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Picked up a 63.5cm Vintage Norco Road Bike..

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Picked up a 63.5cm Vintage Norco Road Bike..

Old 11-04-20, 06:19 PM
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Moisture
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Picked up a 63.5cm Vintage Norco Road Bike..

I'm happy to be finally riding a bike which fits me comfortably. Saved this rust bucket from the dump last week. Stuck seatpost. Ended up converting to a different flat bar setup recently. Had an auto mechanic rip out the stuck seatpost using a hydraulic car frame puller after blow torching the seat tube.. its a miracle it got out of there.

its a steel lugged cromoly frame. Hi tensile rear triangle and fork. Made in 1980. The bike feels fantastic with extremely fast and planted handling. The rear tire tends to slide a little when im really thrashing the thing on slippery gravel paths.

These frames which use a short reach to compensate for stretched out drop bars make for a very comfortable fit when using good flat bars and a comfy raised stem. Ill show an updated pic tommorow if anyone's interested.
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Old 11-09-20, 10:38 PM
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tallbikeman
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Bikes: Modified 26 inch frame Schwinn Varsity with 700c wheels and 10 speed cassette hub. Ryan Vanguard recumbent. 67cm 27"x1 1/4" Schwinn Sports Tourer from the 1980's. 1980's 68cm Nishiki Sebring with 700c aero wheels, 30 speeds, flat bar bicycle.

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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I'm happy to be finally riding a bike which fits me comfortably. Saved this rust bucket from the dump last week. Stuck seatpost. Ended up converting to a different flat bar setup recently. Had an auto mechanic rip out the stuck seatpost using a hydraulic car frame puller after blow torching the seat tube.. its a miracle it got out of there.

its a steel lugged cromoly frame. Hi tensile rear triangle and fork. Made in 1980. The bike feels fantastic with extremely fast and planted handling. The rear tire tends to slide a little when im really thrashing the thing on slippery gravel paths.

These frames which use a short reach to compensate for stretched out drop bars make for a very comfortable fit when using good flat bars and a comfy raised stem. Ill show an updated pic tommorow if anyone's interested.

Please show a picture if you get a chance of your Norco. I love older steel 10 speed bikes from the 70's and 80's. I have three of the them. My 68cm Nishiki Sebring is very similar to yours in that it has Chrome Moly main tubes and mild steel rear stays and fork. It is my easily my fastest bike. I have it set up with a 3" raised flat bar and 70mm stem. Very comfortable. Better than when I had drops on it. I'm a big fan of center pull brakes and installed these used Dia Comps I bought off the internet replacing Dia Comp single pivot sidepull brakes. These brakes really stop the bike with authority. I found the 180mm Raceface triple MTB crankset here locally on Craigslist. It is really a nice crankset. 3 x 10 gearing setup with a Shimano MTB derailleur in the back driven by friction shifters. This bike was a 27" and is now a 700c x 32mm setup. The wheelset is a Vuelta SL37 aero. The wheelset is a big reason why this bike is faster than my other bikes. The frame bag carries all the tire repair kit, spare tube, and tire pump. The rear bag ends up carrying clothing mostly. Very handy to have useful sized bags on the bicycle. I try to use bags instead of racks and panniers. Both of these bags are Jannd bags. I highly recommend them. Still have one bike with a rack though.
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Old 11-10-20, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Please show a picture if you get a chance of your Norco. I love older steel 10 speed bikes from the 70's and 80's. I have three of the them. My 68cm Nishiki Sebring is very similar to yours in that it has Chrome Moly main tubes and mild steel rear stays and fork. It is my easily my fastest bike. I have it set up with a 3" raised flat bar and 70mm stem. Very comfortable. Better than when I had drops on it. I'm a big fan of center pull brakes and installed these used Dia Comps I bought off the internet replacing Dia Comp single pivot sidepull brakes. These brakes really stop the bike with authority. I found the 180mm Raceface triple MTB crankset here locally on Craigslist. It is really a nice crankset. 3 x 10 gearing setup with a Shimano MTB derailleur in the back driven by friction shifters. This bike was a 27" and is now a 700c x 32mm setup. The wheelset is a Vuelta SL37 aero. The wheelset is a big reason why this bike is faster than my other bikes. The frame bag carries all the tire repair kit, spare tube, and tire pump. The rear bag ends up carrying clothing mostly. Very handy to have useful sized bags on the bicycle. I try to use bags instead of racks and panniers. Both of these bags are Jannd bags. I highly recommend them. Still have one bike with a rack though.
That's a fantastic bike! you have set it up beautifully. These vintage frames are absolutely brilliant. As far as I know, this nishiki is pretty much identical to my Norco. If you flip the bike over, you should be able to pull a stamped serial code from the bottom of the bottom bracket. This is how you can decode it:

Yytnnnn where
"Y" = Yamaguchi
y = a number for the year of frame manufacture
t = a letter fot the time of year of frame manufacture
nnnn = four digits to uniquely identify the frame for that year.

A = January

B = February
C = March
D = April
E = May
F = June
G = July
H = August
K = September
L = October
M = November
N = December

Mine was built in November of 1980. WIll be turning 40 years old this month! Unfortunately, my paint is in very sorry condition, especially compared to your gorgeous Nishiki. I actually had the option to buy two different Nisiki's in a teal/white colour combo, or a black/red Bianchi. I went for the Norco bucket because it was cheaper, closer to me, and had flat bars. The owner was moving to Vancouver the same week I bought it, so it looks like I actually saved her from the dump. and I am very happy I did because I managed to find a auto shop who got the very stuck seat post out. Nobody else would have managed to get out that seat post had they not also used a hydraulic car frame puller.. I was convinced that this poor Monterey was pretty much a goner until I saw the seat post fly out of the frame. very exciting moment lol.

I recommend trying out a different stem attachment, which brings your handlebars up a little higher and closer to you. It will make a big difference in comfort for you.
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Old 11-10-20, 08:22 AM
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tallbikeman




Here are some pics I took when I first got the bike. I'll make sure to send you an updated pic of what she looks like with the new set and my other set of handlebars/stem.

I couldn't be possibly happier with the way this bike feels. With the flat bars, I feel like i can balance myself fore and aft brilliantly. I can push this thing very hard on the gravel paths now. The handling is stable as hell and extremely balanced. Its so much fun to ride and I feel pretty bad ass finessing those good old non indexed gears as I ride. I always get amazed looks from older people when I shift that thing. I'll never trade up the durability and precision of this drivetrain for the flimsy newer stuff, ever.

Those 180mm cranks you got on your Nishiki look awesome! I really want to get some longer cranks for mine, but even with the 170mm cranks I was actually getting some wicked pedal striking around the turns. I have since then gotten used to turning a bit more upright to avoid doing that. But after falling off my bike and sliding over a wooden bridge I'm weary to get longer crank arms. That'll have to wait for another bike project in the future.

The rear triangle on this bike seems to put the power down practicularly well. I can really feel the quality of this frame when accelerating hard.

Today, I am going to change out the brake line/housing so that I can raise the stem a bit higher, swapping out the 5 speed cassette for a Shimano 7 speed i got laying around, and while I'm at it I will have to replace my rear tire. My rear rim has been bent by the previous owner so I must leave two of the spokes completely loose or else the rim will bend into that direction. I think I will have to tighten those spokes and physically bend the rim back into place.. its still holding up well, but even once it bends a little bit, the tire begins rubbing against the chainstays. The tire clearance there is extremely limited.

I'm ecstatic to see another fellow tall guy riding one if these brilliant Japanese made beauties. Let me know if you manage to decode the VIN today.
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Old 11-10-20, 03:05 PM
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Old 11-12-20, 12:33 AM
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Bikes: Modified 26 inch frame Schwinn Varsity with 700c wheels and 10 speed cassette hub. Ryan Vanguard recumbent. 67cm 27"x1 1/4" Schwinn Sports Tourer from the 1980's. 1980's 68cm Nishiki Sebring with 700c aero wheels, 30 speeds, flat bar bicycle.

