Author Topic: Classic Randonneur Build  (Read 10178 times)

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Offline Andiroo

Classic Randonneur Build
« on: June 05, 2011, 09:35:41 am »
Hi All

I am looking to rebuild an early 80s English lugged touring frame into a classic style randonneur cycle. I don't have the budget for a new groupset so will be looking to either buy a used group on Ebay or to pick up on a piece by piece basis. The frame is bare but complete with fork. Any suggestions on the major (or even minor) commentary i might want to go after. The only constraint is it needs to be classic..but highly reliable!

Thanks for all suggestions

Arn

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 04:02:22 pm »
Early 1980s means 120mm frame spacing at the rear hub.  Maybe 126mm, but I doubt it.  If its 120mm, then I would not want to spread that to 130mm to fit modern 8-9-10 speed cassettes/wheels.  That is too much spreading.  If its 126mm, then it can be spread to 130mm by a shop that knows what it is doing.  Or you can just squeeze the rear wheel in each time.  May be very difficult to find a shop that knows how to correctly spread a bike frame.  Road frames have been 130mm for 20 plus years now.  The spreading knowledge is gone.  I have no interest in modernizing an old frame.

If you go classic as you state, then it means running 5 or 6 speed freewheels in the frame.  And downtube shifters.  If you can find them.  Friction since indexed shifters did not come along until 7 speed and 126mm I think.  Headsets and stems can still be bought for this frame.  Bottom brackets and cranks won't be any problem.  Brakes?  Maybe need long reach sidepull calipers.

Offline whittierider

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 04:58:42 pm »
Quote
Brakes?  Maybe need long reach sidepull calipers.
Even there you can run into trouble if you try to modernize.  Modern brakes Usually have a much shorter bolt in the front with a recessed nut, and what I've found on the older frames I've dealt with is that you can't even ream out the hole in the back of the fork for the newer nut because there's not enough material.  It would break out.  The rear is different too.  I was not able to put modern brakes on the older frames.  Trying to modernize the other stuff was like peeling an onion.  One thing leads to another and you're not done until there's nothing left and you might as well have bought a new bike for all the time and money you spent on the old one.  It's better as the others have said, to mostly just make it all work correctly in its vintage.  Then the only problem you might have is if you have 27" wheels and your brakes won't reach the slightly smaller 700c's, because very few of the better tires are available anymore in 27".  5-speed freewheels and still being made even today, and only cost around $20.  loosescrews.com is a good place for a lot of the small parts and older components.  eBay is a good place to get a lot of other parts.  I got a brand-new pair of Dura-Ace 7-speed indexed down-tube shifters a couple of years ago for one of our bikes through eBay.

Offline Andiroo

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 09:09:20 pm »
Hi

Thanks for the really helpful advice. I never reaized the wheel sizing would be an issue. I just figured not much had changed. 1983 does not seem that long ago to me... i am getting OLD!!

The bike itself is a steel frame with Reynolds 531 and with Campy dropouts. Its a 1984. I have no idea about widening the rear end but it sounds kind of risky and so i think i will most likely use contemporary parts.

How can i tell the right sizes for wheels. hubs, cassettes?

thanks

Offline whittierider

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011, 10:54:41 pm »
Quote
Reynolds 531 and with Campy dropouts. Its a 1984
If it's not any earlier than that, there's a good chance it was made for 700c wheels, and has 126mm rear dropout spacing.  If that's the case, at least you can put modern wheels in it.  Without cold-setting the frame, you could just stretch it a little every time you put the rear wheel in, but cold-setting it improperly, or not doing it at all, may make the frame slightly crooked, as the right side will tend to bend out more than the left, because of the impression put on the right-side chainstay to keep the small chainring(s) from hitting it.

It may make a good bike.  The 21st century definitely does not have the corner on great-handling bikes!  There were some outstanding ones in the 70's when I got started, their main disadvantage in riding compared to modern ones being that it took more skill to shift them.  Still, I wouldn't put too much money into it since, if it has been ridden hard in the past, it could crack soon after you get it going.  Easy modernizations however do include clipless pedals, aerobars, and cycle computer.  If you put more speeds on the rear, do go with indexed shifting.  I originally tried 9-speed with friction shifters, but even looking down, I couldn't always get it adjusted quite right, so sometimes I would get these terrible bangs and skips when I would get out of the saddle and torque on it, because the derailleur wasn't centered well enough on the cog and stay that way well enough with frame flex, so I put 9-speed indexed Dura-Ace down-tube shifters on that one.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 12:32:46 pm »
The bike itself is a steel frame with Reynolds 531 and with Campy dropouts. Its a 1984. I have no idea about widening the rear end but it sounds kind of risky and so i think i will most likely use contemporary parts.

How can i tell the right sizes for wheels. hubs, cassettes?

If its a touring frame, it probably has cantilever posts on the fork and seatstays.  If so, then trying to fit 700C wheels into a 27" wheel frame will be problematic.  The posts will be too high for the brakes to correctly squeeze the rims.

