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Old 02-09-15, 12:16 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Keep in mind, that's a low end bike, with the one piece (Ashtabula) crank, so don't go crazy putting money into it.
I think "Ashtabula" is one of the coolest words in biking. I love looking at vintage 10 speeds and telling the owners, "Oh, I see your bike has an Ashtabula crank!"
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Old 02-09-15, 12:23 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
I think "Ashtabula" is one of the coolest words in biking. I love looking at vintage 10 speeds and telling the owners, "Oh, I see your bike has an Ashtabula crank!"
Funny you should say that because I like that word too. I've mentioned it in the presence of young bike mechanics and thy look at me with a strange look on their faces, as if they're thinking, "Huh?" Then I'm quick to say "one piece crank".
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Old 02-09-15, 12:29 PM
  #28  
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The shifters will be like any other shifters as far as getting the cables fitted.

The WalMart/Bell cable kit is good in that it has Campagnolo-compatible cable ends on the wires, but not very good in that the housing is unlined, so shifting and braking ease suffers somewhat.
I changed the brake cable housing yesterday on my Bridgestone 400 (updated it to plastic-lined housing) after greasing the still-new-looking-but-unlined original housing had entirely failed to improve the extremely poor braking. I test-rode it in the dark, and the poor braking was cured.

I would recommend using some decent lined housing for both the rear brake and rear derailer since it performs so much better. Admittedly it can be fairly costly when purchased in quantities of just a few feet, but I'm a big advocate of getting even the cheaper bikes working to their potential, so would use nothing less than lined cable housing even if I had to perhaps source some from the trash and clean it out.

Come to think of it, there is derailer-specific, lined cable housing that has metal strands running length-wise, for better compression resistance, and failing to use such housing (and with appropriate housing end caps) will make for a very imprecise, spongy connection between the shift lever and derailer, especially as since with this bike the housings run full-length!
You could possibly even make the shifting worse in other words, if the original housing is better-featured stuff and is not fully gummed up.
This is the sort of thing that happens to so many Schwinn Varsities that are given the low-budget treatment, leaving their owners and anyone else who might ride the bike with the impression that the original derailers are somehow extremely poor-performing when they're not.
Any bike that is worth riding and servicing is logically deserving of high-quality, contemporary, lined, function-specific cable housing with proper ferrules that match the housing type, even if discarded, used housing perhaps needs to be sourced to save coin.
So let's re-visit the good old days of simple steel bikes, but not the bad old days of elastic cabling, poor shifting and unresponsive brakes!

And the same goes for modern chain, since the old chains are miserable for shifting quality and tend to rub noisily on the front derailer cage.
Replacement chain should, at the very least, have bulged sideplates. I replaced the old chain on my Bridgestone 400 just last night, after I replaced the brake cable housings. I used a cheap KMC Z-series chain and what an improvement!

I would initially mostly do an "oil can tune-up" on this bike, as a stand-in for more-thorough work, while I evaluated the bike's function in daily use.
But first I would put some effort into making both brakes work fully as they should, beginning with a piece-by-piece evaluation. If it needs brake pads, due to hardening or wear, the new pads absolutely will need to be steel-rim compatible if this bike came with steel rims.
This bike's brake calipers probably don't have such great leverage or stiffness, so it will take effort to achieve safe braking, and as they say "safety first". With steel rims, the brakes may hardly work at all when the rims get wet!

Desconhecido; ...Yes, all Ashtabula steel cranks have 1/2" pedal threading.

kunsunoke; ...Yes, those are Shimano-made shift levers, they have an odd, bi-directional clicking action though are not indexed or even truly ratcheted. Simplex actually did the very same thing with their nicer metal/plastic stem shifters in the late 1970's (the ones pictured below, with a bulky plastic housing attaching the shifters to the stem and the shift lever axis behind the stem quill)


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Old 02-09-15, 12:54 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
I think "Ashtabula" is one of the coolest words in biking. I love looking at vintage 10 speeds and telling the owners, "Oh, I see your bike has an Ashtabula crank!"
Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
Funny you should say that because I like that word too. I've mentioned it in the presence of young bike mechanics and thy look at me with a strange look on their faces, as if they're thinking, "Huh?" Then I'm quick to say "one piece crank".