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Moisture I love the older steel bikes. The large frame sizes tend to be sweet riding if not a bit flexible. I'm a big fan of the Suntour derailleurs of the era and have a Suntour front derailleur on both my Nishiki and my Schwinn Sports Tourer. Long cranks do strike early and I use 1" pedal extenders which makes them strike earlier. I just don't pedal the corners. I have noticed how responsive both of my big bikes are to pedal input. The Schwinn has 175mm cranks. I hadn't found the 180mm Raceface cranks when I built it. The Schwinn is a 27" x 1 1/4" wheel with home built CR-18's on Velo Orange hubs. Your paint is not much worse than the Nishiki. Black hides a lot of problems well. The Nishiki is only the main frame. The fork is off an earlier Kabuki. When I bought the Nishiki it had a bent and dented fork. The frame showed no signs of stress so I found the Kabuki fork in Chicago via e-bay after storing the bike for two years. Lucky me since it is such a large frame. No Lawyer tabs on the Kabuki fork.

1980 Taiwan made Schwinn Sports Tourer. This is a 1010 steel frame, same as yours, with 27" wheels and a 2 x 10 gearing setup. The handlebars are S and M BMX bars on a BMX stem. Very sturdy and heavy. This is a very good gravel road bike despite the 1 1/4" tires.

180mm Raceface cranks with 1" pedal extenders and Welgo magnesium platform pedals.

Switched the bike from single pivot sidepulls to center pulls. Very strong brakes. Bought brakes cheap and used from Wisconsin via ebay and polished them up.

Tried drop bars but they rejected me. These are 3

I changed over from racks and panniers to bags a few years back and have kept it that way. A little lighter and just as useful.
" rise aluminum handlebars with Sunrace friction shifters and Tektro brake levers. Very simple and reliable setup. Light too. Not carbon light, old steel light.


This looks to be a part number on the Nishiki bottom bracket.

This is the Serial Number on the Nishiki but part of it is covered by the brazed on cable guide.

Good luck with your upcoming changes to the rear gearing. These bikes are never really done. Sometimes they get to a semi perfect state and may stay there for years before the next changes come about.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Moisture I love the older steel bikes. The large frame sizes tend to be sweet riding if not a bit flexible. I'm a big fan of the Suntour derailleurs of the era and have a Suntour front derailleur on both my Nishiki and my Schwinn Sports Tourer. Long cranks do strike early and I use 1" pedal extenders which makes them strike earlier. I just don't pedal the corners. I have noticed how responsive both of my big bikes are to pedal input. The Schwinn has 175mm cranks. I hadn't found the 180mm Raceface cranks when I built it. The Schwinn is a 27" x 1 1/4" wheel with home built CR-18's on Velo Orange hubs. Your paint is not much worse than the Nishiki. Black hides a lot of problems well. The Nishiki is only the main frame. The fork is off an earlier Kabuki. When I bought the Nishiki it had a bent and dented fork. The frame showed no signs of stress so I found the Kabuki fork in Chicago via e-bay after storing the bike for two years. Lucky me since it is such a large frame. No Lawyer tabs on the Kabuki fork.

1980 Taiwan made Schwinn Sports Tourer. This is a 1010 steel frame, same as yours, with 27" wheels and a 2 x 10 gearing setup. The handlebars are S and M BMX bars on a BMX stem. Very sturdy and heavy. This is a very good gravel road bike despite the 1 1/4" tires.

180mm Raceface cranks with 1" pedal extenders and Welgo magnesium platform pedals.

Switched the bike from single pivot sidepulls to center pulls. Very strong brakes. Bought brakes cheap and used from Wisconsin via ebay and polished them up.

Tried drop bars but they rejected me. These are 3

I changed over from racks and panniers to bags a few years back and have kept it that way. A little lighter and just as useful.
" rise aluminum handlebars with Sunrace friction shifters and Tektro brake levers. Very simple and reliable setup. Light too. Not carbon light, old steel light.


This looks to be a part number on the Nishiki bottom bracket.

This is the Serial Number on the Nishiki but part of it is covered by the brazed on cable guide.

Good luck with your upcoming changes to the rear gearing. These bikes are never really done. Sometimes they get to a semi perfect state and may stay there for years before the next changes come about.
Thanks so much. Im very happy to hear that you're happy with your classic bikes. My Norco is made from chromoly, as far as I know. The rear triangle and fork is hi tensile. The steel tubing does have a slight amount of initial compliance over small road imperfections etc, but its still an absurdly stiff frame. I find that the geometry is fantastically well suited to taller riders, especially ones of larger stature. For this reason it seems like the engineers in the day seemed to really take advantage of the 27" wheels. The turn in is fast like a 26" bike yet you still get the smooth and planted feel at high speeds of a 700c rim. Luckily I have since adapted to avoiding pedal striking, but I am really looking forward to getting some sort of bike in the future which is designed for 180/190mm cranks.

Out of curiousity? How tall are you? Do you know your inseam? I'm 6'3, 225lb 34" inseam. This bike fits me great. It does seem to have very effective power trasnfer. Around certain corners if I set up the front axle right, I can quite literally steer with the rear wheel as I apply power around the bend. Its fantastic to feel the rear tire scrambling for traction, rather than the front. Cornering limits are very high when you are properly balanced on the bike.

Yesterday, I spent a good amount of time on the bike. After truing the rim, I noticed that The axle was extremely bent so i ended up rehauling the entire hub with my friend and putting a new road tire on. Bike rides smooth as butter now and no more rubbing against the chainstays. I ended up reusing the same freewheel (14-34t) but I am looking for a similar tooth count in 7 speeds to upgrade in the near future. This monterey has pretty low end stuff for its day but it works together fantastic and has proven to be extremely durable.

Next we changed out the brake lines so that I can raise my handlebars up a little. This greatly improved braking feel from the dia-compe side pull brakes. The pads are pretty garbage, but the caliper itself seems like a great design.

Now, im a little torn on rehauling the bottom bracket, if I can even get it out of there. I tried spinning it with the chain removed and it seemed to feel okay. I also have to service the brake calipers and eventually will be repainting the frame. I want to use a cinnamon colour handlebars, brooks saddle, and paint the frame a metallic burgundy or some sort of dark green.

i find it really important to be able to pedal through most turns in order to weigh the rear axle, as such, not worth increasing the risk of constant pedal strikes by installing the linger crank arms for me.
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Old 11-12-20, 11:44 PM
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tallbikeman
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Bikes: Modified 26 inch frame Schwinn Varsity with 700c wheels and 10 speed cassette hub. Ryan Vanguard recumbent. 67cm 27"x1 1/4" Schwinn Sports Tourer from the 1980's. 1980's 68cm Nishiki Sebring with 700c aero wheels, 30 speeds, flat bar bicycle.

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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Thanks so much. Im very happy to hear that you're happy with your classic bikes. My Norco is made from chromoly, as far as I know. The rear triangle and fork is hi tensile. The steel tubing does have a slight amount of initial compliance over small road imperfections etc, but its still an absurdly stiff frame. I find that the geometry is fantastically well suited to taller riders, especially ones of larger stature. For this reason it seems like the engineers in the day seemed to really take advantage of the 27" wheels. The turn in is fast like a 26" bike yet you still get the smooth and planted feel at high speeds of a 700c rim. Luckily I have since adapted to avoiding pedal striking, but I am really looking forward to getting some sort of bike in the future which is designed for 180/190mm cranks.


Out of curiousity? How tall are you? Do you know your inseam? I'm 6'3, 225lb 34" inseam. This bike fits me great. It does seem to have very effective power trasnfer. Around certain corners if I set up the front axle right, I can quite literally steer with the rear wheel as I apply power around the bend. Its fantastic to feel the rear tire scrambling for traction, rather than the front. Cornering limits are very high when you are properly balanced on the bike.


Yesterday, I spent a good amount of time on the bike. After truing the rim, I noticed that The axle was extremely bent so i ended up rehauling the entire hub with my friend and putting a new road tire on. Bike rides smooth as butter now and no more rubbing against the chainstays. I ended up reusing the same freewheel (14-34t) but I am looking for a similar tooth count in 7 speeds to upgrade in the near future. This monterey has pretty low end stuff for its day but it works together fantastic and has proven to be extremely durable.


