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Help me set up a touring bike

Old 05-01-10, 09:45 AM
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Help me set up a touring bike

Hi All,

This is my first post on bike forums. I am hoping to get some advice in setting up by bike as a touring bike.

I have an old lugged touring frame from the late 80s/early 90s marketed in Canada under the Nakamura brand name. I like the frame and would like to set it up as a tourer (also to be used for general city riding). It is currently set up as a single speed in order to minimize maintenance during the Winter months.

I've done basic maintenance on my bikes for years but don't really know anything about which components work together or with which kinds of frames, etc. Basically I will be putting a completely different drive train on this bike and I need some help selecting components.

What kind of derailleurs should I get (front and back)? For now I would like to keep my flat handlebars to same money (won't have to change the current v-brakes and levers) but eventually I might add drop bars along with bar-end shifters, so I would like components that work with both bar-end and I suppose rapid-fire of grip shifters. Also, should I be looking and mountain or road components?

As well, I will need a new crank set. How do I go about selecting that?

For the rear of the drivetrain, my current wheel has a single cog surrounded by a bunch of spacers. Should I just add more cogs or get a new cassette?

Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have,
Sean
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Old 05-01-10, 09:49 AM
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I think it would be best to just get a touring bike.
$800 New
https://www.rei.com/product/776887?pr...:referralID=NA
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Old 05-01-10, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
I think it would be best to just get a touring bike.
$800 New
https://www.rei.com/product/776887?pr...:referralID=NA
Well, I suppose that's one approach but I would like to use the frame and other parts (e.g. wheelset) that I already have. Save money and learn a little about maintenance while I'm at it.
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Old 05-01-10, 09:55 AM
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oops

Last edited by sohara; 05-01-10 at 10:07 AM. Reason: mistaken double post
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Old 05-01-10, 01:12 PM
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You don't really give much information aboutyour present bike, but here are some of my ideas.

You don't say if your wheels are cassette or free wheel, but in any case, it should be possible to add cogs.


It might be possible to add rings to your present crank, some Sugino and SR cranks were drilled to accept an inner ring. But you might need a longer spindle. Otherwise a new Sugino XD(?) is a reasonably priced new replacement.


You need derailleurs with enough capacity to wrap enough chain . This depends on your gearing.
Friction bar ends work with most derailleurs; indexed shifters don't.

As far as old vs new is concerned, I found that rebuilding an old bike completely before a tour, made me feel more confident about my bike, and I wasn't worried about something going wrong on tour.
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Old 05-01-10, 07:14 PM
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From what you stated, it sounds like you have a bike with a freehub rear wheel and most likely 130mm rear dropout spacing, which was common during that period (but possibly 135mm, which would give you more options). Please ensure you have a 7-speed freehub before reading this advice.

You can modify it cheaply if you're patient, willing to buy used parts, and have the tools.

Originally Posted by sohara

What kind of derailleurs should I get (front and back)? For now I would like to keep my flat handlebars to same money (won't have to change the current v-brakes and levers) but eventually I might add drop bars along with bar-end shifters, so I would like components that work with both bar-end and I suppose rapid-fire of grip shifters. Also, should I be looking and mountain or road components?
A modern mountain bike rear derailleur would support up to at least 32-teeth. Deore, LX, or XT would work, and my preference is XT. They can be fairly cheap bought second-hand, and you're mainly looking for one with a long cage, but some really old derailleurs may not support 32-teeth.

For a front derailleur, most any derailleur that supports triple chainrings should work. Deore, LX, XT, and even a Tiagra road front derailleur (not sure about other road derailleurs).

You can find 7-speed Shimano and Gripshift shifters used. If you like thumb shifters, the old Deore thumbshifters would work. Personally, I like rapidfire shifters. You could use 8 or 9 speed shifters, but the cable pull amount is different.

Originally Posted by sohara
As well, I will need a new crank set. How do I go about selecting that?

For the rear of the drivetrain, my current wheel has a single cog surrounded by a bunch of spacers. Should I just add more cogs or get a new cassette?
My guess is that your rear wheel has a freehub that supports a 7-speed cassette. A 7-speed cassette with a 30 or 32-teeth biggest cog would give you good gearing range for touring. If you buy a used one, make sure the teeth aren't too worn because that will likely cause slipping with a new chain.

Most people here would recommend a triple chainring crankset, which is sound advice for touring because having that 22 or 24-teeth small chainring really helps on climbs. You may have to buy another bottom bracket in order to get a good chainline.

When you buy a new chain, the 7-8 speed chains are different widths than a 9-speed chain. If you buy a used chain, make sure that in a 12 inch span, the 0th and 12th inch marker lines up exactly at the center of a pivot. If it doesn't, this means the chain has already stretched. Better just to buy a new inexpensive 7-8 speed chain.
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Old 05-02-10, 01:08 PM
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If you post something on the Classic & Vintage forum, you might find someone who has built up a similar bike for touring; and you might get a lead on components.
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Old 05-10-10, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
I think it would be best to just get a touring bike.
$800 New
https://www.rei.com/product/776887?pr...:referralID=NA
I know this thread is a week and a half old, but this has got to be some of the most worthless advice I've ever seen on BikeForums. This is like going to the commuting forum when someone asks about putting slicks on their mountain bike and telling them they need to buy a brand new road bike.

Poor form.
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Old 05-10-10, 03:41 PM
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It wouldn't be such bad advice if it was qualified. I might have added that it often ends up costing more money to retro-fit and rebuild a bike to be a good touring platform (ie, comparable to an off-the-shelf tourer)... given that one of the OP's objectives was to save money, pouring it into new parts and either labor or specialized tools may not satisfy this objective.

I was in the same spot a while back... rebuild a singlespeed mtb to make a solid on/off road touring bike, or buy a cyclocross bike and just fit racks and new tires. In the end, the new bike ended up being cheaper by several hundred dollars... even with the unplanned addition of a new crankset.
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Old 05-10-10, 07:07 PM
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I think if you're going to mess around with old bikes, you should do it because you like to....not to save any money. Although often a project like this comes down pretty cheaply.

Here's what I'd do.

1. try to fit a 7 speed cassette on your current rear wheel. Get the biggest granny gear you can find, and a new chain.

2. hunt up a couple of MTB derailers, front and rear. Deore works great. hunt down a MTB triple and BB.

3. Falcon thumb shifters....friction all the way.

Good luck
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Old 05-10-10, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tacomee
I think if you're going to mess around with old bikes, you should do it because you like to....not to save any money. Although often a project like this comes down pretty cheaply.
+1
Building up an older frame is usually a labor of love. It can get expensive, but it depends on the parts you need and how cheap you are. I like nice bikes and will spend the $$ when I have it to build something nice.
Bikes are like tools: Depending on how I will use the tool and how long I need it to last I can buy Craftsman or go over to Harbour Freight.
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