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1983 Specialized Expedition Build! - 62cm CTC (63.5cm CTT)

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1983 Specialized Expedition Build! - 62cm CTC (63.5cm CTT)

Old 06-28-20, 08:00 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I'm sort of surprised that no one else has mentioned this so far, but it's unimaginable to me that you'd consider repainting that bike. The paint is fine. It's not supposed to have immaculate paint! Touring bikes are supposed to show some evidence hard miles. Seriously--don't mess with it. An original bike can always be repainted, but a repainted bike can never be unrepainted.

Okay, rant over.
I'm with you- yeah, there's a few scuffs and what looks like a little bit of rust bubbles... but overall it presents really well. I also don't quite understand the need to move the front brake bosses (thus removing the necessity for paint), it's all in the choice of the brake. As long as this bike isn't as narrow as the 84 Voyageur SP at 50mm (!!!!), using the proper brake will easily allow for 700C wheels. I think the MC-70 brakes are a little archaic, but the M732 or the MT62 brakes are great- and I think they look better than the CR720s. It really seems bass ackward to me to spend a huge amount of money modify the frame and paint for the reason of putting on some $27 brakes.

On the other hand, when I got my 84 Stumpjumper I thought it was in decent shape- as I acquired other bikes, I realized just how beat up it really was.

On the other foot- When I got my 85 Trek 620, I had bumped something into it- and I scuffed the paint- I was actually embarrassed and I had it in my head that I had to repaint to hide that horrifying scuff... I not only can't see the scuff anymore- I remember exactly where it was... but the bike as a whole is beautiful.

FWIW- I LOVE the Sugino AT crankset- I'm using it on my 10 speed Trek 720- I have had at least 2 instances of the chain getting caught between the granny and middle ring. Granted, that's 2 instances in 4 years and never between the big and middle rings- but it's always in my mind now. While you're going back and forth over the AT and triplizing a DA7402, you might also want to consider the FC6206- Cold forged triple, 110/74BCD, pleasantly sculpted with relatively subtle Shimano engraving on the arms.
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Old 06-28-20, 08:49 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post

Paint:

The fork has been modified to have 69-70mm canti post spacing, so Tektros are a go up there. The fork will have to be repainted/coated. Tired paint and decals means either a repaint ($700 all in at a R&E) or a powder coat (Seattle Powder Coat charges $90 for paint stripping + $275 for a stocked color). I don't want to do a home job without a proper paint gun, mask, setup, and hard enamel clear coat. Powder coating at $365 is about $150 more than it was 3 years ago, but still a lot cheaper than paint. I've used SPC before and they do good work. Bump the price for a color match or for going with, say, Ford's Tuxedo Black (metallic), which is the same color as on my dad's Ford Expedition.
Seattle Powder Coat is expensive compared to most everywhere I've used. I can get a frame media blasted for $40 locally. $275 for a stocked color is pretty high. Locally in Portland I use CC Coatings, One color, your choice from the Prismatic or Cardinal catalog will run you $150 including media blasting. If you're talking decals and clear coat, $275 is a good price.
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Old 06-28-20, 09:52 AM
  #28  
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[QUOTE=The Golden Boy;21557713 As long as this bike isn't as narrow as the 84 Voyageur SP at 50mm (!!!!), using the proper brake will easily allow for 700C wheels.
[/QUOTE]

The 50mm spacing can be worked around with the proper brake, but the brake spring stop feature make it very narrow to get a wider tire in and out without deflating, as brake pads won't swing out far enough to allow any inflated tires unless they're fairly narrow. It's one of the things that baffle me about a lot of vintage bikes with cantilever posts. The rears are almost always spaced much further apart, allow good clearance. Spec's for vintage cantilever brakes that I've seen require much wider spacing than what you see on most forks of this era.

As far as I can tell, this is a design flaw, common to most every brand BITD.
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Old 06-28-20, 11:32 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'm with you- yeah, there's a few scuffs and what looks like a little bit of rust bubbles... but overall it presents really well. I also don't quite understand the need to move the front brake bosses (thus removing the necessity for paint), it's all in the choice of the brake. As long as this bike isn't as narrow as the 84 Voyageur SP at 50mm (!!!!), using the proper brake will easily allow for 700C wheels. I think the MC-70 brakes are a little archaic, but the M732 or the MT62 brakes are great- and I think they look better than the CR720s. It really seems bass ackward to me to spend a huge amount of money modify the frame and paint for the reason of putting on some $27 brakes.

On the other hand, when I got my 84 Stumpjumper I thought it was in decent shape- as I acquired other bikes, I realized just how beat up it really was.

On the other foot- When I got my 85 Trek 620, I had bumped something into it- and I scuffed the paint- I was actually embarrassed and I had it in my head that I had to repaint to hide that horrifying scuff... I not only can't see the scuff anymore- I remember exactly where it was... but the bike as a whole is beautiful.

