A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby sled » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:02 am

Hi Guys

First i would like to say thanks for a great forum, there are some great posts in here. I have just gotten into road cycling nothing hard core like some of you, but i intend to start commuting one to two time per week into city (50 - 60km rtn). I got the bug riding my wifes new road advanti around. I am not really into the new stuff i seem to be stuck in the 60s and 70s early 80s whether its cars, motorcycles or bicycles.

I ended up buying two bikes one i still need to pick up. The forum has been a great help in guiding me on what i should look for over the last 3 months. I ended up buying a royal star circa early 70s and pascoe circa early 80s. Excuse my ignorance but i am told by bates cycles whos grandfather built the bike that he used columbus tubing? i don't have the knowledge to tell if this is true or not, the bike also has campagnolo strada cranks from what i can tell from velo base, suntour shifters and super olimpic brakes and levers. The pascoe from memory had 600 running gear and im told but again not sure reynolds tubing.

So i have been riding the royal star on weekends around 50km trips and i am finding that i am really needing some additional gears for the steep hills, which has got me a little concerned with some of the hills going to the city. I have also been inspired and sometime drooling over the steel frame bikes on this site with modern running gear I have been reading sheldon browns site to get some ideas but have some questions for you gurus. Any help is appreciated.

1) Can i use a modern rear derailer (ultegra / durace) with my suntour friction shifters?
2) Will a modern 700cc wheel set work? i have lined up the front wheel with wifeys and the spacing looks right for the front hub/ forks at least
3) Will a modern cassette 9 -10 speed work with the campagnolo crank set strada?
4) Can i change the existing crank to a modern crank set i imagine tubing diameters and widths are different how is this done.
5) How do you put modern brakes on these frames i notices that the mounting bolts on modern frames a recessed any tricks?
6) How do you put a non threaded fork such as 1" carbon on these bikes is it difficult to change head sets?

Initially i would like to get my hands on a good set of second hand modern wheels with 9 or 10 speed cassette, purchase a modern derailer and use existing cranks and possibly brakes if they will reach. then swap over to more modern brakes at stage 2.

I am also looking for a 54 steel frame if anyone has any?

Thanks for looking and have a great christmas

Jason
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by BNA » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:30 am

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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby munga » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:30 am

bottom bracket will have some numbers on the cups:
1.37 x 24 is english
36 x 24 is italian.
your bike is probably english threading.
if you want to fit modern shimano cranks, get a new bottom bracket in english (or italian - confirm) threading when you buy the cranks. as for spindle width, do some research on how to determine what spindle width you need. sounds tricky. isn't.

rear spacing - measure between the rear dropouts. will be 126mm or if it's older, 120mm. if it's 126mm, fitting a modern 130mm wide hub in there will be a piece of cake. you can cold-set the rear, or just spread it and shove it in. :shock: :lol:

friction shifters should work. unlikely that they won't but someone who's done it will tell us for sure.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby LG » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:35 am

1. yes, but I find it pretty finnicky with 9 speed, would be worse with 10 speed.
2. If the brake calipers reach ok, and the rear hub fits the frame then yes.
3. 9 speed should work, for 10 speed the chain might be a tad narrow and catch on the chainring teeth.
4. Yes, pull the cranks off and replace the bottom bracket, install new bottom bracket & crank. Your bikes are likely standard english thread bottom bracket (edit - see Munga's comment above).
5. You need bolt through brakes, not the brakes with recessed bolts. You should still be able to find some.
6. 1" threadless fork should fit, I've done this with an old steel giant frame. I just needed to buy a pretty standard 1" threadless headset. Need to ask why you would want to do this if your oringinal for is ok though?
LG = Low Gear
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:01 pm

I've got an old steel Europa frame with modern wheels on it. The 700c wheels are a bit smaller, but the brakes on mine had enough adjustment to suit. On another frame I tried the same brakes wouldn't reach the rim, some frames seem to have the brake bridge a little further away from the hub than others so yours may work or not. The frame needed a cold set (bend) to fit the hubs in, I haven't actually cold set the frame, but purely stretch it to fit the hubs on the rare occasion I've had the wheels out. Works fine.

