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Old 01-12-18, 05:26 PM   #1
MidTNBrad
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1999 Litespeed Tuscany rebuild

Hey everyone! Iíve decided to rebuild my 1999 Litespeed Tuscany. I bought her new when I didnít have a lot of responsibilities in my life. It was my dream bike back in the day and that first year I put a few thousand miles on her. A year later my daughter was born and my riding time dropped significantly for the next three years and dipped even more when my son was born, we moved and I took a new traveling job all in quick succession. My job required me to be on the road Monday-Friday for weeks on end, so when I was home I spent time with my family rather than on the bike. So the Tuscany stayed in the garage unused for about a decade. A few years ago, I changed positions where I wasnít traveling so I got the Litespeed back on the road and started slowly by putting a few hundred miles on her per year. In 2016 I decided I was going to get back into cycling whole-hog and to celebrate I upgraded to a Cervelo R3. Since getting the Cervelo, the Litespeed has been hanging in the garage and Iíve decided to rebuild her.

The Tuscany has all of the original Shimano Ultegra 6500 group on it and the Mavic Open Pro wheels with Wheelsmith spokes and Ultegra hubs. Up front there is the original Look carbon fork. Iíll still ride the R3 as my main bike, but Iíll look to the Tuscany for inclimate weather days and riding in the late fall thru early spring. I also expect to get her out during the summer to change things up a bit too.

Goals (in no particular order):
  • Clean up the cockpit. I want to move to under the handlebar tape routed cabling.
  • Replace the shifters. I have had a couple of hard crashes over the years (both of which involved dogs darting out in front of me) and the shifters bore the brunt of impact both times. Although they both work, they are pretty well chewed up on the outside and the right shifter has a pretty bad rattle in it when going over less than perfect roads.
  • Replace the things with bearings. I can feel some play and a gritty feeling in the hubs; the bottom bracket and headset have not been maintained since I got the bike so Iím sure they need to be replaced.
  • Change the gearing. I canít turn those 53/39 chainrings as well today as my 28 year-old self. Compact gearing here I come.
  • Not spend a fortune. Since this wonít be my main ride, Iím not wanting to put too much money into the rebuild.

With all of the above in mind, Iíve decided to replace all of the Ultegra 6500 with 105 5800. This isnít going to ever be a weight weenie bike, so no sense in paying a premium for Dura Ace. The latest Ultegra is more than I want to spend, although the price for 6800 is pretty decent. 105 5800 is less, gets me 95% of the performance of Ultegra plus 5800 comes in silver which is in keeping with the same aesthetic from when the bike was new. So 5800 it is.

As for the wheels, Iíve already replaced the original Mavic Open Pros with the set of Mavic Aksiums that came with my R3. Not the sportiest of options but solid nonetheless. Iím going to keep the handlebars, fork, stem, seatpost and saddle as they all have life left in them.

The plan is to keep my eye out for deals on 5800 components from online retailers and scour E-Bay for lightly used or take-offs. Iím finding that silver 5800 components are harder to find than their black counterparts so Iím being patient and donít expect to have everything I need until this spring.

Anyway, this will be my first strip-down and rebuild job. Iím looking forward to the process and Iím finding the Park Tools videos to be a really great resource, but I know Iím going to need some coaching. Iím starting this thread as both a way to document the process and a place where I can ask questions when I get stuck along the way.

Thanks in advance for all of the questions Iíll be asking! The ďbeforeĒ pictures will be coming soon.

--Brad
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Old 01-12-18, 05:53 PM   #2
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Will the Aksiums accept an 11 speed cassette?

If cost is an issue, have you considered just upgrading to newer 6700 (under the tape) 10 speed shifters and a compact crank so you can just use the rest of the parts that you have?

I know 11 speed is all shiny and new, but your 6500 parts are really nice, 6700 shifters are pretty inexpensive right now and 5800 isn't really going to be "better" than slightly dated Ultegra.
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Old 01-12-18, 06:13 PM   #3
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You sound like you have a good grasp of what you want to accomplish and why. I have three Litespeeds myself, a 1996 Catalyst, a 2005 Firenze and a 2006 Tuscany so I'm very much in tune with why you want to resurrect yours. Well worth the effort.

As to putting together a 5800 group, consider some of the UK suppliers like Wiggle, Ribble (yes, those are their real names!), ProBikeKit and Chain Reaction. Their prices are vastly better than US dealers, delivery to the US is free, customs delays are not an issue and you can avoid e-bay (ugh!).

A minor note, if you had enough crashes to damage the old brifters significantly, you might consider new handlebars. The crashes may have damaged them and that's one item you do NOT want to fail.

