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Downtube folding bike

Old 03-16-07, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgurme
Remember, it is also possible just to add a second chainring on the inside of the crank splines, thus you can have the best of both worlds, speed with the large ring and climbing ability with the small ring. I just change mine by hand. My current combo is 52/39, and I use the 52 most of the time, but it's nice to have the 39.
Although, I think DVC45 has a VIIIH. He would have to add a chain tensioner to accomodate 2 chainrings in front.
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Old 03-16-07, 08:25 AM
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Yesterday I posted that I was searching for a 68x115 BB because my mechanic couldn't get the right size through his distributor for a couple of weeks (see post 1092). So on the way home from the office I get an unexpected call from the shop saying that my bike is ready. When I get there, I come to find out that they've installed a 68x113. I mention that most DT owners have suggested a 68x115 but the mechanic assures me that the 68x113 fits fine and won't cause any problems. I'm not a mechanic (nor am I mechanically savy), so I'm asking you people...is this true or should I insist on 68x115 replacement?
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Old 03-16-07, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
Although, I think DVC45 has a VIIIH. He would have to add a chain tensioner to accomodate 2 chainrings in front.
So, if I get a double crank, say a 48T and a 39T, does that mean I don't need to shorten or lenghten the chain, I just add a tensioner? would chain dropping be an issue?

Last edited by DVC45; 03-16-07 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 03-16-07, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DVC45
Wouldn't the 53T you're using make almost all gears harder to pedal? I mean the original set up is 48T...right?
Sorry, I'm a complete noob. Please do tell what I'm missing.
That's right, and that's why I went bigger, I wanted to be able to go faster on flats.
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Old 03-16-07, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JosephLMonti
Yesterday I posted that I was searching for a 68x115 BB because my mechanic couldn't get the right size through his distributor for a couple of weeks (see post 1092). So on the way home from the office I get an unexpected call from the shop saying that my bike is ready. When I get there, I come to find out that they've installed a 68x113. I mention that most DT owners have suggested a 68x115 but the mechanic assures me that the 68x113 fits fine and won't cause any problems. I'm not a mechanic (nor am I mechanically savy), so I'm asking you people...is this true or should I insist on 68x115 replacement?
I think you should tell them that you'll take it for a spin, but if you don't like it you'll want the 68x115 and have to pay nothing extra. In a sense, 1mm on each side won't make a huuuuuge difference in chainline or comfort, but they did something you didn't want, so make sure you can change things at anytime.
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Old 03-16-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DVC45
So, if I get a double crank, say a 48T and a 39T, does that mean I don't need to shorten or lenghten the chain, I just add a tensioner? would chain dropping be an issue?
Yes. Since your chain is long enough for the 48T, you wouldn't need a new chain. The chain tensioner would absorb the "extra" length when you manually shift to the 39T. I think Mcgurme is onto a good idea here.
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Old 03-16-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by BigMacFU
I think you should tell them that you'll take it for a spin, but if you don't like it you'll want the 68x115 and have to pay nothing extra. In a sense, 1mm on each side won't make a huuuuuge difference in chainline or comfort, but they did something you didn't want, so make sure you can change things at anytime.
I honestly don't think that a 113mm BB will make a noticeable difference in the chainline. Ride it and enjoy!

Last edited by SesameCrunch; 03-16-07 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 03-16-07, 12:26 PM
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It might simplify things if the model designation was specified when asking for information or recommending modifications to a Downtube

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Old 03-16-07, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
Zowie:

Have you considered purchasing the upgrade components yourself and having your LBS install them? The DTs are so standardized and easy to work on, any LBS would be able to work on your bike (not true of other, more proprietary bike companies). With the low price-point of the DTs, there's a lot of room for adding upgrades and still not break the bank.

