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Vintage steel Winter bike project

sparquinsparquin Posts: 66
edited October 2019 in Your road bikes
After discovering that I had nearly enough parts to build up a new bike, I acquired a donor for my Winter bike project. Here it is, in all its not-there-yet glory:

Winter01.png

This is a plain-gauge Reynolds 531 frame from the early to mid-eighties. I'm only retaining the frame and brakes, so I'm open to offers for any other bits (I'd forget the back mudguard though). Note that an earlier owner had optimistically tried to fit twist grip shifters to it.

The frame is now stripped down and is over at our local powder coating specialist to be prepared for the next steps - I'll be getting it back in a week!

Posts

  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    Presumably you'll be using the same downtube shifter setup for the finished bike?
  • That mudguard's gonna rub.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • Imposter wrote:
    Presumably you'll be using the same downtube shifter setup for the finished bike?

    The only parts that aren't coming from my parts bin are the frame and the brakes. I'll be using more modern brake/shift levers - it's a Winter bike on the cheap, rather than a retro restoration project.
    That mudguard's gonna rub.

    I'll make a note of that.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    sparquin wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    Presumably you'll be using the same downtube shifter setup for the finished bike?

    The only parts that aren't coming from my parts bin are the frame and the brakes. I'll be using more modern brake/shift levers - it's a Winter bike on the cheap, rather than a retro restoration project.

    I’m just noting that you don’t seem to have any cable stops or bosses on the downtube and the current shift levers look like they might be attached by a clamp..
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,505 Lives Here
    Full length outers will work.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    veronese68 wrote:
    Full length outers will work.

    True, but I’d have looked at getting some bosses added before painting..
  • veronese68 wrote:
    Full length outers will work.

    Full-length outers are indeed the plan. This frame has only (1) three brake cable guides on the top tube (2) a cable stop on the chainstay (3) an odd bit of metal on the downtube to stop the shifters slipping down. No shifter mounts, stops or guides for anything else, so I intend to route the gear cable along the top tube beside the brake cable and down the seat stay.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    Other alternative would be something like this - https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/problem- ... ack-1-1-2- which would mean you wouldn't have to run full length outers..
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,505 Lives Here
    Full length outers are a good idea on a winter bike.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    veronese68 wrote:
    Full length outers are a good idea on a winter bike.

    I don't see them as being a good idea or a bad idea. I don't really see the benefit, tbh. They may be necessary in this case and that's fine, but my preference would be (and always has been) cable stops, if only for ease of maintenance.
  • Imposter wrote:
    Other alternative would be something like this - https://winstanleysbikes.co.uk/problem- ... ack-1-1-2- which would mean you wouldn't have to run full length outers..

    I did find these in the course of my investigations, but in the end it came down to the fact that I already have a spare couple of metres of cable outer.
    Imposter wrote:
    veronese68 wrote:
    Full length outers are a good idea on a winter bike.

    . . .my preference would be (and always has been) cable stops, if only for ease of maintenance.

    Just out of curiosity: I expect it's lighter and a bit more precise, how is it lower maintenance?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945
    sparquin wrote:
    Just out of curiosity: I expect it's lighter and a bit more precise, how is it lower maintenance?

    I probably should have said easier maintenance, rather than lower. Far easier to clean/lube the sections of outer (and inner wire) by moving the sections around while out of the cable stops. But full-length outers will mean there is less chance of dirt & water ingress anyway. The downside will be a spongier feel and possibly less-precise shifts..
  • Unfortunately, my stock of parts didn't include an old style one inch threaded headset, so I have a shiny new one:

    Winter02.png

    I hope to collect the frame from the powder coating company tomorrow, after which the build can begin!
  • I've got an almost new Rolls Titanium saddle sat in the garage that will complement that nicely!!!
  • It's back from the powder coating company, in a brilliant shade of OMG orange:

    Winter03.png
  • So first the bad news: no pictures yet. I can't seem to get the posting right. Next the good news: it's finished, in Safety Orange and with a spec so un-retro as to make a hipster weep.

    The original parts are the frame, fork and brakes. Braking with the thirty year old brake blocks is a bit sketchy, so something more modern is on the cards.
    The wheels are Hope road wheels with 700c rims, rolling on 28 section Continental 4000s. The brakes had just enough drop in hand to fit the smaller rims.
    Drive train is a Superstar 38T chainring on a Shimano XT crankset, going to an SLX 11-40 cassette via a 105 derailleur and Wolf Tooth Road Link.
    The contact points are SPD pedals, a Brooks B17 saddle, Specialized handlebar and RSP tape.

    Pictures to follow.
  • https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/gear-spares ... adjusters/

    A pair of these would look so much better than full length outers.
  • I hope this works . . . .

    Winter05.png

    Please note that the bike is the ORANGE two-wheeled object in the foreground, the green one in the background is something else. Also note, I got the front mudguard on last night.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,945

    Those would only work if the frame had braze-on mounts, which it doesn't..
  • Imposter wrote:

    Those would only work if the frame had braze-on mounts, which it doesn't..

