Bicycles

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Jonathan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Jonathan »

Does the Shimano 105 have a bad rep or something? Twice now this summer I've had people ask me about that and my (internal) reaction is, "Why do you give a fuck?" These are non-cyclists thinking about buying a bike, for the record.

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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I don't know why they'd be asking about it. Maybe because it's Shimano's only groupset that has a name that's a number? It's midrange and it's fine. The current 105 is basically the prior model Ultegra. Both are 11 speed. All you really get with (mechanical) Ultegra nowadays is some weight savings (and having "ULTEGRA" printed on your brake levers).

Or they could go Dura-Ace, spend a ton more money, have "DURA-ACE" on their brake levers, be the object of other cyclists' envy, and have a groupset that's more fragile.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I guess it just depends on whether 300 g is worth $450 to you.

Interestingly, 105 brakes can support a 28 mm tire whereas Ultegra only goes up to 25 mm. Though I think there's a new version of Ultegra out since that article.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I got an old steel Trek frame for free. Apparently it was sitting in a garage in Oakland until the owner had the wheels stolen off the bike they were riding so they took the wheels off the Trek so they could keep riding the other bike. Maggie and I had taken a bike repair class here and the teacher offered the frame up for free.

I looked up the serial number and it's a 21" 1986 Trek 400 Elance. The paint is chipped in a few places but it seems to be in pretty good condition otherwise. It has the original Shimano 600 SIS derailleurs and shifters.

I thought about keeping the bike in "vintage" condition, which would require me to get an old set of wheels with 126 mm rear hubs with a 6-speed freewheel. I found one in good condition on eBay but it was $220, which seemed a bit much to do to "restore" the bike. Maggie made the point that if we're going to spend money on it, we should end up with a bike I'm actually going to ride. Also, I discovered that the cable bolt on the rear derailleur is completely stripped, and I'm not sure how to remove it short of getting it drilled out, which doesn't seem worth it.

So instead I decided to cold-set the frame to 130 mm to be able to fit modern wheels and modern cassette, and get a new 11 speed groupset. I still need to make an improvised tool to align the forkends. I believe the frame should be able to fit at least 700x30c (and possibly 700x32c) tires, so I was thinking of setting it up as an "all-road" bike that is not quite a full-on gravel bike but can ride on gravel ok.

Next up is removing the bottom bracket and servicing the headset. I'll probably keep the existing stem. I may need to replace the handlebars, they are a little bit on the narrow side.

I recently snapped my derailleur hanger on a climb in Del Mar near Summer Cycles, a boutique bike shop that sells custom frames (and just happened to be the bike shop where Maggie and I took the repair class). They ordered me a new hanger, RD, and chain (all were completely fucked up), and I put the parts on in the repair class. Until it was finished they let me ride one of their demo bikes, an aluminum Gaulzetti with Campagnolo Chorus. After riding the Campagnolo groupset I'm kind of obsessed with it. It's hard to describe but there's something viscerally satisfying about the ergonomics and the shifting and braking feel. So I'm thinking of slapping a Campagnolo Centaur groupset on it. The silver version looks much nicer than the black, but comes with a premium. I can save a little bit by omitting the cassette, since I won't be using those on my wheels (which obviously have Shimano hubs). All 11-speed drivetrains are apparently cross-compatible. Going with a Shimano 11-speed chain means I don't need to mess around with a Campagnolo chain, which apparently requires a $150 proprietary chain tool.
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Alan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I will need long reach brake calipers to clear a tire over 28c.

The brakes on my frame may work, it looks like the stock brakes on my frame were "standard reach," which is considered "long reach" these days.
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quantus
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Re: Bicycles

Post by quantus »

Alan wrote:Also, I discovered that the cable bolt on the rear derailleur is completely stripped, and I'm not sure how to remove it short of getting it drilled out, which doesn't seem worth it.

This has worked well for me... https://smile.amazon.com/Speed-Out-As-S ... 00N98I9IU/ I got a set for $5 from Fry's on sale a couple years ago and they've come in handy a few times. As recently as last week I used them to get a stripped screw out of an under-desk set of drawers screwed into the desktop above. If it's not a hex bolt, and an actual bolt, then maybe a set of vice-grips (or 2) can get enough purchase on the outside of it (and the opposing nut)?
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Alan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

It's rounded on the outsides (and no nut) so I can't grip it in any way, but that extractor would probably do the trick.
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Alan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

Spent some time over the weekend removing the bottom bracket, cleaning the bottom bracket shell, and servicing the headset. Had a scary moment when one of the headset bearings slipped out of the retaining ring (which would have mostly just been a pain to have to go back to the hardware store to get a single tiny bearing) but I was able to find it.

I measured the handlebars and they are way too narrow, they are 36 cm and I'm used to 42 cm (center to center). That opened up a whole 'nother can of worms regarding quill stem and handlebar standards. My stem is the old timey standard of 25.4 mm diameter and pretty much all modern handlebars are either 26 mm or 31.8 mm. It's apparently a terrible idea to shove a 26 mm diameter handlebar into the 25.4 mm stem, so my options seem to be to either get a 25.4 mm diameter handlebar from eBay or get a new stem and new handlebars. The cost difference depends on how expensive a stem I get, but could be as little as $30. The main benefit is that it'll be easier to find handlebars in good condition in the right characteristics (width, drop, and reach).

