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New bike or fix up old?

Old 12-30-19, 08:03 PM
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kirby999
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New bike or fix up old?

I’ve started riding my old Schwinn Crosscut that I’ve made into sort of a hybrid. It’s ridable , but could use some upgrading. I’ve decided I like fit and feel of riding a hybrid. I can ride it longer and faster than my other bikes .
I got to looking around and the Specialized Crossroads caught my eye .
I like Specialized bikes . I have a Roll , a Rockhopper, and an old Hardrock . I’m not sure if the Roll makes my knees hurt or not . They don’t bother me as much riding the Schwinn.
so, question is , do I spend a couple hundred on the Schwinn or put that toward a new Crossroads ?
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Old 12-30-19, 08:37 PM
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What are the things your Schwinn needs? And/or, what would you gain with a new bike (do you want a change to disc brakes for example)? Regarding fit and feel, I would say that it's usually safer to ride what you know works for you rather than risk poor fit or poor satisfaction on a new purchase.

I'm not a big believer in considering the value of upgrades vs. the market value of a bike you already own. The value of your bike to you is likely much higher than the value of your bike to someone else, and you're not making this change in order to flip or resell the bike. You're making this change (presumably) to maintain and sustain something that already works for you.
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Old 12-30-19, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
What are the things your Schwinn needs? And/or, what would you gain with a new bike (do you want a change to disc brakes for example)? Regarding fit and feel, I would say that it's usually safer to ride what you know works for you rather than risk poor fit or poor satisfaction on a new purchase.

I'm not a big believer in considering the value of upgrades vs. the market value of a bike you already own. The value of your bike to you is likely much higher than the value of your bike to someone else, and you're not making this change in order to flip or resell the bike. You're making this change (presumably) to maintain and sustain something that already works for you.
If I fix up the Schwinn, I’ll be swapping out the brakes from cantis to V-brakes with new levers , because they’re easier to pull . Arthritis in my hands . New bike comes with V-brakes or mech. Discs if I go for the Crossroads 2 .
I’d change out the derailleur and freewheel or cassette . And of course , new platform pedals if I can get the old ones off .
also need to clean and regrease front and rear wheels , bottom bracket steering tube .
Whether I buy a new one or not , I’ll be keeping the Schwinn.

Last edited by kirby999; 01-11-20 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 12-30-19, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Iíve started riding my old Schwinn Crosscut that Iíve made into sort of a hybrid. Itís ridable , but could use some upgrading. Iíve decided I like fit and feel of riding a hybrid. I can ride it longer and faster than my other bikes .
I got to looking around and the Specialized Crossroads caught my eye .
I like Specialized bikes . I have a Roll , a Rockhopper, and an old Hardrock . Iím not sure if the Roll makes my knees hurt or not . They donít bother me as much riding the Schwinn.
so, question is , do I spend a couple hundred on the Schwinn or put that toward a new Crossroads ?
I'd pimp the Crosscut, which is a hybrid. The new Special Ed Crossroads looks very similar to a Roll, which you already have, along with 2x26ers; a nice 700c bike is good to munch the road miles.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
I'd pimp the Crosscut, which is a hybrid. The new Special Ed Crossroads looks very similar to a Roll, which you already have, along with 2x26ers; a nice 700c bike is good to munch the road miles.
Yea, I noticed today as I was riding the Schwinn how smooth pedaling it was . Climbed hills better than the Roll .
My longest ride to date , 47 miles was on the Schwinn .
I was worried about the 38 tires transferring every bump in the road , but that wasnít the case . With the Velo ď ErgonĒ grips , the bumps werenít any worse than the wide tired Roll .
I think with the brake swap , the levers will have an easier pull and stop better too without the death grip I have to use now .

thanks guys for the input . Iíll start ordering some parts and make it my winter project.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
I was worried about the 38 tires transferring every bump in the road , but that wasnít the case
Steel bikes are known for their smooth ride. For some reason they are often maligned on this sub-forum but its hard to beat the ride quality of nice steel; the nice stuff puts a smile on my face every time.
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Old 12-30-19, 11:18 PM
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Bicycling is similar to golf in that when it’s right it is effortless and feels just so. I think you have answered your own question.
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Old 12-31-19, 12:29 AM
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If you are running the stock brake pads, installing some koolstop (or swissstop) pads would help stop you better. You can also look into mini v's which are compatible with short pull levers. I've used the TRP CX9s with road levers before and they worked well.