Next we changed out the brake lines so that I can raise my handlebars up a little. This greatly improved braking feel from the dia-compe side pull brakes. The pads are pretty garbage, but the caliper itself seems like a great design.


Now, im a little torn on rehauling the bottom bracket, if I can even get it out of there. I tried spinning it with the chain removed and it seemed to feel okay. I also have to service the brake calipers and eventually will be repainting the frame. I want to use a cinnamon colour handlebars, brooks saddle, and paint the frame a metallic burgundy or some sort of dark green.


i find it really important to be able to pedal through most turns in order to weigh the rear axle, as such, not worth increasing the risk of constant pedal strikes by installing the linger crank arms for me.

Moisture I am 6ft 5in at about 250lbs. In seam is 34inches or so. Concerning that bent rear axle. I looked at your rear end photo and realize you are probably using the original freewheel hub and 5 speed. The problem with freewheel hubs and bigger people is that the axle will bend under the gears because the hub bearing on that side is so far from the dropout. They make chrome moly axles if you can find them for that problem. A much better fix is to get hold of a 130mm cassette hub, spring your rear forks out a little. They may be at 120mm or 126mm spacing. So they will need a little bending out to fit the cassette properly. This will not harm your frame in any meaningful way. Both of my pictured bikes have had that done. The cassette hubs do not have bent axle problems. Check Sheldons website for information on bending rear forks properly. You are right about 27" wheels. They are fast, a little smoother than 700c on road chatter, and do gravel roads to a tee. I was surprised by my Schwinn Sports Tourer with 27" wheels when I first started going on dirt roads. It was fantastic. I thought I would get stuck more or have traction problems. None of that happened. It is a very fast bicycle. It uses the rear derailleur tab just like your bike has. It was a lower end model having almost the exact same components as yours but with center pull brakes. Both of my big frame lugged bikes, one with a chrome moly main triangle and the other with 1010 hi-tensile steel bend when pedaling. I have not noticed this to be a problem because both are fast bikes. The Nishiki is especially fast. Both bikes soak up road vibrations very well. I've owned a very stiff Colombus tubed Atala 101 criterium race bike in the early 1970's. It was a large frame but and very upright head/seatpost angles. This bike was brutal to ride. I could only ride it 20 miles before I had to get off it. You felt every road vibration, so that is too stiff. It sounds like our bikes don't fit into that catagory. I prefer handlebar mounted shifters over stem shifters but usually the stem shifters had long levers which made them very easy to use. The older style bottom brackets with loose balls are easy to overhaul. One needs a crank puller. Then I've used anything from a pipe wrench to big pliers to get the lock nut off. The proper tool is a spanner wrench with that hook on it to engage the indents on the locknut. Once that is off the cone should come right out. Some cones have a flat for a wrench, others use a pin wrench. The modern replacement bottom brackets use a special socket to remove and install. After you paint this bike it will hold up for many years of service at a very nice low price point. I find steel bicycles to be real world durable and can be reliable companions for decades with little or no problems other than normal wear. Good luck with your great old steel 27" wheeled steed.
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Old 11-13-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Moisture I am 6ft 5in at about 250lbs. In seam is 34inches or so. Concerning that bent rear axle. I looked at your rear end photo and realize you are probably using the original freewheel hub and 5 speed. The problem with freewheel hubs and bigger people is that the axle will bend under the gears because the hub bearing on that side is so far from the dropout. They make chrome moly axles if you can find them for that problem. A much better fix is to get hold of a 130mm cassette hub, spring your rear forks out a little. They may be at 120mm or 126mm spacing. So they will need a little bending out to fit the cassette properly. This will not harm your frame in any meaningful way. Both of my pictured bikes have had that done. The cassette hubs do not have bent axle problems. Check Sheldons website for information on bending rear forks properly. You are right about 27" wheels. They are fast, a little smoother than 700c on road chatter, and do gravel roads to a tee. I was surprised by my Schwinn Sports Tourer with 27" wheels when I first started going on dirt roads. It was fantastic. I thought I would get stuck more or have traction problems. None of that happened. It is a very fast bicycle. It uses the rear derailleur tab just like your bike has. It was a lower end model having almost the exact same components as yours but with center pull brakes. Both of my big frame lugged bikes, one with a chrome moly main triangle and the other with 1010 hi-tensile steel bend when pedaling. I have not noticed this to be a problem because both are fast bikes. The Nishiki is especially fast. Both bikes soak up road vibrations very well. I've owned a very stiff Colombus tubed Atala 101 criterium race bike in the early 1970's. It was a large frame but and very upright head/seatpost angles. This bike was brutal to ride. I could only ride it 20 miles before I had to get off it. You felt every road vibration, so that is too stiff. It sounds like our bikes don't fit into that catagory. I prefer handlebar mounted shifters over stem shifters but usually the stem shifters had long levers which made them very easy to use. The older style bottom brackets with loose balls are easy to overhaul. One needs a crank puller. Then I've used anything from a pipe wrench to big pliers to get the lock nut off. The proper tool is a spanner wrench with that hook on it to engage the indents on the locknut. Once that is off the cone should come right out. Some cones have a flat for a wrench, others use a pin wrench. The modern replacement bottom brackets use a special socket to remove and install. After you paint this bike it will hold up for many years of service at a very nice low price point. I find steel bicycles to be real world durable and can be reliable companions for decades with little or no problems other than normal wear. Good luck with your great old steel 27" wheeled steed.
This is absolutely excellent information- thank you again. In regards to the freewheel - yes I heard that they are a bad idea for heavy loads. Mine was bent pretty badly. Im very glad to have noticed it. As long as I am careful over the bumpy stuff, do you think my new axle will hold up in the meantime?

I will have to eventually replace the rim anyways because my current one is still a bit bent, so I will be looking for a cassette design. Would any cassette with a suitable tooth count be compatible with my current drivetrain? I heard that shimano cassettes work with suntour stuff. Should I stick to that?

I am a bit fan of the stem shifters. Shifting from 1 to 2 and back in the front derialuer is extremely seamless and smooth under power. I feel like I am always in a reasonably good ratio considering the terrain. I've grown to really appreciate non indexed shifting - not only because it teaches one to appreciate where we came from before resching the point where indexing became common, but I find it super handy to be able to precisely choose the line tension. When shifting from fifth gear into fourth, no matter how slowly I move the lever, it will always skip fourth. You learn to finesse it by quickly pushing the lever back up to pop into fourth everytime. Its so satisfying to operate once you get the hang of it and it really does work quite well. Eventually, I think I'm going to go with some grip shifters . Always been a big fan of those because you can skip gears without taking your hands off the bars.

The suntour drivetrain seems like an incredibly durable design. Im quite happy with it. Other than the bottom bracket, I will also be taking apart the side pull brakes and greasing/polishing them up. The braking feel is fantastic after installing new lines and housings - the feel through the levers is just like a modern hydraulic setup. I have to make sure to sand down the brake pads though.

as far as I know, there is only 8mm difference in diameter between 27" and 700c. If you look at my photo, you'll notice that my front rim was changed using a wider 700x38 tire. Feels great. Im also quite astounded at how much of a difference the new resr tire made. Its a Chaoyang tire. Not all of them are good quality, but the ones I've used in the past including this one are fantastic quality. The compound is a good mix between stiff and soft rubber. Tons of grip when you push it. Bike feels completely different now along with the new axle.

Lastly, when I first got the bike, I actually managed to greatly improve the shifting quality in the rear with a few simple tweaks. First off, I noticed that the rear derialleur was pushed forwards. This caused the chain to be extremely slack and floppy when riding in the smaller cogs. Fixed this by tightening the hex bolt holding the derialluer in place which pushed the derialluer back. I also loosened the bolt holding the wheel in place and pushed the derialleur back to angle the tab backwards before tightening it back down. Then I loosened the lateral screw out all the way until the derialleur stopped moving towards the freewheel and oiled up the pulleys. I'm going to replace the chain soon, as this alone will make a huge difference with power transfer and shifting.. especially when the chain is being used by a big guy cranking out some real power. The bike became faster and shifting much, much better after these simple tweaks.

