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Building a bike with spare parts

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Building a bike with spare parts

Old 11-10-20, 03:00 PM
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72andsunny
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Building a bike with spare parts

Hi all, Iím building a bike for a needy neighborhood kid. Iím using the term needy loosely as I wouldnít call his family poor, but thereís no way his father would spend more than a couple hundred dollars on a bicycle. And being in Hawaii, there is not a lot that isnít junk available used in that range.

Anyway, Iíve been begging everyone I know for parts and Iím now at the point where I need to start putting money into the project. Iím stuck on shifting. I think brifters are way over my budget as I have a mismash of other components, (rear derailleur is 9 speed, I think the front is just friction, I have 7, 8, and 10 speed cassettes). So does anyone have any suggestions. Iím looking to keep everything under $200. I was thinking da-compe bar end shifters and Tektro brake levers.

Thanks!
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Old 11-10-20, 03:15 PM
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Sunrace makes some inexpensive thumb shifters: https://www.treefortbikes.com/Sun-Ra...-9-Speed-Index
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Old 11-10-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Sunrace makes some inexpensive thumb shifters: https://www.treefortbikes.com/Sun-Ra...-9-Speed-Index
Those are made to clamp to the 22.2mm tubing of straight handlebars, not the 23.8mm of most drop handlebars. It seems to me that it would be difficult to get thumbies to work nicely on drop bars from an ergonomic standpoint as well, unless you're just riding the tops all day.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Those are made to clamp to the 22.2mm tubing of straight handlebars, not the 23.8mm of most drop handlebars. It seems to me that it would be difficult to get thumbies to work nicely on drop bars from an ergonomic standpoint as well, unless you're just riding the tops all day.
itís less than ideal, but heís never ridden a road bike, so wonít know any better. I did bar ends on a tandem for years. Thatís much more difficult.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
it’s less than ideal, but he’s never ridden a road bike, so won’t know any better. I did bar ends on a tandem for years. That’s much more difficult.
Why? I haven't use bar-end shifters on a tandem before (or ridden tandem at all really), but I actually find bar-end shifters on drop-bar bikes to be mostly phenomenal. Aside from it being clumsy to shift out of the saddle, I find them just about as nice to use as modern mechanical brifters. If not brifters, bar-ends are definitely my go-to second choice. They're always within a small forearm flick and require no elbow acrobatics, and many shifts can be accomplished with a gentle flick of a pinky.
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Old 11-10-20, 06:20 PM
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I did a budget bike with flat-bar shifter set up as bar-ends. Definitely not as good as the real thing but it also definitely worked.
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Old 11-10-20, 06:45 PM
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You can get shimano pull compatible 2x8 speed (or 3x8) shift/brake lever sets for around $50 on eBay. They are essentially rebranded Microshift products under the name 'Micronew'. I have used them for similar projects and they are decent quality. The 8-speed levers will work with your cassette and rear derailleur, if it is a Shimano unit.
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Old 11-10-20, 09:05 PM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Micronew-Ro...r/254190815942
$62 for 2x9sp shifters.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Shi....c100935.m2460
$58 for 2x8sp shifters.

Both are $20 less than diacompe bar end shifters.
You will need an indexed front derailleur though.

As for brakes, just ebay some tektro dual pivot brakes.
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Old 11-11-20, 02:20 AM
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For flat, riser or swept bars, SunRace SLM10 friction shifters are good and cheap. Nothing fancy but they work. I've seen 'em as replacements on many beater bikes to keep 'em running. They'll work with many front and rear derailleurs, as long as the rider can do without indexed shifting.

Not so good for drop bars, although they might mounted on or near the stem. I may switch a neighbor's bike to those. His old pawn shop beater MTB had grip shifters that aren't repairable -- those all plastic things that can only be replaced, not fixed. He has no money but is very proud and wary of offers of assistance, so he'll probably accept the SunRace shifters since they don't cost much. I have better shifters but he wouldn't accept them.

