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Mostly done - 1971 International Townie

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Mostly done - 1971 International Townie

Old 03-08-20, 02:42 PM
  #1  
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Mostly done - 1971 International Townie

The transformation of my International to an internally-geared lightweight commuter/townie is finally mostly done. A few tweaks to saddle height and lighting options will happen but I think it's ready for regular duty.

It's half parts bin, half new stuff. Sturmey X-RF(W) 8-speed hub, Origin8 single crankset with a Rivendell bash guard, basic Shimano cartridge BB, Tange Levin headset. MSW pedals with SPD on one side and cages on the other. No-name quill stem, VO Tourist bars, the rear rim's a Mavic MA40, front is a similar but not matched and unlabeled rim laced to a Campy low flange hub of some vintage - Record? Chorus? Athena? Unsure, not too curious. It turns quite nicely. Saddle's a B66, the tires are Pasela Protite 35s and the fenders are old Planet Bikes. Alloy racks of unknown pedigree that I've moved from bike to bike since probably the early 90s. I clamped a Wald 137 to the front rack and got an Acorn bag made specifically for that basket when they restocked last month. Let's see....Mafac Racer brakes, VO Town levers, shellacked cork grips, Zefal bottle cage with the leather bits on it. It's handsomer than it needs to be.

I had this build on the road a few weeks ago and something went awry with the gears. Sunrace USA came through and shipped me new internals without asking for the old ones back, or any other proof of purchase beyond an email from the seller asking for help. Swapped them in and everything seems hunky dory. It's light(ish) compared to my 66 Sports, fast and fun to bomb around the city on. Here it is with the optional canvas market bags on the back, toting home 3 bags of groceries. If the weather hold out, I'll get in a couple of commuting days next week.

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Old 03-08-20, 02:52 PM
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Love it!

What is the brand on the canvas bags?
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Old 03-08-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Love it!

What is the brand on the canvas bags?
Linus Market Bag.
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Old 03-08-20, 03:10 PM
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Beautiful build.
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Old 03-08-20, 05:42 PM
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Very nice!
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Old 03-08-20, 06:02 PM
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Thanks, nlerner and 52telecaster!
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Old 03-08-20, 06:30 PM
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Congratulations on an absolutely beautiful job of building a Townie. Now it's ready for the next chapter of life.
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Old 03-08-20, 09:00 PM
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Looks great, nice job.
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Old 03-08-20, 09:43 PM
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The classic 3-speed "English racer" concept updated for the 21st Century.
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Old 03-08-20, 09:49 PM
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Sheldon did this too, if Im not mistaken?
I dig the tubing wrap!

I wouldnt have chosen an aero crank, but I do like the industrial feel of the mix of parts. Practical over pretty.
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Old 03-08-20, 10:31 PM
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Protite 35s are awesome.
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Old 03-09-20, 07:42 AM
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Nice bike for tooling around. I hope that my bike I have at atelier gugie, a Raleigh Gran Sport will work as well.
I have a Woody Wald basket for the front and a woody rack for the back with a pair of folding Wald baskets. I have a S-A 5 speed and gugie put a stud on the top tube for a DT shifter for it.
I like your bars and seat setup.

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Old 03-09-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Sheldon did this too, if Im not mistaken?
I dig the tubing wrap!

I wouldnt have chosen an aero crank, but I do like the industrial feel of the mix of parts. Practical over pretty.
The blend of classy, vintage, modern and functionality puts me in mind of a couple MAPs that I saw several years back.

I noticed the tube wrap right off as well. Is that leather bar tape?
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Old 03-09-20, 03:12 PM
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Hey, thanks everyone for your kind compliments. I'm far from the first to do what John E points to, converting a lightweight frame in the manner of the classic British 3-speed. Some of your bikes were inspirations as well as St. Sheldon's.

Chr0m0ly and USAZorro I wanted to protect what's left of the finish when it gets locked up. I had a couple of rolls of Brooks leather tape that used to be on a different bike and I thought that would look better than the MTB-style pads or wrapping with inner tubes.

bwilli88 I'm looking forward to seeing what gugie does with your SC! I have folding baskets but when I had 'em on my Sports I found them heavy and rattl-y. For me it's hard to beat a sprung saddle and North Road bars for upright riding. The VO bars seem pretty wide, which works for my wide shoulders. I'm using a Sturmey thumb shifter. I really dislike twist shifters and my experience commuting on the Sports is that thumb shifters are hella fast when mixing it up in NYC traffic.