I'm still trying to figure out how I can get the bike to not skip fourth gear when downshifting.

In regards to your Nishiki, which rear derialleur you got on there? Pics aren't very high res. It looks modern. I much prefer the durable older stuff.

I've been told that lugged frames are better than welded, especially these older bikes using that great quality steel. Do you know why that is?
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Old 11-13-20, 08:24 AM
  #10  
tallbikeman
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Bikes: Modified 26 inch frame Schwinn Varsity with 700c wheels and 10 speed cassette hub. Ryan Vanguard recumbent. 67cm 27"x1 1/4" Schwinn Sports Tourer from the 1980's. 1980's 68cm Nishiki Sebring with 700c aero wheels, 30 speeds, flat bar bicycle.

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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
This is absolutely excellent information- thank you again. In regards to the freewheel - yes I heard that they are a bad idea for heavy loads. Mine was bent pretty badly. Im very glad to have noticed it. As long as I am careful over the bumpy stuff, do you think my new axle will hold up in the meantime?


I will have to eventually replace the rim anyways because my current one is still a bit bent, so I will be looking for a cassette design. Would any cassette with a suitable tooth count be compatible with my current drivetrain? I heard that shimano cassettes work with suntour stuff. Should I stick to that?


I am a bit fan of the stem shifters. Shifting from 1 to 2 and back in the front derialuer is extremely seamless and smooth under power. I feel like I am always in a reasonably good ratio considering the terrain. I've grown to really appreciate non indexed shifting - not only because it teaches one to appreciate where we came from before resching the point where indexing became common, but I find it super handy to be able to precisely choose the line tension. When shifting from fifth gear into fourth, no matter how slowly I move the lever, it will always skip fourth. You learn to finesse it by quickly pushing the lever back up to pop into fourth everytime. Its so satisfying to operate once you get the hang of it and it really does work quite well. Eventually, I think I'm going to go with some grip shifters . Always been a big fan of those because you can skip gears without taking your hands off the bars.


The suntour drivetrain seems like an incredibly durable design. Im quite happy with it. Other than the bottom bracket, I will also be taking apart the side pull brakes and greasing/polishing them up. The braking feel is fantastic after installing new lines and housings - the feel through the levers is just like a modern hydraulic setup. I have to make sure to sand down the brake pads though.


as far as I know, there is only 8mm difference in diameter between 27" and 700c. If you look at my photo, you'll notice that my front rim was changed using a wider 700x38 tire. Feels great. Im also quite astounded at how much of a difference the new resr tire made. Its a Chaoyang tire. Not all of them are good quality, but the ones I've used in the past including this one are fantastic quality. The compound is a good mix between stiff and soft rubber. Tons of grip when you push it. Bike feels completely different now along with the new axle.


Lastly, when I first got the bike, I actually managed to greatly improve the shifting quality in the rear with a few simple tweaks. First off, I noticed that the rear derialleur was pushed forwards. This caused the chain to be extremely slack and floppy when riding in the smaller cogs. Fixed this by tightening the hex bolt holding the derialluer in place which pushed the derialluer back. I also loosened the bolt holding the wheel in place and pushed the derialleur back to angle the tab backwards before tightening it back down. Then I loosened the lateral screw out all the way until the derialleur stopped moving towards the freewheel and oiled up the pulleys. I'm going to replace the chain soon, as this alone will make a huge difference with power transfer and shifting.. especially when the chain is being used by a big guy cranking out some real power. The bike became faster and shifting much, much better after these simple tweaks.


I'm still trying to figure out how I can get the bike to not skip fourth gear when downshifting.


In regards to your Nishiki, which rear derialleur you got on there? Pics aren't very high res. It looks modern. I much prefer the durable older stuff.


I've been told that lugged frames are better than welded, especially these older bikes using that great quality steel. Do you know why that is?

Moisture my personal choice at my weight is a Cassette rear hub. Cassette rear hubs do not use freewheels. Freewheel gears are all mounted on a carrier with a pawl assembly allowing coasting. This whole assemble screws onto the hub. A cassette hub has a rotating pawl assembly with ridges machined in it. The sprockets slip over these ridges which keep them from spinning freely on the pawl assembly. Once all the gears are on the pawl assembly a small cap piece is screwed into the pawl assembly holding all the gears in place. The Sheldon Brown website has a good discussion of freewheels and cassettes with pictures on how to take apart. If you are using 27" wheels the Sun alloy 27" x 1 1/4" rim is a very good rim and will hold my weight very well. I say that you may have a 700c front wheel. You can swap to 700c for the back if you are doing rim work anyway. There is 5mm of height difference between where the brake blocks land on the rims between 700c and 27". I would consider buying a complete wheel for the back for cassette in 700c. I found a Capstone 700c Alloy Rear Wheel QR 36H Cassette on Amazon for $45 brand new. This would work just fine. You would also have to buy a cassette gear set. The new wheel would be a little wider. If you want to keep the rear derailleur do not buy anything with a bigger low gear than you already have. I would say a 7 speed cassette is a good starting place, new 7 speed chain will be needed. Your friction shifting rear derailleur will handle all the shifting just fine. Those bolt on rear derailleur tabs have to be maintained. The bolt that holds them will loosen over time. You did good adjusting it back to its proper position. My Nishiki uses a Alvisio MTB shadow type of modern derailleur. I shift it with friction shifters. By the way all the old 5 speeds shifted the way yours does. You had to overshoot on some of the gears and back down to it. I use a 10 speed cassette on the back of both my bikes and they shift much better than the old 5 speeds did. Technology has come a long way. As far as I can tell all materials being used today for fork and frame manufacture are suitable and fairly durable. I like steel because of its long history for bicycle use. It generally fails slowly, by that I mean you will see a crack somewhere. A lot of times the bike starts to handle funny then you look for the crack. Aluminum will also crack without breaking sometimes but it and carbon fiber have a nasty habit of letting you know it is cracked by failing suddenly and completely. If you are racing it is hard to beat Carbon Fiber but for every day use steel is fine. Also there are tons of used steel bikes out there and prices are low. Another good for me. Lugged frames are way cool to look at and very durable. Welded steel frames are not as cool to look at but just as durable. The above are all just personal observations and opinions. Take them all with a grain of salt.
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Old 11-13-20, 10:42 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Moisture my personal choice at my weight is a Cassette rear hub. Cassette rear hubs do not use freewheels. Freewheel gears are all mounted on a carrier with a pawl assembly allowing coasting. This whole assemble screws onto the hub. A cassette hub has a rotating pawl assembly with ridges machined in it. The sprockets slip over these ridges which keep them from spinning freely on the pawl assembly. Once all the gears are on the pawl assembly a small cap piece is screwed into the pawl assembly holding all the gears in place. The Sheldon Brown website has a good discussion of freewheels and cassettes with pictures on how to take apart. If you are using 27" wheels the Sun alloy 27" x 1 1/4" rim is a very good rim and will hold my weight very well. I say that you may have a 700c front wheel. You can swap to 700c for the back if you are doing rim work anyway. There is 5mm of height difference between where the brake blocks land on the rims between 700c and 27". I would consider buying a complete wheel for the back for cassette in 700c. I found a Capstone 700c Alloy Rear Wheel QR 36H Cassette on Amazon for $45 brand new. This would work just fine. You would also have to buy a cassette gear set. The new wheel would be a little wider. If you want to keep the rear derailleur do not buy anything with a bigger low gear than you already have. I would say a 7 speed cassette is a good starting place, new 7 speed chain will be needed. Your friction shifting rear derailleur will handle all the shifting just fine. Those bolt on rear derailleur tabs have to be maintained. The bolt that holds them will loosen over time. You did good adjusting it back to its proper position. My Nishiki uses a Alvisio MTB shadow type of modern derailleur. I shift it with friction shifters. By the way all the old 5 speeds shifted the way yours does. You had to overshoot on some of the gears and back down to it. I use a 10 speed cassette on the back of both my bikes and they shift much better than the old 5 speeds did. Technology has come a long way. As far as I can tell all materials being used today for fork and frame manufacture are suitable and fairly durable. I like steel because of its long history for bicycle use. It generally fails slowly, by that I mean you will see a crack somewhere. A lot of times the bike starts to handle funny then you look for the crack. Aluminum will also crack without breaking sometimes but it and carbon fiber have a nasty habit of letting you know it is cracked by failing suddenly and completely. If you are racing it is hard to beat Carbon Fiber but for every day use steel is fine. Also there are tons of used steel bikes out there and prices are low. Another good for me. Lugged frames are way cool to look at and very durable. Welded steel frames are not as cool to look at but just as durable. The above are all just personal observations and opinions. Take them all with a grain of salt.
Can definetely understand your preference for cassette design.