Opportunity Lost
Not to digress, but I was in Ashtabula a few years ago and missed a golden opportunity with a friend's sister. While I was recabling her TV box, she started asking me for my opinion about her cleavage.
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Old 02-09-15, 01:05 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Come to think of it, there is derailer-specific, lined cable housing that has metal strands running length-wise, for better compression resistance
One word of caution is in order about that derailleur housing. It is meant for indexing systems which are intolerant of any imprecision. However it is very stiff, perhaps too stiff for some RD applications. With friction shifting brake housing may work better. BTDT.
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Old 02-09-15, 03:01 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
One word of caution is in order about that derailleur housing. It is meant for indexing systems which are intolerant of any imprecision. However it is very stiff, perhaps too stiff for some RD applications. With friction shifting brake housing may work better. BTDT.

Where did this rumor ever get started?

Any kind of elasticity in the bike's cabling is always a detriment to having good motion-resolution delivered by the controls.

Particularly with rear derailers, index or friction, where the effect of the inevitable slight bit of friction is magnified (magnifies the motion discrepancy between shifter and derailer) by any and all elasticity along the entire run of both cable and housing (and especially on this bike, with it's so-long derailer cable housings).

There is often no better improvement to even the shortest run of friction-shifted cable housing than to replace it with the "index"-type of "compressionless" housing!
Progress is progress in this area. Do note that compressionless housing must always use the proper type of ferrules at both ends (very important).


Here I was faintly reminded of when, for a time, it became popularly reported (occasionally even in paid-for publications) that using "nuts and threaded rod" to cold-set a bike's rear triangle was a valid thing to do. It seemed to take a very considerable length of time to convince an overwhelming majority otherwise when trusted sources of information had begun repeating such advice.

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Old 02-09-15, 03:02 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
Opportunity Lost
She started asking me for my opinion about her cleavage.
I've heard about things like that, which was happen to people..
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Old 02-09-15, 03:47 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Where did this rumor ever get started?
It isn't a rumor. It happened to me. I did not read it anywhere. I experienced it. That what I meant by BTDT - Been There, Done That. Specifics:

On any bike the RD housing has to bend in an arc from the stop on the DS chainstay into the RD. That arc has a diameter of, oh, maybe 3 to 6 inches depending on the RD setup. Jagwire's derailleur-specific housing does not like to be bent in that tight an arc. If the housing fits into a tight socket the housing's desire to straighten pulls the RD backwards. On a Campy- or Suntour-type RD that doesn't matter because the mounting bolt normally pivots forward up against a stop and the chain's tension is enough to pull it all the way forward. On a Shimano or Simplex type where the mounting bolt is a spring-loaded pivot, that stiffness affects the derailleur's at-rest position.

But there can be an even worse effect. On a 1st gen Cyclone RD the cable housing socket enters a pivoting section of the inner parallelogram plate rather than a fixed portion of the RD body. This allows the housing's angle to swing with the parallelogram so that the cable always emerges from the housing with no angle, thereby reducing friction. Unfortunately it means the housing must bend inward a little as it sweeps backwards from the stay past the DO, and then swing back outward at an angle that changes with the gear selected. When the RD is on the smallest cog the housing actually enters the derailleur at maybe as much as 30deg off the horizontal axis when viewed from above. The stiffness of the housing means it does not want to make those two bends and actually prevents the parallelogram from swinging to the angle necessary to shift onto the smallest cog.

I experienced this. When I'd built my Bianchi I'd ridden it for a few months without having reason to shift to the highest gear, but when I first tried it wouldn't go. One suggestion was that the parallelogram spring had weakened. I tried lubing it to no avail. It didn't feel weak. So I looked at it carefully and just observed what it was doing. I tried anchoring the housing to the DO with a washer. Didn't help. So I thought about it more and noticed the angle problem. When I switched it back over to brake housing the problem disappeared, and simply holding the housing in my hands was enough to show what had happened.

Back in the old days we didn't have special derailleur housing. So I just went back to the stuff that derailleur had used originally. It works like a charm. The new stuff was specifically designed to reduce compression for indexing systems. Friction systems don't need it, and in this case suffered from it.
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Old 02-09-15, 04:09 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Ed. View Post
Interesting. I don't see any real objections, but to spray grease.

This is 35ish year-old, undisturbed for 30ish years, Campagnolo grease, which I believe is lithium grease. I had no way to verify its lubricity, but it certainly was gooey, and in all easily observed characteristics appeared to still have lubricating properties. [...]
I did not look at the grease in the bb of my Team Bike, which hasn't rested, undisturbed, but as I've not cleaned it, yet, I'll take a gander. Certainly there are other greases, but a blanket condemnation of white lithium grease seems a bit extreme.
I think the objection is to what we used to call "white lube;" white lithium grease that was used in assembly to prevent damage until the oil pump started to pump oil. That is, keep parts from being dry when first started. Sometimes used STP for the same thing. Either would disappear and not foul the oil.

