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Vintage Touring Bike with Modern Components - Will it Work?

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Vintage Touring Bike with Modern Components - Will it Work?

Old 01-06-21, 05:06 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I wouldn't worry. It'd have to be a pretty strange failure to:
a) not be visible after the frame is spread
b) fail catastrophically. At least it should creak first, and steel fails quite gracefully.
c) fail in a way that causes a crash.
I've seen frames crack in the seat stays and chain stays and these cracks cause some odd handling and creaks to say the least, which gives the rider warning long before anything catastrophic might happen. The wheel stays where it should be. I can't really fathom a safety issue, which is why I didn't mention it. I am sure it has happened, once (think the cliché about monkeys on typewriters eventually will write Shakespeare), but who knows the other factors involved (ignoring creaks and changes in handling is not a good idea).


Because you're smart and you trust yourself to notice if something goes wrong, before it hurts you. That's not hypocrisy. It's a basic survival skill.
Well thanks, and I have over the years trained myself to see what's going right and what's not. The work "hypocrisy" was based on the fact that I have often (over 10 years on BF C&V) recommended users of vintage frames to get frames cold-set rather than just muscle the wheel in, and here I'm saying to be careful about cold-setting (I guess the truth is both - cold set your frames so the wheel actually fits, and be careful it's done correctly). I believe in having frames aligned. And I've even had a highy hardened and costly OX-Plat frame cold-set! I do trust the process when done carefully by folks I know. Ann Arbor has some great technicians left.
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Old 01-06-21, 05:13 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Yes! It's a Cambium!
Ok, that explains the look! I've never owned one.
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Old 01-08-21, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name View Post
One thing I’ll add is that a Jtek shiftmate or Wolftooth tanpan can be used to get modern road shifters and MTB rear derailleurs working well together. That’ll further open up gearing options if needed. Start there - determine desired gear range - and work backwards to your components.

I built this bike with a very low gear for carrying a load up off road climbs. Gearing is 46/30 SunXCD ramped and pinned chainrings on a 49d crankset, 11-42 XT 11sp cassette on a Dura Ace 9000 rear hub. Ultegra 8000 series STI levers and front derailleur, XTR M9000 rear derailleur with the appropriate Jtek shiftmate to make it work. I’m very happy with this setup.



Please keep us updated as you work through the build!
sweet rando rig 👍
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Old 01-08-21, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Ok, that explains the look! I've never owned one.
I really love them- I don't like the look of the new ones- but I do like that they wouldn't catch on some of my shorts like the older cloth ones do.
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Old 01-16-21, 04:50 PM
  #55  
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Unlike many here, my bike mechanic skills are pretty limited. I change flats, clean and lube chains, adjust non-disk brakes, replace jockey wheels, change chains,and beyond that, it gets iffier, especially since I don't have the tools and my local bike coop is basically closed due to COVID. I wound up using my local bike shop, Bullseye Bicycles of Durham, N.C. I also don't have a garage full of old bicycle parts. Anyway, here's my 1986 Univega Gran Turismo before and after. In my case, I'm not planning any loaded tours with it, so went for more of a gravel-lite thing-- I don't really do challenging single track any longer either. I spent most of the money on wheels (H plus Son). I happened to get a pretty good deal on a Sora 3000 groupset. I don't race. In fact, I sometimes get passed by riders older than I on rusty English Racer type bikes or, even worse, on Elliptigos. I do draw the line with adult trikes. Anyway, I just wanted a groupset that shifts when it's supposed to. It did change the look quite a bit. Almost everything that used to be silver is now black. The visual change might horrify the restorationists, but I don't regret "modernizing."

I found that I prefer brifters, especially off road. I did make the questionable decision to go from 3x to 2x, but I honestly hadn't used to granny gear in some time and the hills here aren't that steep or long. Going to 9 speed does give me a couple more ratios that I actually use. Going to the brifters also eliminates the brake cables coming out of the hoods and added the over the hoods hand position which I use a lot, especially uphill. The result is a very comfortable bike that I wind up going 10 miles further than I originally intended that I can take on pretty much any road/path that isn't either mud or boulders. Bullseye did a really good job and they worked with me in letting me hunt for parts on e-bay and bring them in for the rebuild.
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Old 01-17-21, 12:30 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by chancelucky View Post
the pink frame looks great with the modern drivetrain and archetype rims!
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Old 01-17-21, 03:09 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Guyatwork37 View Post
My buddy and I are planning on doing a tour of Colorado this coming summer (starting and ending in the mountains, lots of climbs, camping at night, etc.). We love the look and feel of vintage steel bikes, but don't relish the thought of trying to do a mountain tour on a 10 or 12 speed with vintage components. We are toying with the idea of putting modern components (think something like Shimano 105 with a triple crank) on a vintage frame, but are unsure if it will work. I understand the rear fork spacing will need to be cold-set from 1XXmm to 130mm to accommodate a 10 - 12 speed cassette, the bottom bracket will need to be sorted out in order to accommodate a modern crankset, potentially replacing brakes for long reach if we go from a 27" to 700c tire, and possibly getting a stem adapter if we don't want to go with a quill stem, but what else am I missing? Is it even feasible? I understand the changes will cost money and time, and that's fine just trying to see if it can even be done and if worthwhile. I have a thing for Specialized bikes so I was thinking an early to mid 80s Specialized Expedition and he's British so he was looking at a Raleigh Portage. Any thoughts or insight would be great. Thank you!
It'll work great with just a little planning to sync everything up.