Don't discard the current hubs or headset without seeing if all they need is a good cleaning, relubing and adjusting. You might be pleasantly surprised. The bottom bracket will have to be replaced since you are going to a different style of crank which requires a different type (external bearing). of bottom bracket.

Keep in touch as this project proceeds and as you have specific questions.

Edit: I just saw Kontact posting and he makes a good point. A 10-speed group will allow use of your current wheels if they won't accept an 11-speed cassette. Some Mavic 10-speed wheels will indeed accept 11-speed cassettes so you may be OK with 5800.
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Old 01-12-18, 07:08 PM   #4
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I should say that old Litespeeds and Merlins are "my bag, baby" and very worth upgrading. But the newest parts don't always have the most utility.
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Old 01-12-18, 08:37 PM   #5
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@Kontact: Yes, the Aksiums do take an 11 speed cassette. I also thought about swapping out just the things I wanted changed but then I thought that if I was going to rebuild I should just go ahead and do everything. Judgement call on my part.
@HillRider: 3 Litespeeds! Awesome! I actually did find a screaming deal on a crankset and shifters from Wiggle so I already have those on order. I looked at purchasing the whole group from one of the UK sites but they didn't have some pieces in stock and it was only in black, so I moved on. Of all things, PerformanceBike had the newer 5801 front derailleur for $26.00 so I snagged that while I could, too. Thanks for the heads-up on the handlebars; I'll give them a good once-over when I remove them and decide then if they need replacing. Of course they are alloy instead of carbon so I _think_ they would be OK.
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Old 01-12-18, 09:25 PM   #6
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@HillRider: 3 Litespeeds! Awesome!
It does sound like an extravagance doesn't it?

My first one was the Catalyst bought new in 1996 as a gift to myself after my younger kid graduated from college and I could finally stop making tuition payments. It was the first time in my life the term "disposable income" meant something!

The second, a 2006 Tuscany was bought after 10 years and 65,000 miles riding the first one. Colorado Cyclist was running a package deal of the frame/Easton carbon fork/Chris King headset at a very good price.

The third one was definitely overkill but late in 2006 Colorado Cyclist was running a closeout on the 2005 Firenze frame and an Easton carbon fork package at an unbelievable price. It was the classic case of "I really don't need this but I can't say no at that price".
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Old 01-12-18, 09:59 PM   #7
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I bought an Obed on employee discount in '96. In 2004 I bought a repolished used Classic. Then I went through an ebay period where I bought and sold a lot of bikes, and briefly had an early Classic which I sold, a weird Italian made Ti road frame, a Litespeed made Basso Gap and a Merlin Extralight. I ended up keeping the Merlin, Obed, Italian thingy and the Basso.
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Old 01-13-18, 02:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Will the Aksiums accept an 11 speed cassette?

If cost is an issue, have you considered just upgrading to newer 6700 (under the tape) 10 speed shifters and a compact crank so you can just use the rest of the parts that you have?

I know 11 speed is all shiny and new, but your 6500 parts are really nice, 6700 shifters are pretty inexpensive right now and 5800 isn't really going to be "better" than slightly dated Ultegra.
6700 was from the first generation of Shimano undergrip cabled shifters, these are now old, long OOP, and from experience, had a habit of failing after 6-7000KM, unless you already have them, would stay well away from them.
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Old 01-13-18, 03:41 AM   #9
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6700 was from the first generation of Shimano undergrip cabled shifters, these are now old, long OOP, and from experience, had a habit of failing after 6-7000KM, unless you already have them, would stay well away from them.
Truth be told, I don't know of any generation of STI that has such a stellar reputation. They all seem to eat cable heads and get funky and inexact with use. If you say 6700 is worse than 5800 in longevity, I bow to your experience. But I wouldn't be surprised to read the exact same comments about 5800 two years from now.
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Old 01-13-18, 06:17 AM   #10
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Truth be told, I don't know of any generation of STI that has such a stellar reputation. They all seem to eat cable heads and get funky and inexact with use. If you say 6700 is worse than 5800 in longevity, I bow to your experience. But I wouldn't be surprised to read the exact same comments about 5800 two years from now.

I was using 6700 for Audax riding, and they didn't last long, am using 6800 now, not 5800, but they are almost the same, and no issues, although I intend to increase my distance/use heavily this year, so time will tell
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Old 01-13-18, 06:59 AM   #11
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In theory you need new brakes to go with your 11 speed levers due to change in cable pull. I know folks who are happy with old brakes/ new levers, you could try that maybe save a few bucks.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:30 AM   #12
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IME as a mechanic, the first generation of aero STIs (second generation of 10s) suck balls.