I just went out in my garage and looked at the grease containers and they all say lithium on them (red grease, blue grease, honey colored grease) except the Lubriplate and the Finish Line Teflon. My guess is that the Lubriplate, which looks and feels to me exactly like the Campagnolo grease, is lithium soap as well. Looked at the Park MSDS for their bike grease and it doesn't say lithium, so I guess it's not.

White lube, or white lithium grease, particularly spray on, I wouldn't use it on any bearings. It's not made to be persistent or resistant to contamination/water. Might be good for a seat post or stem or something, but I use the Lubriplate for that as it has good retention but is somewhat thinner than the red or grey or honey colored chassis grease that I like for Ashtabula crank bottom brackets.

As for the cleavage, I'm among those who only hear about such things -- never happens to me. Not when I'm awake, anyway.
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Old 02-09-15, 05:08 PM
  #35  
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Here's a bit on grease: Hub Grease | Bicycles | Bob Is The Oil Guy

Complicated.

I took a quick look at the BB innards from my Team Pro. I'm guessing the last time I had it apart would have been 10 or so years ago. Everything looks fine, tho now contaminated with rust from inside the BB shell that got into the grease when I took things apart. There isn't a lot of grease, and I tend to be pretty liberal with application of grease in these situations.

For engine assembly I used Spectro, but added something 'thicker' like lubriplate, on cam lobes and related bits.
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Old 02-09-15, 05:09 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
It isn't a rumor. It happened to me. I did not read it anywhere. I experienced it. That what I meant by BTDT - Been There, Done That. Specifics:

On any bike the RD housing has to bend in an arc from the stop on the DS chainstay into the RD. That arc has a diameter of, oh, maybe 3 to 6 inches depending on the RD setup. Jagwire's derailleur-specific housing does not like to be bent in that tight an arc. If the housing fits into a tight socket the housing's desire to straighten pulls the RD backwards. On a Campy- or Suntour-type RD that doesn't matter because the mounting bolt normally pivots forward up against a stop and the chain's tension is enough to pull it all the way forward. On a Shimano or Simplex type where the mounting bolt is a spring-loaded pivot, that stiffness affects the derailleur's at-rest position.

But there can be an even worse effect. On a 1st gen Cyclone RD the cable housing socket enters a pivoting section of the inner parallelogram plate rather than a fixed portion of the RD body. This allows the housing's angle to swing with the parallelogram so that the cable always emerges from the housing with no angle, thereby reducing friction. Unfortunately it means the housing must bend inward a little as it sweeps backwards from the stay past the DO, and then swing back outward at an angle that changes with the gear selected. When the RD is on the smallest cog the housing actually enters the derailleur at maybe as much as 30deg off the horizontal axis when viewed from above. The stiffness of the housing means it does not want to make those two bends and actually prevents the parallelogram from swinging to the angle necessary to shift onto the smallest cog.

I experienced this. When I'd built my Bianchi I'd ridden it for a few months without having reason to shift to the highest gear, but when I first tried it wouldn't go. One suggestion was that the parallelogram spring had weakened. I tried lubing it to no avail. It didn't feel weak. So I looked at it carefully and just observed what it was doing. I tried anchoring the housing to the DO with a washer. Didn't help. So I thought about it more and noticed the angle problem. When I switched it back over to brake housing the problem disappeared, and simply holding the housing in my hands was enough to show what had happened.

Back in the old days we didn't have special derailleur housing. So I just went back to the stuff that derailleur had used originally. It works like a charm. The new stuff was specifically designed to reduce compression for indexing systems. Friction systems don't need it, and in this case suffered from it.

Great info, Jim.

Shows how retrofitting must respect older designs, from when the newer "better" replacement parts perhaps weren't yet available.

I've myself also noticed how the earlier, thicker (5mm) derailer housings could affect a modern derailer's B-tension (at the mounting bolt pivot).

The subsequent "SP41", 4mm housings are much, much more flexible, and is usually what is provided when one goes shopping for derailer housing these days.

Where bending resistance becomes an issue, a longer length of housing will ease the flexing force. The resulting larger bending radius is also greatly beneficial to the reduction of friction, as the friction force increases wildly as the bend radius is reduced (as in how very large ships can be anchored using just a few wraps of rope around a pole).

