Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Flat bar conversion on an Ironman?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Flat bar conversion on an Ironman?

Old 06-17-19, 06:31 AM
  #1  
Spaghetti Legs 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 3,211

Bikes: Numerous

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Flat bar conversion on an Ironman?

My wife has a city bike with a 3 speed Nexus IGH that has proved a challenge to ride around our new hillier hometown. I put a bigger cog and smaller chain ring to help out but still tough to get up the routine hills here. Shes asked for a more hill friendly bike. So Ive been scanning the local co-op and CL and seeing mostly overpriced MTB or junk bikes but this Ironman has lingered and finally drifted down into the < $100 price range.

Its currently fitted with Shimano 600 but Im thinking triple crank, flat bar with a 7 speed trigger shifter that I have. Fenders might be problematic on this one. Anyone done this to an Ironman before? What size tires have people put on these?
__________________
N = '96 Colnago C40, '04 Wilier Alpe D'Huez, '10 Colnago EPS, '85 Merckx Pro, '89 Merckx Century, '85 Moser, '86 Tommasini Professional, '04 Teschner Aero FX Pro, '05 Alan Carbon Cross, '86 De Rosa Professional, '82 Colnago Super, '95 Gios Compact Pro, '95 Carrera Zeus, '84 Basso Gap, 89 Cinelli Supercorsa
Spaghetti Legs is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 06:55 AM
  #2  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,549

Bikes: 69 PX-10, 81 Medici, 84 Turbo, 87 IM, 2010 Milwaukee Road, 2011 RS

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Easy room for 28s on my 86 IM but not on my 87. Over on the IM thread, somebody did a 650b transformation to an 87 with long reach Tektros. If thevcity bike has swept back bars, the flat bars might be a stretch but a triple has often been done. Easy way for low gears is a compact with a 28 on the back.
Classtime is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 07:03 AM
  #3  
Spaghetti Legs 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 3,211

Bikes: Numerous

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 14 Posts
Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Easy room for 28s on my 86 IM but not on my 87. Over on the IM thread, somebody did a 650b transformation to an 87 with long reach Tektros. If thevcity bike has swept back bars, the flat bars might be a stretch but a triple has often been done. Easy way for low gears is a compact with a 28 on the back.
Thanks Jeff, good to know. I think this ones an 86; red and white, Tange 1
__________________
N = '96 Colnago C40, '04 Wilier Alpe D'Huez, '10 Colnago EPS, '85 Merckx Pro, '89 Merckx Century, '85 Moser, '86 Tommasini Professional, '04 Teschner Aero FX Pro, '05 Alan Carbon Cross, '86 De Rosa Professional, '82 Colnago Super, '95 Gios Compact Pro, '95 Carrera Zeus, '84 Basso Gap, 89 Cinelli Supercorsa
Spaghetti Legs is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 07:22 AM
  #4  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,071

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2766 Post(s)
Liked 138 Times in 112 Posts
@TXsailor recently put a triple on an Ironman.

I've just put smaller chainrings on my double -- Vuelta 50/39. A 38T small ring is available in 130 BCD.

Combined with a 13-26 freewheel, that helps my mediocre climbing ability. I also have a 13-28 but haven't put it on the Ironman yet.

If you go beyond the standard 13-24 freewheel, be sure the chain is long enough to avoid stressing and damaging the short cage rear derailleur. It'll take a few adjustments to get smooth shifting across a 13-28. Initially I was doubtful it could work but it does. I like the SunRace MFR30 13-25 and MFM30 13-28 chromed freewheels -- the teeth are shaped for smoother shifter and quieter running than the original Suntour. Some SunRace freewheels have spotty quality control, but so far those two specific models have been fine for me.

To me, flat bars seem initially comfortable and convenient, but only for rides up to around 20 continuous miles without a break. They're really designed more for manuverability, not comfort. OTOH, some of my riding friends ride flat bar fixies all day, including a Bianchi road bike converted to fixie with flat bar. And I find flat bars a bit awkward for standing to pedal. I prefer to have my hands aligned as they would be riding the hoods.

A swept bar like a Nitto albatross or North Roads would be more versatile. That's what I have on my Univega, and am considering for another Ironman frame if I can find one, which would be about 5 lbs lighter than my Univega. With Shimano bar end shifters it's convenient and comfortable for all day rides. I can shift with the base of my palm and lift up with a pinky, while keeping my hands on the grips and ready to brake if necessary. Great city bike setup. Definitely on my to-do list soon. I like the idea of a lightweight city bike in the sub-25 lb range that rides like a classic steel road bike.

The original drop bar can be set up much more comfortably than the original setup shown in catalogs and ads. I just tip the bar up slightly so the bottom of the drops aren't quite parallel with the ground. Then slide the brake levers up about 1/2"-1". A shorter 90mm stem (courtesy of @RobbieTunes) completed the comfort adjustments to suit my cranky neck and shoulders (old car wreck injuries). Much better than the original long 120mm or 130mm stem, which was better suited to getting low and stretched out for time trials, 1960s-1980s style. I've posted some pix of my setup. It's not radical or goofy looking -- not like the flipped drops I see on pawn shop beer bikes around the neighborhood. It's actually pretty close to how some road racers set up their drops in the 1960s-'70s for stages other than time trials -- more for comfort over those 3-week races.