Here's my 2x9/10 speed 83 Pro Tour 15
- Rear triangle spread to 128mm, works well with many modern wheelsets
- 700c conversion (swapped to cantis with more room for adjustment)
- fits 38mm gravel tires or 35 and fenders (as pictured)
- Compact 50/34 chainset and 11/32t cassette, which is all the range I need for light touring in the PNW
- Long cage Deore xt rear derailleur, dirt drop bars with extra grips




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Old 01-17-21, 07:44 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by chancelucky View Post
Unlike many here, my bike mechanic skills are pretty limited. I change flats, clean and lube chains, adjust non-disk brakes, replace jockey wheels, change chains,and beyond that, it gets iffier, especially since I don't have the tools and my local bike coop is basically closed due to COVID. I wound up using my local bike shop, Bullseye Bicycles of Durham, N.C. I also don't have a garage full of old bicycle parts. Anyway, here's my 1986 Univega Gran Turismo before and after. In my case, I'm not planning any loaded tours with it, so went for more of a gravel-lite thing-- I don't really do challenging single track any longer either. I spent most of the money on wheels (H plus Son). I happened to get a pretty good deal on a Sora 3000 groupset. I don't race. In fact, I sometimes get passed by riders older than I on rusty English Racer type bikes or, even worse, on Elliptigos. I do draw the line with adult trikes. Anyway, I just wanted a groupset that shifts when it's supposed to. It did change the look quite a bit. Almost everything that used to be silver is now black. The visual change might horrify the restorationists, but I don't regret "modernizing."

I found that I prefer brifters, especially off road. I did make the questionable decision to go from 3x to 2x, but I honestly hadn't used to granny gear in some time and the hills here aren't that steep or long. Going to 9 speed does give me a couple more ratios that I actually use. Going to the brifters also eliminates the brake cables coming out of the hoods and added the over the hoods hand position which I use a lot, especially uphill. The result is a very comfortable bike that I wind up going 10 miles further than I originally intended that I can take on pretty much any road/path that isn't either mud or boulders. Bullseye did a really good job and they worked with me in letting me hunt for parts on e-bay and bring them in for the rebuild.
Awesome, I’m near the end of a very similar Gran Turismo build myself, love how yours turned out. Maybe I’m just noticing it, but I seem to be seeing an uptick in touring interest going on here lately, myself included. Perhaps a little wanderlust building up due to the pandemic. Anyway, nice bike, enjoy!
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Old 01-18-21, 04:40 PM
  #59  
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new parts on old frames

Originally Posted by Guyatwork37 View Post
My buddy and I are planning on doing a tour of Colorado this coming summer (starting and ending in the mountains, lots of climbs, camping at night, etc.). We love the look and feel of vintage steel bikes, but don't relish the thought of trying to do a mountain tour on a 10 or 12 speed with vintage components. We are toying with the idea of putting modern components (think something like Shimano 105 with a triple crank) on a vintage frame, but are unsure if it will work. I understand the rear fork spacing will need to be cold-set from 1XXmm to 130mm to accommodate a 10 - 12 speed cassette, the bottom bracket will need to be sorted out in order to accommodate a modern crankset, potentially replacing brakes for long reach if we go from a 27" to 700c tire, and possibly getting a stem adapter if we don't want to go with a quill stem, but what else am I missing? Is it even feasible? I understand the changes will cost money and time, and that's fine just trying to see if it can even be done and if worthwhile. I have a thing for Specialized bikes so I was thinking an early to mid 80s Specialized Expedition and he's British so he was looking at a Raleigh Portage. Any thoughts or insight would be great. Thank you!
l

