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Some Guidance Needed...

Old 01-09-20, 07:44 AM
  #1  
thebigx
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Some Guidance Needed...

I must admit, I haven't been on this site since March of 2011, but life gets in the way...

Anyhow, I was clearing out my storage and tucked away in the back was my old 1997 Gary Fisher Marlin. Instead of getting rid of it (gifting, selling it, donating, etc), I'd rather update it and put her to use again. Mainly to commute to my part time job, which is shy of a 9 mile ride on paved roads, or a 3.5 mile ride on gravel.

I want to take her done to the frame and build her back up with "modern" parts. For the most part I'd like to nix the grip shift for a thumb shifter, update the brakes, and the derailleurs and if possible turn her into a 1x. I know that might be a little "extreme" for this bike, but hey, I want to have fun with it.

I've never done anything like this before so some guidance is needed. I don't want to get carried away with budget, but can you fine folks tell me what will work and what won't work along with what possible bike specific tools (i.e. bb tool, headset tool, etc) I might need?

This is the bike's specs, https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/valu...product/68612/

Parts that can be reused are frame (obviously), seatpost, fork, stem & handlebar (but don't mind replacing it), and wheels, and a ball park figure of budget that I'd like to stay within is around $300 - $500.

Thoughts and guidance is much appreciated!

Admins, if this is in the wrong section, please feel free to move or let me know so I can adjust accordingly.
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Old 01-09-20, 08:19 AM
  #2  
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You are going to get a lot of advice.

Mine is: replace the brake shoes, shift and brake cables, service all of the bearings, replace the tires and tubes, replace chain, adjust everything that can be adjusted.

Then ride the bike for a year. If at the end of the year you are still riding, buy a new or newer bike that has exactly what you want. Use your present bike as a back-up.

I say this as an individual that has upgraded a few older bikes. I'm not an expert.

ON EDIT: I was semi-obsessed with trying to come up with lower gears for the hills. As I was getting back into cycling after years off I found that I was not able to ride for long and thought that re-gearing was the solution. On one of my bikes I replaced the freewheel which required a new deraileur, not a lot of money but once I started putting on the miles and increased my fitness I found that the gears I already had were ok.

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Old 01-09-20, 08:19 AM
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I start projects like this by finding a good donor bike. I found a Shogun, with complete 8 speed XT components, at a really low price. I transferred most of the parts over to my 1987 Cimarron, which had pretty much worn out components. Such a project can be done for a LOT LESS than your budget. In my case, I sold the Shogun frameset after harvesting the parts for more than I paid for it. So my upgrade cost was zero.

OK, I see you want to go 1X. In that case, the donor bike may not be such a good option.

In my case, I converted the bike to drop handlebars, as a prior project, which is an additional expense, and certainly NOT necessary.

I love tools, and have worked around 750 bikes as a hobby. So the tools were a good investment. But for a one off job, Most of the tools don't pay for themselves. IMHO, the worst thing you can do is to get a lot of cheap tools that are barely usable. I'd pay your favorite bike shop to do the specialty stuff.

And you don't have to do it all at once!

What's wrong with the headset??

I've skipped the 1X craze. Where I live, I prefer the capability of a triple crankset. The only original parts on this bike are the frame, fork, seat post, and stem.


88 Cimarron 2019 Version by wrk101, on Flickr

The bike started as this, if you look closely, you will see a "quad" crankset!!!:

1988 Cimmaron LE as found by wrk101, on Flickr
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Old 01-09-20, 08:24 AM
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Quad crank:

Cimarron Crankset 4 by wrk101, on Flickr


Cimarron Crankset 3 by wrk101, on Flickr
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Old 01-09-20, 09:51 AM
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Thanks so far!
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Old 01-09-20, 10:49 AM
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I like the Shimano EF-65's with the integrated brake/shifter.
Get a cassette that's more appropriate for your need. You likely don't need a 30+ tooth largest cog and maybe not an 11T cog. maybe something like a 12-28, 13-23/26. You didn't mention hills, so if you don't have them, you don't need super low gearing. You'll have closer steps with the casssettes I mentioned.
Skinnier tires will shed a lot of weight too. You can go down to 26x1.25" no problem.
Service the hubs & cables.

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Old 01-09-20, 11:05 AM
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What do you mean by thumb shifter? in bike terms, a thumb shifter pre-dates Gripshift, if you mean trigger shifters like Shimano Rapiidfire+, these are probably the most common type of MTB shifter out there.

Does the bike still fit you? it's 23 years since you got it, is it still comfortable? if not, don't put any money into it, if it is, would go with Thomas15's suggestions, + swap the tires for slicks or semi-slicks (dependant on the condition of that 3.5 mile gravel bit is like).

One issue you may run into is the fork/headset/stem, the bike is listed as having a 1 1/8" headset, this is an uncommon size (very short-lived as the industry (MTB) was almost all threadless headset/Aheadset by 1996) they do exist, but choice is severely limited, and if you need a shorter/different stem, which are even less common that headsets in this size, if you need to swap the stem. would look at an Ahead converter, these work fine (have put about 5000km on a bike with one fitted in the last 2 years)

If you do change the stem, would look for an Alu riser bar, as dropping the steel handlebar that is stock will drop a lot of weight of the bike. Fitting one with the stock stem may be problematic.
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Old 01-09-20, 11:32 AM
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Yes, I mean trigger shifters! I'm dating myself here. LOL

Funny enough, the bike still fits. The only thing different about me from 1997 to now is weight and the hair on my head! LOL

I have no desire to change the fork/headset/stem of the bike, but was looking to replace the handlebar...