Just thinkin'...
I don't think the LBS would take kindly to bringing in my own parts rather than purchasing them there.
Assuming I did that, true, there's room for upgrades price wise, but I have to think that if it was offered by mfgr they would be cheaper and judiciously chosen. I will upgrade as things wear. But if there were a higher end version of the basic bike for sale from Downtube, I'd probably trade up (depending of course of details).
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Old 03-16-07, 03:11 PM
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Just back from vacation and tinkering with the Downtube NS. I previously mentioned that I used 3M Velcro to hold the bike together by the QR levers. The Velcro came off on one side, so I gave the surface and extra cleaning to see if that will hold. The great thing about latching the bike together is that it now rolls folded! This will help greatly as I'm too weak to carry the NS for long distances.

Still working on reducing the folded size and weight.
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Old 03-16-07, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
Yes. Since your chain is long enough for the 48T, you wouldn't need a new chain. The chain tensioner would absorb the "extra" length when you manually shift to the 39T. I think Mcgurme is onto a good idea here.
So I can keep the original cranks and chain guard? All I need is a 39t chainring and tensioner and I'm good to go?........... BRILLIANT!
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Old 03-17-07, 09:26 AM
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Keep the cranks but not the guard

Hi DVC45,
You would have to remove the guard to make this modification (assuming its the same guard that came on my FS bikes). The guard is in the way of where the second chainring would mount. However, I found that I don't need the guard. One of my bikes has an orange roller, but the other one does not (and both have the dual-chainring mod). I rarely have problems with skipping on either one, and that's with a rear deraillur setup. With a rear hub, any concerns about skipping would be further reduced because the chainline doesn't change when you shift. So, the only downside is that your chain/ring would be exposed, and so it makes it slightly more likely for you to get chain/grease marks on legs or clothes (I use a wax dry lube to reduce this).

Also note that the stock 48T chainring is heavy. So, if you take this approach, it is ultimately a good idea to replace the large chainring with something lighter. I got a nice 53T Ritchey Chainring that was about 1/2 the weight of the original on Ebay. But if budget doesn't allow it, the nice thing about this approach is that you can do it incrementally, first adding the smaller ring, then later replacing the large ring. The stock cranks aren't too bad once you replace the heavy stock ring. (But on one of our bikes I put on a Shimano 105 double, and that is nicer).

Oh, one more thought: I think I had to use slightly longer chainring bolts to accomodate both rings. Any LBS should have these for a few dollars.

See pictures for more... (note that this one has the orange roller, but it's not even contacting the chain, and it doesn't seem to be a problem).
IMG_4659_2.jpg

IMG_4660.jpg
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Old 03-17-07, 10:29 AM
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IXNS--Crank length, BB Questions

New owner of a IXNS, and I have some questions on a switch of the Crankset/BB
What specs for replacement do I have to look for, like...replacing the BB and cranks all at once. Do I look for road or mtb sets, what type is the BB for this model,what are the best length cranks? Am I missing these details on the spec sheet? Ibis, splined? I know these terms, but I am "mechanically challenged"
And what size and brake pads should I order (Salmon Kool Stops coming...)
And what are a good pair of grips for this handlebar...I seem to remember some owners saying the stock ones tear up pretty quickly.
Sorry for so many questions...
Lyndon
Salt Lake City
What little rack will work up front on that AL fork? What panniers?
Can one do a powdercoat on this frame without prepping it all the way down to the metal?
Thinking of metallic purple pearl mist instead of Maunakea's Custom Bedliner Black
Lyndon's Li'l Landshark?
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Old 03-17-07, 10:33 AM
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Attachment 39739

Mcgurme-

This photo would have been great for the "Downtube Panniers" thread that was going on about a week ago...I assume this set up will take panniers?
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Old 03-17-07, 11:10 AM
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Hi
I missed that thread on panniers, I was super busy at work..

Yes, I use this set-up for commuting sometimes with an Arkel Commuter Pannier (it's designed for a computer). It works pretty well, and my pannier with computer and clothes and lunch often weighs in at around 20 lbs. I had some issues with the rack wobbliing back and forth at first, but then I just cut a piece of and old mountain bike inner tube, slid it over the seatpost where the rack clamps on, and no more wobble The rack pictured is actually one of the Performance Transit racks, though I modified it by combining one of their quick release racks with the one linked here that wasn't a quick release (I have a Performance outlet store in town, so can often get bargain basement deals on these items). It was surprisingly easy to swap the rack parts out on the quick release post.