I'm also playing around the the idea of flared handlebars.
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Alan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

Decided to keep my existing stem because I found a 25.4 mm handlebar that'll work, the Nitto Classic 115. They have a slight 10 degree flare.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I ended up getting the silver Campagnolo Centaur groupset, minus the cassette and the brakes, which knocked $75 off the price. I will be using a Shimano cassette, and will stick with the brakes that are on the frame for now. If I get new brakes they would be medium-reach ones anyway. It'll be a few weeks before I have time to put those on. After that will be cables and cable housing and cosmetic adjustments like wrapping handlebars.

The saddle on the bike is this one. Not a bad saddle and a relatively new one, but it's made for a woman's anatomy. I'll either try out some saddles at a bike shop or go with a Brooks for a classic look.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I finished the bike last week. Cutting the cable housings was a bit of an adventure, I think I cut the front brake housing a little short which will probably lead to premature cable wear but I don't think it's a big enough problem to buy extra cable housing for it. I then had an issue with the chain - Campagnolo chains have a chain link pin rather than a quick-link, and the pin has a portion that is used to guide the pin into the chain that you break off afterward. Unfortunately, mine broke off before I was able to get the pin in, so I spent 30 min with a pair of tweezers steadying the pin while using the chain tool one handed to drive the pin into the chain. It was a really unpleasant experience but I managed to get it in.

The bike rides very nicely, it feels really smooth on pavement. The Campy shifters feel very solid and give good feedback. It's obviously heavier than my carbon fiber bike but it is still a road bike so it's not heavy by any means.

bike finished small.jpg
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The silver groupset fits the aesthetic very well.

bike drivetrain small.jpg
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I would've preferred the brake housing to be 1-2 cm longer but it's probably fine.

bike front small.jpg
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The front brake seems to be in better shape than the rear brake. I'm debating getting new brake pads first to see whether that's enough or whether I'll need to get new brakes altogether. This is probably what I'd go with.

The saddle seems fine for now. I am probably going to upgrade the saddle on my Ridley sometime this year and when I do that I'll just put that one on this bike. It's a white saddle which will look better along with the white bar tape and the white cable housing.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Dave »

Looks good! I'm still riding my mountain bike from 1993 around the neighborhood with the fam! It squeecks
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Re: Bicycles

Post by quantus »

I just took off Erik's training wheels. Too bad the tube I repaired the flat in, got another flat when he was taking his first longer ride down the street. Probably a spoke or something broke free and is piercing the tube :-\ It's the rear wheel, so taking the wheel off is more of a pain. yay
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

quantus wrote:I just took off Erik's training wheels. Too bad the tube I repaired the flat in, got another flat when he was taking his first longer ride down the street. Probably a spoke or something broke free and is piercing the tube :-\ It's the rear wheel, so taking the wheel off is more of a pain. yay


Still a problem or no? If you line up the logo on the tire with the valve then when you take the tube out you can figure out from where the puncture occurred on the tube how it happened by matching up the location on the rim/tire. If it punctured from the inner side then it could've been a spoke poking through the rim tape but if it happened on the other side you can check the tire for any embedded glass or other sharp objects.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

Ended up getting a Specialized Power Expert. Very comfortable, way more comfortable than my old saddle.

Also picked up my first set of carbon aero wheels, the Prime BlackEdition 50s. Inexpensive compared to other carbon wheels but even on sale the pair still cost $800.
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

Sometime before next year's Belgian Waffle Ride I plan to convert the Trek bike into more of an all-road/semi-gravel bike.

I'm planning to put either IRC Serac or IRC Marbella tires on my old wheels and go tubeless. I can't go bigger than my current 25c tires on my Ridley, but the Trek should let me go up to 32c. And after buying the Prime wheelset, I can go tubeless on the old wheels since I don't need to swap them between my two bikes. With a larger tire it'll be helpful to have slightly lower gearing, so I'll pick up an 11-32 cassette at some point.
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Jonathan
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Re: Bicycles

Post by Jonathan »

Alan wrote:
quantus wrote:I just took off Erik's training wheels. Too bad the tube I repaired the flat in, got another flat when he was taking his first longer ride down the street. Probably a spoke or something broke free and is piercing the tube :-\ It's the rear wheel, so taking the wheel off is more of a pain. yay


Still a problem or no? If you line up the logo on the tire with the valve then when you take the tube out you can figure out from where the puncture occurred on the tube how it happened by matching up the location on the rim/tire. If it punctured from the inner side then it could've been a spoke poking through the rim tape but if it happened on the other side you can check the tire for any embedded glass or other sharp objects.

I once sacrificed three tubes to the Great God of Street Sweeper Wire. It's incredibly hard to spot. My LBS guy found it.

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Re: Bicycles

Post by Alan »

I have a new project!