The STIs that work properly either have exposed cables or are 11s generation (less speeds on the cheapest models).

Although I'm not a fan of the 11s FDs. The brace screw is a great improvement, and the long-arm FD can work really well when the cable comes from the left side of the BB, but otherwise it blows. As for the toggle FD, it looks really neat, but it's a PITA to set up, and you can only get one of the trim positions to work at a time. It's half baked.
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Old 01-13-18, 01:40 PM   #13
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Instead of dishing out $$ on new shifters, (assuming it's the hoods and lever blades which are chewed up) Why not just buy new lever blades and hoods?
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Old 01-13-18, 09:11 PM   #14
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Link to those replacement blades please, I could use a pair too. Love 9 speed!
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Old 01-15-18, 05:05 PM   #15
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Can someone elaborate on the cable pull for the brakes? If I keep the existing 6500 brakes (expecting a 9 speed brake lever) but put on 5800 11 speed levers, is the pull such that it causes the brakes to engage too quickly or is it that they don't engage fully? Can fine tuning the barrel adjusters help?
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Old 01-15-18, 05:30 PM   #16
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Can someone elaborate on the cable pull for the brakes? If I keep the existing 6500 brakes (expecting a 9 speed brake lever) but put on 5800 11 speed levers, is the pull such that it causes the brakes to engage too quickly or is it that they don't engage fully? Can fine tuning the barrel adjusters help?
It is a minor variation in cable pull, not enough to really effect much more than the way the brakes feel. Shimano says they are compatible, just not ideal.

I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 01-15-18, 06:53 PM   #17
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It is a minor variation in cable pull, not enough to really effect much more than the way the brakes feel. Shimano says they are compatible, just not ideal.
New 11-speed groups brakes require a longer cable pull than previous generations so the corresponding STI's have less leverage but pull more cable. It's not as extreme a difference as between caliper and V-brakes so mix-and-match of levers and brakes works adequately.

Summary: Use old levers with new brakes and the lever will move further to apply the brakes and require a bit less hand force. Unless you run the brake pads with a lot of rim clearance, this should be no problem. Conversely new levers with old brakes will apply the brakes with less lever travel but require more hand force for a given level of braking.
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Old 01-15-18, 07:01 PM   #18
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seems the uk shops are a little lighter on inventory than i have seen but for references full 105 5800 groupset is ~$450

wiggle.com | Shimano 105 5800 Groupset | Groupsets and Build-kits
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Old 01-17-18, 03:07 PM   #19
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Everyone's favorite subject: Bottom Brackets!

Does this sound right: To remove the old 6500 bottom bracket I should use a Park Tool BBT-22 or equivalent?

As for the new BB I'm looking at the Shimano BB-R60 English threaded and to work with that it looks like the Part Tool BBT-9 will work?
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Old 01-17-18, 03:18 PM   #20
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That is correct. Do you have the self extractor caps on the crank?
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Old 01-17-18, 03:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MidTNBrad View Post
Everyone's favorite subject: Bottom Brackets!

Does this sound right: To remove the old 6500 bottom bracket I should use a Park Tool BBT-22 or equivalent?

As for the new BB I'm looking at the Shimano BB-R60 English threaded and to work with that it looks like the Part Tool BBT-9 will work?
BBT-22 is correct - the single most common cartridge tool for square and splined units.

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That is correct. Do you have the self extractor caps on the crank?
Nope.

BBT-9 won't work. There are three Shimano external cup sizes and BB-R60 is 41mm, not the 44 of BBT-9. You'll need a BBT-59.2.
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Old 01-17-18, 03:25 PM   #22
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Also, the newer HT II bottom brackets are smaller than the original and generally come with a plastic spacer to fit in the tool if needed. edit Yep, beat me to it!
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Old 01-17-18, 03:26 PM   #23
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That is correct. Do you have the self extractor caps on the crank?
Yes, the cranks have the self extractors that need a pin spanner to remove. From what I understand I just need an 8mm hex key to pull them off and the extractors stay in place.

Edit: by "them" I mean the cranks.

Last edited by MidTNBrad; 01-17-18 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 01-17-18, 03:36 PM   #24
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Yes, that's correct method re: the extractors. An advantage of the tool Kontact mentioned is that you can use it with a torque wrench. An advantage of the BBT 9 (with adapter) is that it comes with the spinner to set the preload.
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Old 01-17-18, 03:46 PM   #25
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Yes, that's correct method re: the extractors. An advantage of the tool Kontact mentioned is that you can use it with a torque wrench. An advantage of the BBT 9 (with adapter) is that it comes with the spinner to set the preload.

Thanks, that clears it up.
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