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Need advice on 90s TSX build. 8 speed

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Need advice on 90s TSX build. 8 speed

Old 08-20-20, 10:00 AM
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Need advice on 90s TSX build. 8 speed

Hi all,

I've picked up a Bianchi TSX UltraLight frame, partial Shimano 105 parts setup with 8-speed. As my previous old bike was only single speed, I'm looking for some advice. The crankset is too long (175mm) so this is the first thing i'm going to change.
  1. Seems like 165mm crank lengths are not common for double rings? I'm thinking of getting chorus from the same 90s era or 80s super record with the Strada stamp, which one should I do and why?
  2. Is the more modern campy record pista an option for this frame? 165mm seems more accessible for this but I'm worried about chain-stay clearance. I'm fine with only 1 chainring.
  3. Coming from a single speed, what type of bottom bracket will I need to fit the above cranksets? Are they different 90s chorus vs 80s record vs record pista? I know the frame is BSA threaded 68mm, but what length spindle, sym, a-sym, etc.
  4. Currently have a shimano 105 STI brake lever with shifting but very interested in trying out downtube shifters. What is your experience with DT shifters (friction vs index) and the more modern STI? Is it worth changing to DT shifters or i'm better off keeping the STI? *for urban recreational biking*
Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-20-20, 10:32 AM
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1. High grade, period correct, 165mm road cranksets are out there but they are not very common, typically being relegated to very small frames. As a result, when they do surface, they typically demand premium prices.

2. Super Record is not period correct and will not shift or brake as well as mid-1990s Chorus, though personally I'd opt for mid-1990s Dura-Ace or 600 Ultegra. Even period correct 105SC is fine. The performanee difference in shifting and breaking is minimal, with the difference being primarily weight, durability and stature.

3. The bottom bracket will depend on which crankset you choose.

4. STI (or Ergopower) is more convenient than down tube shifting. The benefit of friction down tube shifting is that it offers greater versatility in mixing and matching components, which is limited once you go indexed. Most down tube shift levers have an option of switching between indexed and friction modes but once you to brifters, you're pretty much committed to a system. Still, more companies manufacture to the Shimano standard, offering more selection than Campagnolo.

Brifters are also safer, particularly in an urban environment for cyclists with little experience on multi-geared bicycles. The brakes are always at your fingertips and you don't have to take your eyes off the road, like newbies often have to do with down tube shifters.

Last edited by T-Mar; 08-20-20 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-20-20, 11:50 AM
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Like T-mar said, stay with Shimano. He has fine advice on all counts for that matter 'cept for maybe part of #4 . Personally I've never found mix/match between brands to be particularly satisfying. I might m/m between 105/Ultegra/DA with a Scram cassette thrown in but that's about it for me. The Campy bikes are all old Record so nothing happening there. On the index shift I have both and Shimano whether downtube or brifter simply works better indexing. JMO of course Also lotsnlots of shorter Shimano or other MIJ cranks
Let me know when you decide to flip that 175 crank - I have no prob with 175 at all

be smart be safe
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Old 08-20-20, 04:04 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Most of the current group-set does look like 105SC.
I think I will go for a 90s 105/Ultegra/DA crankset when a 165mm surfaces - curious will the BB be the same for all shimano or I should wait until I get a hold of the cranks first?
The brifter is 105SC 8 speed currently but it seems worn out. Per the advice, I will likely search for DA index 8-speed shifters with option of:
  1. Thumbie mounts - paul comp maybe (are these just a waste of money or is 2nd option better)
  2. Bar end adapter (I have drop bars, not sure if this is optimal for use/looks)
Last input: I already sourced 8 speed NOS period correct campy cassette and chorus FD. Are these fine with the current 105SC hubs/drivetrain?

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Old 08-20-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KenRick View Post
Are these fine with the current 105SC hubs/drivetrain?
An 8 speed Campy cassette won't fit on a 105 hub. Plus the Campy sprocket spacings (5mm) are different to the Shimano spacings (4.8mm), so shifting with the D-A indexed levers would be problematic.
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Old 08-20-20, 06:13 PM
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I ride a 53cm frame and use the drops about 90% of the time in town or on the road. So for me the dts are inches from my fingers and my hand basically falls onto the lever. And I am used to them so in my case brifters are the wrong choice. And honestly i think they work better ,short straight cable runs, cheap and reliable.
Now if I rode the tops on a 60cm frame brifters would be the way to go.
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