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The Evolution of a Sirrus

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The Evolution of a Sirrus

Old 02-17-15, 10:07 AM
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forresterace 
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The Evolution of a Sirrus

The Evolution of a Sirrus

In 2008, I decided to take up cycling again on my 65 th birthday. Knowing very little about modern bicycles, I chose a comfort bike that I thought would be body- friendly. The bike was fine and I rode a lot that summer but as they say, your first bike teaches you which bike to buy next. At this point I had learned that I liked road riding and that what I really wanted, was a roadbike. Come October, during shops yearend clearances, I started to look for a flat-bar roadbike. I didnít think that my back would be up to riding with dropbars. I found a really good deal on a 2008 Sirrus Comp and as they say, the rest is history.


I rode the entire next season with the stock bike and really loved it. After realizing an issue with limited hand positions on the flat bars, I added bar ends and they were a great help. Over the next year I began doing longer organized tours and decided to try trekking bars. They were an easy switch, using all the same gearshifts and brake levers. I found the inline hand/wrist position to be the most comfortable for me but found the outer hand positions to be too widely set.



It then suddenly struck me that this ideal hand/wrist position was the same as the one using dropbars on the hoods. Cruising Craigslist one day, I found a good deal on a set of dropbars, brake levers and bar-end shifters. This allowed an easy inexpensive changeover to dropbars Ė I did have to change the Dia Compe brake levers to relatively inexpensive Tektro 520 levers to provide the optimum long cable-pull for Vee brakes. Everything else worked spendidly.
By the following year I was starting to do more and more touring (mostly supported tours and credit card tours) It was now obvious to me where my cycling interests really lay. Every day I look back and am so thankful that I bought the Comp model, I call it my Faux Roubaix, because I always decided it was worth putting money into modifying it rather than selling it (and taking quite a loss) to buy another bike. Every year I invested a modest amount to modify it into what I thought I needed.


The following year I decided that I needed lower gearing for carrying more load up bigger hills, so I redid the entire driveline (crank, rear derailleur and cassette). It was wonderful. It now has a Deore trekking crank (48- 36- 26), XT rear Derailleur and a Sram 11-34 cassette. The front derailleur continued to work fine. I really loved the dropped bars and found that all my fears of them were false. By now I was doing all my own wrenching ( having learned from books, building a town/shopping bike and investing in a few bike-specific tools).


Last year, I decided that I had had enough of the bar-end shifters and converted the bike to brifters. I used the new SORA #3503 ones. This necessitated adding Problem Solvers to the brakes to change the short cable-pull brifters to the long-pull Vee brakes (I have always been quite happy with the Vee brakes). I have been extremely pleased with the shifters and often say to myself Ė why didnít I do this sooner? Also, last season, I outfitted the bike with lowrider front racks for self-supported touring. I continue to use the bare bike for training and with racks for the type of touring that I need. I continue to love this bike and am so glad that I have evolved it into the type of bike that I wanted. Two years ago, after discovering cracks in the original Alex rims, I put on a new set of Mavic/Shimano wheels. After seven years now, the only original parts on the bike are the frame/fork, brakes, stem and seatpost.





Hope you like it,

Doug
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Old 02-17-15, 10:39 AM
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camjr
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Fantastic post!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for sharing your journey!
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Old 02-17-15, 12:30 PM
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How many miles do you have on your bike?
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Old 02-17-15, 01:05 PM
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As close as I can figure (after converting from kilometers) about 7000 miles

Doug
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Old 02-17-15, 02:05 PM
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I've always been fond of that era Sirrus models. Nice bike.
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Old 02-18-15, 06:03 AM
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I love your Sirrus, I have a Sirrus Pro Disc, was wondering if you had any problems mounting your front rack with carbon fork on your Sirrus.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:25 AM
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My mounting of a lowrider rack is a long (but interesting) story. The small front rack (from Nashbar) that I adapted for supporting my handlebar bag lower that it would sit mounted on the bars (for better front end stability) mounted quite successfully from the brake posts (and the fork top). After doing some research and looking around at front lowrider racks, I found some that were meant to mount with clamps to suspension forks. They looked to me to be adaptable to mount to the brake posts just like my small rack. I found one of these racks at MEC (Mountain Equip. Coop) for a very good price. I made new upper brackets from aluminum to allow the rack to sit a little lower. I also made aluminum brackets to mount to the lower dropout braze ons. Flipping the rack hoop up to mount to the small rack was pure serendipity, I hadn't planned it. It works very well and the whole unit is very sturdy.
Without the brake post mounting points (such as on a disc-braked bike), I'm not sure what I would recommend. I certainly would not suggest trying to clamp anything to the fork legs, anywhere.
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Old 02-18-15, 09:35 AM
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great story, thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-19-15, 04:57 AM
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Very nice, thanks for your advice and reply.
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Old 02-19-15, 10:44 AM
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This has been a fantastic thread, and has heaps of great info in it.
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Old 02-19-15, 11:19 AM
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That's one tooled up beast of a Sirrus
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Old 02-20-15, 12:17 AM
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forresterace, I have a standard Sirrus and I just replaced the original tires with the Continental Touring Plus tires.
Same size 32mm. They look noticeably narrower than the original tires..
Are your Conti's 32mm ?? How do you like them ?? Too much snow in Michigan, haven't had a chance
to ride on mine yet.
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Old 02-20-15, 07:11 AM
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After I dumped the original 28mm Armadillo tires, I went to 28mm Conti Gatorskins and loved them greatly for several years. Just last season I thought I'd try a wider somewhat-treaded tire. After much searching, I finally chose the Conti Touring Plus in 32 mm. I put about a 1000 miles on them including a week-long semi-loaded tour last year and I was very pleased with them. Needless to say, they are remaining on the bike for this year.