FWIW- I LOVE the Sugino AT crankset- I'm using it on my 10 speed Trek 720- I have had at least 2 instances of the chain getting caught between the granny and middle ring. Granted, that's 2 instances in 4 years and never between the big and middle rings- but it's always in my mind now. While you're going back and forth over the AT and triplizing a DA7402, you might also want to consider the FC6206- Cold forged triple, 110/74BCD, pleasantly sculpted with relatively subtle Shimano engraving on the arms.
I base my don't-paint-it-yet default position on two bikes of my own that I had repainted. I regret it in both cases. Within a few years, both bikes had developed significant paint dings and scratches (especially my touring bike). Now when I Iook at either one, I tend to think "Damn! If I have to have scraped paint, why can't it be original scraped paint.?"
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Old 06-28-20, 11:38 AM
  #30  
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Ok, everyone, this is what a redone fork looks like. Paint and decals on it are affected, obviously.
@jonwvara , people have mentioned that, and I have spent no small amount of time going back and forth over it. The fork work is complete and there's no going back. The bike deserves, in my mind, to have good paint. We all have differing opinions regarding condition, and I have stated before that the paint presents well in pictures while looking not as good in real life. If this bike was ho-hum or anywhere close in ride quality etc, I would not be going through any of this effort. Only after discovering its virtues did I decide to keep it, have the fork's brake mounts modified, and give it a deserving painting/powder coating.

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Old 06-28-20, 12:22 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Ok, everyone, this is what a redone fork looks like. Paint and decals on it are affected, obviously.
@jonwvara , people have mentioned that, and I have spent no small amount of time going back and forth over it. The fork work is complete and there's no going back. The bike deserves, in my mind, to have good paint. We all have differing opinions regarding condition, and I have stated before that the paint presents well in pictures while looking not as good in real life. If this bike was ho-hum or anywhere close in ride quality etc, I would not be going through any of this effort. Only after discovering its virtues did I decide to keep it, have the fork's brake mounts modified, and give it a deserving painting/powder coating.

Yeah, no going back now! I should clarify that I try hard not to tell others what to do with their own bikes, though I may seem to come close to it at times. My point is that I myself am batting 1.000 on repaint regret--just a data point to consider.

Have you thought about just repainting the fork? A great touring bike deserves to look like it's been on a few tours. But maybe there's an appeal to starting with a freshly-painted bike so you know that all chips and scratches are your own chips and scratches?
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Old 06-28-20, 12:32 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
I'm with you- yeah, there's a few scuffs and what looks like a little bit of rust bubbles... but overall it presents really well. I also don't quite understand the need to move the front brake bosses (thus removing the necessity for paint), it's all in the choice of the brake. As long as this bike isn't as narrow as the 84 Voyageur SP at 50mm (!!!!), using the proper brake will easily allow for 700C wheels. I think the MC-70 brakes are a little archaic, but the M732 or the MT62 brakes are great- and I think they look better than the CR720s. It really seems bass ackward to me to spend a huge amount of money modify the frame and paint for the reason of putting on some $27 brakes.

On the other hand, when I got my 84 Stumpjumper I thought it was in decent shape- as I acquired other bikes, I realized just how beat up it really was.

On the other foot- When I got my 85 Trek 620, I had bumped something into it- and I scuffed the paint- I was actually embarrassed and I had it in my head that I had to repaint to hide that horrifying scuff... I not only can't see the scuff anymore- I remember exactly where it was... but the bike as a whole is beautiful.

FWIW- I LOVE the Sugino AT crankset- I'm using it on my 10 speed Trek 720- I have had at least 2 instances of the chain getting caught between the granny and middle ring. Granted, that's 2 instances in 4 years and never between the big and middle rings- but it's always in my mind now. While you're going back and forth over the AT and triplizing a DA7402, you might also want to consider the FC6206- Cold forged triple, 110/74BCD, pleasantly sculpted with relatively subtle Shimano engraving on the arms.
Somehow I never mentioned it aside literally everything else (or at least I can't find it), but the measured front spacing was 55.4mm while the rear spacing was 69.7mm. So yeah, the front is really narrow. There is only 32mm between those front canti bosses, which is also incredibly narrow.

I can understand how you or others could think that it's unwise to spend a good bit of money for "only $27 brakes" but perhaps you or others have not used them before? I put them on my '90 Cannondale ST400 with about as low and shallow a straddle cable height/angle as I could. Living in Seattle proper subjects you, topographically, to very steep hills. I live on one that averages about 15% that I ride down every day for work (back when things were normal). There are many steep hills, fast sections, and crazy/bad/unobserving drivers--really good brakes are a must. Add in rain, and they really, really are a must. The CR720s on that Cannondale stopped that bike like they were 7800 Dura-Ace dual pivot calipers on a race bike. Absolute vices. And, very importantly, they didn't make any noise. Not when dry, not when wet, and (critically) not when damp/getting wet--the damp stage is where countless canti and V-brakes (and I know how to set them up well) have failed me and made a ton of noise.

