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The obligatory

Old 05-31-22, 05:48 PM
  #1  
Chinghis
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The obligatory

I was the lucky recipient of a friend's 1987 garage-queen Ironman Centurion, of which I am absurdly proud, even though I didn't do anything to earn it!

I love riding it, and I plan on doing a long, 2-hour or so climb on July 4 in southern California (GMR, if you know (Glendora Mountain Road)). I've done it on my old Specialized StumpJumper with 90s gearing but climbing anything on the Ironman makes me realize that I am not an Ironman.

I've investigated all the gearings I can use, and finally decided on just getting a vintage 28t Biopace chainring that will fit. (I don't mind the big ring; I can do most of my regular riding in those gears just find.) But I've read a couple of other posts, and now I'm concerned that it's not going to work, either because of the derailleur or height of the stays. I would think someone here has tried this? Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 05-31-22, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
I was the lucky recipient of a friend's 1987 garage-queen Ironman Centurion, of which I am absurdly proud, even though I didn't do anything to earn it!

I love riding it, and I plan on doing a long, 2-hour or so climb on July 4 in southern California (GMR, if you know (Glendora Mountain Road)). I've done it on my old Specialized StumpJumper with 90s gearing but climbing anything on the Ironman makes me realize that I am not an Ironman.

I've investigated all the gearings I can use, and finally decided on just getting a vintage 28t Biopace chainring that will fit. (I don't mind the big ring; I can do most of my regular riding in those gears just find.) But I've read a couple of other posts, and now I'm concerned that it's not going to work, either because of the derailleur or height of the stays. I would think someone here has tried this? Any suggestions? Thanks!
Umm, pics or it didn't happen.
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Old 05-31-22, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
I've investigated all the gearings I can use, and finally decided on just getting a vintage 28t Biopace chainring that will fit. (I don't mind the big ring; I can do most of my regular riding in those gears just find.) But I've read a couple of other posts, and now I'm concerned that it's not going to work, either because of the derailleur or height of the stays. I would think someone here has tried this? Any suggestions? Thanks!
The 28T chain ring is meant to be the small ring on a triple crankset. You have a double crankset. In order to use that 28t chain ring you would have to switch to a triple crankset, and get the triple FD associated with that crankset. The RD will have to be changed to one with a longer cage as well. The bottom bracket will have to be changed as well.
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Old 05-31-22, 07:38 PM
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Iím not sure how a 28T ring will fit on that 130BCD Shimano 105 crank arm.

Easiest thing to do is find a compact double crankset and hope the FD works on the smaller circumference.
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Old 05-31-22, 11:08 PM
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GMR is a phenomenal driving road! I'd take late night breaks from school (Art Center, super stressful) and go chuck my eager-yet-slow Mazda Protege up and down that road back in college. Tons of fun. I'd love to bomb down the descents on a bike, in the day time.
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Old 06-01-22, 10:25 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
The 28T chain ring is meant to be the small ring on a triple crankset. You have a double crankset. In order to use that 28t chain ring you would have to switch to a triple crankset, and get the triple FD associated with that crankset. The RD will have to be changed to one with a longer cage as well. The bottom bracket will have to be changed as well.
Ack, many thanks. That makes sense. Guess I will end up changing the freewheel, instead. Feel much more comfortable doing that, than changing out the bottom bracket and crank.
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Old 06-01-22, 10:38 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Umm, pics or it didn't happen.
Hah, there are a few in the "For the Love of 80s Paint Jobs" thread, but I can't savvy the search function here to find them easily. It's a Miami Vice
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Old 06-02-22, 01:27 AM
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GMR and Azusa Canyon were regular training rides for me in my racing years, riding from my home in San Dimas. Back then 42-24 or 42-26 was my bail out gear. Today I think I would want a 39T chainring and a long cage RD to allow for bigger cogs. Also I would put in some miles before heading up those roads.
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Old 06-02-22, 11:00 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Insidious C. View Post
GMR and Azusa Canyon were regular training rides for me in my racing years, riding from my home in San Dimas. Back then 42-24 or 42-26 was my bail out gear. Today I think I would want a 39T chainring and a long cage RD to allow for bigger cogs. Also I would put in some miles before heading up those roads.
Haha, I'm working on the miles. Commuted in today, so that's good for 1500 feet of climbing and 20 miles or so. I like to think I have a good base.

I was going to try commuting in on it this morning, but the prospect of slow grinding and the resultant tender knees led me to just stick with one of my old MTBs (what they call hybrids, nowadays).

Thanks for the numbers. The more I read, the more confused I get, of course. I can at least go for a 14-28 six-speed vintage freewheel (something like this) pretty easily, correct? I have a Shimano 105 RD that most folks say will handle up to 28t.

Then I read that you can use a 7-speed, something like this one, but I would need a 7-speed shifter ... unless I don't mind going friction, which really wouldn't bother me.

So, I'm thinking 7-speed 14-28 freewheel. That would certainly help.

