Fixing up old 80s road bike

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Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby Ross » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:52 am

So I salvaged a Malvern Star flite that was dumped on the side of the road. It's basically complete and pretty sound but has been left out in the weather for a few years by the looks so needs new tyres. The chain is all rusted too but I'm hoping to restore that because I don't want to spend any money if I can avoid it. This is just going to be an occasional bike, just to ride down the shop on, probaly never ride further than 5km. So the cassette on the back is 5 speed, looks in good working order apart from some rust. Does a conventional chain tool made for 9/10 speed chains work on 5 speed chain? Will a 10 speed chain pin fit in the 5 speed chain to rejoin it? What is the best way of cleaning up the chain (rusted not greasy)? Can you swap 27" wheels for 700C and the brakes for Ultegra 6700?
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by BNA » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:14 pm

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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:14 pm

Check out the retro riding threads for more.

I have successfully reanimated a chain that I thought was beyond help, it took a fair bit of scrubbing but it ended up working fine, some stiff links took more work to get moving and the rust on the surface was really just cosmetic. Give it a good soak with solvent, kero, WD40 etc, then a good scrub to remove the surface rust then lube it up. Cassette is the same.

I don't think a 10spd pin will work on a 5spd chain due to the change in width, you may be able to push the pin half way out, then back in. I've done this a few times -disclaimer: I've never broken a chain, so my legs obviously don't exert much power. A good chain tool should work fine.

I have 700c wheels on my 70's roadie, the brakes were long enough to fit the smaller wheels, on another frame I tried the brakes wouldn't reach. It's a bit hit and miss with frame construction, you may need long reach brakes.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby Ross » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:33 pm

700C wheels are bigger than 27" aren't they? I thought 700C were ~28"? If I upgrade with newer wheels they will have 10 speed cassette, how do I work around that problem? Will the original Shimano Tourney derailleur just shift 5 gears and not the other 5 (if so, which 5?)? Is a 10 speed wheel wider (the hub) than a 5 speed meaning it might not fit in the frame?

I do have a complete spare Ultegra 6700 groupset that I could swap onto the bike. I'm thinking the BB might be different though?
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:28 pm

700c rim is smaller than that on 27-1/4" wheels. In switching my wheels to modern 8-10spd cassette hub I installed a 7spd cassette and a spacer. 6 of the gears (not the biggest cog) work fine with friction shifters (no clicking/indexing) but the derailleur physically won't move to the 7th, so I'd be out of luck with any more gears anyway. I could install a more modern derailleur to get around that problem but I'm keeping the old one for the looks. The hubs are also different width and axles thicker on my new wheels. A bit of bending (cold setting) and filing to the steel frame and they fit fine - done this on two frames.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby drubie » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:01 pm

Ross wrote:700C wheels are bigger than 27" aren't they? I thought 700C were ~28"? If I upgrade with newer wheels they will have 10 speed cassette, how do I work around that problem? Will the original Shimano Tourney derailleur just shift 5 gears and not the other 5 (if so, which 5?)? Is a 10 speed wheel wider (the hub) than a 5 speed meaning it might not fit in the frame?

I do have a complete spare Ultegra 6700 groupset that I could swap onto the bike. I'm thinking the BB might be different though?


The bottom bracket should be english, so your BB will fit OK (assuming that Flite is the same as the one that briefly passed through my hands). I wouldn't bother putting the Ultegra group on it though, just leave it as a down tube shifting pub bike. Cheap 6/7 speed chain might be the best rather than trying to revive the existing one - as said in this thread it's possible but rarely worth the time to revive a rusted solid chain, generally they wear out much faster than you'd expect anyway. You may need a fresher freewheel if you replace the chain, so be careful for the first couple of rides to watch for it skipping.

700c is noticeably smaller than the 27" wheel the Flite came with.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby franjae » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:29 pm

This is exactly what I am thinking of doing to my Indi 500.

So far the 700c front wheel fits ok as well as brakes. The rear derailleur would obviously not going to shift all 9 or 10 of the new gears, so I suspect you need to decide which ones or just install enough spacers if keeping just 5. Someone might be able to confirm this... I found out that a new chain is required if all 9-10 gears are kept as the old chain is too wide to fit between the gears. Finally the rear hub will be too wide for the frame, but with some force, it will fit, but once again, don't know if it is safe to do so.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:25 pm

Ross wrote:700C wheels are bigger than 27" aren't they? I thought 700C were ~28"? If I upgrade with newer wheels they will have 10 speed cassette, how do I work around that problem? Will the original Shimano Tourney derailleur just shift 5 gears and not the other 5 (if so, which 5?)? Is a 10 speed wheel wider (the hub) than a 5 speed meaning it might not fit in the frame?


700C are sometimes labelled as 28". The way to avoid confusion is to refer to the rim diameter or ETRTO size. 700C is a 622mm rim, 27" is 630 (and just to bring the confusion back, there are two different 28" wheels, one is 635 the other is 642).