Doug
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Old 02-20-15, 08:36 AM
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Ride Forrest, Ride!

Cool story, great write up, nice pics.
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Old 02-25-15, 09:05 PM
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All I can say is WOW! I need to learn how to replace parts like this! Amazing!
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Old 02-28-15, 03:06 PM
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That was a good looking bike before. Looks great now.

Upon first glance, it looked like the brakes on the drop bars were dummy's and you used the Tektro with the Vee brakes. But in the picture it looks like you have used a zip tie as a parking brake on the left drop bar brake. Yes/No?

Also, it appears that your conversion to drop was feasible for two reasons:

1) Great deal on a set of drop bars/brakes etc.

2) Upgrades spread out in stages over years.

Is this true

I only bring this up because it is generally stated to be cost prohibitive to make these kinds of upgrades, and most folks just recommend buying another bike with drops if you have a flat bar bike (and are looking to convert).
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Old 02-28-15, 03:13 PM
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Cracking evolution story.
I love the Sirrus, great bike.
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Old 02-28-15, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Calder Benson View Post
That was a good looking bike before. Looks great now.

Upon first glance, it looked like the brakes on the drop bars were dummy's and you used the Tektro with the Vee brakes. But in the picture it looks like you have used a zip tie as a parking brake on the left drop bar brake. Yes/No?

Also, it appears that your conversion to drop was feasible for two reasons:

1) Great deal on a set of drop bars/brakes etc.

2) Upgrades spread out in stages over years.

Is this true

I only bring this up because it is generally stated to be cost prohibitive to make these kinds of upgrades, and most folks just recommend buying another bike with drops if you have a flat bar bike (and are looking to convert).
The elastic bands on the brake levers are indeed parking brakes. They are part of the bike stand called the Click Stand. It is marketed primarily to the touring bike crowd but is just as applicable to any lightweight bike. They weigh practically nothing and fold up like a tent pole (very compactly).
Click-Stand Home Page In order to hold your bike, your brakes must hold the bike from rolling.

Actually over the years, I have invested more money in modifications than I spent on the bike originally ($1200). Since it was far from a base level bike, I figured it was worth keeping and changing as my requirements evolved. At any point if I'd decided to sell the bike and buy a new roadbike, I would have been lucky to have seen half of what I'd paid for it. This seemed like too much loss plus the hassle of selling the bike was not a pleasant prospect.
So, yes, the upgrades were spread out over several years and therefore manageable.

I added the Tektro interrupter brake levers with the addition of the front rack. It is quite nice when riding in traffic on the bar tops to have easy access to the brakes. Just to clarify, in the use of STI brifter brake/shifter levers with V brakes, it is best to use Travel Agents (made by Problem Solvers)
Problem Solvers in order to convert the short cable-pull levers to the long cable-pull needed by V brakes.
The interrupter levers do not effect the operation of the brifter brake levers in any way.

Doug

PS - In reading many posts about hand positions and bar-ends, etc., it occurred to me that I probably only spend about 5-10% of my riding time "in the drops". Primarily when I'm riding into a stiff headwind. Most of the time I ride with my hands on the hoods (or on the bar tops). Even with your hands on the hoods many small variations of hand/wrist position are available. It doesn't take much position and angle change to avoid pain and numbness over a long time on the bike. Dropbars offer many positions without even using the lower drops.

Last edited by forresterace; 02-28-15 at 09:44 PM. Reason: addition of information
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Old 02-28-15, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the info. That is a nice setup.
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Old 02-28-15, 10:23 PM
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Thanks for the info! As you saw in another thread; I think I may go a similar route! (Though trying to keep my groupset... sans shifters and brake levers of course, for now). I've gotten the "Just buy a road bike" advice but, for much more money than the 'conversion', I'd get a bike no better than my current one. I probably should've bought a road bike in the first place but, I let some cycling friends and a LBS owner convince me that Hybrids are what newbies are supposed to buy.

The 'hoods' is the position I'm most intrigued by. The flat-bar hand position isn't really all that natural (we don't walk around with our palms facing backwards; they face our bodies. That's the 'natural' hand position) Riding on the 'hoods' keeps the elbows in, and looks to be more natural and comfortable. Has that been your experience?

Riding into a stiff headwind a couple of weeks ago, I was doing anything to get out of the wind. Sure I looked really goofy in my position. Would've like to have the drops for that. Even this one downhill descent near my home that I can use to 'cheat' a little bit. It's after a long and steep climb (well, for me); and if I get quick enough, I get some 'bonus rest' because I can get enough momentum to make it back up the NEXT shorter (but still steep) climb pretty effortlessly.
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Old 09-07-16, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by forresterace View Post

What a gorgeous ride! It's nice to see someone stick with their bike and make it work for them unlike people like myself that just move onto something better or different.

gorgeous bike, and it looks like you have it perfectly dialed in to exactly what you need. i hope to get to the same place with my ride(s). cheers!
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Old 09-07-16, 08:10 AM
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If only it were carbon fiber....
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Old 09-07-16, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by prtyich View Post
If only it were carbon fiber....

Why?

My other three bikes are STEEL!

Doug
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Old 09-07-16, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by forresterace View Post
Why?

My other three bikes are STEEL!

Doug
I said that as a joke for 2 reasons:

1-there is a raging CF vs steel vs alum vs. bamboo vs. neutronium vs. paper mache going on in the general cycling forum
2-a silly take off on a line from an X-Men movie
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Old 09-08-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by prtyich View Post
I said that as a joke for 2 reasons:

1-there is a raging CF vs steel vs alum vs. bamboo vs. neutronium vs. paper mache going on in the general cycling forum
2-a silly take off on a line from an X-Men movie

paper mache bikes are the future. CF is so 2015. my next bike is going to be a PM bike
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