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Help Me Buy My Riv-Ish Bike?

Old 03-16-20, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Sadly no co-op in Dallas :/
...another alternative to the co-op parts route is to buy the frame you want (cheaply), and then buy a complete donor bike (in the wrong size, also cheaply). Then you swap over all the parts, wheels, etc, and swap in the stem and bar that makes it all work as intended for you.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...another alternative to the co-op parts route is to buy the frame you want (cheaply), and then buy a complete donor bike (in the wrong size, also cheaply). Then you swap over all the parts, wheels, etc, and swap in the stem and bar that makes it all work as intended for you.
I really like this idea--there's a bike on facebook marketplace I've been eyeing, though the frame is too small and the price is too high: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...97143814293015
I reached out previously and asked if the seller would consider a price drop, and they said they'd prefer to wait. It's sat for a couple of months now.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...another alternative to the co-op parts route is to buy the frame you want (cheaply), and then buy a complete donor bike (in the wrong size, also cheaply).
Yep. For that Schwinn frameset, he just needs to find an '80s english threaded, fully-built donor bike with 700c wheels. Check the brake mounting, recessed vs nutted. Shifters for a brazed down tube would be nice. Worry about the seatpost size later.
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Old 03-16-20, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Yep. For that Schwinn frameset, he just needs to find an '80s english threaded, fully-built donor bike with 700c wheels. Check the brake mounting, recessed vs nutted. Shifters for a brazed down tube would be nice. Worry about the seatpost size later.
Did you see the FB bike I posted above? https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...97143814293015
I am getting beyond my depth in thinking through things like BB width, etc. Would welcome your input.

My only hesitation on the Schwinn was the chainstays did not appear to be very long?
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Old 03-16-20, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Did you see the FB bike I posted above?
It was $350, so I didn't look at it very long. If you build up the Schwinn, you'll want an inexpensive batch of parts from a co-op or inexpensive donor bike. Find another Schwinn or other english-threaded '80s bike. Worry about other stuff (seatposts and bb's) after you aquire the majority of your parts (ie, donor).
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Old 03-16-20, 05:11 PM
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Here's a donor Schwinn: https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...090987639.html
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Old 03-16-20, 05:18 PM
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.
...yeah. $350 is way too much money to spend on a donor bike. Look for something that has dry rotted tyres and needs a new chain and a lot of work. You're going to take it apart anyway, to do the transplants, so you do the mechanical work, cleaning, relubrication at the same time you do the swaps. It opens up a lot of bargains, because you no longer have to pay attention to the frame size of the bike you're using for parts.

I've done this with PX-10, an early Ironman, and a Motobecane Grand Record. It was the only way I could get those bikes in my preferred 24" frame size. For some reason, most of the American importers just imported and sold the 23" and the 25" frames on those two French bikes. The PX-10 frame came from a guy who bought it in Germany, and he rode it so much all the components were pretty well shot.
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Old 03-16-20, 05:33 PM
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Find a cheap-ish road bike - you know the kind, big clearance and brakes, tubing of no account. Make sure it's from the mid 80's when components were styled like soap bars and no one was buying road bikes any more. Also make sure it's a size too big. Replace the handlebar with one from an old Schwinn 3-speed. This won't fit in the handlebar clamp, so buy a stem that costs a hundred dollars that will. The stem will be a foot long, that and the XL frame correct the geometry from the townie handlebar. Replace anything that says Shimano with vicious prejudice, but the replacement also has to be Japanese. Tell everyone how great the shifters are going to be if they're ever done. When you run out of money on the project, ask your spouse to buy a gift certificate from you for future housework.
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Old 03-16-20, 09:25 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
It was $350, so I didn't look at it very long. If you build up the Schwinn, you'll want an inexpensive batch of parts from a co-op or inexpensive donor bike. Find another Schwinn or other english-threaded '80s bike. Worry about other stuff (seatposts and bb's) after you aquire the majority of your parts (ie, donor).
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
.
...yeah. $350 is way too much money to spend on a donor bike. Look for something that has dry rotted tyres and needs a new chain and a lot of work. You're going to take it apart anyway, to do the transplants, so you do the mechanical work, cleaning, relubrication at the same time you do the swaps. It opens up a lot of bargains, because you no longer have to pay attention to the frame size of the bike you're using for parts.