Yes, it´s very possible. I rebuilt an `86 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra with modern Campagnolo Record group, with the exception of the chainset, which is a lower group model (Centaur) due to the BB being square tapered. I did this purely because a friend built gave me a pair of wheels with Campag 10spd Record hubs. Cold setting the rear triangle is pretty easy. It´s handy if the frame you´re planning to use has braze-ons for the front shifter due to changes in tube diameters meaning modern clamps wont always fit older frames. Dual pivot brakes are excellent and infinitely better than the old rim brakes, I didnt need to use long reach ones to accommodate a 700c rim. Some fiddly adaptations of mounting bolts (sourcing shorter recessed bolts etc) were needed, so a little time and patience required. But she looks great and rides like a dream. Took her up Alp D`huez in France a couple of years ago on her inaugural tour, handled like a dream doing 93kmh (58mph) on the descent, and drew a lot of attention at the cafe at the top.
Good luck with the build, it will be worth it!
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Old 01-19-21, 11:43 PM
  #60  
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Univega Upgrade


Swapped everything I could, shifters

Bars, brakes

Wheels, gearset. Ignore the chain I hadn't finished but you get the idea. If I had something nice I wasn't using it got a home on the Univega. Sorry about the crappy paint job
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Old 01-20-21, 08:12 AM
  #61  
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^ You definitely made it your own. A Pearl stem with the bar that is quite a juxtaposition.
Just watch the front brake setup since the plastic part of the housing is now missing- dont want it to continue to deteriorate.
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Old 01-20-21, 09:01 AM
  #62  
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Test Bed

I had no idea what a following these Univega had. When I first got it the paint scheme was to much to handle, but we've been on a steep learning curve together and I can't see me letting it go.
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Old 01-26-21, 11:10 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Guyatwork37 View Post
We just like the idea of different / more gears, brifters instead of downtube shifting, etc. We both have vintage road bike and enjoy them, but want something slightly different for touring purposes. As for a LBS, I restore and sell vintage bikes, so no need to get a LBS involved for any of this.
Or just buy a Surly. Steel frame, modern components, reasonably priced. https://surlybikes.com/

There are other similar volume production manufacturers of steel framed bikes.
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Old 01-26-21, 11:49 AM
  #64  
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That was originally the plan, but we like the idea of touring on vintage steel bikes. Just our preference this time around. It's not simply about the bikes being steel, but 80s steel.
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Old 01-26-21, 03:45 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by ctak View Post

Looks like those front brake pads are backwards, did you do that to gain clearance on the fork when they're released?
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Old 01-26-21, 05:10 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Looks like those front brake pads are backwards, did you do that to gain clearance on the fork when they're released?
Exactly, and ime these particular pads work great in either orientation
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Old 01-26-21, 05:44 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by ctak View Post
Exactly, and ime these particular pads work great in either orientation
Great to know. Are those Kool Stop? If so, which model?
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Old 01-26-21, 08:51 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Guyatwork37 View Post
My buddy and I are planning on doing a tour of Colorado this coming summer (starting and ending in the mountains, lots of climbs, camping at night, etc.). We love the look and feel of vintage steel bikes, but don't relish the thought of trying to do a mountain tour on a 10 or 12 speed with vintage components. We are toying with the idea of putting modern components (think something like Shimano 105 with a triple crank) on a vintage frame, but are unsure if it will work. I understand the rear fork spacing will need to be cold-set from 1XXmm to 130mm to accommodate a 10 - 12 speed cassette, the bottom bracket will need to be sorted out in order to accommodate a modern crankset, potentially replacing brakes for long reach if we go from a 27" to 700c tire, and possibly getting a stem adapter if we don't want to go with a quill stem, but what else am I missing? Is it even feasible? I understand the changes will cost money and time, and that's fine just trying to see if it can even be done and if worthwhile. I have a thing for Specialized bikes so I was thinking an early to mid 80s Specialized Expedition and he's British so he was looking at a Raleigh Portage. Any thoughts or insight would be great. Thank you!



The upgrades you plan are definitely doable. Here's a nice uo-10 converted to a dandy touring bike. I'd say a triple is a must in Colorado but 7 is plenty for the gearset. There are also plenty of 7 speed shifters to be had. I never found a six or even a 5 speed freewheel to offer any real obstacle to touring. It's the wide range that's needed. A 5 speed freewheel with half step gearing gives you plenty of choices. I've gotten lazy over the years and settled on a seven speed gearset as just easier to use and skipped the half step preferring the range approach for the triple. Also it's easier to adopt an older bike to expand to a seven speed freewheel or cassette.
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Old 01-26-21, 09:07 PM
  #69  
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Several have mentioned adding drop bars to a mtn bike but consider a vintage hybrid. It's easy to find tires. They usually have bosses for racks even low rider bosses and they already have cantilever brakes. What's not to like?😁
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Old 01-26-21, 09:14 PM
  #70  
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Feasible

Absolutely and I applaud your choice to go true vintage steel. If you have the skill set and a quality frame you end up with something that's yours, unique and has soul!