The more I think about it, I really just want to update the derailleurs, shifters, brakes, and tires. That would probably give it a new lease on life and would be plenty for what I will be using it for.

The gravel path is very tame, of that 3.5 mile commute, I would guess that a total of it would be .5 - .75 paved and the rest would be packed dirt and small gravel similar to what you would find on driveways.

Part of my problem right now is I don't know what parts would work. Here's screen grab of what I was thinking of doing would these parts work seamlessly with the bike?

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Old 01-09-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by thebigx View Post
...
To me this is a very worthwhile project - an old MTB is ideal for just about any kind of generic recreational cycling, especially urban environments.

When I got a secondhand '98 Klein Pulse, the gripshift that were on it were horrible - so I upgraded to SRAM X3 front and rear derailleurs and trigger shifters. It was very inexpensive as the bike was already 7 speed, but I'd bet 8 speed wouldn't be so far off, and well worth it over the gripshift.

It already had v-brakes so that wasn't an issue. I'm sure any old v-brakes would be fine, just get new pads.

I just put Maxxis "Holy Roller" 2.2" tyres on it, and wow they're awesome. (Probably could've fit 2.4".)
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Old 01-09-20, 12:41 PM
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Is there any functional issue with the current derailleurs? If not, they should work fine with the new shifters, so I would consider just cleaning them, and only replace the brakes and shifters to start. Once you get back into riding it regularly, you can decide what other bits you most want to change.

Those 90s rigid MTBs make great commuters. Good to see another one getting revived.
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Old 01-09-20, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Is there any functional issue with the current derailleurs? If not, they should work fine with the new shifters, so I would consider just cleaning them, and only replace the brakes and shifters to start. Once you get back into riding it regularly, you can decide what other bits you most want to change.

Those 90s rigid MTBs make great commuters. Good to see another one getting revived.
Chances are new pads would suffice for the brakes.
Clean & lube pivot points, cables etc. and they may work fine.
Shouldn't be any need to replace DER's. If you are having a problem with them, it's probably the cables & hardened lube.
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Old 01-09-20, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
.......but I'd bet 8 speed wouldn't be so far off, and well worth it over the gripshift........
That requires a different rear Free Hub. Upgrading to 8 speed is basically stupid when you can upgrade to 9 for minimally more money for 2X the extra gears.
8 speed cassettes are more limited in cog choices than 9 by far.

Possibly the rear hub is already 8/9 speed with the 4.5mm spacer between the largest cog & spoke protector.
It's easy to see that gap, since it's about 3/16" greater than would normally be.
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Old 01-09-20, 01:32 PM
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I think I'm going to just replace the brakes, shifters, cables and tires for now. Give the bike a good cleaning and go with it. If down the road the derailleurs crap out on me, then I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I guess my mind got over ambitious with this prospective bike build! LOL

Like I said, ultimately this bike will be used to commute to my PT job at the golf course and maybe the occasional jaunt to the nearest shopping center, so it really doesn't need to be "high end" anything. TBH, I totally forgot I had this bike since I put it in storage sometime between 1996 and 1999. Kinda glad I decided to clear out and simplify, cause I'd hate to use my newer bikes as my commuter. #firstworldproblems LOL
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Old 01-09-20, 01:43 PM
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I received a Miyata 1000, 1985 model that had been sitting since new. Still using the original cables and brake pads. The pads are not too bad and are not chewing up the rims, so why replace them? Sure the cables and pads are old, but are still very much functional. It is used for commuting and day trips.
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Old 01-09-20, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by thebigx View Post
I think I'm going to just replace the brakes, shifters, cables and tires for now. Give the bike a good cleaning and go with it. If down the road the derailleurs crap out on me, then I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I guess my mind got over ambitious with this prospective bike build! LOL

Like I said, ultimately this bike will be used to commute to my PT job at the golf course and maybe the occasional jaunt to the nearest shopping center, so it really doesn't need to be "high end" anything. TBH, I totally forgot I had this bike since I put it in storage sometime between 1996 and 1999. Kinda glad I decided to clear out and simplify, cause I'd hate to use my newer bikes as my commuter. #firstworldproblems LOL
Just get some Kool Stop brake pads. I think the calipers on your bike are probably better than your replacements you provided.
Brake calipers are another bridge you can cross IF you need to. Just put a dab of grease on the pivots.
Buy a couple cone wrenches to service the wheel bearings with the money you save.

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Old 01-09-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Just get some Kool Stop brake pads. I think the calipers on your bike are probably better than your replacements you provided.
Brake calipes are another bridge you can cross IF you need to.
Currently the bike has cantilever brakes. Aren't v brakes better?
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Old 01-09-20, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by thebigx View Post
Currently the bike has cantilever brakes. Aren't v brakes better?
V brakes will require new brake levers. Well set up cantilevers work very well.

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Old 01-09-20, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
V brakes will require new brake levers. Well set up cantilevers can work very well.

So V brakes it is then since I'm swapping out my grip shifters with a shifter/brake combo.
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Old 01-09-20, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by thebigx View Post
Currently the bike has cantilever brakes. Aren't v brakes better?
Not necessarily.

IF you get the trigger shifters, get the 4 Finger version. The suffix (not always provided) will have a 4L?at the end of the part#.



You can move the red "plug" to the proper position for whatever brake type.
EDIT- The suffix appears to be 4A.

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Old 01-09-20, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Not necessarily.

IF you get the trigger shifters, get the 4 Finger version. The suffix (not always provided) will have a 4L?at the end of the part#.



You can move the red "plug" to the proper position for whatever brake type.
EDIT- The suffix appears to be 4A.
Awesome! Thanks so much!
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