Just because the intended canti brakes aren't some inelegant $900 Paul candy-anodized pieces that never aesthetically pair with any bike ever made, doesn't mean "lowly" CR720s aren't worth it to me. $60 for a pair of CR720s sounds an awful lot like $60 for a pair of 7700- or 7400-era Dura-Ace calipers, and I don't think any of us are saying that's money not well spent. So I will recap regarding the virtues of the CR720:

1) They don't cost a million dollars
2) That not-a-million-dollars gets you a brake that stops extremely well, always, and without herculean effort
3) They don't make noise ever. Low speed stops, high speed stops (critical!), low effort stops, high effort stops, in the dry, in the wet, in the damp
4) They look good to me--simple yet well-proportioned--and aren't in shouty colors (just gloss black and polished)--not having 30 years of abuse tarnish their appearance
5) They are stupid easy to set up, unlike a number of '80s fidgety cantis were/are
6) Did I mention they stop on a dime while never making a bit of noise?

Yeah, CRs don't have the adustability of those old cantis, but they also aren't a bear to set up and then reward your effort with considerable noise in dry weather braking. I've run disc brakes as well, hydraulic disc brakes employing Ultegra level brake/shift levers and calipers...and discs on good wheels etc etc. Brakes were set up properly by a local shop. They stopped fine, but no better than 7800 calipers or CR720s. The pads got contaminated in a two mile ride in a very light rain and began making noise. Heavy, really expensive, finicky to work on/maintain, susceptible to contamination, and only 'decent' braking ability in light of the CRs or any good Dura-Ace caliper being the opposite of those things, and the choice is easy on that modern front. CRs have proved their mettle and try as I might, other brakes are found considerably wanting.

Thank you for the FC6206 suggestion. I have long been a fan of those cranksets. Timeless, elegant design to go along with them being quality units. I have a few other cranksets still not sold yet, triples mostly, in addition to the 7402 and AT, but it'll get the 7402 or AT as I'm not interested in any other choice given how good the bike is.
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Old 06-28-20, 12:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Seattle Powder Coat is expensive compared to most everywhere I've used. I can get a frame media blasted for $40 locally. $275 for a stocked color is pretty high. Locally in Portland I use CC Coatings, One color, your choice from the Prismatic or Cardinal catalog will run you $150 including media blasting. If you're talking decals and clear coat, $275 is a good price.
Trust me when I say I balked at that price as well. They used to be around $25 or a little more for media blasting and then $175 for a stocked color. That was fine. But another $150 on top of that is a bit princely. Property values/real estate is nuts in this city, and combined with other things, makes it expensive to keep the lights on at the very least. I was going to ask the Portland contingent of BF members where they've gone for powder coating and how they have liked the results. And now, if they're open or not.

I have the decals already, but won't be doing two coats simply to keep thickness down and lug detail up.
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Old 06-28-20, 12:53 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Yeah, no going back now! I should clarify that I try hard not to tell others what to do with their own bikes, though I may seem to come close to it at times. My point is that I myself am batting 1.000 on repaint regret--just a data point to consider.

Have you thought about just repainting the fork? A great touring bike deserves to look like it's been on a few tours. But maybe there's an appeal to starting with a freshly-painted bike so you know that all chips and scratches are your own chips and scratches?
I understand that data point driving your decisions. I've PC'ed three frames and have been pleased with all of them, though ultimately selling them for other reasons. This paint, prior to the work, was on the edge of the paint/no paint line. The rough/faded decals pushed it towards repaint (or at least a decal strip and re-apply). I do want to build it up as is and ride it again, but need a front cable stop (mounted at the fork) ideally, but they're sold out. I also want to build wheels for it. With all the pretty (new and used) shiny things going onto it, iffy paint and decals become the visual stragglers. This is a designer's problem, and one I get to deal with, especially with re-spraying or color-matching the fork. That grey is specific!

Another point of consideration is that this is not simply another bike in the quiver. With my selling of many bikes and components, the Expedition in all its virtue, becomes one of as few as three bikes, instead of five or seven. Consolidate and invest. Another "opus" build.

Still, I'll be cooling the jets here for another week as the PT/fitter appointment is in five or so days and a long and semi-enthusiastic walk has bothered some things just below the knee--same as biking. Didn't expect to injure myself walking (wrong shoes, at the very least), but here we are with another data point, a proverbial jalopy breaking down and coasting right into the auto repair shop.
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Old 06-28-20, 01:30 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
FWIW- I LOVE the Sugino AT crankset- I'm using it on my 10 speed Trek 720- I have had at least 2 instances of the chain getting caught between the granny and middle ring. Granted, that's 2 instances in 4 years and never between the big and middle rings- but it's always in my mind now. While you're going back and forth over the AT and triplizing a DA7402, you might also want to consider the FC6206- Cold forged triple, 110/74BCD, pleasantly sculpted with relatively subtle Shimano engraving on the arms.
Maybe the granny spacers are too thick? Or the granny ring needs to flipped over?

