Author Topic: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike  (Read 2443 times)

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Offline big_dummy2013

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2013, 08:07:54 pm »
Whit a 8 speed you can get a mountain bike drive train 22,32,42t chainring setup.With a 9 speed you can get a 22,32,44t chainring setup  either one is great I have both  I like the 11-32 cassette it just shifts better to me.With a 11-34 cassette it will shift ok but just not what I like but ever one is different so what I like you may not.I would also go with a salsa woodchipper 2 handllebar with friction shift only from velo-orange.I love old bicycles.And you have done the best you can for the frame now just get the best parts for her.I like shimano parts as well I use them as much as I can for a chain I like the SRAM PC 971 Chain - 9-Speed.I have just finish building my new Surly Big Dummy 2013 model with this drive train setup 11-32 cassette and 22,32,44t chainring running velo-orange friction shifters only with the salsa woodchipper 2 and just love it I am going on a trip to Bangor Maine in 2014 with this setup and yes my bike will be very heavy but with these gears it's easy to pedal even up hills.Hope this might help you a little.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2013, 02:13:44 pm »
I am intrigued by the new 2x stuff, but I personally need lower gears that a 26/38 would provide.

The Shimano double mountain cranksets use 104mm bcd for the outer and 64mm bcd for the inner.  You can fit any size chainring from 32 to 44 on the outside position.  AND you can fit down to a 22 tooth chainring on the inner position.  Nashbar sells spare 22 tooth 64mm bcd chainrings for about $15.  Its very easy to get a double mountain crankset with 38-22 chainrings.  If you have a 22 tooth ring in front, then a 32 or 34 cog in back should give you a low enough gear.

Offline geegee

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 11:53:38 pm »
Thanks for the advice, thought I'd post some pictures of what I've done to the bike and some of the decisions I made.

I still need new wheels but the old ones still look OK after 20 years. The paint is nice and bright now and I've cleaned and overhauled a few of the old components.


I decided to keep the obsolete 8 speed Campy derailleur because I like its sculpted looks:


Since I might get Shimano-based hubs when I buy new wheels, I went with Silver friction shifters mounted on the quill stem which I got through Rivendell. This will give me a wider choice of cassettes, over the 3 expensive and hard to get 8-speed Campy cassettes available.


I like the way this has simplified the cabling! I also kept the old center-pull cantilever brakes:


I bought a new Brooks saddle which I will have to ride a lot to break-in :

Offline canalligators

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 12:47:08 pm »
Handsome bike.  When I look at that bike, I immediately think to use that one for ultralight or credit card tours, or randonneuring.  You can use your 520 for the heavy lifting.

I love to retrofit old bikes, recently did so on a Raleigh International.  Like you, I replaced some components and kept some.  Generally if the old parts were still in good working order and did what I needed, I did maintenance on them and kept them in service.

Offline DaveB

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2014, 04:01:44 pm »
Nice looking bike.  However, and this is strictly a personal preference that you are completely free to ignore or disagree with.  I think stem shifters are the most inconvenient and awkward possible type.  They scream "cheap bike" but that isn't my main objection.  You have to remove one hand from the bars to use them but don't have the lower center of gravity that downtube shifters provide while shifting.  I'd either remount the levers as downtube shifters or mount them on the barend pods that Rivendell also sells.  For a bit more money and much better shifting convenience, you could mount those levers on "Retroshift" brake levers and have most of the convenience of brifters without the cost or complexity.

Offline geegee

Re: Opinions on refurbishing/re-equipping a 20-year old bike
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2014, 04:55:14 pm »
Thanks! Interestingly, I went with the stem shifters specifically for the aesthetic. I think it adds a bit of "steampunk" style along with the other vintage parts  :D .  I tried putting on brifters but they really don't work well with bullhorns which are my preferred style for handlebars over drops — the positioning of the brake levers give me so much more confidence since I control them with my stronger index and middle fingers instead of relying more on the weaker ring and pinky fingers that are more prone to cramping. Brifter cabling gets a bit messy on bullhorns, as on my Trek 520:



Another huge plus for me with bullhorns is the superior unobscured positioning of a mirror. Much of the highways in my area do not have shoulders, and being able to easily spot transport trucks behind when another is coming ahead greatly improves my personal feeling of security. After two decades of using drop bars, I havent come across a mirror that worked satisfactorily.

I will be using this bike for lighter tours, as canalligators correctly deduced!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 04:56:48 pm by geegee »