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Resurrecting my old yellow bike

Old 01-18-16, 12:59 PM
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PatrickGSR94
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Resurrecting my old yellow bike

I've decided to post this here because I may try to make this a rain bike/gravel grinder/whatever bike.

Over the weekend I suddenly realized, out of the blue, that I have nearly enough parts laying around in my garage to build my old yellow KHS Alite 1000 MTB back up, either with a rigid fork or its old 80mm RockShox fork (with new elastomer internals installed a couple of years ago). This was my first "real" adult bike that I purchased back in 2006, from the guy who originally custom built it back in the late 90's. When I got back into cycling seriously in 2012, I tried to make the bike fit me as best I could, and as road-friendly as possible. That was back when I first joined BD, and I made this thread about it: https://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...-friendly.html I learned a ton from that thread and others over the years.

Back in the summer I acquired a steel Marin Pine Mountain frame for CHEAP, and decided to transfer the parts of the yellow bike over to the new frame, since it would take a rear disc brake and had all the rack and fender mounts I wanted. I made it into a dedicated utility bike for pulling my trailer (either in grocery hauling or child hauling setup), and general cruising around town.

Recently I realized, though, that the only original parts from the original yellow bike build are the BB, crankset and rear derailleur. Everything else I had changed over the years in some way or another. I started thinking through everything in my mind, and realized that I have everything I need to build the KHS back up using some of its original parts, some of them not, and all I would need is a BB, seat post (the original one was cut too short), and a chain.

I recently came across a blog written by a former mechanic/sales guy at my favorite LBS, showing some of his rides around town where he usually take his CX bike, taking gravel roads and paths, and just generally exploring places where you don't normally see in a car, or just can't get to at all otherwise. That seems really cool to me, something that I would like to do, but neither my road bike or my utility bike are really suited for such adventures in their current configurations.

So with this thread I'd like to chronicle the eventual resurrection of my old bike for generally just mucking about.

Parts I have on-hand:
  • The KHS frame with a couple of cables on it already, and a Chris King NoThreadSet headset
  • Original RockShox 80mm fork
  • Nashbar height-corrected steel fork
  • Original Powerbeam rims and 2.1" knobby tires or 1.5" street tires
  • Heavy@$$ steel rivited triple crank from wife's BikesDirect bike (original Shimano crankset with Real chainrings is on the Marin bike)
  • Cheap v-brakes with REALLY BAD pads from wife's BD bike (Tektro v-brakes are on wife's bike, original XTR parallelogram v-brakes are worn out)
  • Adjustable Nashbar stem for 25mm bars (original stem at 130mm is way too long for me)
  • Generic rubber/aluminum handlebar grips
  • Original RaceFace 25mm riser bars
  • Original Shimano XT brake levers
  • Original Shimano LX 3/8-speed shifters (worn out somewhat)
  • Original Shimano XT 8-speed cassette
  • Original Shimano XT triple top-pull front derailleur
  • Pinned platform pedals that I used to run on this bike
  • 2 or 3 different saddles laying around

So to add to that I would need at minimum a rear derailleur, chain, square taper bottom bracket, and seat post, and preferably new brake pads. Unfortunately I think I may have thrown out the original BB from my wife's bike.

I don't really want to put a bunch of money in this thing, preferably no more than 50 bucks. Not sure if that's possible or not.

This is how it looked before I really started riding it:


And its final rendition before being torn down and reassembled on the Marin frame:

Last edited by PatrickGSR94; 01-18-16 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 01-18-16, 01:38 PM
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Sounds like a pretty good start. You can flush out the shifters and there must be a hundred million SIS rd's out there in the world.
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Old 01-18-16, 02:36 PM
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Believe me I've messed about with those shifters numerous times. They're about 20 years old really just junk. That's why I replaced them with the current 3x8 shift/brake combo units I currently have on the Marin bike.
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Old 01-19-16, 10:23 AM
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Here's how it hangs currently. Once I start putting some more parts on it in the next few days I'll add some more pics and parts descriptions. Perhaps some weights, too.

Still undecided as to whether I want to keep the rigid fork in there (room for headset spacers if needed) or go back to the RockShox 80mm fork ca. about 1995 or so (no room for any spacers at all, stem will be slammed). The RockShox fork has new elastomer internals that I put in just a couple of years ago, so it's definitely up to the task.

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Old 01-19-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Here's how it hangs currently. Once I start putting some more parts on it in the next few days I'll add some more pics and parts descriptions. Perhaps some weights, too.