So 700C is smaller than 27", and any bike that originally had 27" wheels will fit 700Cs just fine and dandy, and with room for fat tires too if you want. The only thing is whether or not the brakes will reach, and that varies depending on the brand/model of brakes and the frame.

As has been mentioned, reviving an old chain is usually not worth bothering with, you can get a new 6/7spd KMC chain for $10, so if you spend more than a couple of minutes mucking about with the old one you're actually not saving any time when you take into account what your time is worth.

A 10 speed hub is wider but on a steel frame you can just spread the dropouts by hand to squeeze it in, i've got 3 or 4 bikes that i do that with, no issues.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby Wal42 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:17 am

As ldr says, chuck the chain & fit a new 6/7 spd chain, soak the whole thing in penetrative spray then spray it some more. If the wheels aren't shot keep the 27" wheels, why? Though there isn't much variety, 27" tyres only cost a few bucks to buy (yep they're cheaper than 700c tyres), you can pick up 'no name' tyres from K OK (you know the big variety store run by westfarmers)for around $10-12.

Both my commute bikes were left out in the weather unloved beasties when I got them, 1 of them I spent 2 hours spraying & working bits, pumped up the tyres & was riding it in 2 1/2 hours, admittedly the tyres blew out on the 3rd or 4th lap of the street, you'll have to change some bits as you go, the bottom bracket bearings don't like being rusty then sprayed & used again.

So you may have to fit a $30 cartridge bb, a set of $12 tyres, a pair of $5 tubes, the new chain for $10 , maybe the cables (if you want to be real loving) & some brake pads, along with the price of a can or 3 of spray, some chain lube, so for around (if my maths aren't totally out) $100 max & a few hours love/attention, you'll have something that'll probably be going strong in 5 years time without too much major maintenance or cost. Oh & they're lots of fun too, it's very 'organic' riding an old retro bike.


Has anybody worked why I virtually only have & ride retro bikes now, or is it still a great mystery?
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby Ross » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:52 am

Hmm...thanks for the info peoples, I don't want to be spending $100 on it, I can buy complete rideable bikes of similar vintage for $50, possibly less if I looked around. Brand new BSO from department stores are less than $100. This is just a very occasional use bike.
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby bychosis » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:52 am

Please don't buy a BSO. Spend that hard earned recycling a neglected cycle instead
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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby rkelsen » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:03 am

I'd buy new tyres, cables and brake blocks from ebay. You can get them very cheaply from vendors based in Hong Kong or China. Eg: cable inners for $1.60 each.

For everything else, a kerosene bath, a scrub with steelo if necessary, and bolt it back together. You can reuse 5 speed chain pins.

I'm with Wal - keep the old wheels. Swapping to 700c will bring up all sorts of (possibly expensive) issues. For the end result, I wouldn't want to spend more than $30 to $40 on a project like this.

Wal42 wrote:Has anybody worked why I virtually only have & ride retro bikes now, or is it still a great mystery?

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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby Wal42 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:27 pm

Oi'
Stay away from me lounge room window with ya camera & stop posting pictures of me on the blinking net!!!!!!!


Come on Mod's, do something about this invasion of privacy.


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Re: Fixing up old 80s road bike

Postby ironhanglider » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:42 pm

Ross wrote:So I salvaged a Malvern Star flite that was dumped on the side of the road. It's basically complete and pretty sound but has been left out in the weather for a few years by the looks so needs new tyres. The chain is all rusted too but I'm hoping to restore that because I don't want to spend any money if I can avoid it. This is just going to be an occasional bike, just to ride down the shop on, probaly never ride further than 5km. So the cassette on the back is 5 speed, looks in good working order apart from some rust.

Ross wrote:Does a conventional chain tool made for 9/10 speed chains work on 5 speed chain?

Yes.
Ross wrote:Will a 10 speed chain pin fit in the 5 speed chain to rejoin it?

No, but you can reuse the old pin as long as you don't push it all the way out.
Ross wrote:What is the best way of cleaning up the chain (rusted not greasy)?

You can try soaking it in a kero bath (in a bottle) or even WD40. If the rust is only on the surface then it is worthwhile. If this doesn't free it up then any 3/32" chain will fit, subject to length. Kmart sold KMC Z chains under the Cyclops brand for about $7 last time I looked. You could also bypass the rear derailler, shorten the chain and make it a single speed. Single speeds can get away with much crappier chains than bikes with derailler gears.
Ross wrote:Can you swap 27" wheels for 700C and the brakes for Ultegra 6700?

As mentioned before the radius of 700c wheels is 4mm smaller. Often the existing brakes will have enough reach to work with them as is. Old bikes usually have brakes with a longer reach to accommodate mudguards, so it is unlikely that new brakes will reach.

If you can bring it to Bruce I'll be happy to have a look at it.

Cheers,

Cameron
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