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  1. #1
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Converting Fuji frame to tour

    Hi all,

    I've been doing some bikecamping trips recently in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, my daily ride is a SS and I'm unable to go where I really want to go when it's fully loaded. (ie:mountains)

    My question is this:

    I've received a partial bike from a good friend. It's a 1984 Fuji Espree and the frame fits me perfectly. The issue is that it had been converted to a SS, so I'm looking to buy the components to get it road worthy. I'm newer to bikes and unsure about the wheelbase size. Would this bike be able to handle a 48/36/26 crankset?

    My shopping list:
    rear wheel
    rear cassette (11/32)
    front & rear derailleurs (9speed long cage)
    stem shifters & cables
    triple crankset (48/36/26)

    Mostly, I need this to handle monthly overnight/ weekend trips <100 miles. BUT I'd like for it to be able to handle more if I have the time for a longer trip.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/ ideas/ etc.

  2. #2
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    Well for starters I would go over the frame very carefully. Unless you know the person who did the SS conversion I would closly check the frame. DR bracket in tact and not bent?...... If you are planning to use it on mountain trips you are almost certinaly going to need a triple crankset which if the conversion was done right means the current bottom bracke isn't going to work. You will need a longer one. Past that point you need a complete component group. I would stick with 9-speed shimano. It's readily available and you can use anybodys bar-end shifters with it. Poke around you should be able to find what you need.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    '84 will be a 6 speed 126 or 5 speed 120 wide dropout,
    not as wide as the latest wheels need ..

    curent road.. 130, ATB, 135mm ..

    a hybrid with a 3 or 5 speed IGH and a double or triple chainring crankset
    is 1 possibility, old RD as a chain tensioner..
    does not have to move sideways with one cog.
    as would be a less ambitious derailleur setup.
    not requiring a frame spread procedure

    I toured for decades on a 13 to 34 t 6 speed freewheel, triple crank
    got a Phil Wood hub so no axle problems ever , only replaced 1 broken spoke.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-14-12 at 02:45 PM.

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    Yeah you can put a Sugino XD-350 triple on there with a Truvativ square taper BB like this http://www.google.com/search?q=truva...w=1680&bih=897 using an 8mm or 13mm spindle size depending on whether you want your chain-line to favor the big or middle of the freewheel cogs. You'll have enough gearing to go just about anywhere with the Shimano 13-34 or 13-28 6 speed freewheels. You'll need a triple bottom-pull front derailleur like the Shimano Sora or something from the bike co-op parts bin. Maybe find a nice old Suntour rear derailleur from the bike co-op and some Suntour friction shifters. A new KMC 8-speed chain. It's all good. Put a short-reach Kalloy quill stem on to make it comfortable on long rides. The frame likely does not have clearance for a modern 130mm hub and cassette. If you stretch the frame it might create minute cracks under the paint and cause the chainstay to fail under load - I wouldn't do it!. 6-speed freewheel hubs are nice and quiet, nothing wrong with 126mm hubs. Try and keep the current hubs but maybe put new 700cm rims and spokes on them if the old rims are beat up. If hub feels gritty go to Ace Hardware and buy new ball bearings for it. Seek out and join your local bike co-op for parts, tools, and support. I love my old Japanese bike ;-)
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-14-12 at 05:42 PM.

  5. #5
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips!

    I've been riding mostly SS/ fixed now, so I figure any extra gears are helpful. Would it be possible for me to reuse the cranks, but add an additional chain ring? I'm thinking that a double in front (48/26?) and a 6spd (13/28?) in back will be doable as long as a have the proper gear ratios.

    I measured the frame last night and the geometry looks good for touring. Frame is solid, no cracks or bends. Basically it was just a size too large for my buddy, so he gave it to me. He didn't have any issues with it other than the fit.