Still undecided as to whether I want to keep the rigid fork in there (room for headset spacers if needed) or go back to the RockShox 80mm fork ca. about 1995 or so (no room for any spacers at all, stem will be slammed). The RockShox fork has new elastomer internals that I put in just a couple of years ago, so it's definitely up to the task.
When you say it has new elastomers are you talking about the bump stops or is it really the old style that uses rubber and not oil for damping?
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Old 01-19-16, 11:01 AM
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If your shifters are shot, get soem old thumbies!! I'm in the process of redoing a lot of the drive train on my Peugeot ATB from low end Shimano to Suntour.
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Old 01-19-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
When you say it has new elastomers are you talking about the bump stops or is it really the old style that uses rubber and not oil for damping?
It has a polyurethane cylinder-looking thing, and a metal spring, inside each stanchion. I think I have a pic of when I was installing them...

Old ones, the bottom one was completely disintegrated:


New ones, fork works great now, as of the last time I used it:


Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
If your shifters are shot, get soem old thumbies!! I'm in the process of redoing a lot of the drive train on my Peugeot ATB from low end Shimano to Suntour.
Well I wouldn't say they're totally shot. They're just not 100% predictable. They still work, most of the time. I'm not trying to spend much money at all right now so I'll probably wait on shifters.
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Old 01-19-16, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Well I wouldn't say they're totally shot. They're just not 100% predictable. They still work, most of the time. I'm not trying to spend much money at all right now so I'll probably wait on shifters.
If they click through the gears (indexed) then they can be brought back to completely working condition. As odd as this advice usually is, a good soaking in WD-40 (then proper lubing) does old index shifters a hell of a lot of good. Also your cables/housings may be messed up if the shifting is off.
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Old 01-19-16, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
Well I wouldn't say they're totally shot. They're just not 100% predictable. They still work, most of the time. I'm not trying to spend much money at all right now so I'll probably wait on shifters.

Mine have problems in the cold. I sprayed the heck out of them with GT 85 and sort of got them working, then I got tired of futzing with them and asked a friend to throw me a set of thumbies he had. I've got a matching RD sitting in his garage, as well. The At some point I'll put some nicer brake levers on it, and maybe crank as well.

Sweet bike though. I like yellow bikes.
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Old 01-19-16, 12:34 PM
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Describing in the title as "my old yellow bike" reminds me of this from a great old british sketch show
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Old 01-20-16, 10:11 PM
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Decided to start doing a little work on it tonight. After swapping on a new 8-sp cassette I just got for the Marin bike, I put the old Shimano XT 8-sp cassette back onto the old rim (the one it was originally on before the Marin bike).



I don't have a BB laying around that will fit. I need a 122.5mm spindle, but the only BB's I have are 103mm from my road bike. I tried that just to see and the crankset wasn't even close to fitting.





Also put the rear brake back on. This thing is completely kit-bashed together. The brakes originally came off my wife's BikesDirect Dawes hybrid bike. However the brake pads were the absolute worst hunks of plastic excuse for a brake pad I've ever seen. So I found the original pads that came with the Tektro brakes I originally bought for this yellow bike, then moved to the Dawes bike. When I put the Tektro brakes on the Dawes bike I also put Kool Stop salmon pads on it. So that meant the Tektro pads I had on the shelf, and on they went.

I also stuck the stem and bars on, but I have to pick up a couple of headset spacers from the LBS as I don't have enough to take up the space on the fork.

That's it for tonight!



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Old 01-20-16, 11:26 PM
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Very nice! I'm sort of angling to do the same thing...I bought a 1989 Jamis Diablo frame and fork (killer deal at $19) and am going to transfer most of the parts off of the Spec FSR Elite that's just sitting there, collecting dust. The plan is to make something similar to the Rivendell Clem Smith, Jr - mainly for commuting and maybe some bike camping.

BTW - I think we had a couple of exchanges years ago on BARF...didn't know you left CA...how long you been in TN? You still do motorcycles, or is all of your energy now focused on pedal power? (not a bad exchange; healthier, some might say..."
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Old 01-20-16, 11:35 PM
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lol nope not me, lived in or near Memphis for all of my 35 (now 36 in 10 days) years.

I bought the Marin Pine Mountain frame and did the swapping of parts, like you plan on doing, a few months ago. Mainly because the Pine Mountain frame was larger and has all the rack and fender mounts, and takes disc brakes. But just now I figured I could build the yellow bike back up again almost entirely from parts laying around in the garage.

It's almost a "rite of passage" for us avid cyclists, especially ones who love wrenching and doing their own work - getting to that point where you can build an entire bike just from spare parts laying around.
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Old 01-21-16, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
I also stuck the stem and bars on, but I have to pick up a couple of headset spacers from the LBS as I don't have enough to take up the space on the fork.
You can borrow spacers from another bike just to preload the headset and get the stem on tight, and then put them back.