I'd also vote for refurbishing your crosscut as you know it works.
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Old 12-31-19, 06:02 AM
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The steel frame is very nice for smoothing the "road buzz" often felt with narrower tires. One of my favorite bikes in my stable is my 1997 Trek 750. I currently have 28mm Panaracer Paselas on it (got these tires on a bike I recently purchased to flip) and it's quite fun on those tires. The tires themselves are pretty supple and the frame, being quality butted steel, doesn't beat me up on the road. I thoroughly enjoy this bike for road and path riding, and I think you'll continue to enjoy your Crosscut for many of the same reasons.

As for the brakes -- I do have a recommendation that you might consider before going to V-brakes. I have a set of Tektro CR-510s on my 750, and I'm using them with the original brake levers (cantilever specific). I have new brake cables and housings on it, and I think I even have the spring tips on the brakes installed in the lowest of the three holes on the canti studs (providing the least amount of spring resistance). This makes for VERY light braking feel. Combined with good pads (the Tektro pads are only so-so), these cantilever brakes have a feel and power similar to the hydraulic disc brakes on my mountain bike. They're truly 1-finger brakes and stopping is very smooth and sure. I don't think V-brakes will necessarily get you the results you're looking for. They can be good stoppers, but poor pads might not be an improvement over what you have now.

I would recommend starting by removing your cantilever arms and installing them so the return spring is in the lowest hole, providing the least amount of counter-force. It'll cost you nothing to try it, and you may find that it makes all the difference in how the brakes feel. If you're encouraged by that, try a set of Kool-Stop brake pads -- those will really transform the brakes on your bike (assuming your current pads are only marginal). I like the CR-510 brakes (and others like them) because you can use threaded-post V-brake pads (very easy to set up), but there's nothing wrong with cantilevers that use smooth-post pads if they stop well.

Good luck!
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Old 12-31-19, 07:51 AM
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If it's the bumps that are bothering you, maybe you have too much pressure in the tires. Try running a little less pressure, maybe start lowering in 5 lb increments until you find what feels good to you. Try running the front a little lower than the rear tire. If you're pumping the tires up to max rating, it's going to be a bumpier ride.
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Old 12-31-19, 10:21 AM
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you're asking a bunch of addicts if you should have more? definitely get another bike!
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Old 12-31-19, 01:29 PM
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Spent a few hours this morning working on the CrossCut .
swapped out the brake pads for some KoolStops and adjusted. Cleaned the wheels .
Swapped out the stem , and handlebars for a set of Box BMX bars that I couldnít get to work on a MTB . Changed Brooks saddles to a black one .
I tried to swap out the pedals , but Iím unable to break the old ones loose . I may have to take it to a bike shop and see if they can get them loose for me .
Then I took it on an 8.2=mile ride .
The brakes are better , but still donít have the easy pull of the V-brakes on my Roll . But theyíll stop me in a hurry if I needed to .
The gears seem to shift better every time I ride it . Just needs to be ridden more Iím thinking .

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Old 12-31-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Spent a few hours this morning working on the CrossCut .
swapped out the brake pads for some KoolStops and adjusted. Cleaned the wheels .
Swapped out the stem , and handlebars for a set of Box BMX bars that I couldnít get to work on a MTB . Changed Brooks saddles to a black one .
I tried to swap out the pedals , but Iím unable to break the old ones loose . I may have to take it to a bike shop and see if they can get them loose for me .
Then I took it on an 8.2=mile ride .
The brakes are better , but still donít have the easy pull of the V-brakes on my Roll . But theyíll stop me in a hurry if I needed to .
The gears seem to shift better every time I ride it . Just needs to be ridden more Iím thinking .

Rim brakes work best with slick cables and proper routing. It looks like you can work on the routing to eliminate as many bends as possible. Greasing the canti studs is also important to eliminate friction.

It also looks like you don't have a rear cable stop on your frame, so if you want to go V's, you will need a clamp on cable stop.

For complete friction reduction and max power, look into Magura hydraulic rim brakes.

For the pedals- are you turning both sides towards the rear of the bike for removal? Sorry, had to check....
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Old 12-31-19, 02:53 PM
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Another trick for the brakes, in addition to ensuring clean cables and housings, is backing out the tension screw adjustment as far as you can while still keeping the brake arms centered. One nice thing about newer cantilever brakes (and V-brakes for that matter) is each arm has a spring adjustment screw, so you can back both screws out equally for the least amount of spring tension on the brake arms (some older canti brakes used a spring adjustment on just one arm, so all you could do was center the brakes...not reduce total spring tension).