Regarding lugged lugged frames, my understanding is that its possible to repair them in the event you get into a crash. Not the case with a welded frame, which can crack.

I've heard that lugged frames are definetely stronger than welded frames. Probably has more to do with the steel being used, I imagine. I think the seamless lugs must also help with a bit of that supple ride quality which chromoly is so famous for.

I think that a well made steel frame would be the best all around option for any rider, whether its for casual riding or racing. The bike is not particularly heavy for an XXL frame either, and that's likely due to the old parts which are likely heavier than the newer stuff.

the main triangle looks to be made from plain gauge tubing, but isn't the rear triangle and fork double butted? I could be wrong. Do you think that plain gauge tubing is still good in comparison to butted stuff?

What do you think of tange chromoly steel? I believe this is what these bikes are made out of. I've heard some mixed opinion regarding tis matter which was likely associated towards some degree of prejudice aimed towards Japan and their choice of material.

Any significant differences in quality between hi tensile steel and chromoly? My understanding is that cromoly is essentially a chrome plated steel mixed with alloy that has a high carbon content, correct? Sort of like a mix of all three.

For what it's worth, my other bike is a GT Zaskar LE made from 6061 alloy. That's a great bike. I can actually feel the benefits of the double butted material when I ride it, the way the stiffness of the tubing changes according to which area of the triangle is subjected to the most stress. It also has an alivio derailleur like your Nishiki but the bike has been thrashed so hard by the previous owner that it shifts like garbage. I was also pretty hard on the bike, to be fair..

Here she is when I first got her:


Note the 100mm fork. This bike is not designed for such a long atc. The front end is all jacked up which placed alot of stress on the fork. This caused it to bend quite badly - especially noticeable here:



Note the ridiculous stem attachments I used to compensate for the long reach typically associated with XC bikes. Got this bike to fit me reasonably well. Measures at 21 inches to the top of the top tube.



And here she is after freshly removing the scratched up decals.



Got a used fork and the 700c rim from my local bike hub. Feels like a totally new bike now. The handling has dramatically improved now, but the fork is still a bit long. The bikes not that well suited to the 700c rim either, but I made it work:



right now she needs some work and has unfortunately been neglected thanks to the norco. I'll be installing another fork i found with a longer steerer tube, (still can't find a 395mm fork for 26" wheels like needed) using the correct crown race (current headset bearing is quite stiff right now)

Then Ill need to tune up the front derialleur, lube the PAWLS inside the front derialleur shifter as it won't shift into third most of the time, and getting rid of the garbage amazon crankset I bought on a whim to get the bike ready for a big singletrack day. I was trying to sell this bike but nobody wants It. I guess I'll hold onto it. I hope to find the right size fork and really complete this build in the near future.
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Old 11-13-20, 12:35 PM
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Schwinn Sports Tourer showing Derailleur hanger tab that Deore Shadow MTB derailleur bolts too. Works great. I use long cage Shimano Shadow tech derailleurs. With the longer cage you can bolt up a much wider variety of sprocket sizes both front and back. Suntour handlebar MTB friction shifters for this one. The Suntour shifters are about the best friction shifters I have ever used.

Nishiki Sebring has a integrated dropout with derailleur hanger as part of it. This is an Alvisio 9 speed derailleur shifting a 10 speed cassette with friction shifters. The spacer behind the quick release was used on all bikes with the fore and aft slotted dropouts. This held the axle in the proper position for derailleur use.

This is a 26" frame Schwinn Varsity with a 1x10 setup. This Deore Shadow MTB shifter is shifted index style with a Microshift Thumb shifter on the handlebar. Works really well. As you can see a separate derailleur tab is being used same as your bike.


Moisture a few pictures of my derailleur installations on three of my bicycles.
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Old 11-13-20, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post

Schwinn Sports Tourer showing Derailleur hanger tab that Deore Shadow MTB derailleur bolts too. Works great. I use long cage Shimano Shadow tech derailleurs. With the longer cage you can bolt up a much wider variety of sprocket sizes both front and back. Suntour handlebar MTB friction shifters for this one. The Suntour shifters are about the best friction shifters I have ever used.

Nishiki Sebring has a integrated dropout with derailleur hanger as part of it. This is an Alvisio 9 speed derailleur shifting a 10 speed cassette with friction shifters. The spacer behind the quick release was used on all bikes with the fore and aft slotted dropouts. This held the axle in the proper position for derailleur use.

This is a 26" frame Schwinn Varsity with a 1x10 setup. This Deore Shadow MTB shifter is shifted index style with a Microshift Thumb shifter on the handlebar. Works really well. As you can see a separate derailleur tab is being used same as your bike.


Moisture a few pictures of my derailleur installations on three of my bicycles.
Do you mean the Alivio?

How does the 9 speed shifter work with the 10 speed cassette? Are you able to shift through all the gears?

How you like the 1x10 setup? I'll be taking my Zaskar to the bikehub tommorow to get it all fixed up once and for all. Im hoping I can convert the front crankset and make it a 1x9.

I found two different shimano freewheels I can use for my norco laying around. Both are 14-28t 7 speed. Im hoping to find something like 12-32t or 12-28t at the bikehub.

What do you think of having 12 or 11 teeth. I almost always ride the norco in 1x5. But the teeth count works great for me because I actually find myself using all the gears. I'm just thinking something less than 14 teeth will be best for me so that I only really need that top gear when im going down a hill.
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Old 11-13-20, 09:08 PM
  #14  
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Moisture I only have some general observations about types of steel and double butting verses plain gauge. Generally I have noticed that hi tensile frames tend to absorb road vibration better than hi strength chromoly steel alloy frames. This appears to be so on both plain gauge steel frames and double butted steel frames. Chromoly alloy steels are also heat treated which makes them stiffer and less road vibration compliant. Hi tensile frames are made of mild steel and really don't have that harshness to road vibration that alloy steels have. Frame geometry also plays a role. If the frame angles are more relaxed bikes made with either types of steel tubing seem to ride with less harshness. Most cheap bicycles in the day were built with hi tensile steels with plain gauge tubes and a fair amount of weight. Hi tensile steel is quite a bit weaker than chromoly alloy steel so manufacturers compensated by putting in more steel. A perfect example of this type of bicycle is the Chicago Schwinn Varsity from the 1970's and earlier. A very heavy frame and fork of mild steel with very relaxed frame angles. A lovely pleasure to ride because it has very little road vibration breakthrough to the handlebars and seat. Not so pleasant when pedaling uphill. We are in this for the exercise or so I remind myself when riding my Varsity uphill. I believe you will only see double butted tubing on chromoly alloy steel bicycle tubes, not hi tensile steel, as a general rule. I don't know if steel forks and chainstays are double butted. That would take an article about bicycle steel use. I don't know if lugged steel frames are stronger than welded steel frames. On to the Alivio 9 speed derailleur shifting a 10 speed cassette. The secret here is that most brands of derailleurs back to your Suntour rear derailleur will shift a 10 speed cassette. It is a matter of adjusting the end stops of the derailleur and using friction shifters. Most rear derailleurs will adjust to open enough to shift the width of the 10 speed cassette. I gave up the ability for my Alvisio to index shift 9 speeds for its ability to shift 10 speeds with a friction shifter. I run one bike with a 1 x 10 setup and it works very well. For long grinding uphills I would run a 2 x 10 on that bike but I don't have that problem here in flatland Sacramento CA. Due to my age and physical condition I don't run tall gearing. A 34 up front for large and an 11 tooth in back for the smallest sprocket is fine for me. I can pedal that at about 19mph which I do get to every once in a while, especially downwind. Other wise all gearing is lower and like you I want to shift into almost all of them every ride. That way I get my money's worth out of my gearing and it is useful to my needs.
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Old 11-14-20, 01:46 AM
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tallbikeman

In terms of gearing, I guess it boils down to the spacing between each specific gear. I often like to shift up the gears one by one as I pedal to really maximize the effectiveness of having multiple ratios, just like you would on a car. Looks like there is a clear advantage with these non indexed friction shifters for more.than a few reasons. I love mine. What do you think of grip shifters?