I had floated the idea of building up an old steel bike for Maggie a while ago and she was excited about it. So for the past couple months I’ve been on the lookout for a quality vintage steel frame that I could get for cheap.

There were several nice bikes I missed out on. The first was a Miyata from the mid 1980s with Chro-Moly triple butted tubes that needed very little to make rideable. It was available for $35, but when I went to pick it up in Encinitas she wasn’t answering her phone (turns out she had slept until 1:30 pm despite agreeing to a noon pickup time). I had no plans to go near Encinitas for another 2-3 weeks and didn't have time to drive up there a second time that day so I just said to forget it. The second was Fuji from 1991, also with Chro-Moly tubing. This was a hybrid, which I would have been converting to a drop bar bike. But when I contacted the seller it turned out that someone else had contacted her a few hours prior and was on the way to go see it (they ended up buying it). I found a 3rd frame (another Miyata) that was even nicer than the first, for $50. This one had been converted to a single-speed, so I would have converted it back to a geared bike. But, that one had already been sold as well.

Finally, I found a Craigslist listing with a bunch of old bike crap. In the listing was mentioned a “small blue steel Trek frame.” The photo was blurry but looked like either a Trek 310 or Trek 610 from the early-mid 1980s (one of the logos was partially covered with electrical tape an had a “10” poking out), listed for $10. I felt like $10 was worth it even if it turned out to be crap that I’d immediately stick in the trash so I contacted the seller.

The frame was buried under a pile of other frames, had rust in some places (seems like surface rust). The logos had been either scratched off or covered with electrical tape (to discourage thieves back when it was being ridden). It seemed like in good enough condition to use so I bought it. The serial number marks it as a Trek 610. It was built in 1983 but sold in the 1984 season. The entire frame is Reynolds 531 tubing, so in its day was a higher quality frame than the one I built up for myself (only the main triangle of mine is 531). The Trek 600 series was their touring option, whereas the one I have (it turns out I had misread the serial number, and I actually have a 1986 Trek 500 Tri-series) was originally for triathlon (but the geometry is identical to the 400 Elance, which was their enthusiast road model).

blue Trek.jpeg
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I found an Orb Weaver in the steerer tube. Hopefully there are no other spiders living in the less accessible tubes.

Maggie wants it repainted. The prospect of scraping off paint, then spraying on several coats of potentially lung-damaging toxic particles does not hold any interest to me, so I'm going to pay someone else to do that. I’d gotten quotes for sandblasting and powder coating bicycle frames before I decided not to repaint my Trek frame so I know it’ll cost $120. Before I do that, I will need to remove the bottom bracket and the headset (to make sure they have not irreversibly seized). That'll also give me a peak at the inside of the bottom bracket shell and some of the tubing down there to make sure there's no major rust damage in that area. Hopefully the bearings are salvageable but if not that’s no big deal. After that I'll be looking for group sets on Craigslist and eBay. Maggie is not choosy about group set brands so it’ll likely be Shimano, probably Tiagra or Sora. I have my unused stock Fulcrum wheels which are 11-speed so I’ll get either an 11-speed group or a 10-speed and put a spacer on a 10-speed cassette. I could also go with a couple spacers and do 9-speed a save a bit on the budget.

Tentative parts list:
-quill stem
-seat post
-165mm crank set with bottom bracket
-brifters
-front and rear derailleur
-probably will need a new downtube cable stop clamp but maybe the rust will come off the one on the bike
-maybe new bearings for headset
-might need a new headset
-front and rear brakes
-cable housing
-cables
-chain
-bar tape

Parts I have:
-handlebars
-saddle (maybe, we can't seem to find Maggie's stock saddle from her bike so we may need to get a new one)
-flat pedals
-bottle cage
-brake pads
-cable end caps
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quantus
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Re: Bicycles

Post by quantus »

Alan wrote:
quantus wrote:I just took off Erik's training wheels. Too bad the tube I repaired the flat in, got another flat when he was taking his first longer ride down the street. Probably a spoke or something broke free and is piercing the tube :-\ It's the rear wheel, so taking the wheel off is more of a pain. yay


Still a problem or no? If you line up the logo on the tire with the valve then when you take the tube out you can figure out from where the puncture occurred on the tube how it happened by matching up the location on the rim/tire. If it punctured from the inner side then it could've been a spoke poking through the rim tape but if it happened on the other side you can check the tire for any embedded glass or other sharp objects.

Probably :-p I haven't gotten back to trying to fix this yet. It was a puncture on the inner side of the tube, I remember that, which is why I suspected a spoke. Probably such a cheap bike that there's no rim tape!
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quantus
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Re: Bicycles

Post by quantus »

Alan wrote:Also picked up my first set of carbon aero wheels, the Prime BlackEdition 50s. Inexpensive compared to other carbon wheels but even on sale the pair still cost $800.

For the mid-to-long term, heavy loads will take a toll on the spokes, leading to premature breakage.

That's a really nice way of saying, "Don't be a fatty or it'll break!". I could never get nice wheels like those. I'd just break them. Of course, I'd probably not want to ride fast enough to really need them either.
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