A labour of love

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:46 pm

I've convinced my girlfriend to do the Brisbane to Gold Coast with me this year and it's become clear to me that a hybrid is no good for a 100k ride so i'm building her a road bike (It's a surprise so sshh lol). First stop was the frame, a late 80s Repco Superlite in her size, i'll be stripping it to the bare metal by the end of the week and getting a panel beater mate to respray it (same paint job as original but i want it to look perfect for my girl, so goodbye bubbling, fading and surface rust).

80mm SR stem with some decent alloy drop bars, Microshift 2x8 brifters, Shimano Acera rear derailleur and a nice wide range 11-32 cassette.
Thinking outside the box a bit, there is no way she will use even a 50 tooth chainring for a long time if ever, and a triple is a bit of a foreign concept to me on a road bike so i've dug up a set of 1993 Shimano STX mountain bike cranks and removed the granny, leaving me with a 42-34.

Wheels will be a set of 2nd hand Shimano R500s i have spare and i haven't decided what to do re brakes yet, maybe some generic Tektro dual pivots.

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by BNA » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:22 pm

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Re: A labour of love

Postby amrjon » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:22 pm

Sounds like a plan
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Re: A labour of love

Postby brasstinman » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:23 pm

I'm looking forward to the updates on this. :)
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Re: A labour of love

Postby Kid_Carbine » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:17 am

Sounds like a plan, but honestly, anything goes if it gets you sex.

The 42 tooth 'big ring' sounds a bit small for a 100K ride. It should be nice easy pedaling but I hope that you have plenty of time to do it in. Her legs will be spinning like a revved up Ferrari if any kind of pace is to be maintained.

A standard road crank of the era should have chainrings of 42/52 tooth count but if you use a ShimaNO crankset [many models over many years] you should be able to source some chainrings in the 36 or 38 size for the inner & something like 46 or 48 for the 'speed' gear.
These use a 130 pcd mounting & a vast number of chain rings have been made for these by ShimaNO & others so even some biopace rings are a possibility.
Campy managed to get down to a 41t chainring on a 144mm pcd so a 130 pcd should open up some good possibilities.

Even your old granny should be able to push a 36 to 32 gearing on a road bike despite her arthritis, her gout & her recent hip replacement surgery, so your girlfriend should find it a doddle.

Have a think about it before deciding, but I suspect that it might be a better option.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby lunar_c » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Hey man,

Great stuff man! I built a bike up for my fiance last year. I found it one of the most satisfying experiences in the workshop I've ever had. Of course everything had to be perfect, so I obsessed over certain things that she wasn't really bothered about!

I found with my fiance that keeping the bike's weight down was really important, as she's quite petite.

So I kept that in mind when looking for components to build it up. You're using modern rims and an alloy stem and bars so that's good.

For what it's worth, she has been fine with standard road gearing (52/39 and 13-26 7 speed cassette) and even getting used to downtube shifters hasn't fazed her.

I'd say the big things I learnt building a bike for her were that girls tend to have smaller hands, and the older style of brake levers (before the mid 80's Shimano SLR stuff came out) had quite a long reach which was uncomfortable for her and made her feel a bit anxious when getting used to a road bike. Cyclocross brake levers are great too but I think if I had have put modern levers (with their shorter reach) on the bike to begin with she might not have needed them.

Also girls tend to have shorter arms (seriously!) for their torso length so a shorter stem can be helpful. I chose a Nitto Technomic for my fiance which has a long quill and that helped create a good riding position for her.

Apart from that I just painted it her favourite colour and she loved it :)
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Re: A labour of love

Postby mark field » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:09 pm

amrjon wrote:Sounds like a plan


and a good one at that.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:19 pm

Wow i'm really surprised at the number of responses to this. Her hybrid has 48-38-28 cranks and she hasn't even used the smallest rear cog with the 38 ring. She straps along pretty well on the flat but simply refuses to do more than 35ish downhill (probably my fault for crashing my brains out all the time on my solo rides and scaring her lol). As her fitness improves hopefully so will her confidence to go fast but for starters i think the 42-34 will work well. I remember once when riding to work my front shifter cable broke and i was stuck in the 39, with an 11 on the back i was still able to go pretty quickly and i can't spin to save myself. If she is short geared i can throw on a set of Sugino or Shimano 52-42 cranks, i've got half a dozen sitting around.

And the brakes are sorted, i have a set of late 90s 105 brakes i was going to use on another project but changed my mind so they will go on this one.

Spent 2.5 back breaking hours sanding this evening and i have almost all the paint off save for a few fiddly bits around the lugs, no pics yet as my phone wouldn't work with the low light. Should have pics up tomorrow, and the serial numbers i uncovered too.

Thanks for the comment KC i had a jolly good laugh over that one :D .

And you're spot on lunar_c, i'm actually polishing the chainring bolts as i sit at the computer lol.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:21 pm

Oh and this is the hybrid i keep mentioning, got it at christmas last year and put some 2nd hand Mavic Aksiums on within a month :) .