I’ve never had that problem with my AT crank (which BTW was essentially gifted to me by ROS), although I do set my triples up to overshift using a Jump Stop to guide the chain to the granny.

Sorry, Dan, if this temporarily hijacks your thread.

PS. My vote is for Wet Charcoal. Seems like it will set off both black and silver components better with a bit more contrast.

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Old 06-28-20, 02:43 PM
  #36  
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Pics or it didn't happen, I'm hearing.

Pulled a frame down from the Atelier, this is an early 80's KHS touring frame with cantilevers. The cantilever bosses on the fork are typical for this era. I threw on a set of Tektra 720's to show how limited they are to open.



Here's the culprit:



Brake pads hit the fork blades, limiting how far they'll open. Note that the Tektra pads are on the short side for most modern cantilever brakes.

One solution is to use brakes with very short pads. Vintage MAFAC cantilevers work in this application:



Modern cantilever braze-on posts are made to braze on further apart, and stick out further from the fork.

The tiny Dia Compe brakes that came with many of these bikes (including this KHS) are on the low end in braking power, from my experience.

Moving the posts on this Expedition removes the one wart on it.
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Old 06-29-20, 07:32 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Trust me when I say I balked at that price as well. They used to be around $25 or a little more for media blasting and then $175 for a stocked color. That was fine. But another $150 on top of that is a bit princely. Property values/real estate is nuts in this city, and combined with other things, makes it expensive to keep the lights on at the very least. I was going to ask the Portland contingent of BF members where they've gone for powder coating and how they have liked the results. And now, if they're open or not.

I have the decals already, but won't be doing two coats simply to keep thickness down and lug detail up.
Next time you're in Portlandia you could just drop it off with me, or directly to CC Coatings and save yourself a coupla Benjamins. Heck, even if you shipped it both ways you'd save money. Decal and clear coat yourself.
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Old 06-29-20, 08:51 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Next time you're in Portlandia you could just drop it off with me, or directly to CC Coatings and save yourself a coupla Benjamins. Heck, even if you shipped it both ways you'd save money. Decal and clear coat yourself.
I think I may do just that. I'll combine it with a trip to my parent's shed for a "scheduled oil change" on my car, where I get to do all of that work myself, lol. Looking forward to that as it is due soon. I know I poked around the Atelier but couldn't remember which bikes you had PC'd or not (well, besides at least one Raleigh ), or if @Andy_K had gone there as well and had a photo or two of the results. Heck anyone else that's gone there. I'm having trouble finding photos online of bicycle results.
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Old 06-30-20, 04:43 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
I think I may do just that. I'll combine it with a trip to my parent's shed for a "scheduled oil change" on my car, where I get to do all of that work myself, lol. Looking forward to that as it is due soon. I know I poked around the Atelier but couldn't remember which bikes you had PC'd or not (well, besides at least one Raleigh ), or if @Andy_K had gone there as well and had a photo or two of the results. Heck anyone else that's gone there. I'm having trouble finding photos online of bicycle results.
I don't have an example to show, but I know a lot of the bikes that pass through Gugie's shop go there, and the one's I've seen looked great. Surely gugie has an example.
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Old 08-11-20, 01:44 AM
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Thread dredge!

A considerable amount of thinking post-bike fit-analysis (7/2 was that date) has gone on in the past month, as well as a considerable amount of CAD work, busting my butt on designing, building (digitally, with some 'engineering' as well), and rendering (aka making look real) a personal bicycle project slated for my design portfolio, so that I may solve the Riddle Of Future Employment instead of just Steel. At the rate the beer industry (at the very least) is recovering, it's not going to be next year until I think work would ever have the ability to bring me and everyone else they laid off back, if ever. So I'm trying to keep the bow of this boat up and above the chop.

One of the things I have been doing when I'm not "working" (on my portfolio etc), and for a physical break (aka actually getting out of my chair and doing something remotely active, aside from riding a bike), I've been working on various bikes. Of my "now too short" 63.5-64.0cm fleet of frames, I am working through which ones to sell via determining if I'm either "done" with the frame, it's too short for the purposes/components I'd want to put on it, or some other reason. I've come to the conclusion that a 3" (76mm) saddle to hood notch/kick-up drop is too much, and that 55-60mm (~2 1/8 - 2 3/8") is the ideal maximum since setting up my Land Shark with Di2 (from my 64cm Davidson Impulse). I have been madly measuring ground-to-saddle and ground-to-hood heights on all my bikes, multiple times, to get accurate readings and to set up yet another fit parameter.

I have honestly been internally lamenting the potential of needing to see the Expedition off to somewhere else. No frame should live in awkwardness when in my stewardship! My plans to use my recently-acquired Nitto Noodles has now been dashed. As I had my saddle raised 25mm (now just 20mm since adjusting it after 130 miles into the new fit--MUCH better) and was comfortable (with the drop) before that, I need to raise my brake levers up 20-25mm. Without it looking weird. Stems at minimum insertion and bars still at the angle they need to be to look decent. Noodle's, by their design, essentially drop the brake hood height 20mm from a similar compact-profiled bar. Yeah, I'm gonna need that 20mm. So off to compact Highway-One type bars I go. I'm right at 60mm of drop now. Great news.