    True - the only braze-ons are the rack mounts on the seatstays
  • Time for a few "first ride" impressions, teething trouble, observations etc., and the full specification.

    Winter05.png

    It now has two mudguards.

    Frame and fork: Late 1980s Steel - it's a Claud Butler Majestic, made of plain gauge Reynolds 531, size 25"
    Headset: Brand new Tange 1" threaded headset
    Wheels: Hope Pro III road hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims. I may yet try rebuilding these with wider rims.
    Tyres: Brand new Continental 700x28c 4000S with retroreflective sidewall. £15 each in the sales!
    Crankset: Shimano M780 XT, originally double but with a single ring
    Pedals: Shimano A520 SPD
    Chainring: Superstar narrow/wide 38T
    Cassette: Brand new Shimano SLX 11-40 11 speed
    Gears: Shimano 105 (5800) GS, + Wolf Tooth road link to clear the 40T sprocket
    Chain: SRAM PG1130
    Brake/gear levers: Shimano 105 (5800)
    Brakes: Weinmann 999 - 610 front, 750 rear. The 30 year old brake pads were no longer fit for service, so I put on a spare set.
    Seatpost: Alloy, 26.4mm x 400mm
    Saddle: Brooks B17 Professional
    Stem: Specialized 110mm
    Handlebar: Specialized, 440mm
    Tape: RSP
    Mudguards: Unknown

    Weight: About 11.5 Kg

    Note that rather strange gear setup. The wheels are an old pair of Hope road wheels with an old 8/9/10-speed freehub body. There is no way to put an ordinary 11-speed road cassette on there, and 11-speed shifters are what I have. A quick check with parts off my MTB showed that an 11-40 MTB cassette does fit, so that was what I chose. To accommodate the biggest cog it was necessary to move the derailleur down slightly, which is where the Road Link came in. Shifting is smooth and precise, and the whole drivetrain is pleasantly silent. The choice of 1x was dictated by what I had in my spares box, but it's rather grown on me.

    The frame geometry is rather strange. It appears to be a smaller frame that's just been stretched vertically, so the stack height is about 620 - 630mm, but the reach only about 360 - 370mm. It feels very short.

    The big tyres on a narrow rim have a balloon profile that isn't very aerodynamic, but make for a smooth ride. I had to play around with tyre pressures to reduce the tendency to bounce, and it feels about right now. The reflective sidewalls are complemented by reflective stripes on the mudguards, so from sideways on the bike is very visble.

    The amount of cable pulled by a modern Shimano brake lever must be different from that pulled by an old Weinmann lever, because it takes a really hard grip to persuade these brakes to slow the bike. New brake blocks have improved matters slightly, but it is only slightly. If anyone has any suggestions for a brake that will work with the 5800 gear levers and accommodate a 75mm drop I'd be interested to hear them, but in the meantime the lack of braking power is somewhat of a concern.

    So, overall: the project has successfully produced a bike from a box of spares, but it's fallen short of being a suitable Winter bike because the brakes are so sketchy. I hope this will improve as the new brake blocks bed in. The short reach makes for a more upright position, which is something I can live with. The end result is more of a bike for trips to the shops and back (no bad thing) than a Winter tourer. Suggestions for improving the brakes are welcome.
  • beanstalkbeanstalk Posts: 143
    sparquin wrote:
    There is no way to put an ordinary 11-speed road cassette on there, and 11-speed shifters are what I have.
    So put an ordinary 11-speed road cassette on there minus one sprocket and block one gear at the rear derailleur with the adjusting screw...
    sparquin wrote:
    The amount of cable pulled by a modern Shimano brake lever must be different from that pulled by an old Weinmann lever, because it takes a really hard grip to persuade these brakes to slow the bike.
    Or these old brakes are bad from the start.
    Tektro has some long reach brakes.
    https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=240
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    "There is no way to put an ordinary 11-speed road cassette on there"

    If you find the MTB cassette a bit gappy there are 11 speed road cassettes which will fit in the same way as your MTB one does. The biggest sprocket is large enough to sit slightly inboard of the freehub.

    CS-HG700 and CS-HG800

    https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/ ... 00-11.html

    Is your brake drop really 75mm?? My long reach Shimano BR450 calipers are 57mm drop. I've improved them a bit by replacing the all-in-one moulded blocks with 5800 metal holders / inserts. Still nowhere near as good as the 5800 calipers on the summer bike though.
  • keef66 wrote:
    Is your brake drop really 75mm??

    Yep, really - the once ubiquitous Weinmann 999 centre pull brake came in two varieties called 610 and 750, with a maximum drop of 61 and 75 mm respectively. Switching from 27" to 700c wheels added 4mm to the required drop.

    That Tektro brake may be the answer, has anyone used them with a modern Shimano lever?
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,863
    How longs is that headtube.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • thiscocksthiscocks Posts: 603
    Nice build. Did a similar thing with my old Roberts steel frame a couple of years back but kept the downtube shifters.
  • How longs is that headtube.

    260mm, which is even longer than my XL Roubaix. Very long.
  • . . . And come to think of it, the Roubaix has a zero stack headset too
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