And you can switch to brifters for convenient shifting with drop bars. I did that with my early '90s Trekenstein 5900, their early monocoque carbon fiber bike. A friend inadvertently bought a set of 7-speed MicroShift brifters years ago and by the time he was ready to install them he realized they were the wrong set and it was too late to return 'em. So now I'm using 'em on the Trek. My first experienced with brifters and they're great. Took a whole 15 minute test ride to get used to them. Now I can shift while standing to climb, just by pausing the pedal stroke for a split second. Very convenient. Also the MicroShift brifter braking is super light, yet positive. Makes my Ironman's Suntour GPX brakes feel a bit gritty and stiff in comparison. Although the Shimano 600 brake levers had a nicer feel than the GPX, despite looking nearly identical. Part of that is due to the stiff GPX caliper internal springs, which are darned difficult to adjust so I won't bother.

For tires, I really like the cheap but good Continental Ultra Sport II in 700x25. I'm not sure 700x28 will fit, but 700x25 at around 90 psi rear, 75-80 psi front, tames even our rough chipseal roads. I weigh 150 lbs and have never pinch flatted running tires softer than specs call for.

If the budget can handle it, there are some nice semi-gravel friendly 700x25 tires with just enough tread to give a little more confidence than the slicks I usually ride. But the Contis have worked fine for me, even when I've been caught in the rain.
canklecat is online now  
Old 06-17-19, 07:31 AM
  #5  
texaspandj
Senior Member
 
texaspandj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Heart Of Texas
Posts: 3,325

Bikes: '86 , '87 , '88 , '89 Centurion Dave Scott Ironman.

Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1119 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
Easy room for 28s on my 86 IM but not on my 87. Over on the IM thread, somebody did a 650b transformation to an 87 with long reach Tektros. If thevcity bike has swept back bars, the flat bars might be a stretch but a triple has often been done. Easy way for low gears is a compact with a 28 on the back.
Spot on!
texaspandj is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 07:33 AM
  #6  
Classtime 
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,549

Bikes: 69 PX-10, 81 Medici, 84 Turbo, 87 IM, 2010 Milwaukee Road, 2011 RS

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Thanks Jeff, good to know. I think this ones an 86; red and white, Tange 1
Cool! The 86 has Centurion on the chain stay caps and the not unicrown fork.
Classtime is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 12:25 PM
  #7  
vascoboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 103
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
as others have stated, the issue will be tire size...28s are pushing it w/ newer models as their forks have less clearance, but as you probably know, not all 28s are alike. I had the best luck with the older "flat crown" Centurion foks...
vascoboy is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 12:47 PM
  #8  
Wildwood 
Veteran/Pacifist/Resister
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 8,512

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1740 Post(s)
Liked 90 Times in 65 Posts
IDK, but if you put flat bar, triple, 28mm, fenders = you are gonna spoil bigtime the image of this bike as America's hardcore racer for Everyman.
__________________
70sFollis 072/71 Bottecchia Giro d Italia/72 Zeus Competition/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/84 Pinarello Record/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/88 Falcon Race/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico: The less ridden = '97 CoMotion tandem + city bike, mtn bike, beach cruiser
Wildwood is offline  
Old 06-17-19, 05:48 PM
  #9  
RobbieTunes 
Half drunk? Finish!
 
RobbieTunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Very Southern Indiana
Posts: 25,744
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 48 Posts
I say go for it.

Tilt the flat bars back a bit, mount some donor stuff from an MTB, and go with some non-Conti 28's, may just fit.

Ask Doc, he's got an '86.
__________________
Robbie ♪♫♪...☻
I have unfinished business.

RobbieTunes is online now  
Old 06-18-19, 01:25 AM
  #10  
TXsailor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Bowie Texas
Posts: 436

Bikes: Origin-8 Lactic Acid Giant Escape 2 Centurian Lemans 12 Kuwahara Tandem 1989 Ironman Expert 1988 Ironman Master

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
The hardest part of putting a triple on a Ironman was finding a derailleur and that wasn't very hard. I have actually done it to two. The first was mine and I used a new FD 5703 and it works fine. The second one got a Exage that I took off another bike. It was for my Granddaughter and it works good too. The bottom bracket you need will depend on what crank you use.
TXsailor is offline  
Old 06-18-19, 05:57 AM
  #11  
seypat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,909
Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 918 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 38 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
My wife has a city bike with a 3 speed Nexus IGH that has proved a challenge to ride around our new hillier hometown. I put a bigger cog and smaller chain ring to help out but still tough to get up the routine hills here. Shes asked for a more hill friendly bike. So Ive been scanning the local co-op and CL and seeing mostly overpriced MTB or junk bikes but this Ironman has lingered and finally drifted down into the < $100 price range.

Its currently fitted with Shimano 600 but Im thinking triple crank, flat bar with a 7 speed trigger shifter that I have. Fenders might be problematic on this one. Anyone done this to an Ironman before? What size tires have people put on these?
I don't know what size you are looking for. That IM looks to be in the 52-54 range. I have this Lotus Unique frame my son rode when he was younger/smaller. It's purdy! The bike came with 27 x 1 1/4" wheelset. ST is 20" C to where the ST ends. TT is 21.5"C-C. It came with Suntour BL. the RD is a long cage GT. You can take those also if you want. I had a triple on it when the son was riding it. You can take it and see if you can make it work. If it does, we will work something out. If not, I can pick it up some time. My office and home are on the west side of RVA right off of 288. I can meet you halfway. Let me know.

I need to mention that some time in it's past, the serial number was ground off. When I acquired it, it was set up as a Hobo fixie.


Last edited by seypat; 06-18-19 at 06:28 AM.
seypat is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.