*****

Aside #1: I can understand that all this mental hand wringing over proportion and exposed seat post and stem height can seem or does seem overwrought to many of you, but this is design, and proportions matter a lot, especially to this designer. As you'll see in the photo below (it's even better looking in real life), the exposed seat post length and stem height are actually just fine. I wouldn't want them showing any more, but they work where my Paramount didn't. Why? Compared to the Paramount, which 1) has a different aesthetic 2) has things (or just wheels) tucked a bit closer to its tubes, the Expedition is an "airy" looking frame. The 45cm chain stays out back and the generous axle-to-crown height of the fork combine with the low-and-spread-out posture of the canti brakes to give the entire bicycle's composition a more visually spacious feel without being awkward. Specialized nailed the proportions with all tubing lengths and angles--an absolutely critical thing to do, especially with tall frames, IMO. [Sidepull calipers concentrate their mass, naturally, right by the frame. Canti brakes have their mass not only split in two, but also below the rim, thus visually "part of the wheel mass" and not crowding both the wheel and the frame. The slender brake and straddle cables follow long, clean paths, and the horizontal attitude/orientation of the canti arms complement the frame tubes, oriented 90° to them ("vertical").]

*****

Aside #2: What's the big deal with using quill stems on race bikes to get the needed height? Most race bikes at the 63-64cm size and taller run 74° head tube angles. Compact-profile drop bars a la Highway-One have a 26.0mm clamp diameter. The majority of surviving or decent-looking (aka traditional) 26.0mm clamp stems are Specialized or Nitto or a very nice copy of either. There was likely a 73° Specialized stem at some point (and I may have one or two), but many (and all modern Nittos) are 72°. If I need to get bar/hood height up via quill stem and compact drop bar, this effort is negated on two fronts, primarily an aesthetic one. A 74° HT angle combines with a 72° stem to produce a very noticeable 2° downward angle. Not a problem if using traditional profile bars or Noodles, but a death knell for the aesthetics when using a compact bar. The last thing you want is a "mountain range" or "hill-valley-hill" look with your cockpit setup, if you care to avoid it. I am not going to have a--from a side view--downward-angled stem, a level-set handle bar, and an up-angled brake lever. A horizontal top tube bike is best complemented with a horizontal and/or slightly sloping cockpit (but only one "movement" or direction--up or down). This is why bikes around year 2000 looked so awful up front--traditional-angled frames with awkward-looking stems that jutted up out of the headsets, attached to "ergo" drop bars that pointed at the ground (almost like sunken shoulders), with STI levers that were cranked to the sky. A chaotic visual--no order, peace, or theme. Back to my frames: the Allez SE and Impulse have 74.0° HT angles and are thus solution-less at the moment. My Paramount (73.0°) and Expedition (73.3°) have HT angles that allow for a number of stems to be used with compact-profile bars, but it needs to be a 73° stem. I will still notice a 72° stems' downward angle on my Paramount. It's subtle, but with compact bars, it drives anyone's OCD sensitivities a little crazy.

*****

Anyway, so I built up the Expedition again to see if I could make it work visually and comfort-wise (it is a touring bike after all). I took the derailleurs and crankset off the Paramount, sorted the canti brakes, threw on the Campagnolo Chorus wheels (after mounting my Soma 33mm tires), tuned it all up and set out.

Well, the tires needed another 5 PSI each (these "33s" are really 30s, and felt mushy), the brakes vibrated like crazy under high speed slowdowns, and the brake strength was more "speed modulating" than "vice-like." I also hit a pothole accidentally (a rarity--the road is bombed-out for five blocks, with million+ dollar homes on it.....) and immediately pinch-flatted the rear after avoiding it with the front. I was glad I was only a quarter mile from home. And can I just tell the world that I detest loud freehub bodies? The Chorus freehubs, nice as they are, are bloody loud compared to my Shimano freehubs and various vintage freewheels, and it drove/drives me nuts when coasting for any length of time. It was one of the small contributing factors that led to my flatting, weird as it may sound.

I have no photos from that ride/setup, but I was reunited with the sublime, near-instantaneous "planing" that this frameset does underneath me. The mushy feeling tires (plus wheels, perhaps) blunted out of saddle feel and adversely affected fast-sweeping cornering.

Two days later (today), I put the Soma tires back on my Dura-Ace/TB14 wheels (from the Paramount), re-tune the canti brakes, and set off. Tires at proper pressure, brakes not buzzing, brake strength still not there, but the ride is quiet/silent. Butter smooth retrofriction shifting and a 7400 freehub are a very nice combination. Planing was retained, and that (also) magic high-speed cornering ability was back.