52telecaster I wasn't sure about what tires to get. I had Pasela wire bead 28s which are ok but unremarkable. I use extralight Bon Jon Passes on my other city rider and I wanted something more like them but maybe tougher. I considered Gravel Kings and Soma Vitesse but I got the Protites for half the price of the Somas. Only one ride so far but they seem to have a lot of the good attributes of the Herse tires when it comes to smoothing out rough surfaces. I have them at 55/45 for now.
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Old 03-09-20, 04:08 PM
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I love it. You might find yourself riding this more than your other bikes combined. That's the case with my International.
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Old 03-09-20, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
Hey, thanks everyone for your kind compliments. I'm far from the first to do what John E points to, converting a lightweight frame in the manner of the classic British 3-speed. Some of your bikes were inspirations as well as St. Sheldon's.

Chr0m0ly and USAZorro I wanted to protect what's left of the finish when it gets locked up. I had a couple of rolls of Brooks leather tape that used to be on a different bike and I thought that would look better than the MTB-style pads or wrapping with inner tubes.

bwilli88 I'm looking forward to seeing what gugie does with your SC! I have folding baskets but when I had 'em on my Sports I found them heavy and rattl-y. For me it's hard to beat a sprung saddle and North Road bars for upright riding. The VO bars seem pretty wide, which works for my wide shoulders. I'm using a Sturmey thumb shifter. I really dislike twist shifters and my experience commuting on the Sports is that thumb shifters are hella fast when mixing it up in NYC traffic.

52telecaster I wasn't sure about what tires to get. I had Pasela wire bead 28s which are ok but unremarkable. I use extralight Bon Jon Passes on my other city rider and I wanted something more like them but maybe tougher. I considered Gravel Kings and Soma Vitesse but I got the Protites for half the price of the Somas. Only one ride so far but they seem to have a lot of the good attributes of the Herse tires when it comes to smoothing out rough surfaces. I have them at 55/45 for now.
i use the pasela35s for touring on my bob jackson and i lean toward protection from flats but they feel great to me. The 35s seem huge and smooth compared to the ride tour continental 32s i used to use.
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Old 03-09-20, 04:54 PM
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super nice build
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Old 03-09-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I love it. You might find yourself riding this more than your other bikes combined. That's the case with my International.
Well....because I'll be commuting on it it's possible, but now my 3 riders have such distinct personalities and it's hard to imagine any one of them overshadowing the others. Thanks for stopping by with yours so our two Internationals could chat
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Old 03-09-20, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
i use the pasela35s for touring on my bob jackson and i lean toward protection from flats but they feel great to me. The 35s seem huge and smooth compared to the ride tour continental 32s i used to use.
The Sports I was commuting on these last 4 or 5 years has Panaracer Col de la Vie's which are 26", 40mm. Plush as can be. When I rode tubulars I loved Contis. I haven't used their clinchers, even though they're very popular. I've put about a thousand miles on my extralight Bon Jons, all around NYC's 5 boroughs and a good 60 miles of dirt. So far only one flat, when I picked up a piece of glass at Bowery & Houston Streets.
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Old 03-10-20, 11:01 AM
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Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work I go...

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Old 03-10-20, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Chr0m0ly View Post
Sheldon did this too, if Im not mistaken?
...
I think you are referring to his "PX-3" project. S/A 3-speed hub in a PX-10 frame.
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Old 03-10-20, 04:40 PM
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Nicely done, looks fun!
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Old 03-10-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
I think you are referring to his "PX-3" project. S/A 3-speed hub in a PX-10 frame.
https://sheldonbrown.com/org/raleigh...ion-index.html
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Old 03-10-20, 05:27 PM
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Love it!

RIP Mr. Brown.

It's highly unlikely that I'll ever own anything he worked on personally, but if I did, I would cherish it, severely.
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Old 03-10-20, 06:08 PM
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Never content or always curious, Saint Sheldon also put a Shimano 8 on an International.
My homage:
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