Saturday, April 9, 2011

Project Mania 5

After a long and arduous work week I thought I'd relax and enjoy the simple pleasure of working on my project bike. Was it relaxing? No-not really. I knew I would eventually run into problems. I mean, what fun is a project that doesn't provide a challenge? If I was a little more rested I'd enjoy these hurdles but I feel like I'm suffering from a hangover. I'll get my mind back in the game eventually.

I took the crankset apart and gave everything a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner.

I was going to replace the bottom bracket with a sealed cartridge unit but the original spindle is 116mm whereas the closest size cartridge BB is 115mm. Maybe the 1mm difference wouldn't matter, but it's just this kind of thing that always gets me in a bind. I decided to play it safe and use the original equipment.

The Dia Compe non-areo brake levers that I purchased from Velo-Orange came with brown hoods. I replaced the original hoods with a pair of Cane Creek hoods. The Cane Creek hoods are shapped differently and required some modification.

I used a box cutter to remove a small amount of material from the hinge area.

It's still not a perfect fit but it'll work.

The wheels are finally done and I think they look great. One of the mechanics commented on the odd pairing of Campy Chorus hubs and Sun CR-18 rims. (1st stupid mistake) I installed a pair of Maxxis Overdrive tires on the rims and discovered that the tires are 38mm, I thought they were 35mm. I should have been wearing my glasses when I bought them. Since I plan to use this as a country bike I'm determined to make them work.

There was very little clearance between the rear tire and the chainstay. Note my choice of footwear. They're frocs (fake Crocs) paired with old man black socks. They're perfect for this kind of work. They have yet to be worn in public

My solution to the clearance problem-slide the wheel further back in the dropouts. Will this negatively affect shifting, degrade handling or whatever? I'll soon find out.

Slide the wheel to the rear of the dropouts and......

I've got a little more breathing room.

(2nd stupid mistake) I ordered some nutted Tektro 559s for the 27" to 700c conversion. First of all the arms are too long. The pads hit below the rim at the shortest adjustment. Second, as you can see in the photo, there is no clearance between the tire and the arch of the brake.

I looked through my parts pile and found an old pair of Dia Compe brakes that I had pulled off of a junked bike. These brakes seemed to solve the clearance issue, the only problem is they came off of an old mixte. The fixtures that hold the cable are reversed from a normal brake (the cable comes in from below the brake on some mixtes as opposed to the top) and could not be removed and swapped. The brake in the photo is the front brake, I just used it to show the difference in tire clearance.

Well, there you go. There were more little problems that I ran into but I can't recall them all. I hope to have this bike put together by next weekend, that is if I don't have another killer work week.


  1. In most cases, with matching front and rear brakes, you can swap the pivot bolts. If that's the case with yours, it's simply a matter of running the front brake on the back. Or, you could just take a saw to the long front brake's bolt and toss that mixte rear in the circular file.

  2. That ultrasonic cleaner does good work. Did you have to scrub the parts much beyond what the cleaner accomplished?

  3. It all looks good. Do you need the brakes back? I have a set of TEKTRO R536. They are yours if they fit. They do not fit any of my frames. The bike I bought them for the frame was to bent, I got hit by a car with it. They look shorter than the TEKTROs you have, they are just a bit longer than the shimano 600. :)

  4. Really pushing it with the tire clearance.
    Interesting, sometimes I see some 27" bike here and wonder what it would take to convert to 700.

  5. Sliding the wheel back in the dropouts shouldn't affect the shifting. In fact, on my own bikes with horizontal dropouts, I'll sometimes move the wheel forward or back to give me more response or comfort. I've never had to readjust my derailleurs or brakes.

    Scott Loveless is right about the brakes. In fact, I've done it myself. As long as the brake cable adjuster barrel is bolted on (rather than the type that threads into the brake arm from above) and your cable anchor bolt goes directly into the arm, you can reverse the two.

    As for the bottom bracket: The millimeter shouldn't make a difference. I've used bottom brackets that were as much as 5mm off on bikes with front derailleurs. The axle length is more critical on bikes with single front chainrings.

  6. Scott-The brakes on my wife's mixte, old Shimano 600's, allows you to switch the anchor bolt and barrel adjuster for use on a mixte or standard bike, these Dia Compe brkes unfortunately do not. I'll put them aside for some future project.

    JRA-I usually run the parts through a cycle in heated soap and water followed by some light scrubbing with a toothbrush-then a few more cycles in the cleaner. I'll usually scrub the tough caked on grime, it won't all come off in the cleaner. The heated solution makes cleaning the parts much easier.

    Dan-I appreciate the offer of the Tektro 536 brakes, but I'm sure that they would rub on the tires like the 559s. You keep the 600s that I sent you. I'll run across another pair in no time.

    limom-Not much, you just need the 700c rims and maybe brakes if the originals don't have enough adjustment range.

    As for clearance, I'll probably end up going to a smaller sized tire.

    Justine-Thanks for the info about the dropouts. Surprisingly, there wasn't much said about wheel placement in the dropouts on the forums. A couple of people mentioned that the move may result in decreased shifting efficiency, but I don't see that being too much of a problem with friction shifting.

  7. How did you get those axle-spacing screws loose in the rear dropouts? Mine are rusted in, and I'm afraid to do anything with them for fear of breaking them off.

    Looks like you're making good progress!

  8. Those project set-backs remind me of my projects. I get far too frustrated when things don't go as planned. I guess that means I need more projects to teach me patience.

    I'll be traveling for the next few days, but if I remember (or you remind me) late next week, I'll investigate to see if I have a brake that will work.

    What a minute, did someone say "countrybike"?!