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    I live in the mountains and here's why I like the triple: I can leave the chain set on the 28 or 24 tooth cog while climbing mild grades in the 48t chain ring and go pretty damn fast then when the grade steepens I drop the front onto the 36 and shift again to 48 quickly as it grade drops a bit again all while maintaining a good rate of speed, then suddenly the hill goes really steep and I can just drop it into the granny. I really like this system because friction shifting is so effortless on the front derailleur compared to the back where it's fairly easy to miss-shift onto the wrong cog without indexing. It's also easier to keep track of what cog you're on without looking. It's somewhat dangerous to look back at the cog because another bike or car could suddenly come around the corner in the opposite direction. What I like about the XD-350 is it's steel middle ring. You can use it for years without wearing it out. I use the 108mm BB and the only flaw in my system is that at intersections when I have to stop and restart the chain will sometimes skip if I'm on the big ring and small cogs because of the bad chain-line. If I remember to shift into the large cogs this wouldn't happen but it might not happen if I had used the 113mm BB instead. The low Q factor of the 108 is nice though and takes advantage of these old skinny frames.

    I've never tried a double with radically different-sized rings. I know some people do it but don't know if it requires a front derailleur designed for this specific application. All of the FD I've seen have a suggested limit on ring-size difference and of course you could exceed that limit and find out what happens, maybe nothing.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-15-12 at 11:27 AM.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I measured the frame last night
    and the rear drop out spread is? ....

  8. #8
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    and the rear drop out spread is? ....
    Now, I'm not sure if I measured correctly because I got ~133mm and that was measuring from the center of each dropout. However, in a previous comment you mentioned 126mm would be the max on this particular frame.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    inside face, to inside face of the dropout, needs to be what you measure.

  10. #10
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    inside face, to inside face of the dropout, needs to be what you measure.
    Good to know. Alright, so most likely it's a 126mm. So, I'll have to stick with a 6spd rear cassette?

  11. #11
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    I think you'd have clearance issues with anything over a 6 speed freewheel and a modern cassette is totally out of the question. So look at the hub on there now, hopefully it's the original 126 hub with threads for a 6 speed freewheel in which case you'd loosen the cog-nut holding your single cog and swap it out, but sometimes people who do single-speed fixie conversions ruin the original threads by various hacks. Google "Sheldon Brown freewheel hub" for details.
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-15-12 at 11:19 AM.

  12. #12
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
    I think you'd have clearance issues with anything over 6 speed. Cassette is totally out of the question.
    Would I be looking for a 6speed mountain bike freewheel then? I'm still debating a double or triple crank up front. Wouldn't mind a double with 6spd rear if I have a low enough gear for hilly climbs. However, the majority of 6spd go down to a 14T and I was hoping for an 11T. Although, I don't know what size chain rings I'm going to use, so I guess 14T could be possible?

    Thanks again to everyone for all your answers. I knew this forum would be the best help!

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Like said Phil Wood freewheel hub, .. 6 speed cassette hubs are [marketing]
    made obsolete by now.
    So if it were to screw up on the road spares are significantly harder to find.

    Freewheels are still being made. just need a small tool
    and a borrowed big wrench to remove said freewheel.

    7 speed freewheels were made to N+1 cogs, in the space available for 6 speeds.

    AND.. Phil & Co. is in the south bay, San Jose.

  14. #14
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    Ah you're right the Shinamo 6-speeds are 14t which kinda sucks but at least they are cheap, reliable, and quiet. They also have more engagement points than many freehubs. http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/freewheels.html#6

    But alas, guys on modern bikes will pass you on the flats with your measly 48 x 14 gearing :-(
    Last edited by Clem von Jones; 02-15-12 at 11:41 AM.

  15. #15
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
    But alas, guys on modern bikes will pass you on the flats with your measly 48 x 14 gearing :-(
    Yeah, I figured this would happen. Not too concerned as I take my time on the road. I'm looking into the 7speed "megarange" freewheels now. 14-34

    Still trying to figure out what chain ring sizes would be best if I kept it a double. 50T seems too large for the majority of the ride time. Also figure a 48T to 26T shift would be too big of a jump.

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't assume the 7 speed will work. You have to measure it yourself and even then you might not know until everything's assembled http://www.harborfreight.com/media/c...mage_17953.jpg

  17. #17
    let's ride bikes! octo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clem von Jones View Post
    I wouldn't assume the 7 speed will work. You have to measure it yourself and even then you might not know until everything's assembled
    Good point. Thanks for all the ideas and links everyone.

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