The best part was the return of the liveliness of the frame with the tire pressure and stiffer TB14 wheels. I actually felt the same "lunging" effect when accelerating with these wheels as I did with my Impulse and it's Dura-Ace carbon/aluminum WH-7850 wheels and Vittoria tires. This was/is a very good thing. 30-32mm tires can't quell the quasi-harshness of the TB14s, but 35mm tires can. So if I bump to nice 38mm Somas, that should, in theory, eliminate the harshness over bumps while allowing--if not further "tuning" or enhancing--the "lunging" or springing-forward feeling. A change in brake levers to the Tektro R200s (had them on the old ST400 and they were a dynamite combo with its CR720 cantis) and I should be sitting really pretty. I can't believe those TB14s found "their" frame, and felt like my Impulse did. The frame is one thing, folks, but man, wheels and tires need to be in total sync (ideally) for ride quality to be as special as it can be.

Novel over. Time for pictures:

Looking really comfortable in its own skin here, IMO. This thing loves being a bike. The moment I mounted the triple-ized 7400 crankset, the frame immediately had a presence, like "the adults are here now."



I failed to mention above (how???) that the new canti posts were a hair long, much to my and @gugie's consternation. Way too much wiggle room on the post compared to the rear. So I scoured (and then asked) an employee at a local hardware shop for some super slender 8mm (or 5/16") ID washers. Enter the $0.60 solution in two 0.35mm thick 5/16" ID nylon washers. Two was too much per post, but one was perfect. I'll try and color them black, as well as find some much prettier button-head screws. We're back in business, ladies and gentlemen!


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Old 08-11-20, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Aside #2: What's the big deal with using quill stems on race bikes to get the needed height? Most race bikes at the 63-64cm size and taller run 74° head tube angles. Compact-profile drop bars a la Highway-One have a 26.0mm clamp diameter. The majority of surviving or decent-looking (aka traditional) 26.0mm clamp stems are Specialized or Nitto or a very nice copy of either. There was likely a 73° Specialized stem at some point (and I may have one or two), but many (and all modern Nittos) are 72°. If I need to get bar/hood height up via quill stem and compact drop bar, this effort is negated on two fronts, primarily an aesthetic one. A 74° HT angle combines with a 72° stem to produce a very noticeable 2° downward angle. Not a problem if using traditional profile bars or Noodles, but a death knell for the aesthetics when using a compact bar. The last thing you want is a "mountain range" or "hill-valley-hill" look with your cockpit setup, if you care to avoid it. I am not going to have a--from a side view--downward-angled stem, a level-set handle bar, and an up-angled brake lever. A horizontal top tube bike is best complemented with a horizontal and/or slightly sloping cockpit (but only one "movement" or direction--up or down). This is why bikes around year 2000 looked so awful up front--traditional-angled frames with awkward-looking stems that jutted up out of the headsets, attached to "ergo" drop bars that pointed at the ground (almost like sunken shoulders), with STI levers that were cranked to the sky. A chaotic visual--no order, peace, or theme. Back to my frames: the Allez SE and Impulse have 74.0° HT angles and are thus solution-less at the moment. My Paramount (73.0°) and Expedition (73.3°) have HT angles that allow for a number of stems to be used with compact-profile bars, but it needs to be a 73° stem. I will still notice a 72° stems' downward angle on my Paramount. It's subtle, but with compact bars, it drives anyone's OCD sensitivities a little crazy.
I have a 74° HT angle and I'm running a modern front end. The only good looking way (IMO) to deal with this aesthetic challenge is to rotate the bars down to about -1 or 2°. Basically level the back end of the drop with the ground. Follow the stem line. To get the height back, slide the hoods up. This is a slippery slope. I like to have my levers about 1cm above level with the bottom of the drops. Slightly awkward, yes, but I ride the bars like they're Giro d' Italia or Maes bend bars: in the drops. If you plan on riding the hoods a lot, aim for tolerable. The last advice I can give is to ride the hoods with two or three fingers in front of the hump. Drop the back of your hand's valley onto the transition. The picture below illustrates this. Note how the other racers are staring in amazement. You too can be that cool!
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Old 08-11-20, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrouscious View Post
I have a 74° HT angle and I'm running a modern front end. The only good looking way (IMO) to deal with this aesthetic challenge is to rotate the bars down to about -1 or 2°. Basically level the back end of the drop with the ground. Follow the stem line. To get the height back, slide the hoods up. This is a slippery slope. I like to have my levers about 1cm above level with the bottom of the drops. Slightly awkward, yes, but I ride the bars like they're Giro d' Italia or Maes bend bars: in the drops. If you plan on riding the hoods a lot, aim for tolerable. The last advice I can give is to ride the hoods with two or three fingers in front of the hump. Drop the back of your hand's valley onto the transition. The picture below illustrates this. Note how the other racers are staring in amazement. You too can be that cool!
Great advice for those reading as I've been doing that or have thought that for a while now, thankfully. It's good to have other confirm my thoughts there. I work all the angle/height/aesthetic possibilities while not being tied down to history in the sense that I don't measure brake lever alignment with the bottom of the brake lever blade (because I'm not a gen-X'er or Boomer, and because not all brake lever blades are the same length). Like any modern rider, I ride the hoods while at the same time understanding that brake levers in the past were meant to be operated in the drops--hood riding was not a consideration. This always creates a bit of a back and forth mentally, but my penchant for '80s and newer bikes and componentry means that I don't have to worry--nearly at all--about riding equipment that doesn't at least pay lip service to (eventual) modern paradigms.
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Old 08-12-20, 12:44 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Great advice for those reading as I've been doing that or have thought that for a while now, thankfully. It's good to have other confirm my thoughts there. I work all the angle/height/aesthetic possibilities while not being tied down to history in the sense that I don't measure brake lever alignment with the bottom of the brake lever blade (because I'm not a gen-X'er or Boomer, and because not all brake lever blades are the same length). Like any modern rider, I ride the hoods while at the same time understanding that brake levers in the past were meant to be operated in the drops--hood riding was not a consideration. This always creates a bit of a back and forth mentally, but my penchant for '80s and newer bikes and componentry means that I don't have to worry--nearly at all--about riding equipment that doesn't at least pay lip service to (eventual) modern paradigms.
As I've said before, your builds exude "right" to me, always amazed at your ability to convey the "correct' aesthetic no mater what path you are going down.