But if its centerpull, sidepull brakes, then just put some wheels into the frame.  700C if you have some around.  See how far the brake mounting hole is from the rim.  Check the front wheel.  Front wheels are 100mm spacing since forever.  Modern short reach sidepull brakes have about 37-47mm reach.  You can buy modern sidepull calipers with up to about 60mm reach.  Check Tektro brand.  See if the distance from the mounting hole to the center of the rim sides is about 2 inches or less.  If so then your bike is 700C probably.  And you can buy modern brakes to fit the bike.  If the distance is around 3 inches, then its a 27" wheel frame and you will have a hard time getting brakes to fit if you put on 700C wheels.  Remember you are putting a small 700C wheel into the frame to measure with.  I'm pretty sure you can buy 27" rims and tires today.  So you could build up a set of wheels to fit the frame if you want.

Hubs are easy.  Just put a tape measure between the rear dropouts.  Measure inside face to inside face.  If its 126mm then you need hubs from long ago that measure 126mm.  Freewheel, won't be cassette.  As mentioned, you can put modern 130mm wheels/hubs into your 126mm frame.  If you go 126mm hubs, then you are talking freewheel.  Freewheels are available in 5-6-7-8 speeds.  If you go 130mm hubs, then 7-8-9-10 cassetes are available.    May be some problems fitting 7 speed cassettes onto 8-9-10 hubs though.  Your rear cogs will be determined by what shifters you go with.  If friction, then you could go anything with number of cogs.  If indexed, then the rear cogs is determined by how many clicks you have on the shifters.  Get your shifters first, that will determine what you do with the rear wheel.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 02:10:37 pm »
Instead of spreading the rear part of the frame you can simply take out a spacer on the rear axle  and replace it with washers to fit. Be sure to place the washers so they tighten against the cone to keep it in place. Choose washers that barely fit over the diameter of the the axle. In other words, just modify the rear wheel at the axle. If the width at the cones is too wide, then you have a problem and you may need to spread. Usually though, it seems the too wide aspect comes from spacers put on the axle to for the wider rear-stays. At least, that is what I have come across so far.

Offline csykes

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 03:20:51 pm »
Check out velo-orange.com for new old-style components.  For 27" tires, try Panaracer Pasela Touring tires.  I use them on my 1985 Santana and they work fine.  For shifters, you could use non-indexed bar-ends which would be more comfortable than downtube shifters. The Santana is six speed and I have no problem with the non-indexed shifting.  Almost any bike of that vintage would take Universal, Mafac, or other center-pull brakes which you should be able to find inexpensivly on Ebay.

Good Luck, I love the older stuff and have considered a similar project.

Offline Andiroo

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 10:57:17 pm »
Hey All

Wow - once again I am amazed by the knowledge of people on this site.  Thanks!!!

I exchanged info with the frames former owner and it seems it was running 700c wheels. I presume it could have been built for 700's or perhaps the frame was altered.

I also found out that before it was stripped down to just frame and fork the setup was:

Campy Nuovo Record with a Rally rear derailleur and a custom Campy triple crank...46X43X24 and a Regina CX  5 spd freewheel...13X15X18X21X24. Wheels were 36 hole Nuovo Record laced to Super Champion Gentleman 700c clinchers. Bars were Cinelli Giro D'Italia with an 8 cm 1A stem.

A nice fast road set up but probably not what I want / need for a classic tourer.

I now need to build up a spec list so I can start hunting out key parts so at least I have a rolling frame.

Arn
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 11:02:35 pm by Andiroo »

Offline DaveB

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2011, 09:48:22 am »
Instead of spreading the rear part of the frame you can simply take out a spacer on the rear axle  and replace it with washers to fit. Be sure to place the washers so they tighten against the cone to keep it in place. Choose washers that barely fit over the diameter of the the axle. In other words, just modify the rear wheel at the axle. If the width at the cones is too wide, then you have a problem and you may need to spread. Usually though, it seems the too wide aspect comes from spacers put on the axle to for the wider rear-stays. At least, that is what I have come across so far.
This approach has a couple of problems.  First, if you narrow the hub, the axle will probably stick out past the dropout faces and the qr skewer will not tighten properly.  You will have to shorten the axle by the amount of the spacer you remove.  Second, narrowing the hub will require redishing the rim and will increase tha amount of dish.

If the frame has 126 mm dropouts and you want to use a 130 mm hub, just squeeze it in or cold set the frame.  If the frame has 120 mm dropouts, find another bike to use.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Classic Randonneur Build
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2011, 02:09:17 pm »
This approach has a couple of problems.  First, if you narrow the hub, the axle will probably stick out past the dropout faces and the qr skewer will not tighten properly.  You will have to shorten the axle by the amount of the spacer you remove.  Second, narrowing the hub will require redishing the rim and will increase tha amount of dish.

If the frame has 126 mm dropouts and you want to use a 130 mm hub, just squeeze it in or cold set the frame.  If the frame has 120 mm dropouts, find another bike to use.

I've converted a 135mm Deore hub down to 130mm spacing.  Took out a few washers.  Redished the wheel.  Easy to do.  Wheel isn't enough weaker to worry about.  The dropouts on my frame were more than wide enough to take up the extra axle sticking out.  You have to be careful when putting the hub back together to get the right amount of axle sticking out each side.  But the axle easily fit in the dropouts.

I'd agree if its 126mm, you can probably make it work.  If its 120, get another frame.