Like I did when I built my commuter
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Old 01-21-16, 09:12 AM
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Oh yeah didn't think about that. Still it would look weird to have bare fork steer tube showing above the stem. Plus I think I want the spacers under the stem anyway. LBS has them for a couple bucks each, so I'll just stop by there after work today.
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Old 01-21-16, 10:28 PM
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Went to the LBS looking for some headset spacers and a used BB. Ended up just buying a new UN55 bottom bracket for 25 bucks.

I tried to install the old crankset from my wife's bike, and then I saw why I took it off her bike in the first place. The whole thing wobbled and was generally out of round. The inner chain ring rubbed/scraped the chain stay at one spot in the rotation. Horrible. So now I have to go looking for a different crankset to put on.














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Old 01-25-16, 12:05 AM
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Picked up a roll of Velox rim tape at the LBS today, and got the front tire onto the rim.

Started "plumbing" the rear brake. I discovered the front piece of housing was too long, because it had previously been set up for "Mary Jane" style handlebars which required longer cables/housing. So I measured and cut a new piece of compressionless brake cable housing. Then I was having trouble getting rear brake to open up properly after releasing the lever, causing the cable along the top tube to go slack. Turned out to be a piece of metal in the old spiral brake housing near the rear brake rubbing on the cable. So I cut a new piece of spiral-wound housing back there, now it works perfectly.



After that I cut a short piece of compressionless brake housing for the front brake, and got everything adjusted, centered, and working great.











Done for now. Tomorrow around lunch I should be meeting up with the same guy who sold me the Marin Pine Mountain frame, to pick up an old Suntour triple crank, and a Shimano 8-sp rear derailleur. Then all I'll have left will be a seat post and chain, and it'll be ready for some gravel grinding!

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Old 01-25-16, 09:17 AM
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"compressionless brake cable" -- I thought only the longitudinally-cabled 4mm shift housing was called "compressionless", and brake cable with spiral metal in it was just called "brake cable"?
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Old 01-25-16, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
"compressionless brake cable" -- I thought only the longitudinally-cabled 4mm shift housing was called "compressionless", and brake cable with spiral metal in it was just called "brake cable"?
They make compressionless brake cable now as well. IIRC it's lined with kevlar (or something as tough) so the cable doesn't push through the wire strands.
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Old 01-27-16, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
They make compressionless brake cable now as well. IIRC it's lined with kevlar (or something as tough) so the cable doesn't push through the wire strands.
Yep, Jagwire makes some, and it also has special ferrule ends to help further prevent the longitudinal cables from blowing out during braking.

I bought a 10m shop roll of it when I was building my utility bike to use with its BB7 mechanical disc brakes. Some people have complained with mechanical disc brakes that they have a bit of a spongy feel about them, and mine definitely did when I first built up the bike with normal spiral-wound cable housing. Switching to compressionless brake housing on those definitely made a difference in feel, making them feel more like hydraulic brakes.

So since I had a roll of it in the garage I decided to go ahead and use some with this bike's V-brakes.

https://jagwire.com/products/v/10_met...ess_shop_rolls

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Old 01-27-16, 08:29 AM
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Didn't get to meet the guy on Monday to get the parts, should be picking them up today. I'll be getting a triple crank and a rear derailleur for 15 bucks plus a couple of blue anodized parts (which were originally on this bike, matching the CK headset, haven't used them in years) which I don't need anymore.
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Old 01-27-16, 09:58 AM
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That KEB-SL looks really nice. Some day if I get a bike with mechanical disc brakes, I'll look that up.
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Old 01-27-16, 12:47 PM
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Yeah I couldn't find a shop locally that sold the stuff by the foot, so I just went ahead and ordered a 30-foot roll for $35 (it's $41 now unfortunately).

https://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Kevlar...3920449&sr=1-1
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Old 01-27-16, 01:34 PM
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I wonder if it would improve the feel/modulation/performance of cantilever brakes.
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Old 01-27-16, 07:12 PM
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Well just hit another snag, ugh...

Picked up the crankset and RD today. It's a Suntour crankset that's fairly lightweight, with 46/39 (aftermarket)/24 rings. That bolted up fine. But then I went to attach the rear derailleur, and ended up snapping the RD hanger right off! Sucks. That's yet another part I have to order that I hadn't planned on. I could have had this thing ready to ride by this weekend (sunny and upper 60's) but now that's not going to happen.





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