Myself on the other hand only concern myself with mainly my comfort in mind as I can't spend long on the bike if the bars are not very well within reach, stem way up, Technomic if necessary, levers way up on the bars and bars tweaked way up as well, sometimes its ok, sometimes, well......






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Old 08-12-20, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
As I've said before, your builds exude "right" to me, always amazed at your ability to convey the "correct' aesthetic no mater what path you are going down.

Myself on the other hand only concern myself with mainly my comfort in mind as I can't spend long on the bike if the bars are not very well within reach, stem way up, Technomic if necessary, levers way up on the bars and bars tweaked way up as well, sometimes its ok, sometimes, well......
Thanks, man. In committing to the aesthetic, I have become pretty fastidious about making sure the frame specs accommodate that. Measure a million times and cut once, otherwise it's wasted money and project momentum (both physical and mental). Obviously when a major change comes along and t-bones one's paradigm, then honest questions must be asked and action be taken. It sucks, but I'm all about the right (sized) bike for the right person. There's usually always someone willing to take me up on that.
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Old 08-12-20, 01:18 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
Thanks, man. In committing to the aesthetic, I have become pretty fastidious about making sure the frame specs accommodate that. Measure a million times and cut once, otherwise it's wasted money and project momentum (both physical and mental). Obviously when a major change comes along and t-bones one's paradigm, then honest questions must be asked and action be taken. It sucks, but I'm all about the right (sized) bike for the right person. There's usually always someone willing to take me up on that.
You're welcome, anytime.

I look forward to your deal moving forward, it may help me with mine, we'll see. I have no doubt you will continue to nail your builds.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this as it pertains to my builds and quickly realize I'm too old for this, not enough time and perspective to dig in with my requirements.

It is what it is, and I'm good with it as anyone can tell, only so much time in the day, life, whatever.

The Strawberry was even a huge challenge for me and was handled somewhat differently but still defies most standard conventions, so be it.

These convolutions allow me to really enjoy logging miles, couldn't be so without them.
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Old 08-12-20, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
You're welcome, anytime.

I look forward to your deal moving forward, it may help me with mine, we'll see. I have no doubt you will continue to nail your builds.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this as it pertains to my builds and quickly realize I'm too old for this, not enough time and perspective to dig in with my requirements.

It is what it is, and I'm good with it as anyone can tell, only so much time in the day, life, whatever.

The Strawberry was even a huge challenge for me and was handled somewhat differently but still defies most standard conventions, so be it.

These convolutions allow me to really enjoy logging miles, couldn't be so without them.
There comes a point when we just call it good (because it is good, or good enough) and move forward. Or come into a situation knowing the components we want to use. We have researched and discovered plenty--it is now time to execute. Maybe we call that maturity or wisdom, knowing when to press on into the unknown and expend energy toward that, and when to stay the course. Only so much bandwidth. One bike to experiment on, and another always ready to ride and never to be changed. And certainly, the less time spent wrenching, the more time spent riding. I have...a bit of time on my hands presently, so I can consider and change things a whole bunch. But even that gets tiring. I took the Signature out tonight because it's pretty, comfortable, sorted, and not fidgety (aka indexed shifting).

I will be making a decision on powder coating and the color of that powder later on this week. It hinges upon some important information, and will very likely be some sort of rich/candy red as a result. Perhaps I should say that, going forward, one of my bikes needs to be red--not that red isn't my favorite color, but...I would very much like to have a red bike that I will ride (not named Allez SE because that will be leaving my stewardship soon). I also have about three dark grey bikes now, all of a sudden.
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Old 08-12-20, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
There comes a point when we just call it good (because it is good, or good enough) and move forward. Or come into a situation knowing the components we want to use. We have researched and discovered plenty--it is now time to execute. Maybe we call that maturity or wisdom, knowing when to press on into the unknown and expend energy toward that, and when to stay the course. Only so much bandwidth. One bike to experiment on, and another always ready to ride and never to be changed. And certainly, the less time spent wrenching, the more time spent riding. I have...a bit of time on my hands presently, so I can consider and change things a whole bunch. But even that gets tiring. I took the Signature out tonight because it's pretty, comfortable, sorted, and not fidgety (aka indexed shifting).