I still would like to get a rack that has a rating more than 20lbs for use in touring. I was looking at some of the options on Gaerlan's website, but haven't had a chance to try any of them. However, the nice aspect of my present setup is that it comes off quickly if need be for folding/packing.

Cheers,
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Old 03-17-07, 11:32 AM
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Hi Lyndy,
You're in SLC - I used to live there! I still miss the mountains - it's not the same in North Carolina. Last October I took my Downtube FS to Moab and actually did some of the easier mountain bike rides with it (like Klondike Bluffs) - it did really well. Anyway, on to your questions:

There are a large variety of crank/BB combos, so it can be confusing and hard to give general guidelines. We used a shimano 105 road double crankset, which has what is called an "octalink" spline set. This means that it must be paired with an "octalink" Bottom bracket. To make it even more confusing, there are more than one type of Octalink, V1 and V2 (see this page for more info). As others have pointed out here, the octalink sets have a nicer feel than the square taper, though I personally don't notice a huge difference (just a small one). So our setup consists of a Shimano 105 road double, purchased on sale at Nashbar for $50, paired with an Octalink V1 bottom bracket with a 115 mm length. Note that most websites will suggest you use a 109.5mm bottom bracket spindle for this crank, however, if you are using an external cog/deraillur setup, that the 109.5 is too short on the Downtube; you will get rubbing of the chain against the chainring in certain gears. Oh, yeah, I think this was 175 length. If you're tall (say, over 5'9"), 175 is a good length. If you're shorter, then going to a 170mm crank arm length might make peddling a bit more comfortable.

Regarding brake pads, well, nearly any v-brake pad will work, and each person has their own preference. I haven't tried those specific type of Kool Stops, but I've had good luck with other pads from that company in the past.

Grips are again a matter of personal preference. There are a huge variety of different shapes, sizes, textures - but as long as they are designed for a mountain bike, they should work on your bike. I suggest going into the local bike store and just finding ones that you like. Make sure they are cuttable though. Note, you can get the old ones off intact by first taking the bar ends off, then taking a screwdriver, dipping it in mineral spirits, then inserting it carefully between grip and handlebar, and running it around so that you distribute the mineral spirits as a "lube" to allow the grip to slide off. For new grips, you'll need to cut one of them shorter to accomodate the shifter. Then just spray hairspray into the grips and slide them on. The hairspray acts as a lube to facilitate sliding the grip on, but also once it dries, will help hold the grip in place.

Regarding powder coating, I don't have experience with that for aluminum frames. I am having one of my other bikes re-coated in purple with pink polka dots (seriously!), but that is a steel frame. In that case, it was stripped down completely first.

Finally, for racks that fit these bikes you could check out Gaerlan's site, they have lots of stuff for 20" wheels. I have no experience with front racks on these bikes, however.

Most of all, have fun with your upgrades, and please post pictures when you're done!
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Old 03-17-07, 01:56 PM
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I, too, am about to throw on a pair of cranks I have sitting around. Similar to the 105 in Q and chainline. So, the question is: if I mount the inner chainring as the drive and an outter chainring as a guard (similar to Pine Cone's), should I go with a 118.5mm bottom bracket to get the optimal chainline? I have a derailleur set up. (I also have one of those Gaerlan orange rollers and could use the existing 115mm BB and use the outter chainring instead.)

Thanks!

Peter
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Old 03-17-07, 01:57 PM
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McGurme said:
"Regarding powder coating, I don't have experience with that for aluminum frames. I am having one of my other bikes re-coated in purple with pink polka dots (seriously!), but that is a steel frame. In that case, it was stripped down completely first."

Now that is MY kind of paint job. Thanks for the advice! Corn skiing up at Alta and Snowbird today. 100" base, but it is 65 degrees! Going up tomorrow. It may be sloppy, but it is so much fun to ski in a T-shirt.

Yes, I looked at Gaerlan, a great site, but was wondering if I could get the right combination of Planet Bike fenders with mud flaps AND the Speedez setup. I have the older ones on my Bachetta Giro recumbent 26/20", but don't know the right combo for a dual 20". Does one order 20X20 special order?