Last edited by brixxton; 01-26-21 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Pix
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Old 01-27-21, 12:51 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Great to know. Are those Kool Stop? If so, which model?
KoolStop Thinlines https://www.jensonusa.com/Kool-Stop-...ed-Post-Salmon
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Old 01-27-21, 08:25 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Guyatwork37 View Post
That was originally the plan, but we like the idea of touring on vintage steel bikes. Just our preference this time around. It's not simply about the bikes being steel, but 80s steel.
I'm with you. I have a 1991 Witcomb made from Reynolds 531ST tubing. 3x7 gearing with Microshift brifters, 44x34x24 chainrings.


There are plenty of 80s touring bikes you can customize to your liking with modern parts. You can go 7 speed w/o adjusting the frame, or even 8/9 speed if you do the Sheldon Brown 8 of 9 on 7 method. The Microshift 7 speed brifters are excellent.

8 Of 9 On 7 -- or 9 of 10 on 7

If your 126 mm frame is aluminum, carbon fiber or held together by glue, you shouldn't try to spread it. That still doesn't mean that you're stuck with 7 speeds!

Any 7-speed Shimano Hyperglide Freehub will actually work with 8 or 9 sprockets, without any modification! What you need to do is to use 8 of the sprockets from a 9-speed cassette, with the 9-speed spacers -- or 9 of the sprockets from a 10-speed cassette. This trick also is useful when cassette body transplantation isn't possible -- on an off-brand hub or a Sachs 3 x 7 hybrid-gearing hub.

To make this work, you'll also need to use a 9- or 10-speed chain and shifters. Your old 7-speed derailer (except 1996 or earlier Dura-Ace) should work OK if it isn't too badly worn. Most, but not all, 9- and 10-speed shifters will work.

The limit stops on the derailer will cause the useless position on the shifter to be locked out, so this will work as a perfectly normal 8- or 9-speed rig.

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html
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Old 01-29-21, 12:42 AM
  #73  
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you asked

Since you asked here is what Homelessjoe has to say.......If you find an old Specialized Expedition or a Portage.....those bikes are beautiful and bombproof as it is......they were designed to do exactly what you want to do and go where you want to go......you cant improve perfect........you could drive them across Siberia and depend on then to bringing you home.........as is.........with a quill stem you can adjust your bar hight when ever you want........its amazing what a relief it is on your back and butt to change your riding position just an inch higher or lower after a long day.......I think quill stems are a must for long distance touring.........dont cold set that frame.....when those bikes left the factory they were perfectly precision laser beam straight........going down the road in a straight line is a must on a long ride......if your are snaking down the road and snaking up hills it will wear you out to fast because you will keep using you upper body trying to balance.....both the Specialized and the Portage are 21 speeds....and the components are better than 105.....they are stronger....you dont need to change anything.......if in good condition the are ready to go.....you may want to change a chainring or a gear or two depending how strong you are.....but adding more gears wont help nothing.......fresh double butted spokes is a good place to spend your money...you will be amazed what a broken spoke will do to your disposition when you are 35 miles from nothing......new tires ...grease........get the best seat there is.......and dont get a new untried seat and head off for the great divide......try it out for a week or two.... break it in......I wish I was going with you.....I was there two years ago

Last edited by homelessjoe; 01-29-21 at 12:49 AM. Reason: misspelled
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Old 12-09-21, 03:04 PM
  #74  
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I'm in the same position as the OP. I have a 1990 Trek 750 that I would like to use to do some long distance touring. This bike has 32 spoke wheels and I'm definitely going to upgrade the real wheel to a strong 36 spoke wheel. Do you think it would be ok to leave the original 32 spoke wheel in the front? I weight about 240 lb and I am planing to use 2 panniers in the front and 2 in the back, although I don't know how much gear I will be carrying yet, since this is the first time I will be doing this.
Your answers are greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-09-21, 03:24 PM
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52telecaster
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Originally Posted by Jor54 View Post
I'm in the same position as the OP. I have a 1990 Trek 750 that I would like to use to do some long distance touring. This bike has 32 spoke wheels and I'm definitely going to upgrade the real wheel to a strong 36 spoke wheel. Do you think it would be ok to leave the original 32 spoke wheel in the front? I weight about 240 lb and I am planing to use 2 panniers in the front and 2 in the back, although I don't know how much gear I will be carrying yet, since this is the first time I will be doing this.
Your answers are greatly appreciated.
Personally I'd go 36 front and back with panniers front and back. The bike is an excellent choice if it fits. I typically carry most of my weight up front since my butt is hard enough on the back wheel.
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