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531 frame - new groupset or new bike?

labarumlabarum Posts: 110
edited February 2010 in Road buying advice
My best bike is a custom made classically built Audax by Robin Mather - I love it.

A few years go I bought a second hand 531 Rayleigh Granada Light Tourer with Weinmann centre pull brakes and a stem shifter - 20 years old? It had clearly languished unused in someone shed, as it was in very good condition. At present it has heavy cross country tyres on, making it dead on the road. It was much livelier with the perished tyres I bought it with.

Now would it be worth new wheels and groupset? I would need to keep the centre pulls or have lugs brazed on (far too complicated)

New 105 bits and wheels is going to be approaching £700 fitted. Is the frame worth it, or should I just buy a new bike about that price, or little more?

I want a second bike to leave in a second location.

Posts

  • Sounds mighty expensive for 105 and wheels...

    Bargain hunt, and keep the frame if you like it!
  • sturmeysturmey Posts: 964
    Unfortunately it's not as easy as just buying a new groupset for it. Some of the new components won't fit:
    Your rear wheel dropouts will be spaced differently from a modern road wheel- a new 8/9/10 speed wheel probably won't fit. Even if you get the wheel in the frame it is unlikely you will get anything as big as a 9 or even 8 speed cassette tofit without it causing some chainline problems.
    Your frame will not have any bosses for sti shifters.
    I would put some decent tyres on it,true up the wheels,grease the hubs and bottom bracket,maybe get a new chain and just enjoy the bike in its original form.
    You could end up throwing money away.
    Save the money and get a new bike .
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Do a light modernisation. It will work best if you can do the work yourself - it might not be economic otherwise. Why are you thinking about new wheels? The old ones will be fine unless you intend to go beyond 7 speeds. You will be able to fit newer wheels, they'll just be a little tight. Or have the LBS "cold set" the rear triangle to accept newer (wider) rear wheels. Generally, Sturmey has the right idea.
  • toshmundtoshmund Posts: 390
    Ebay is full of cheap bikes you could use as a donor for the parts, if you wanted to keep the frame so much. I still use a Dawes Impulse to get to work sometimes (531, Shimano 400 etc) and it still rides lovely. Obviously miss the convenience of not having your gears at your fingertips though...you could bypass that and turn the frame into a singlespeed.
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    The old bike has a stem shifter - it is supposed to index, but doesn't. That doesn't upset me. I was raised on a downtube friction shifter.

    I did know about the wheel width issue, but thought it was simple enough to open up the 531 frame, but if a modern rear dérailleur won't fit . . .

    Just keep it as it is then. Take the tractor tyres off, maybe. I did think of fitting Nitto moustache bars just for the fun of it, but thye are getting quite expensive.

    So plan B:

    A large frame, light and fast but with fairly high bars (I will be 60 in a few weeks!). I bought the custom Audax as I was getting back into cycling after a 40 year gap. I am 4 stone lighter and a good bit fitter now.

    But at 6ft 3in tall with long legs I had a problem.

    This is how Robin Mather prescribed, and it works very well

    The custom Audax

    Inside leg 946mm
    Torso 1555-946=609mm
    Arm length 620mm

    Seat angle 72.5
    Seat tube length c-c 647mm
    Top tube length horiz 567mm
    Head angle 71.5
    Head tube length 255mm
    BB height 276mm (NB 175mm cranklength)
    Chainstay length 425mm
    Fork rake/crown 46mm, LC17
    Stem length/angle 100mm / horizontal

    Reynolds Tube 725 and 525

    Now what should I be looking for "off the peg"?
  • toshmundtoshmund Posts: 390
    6 ft 3! I am a short a##ed run of the mill 5 ft 6/7 (it does make a difference!!! :D ) so I can have my choice of 52/54 frames. You must be in the bespoke/Peugeot region - they always seemed to have massive frames. Still think you should try e.bay, the target audience that a frame of your size is aimed at, think you could get a bargain. I have just managed to get a Tifosi Columbus, which I was intending to use as a workhorse to get to work. Paid £205 for it, it is gorgeous to ride.The Boardman Road Comp which I got on the cycle to work scheme, is pretty much redundant now.
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    Difficult problem. A big frame has too big a reach for me. Take a smaller frame and I can't easily get the bars high enough.

    And there are some lovely bikes out there!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Ebay and classified ads are your friends :)
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    Na, that's for camp little Italians.

    Now here is a big boy's bike

    http://www.koga.com/uk/bike.asp?collect ... id=2164732

    Frame up to 66cm

    That's where I got to last time, but went to a frame maker.

    Same question today. Can I ride it comfortable even with a shorter high rize stem?

    And you don't know till you've paid! Trail rides are fine, but until it's been yours for a few weeks . . .
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    Back to the large 531 light tourer in excellent condition - a Raleigh Granada.

    I put some 37mm tyres on for use on woodland tracks but did not feel safe using drops and found the centre pull brakes not strong enough. For over a year I have been meaning to try the bike with Nitto Moustache Bars. Now I have fitted then, Brilliant!