I've done this with PX-10, an early Ironman, and a Motobecane Grand Record. It was the only way I could get those bikes in my preferred 24" frame size. For some reason, most of the American importers just imported and sold the 23" and the 25" frames on those two French bikes. The PX-10 frame came from a guy who bought it in Germany, and he rode it so much all the components were pretty well shot.
I get that $350 is too much, which is why I would like to low-ball offer something since it's been sitting. Honestly, though, I am probably drawn to that bike because it is the only dynamo hub I've seen in over a year of searching in Dallas.

When it comes to identifying the donor bike I do not have the knowledge on groupsets and other components to know what's worth salvaging. Thanks for the bikes already suggested, and if anything else makes sense, I'm all ears.

I still wonder if the Schwinn in question is too much of a road geometry for what I'm looking for?
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Old 03-16-20, 10:51 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
I still wonder if the Schwinn in question is too much of a road geometry for what I'm looking for?
I think it might be an '89.

https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...9_Ltwt_16.html
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Old 03-20-20, 08:00 AM
  #36  
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I think you will be most happy with a converted MTB. What size is your Novarra? Consider getting a longer seatpost to put your B-17 on AND then go on the Rivbike site and order some bars and a tall stem with the "proper" length. Ride that a bunch and plan your next bike.
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Old 03-20-20, 08:09 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I think you will be most happy with a converted MTB. What size is your Novarra? Consider getting a longer seatpost to put your B-17 on AND then go on the Rivbike site and order some bars and a tall stem with the "proper" length. Ride that a bunch and plan your next bike.
I think you might be right, but my experience with the Novarra so far is making me hesitant. It is likely user error, though.

So my Novarra is a 19" frame, which I believe is too small (likely want a 21" or even 23" frame?). The thing about the geometry that I really dislike though is that the top tube feels very long. I'm now blanking on the measurements, but I want to say it's 23"? It feels like I'm bending over and forward to reach the bars, even with a riser stem.
The Novarra:


What I'm riding right now that is the closest I've yet come is a 56cm Marin Nicasio RC. I originally picked this up because I really like the concept of an IGH bike as a bullet-proof commuter, but have found the sizing doesn't quite work for me and it's very heavy.
The Marin:
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Old 03-20-20, 08:37 AM
  #38  
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This is what I suggest. As a mountain bike it was fine with the original bars. But for cruising, I was too stretched out. These bars are Soma Oxfords because I was too cheap to get Riv/Nittos. If the picture of your Novarra is set up with your seat height, it is not too small. I think all you need is some bars.

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Old 03-22-20, 09:24 PM
  #39  
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This bike is pretty nice in terms of room for fenders. Plus it would still look classy with swept-back bars.I like the half-chromed stays and fork blades.

Kobe Cobra - $100 (Arlington)

https://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bi...083021499.html



And here's another thread full of inspiration: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...nversions.html
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Old 03-23-20, 05:28 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
This bike is pretty nice in terms of room for fenders. Plus it would still look classy with swept-back bars.I like the half-chromed stays and fork blades.

Kobe Cobra - $100 (Arlington)

https://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bi...083021499.html



And here's another thread full of inspiration: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...nversions.html
+ 1 on this bike. The parts are good quality. The bike has forged drop outs so the frame is likely good quality as well. And with the center pull brakes and likely 27 inch wheels, you have lots of room for reasonable volume tires and fenders especially if you go to 700c wheels.
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Old 03-23-20, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
This bike is pretty nice in terms of room for fenders. Plus it would still look classy with swept-back bars.I like the half-chromed stays and fork blades.