Likewise for the spring studs themselves (that fit into the holes on the frame bosses) -- get those into the lowest hole if you haven't already for reduced tension. There's no real reason you need a ton of spring release tension on these brakes -- they're not self-actuating or anything like that...as long as they're not really dragging on the rim, and as long as they're centered when you apply the brakes, I aim for the least amount of tension that I can. I don't necessarily recommend this, but I've even taken the return spring out of the brake levers themselves (on the handlebar). As long as the brake arms (on the frame and fork) are returning to their "open" position, they'll pull the cable back through the housing and pull your brake levers back out. Any spring pressure that you have to pull against works against you in terms of brake feel. A really heavy-feeling brake can feel like a lousy brake, even if the stopping power is actually good.

As far as routing, it looks like you have yours setup for left/rear and right/front. Your left/rear cable routes behind the handlebar and then makes a relatively tight bend at the front cable stop on your top tube. I would route this cable out in front and then under the bar, so it joins that cable stop on your top tube relatively "straight in". You could also shorten your straddle cables some -- they look relatively tall. With this type of cantilever, you get more mechanical advantage with shorter straddle cables.

And then of course check all lubrication points. Like @DorkDisk mentioned, the cantilever bosses on the frame. But also check your brake levers themselves -- they can sometimes get grimy or gummy and become stiffer to pull.
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Old 12-31-19, 04:52 PM
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Thanks guys for all of the suggestions.
Dorkdisk, the Magura is a little too much of a conversion for this bike . I do need to do some cable swaps since my handlebar swap . I wanted to see if I liked the bars first .
On the pedals , yep , figured out the way to turn them to get remove them several years ago , but thanks for the reminder. Some folks do not know that they work just like an old Dodge lug nuts work . To remove turn to the rear on both sides . Made that way to keep you from unscrewing them while pedaling.
hokiefyd, these are the old style with the single screw to center the pads . I do have my front brake on the right side by design . Front brakes do most of the braking and my right hand has more strength and less arthritis.
The brakes are adequate for now. I wanted to make sure they would stop me quickly if I needed to. Today from 15mph+ downhill , I was able to stop in 20-25’ by locking both brakes down .
I’ve purchased V-brakes and everything I need to convert my old Specialized Hardrock MTB . I haven’t been able to get the cantis on it to work as good as the ones on the Crosscut .
I plan on converting the Hardrock and see how it does before ordering anything for the Crosscut .
I guess the V-brakes on my Roll have spoiled me . So easy to stop with light finger pressure.
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Old 12-31-19, 05:01 PM
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Straighten out that rear rack, it should sit flat.

For tough pedals, I have braced 1 crank arm against a wall so it won't move and use my foot on the wrench to get the pedal off the opposite side. A longer wrench, or a cheater bar (such as a piece of pipe) on the wrench you have will help
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Old 12-31-19, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Straighten out that rear rack, it should sit flat.

For tough pedals, I have braced 1 crank arm against a wall so it won't move and use my foot on the wrench to get the pedal off the opposite side. A longer wrench, or a cheater bar (such as a piece of pipe) on the wrench you have will help
LOL , I think the rack is coming off anyways .
I tried slipping a board through the frame to brace the opposite side but just couldn’t get comfortable with putting too much pressure on my Park tool pedal wrench .Didn't want to bugger up the pedal . I’m going to try again when I have friend over to brace the other pedal while I try to break one free . I’m sure these are the original pedals . Most likely installed without any grease and 25+ years of tightened while riding .
Thought about heating up the crank arm .

Last edited by kirby999; 12-31-19 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12-31-19, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
I guess the V-brakes on my Roll have spoiled me . So easy to stop with light finger pressure.
V-brakes are very easy to setup -- one reason (of a few) they almost completely replaced cantilevers for cable-operated rim brakes. As long as the brake levers are designed for them (long pull), you really can't get them wrong. With good pads they're almost universally pretty good. Cantilever brakes have some geometric variables in play that traditional cantilevers don't (like the length of the straddle cable and the length and shape of the cantilever arms). They're, likewise, more difficult to setup.