Having the right size crank arms according to how much power you output as well as your inseam is important. We know that this is going to.change the gearing of the bike. As such, by using 170mm cranks which are a bit small for my legs, I'm looking for the right gears to compensate by decreasing my pedalling cadence slightly.

I've found that there isn't much difference in terms of freewheel/cassette spacing between a gravel or road bike. Seems like the number of teeth on the chainrings up front is mainly what determines how well suited the gearing is for your needs, which makes sense because I find myself switching between 1 and 2 on the front derailleur often. It actually works pretty fantastic for my needs. on a mountain bike you tend to more commonly see a 1x(x) set up with a massive 50t granny gear in the rear for those serious climbs.

For example, those mountain bikes with the the 3 chainrings up front. Works pretty great for trail riding, but these ratios are completely wrong for what you need on pavement. As such, this throws the gearing of the rear cassette completely off. I find myself never going below 2x4 and am constantly switching up and down between the closely spaced ratios to find the right pedaling cadence. Again, this is most likely a primary factor of the crank arms being a little bit small.

thats one major point as far as maximizing effieicny, performance and comfort is concerned. With regards to the actual weight of a bike - my GT Zaskar, without the suspension seat post and stem riser weighs in at exactly 19lb. For an aluminum framed bike I think this really speaks volumes in terms of the quality of material used for bikes then versus now. I know thst materials such as titanium and aluminum are more difficult to work with and may not even deliver effectively compared to steel, but in this case, the result in a frame that is punishingly strong and stiff while still offering a rather surprising amount of smooth ride quality.

So what I've learned, is that a bit of extra weight may not actually be a bad thing whatsoever. Yes the bike feels very tossable and you certainly grow to appreciate this light weight going up hills, but I find that the extra heft of the Norco (mind you, still a reasonably light bike..) greatly improves the stability especially in crosswinds and gives the bike a very reassuring feel to the way it rides. I can't imagine a vintage bike like this possessing the traits it is so notable for without that slight bit of extra weight. Plus, I feel like I am able to put myself into such an effective pedalling position that the way this thing climbs hills is simply unquestionable in terms of performance.

Interestingly enough I actually got the chance to ride some sort of schwinn outrageous cruiser fixie bike from the 90's. That thing is heavy as hell like you said. But the ride quality is quite literally the most damn supple biking experience ever. Its actually a wonder how steel can be this smooth. Im sure the interesting frame geometry must have something to do with it. FWIW, i never expected a simple cruiser bike to have such planted and capable handling when you are downright thrashing the thing around turns.

Makes alot more sense to me why only the main triangle of my frame is made from chromoly. Clearly the engineers tried to get the right balance between compliance and stiffness by selecting different types of steel which is able to flex before it physically fails all together. Plus its easy to work with. Me personally, if I were designing a bike, I would take great care in specially designing each contact point between the ground/bike and the rider to absorb road vibration without sacrificing any frame stiffness. You can incorporate a shock absorbing seat post, a cushy saddle, thick bar tape/handlebar grips, compliant tubeless tires, and maybe even some sort of vibration dampening material on the pedals to maintain nice ride quality. For example, some gravel bikes have the seat stays mounted lower onto the seat tube to stiffen the rear triangle while allow for a tiny bit of compliance underneath the riders butt. GT was famous for differentiating their bikes with the triple triangle gimmick when in reality its probably more to do with the aluminum making the frame so stiff. The newer models got rid of the extra set of welds on the seat stays. I guess they realized that the seat tube isn't really the right place for extra stiffness. I will admit, that when the rear end would lose traction in slippery conditions,.it felt remarkably responsive and easy to control.

I've learned a lot about the way a forks Axle to crown length alters the handling of a bike thanks to my GT. A shorter fork really helps steepen the head tube angle and speed up handling. You can always dial back the fork rake, increase handlebar width, and even Use a longer stem to find an ideal balance between fast and stable handling. I tend to prefer a pretty slack seat tube angle in contrast to help set my weight back during steep climbs. Obviously it all boils down to finding the right balance between sizing and angles according to the rider, but tje short reach of a drop bar bike is what works best for me. Should you wish you increase the reach, you can always play around with a longer stem attachment.

with regards to drop bars, I think that with the right size frame, using the correct width bar set at the correct angle and a nice tall and stubby stem can give you the benefit of seamlessly changing your grip on the bars while still being comfortable even for big guys. I still think that I would prefer flat bars with those good old bull horn attachments on the side though. I feel so comfortable on my bike that this is really the first time I've ever thought of actually lowering the stem height to try and get a slightly more racy riding position. I was always doing everything I can to have a crazy high stack and compensate for an overly long reach in the past. Another thing I must mention is the ergonomics of the handlebars themselves. You may have noticed the blue mtb handlebars I recently installed on my bike, which really helped to make riding more enjoyable. They feel super comfortable and precise.

given all your knowledge and your experience in terms of making bikes work with your height and weight, what sort of frame(s) would you build ? Using.what material?

Last edited by Moisture; 11-14-20 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 11-14-20, 07:42 AM
  #16  
tallbikeman
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
tallbikeman

In terms of gearing, I guess it boils down to the spacing between each specific gear. I often like to shift up the gears one by one as I pedal to really maximize the effectiveness of having multiple ratios, just like you would on a car. Looks like there is a clear advantage with these non indexed friction shifters for more.than a few reasons. I love mine. What do you think of grip shifters?

Having the right size crank arms according to how much power you output as well as your inseam is important. We know that this is going to.change the gearing of the bike. As such, by using 170mm cranks which are a bit small for my legs, I'm looking for the right gears to compensate by decreasing my pedalling cadence slightly.

I've found that there isn't much difference in terms of freewheel/cassette spacing between a gravel or road bike. Seems like the number of teeth on the chainrings up front is mainly what determines how well suited the gearing is for your needs, which makes sense because I find myself switching between 1 and 2 on the front derailleur often. It actually works pretty fantastic for my needs. on a mountain bike you tend to more commonly see a 1x(x) set up with a massive 50t granny gear in the rear for those serious climbs.

For example, those mountain bikes with the the 3 chainrings up front. Works pretty great for trail riding, but these ratios are completely wrong for what you need on pavement. As such, this throws the gearing of the rear cassette completely off. I find myself never going below 2x4 and am constantly switching up and down between the closely spaced ratios to find the right pedaling cadence. Again, this is most likely a primary factor of the crank arms being a little bit small.

thats one major point as far as maximizing effieicny, performance and comfort is concerned. With regards to the actual weight of a bike - my GT Zaskar, without the suspension seat post and stem riser weighs in at exactly 19lb. For an aluminum framed bike I think this really speaks volumes in terms of the quality of material used for bikes then versus now. I know thst materials such as titanium and aluminum are more difficult to work with and may not even deliver effectively compared to steel, but in this case, the result in a frame that is punishingly strong and stiff while still offering a rather surprising amount of smooth ride quality.