I don't think that the OP's bike has any kind of Suntour derailer, and has no cable stop out back, but your advice could be prescient to the diagnosis of certain bike's shifting issues!

Years ago I mistook the "soft" shifting feel of flexible new housing as seeming beneficial to smooth shifting, but have since learned otherwise. ...I mistook your advice as possibly being based on a similar mis-perception.
...I ranteth on, or what?

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Old 02-09-15, 05:24 PM
  #37  
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And still more on grease: McMaster-Carr
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Old 02-09-15, 06:03 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
A stretched chain isn't really so common. Measure a foot or so. It should be exactly 1" per link. If it is more than 10% longer then consider a new chain
10% !!! So, that would be 12 complete links measuring out at 13.2" would be marginally usable? Perhaps you meant 1%??
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Old 02-09-15, 06:29 PM
  #39  
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Grease? I like Peak Synthetic Marine Grease.
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Old 02-09-15, 06:47 PM
  #40  
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I don't think anybody suggested this, but you don't have to run full length housing to the derailleurs. A clamp on cable stop on the down tube below the head tube and another near the bottom bracket would shorten the housing considerably and reduce friction. You may need a chainstay guide also. It shouldn't cost much to procure the guides, a good LBS should be able to source them without much problem.

They also make top tube clamps for the rear brake housing. It's not uncommon to run full length houzing to the brakes. The clamps will really do a lot to neaten up the cabling too.
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Old 02-09-15, 06:57 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
10% !!! So, that would be 12 complete links measuring out at 13.2" would be marginally usable? Perhaps you meant 1%??
Ah, yes. Too many zeroes in my world.
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Old 02-09-15, 07:58 PM
  #42  
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I had an old Ross 10 speed. Not a bad bike at all!
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Old 02-09-15, 08:23 PM
  #43  
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Cut out a bunch of the housing, that can be done. Easiest would probably be to put a clamp on friction shifter on the DT, then you need a clamp to get the front back to a housing and a guide to run the cable to the rear and then a clamp on the chainstay to get back to housing.
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Old 02-09-15, 09:11 PM
  #44  
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xStaticS ..... You have made my day! Heck, you've made my year so far! There is nothing I enjoy more than a Forum member that is totally dead honest in their posts. You find a bike, not the greatest you say "but I love it". Life is all about doing what you enjoy the most and it's very evident you have a great attitude and you're very comfortable with who you are. Kudos to you sir. Any bike can get you from point A to point B if it's given some tender loving care. Ride the Ross forever my friend. I can only aspire to be like you.
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Old 02-10-15, 12:26 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
Cut out a bunch of the housing, that can be done. Easiest would probably be to put a clamp on friction shifter on the DT, then you need a clamp to get the front back to a housing and a guide to run the cable to the rear and then a clamp on the chainstay to get back to housing.
There is one problem with adding any sort of clamp-on bits to this Ashtabula-type frame, and that is that it has 1" tubing. EDIT: The OP's particular frame may not be 1" tubing, even though it has the 1-piece cranks.

I'm currently struggling with these same 1" tubing details on my "large-framed Huffy road build". Any details on such parts availability is most welcome. I have so far come up with 1" brake housing clamps, set of three for the top tube. I also have 1" clamped Simplex shifters, albeit galvanized. Still looking for good cable stops so I can maybe use Ergolevers.

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Old 02-10-15, 08:18 AM
  #46  
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Back to the original post:
Bike that fits you in small size + cost of a pizza dinner + available local coop + pretty standard and available parts = , regardless of how "quality" the bike is. Just fix, ride and enjoy.
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Old 02-10-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
I think "Ashtabula" is one of the coolest words in biking. I love looking at vintage 10 speeds and telling the owners, "Oh, I see your bike has an Ashtabula crank!"
I have 3 bikes with the Ashtabula Crank. Love them!
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Old 02-10-15, 01:26 PM
  #48  
oddjob2
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Must be a slow winter, so many commentaries on a Ross Europa!

I had to take a step thru Europa III once from an elderly woman so I could buy her beautiful Peugeot Mixte. I broke even on the Europa III at $40 after a quick tuneup.

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Old 02-10-15, 01:26 PM
  #49  
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So how heavy is an Ashtabula crank? Does it equal a race bike of the same era?
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Old 02-10-15, 07:27 PM
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Fairly porky. Usually made of steel, so they've got some heft. Race bikes of that era likely had cottered 3-piece cranks that were lighter.

1-piece cranks were pretty common well-into the 80's, especially on BMX bikes.
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