Old 01-22-10, 02:33 PM
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For your upgrade in addition to the education on the shifters you'll also need to look at "cold setting", otherwise known as bending, the frame to accept the modern road wheel axle spacing.

There's no better a write up on the why you need it and doing this than at Sheldon Brown's website;

And by all means if you want to achieve a simpler look overall with this project there's nothing wrong with considering reducing the crankset to one ring and just run a 9 or 10 speed cluster at the rear. For an upright cruising/pleasure bike 9 or 10 is all you'll really need. To get the most range out of such a setup I'd suggest the wider ratio mountain bike cassete and long cage mountain bike derrailleur. And yes you will need to change the derraileur if you want to have indexed shifting. The old friction shift derraileur isn't designed to move the correct amount in connection with the indexing on the new shifter. At least I'm assuming that you want to modernize up to indexed shifting.
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