So what I've learned, is that a bit of extra weight may not actually be a bad thing whatsoever. Yes the bike feels very tossable and you certainly grow to appreciate this light weight going up hills, but I find that the extra heft of the Norco (mind you, still a reasonably light bike..) greatly improves the stability especially in crosswinds and gives the bike a very reassuring feel to the way it rides. I can't imagine a vintage bike like this possessing the traits it is so notable for without that slight bit of extra weight. Plus, I feel like I am able to put myself into such an effective pedalling position that the way this thing climbs hills is simply unquestionable in terms of performance.

Interestingly enough I actually got the chance to ride some sort of schwinn outrageous cruiser fixie bike from the 90's. That thing is heavy as hell like you said. But the ride quality is quite literally the most damn supple biking experience ever. Its actually a wonder how steel can be this smooth. Im sure the interesting frame geometry must have something to do with it. FWIW, i never expected a simple cruiser bike to have such planted and capable handling when you are downright thrashing the thing around turns.

Makes alot more sense to me why only the main triangle of my frame is made from chromoly. Clearly the engineers tried to get the right balance between compliance and stiffness by selecting different types of steel which is able to flex before it physically fails all together. Plus its easy to work with. Me personally, if I were designing a bike, I would take great care in specially designing each contact point between the ground/bike and the rider to absorb road vibration without sacrificing any frame stiffness. You can incorporate a shock absorbing seat post, a cushy saddle, thick bar tape/handlebar grips, compliant tubeless tires, and maybe even some sort of vibration dampening material on the pedals to maintain nice ride quality. For example, some gravel bikes have the seat stays mounted lower onto the seat tube to stiffen the rear triangle while allow for a tiny bit of compliance underneath the riders butt. GT was famous for differentiating their bikes with the triple triangle gimmick when in reality its probably more to do with the aluminum making the frame so stiff. The newer models got rid of the extra set of welds on the seat stays. I guess they realized that the seat tube isn't really the right place for extra stiffness. I will admit, that when the rear end would lose traction in slippery conditions,.it felt remarkably responsive and easy to control.

I've learned a lot about the way a forks Axle to crown length alters the handling of a bike thanks to my GT. A shorter fork really helps steepen the head tube angle and speed up handling. You can always dial back the fork rake, increase handlebar width, and even Use a longer stem to find an ideal balance between fast and stable handling. I tend to prefer a pretty slack seat tube angle in contrast to help set my weight back during steep climbs. Obviously it all boils down to finding the right balance between sizing and angles according to the rider, but tje short reach of a drop bar bike is what works best for me. Should you wish you increase the reach, you can always play around with a longer stem attachment.

with regards to drop bars, I think that with the right size frame, using the correct width bar set at the correct angle and a nice tall and stubby stem can give you the benefit of seamlessly changing your grip on the bars while still being comfortable even for big guys. I still think that I would prefer flat bars with those good old bull horn attachments on the side though. I feel so comfortable on my bike that this is really the first time I've ever thought of actually lowering the stem height to try and get a slightly more racy riding position. I was always doing everything I can to have a crazy high stack and compensate for an overly long reach in the past. Another thing I must mention is the ergonomics of the handlebars themselves. You may have noticed the blue mtb handlebars I recently installed on my bike, which really helped to make riding more enjoyable. They feel super comfortable and precise.

given all your knowledge and your experience in terms of making bikes work with your height and weight, what sort of frame(s) would you build ? Using.what material?
Because I'm not racing or trying to keep up with the Joneses I prefer steel frames. Mainly because of their proven durability and the ability to modify and repair them. Both of which I've done. Oftentimes I'll have water bottle bolts installed in the frame or other modifications. It is getting harder to find steel bicycle craftsmen who can do that type of work. From experience chromoly is used in racing and or light bicycles. It is used for the forks and all tubes. Hi tensile in a frame will tell you that the frame and fork are not top of the line or meant specifically for racing. Professional racers used all chromoly forks and frames back in the day. It is all carbon fiber today and it isn't often that you will see a steel frame being raced by professional or top notch amateur bicycle racers. There is a bicycle maker named Lynsky that specializes in bicycles for tall big people. He has discussions about crank length and sizing big bicycles for big people. There is also a company called Dirty Sixer that builds way cool bicycles for us larger/taller people with 36" wheelsets. Check them out.
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Old 11-14-20, 08:04 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Because I'm not racing or trying to keep up with the Joneses I prefer steel frames. Mainly because of their proven durability and the ability to modify and repair them. Both of which I've done. Oftentimes I'll have water bottle bolts installed in the frame or other modifications. It is getting harder to find steel bicycle craftsmen who can do that type of work. From experience chromoly is used in racing and or light bicycles. It is used for the forks and all tubes. Hi tensile in a frame will tell you that the frame and fork are not top of the line or meant specifically for racing. Professional racers used all chromoly forks and frames back in the day. It is all carbon fiber today and it isn't often that you will see a steel frame being raced by professional or top notch amateur bicycle racers. There is a bicycle maker named Lynsky that specializes in bicycles for tall big people. He has discussions about crank length and sizing big bicycles for big people. There is also a company called Dirty Sixer that builds way cool bicycles for us larger/taller people with 36" wheelsets. Check them out.
Have you heard of clydesdale? KHS also makes a road bike in XXL and XXXL sizes with andel 190mm cranks. Id suggest checking out bikeinsights.com. there you can find bikes according to specific measurements you may choose, such as chainstay length, or stack and reach, etc. Most of the bikes I found were drop bar gravel or touring bikes. Touring bikes tend to be very durable for heavier loads.
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Old 11-14-20, 04:36 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Because I'm not racing or trying to keep up with the Joneses I prefer steel frames. Mainly because of their proven durability and the ability to modify and repair them. Both of which I've done. Oftentimes I'll have water bottle bolts installed in the frame or other modifications. It is getting harder to find steel bicycle craftsmen who can do that type of work. From experience chromoly is used in racing and or light bicycles. It is used for the forks and all tubes. Hi tensile in a frame will tell you that the frame and fork are not top of the line or meant specifically for racing. Professional racers used all chromoly forks and frames back in the day. It is all carbon fiber today and it isn't often that you will see a steel frame being raced by professional or top notch amateur bicycle racers. There is a bicycle maker named Lynsky that specializes in bicycles for tall big people. He has discussions about crank length and sizing big bicycles for big people. There is also a company called Dirty Sixer that builds way cool bicycles for us larger/taller people with 36" wheelsets. Check them out.
Take a look at what I got for the Norco today - Free at my.local bike hub:

What Are They Good For?

"Biopace chainwheels are particularly suitable for touring cyclists and time trialists, or any application that involves a steady, fairly constant cadence. They allow healthy, efficient pedaling at slower cadences than is possible with round chainwheels. They are especially suitable for triathletes and mountain bikers. The triathlete benefits because the motion is a little bit closer to that of running, making the transition easier."

"The Biopace chainwheel works like a storage device, storing power during the main power phase of the stroke as the feet accelerate, then delivering the stored power to the rear wheel during the "dead center" phase when the cranks are nearly vertical. The same average amount of power is delivered to the rear wheel, but in a smoother, less pulsating flow. The bicycle moves at a more even speed. All the energy is used to propel the bike forward, without the high-power peaks' spinning the rear tire or causing the bike to wheelie."
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Old 11-15-20, 12:02 AM
  #19  
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Bikes: Modified 26 inch frame Schwinn Varsity with 700c wheels and 10 speed cassette hub. Ryan Vanguard recumbent. 67cm 27"x1 1/4" Schwinn Sports Tourer from the 1980's. 1980's 68cm Nishiki Sebring with 700c aero wheels, 30 speeds, flat bar bicycle.

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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Take a look at what I got for the Norco today - Free at my.local bike hub:

What Are They Good For?

"Biopace chainwheels are particularly suitable for touring cyclists and time trialists, or any application that involves a steady, fairly constant cadence. They allow healthy, efficient pedaling at slower cadences than is possible with round chainwheels. They are especially suitable for triathletes and mountain bikers. The triathlete benefits because the motion is a little bit closer to that of running, making the transition easier."