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Old 03-17-07, 04:10 PM
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Thanks for the info Mcqurme!
' got the 39T chainring and bolts from my LBS. Now I just have to find a tensioner.

Also, my LBS said that If I want to use just the 39T ring, I just have to readjust the position of the rear wheel, since the bike has a horizontal drop out. There's no need for a tensioner. True?

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Old 03-17-07, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DVC45
Also, my LBS said that If I want to use just the 39T ring, I just have to readjust the position of the rear wheel, since the bike has a horizontal drop out. There's no need for a tensioner. True?
Not quite. If you moved the rear wheel back to take up the slack in the chain, you'd have to adjust the brakes also to accomodate the different position of the wheel. Not hard to do, but it would take 10 minutes each time. It's not something you could do "on the fly".

The tensioner would eliminate the need for that. I think they cost less than $20.
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Old 03-17-07, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
Not quite. If you moved the rear wheel back to take up the slack in the chain, you'd have to adjust the brakes also to accomodate the different position of the wheel. Not hard to do, but it would take 10 minutes each time. It's not something you could do "on the fly".

The tensioner would eliminate the need for that. I think they cost less than $20.
Okay, Performancebike has a Surly tuggnut chain tensioner and a Surly singleator...which one do I get?
Thanks again!
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Old 03-17-07, 07:01 PM
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Peter Wrote:
I, too, am about to throw on a pair of cranks I have sitting around. Similar to the 105 in Q and chainline. So, the question is: if I mount the inner chainring as the drive and an outter chainring as a guard (similar to Pine Cone's), should I go with a 118.5mm bottom bracket to get the optimal chainline? I have a derailleur set up. (I also have one of those Gaerlan orange rollers and could use the existing 115mm BB and use the outter chainring instead.)
Well, yes, if you want to use only the inner ring, then 118 might be the optimal chainline on a 105 style crank, though I find that with 115 it's not too bad. Or, if you have the orange roller, you could just use the outer ring (and if you're sure you don't want a second ring, you could just take that one off...)

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Old 03-17-07, 07:08 PM
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Corn skiing up at Alta and Snowbird today. 100" base, but it is 65 degrees! Going up tomorrow. It may be sloppy, but it is so much fun to ski in a T-shirt.
I'm so totally jealous...! Alta is my favorite place in the world to ski (I'm a telemark skiier). I love the skiing on the backside of Germania in particular .. Eagle's nest, yellow trail, gunsight, ohhh, it makes me miss it so much!

(I'll drop you a line when the paint job is done in case you want a picture)

Yes, I looked at Gaerlan, a great site, but was wondering if I could get the right combination of Planet Bike fenders with mud flaps AND the Speedez setup. I have the older ones on my Bachetta Giro recumbent 26/20", but don't know the right combo for a dual 20". Does one order 20X20 special order?
As for fenders, you can get the front/rear 20" separately, like on the Gaerlan page (I also checked today at my LBS, and they could order the 20" planet bike ones too). There's a nice pic of the combo rack/fender setup for the rear here.
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Old 03-17-07, 07:14 PM
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Get the singleator

Okay, Performancebike has a Surly tuggnut chain tensioner and a Surly singleator...which one do I get? Thanks again!
Definitely the Singleator... the tuggnut is just designed to give more fine control over axle (wheel) position in a horizontal dropout, but you would still face the issue SesameCrunch raised about having to re-adjust brakes every time you re-tension. Though I haven't tried it, I believe with the Singleator, you could put the chain on either the big or small ring and it should take up the slack. There was some discussion here previously about whether to thread the chain under or over the pulley on the Singleator, but I do not recall what the final consensus was...

Okay, I've been hogging bandwidth here a bit much, so I'm going to step back and take a break. When we get back from our trip to Italy with the Downtubes I'll post a few pictures...

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Old 03-17-07, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mcgurme
When we get back from our trip to Italy with the Downtubes I'll post a few pictures...
WOW! Trip to Italy with the DT's. Where are you going? We will expect pictures and a full report when you return. Have a great trip!
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