    The bike now handles very well cross country with the 37 mm tyres. The steering is very secure and the brakes impressive.

    With 28mm Conti Sport Contacts it handles very well on the road. I have to work harder than on my Robin Mather custom Audax in Reynolds 725 tube, but the frame repays the effort.

    Pictures here

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/labarum/Bike.

    I must try harder with handlebar tape!
    Report Post
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    sturmey wrote:
    Unfortunately it's not as easy as just buying a new groupset for it. Some of the new components won't fit:
    Your rear wheel dropouts will be spaced differently from a modern road wheel- a new 8/9/10 speed wheel probably won't fit. Even if you get the wheel in the frame it is unlikely you will get anything as big as a 9 or even 8 speed cassette tofit without it causing some chainline problems.
    Your frame will not have any bosses for sti shifters.
    I would put some decent tyres on it,true up the wheels,grease the hubs and bottom bracket,maybe get a new chain and just enjoy the bike in its original form.
    You could end up throwing money away.
    Save the money and get a new bike .

    Although this is an old topic I will respond to this particular post to correct misleading information.

    I have a Reynolds 531 frame that I love very much and I have done the 105 upgrade.

    Rear wheels dropouts? No problem, you just need to expand the dropouts whith your hands by about 4mm when you are fitting the wheel. It's quite easy and you will get very good at it.

    " it is unlikely you will get anything as big as a 9 or even 8 speed cassette tofit without it causing some chainline problems." I wonder why people that know nothing about something make statements like this.... like he knew from own experience :evil:
    Installed a 105 10 speed cassette, 105 front and rear dereailleurs, 105 STI shifters and there is absolutely no issues with the gears. Everything works as it was a brand new frame.
    The brake callipers would not fit, you need callipers with a reach of 47 to 57mm

    .... and that is all you need.

    If you like the frame then go for it. I read somewhere that while there's been plenty of improvement in the components aspect of cycling there has not been such improvements in the frames department.
    There are a few websites with information on upgrading 531 frames.
  • sturmeysturmey Posts: 964
    I wonder why people that know nothing about something make statements like this.... like he knew from own experience

    That's right RSOLE - I just made it all up to mislead someone deliberately!

    Wtf? :roll:

    You are obviously feeling smug that your conversion worked for you.

    And how many other steel framed bikes have you converted to modern equipment I wonder?

    Answer= NONE!

    As evidenced by your recent thread on the subject:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... highlight=

    And you clearly think this gives you the authority to rubbish everyone elses' experiences as worthless?
    Well, I suggest you take your head out of your smug, self-congratulatory a*se,learn to respect other people's findings and get over yourself.
    You are not that good.
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    sturmey wrote:
    I wonder why people that know nothing about something make statements like this.... like he knew from own experience

    That's right RSOLE - I just made it all up to mislead someone deliberately!

    Wtf? :roll:
    Sturney, I'm not going to bother arguing with you, but it does upset me when people give very strong opinions on something they don't know.


    You are obviously feeling smug that your conversion worked for you.

    And how many other steel framed bikes have you converted to modern equipment I wonder?

    Answer= NONE!

    As evidenced by your recent thread on the subject:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... highlight=

    The general idea is that you learn something and then you can use your knowledge for the benefit of others, just like I learnt from others here that had done the upgrade before me. no need to speculate and make statements like it was your experience.

    I gave my opinion because the title of the thread was about upgrading a 531 frame which is exactly what I have done myself. Obviously, had I read your advice before I did the upgrade I'd probably have given up on the idea of an upgrade thanks to your well researched advice :lol: - I just hope you don't make a living as a doctor! I don't give advice on topics that I don't know, for that there are plenty of well qualified people to give advice here...... I'm sure you know plenty about bikes but obviously not much on upgrading a 531 frame.

    Yes, you are right! I've done only one upgrade but it was not accident that it worked - there is so much information out there from people who really know what they are talking about. The least you could have said, "sorry mate I haven't got a clue, somebody else will come along and point you in the right direction."


    And you clearly think this gives you the authority to rubbish everyone elses' experiences as worthless?

    [

    It doesn't give me the authority to rubbish anybody's experiences but it gives me the duty if you like (forum member) of correcting misleading information. You obviously know something about bikes so you think that gives you the background/ knowledge to give advice on something you don't know for certain.
    Well, I suggest you take your head out of your smug, self-congratulatory a*se,learn to respect other people's findings and get over yourself.
    You are not that good.

    But I do respect other people's findings.... of people who do know what they are talking about ie. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html and http://www.velobase.com/Resource_Tools/ ... 72b53ec70b

    Also have great respect for people that have done it - enrich your knowledge with these wonderful examples of upgrades http://www.cyclofiend.com/cc/2007/cc255 ... s0207.html

    However, I attempt to correct misleading information when I feel that people will read a piece of information and go away with the wrong idea.

    Back to your original comment. Had you worded your advice in a way that there was a possibility for it to work then I can assure you my reply would have been in a different tone.
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