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Old 03-29-18, 12:33 PM
Look Ma! No Hands!
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,396

Bikes: Surlys: ECR, Troll, Instigator Others: '53 Dunelt, Raleigh Twenty, Aegis Aro Svelte

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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
If you go with disc brakes, that takes away the main reason (as far as I'm concerned) for using 451 wheels. The greater choices available in the more standard size make it worthwhile, and if you're not trying to figure out the brake issue, you might as well go with more choice. Of course you only need one working rim/tire combination, so if you have something you like in 451, you're good to go.

I destroyed my Twenty. I mean in the end I literally destroyed it through an accident, but leading up to that, I subjected that bike to all kinds of abuse. Used a hacksaw to trim the bottom bracket enough to get a Velo Orange, threadless bottom bracket in there. Cold set the rear fork to get a 135 OLD hub in there. Bike came disassembled and without the complete headset, so had to make a modern headset work as well. I just made a list the other day:
  • Used a hacksaw and file to trim the bottom bracket to a more standard width, so I could put in a cartridge bottom bracket and modern cranks/pedals
  • Replaced the front fork
  • Used a quill extender to make the steerer tube long enough to attach my trekking bars
  • Modern headset -- that was a weird set up, but I can't remember how I managed it.
  • New wheels with aluminum rims
  • Cold set the dropouts to accommodate a modern gear hub
  • Added a Nuvinci hub to give me a decent range without having to figure out a front shifting solution
  • Filed out the dropouts to accommodate a wider axle

Did not really figure out the rear brakes. I found a set that had enough reach, but they were cheap and stiff, and when I got them installed, I found that the necessarily weird cable routings made it so hard to pull the brake lever that I ended up just riding with a front brake only. Never got around to addressing that shortcoming. I never wanted to go with 451 wheels because I wanted it to be as compact as possible for fitting in an airline-legal suitcase.

Photos and other details here: What do you think about this folder for touring?

Enjoy your bike!
Wow, Thanks, Rob! I appreciate your chiming in here. I need all of the help I can get. Right now, I am leaning towards milling down the BB to the proper width (I'm thinking 73mm), filling in the threads with brass, then rethreading it to 24 TPI. I may forgo this last step in favor of using some Loctite red threadlocker. Look at it this way - I'll probably never have to change the BB ever again, and if I do, well, I can always go the VO threadless route.

I'm becoming tempted to simply braze on some bosses to accommodate some nice linear-pull brakes. When I get the time, I'll grab a cheapie disk hub and see how it fills the space between the rear stays - just to see in my mind's eye if a brake boss will work with the existing geometry.

Also, thanks a bunch for the link to your bike build. I haven't seen it yet as of this writing, but I'll pop in there when I am done and check it out. Thanks again!
"I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks" -Daniel Boone

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending" -C.S. Lewis

"Sobriety sucks." -Me
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