I'm running a 7spd cassette on a 9spd hub so had to use a spacer behind the cassette to get it to the correct width. The old derailleur I am using does not reach the 7th gear so it's only running 6spd. A newer derailleur would solve this problem but I like the style of the old one so it's staying and I'll have to harden up.

I bought a square taper BB to replace the loose bearing one, but got the wrong size so have replaced the old loose bearing setup and it's fine.

I was under the impression that a 10spd chain has the same inner width as the older chhains, just the outer width is narrower so it should work with the existing chainrings, but take a little more selector movement to engage.
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby sled » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:22 pm

Munga, LG and bychosis

thanks for the replies

Had a quick look tonight, munga think you are on the money it was dark but i couldn't see any number but i did see a made in england on what i am assuming is the cups (ends of bottom bracket) upside down on the tubing has numbers like 65 / 64.

Unfortunately i think the width in the rear seams more on 120 then spread to about 125 for the wheel are there any other options for this scenario or is it back to looking for a later frame. The lugs on this look really nice almost gothic, tried to take some photos but my daughter has stuffed our camera taking photos of sand!!

From what im reading IF i could fit modern wheel with 8 or 9 speed hub, it is possible to retain the original campagnolo crank, and suntour shifters and add like a new durace in the rear?

Ill take in for spin tomorrow to the city though i think some ill run out of puf on the hills
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby hitchhiker » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:52 pm

Maybe wait until you pick up the Pascoe before deciding what to do

If it's an '80s bike it may be a better candidate for an upgrade to modern running gear. It could have 700c wheels, 126mm rear spacing and take recessed brakes (or at least some of these options)
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby munga » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:52 pm

how about buying a new cluster for your existing wheel?

count how many sprockets (probably 5), then count the teeth on the smallest, then the largest. (13/21 etc)
find something a bit bigger on ebay (eg 13-25), buy the correct tools for removing and installing the cluster, and you're done!
you could probably get out of it for about $50 and an afternoon of your time.
pitty43 wrote:Thanks all for your help. Better change my Gumtree add now.

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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby WestcoastPete » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:41 pm

4. Yes, you can change the crankset to a modern one. First, remove the crankset using a good crank puller, then send the crankset to me. Then, follow everyone else's instructions...

Here's a link to a thread outlining some cold setting I did. It seems quite rudimentary, but seemed to work well. 120 to 130 is pushing it a bit and can put your dropouts too far out of parallel, but I've not heard of it not working at all.

Tektro R559 long reach brakes are excellent in my opinion, and may be required if swapping out to 700c from 27". I did that with my Nishiki and I'm very happy with it. Try to measure first to make sure they'll fit.

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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby jaffaman » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:07 am

Check out rivbike.com for a company that likes steel frames and can source new stuff that is a bit more retro - mat give you some ideas.
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby rogerrabbit » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:27 am

I would suggest fitting a wider range 5 speed freewheel to the current wheel. You could also look at a set of TA cranks which will give very low range options compared to the campagnolo cranks. This is cheaper and will give you the gear range you want.

Fitting new gears to the old frame will be challenging and I would recommend fitting an entire modern groupset at the same time, but your frame is probably not really suitable due to the rear spacing.
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby spirito » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:12 pm

rogerrabbit wrote:

Fitting new gears to the old frame will be challenging and I would recommend fitting an entire modern groupset at the same time, but your frame is probably not really suitable due to the rear spacing.


Wise advice.
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.
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Re: A noobs guide to upgrading a steely

Postby Stepr » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:33 pm

I have put a newer/different wheel with a 9 speed cluster on my Kojima - still with the SIS 7speed indexed shifters. Works perfectly (also have a Jim bundy with a 9/10 speed and friction only, plus unltegra RD - works fine).. and for those occasions that I need the extra gears kojima I flick the switch on the shifter that changes it from indexed to friction. Pretty simple to get used to friction only, even with the 9 Speed - just need a bit a practice and its becomes second nature.
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