If it's a drop bar bike with steel frame or older style carbon fiber frame with lugs for downtube shifters (like my '93 Trek 5900 OCLV), there are lots of downtube friction shifters that'll work. I have an older set of Shimano L422 Light Action shifters that will work with just about anything within it's range of motion. I think it was originally for a 6-speed RD, but easily covers 7 and will probably cover 8 speeds -- seems to be enough range of motion.

Takes awhile to get accustomed to friction shifters but it sure simplifies some builds from mish-mash components.

Last edited by canklecat; 11-11-20 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 11-11-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Micronew-Ro...r/254190815942
$62 for 2x9sp shifters.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Shi....c100935.m2460
$58 for 2x8sp shifters.

Both are $20 less than diacompe bar end shifters.
You will need an indexed front derailleur though.

As for brakes, just ebay some tektro dual pivot brakes.
Thanks, might do something like that. Iíll have to check my front derailleur box; one of them would work, but it wonít fit around the seat tube. Otherwise, I think Iím just a 9 speed cassette away from these completing my drive train.
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Old 11-11-20, 12:25 PM
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I'd consider downtube friction shifters or SunTour ratchet shifters. (Straight friction should cost next to nothing at a bike store that's been around a few years. The ratchet shifters will cost more.) Get the kid excited about learning to shift manual "on-the-floor". Developing a skill his buddies won't have. (Plus, cheap, reliable, simple, easy to set up, light and crash-proof.) I went downtube friction when I was 12 and never regretted it. Also those shifters are compatible with just about everything out there. Just about every rear wheel you ever come across will work just fine. Nearly any derailleur too.

Tektro levers are excellent. Yes, some plastic parts and they don't go forever, but they work very, very well and are very well executed. (Some are my all-time favorite to wrap my hands around.)
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Old 11-11-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
Thanks, might do something like that. Iíll have to check my front derailleur box; one of them would work, but it wonít fit around the seat tube. Otherwise, I think Iím just a 9 speed cassette away from these completing my drive train.
A 2x8 system will index fine with your 9-speed rear derailleur. You could save a few bucks going 8 speed and using the 8-speed cassette you already have in-hand, if you want to spend as little as possible.
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Old 11-11-20, 10:01 PM
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Yes, bar-ends and Tektro is the way to go. I built my rain bike up from stuff out of my spares box and also had to add those two items. Unindexed bar-end friction shifters are the way to go IMO. So much simpler to deal with. Number of cogs won't matter until one gets to 11-speed.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I'd consider downtube friction shifters or SunTour ratchet shifters. (Straight friction should cost next to nothing at a bike store that's been around a few years. The ratchet shifters will cost more.) Get the kid excited about learning to shift manual "on-the-floor". Developing a skill his buddies won't have. (Plus, cheap, reliable, simple, easy to set up, light and crash-proof.) I went downtube friction when I was 12 and never regretted it. Also those shifters are compatible with just about everything out there. Just about every rear wheel you ever come across will work just fine. Nearly any derailleur too.

Tektro levers are excellent. Yes, some plastic parts and they don't go forever, but they work very, very well and are very well executed. (Some are my all-time favorite to wrap my hands around.)
With regard to downtube friction shifters, if I have to get a kid excited to use something, I question if its the ideal component to use.
His buddies wont have that skill, and very few will care or even notice. I ride with a ton of teens and we cover close to a couple thousand miles each year- most have 0 idea about bikes beyond how to air up their tires. The difference between a crankset and cassette eludes almost all of them. I imagine its a rare day where a group of kids is standing around and anyone is jealous of the kid with downtube friction shifters.
As for you going with downtube friction shifters when you were 12, thats because back then it was the cutting edge of technology. All shifting was friction and downtube shifting is what serious riders used. Translate that to the present- its indexed STIs.

What the OP is doing is awesome and whatever the bike looks like in the end will be really cool for the kid since its free and well built(presumably).
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