I will be making a decision on powder coating and the color of that powder later on this week. It hinges upon some important information, and will very likely be some sort of rich/candy red as a result. Perhaps I should say that, going forward, one of my bikes needs to be red--not that red isn't my favorite color, but...I would very much like to have a red bike that I will ride (not named Allez SE because that will be leaving my stewardship soon). I also have about three dark grey bikes now, all of a sudden.
All sounds good, and as with your builds, your posts are just as well thought out and executed, always like to read about your process as it makes sense to me, again just like your builds.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:57 AM
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Well it's been a month since the last correspondence and much has been done to pair down and sort out which frames go and which stay. The Paramount enjoys Di2 life and looks devastating in that black and chrome composition.

The Expedition has continued as a testing platform for things as I also determine whether it goes or stays. Tough sledding for the "too small" frames.

The biggest update for it is the reuniting of the 7400 Dura-Ace hubs to MA2 rim. TB14s are gorgeous rims that are strong, wider, high quality, rail turns, and build up superbly. Weight is not a deal breaker, but the way they, to me, absorbed and transmitted bigger to big road impacts was in a way that I didn't like. Yes, I still have a dark grey anodized pair laced to Superbe Pro hubs on my Davidson, and they are staying, but...a touring bike should be comfortable and not annoying, and the TBs were not delivering on either count. I was able to find a beautiful MA2 rim laced to a Deore DX front hub for a very good price and after a quick test ride with it mounted to the Expedition, my thoughts were confirmed and that rim joined my spare MA2 in going back with the 7400 hubs. I have to say, it's really really good to be back!

I also felt like this, going from TBs back to MA2s:



Humor aside, I picked up some 38mm Soma Supple Vitesse EXs (~37mm wide with TB14s, 35.6mm or so with MA2s), which the Expedition easily accommodates. Shifters were changed to my trusty 7900 Dura-Ace 10-speed units. The Retrofrictions were fun but I prefer fewer cogs to operate with them in a city setting. Tektro R200 levers joined the party just in time for the smoke to roll in, so we are all cooped up with nowhere to go. :/ A Nitto Technomic stem will come onboard soon enough, which will allow me to get the bars up to a less sporty and more touring-level height. A 73.3° HT angle and a 72° stem makes for the stem angling down, thus not parallel to the top tube. A big no go for me when running compact bars (which need a level or angled-up stem), but with Noodles, it isn't an issue. I just had to bite the bullet as with the Technomic's angle and use (thankfully) the bars I had meant to use all along.

So the Sisterhood of the Traveling Parts gains a few more members on this longer-than-expected build. For now, here's a picture--inside of course--of the Expedition in her current state, sporty 65mm saddle-to-brake-hood drop and all. Looks sharp.


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Old 09-16-20, 04:42 AM
  #49  
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The Expedition looks great and a nice change of pace to see one without fenders, racks, lights and 8 different storage bins.

I was getting ready to sell a nice pair of Mavic Module 3 rims until read your assessment of the TB14s. I have an all-day-rider build in queue and was planning on trying the TB14s, mainly for what I expect to be ease of building. Based on your experience, I think I’ll stick with the Mavics.
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Old 09-16-20, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
The Expedition looks great and a nice change of pace to see one without fenders, racks, lights and 8 different storage bins.

I was getting ready to sell a nice pair of Mavic Module 3 rims until read your assessment of the TB14s. I have an all-day-rider build in queue and was planning on trying the TB14s, mainly for what I expect to be ease of building. Based on your experience, I think I’ll stick with the Mavics.
Thank you! It will get fenders when the rain comes, but for now it will be as light and minimal as it can be. I like that it looks comfortable in its skin with big tires and no fenders.

On TB14s, it depends on how sensitive or not you (or anyone else) are to noticing how your bike(s) absorb bumps. I may be a bit Princess and the Pea, but I come by it honestly, IMO, as a component strikes up the "conversation" first. A number of years ago I ran a few pairs of Vuelta Corsa Lites. ~1600g for the wheelset, 19.5mm wide rim (outer), semi-deep V profile. There was this odd sort of harshness about them. The TB14s have a similar feel, albeit amplified. I wasn't expecting it, and depending on the tires and the frame the wheels go on, that can be helped or exacerbated. Large tires (35mm Paselas or 38mm Supple Vitesse EX's) quell a lot of it, but it's still there to me.

I've wondered if Pacenti's Brevet would be better in this regard. At 50g lighter and a slightly different cross-section, I think there is a very good chance.
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