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Decisions, Decisions....

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Decisions, Decisions....

Old 03-31-24, 05:09 PM
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Decisions, Decisions....

A couple years ago, I got a 1989 Schwinn Circuit - Columbus tubing with Tange aero chrome fork and seatstays, Shimano Sante groupset. The top of the non-Paramount line at the time. I had seen a thread on one here, and I was hooked! The one I found was in great shape, and even had the original Rolls saddle! But it was a 22" bike, and I needed the 23". I tried to make the 22" work, with a long seatpost and a 135mm stem, but the bars were about a cm or so too low for long distances.



So, I kept my eyes peeled for either a 23" bike, or a 23" frame. Finally got a 23" frame off Ebay, but with no fork.

I looked for a fork, with no luck. Finally found a 24" frame with a fork. So I had 3 frames, 2 forks, a wheelset, and a box of parts.


This month I FINALLY (like, a year and a half of dithering later) took the 23" frame and the 24" fork to Dale Saso, a framebuilder in San Jose, to cut down and rethread the fork. Saturday, I picked them up, and got right to work putting the bike together.

This is where I had to stop, because 1) I had no spare tubes to mount tires on the rims and 2) I have no black bar tape. While I wait for those to arrive, I have some decisions to make.
1) Do I go with the 40cm Cinelli Giro d'Italia bar that would be correct? Or the 44 cm Soma Highway One that's so much more comfortable for me?
2) What saddle? The Circuit came with the Rolls you see above, but I have two other possibilities that may work better, a Fizik Aliante VSX and an Avocet O2 Air 40R in gray.
3) What color cable housing? White or gray? I think the original might have been translucent plastic over spiral-wound steel. So, gray or white are both equally wrong, and each equally goes with the white and gray of the Sante kit.

Here's the original catalog page for the 1989 Circuit. Lo res, so it's not possible to tell anything about the cables...


Then the next question will be what to do with the 22" frame and fork? It has a Sante headset and BB. I suppose I could rebuild it close to the original and sell it. Probably won't get anywhere close to getting my money back!
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Old 03-31-24, 05:19 PM
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Bars & saddle- whatever is most comfortable for you.
Housing...... I'd go with grey- maybe not 'correct' but at a distance probably closer in appearance. And white housing always seems to very quickly become grotty looking...

[edit].... then again, with the white Sante group, white housing would look quite good, at least for a while....!
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Old 03-31-24, 05:45 PM
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^ what he said, and especially after he figured out that white is the right color for the housing.
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Old 03-31-24, 07:05 PM
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As it turns out, the decision is simpler than I'd thought! The Cinelli bars and stem that came with the 22" bike are 26.4mm clamp size, and so is the 100mm stem I got for the 23" (because that's what they came with), so I can't use the 26.0 Soma bars with that stem. So, for now it'll be the 40cm Cinelli bars, as Schwinn intended. Narrow = Aero, I suppose.

HOWEVER, there's a vendor who's making reproduction hoods, and he promises gray Sante hoods will be available in a week or so, which means I can buy a set of Sante levers on Ebay with crappy hoods. So what I COULD do is get another set of Sante brake levers, a 110 mm Cinelli 1A with 26.0 clamp, and have two complete sets of stem, bars, levers, cables, and housing.

Yeah, that doesn't sound crazy AT ALL!!!!
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Old 03-31-24, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
Bars & saddle- whatever is most comfortable for you.
Housing...... I'd go with grey- maybe not 'correct' but at a distance probably closer in appearance. And white housing always seems to very quickly become grotty looking...

[edit].... then again, with the white Sante group, white housing would look quite good, at least for a while....!
Ah, but the thing about Sante is, it's NOT white. Oh, sure, PARTS of it are white. Take the headset, for example - pearlescent white cups, top and bottom, but with two shades of gray for the covers (check out the pic of the 23" frame being rebuilt. Same for the brake calipers and the derailleurs - part white, part silvery gray. So, as I say, either white or gray would go with Sante kit.
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Old 04-01-24, 10:46 AM
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Looks like the tubes and bar tape will arrive TODAY!!! So I know how I'll be spending MY evening!!!
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Old 04-01-24, 11:08 AM
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The Sante groupset is just lovely!
Dale Saso is the best. Seldom do you come across somebody who is so knowledgeable and yet so approachable and friendly.
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Old 04-01-24, 11:54 AM
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Another option for your cables is the Velo Orange metallic braid housing kits, both derailleur and brake. It looks like this. I have them on my blue patinaed Cinelli, and they work nicely. They are stiffer than most, so tight bends are more difficult. VO also makes an updated version of the old wound cable housings, which may float your boat. I haven't used those, so you're on you own with them.
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Old 04-01-24, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
Another option for your cables is the Velo Orange metallic braid housing kits, both derailleur and brake. It looks like this. I have them on my blue patinaed Cinelli, and they work nicely. They are stiffer than most, so tight bends are more difficult. VO also makes an updated version of the old wound cable housings, which may float your boat. I haven't used those, so you're on you own with them.
The great advantage that the gray or white housings have is that I have both already, and the white ones are already cut to length! I want to get this bike ready for next Saturday's Monthly BF C&V Ride!
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Old 04-02-24, 12:51 AM
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It is done.



And now I'm back up to 10.
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Old 04-02-24, 08:23 PM
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Here it is after the first 15 mile "shakedown" ride. Saddle is definitely too low! Felt like I was riding a BMX bike!