Trivia (file this in your interesting-facts-to-know-and-tell-bin): "V-brake" is really just Shimano's trademarked name for linear pull (or direct pull brakes). The name has come into such widespread use that all linear pull brakes are commonly referred to as "V-brakes" by cyclists, but you won't see a company other than Shimano using that term. Check out an example brake from Tektro (the instruction manual is for "linear pull brakes") and a brake lever from Avid/SRAM (for "linear pull or mechanical disc brakes"). And linear pull brakes themselves are also of a cantilever design...just using different geometry. Traditional cantilevers (as featured on your Schwinn) use a straddle cable that is pulled up to shorten the length between the brake arms, effectively squeezing them together. In contrast, as the "direct pull" name might suggest, the newer design uses the main brake cable to directly squeeze the two arms together.
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Old 12-31-19, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Thought about heating up the crank arm .
If you have a rubber mallet, this is often the most effective way to get at stubborn pedals. Set the pedal you want to move on the forward/down stroke, so the wrench is facing rearward, more or less parallel with the crank arm. Since this pedal is on the down stroke, you can apply some pressure on the wrench to hold it in place without spinning anything (because the chain, connected to the rear wheel, won't move). Give the end of the wrench a few thugs with a rubber mallet. This short-duration, high-intensity force will very likely break the pedal loose. I wouldn't worry about stripping threads...they're tough...they're probably just slightly corroded together. Use some grease or oil when you reinstall them.
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Old 12-31-19, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
If you have a rubber mallet, this is often the most effective way to get at stubborn pedals. Set the pedal you want to move on the forward/down stroke, so the wrench is facing rearward, more or less parallel with the crank arm. Since this pedal is on the down stroke, you can apply some pressure on the wrench to hold it in place without spinning anything (because the chain, connected to the rear wheel, won't move). Give the end of the wrench a few thugs with a rubber mallet. This short-duration, high-intensity force will very likely break the pedal loose. I wouldn't worry about stripping threads...they're tough...they're probably just slightly corroded together. Use some grease or oil when you reinstall them.
Tried that before . Messed up a 15mm open end wrench . . Thatís why I spent the extra cash on a Park Tool Shop pedal wrench thinking the extra leverage is all I needed . Iíve soaked them twice with penetrating oil .
Iíll get them off eventually.
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Old 01-01-20, 10:49 AM
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Yep, several days of applying penetrating oil should help.

Do you have a propane torch?

Sometimes I need to heat up where a bolt or nut won't come loose with a propane torch. The heat of that kind of torch isn't enough to hurt the metal, but may melt plastic pedals if you aren't careful. If you use this method, you must get the metal hot, not just warm. The point is to get the metals involved to expand a tiny bit to help break the corrosive bond.

Plus, a long set of wrenches* for extra leverage. Some bicycle pedal wrenches are basically stamped steel and too thin to transfer the required force, without trying to round something off, in my experience.

And speaking of rubber mallets, I find they take up too much of the energy of the strike to be effective in most situations that call for a hammer blow. I'd recommend a dead blow hammer or a 32 oz. ball peen hammer. I've even got a 3 lb. hand sledge for special occasions. Dinging up the end of wrenches sometimes has to be done. Better wrenches can take the blow and still work.

*these are strong enough for bicycle tasks.

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Old 01-04-20, 03:45 PM
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Cleaned up the stem and bars today on the CrossCut and worked on her sister , a early 90ís Schwinn CrissCross .
Gave her a new derailleur and new trigger shifters . Think Iím going to do the same stem treatment to the CrissCross when the 100mm rise handlebars come in .
I like the cleaner look .

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Old 01-05-20, 03:09 PM
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Took my Crosscut on a ride into town and back . Sunny and 57 when I finished my ride .
removed the rack and sprayed some silicone lubricant on my brake levers and down the cable housing ,wow , what a difference in braking . Iím going to replace the cables with some new greased ones and grease take the levers apart and grease them up .
Sheís starting to shape up .
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Old 01-06-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Took my Crosscut on a ride into town and back . Sunny and 57 when I finished my ride .
removed the rack and sprayed some silicone lubricant on my brake levers and down the cable housing ,wow , what a difference in braking . I’m going to replace the cables with some new greased ones and grease take the levers apart and grease them up .
She’s starting to shape up .
In my experience, grease in cable housings add friction which doesn't allow a brake's spring(s) to pull the cable back quickly. Light oil is all I've ever used in my motorcycle (clutch/throttle) and bicycle (brakes, shifters) cables, whether on or off road and no matter the weather.

Some of the best cable oil I've ever used is RemOil or Hoppes Oil I've had laying around for other purposes. It's so thin that it gets down into a cable without having to pull the inner cable out of the housing.

Of course, this assumes the cables aren't seriously gummed up or worn out internally in the first place.
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Old 01-06-20, 08:36 PM
  #25  
kirby999
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
In my experience, grease in cable housings add friction which doesn't allow a brake's spring(s) to pull the cable back quickly. Light oil is all I've ever used in my motorcycle (clutch/throttle) and bicycle (brakes, shifters) cables, whether on or off road and no matter the weather.

Some of the best cable oil I've ever used is RemOil or Hoppes Oil I've had laying around for other purposes. It's so thin that it gets down into a cable without having to pull the inner cable out of the housing.

Of course, this assumes the cables aren't seriously gummed up or worn out internally in the first place.
So maybe the Silicone spray may be best on the cables ? And grease the levers ?
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