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Upgrading an old road bike

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Upgrading an old road bike

Old 02-08-20, 01:58 PM
  #26  
bikeaddiction1
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There are links to pictures in post #4
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Old 02-08-20, 02:37 PM
  #27  
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Based on the pictures in post 4 I would agree that it looks very entry level however that is the perfect bike to learn some skills on, tearing the bike down, new grease on all the bearings, adjustments, new consumables (chain, bar tape, brake pads cables etc) there are lots of great videos (RJ the bike guy) and websites (Sheldon Brown, mytenspeeds, this forum etc) to get you started. Myself I wouldn't do any upgrading but I would take it apart, add new grease and inexpensive consumables and ride it and then with those skill find something a bit more mid level and apply your new found skills. Good luck OP

As an example here is an entry level bike from Miyata who made some nice bikes bitd. Its on my trainer now but will get some refurbishment come spring


1987 Miyata 112
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Old 02-08-20, 02:39 PM
  #28  
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Pic assist OP bike


Last edited by ryansu; 02-08-20 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 02-08-20, 03:44 PM
  #29  
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[QUOTE=ryansu;21319674]Based on the pictures in post 4 I would agree that it looks very entry level however that is the perfect bike to learn some skills on, tearing the bike down, new grease on all the bearings, adjustments, new consumables (chain, bar tape, brake pads cables etc) there are lots of great videos (RJ the bike guy) and websites (Sheldon Brown, mytenspeeds, this forum etc) to get you started. Myself I wouldn't do any upgrading but I would take it apart, add new grease and inexpensive consumables and ride it and then with those skill find something a bit more mid level and apply your new found skills. Good luck OP

As an example here is an entry level bike from Miyata who made some nice bikes bitd.

To use this bike to gain hands on mechanical experience is a really good suggestion. Just wouldn't spend much on it.
I would say your entry level Miyata has a nicer frame and higher level components than the OP's bike. The number of stamped metal parts would suggest the OP's was likely a department stare purchase. It is a good move on his part to get feedback from this forum.
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Old 02-08-20, 04:30 PM
  #30  
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Even though you may have emotional attachment to your bike it is a very low end model. It would be useful to learn some mechanical skills on but it will never be a great bike. Any money spent on it would be, in my opinion, not worth it.

Steel wheels, nutted axles, seat post pin, those cheap long reach steel brakes, cottered crank, etc.
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Old 02-08-20, 04:54 PM
  #31  
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I agree with Narhay. That bike is not worth spending any money on but it may be worth putting some time in to get experience. For the wobbly wheel problem, I suggest you buy a spoke wrench, put some penetrating oil on the spoke nipples, and try truing it (presuming the rim is not badly bent). If the broken spokes are on the drive side of the back wheel, you could take the wheel to a bike shop and have them remove the freewheel so that you can replace the spokes. There are plenty of guides on the internet that can help you through truing a wheel for the first time. Just go slow.
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Old 02-08-20, 04:55 PM
  #32  
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Welcome to C&V.

Presuming you want to get your bicycle back to being reliable without replacing it or spending a fortune, I suspect from what you've written that your chain is worn and your shifters or derailleurs may need adjustment. It is generally recommended that when changing a worn chain that you at least inspect and consider changing the chainrings (in the front) and the freewheel (in the back), as wear on these can accelerate wear on the new chain.

When it comes to wheels, I generally build my own, but I recognize this is not for everyone. Steel rims (which it looks like you have) are considerably heavier than alloy rims, and the brake pads generate less friction on steel wheel - especially when wet. If you are considering new wheels, look for something in the same size, with alloy rims.

No idea of where you are located, but Narhay may have a point. In some places, it may actually cost less to get an entire used bike (possibly even a nicer one) than it would be to fix what you have. This reality strikes me as a bit shameful and wasteful, but it isn't a reality I can change. If you have a local bicycle co-op, I suggest taking your bike there for a consult. Also, if you do decide to go with a different bike, consider donating your bike, as opposed to setting it out for trash.

Don't feel shy about asking questions. The folks here are quite helpful almost all the time.
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Old 02-09-20, 03:33 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Wheel sizing is kooky.

For whatever reason 700c wheels are (nowadays)(sometimes) called 29rs which is smaller than 27".

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

IMO- I used to advocate staying with 27" as there's good tires out there- namely the Paselas and the Sand Canyons. (there's also the Continentals that I haven't used). But, really, it's just a handful- tires REALLY change the complexion of your ride- and it's a shame to limit your ride because of an obsolete wheel size.

You've got a while before spring, do a ****-ton of reading- watch some RJ The Bike Guy videos on the YouTubes. Look out for the problems that people have in upgrading and swapping parts.

IMO- you NEED new wheels- you're running steel rims. Not only is that going to significantly increase the weight of your bike, but most brakes have difficulty grabbing on steel rims (hence the 'grippy' tread on the rims, which helps a little.) Looking at your pix, you definitely have enough room on your front brake to go down the 2mm. You should have enough on the rear as well- but more experienced people should be able to give you a better answer.