Kobe Cobra - $100 (Arlington)

https://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bi...083021499.html



And here's another thread full of inspiration: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...nversions.html
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+ 1 on this bike. The parts are good quality. The bike has forged drop outs so the frame is likely good quality as well. And with the center pull brakes and likely 27 inch wheels, you have lots of room for reasonable volume tires and fenders especially if you go to 700c wheels.
...and in addition, you would be rescuing it from spending its life being ridden by a person who was too short to ride it.
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Old 03-23-20, 09:06 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...and in addition, you would be rescuing it from spending its life being ridden by a person who was too short to ride it.
Don't forget the beauty of French Fit if you're lusting after a Riv style bike,
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Old 03-23-20, 06:50 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
This is what I suggest. As a mountain bike it was fine with the original bars. But for cruising, I was too stretched out. These bars are Soma Oxfords because I was too cheap to get Riv/Nittos. If the picture of your Novarra is set up with your seat height, it is not too small. I think all you need is some bars.
I think this a good suggestion, and based on another post I made, I think an old school, rigid MTB may be my best bet for conversion. The things I see come across my local CL most often are Rock Hoppers and Treks-- anything you'd recommend keeping an eye out for? Most here sell for a steep price bc of their name recognition.

Additionally, any sizing tips in terms of frame size to height?
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Old 03-23-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
This bike is pretty nice in terms of room for fenders. Plus it would still look classy with swept-back bars.I like the half-chromed stays and fork blades.

Kobe Cobra - $100 (Arlington)

https://dallas.craigslist.org/mdf/bi...083021499.html



And here's another thread full of inspiration: https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...nversions.html
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
+ 1 on this bike. The parts are good quality. The bike has forged drop outs so the frame is likely good quality as well. And with the center pull brakes and likely 27 inch wheels, you have lots of room for reasonable volume tires and fenders especially if you go to 700c wheels.
Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...and in addition, you would be rescuing it from spending its life being ridden by a person who was too short to ride it.
I actually ran across this one the other day and went down a rabbit hole trying to find info on Kobe--eventually saw some citing it as a Japanese brand and others saying it was out of Hong Kong?

Either way, thanks for the votes of confidence here--I'm interested in it. Dallas County is currently ordered to shelter in place, so likely will not be able to look in person in the immediate future.
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Old 03-23-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
I think this a good suggestion, and based on another post I made, I think an old school, rigid MTB may be my best bet for conversion. The things I see come across my local CL most often are Rock Hoppers and Treks-- anything you'd recommend keeping an eye out for? Most here sell for a steep price bc of their name recognition.

Additionally, any sizing tips in terms of frame size to height?
To start, why don't you just get some bars for your Novarra?
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Old 03-23-20, 07:43 PM
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I missed this ('89?) touring bike earlier because I had a search limit minimum of $20 to weed out these normally-annoying $0 CL listings.

Fuji Saratoga - $190


https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...070866542.html

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Old 03-23-20, 07:53 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
To start, why don't you just get some bars for your Novarra?
Can't remember if I posted here or elsewhere, but the frame is too small so my wife is currently riding that bike
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Old 03-23-20, 08:28 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
I missed this ('89?) touring bike earlier because I had a search limit minimum of $20 to weed out these normally-annoying $0 CL listings.

Fuji Saratoga - $190


https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...070866542.html

Huh, I hadn't seen this one on CL - not sure how I missed it. Any guess on the year? For some reason this looks a lot newer than many others of the same price
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Old 03-23-20, 08:32 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
I missed this ('89?) touring bike earlier because I had a search limit minimum of $20 to weed out these normally-annoying $0 CL listings.

Fuji Saratoga - $190


https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/bi...070866542.html
Yeesh, I missed your guess at a year above. Looks like a very clean 89, no?
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Old 03-23-20, 09:29 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by reluctantsuburb View Post
Can't remember if I posted here or elsewhere, but the frame is too small so my wife is currently riding that bike
I read that it was too far to the bars for you so I suggested that you get some bars from Rivendell.

"So my Novarra is a 19" frame, which I believe is too small (likely want a 21" or even 23" frame?). The thing about the geometry that I really dislike though is that the top tube feels very long. I'm now blanking on the measurements, but I want to say it's 23"? It feels like I'm bending over and forward to reach the bars, even with a riser stem."
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