"The Biopace chainwheel works like a storage device, storing power during the main power phase of the stroke as the feet accelerate, then delivering the stored power to the rear wheel during the "dead center" phase when the cranks are nearly vertical. The same average amount of power is delivered to the rear wheel, but in a smoother, less pulsating flow. The bicycle moves at a more even speed. All the energy is used to propel the bike forward, without the high-power peaks' spinning the rear tire or causing the bike to wheelie."

The first time I saw one of these style chainrings they were called elliptical chainrings and were quite a bit more radical in shape than a Biopace. An elliptical chainring like these will speed the foot up toward the bottom/top of the pedal stroke and slow it down when the power is being applied in the stroke. In this way you spend less time not doing work and more time doing work. Sounds like a bad job. Anyway these things go in and out of style so often that it is hard to figure out if they are this years style. I think I read about a gravel racer using this style of chainring this last year. I've used them and I didn't notice any real difference in pedaling. I guess not enough nerve endings in my legs to tell. They will be fine. Good score getting an old JIS tapered square set of cranks and chainrings.
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Old 11-15-20, 08:36 AM
  #20  
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tallbikeman In theory it makes sense - you are ultimately spending a little bit more time tranfering a bit more power where you are at a mechanic advanvatage to do so .I understand that Shimano put a great deal of engineering efforts into these chainrings. Apparently a bit reason for why they never really caught on was because they stated that the cranks work optimally for pedalling cadences of 90RPM or less. It scared the serious racers away apparently. I am mostly keen on trying this out because it seems like they alloy your legs to move in a more natural motion as you put down power. This should smooth out the power delivery a bit depending on the circumstances. According to a bit of research I did on sheldon brown's website, I learned that Biopace works best for somebody who doesn't pedal at an absurdly high cadence and likes to maintain a very good average pace. This is exactly how I ride, so i am sure that they should work out for my needs. Either way, I am curious to give them a try. However I heard that not all front derailers are compatible. Do you think I will be able to make it work if I use a thinner chain perhaps?

I tried using a 7 and then 6 speed freewheel on my Norco yesterday. Neither of them fit into the bike. I was told that I would need to get a new rear rim with a different sized hub in order to fit a different freewheel in there:


This is what I tried to fit into there. I'm hoping to fit something similar in the future, because I do tend to use the large granny gear for steeper climbs, while the rest of the gears are closely spaced together. This ought to work out absolutely perfect with a 2 speed road crankset up front.
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Old 11-15-20, 09:37 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
tallbikeman In theory it makes sense - you are ultimately spending a little bit more time tranfering a bit more power where you are at a mechanic advanvatage to do so .I understand that Shimano put a great deal of engineering efforts into these chainrings. Apparently a bit reason for why they never really caught on was because they stated that the cranks work optimally for pedalling cadences of 90RPM or less. It scared the serious racers away apparently. I am mostly keen on trying this out because it seems like they alloy your legs to move in a more natural motion as you put down power. This should smooth out the power delivery a bit depending on the circumstances. According to a bit of research I did on sheldon brown's website, I learned that Biopace works best for somebody who doesn't pedal at an absurdly high cadence and likes to maintain a very good average pace. This is exactly how I ride, so i am sure that they should work out for my needs. Either way, I am curious to give them a try. However I heard that not all front derailers are compatible. Do you think I will be able to make it work if I use a thinner chain perhaps?

I tried using a 7 and then 6 speed freewheel on my Norco yesterday. Neither of them fit into the bike. I was told that I would need to get a new rear rim with a different sized hub in order to fit a different freewheel in there:


This is what I tried to fit into there. I'm hoping to fit something similar in the future, because I do tend to use the large granny gear for steeper climbs, while the rest of the gears are closely spaced together. This ought to work out absolutely perfect with a 2 speed road crankset up front.
Was the freewheel hub too wide after installing the 6 and 7 speed freewheel? If so you will have to put another longer axle in your hub with a longer spacer under the freewheel and you will have to respace your rear triangle on your Norco. Otherwise stick with the 5 speed.
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Old 11-16-20, 07:55 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Was the freewheel hub too wide after installing the 6 and 7 speed freewheel? If so you will have to put another longer axle in your hub with a longer spacer under the freewheel and you will have to respace your rear triangle on your Norco. Otherwise stick with the 5 speed.
Yes the hub is too wide. Tried stretching the dropouts before putting it in. The smallest cog touches the dropout.. the chain won't even reach this far.

I tried out the Biopace crank. Unfortunately it sticks out a little wide so the front derailer won't reach into second gear. Riding in first for now. While I dont notice any significant difference in power trasnfer the pedalling feels noticeably more natural now. Instead of speeding up at the top and slowing down after the bottom half it is one natural smooth motion. It definetely feels better this way.
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Old 11-18-20, 05:42 PM
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tallbikeman after playing around with the limit screws a little, degreasing the chain and oiling it up, I got it shifting really nice now. It doesn't skip fourth anymore. Shifting is really positive now - I pretty much have to move the friction shifting down to the gear I want and then back up to its previous shifting. Very sure reliable shifts with a great mechanical feel to them. However today I noticed that the bike seemed to be up shifting on its own. I think the shifter was moving up on its own as I ride over bumps. Had some great fun thrashing the bike on some twisty trails today. Such a fantastic handling bike.

I'm thinking of replacing the lines and housing for the shifters soon. A well oiled line should definetly improve shifting.

In the near future, im thinking of changing to an 8 speed cassette in the back using a new wheel. You said this type of bike can shift through up to 10 speeds, correct? I just feel like anything more than 8 would be too many ratio jumps.

Out of all the derailers I've tried to adjust in my days working on bikes this last summer , the suntour derailer had to be the easiest I've ever had to adjust.
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Old 12-03-20, 08:55 PM
  #24  
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tallbikeman hows it going? Have you been making any changes to your bike?

I've been riding the bike quite a lot. Exceedingly happy with it as always. Any tweak or restoration I perform makes me enjoy the bike more and more.

I think, for now, I'm done playing around with the bike and tweaking it. Mostly.

I tried installing some clips in pedals and I am very happy with them. Have you tried those before?,
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Old 12-06-20, 09:55 PM
  #25  
tallbikeman
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
tallbikeman hows it going? Have you been making any changes to your bike?

I've been riding the bike quite a lot. Exceedingly happy with it as always. Any tweak or restoration I perform makes me enjoy the bike more and more.

I think, for now, I'm done playing around with the bike and tweaking it. Mostly.

I tried installing some clips in pedals and I am very happy with them. Have you tried those before?,
As the days have shortened I have not been riding as much. Too many winter type chores. However I got in a 10 mile ride today on my newly repaired Schwinn Varsity. That bike is equipped with Tektro 559 twin pivot sidepull brakes. This brake design has one return spring for the whole brake. The spring broke a week ago at the end of a nice afternoon ride. I bought a new spring from Tektro USA in Utah. I installed it today and off I went. This is the first brake return spring I have broken in 40 years of riding. I think there might be an issue with the way they are bending the spring as it leaves a mark on the spring right where the break happened. As to your question about shoes and cleats. I raced on road bicycles in the mid 1970's and learned how to use shoes and cleats from a trainer in our club. Basically shoes and cleats steady your feet and keep them in a semi rigid position on the pedals. When sprinting one can pull up with one leg while pushing down with the other. An enormous amount of power can be generated for short periods of time this way. Training really helps in getting this right so that you don't pull too hard. At the beginning of the year we rode lots of miles at reduced power outputs to condition the muscles and joints. Then we would up the training until we were pushing and pulling as hard as we could. This early training period is necessary so you don't hurt your joints and muscles. There is quite a bit more to pedaling for power and speed and a trainer can help you with that. I don't use pedals with cleats anymore though I own a couple of shoes and several sets of Shimano SPD pedals. SPD equipment is so much better than what we had in the 1970's. I use large platform pedals with little hard steel knobs that keep my feet from slipping around and low cut shoes. Good luck with your clip in pedals. Most everyone falls a couple of times at stoplights when first trying clipless pedals.
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