IME- if you decide to get used 27" wheels off eBay for a good price- don't forget to factor in the cost of shipping. Check Craigslist of FB for some used 27" wheels- a lot of people have a lot of extra 27" wheels after changing to 700c. ONLY get aluminum rims.

Again IMO- don't go throwing a whole lot of money at this bike- you have an excellent 'get around' bike, but you'll never turn it into a racing machine. New/different wheels, new brake pads, new tires, new cables/housing and fresh grease all around... you'll have a really slick, fun bike.
Thank you for all the information provided. When it comes to bicycles I believe, there are always some special features you need to be careful about when replacing parts, especially when upgrading old bikes. It is never straightforward. As you pointed out I am not looking to spend whole lot of money at the bike. It is a great bike for the work commute. Nothing to fancy that would get stolen right away. But it would be nice to replace some old parts. Thank you again!
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Old 02-09-20, 04:03 PM
  #34  
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Thanks to everyone, that has provided some feedback. I will add a little more info. I am from Slovenia. I own the bike for like 4 years and it does not really represent any sentimental value for me. I am not trying to build a racing machine. It is a great bike for the work commute in the city especially because it has two pairs of brake levers (vertical and horizontal) which can come in handy in the city. Lately, it does not feel as safe anymore especially when the road is wet, so I was thinking about replacing it with a new one or just upgrading it. To get a normal used road bike, that is not 30 years old, I would have to spend around 150- 200€ here. I found a dealer that is selling new front and rear wheels (27 x 1 ¼ without freewheel) for 50€ - both. Also, Shimano sora brakes (which I hope would fit - have not done the measurements yet) cost 40€ for both. If these wheels and brakes were the only major parts that I would have to replace (besides other little things) I would probably decide for upgrading. If it would end up costing me 150+, I would buy a new bike. However, since I do not have much experience replacing bikes I come here to get some feedback about what to replace and if it is worth doing it. I appreciate your help guys!
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Old 02-09-20, 05:55 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I must have missed it. Where are the images?

Cheers
See links added to bottom of post #4 in this thread.
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Old 02-10-20, 07:24 AM
  #36  
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In addition to what others have said above:

The extra, "horizontal" brake levers really aren't a good idea. You ought to be able to reach and use the regular, "vertical" levers. If this is difficult, maybe the frame is too big for you. (I notice that you've set the saddle as low as possible.)

Your stem -- which is surprisingly short (from front to back) -- is very high up. If it's an unusually tall stem, designed for this, OK; but make sure that it isn't so high that the marking on it for the maximum safe height is visible. That would be dangerous.

The brake cable routing is very tight. Get new cable sheathing and new cables. (The cables are fraying terribly.) Don't attempt to attach the cables to the handlebar and instead provide plenty of slack in order to avoid friction. Something like what you see here, for example. (You'll need new bar tape: yellow should look good.)
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Old 02-10-20, 08:05 AM
  #37  
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Regarding upgrade in Slovenia

Here's the advice I got, 50 years ago. (With the exception of the bike being 30 years old.Those would have been bicycles from the begining of WWII.

The mid range tech of the eighties is excellent, and many lightly ridden used bikes can be found).



Rather than putting money into this bike... Get that 30 year old bike with mid level components... ride it around the block, shift the gears, try the brakes, ride it no-hands (if you feel safe doing that. If not just make sure you feel centered on it, and it does not feel like it wants to pull the handlebars out of your hands). If it passes those tests, and does not have too much rust, and the wheels are round and spin smoothly, that's enough for a start. All the money and effort you would be pouring into this bike would be better spent going into a worthier vessel.



Replacing wheels, brakes, cables. tape, etc? Likely to be cheaper, easier, and have a better final result picking a different bike to begin with, and then sell this one. Esp as OP has no emotional attachment to this one.


Try out some local used bikes in your price range, using the criteria I suggested, Ask for opinions here -not on every bike you see, but when you have found a couple you like, Then choose one, and go for it!

Regards, Eric & Good luck!

Last edited by Last ride 76; 02-10-20 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-12-20, 12:56 AM
  #38  
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What may not be clear from the comments above is that wheels don't normally come "with gears". Instead, they come ready for "gears" to be added. The system changed a long time ago: now you buy a rear wheel (or just a rear hub) that takes a "cassette"; but back when your bike was new the wheel (or hub) would take a "freewheel". A new hub won't take a freewheel; an old hub won't take a cassette.

If your gears are working well, your hubs are in good condition, and you are up for a challenge, you could throw out your current rims and spokes, buy new 700C rims and the spokes for them, and attach these to your current hubs. You'll have to do quite a bit of reading, and you can ask questions about the process here. (For one thing, you'll need to know what length spoke to use.) I shan't be among the people answering you, because I haven't built wheels in thirty years, and even back then I was bad at it!