Which means I'll have to swap in a longer seatpost, which fortunately I have. Ultimately, I'm going to swap out the 100mm stem and 40 cm bars for a 110 or 120mm stem and those 44cm Highway Ones I mentioned, but for now just the longer seatpost.
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Old 04-02-24, 08:55 PM
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Interesting to see the chrome on this. I just bought a Circuit SP touring frame from a forum member, and it was fully painted except for the drive side stay. BUT under the paint was basically the same chrome you have, and the paint wasn't adhering to the chrome very well. So now I am peeling paint off the stays and the fork - which is exactly the same thing I did to my 83 Paramount.

Weird that Schwinn had so much extra chrome in the mid 1980s it was being used under paint and overflowing all the way to Japan.
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Old 04-04-24, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt
Interesting to see the chrome on this. I just bought a Circuit SP touring frame from a forum member, and it was fully painted except for the drive side stay. BUT under the paint was basically the same chrome you have, and the paint wasn't adhering to the chrome very well. So now I am peeling paint off the stays and the fork - which is exactly the same thing I did to my 83 Paramount.

Weird that Schwinn had so much extra chrome in the mid 1980s it was being used under paint and overflowing all the way to Japan.
My 1982 Lotus Supreme has chrome head lugs and drive side chainstay, as well as chromed dropouts. They add the chrome after the frame is brazed, dipping the frame deep enough to completely cover whatever's supposed to be chrome after painting. It seems like they dipped the rear triangle in at an angle, so the NDS chainstay has some chrome under the paint, but not as far up as on the drive side, and the entire head tube and parts of the top and down tubes are chromed. But not the whole thing. The fork has chrome dropouts and crown, so the whole thing is chromed but the legs are painted over. But where the paint was chipped off, bright chrome underneath!
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Old 04-04-24, 09:30 AM
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After the first ride, I swapped the original SR CRE seatpost (short, 80s style) for a similar looking but much longer SR Laprade, raising the saddle a cm in the process. Last night I rode it again - MUCH better! No longer felt like a BMX bike! But, after a dozen or so miles, the Rolls was making a hot spot where no hot spot should be, and that was leading to me hunching my back instead of rolling my pelvis forward, so the Rolls has got to go. And I still plan to replace the original stem and bars.

Maybe I should put them on the 22" frame. Then I could acquire all the Sante bits to restore IT to original spec, and then sell it. If I get $400, I'll only have lost hundreds of dollars!!!
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Old 04-04-24, 09:31 AM
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Very nice looking bike! The chrome takes it to the next level.
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Old 04-04-24, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Very nice looking bike! The chrome takes it to the next level.
Thanks! The combination of the chrome, the candyapple red paint, and the Sante groupset, is what drew me to this model and year. The 1988s had a brighter red, plus they did white hoods, bar tape, and saddle, which for me doesn't flatter the Sante's whites and grays like the gray hoods with black saddle and bars do. Too many people think Sante is a white groupset, but it's much more varied than that . The cranks are white, but brakes are more like pearl and silver. The 6400 "Tricolor" groupset is actually similar, but fewer shades and darker.

Really jonesing for those new Sante hoods, though.....
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Old 04-04-24, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Really jonesing for those new Sante hoods, though.....
I hear you. I've got some 7402s in white arriving soon (I hope). I'll post a review when I get them. I have high hopes...
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Old 04-04-24, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex
[edit].... white housing would look quite good, at least for a while....!
How about 20 years? My white housing still looks great on my red frame.

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Old 04-04-24, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I hear you. I've got some 7402s in white arriving soon (I hope). I'll post a review when I get them. I have high hopes...
I received the 6207 hoods in black for my 1985 Centurion Ironman a while back and they're great. Nice and flexy so they went on without a hitch, and they fit perfectly. Now I just have to decide whether I want to go Authentic (6207 non-aero levers) or slightly more modern (6209 aero levers, currently mounted) He says 6209s are coming soon.....
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Old 04-04-24, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
I received the 6207 hoods in black for my 1985 Centurion Ironman a while back and they're great. Nice and flexy so they went on without a hitch, and they fit perfectly. Now I just have to decide whether I want to go Authentic (6207 non-aero levers) or slightly more modern (6209 aero levers, currently mounted) He says 6209s are coming soon.....
I think the 6209s are cleaner looking, and still give a period-correct look.
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Old 04-04-24, 11:33 AM
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Oh! I also removed those glaring white bottle cages and replaced the front one with a Titanium-colored Aluminum one. Looks much better!
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Old 04-04-24, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I think the 6209s are cleaner looking, and still give a period-correct look.
Also saves me having to find more gray cable housing!
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Old 04-04-24, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by John E
How about 20 years? My white housing still looks great on my red frame.

Oh, my, but that is a pretty bike!
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Old 04-04-24, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Oh, my, but that is a pretty bike!
Thank you. It does get noticed when I ride it.


CyclArt did a great job on the paint (big financial splurge for me, given my Scots DNA), and I was lucky to find the maroon Brooks Team Pro saddle, the Zefal HP pump with the white center, and the white Capo (CapoForma clothing and accessories, unrelated to Otto Cap's CapO Vienna-based Austrian bicycle company) water bottles.
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Old 04-05-24, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
Thank you. It does get noticed when I ride it.
John, it always feels good to see your Capo here. I think it is the first bike on BF that I can recall really sticking in my mind way back when. Seeing you post it every now and then puts a smile on my face.

-Kurt
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