In another thread, someone suggested a compact crank, like a 39-50. Guess that will be the next step.

And, if you've read this far, especially #merziac, then here's a picture of my queen.


As I got her.

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Old 06-10-22, 12:00 AM
  #10  
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Well, just a quick update that I found a six-speed 14-28 freewheel at one LBS and at another (hole-in-the-wall!) LBS a freewheel tool, and slapped it on. My ride to work includes big climbs on each end, and I pulled it off today, after doing some rides over the weekend. Climbing was not hideous in 42-28, so we'll see how that does for a while.

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Old 06-10-22, 01:10 AM
  #11  
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That's a really iconic old bike, nice!
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Old 06-10-22, 03:33 AM
  #12  
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You could get a 38 for your small ring in front. The 130 bcd will support that. 38-28 is pretty nice on my knees.
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Old 06-10-22, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
Well, just a quick update that I found a six-speed 14-28 freewheel at one LBS and at another (hole-in-the-wall!) LBS a freewheel tool, and slapped it on. My ride to work includes big climbs on each end, and I pulled it off today, after doing some rides over the weekend. Climbing was not hideous in 42-28, so we'll see how that does for a while.
Don't worry about mixing Biopace chainrings with normal round chainrings, either, a few bikes I've had with 130bcd I immediately swap out the 42t for a 39 or 38. I've done it and there's no real functional difference with shifting. Those old bikes are great but the gearing is for young legs.
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Old 06-10-22, 05:44 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Iím not sure how a 28T ring will fit on that 130BCD Shimano 105 crank arm.

Easiest thing to do is find a compact double crankset and hope the FD works on the smaller circumference.
Next easiest is to do that but also to get a freewheel or cassette with a bigger big sprocket, perhaps like on your Stumpjumper. This route is easier and cheaper than going for a triple in the front.
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Old 06-10-22, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Next easiest is to do that but also to get a freewheel or cassette with a bigger big sprocket, perhaps like on your Stumpjumper.
This route is easier and cheaper than going for a triple in the front.
Agreed. Fight the battle on front and rear, stay within what your existing FD/RD can do, and win win.
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Old 06-10-22, 09:46 AM
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Good advice, folks, thanks. I have already done the freewheel - it's now a 14-28. I didn't realize BioPace came in a 38t instead of 39t (really, it pays to read Sheldon Brown!). I was able to do my 600' climbs to and from work yesterday in the 42-14, but I'm not sure I could push that up a 4000' climb for a few hours.

Meant for young legs?! Hah, I always hated riding my road bike with any elevation when I was young. Wish I had known more bike-people back then and how easy it is to work on bikes. I'd still have a really cool Dawes Atlantis with Reynolds 531 tubing instead of a workstand!
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Old 06-11-22, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bamboobike4 View Post
Agreed. Fight the battle on front and rear, stay within what your existing FD/RD can do, and win win.
Well, yes I think the spirit is right, but if you go for a bigger rear cog set you may well need a longer-cage rear derailleur and a longer chain. But the 46/30 might well be within the range of your existing front mech, and the smaller diameter of the front rings could mean you donít need to change the length of the chain.
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Old 06-11-22, 09:07 AM
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There IS a 40t Biopace 130 BCD chainring, but they're hard to find.

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Old 06-11-22, 09:22 AM
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Don't feel bad about changing out components on your bike ta give ya a better ride.

Long cage derailleur
34T Bail out gear in the back
38T Ring in the front
Stay with friction shifting

Be selective. Take your time doing it. Ride, Ride, Ride...
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Old 06-11-22, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Don't feel bad about changing out components on your bike ta give ya a better ride.

Long cage derailleur
34T Bail out gear in the back
38T Ring in the front
Stay with friction shifting

Be selective. Take your time doing it. Ride, Ride, Ride...
I echo this! Plus, every step might require some revision of previous steps.
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Old 06-20-22, 12:12 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I echo this! Plus, every step might require some revision of previous steps.
Hey, folks, I swear, somehow I missed all of the post suggestions after my 6/11 post ... More good stuff. I realized at some point that I was always searching for "39t biopoace", and now I realize that's the one they didn't make ...

Anyway, I came across a 40t on Ebay - same seller from whom I've already purchased the wrong chain ring earlier this month. Sort of embarrassing.

The other option is a 38t, non-Biopace, something like this Stronglight: Stronglight Shimano Adaptable 130 BCD Chainring It's described as designed for a 9/10 speed crankset - can I use it on a vintage 6-speed crank? Narrow chains for modern drive trains lead me to think no, but I'm having trouble narrowing down that search to really confirm it. If I can use it, that might be my best option to get down to 38t. I could do a 38/50 from them, in fact, but as I say I don't particularly mind the big 52 in the front.

I do like Zandoval's suggestion, although the last time that I did this (with my son's gravel bike), I wasn't altogether successful. Ah, but that was with a derailleur extender from Wolftooth, come to think of it. OK, more to consider. Thanks, folks.
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