycled it home to Oslo. Nice bike, I really miss a good traditional touring bike. It had a Sugino TAT triple crank, and I think that is one of the nicer cranks ever made, don't know how easy they are to find on Ebay though. Nice frame, keep us posted !

  18. #18
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    As far as brakes for touring bikes, it's hard to beat Tektro Onyx cantilevers. Better than all the older cantilevers and way cheaper than Pauls or Avid cantis, these brakes are a really good value. You can also get marching Tektro levers with nice wide hoods to match.

    My favorite cranks are Sugino for the same reason-- the XD600 is the cheapest all alloy crank on the market, yet still the standard for all touring cranks.

    As far as shifters-- go with new Shinano bar-end shifters. These shifters are the same as down tube shifters, but have a set of bar-end plugs, cable stops and short connecting cables. They are really easy to hook up on your bike and here's a good part---- if you don't like them, you can take out the bar plugs and cables and set them up as down tube shifters! But honestly, I've never seen anybody do this. After riding new bar-end shifters, everybody loves them.

    On a last note, old used parts are really cool, but often cost more than new parts that would work better. Avoid getting into bidding wars for stuff like used XT cantilever brakes on EBAY when nicer, cheaper, new brakes are waiting for you at the bike shop.

  19. #19
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Well, on some level I agree with you in the new vs. old debate, but I have to say that aesthetics are important in this equation aswell. And I do think that a lot of people would disagree with you when you say that that Tektros are better than for example Mafacs or vintage XT´s.
    The thing about downtube shifters is that, well, I really like them. I tried barends aswell, and it actually felt more unstable to me. Probably just a matter technique, but still.
    I will check the Suginos out! (Or maybe get into more bidding wars over TA cranks..)
    Thanks for your input!
    /Erik

  20. #20
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    Hey Erik,

    Here's a link to a super fine pair of down tube shifters that might fit your project. These look old, but are new!

    http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/shift...urs/17101.html


    As far as brakes-- I think Pauls always look cool and retro, but cost a lot of money. The do work very well, however.

    I also like some of the newer Campy cranks. (Centuar) Nice sliver cranks, nothing fancy. If you have the money, you could hook up some new Campy derailuers to those nice friction shifters. That set up would look really cool and would work totally great.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Jonatan S's Avatar
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    Hej Erik

    The Silver/Rivendell shifters that tacomee links to are waiting for you in the display counter at Veloform (our lbs), can you resist them? You can set them up both as bar-cons and as downtube shifters.

    hej svejs
    Jonatan

  22. #22
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    Yes, yes I know. I swear, my lbs will have a house in southern Spain before this bike is built up..
    Tjo,
    Erik

  23. #23
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    Looking really nice. Any braze-ons required, that you don't have, now would be the time, as you know.

  24. #24
    Senior Member erikasberg's Avatar
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    So, this little project is progressing slooowly. The frame has been picked up from the powdercoater (a proper painjob just wouldn´t fit in the budget) and is now a beautiful chocolate (poo) color. Bought some NOS Dia-Compe 980 cantilevers which look fantastic and will be fitted with kool-stops eventually and paired with some NOS Dia-Compe levers from my lbs. A Sakae riser quill has been fitted to the bars and is waiting for the levers to be wrapped and shellaced. I´m bringing it in to my lbs this week to have a stronglight A9 headset fitted and probably slap a bb on at the same time. Cranks not yet bought, but I´ll probably go with some cheap LX or Deore cranks, the TA´s will just have to wait. Wheels are yet to be built but the parts are patiently waiting. I will post pics in the next coupla days. Thanks again for your input!

  25. #25
    Just ride it. MrPolak's Avatar
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    I think it would be neat to braze on some disc mount tabs for awesome braking power! .. but I'm late as the bike is painted already.

    Got pics?

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