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Refitting my touring frame

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Refitting my touring frame

Old 06-30-08, 01:49 AM
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Refitting my touring frame


I have a custom bicycle built in the 1980s with a Reynolds 531 double butted touring frame. I want to keep the frame and change most of the rest (except seat & post, pedals, mudguards and pannier rack).

The setup I have now is:

1a. Wheels: 27 x1.25, tandem spokes.
1b. Hubs: Bullseye.
(If the original wheels had been 700 I would keep them because in all this time I have never had to true or replace any spokes, rims or do anything with the hubs.)

2. Gears: 18 speed. Range 19-87. 6 back, 3 front. It was originally 19-100 but I had problems changing gears, so reduced the top front down to a smaller size. The sprocket set was set individually but I understand nowadays we have to buy a set decided by the manufacturer.

3. Derailleurs: Mountech originally, but this wore out and had to buy a Shimano set to replace it.

4. Handlebars: drop handlebars with gear changers (Suntour) on the tips, brake levers at drop.

5. Brakes: caliper (Shimano)

6. Bottom bracket/cranks: not sure of make but shall have to change that for new gearing.

7. Front forks: also not sure of make but people note how "antique" they look, along with the gear levers at the tips of the handlebars.


My usage: I ride around the city commuting, socialising, shopping sometimes with heavy loads (use panniers and/or trailer), and take long rides in the country mostly on sealed roads but occasionally on unsealed/rough. The gear setup is generally too low for city cycling but I do use that really low gear when I am going up steepish hills. (Currently I walk up *really* steep hills.)

What I want changed:

A1. Wheels: 700 x 1.25 (or thereabouts). Rebuilt with tandem spokes to take touring panniers and heavy shopping. What would be good rims (Mavic? Campagnolo?)
A2. Hubs: sealed. What brand would be suitable?

B. Gears: can anyone please advise what would be the best replacement for my setup, now that there are only pre-made rear sprocket sets. I am happy with 24 speed. Would like to keep the lowest speed, but would also like to have a higher highest speed, but this may not be possible.

C. Derailleurs: would appreciate some advice for replacement, probably an MTB type?

D. Handlebars: want straight handlebars with brake and gear levers more accessible than they are now.

E. Brakes: disc brakes

F, G. Front forks, bottom bracket/cranks: any suggestions for replacement suitable for usage.


I want good quality and long lasting stuff. Sometimes the more expensive isn't really the best. My original chain was quite expensive but it wore out within a couple of years, but the cheap one that replaced it is still going strong.

Apologies if I have not given the correct terminology. Would *very* much appreciate any advice.


merrie is offline  
Old 06-30-08, 03:14 AM
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Unless you've got a stash of parts, or are very skilled at bargain hunting, overall upgrading is a very expensive way of improving your bike. What faults/flaws is it that you're trying to correct?

If money is not an obstacle, then take your bike to a LBS that you trust, tell them what you want and let them loose - it'll be a long thread to cover every aspect of your original post.

27" tires are still available, so unless something in your current wheels is worn out I don't see any significant improvement in getting new wheels.

Switching to discs would require a new fork, probably a new stem and a new headset. Disc at the back would require either a dropout adapter, which is likely to interfere with either rack or fender mounts, or both, or having new mounting brackets welded to the frame. If it's a nice bike the rear triangle might not be strong enough for a disc unless you reinforce it.

You said you had 18 gears, but you want 24?

Tandem spokes probably refers to DT Alpine III, a spoke that's 2.3 mm thick at the elbow and 1.8 mm along the shank. Opinions vary as to which extent that extra thickness actually do anything beneficial.

What would seem like a reasonable effort to me would be to replace your current freewheel with a 7-spd version(should be bolt-on, might require axle replacement), then pick up a donor MTB. From that one you should be able to get a flat bar, indexed shifters and hopefully brake levers with adjustable stroke. If the donor bike comes with cantilever brakes you're OK even if the brake levers are fixed stroke. You're also likely to be able to help yourself to an long cage rear derailer from the MTB.
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