Edit: actually insert image hahaha.

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Re: A labour of love

Postby mark field » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:10 am

with all this hard work your doing for the GF, it sounds like someone is in for a big treat . :wink:
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:42 am

LOL nope this is pretty much normal, and i don't do it expecting anything in return. We were keen on each other in high school but lost touch as i graduated a year earlier and i didn't find her again for 8 years so i'm making up for lost time :) .
Going for a trip on the Valley Rattler steam train this Sunday :) .

Checked the date codes on the 105 brakes and they're March 1997, my guess was pretty good.

Serial numbers on the BB are GL623384 and C68KA, is that any clue as to age? I'm not sure if i have any of the original components still, will have to give it a solid think.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby lunar_c » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:47 am

Sounds like you've got it sussed dude, awesome!

Just remember to chuck some old cups in the BB so the painter doesn't fill the threads full of paint and you'll be set.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:11 am

lunar_c wrote:Sounds like you've got it sussed dude, awesome!

Just remember to chuck some old cups in the BB so the painter doesn't fill the threads full of paint and you'll be set.


Yep learnt that one the hard way, i cover them with masking tape as well, same as the fork threads and crown race.

Have decided on a front derailleur, was thinking of using a Shimano 200GS but instead have an Exage 400EX in decent nick. I'm interested to see that it hasn't got a stamped/engraved date code that i can see but it does have 2 small stickers, one that says BF (which would be 1977, WAY too early) and one with mn (1988 which sounds pretty right, but curious that it's lower case). Should have the frame completely stripped this arvo and in the primer tomorrow morning.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:08 pm

Frame all clean and as fresh as the day it was born, many painful hours later.
Image

So it looks like i will be able to get Steve (the panel beater) to pop the primer on tomorrow morning, and then paint it at his leisure while i wait for the shifters i ordered to turn up.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:38 pm

Steve didn't run up for work today so it looks like the primer will have to wait til monday, at least it gave me plenty of time to get the masking tape on.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby mark field » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:44 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Steve didn't run up for work today so it looks like the primer will have to wait til monday, at least it gave me plenty of time to get the masking tape on.


lets see some progress, we're all waiting !!!! :lol:
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:55 pm

LOL, well i did think about taking a photo of the frame after masking all the threads but i thought that would be a bit anal! I'll pop up some photos of the Valley Rattler tomorrow to ward off your withdrawals for a little longer hahaha.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby munga » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:13 pm

it's a late 1986 frame
you can confirm by checking date codes on any of the original parts
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:14 pm

That's perfect, she's an 86 model too! I'm really going to have to wrack my brains to remember what the original parts were and if i still have them, i stripped the frame nearly a year ago and all that i left on it were the shift levers.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby munga » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:17 pm

G for giant
L for dec
6 for 1986
2 for i dunno yet
3384 is the production number
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:44 pm

Thanks for the breakdown munga, that explains why it hade a 'made in taiwan' sticker on the bottom of the seat tube. I THINK i might have remembered which wheels it had originally, if they are the ones i'm thinking they're Araya alloy rims with either Shimano or Joytech hubs, i'll be able to check tomorrow afternoon. I'll also clean up the Kalloy seatpost (i know that's what was on it when i got it) and see if i can find any info on that.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:49 pm

Had a great day on the Rattler the other day, beautiful weather for the whole day.

Image

Stopped in at my farm on the way back to my gf's place and checked the wheels which i think were originally off the Superlite, Araya rims with Joytech hubs, the hubs were stamped RT86. Checked the seatpost too and on one side underneath the clamping mechanism it has the Kalloy logo, on the other side it has a small B in a circle. Unfortunately it is horrifically scratched right where the information would usually be stamped, underneath the remains of 'MAX HT' all i could make out was 66 (i know it should say 86 but i've looked very closely and i'm sure it says 66)

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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:55 pm

Oh and the original Shimano downtube friction levers are marked Z401, i don't know if that's any indication of age?
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Re: A labour of love

Postby y3ntil » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:33 am

ldrcycles wrote:Oh and the original Shimano downtube friction levers are marked Z401, i don't know if that's any indication of age?


I've got a few sets of these off lots of different bikes from the 80's all with Z401 on them, so I'd say they'd just be the generic shimano down tube shifters used on everything but things with 600 and dura-ace (and possibly golden arrow). seem to work fine though, no real dating help though.

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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:28 pm

Thanks y3ntil, yea as soon as i saw these shifters i thought they were pretty basic.

Just an update, Steve has been too busy with the work he actually gets paid for to start on the frame, probably next week. No worry as the shifters etc aren't supposed to arrive for another week and a half. In the meantime i'm going to clean up the seatpost a la Mark's Shogun. Oh and keep hunting for a nice saddle.
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Re: A labour of love

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:34 am

Update, Steve got the primer on late last week and i'm still waiting for the parts to arrive. In the next day or so if i get a spare moment at work i'll wander over and select some paint.
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