You could also ask a bike shop to build new wheels using your hubs. This will take them time, for which they'll charge you. Flashy bike shops may laugh at the idea of reusing your old hubs (even if they're in good condition). But a bike shop might have a good reason (unrelated to their profits) for not wanting to do it, so do listen.
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Old 02-12-20, 06:07 AM
  #39  
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The money invested would not be worth it, but it is a capable bicycle that was originally a pretty complete design, with provision for fenders, lights, a generator, electrical wiring inside the frame, a kickstand and a rack. With the worn parts replaced and carefully installed it should ride as well as new or better, for another 30 years at least, with maintenance. Bikes like this are useful for an amazingly long time if maintained and not heavily damaged. I lived for a few months total in Lippstadt, Germany (Nordrhine-Westphal) and I saw hundreds of steel 10-speed bikes of similar design and age on the streets, used for commuting or shopping and general utility. They are as good for this use as they ever were, and even for getting out on the rural roads and paths. Based on the model name "Super Classe" I guess it was made for the German, Swiss or Austrian markets, but honestly I don't know and I don't think that point matters. The frame does not appear to be badly built, so if its not rusted out it should still be as usable as it ever was. It's most likely mild steel. The good thing about that is that if any frame tubes or braze ons are bent they can probably be bent back.

Brakes: They are very cheap but there's no reason why they can't be effective with a full overhaul, so the pivots and springs work freely, smoothly and without play. A modern book on bike maintenance and repair treats caliper brakes very thoroughly from exactly this point of view, how to make old brakes work as well as they can. The book is "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" by Lennard Zinn. It costs about $25 in USA, and you should be able to find a used copy of perhaps 4th edition on Ebay.

Key points about your brakes:
Your brake shoe slots have a lot of room so if you change from your 27 x 1 ¼ inch rims (technically called 630 millimeter bead seat diameter or BSD) to 700c rims (called 622 mm BSD), you should be able to just loosen the brake shoe bolts, move them down into position and tighten them back up. The cables have been trimmed too short and the way they turn sharply coming out of the brake levers is not acceptable due to safety. The cables should arc up smoothly, long but not too long - you need some pictures for that. You can put a drop of light oil on the pivots for each caliper. If that doesn't smooth them up after you move them with your hands, the calipers need to be taken apart and cleaned. Zinn's book is great for that. There should also be a dab of grease on each of the anchor points for the caliper springs, after they are cleaned. For the brake levers, most of us here do not like the safety levers (also called turkey legs) and if not set up very carefully they can actually limit how hard you can apply the brakes - clearly a safety device that can reduce safety! If you disassemble the brake calipers, don't lose any of the original washers and whatevers, and make a sketch so you can get them back together exactly the same.

When you install your new cables, trimming the outer shell is very important and the ends should be filed square and covered with a ferrule. This makes the brake cables able to move freely and not feel squishy or soft.

Key points about your wheels:
Your rims are steel 27 x 1 ¼ inch rims. They were very common on British bikes and French 10-speeds dating back to the 1950s and disappearing by the late 1970s. The ridges on the brake tracks were intended to improve rain braking and it is a problem with chromed steel rims. My past experience (deep past!) is that the ridges did not help with wet braking. You should be able to find good quality aluminum rims in the modern hooked style. Modern 27 x 1 ¼ tires (630 x 32 mm) should be able to fit very securely to modern rims. With new spokes and modern rims it should be possible to build very true and durable wheels, and with the aluminum rims and new brake shoes the wet braking should be a lot better. You will need new spokes - stainless spokes are now recommended for new builds.

Regardless of whether you build new rims onto your old hubs or buy new 27 x 1 ¼ road wheels, I would re-use your original freewheel. In bikes of this vintage the chain and freewheel sprockets are generally worn enough that both must be replaced, and then you face buying a new freewheel and a matching new chain. New chain should not be a big problem, but a new 5-speed freewheel could be - I just haven't looked for one for a while. The best ones of the old days were made by Regina, Maillard, Sachs-Maillard, SunTour, and Shimano, and these should be available on auction sites like ebay, but you need to be savvy buyer. "Best" is a contentious topic. You will need to have a freewheel which matches the threading of your old hub. Both of your hubs should at least be overhauled and regreased. The outsides need a wash so you can inspect and make sure the holes are not cracked - a lot can happen to a bike in 30 or 50 years.

Other stuff:
Your generator is probably fine as it is, but it should be re-aligned on its bolt. The axis of the generator rotation should point at the front axle when the roller is on the tire.

Most likely your derailleurs are still usable with 2 rings in the front and 5 in the rear. They might want cleaning and lubrication.

Other lubrications: headset overhaul, both hubs overhaul, bottom bracket overhaul.

Other checks: make sure the seat post is not frozen in the frame, same for the handlebar stem.
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