Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

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spotdoc67
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Nov 2019, 4:31pm

Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby spotdoc67 » 10 Nov 2019, 4:42pm

Hi
I'm new to this forum and I would be very grateful for your advice.
My wife has an old Dawes Galaxy, probably from the 1980s.
It's a lovely frame but she rarely rides it because she doesn't like the drop handlebars and shifters on the down tube.
I'd like to update it for her.
Ideally getting some upright cruiser type handlebars, new brake levers and thumb shifters for the gears.
The bike has a six speed cassette and a triple chain set and Shimano ST front mech. I'm not sure what the rear mech is.
I'm on a bit of a budget and would like pointers on what components would work well for this job.
Thanks
Tom
Image Attachments
20191110_162751.jpg

Carlton green
Posts: 553
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Carlton green » 10 Nov 2019, 5:01pm

There’s something you need to do before you spend any money and that’s to size the bike against your wife. A lot of those Mixte frames were built too long for a woman (too far between the seat and the head tube) so will be uncomfortable for a woman (‘cause they have proportionally shorter backs than men).

It’ll be interesting to see what you do but a shorter stem (if possible) and a change of handlebars (something straight or swept back) might give a much improved riding position.

Looking at the saddle pin extension in the frame makes me wonder whether the frame is too big for her too.

spotdoc67
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Nov 2019, 4:31pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby spotdoc67 » 10 Nov 2019, 5:30pm

I think you are right about the sizing but she has had it for about 22 years and did use it quite a lot and is quite attached to it.

slowster
Posts: 1198
Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby slowster » 10 Nov 2019, 5:45pm

If the size is wrong, then her attachment to the bike will probably disappear instantly once she tries a bike that fits her well. Moreover, it might well be the poor fit that is causing the dislike of the drop handlebars: reduce the distance to the bars and the drops may become a lot more comfortable and feel 'right'. Ideally her current bike would be the best starting point for trying to get the fit right, but the stem already looks like it is about as short as you can buy/fit.

I appreciate that you want to do this on a budget, but it might be that the money you would spend trying to get her current bike to fit her better would be wasted, and that it would be better to keep your eye on the For Sale board on this forum and elsewhere online for a second hand bike that would fit her better (and which might not need much, if any, money spent on it to get it how your wife wants it).

For example, if the bike in the listing below fitted her, it would be an absolute bargain:

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=133451

mattsccm
Posts: 2938
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby mattsccm » 10 Nov 2019, 6:01pm

However, some upright bars and maybe a shorter stem will in effect shorten it for her.
If it is 6 speed I bet it is a freewheel not a cassette. 1980's MTB stuff worked with that. You raid an old/cheap MTB for all the bits. Rear swept bars are common. I think, for example, Planet X do a set.

spotdoc67
Posts: 5
Joined: 10 Nov 2019, 4:31pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby spotdoc67 » 10 Nov 2019, 6:15pm

sorry it is a freewheel not a cassette
the 1980's MTB stuff could work
I guess it comes up on here or ebay

fastpedaller
Posts: 2336
Joined: 10 Jul 2014, 1:12pm
Location: Norfolk

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby fastpedaller » 10 Nov 2019, 6:24pm

From the photo it looks as if that's a 'lay -back' seatpin, which would put the rider further back from the bars if that's the case (although the seat position with respect to the pedals takes priority of course)

Brucey
Posts: 37433
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Brucey » 10 Nov 2019, 7:44pm

some flat bars will accept the existing brake levers (e.g. moustache bars) and thumbshifters are cheap enough (6s shimano thumbshifters are ten quid at SJS), so that is one possible route. You will need band-on cable stops (or 'ergo bosses') to have the gear cables run up to the handlebars of course.

SJS do humpert 'toulouse' bars (fifteen quid) which are more swept back and these may accept the extant brake levers too (esp if they are mounted as slight drops).

However most other flat handlebars need different brake levers, which need to be short pull to work with the extant brakes.

Some folk would take the opportunity to change to V brakes, V brake levers and rapidfire type shifters. This is most easily done if you change the freewheel and chain to 7s ones (they are probably worn anyway). However V brakes will only work on wide-spaced bosses; if they are closer to 65mm apart than (say) ~80mm then you are well advised to stick with cantis.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9494arnold
Posts: 941
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 3:13pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby 9494arnold » 10 Nov 2019, 7:54pm

Wife has a very similar machine.

Adjustable Stem and Butterfky Bars have helped alleviate some back problems .
And I am pretty sure we have braze on Lever bosses , which means you have to have the cable stops to fit them if you are taking the gear levers on to the bars .

Bowedw
Posts: 297
Joined: 22 Feb 2011, 10:26pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Bowedw » 10 Nov 2019, 8:39pm

Rotating gear changers in six speed are relatively cheap but an indexed rear derailleur and freewheel plus new chain probably necessary. Add some rubber grips and pull back type bars plus a rear view mirror. New cables and adjusters to replace the gear levers should produce a much improved riding position.
I was going to suggest Dia -Compe DC135 levers as they look the part but at £25 are expensive, SJS have some from Shimano cheaper. Personally I would buy some road callipers, maybe need some long drop ones as they would make brake set up easier and are just as effective. Unlikely that V brakes will work as bosses will be much closer than 80mm.

Bowedw
Posts: 297
Joined: 22 Feb 2011, 10:26pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Bowedw » 10 Nov 2019, 8:49pm

I did a similar conversion on my wife's Raleigh, a similar bike. I left the front changer gear lever alone as it's not used that often. neither is the bike unfortunately, but not because it's conversion is unsuitable.
The galaxy is a fine bike and well worth upgrading to make it suitable for your wife.

Bowedw
Posts: 297
Joined: 22 Feb 2011, 10:26pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Bowedw » 10 Nov 2019, 9:26pm

Is that a so called biopace chainset? Get rid of those rings and put on some proper round ones. Just my opinion which I am sure many will disagree with.

9494arnold
Posts: 941
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 3:13pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby 9494arnold » 11 Nov 2019, 8:16am

Further to last.

I think you may already have indexed gears there. Does the right hand lever go "click click" and put it in gear without fine adjustment via the lever by the rider. And is there a cable adjuster just where the gear cable enters the gear mech? If it's yes to both there's more than a good chance you are already indexed.

"Butterfly bars" and an adjustable stem give more hand positions than simple straights and (in our case) allowed for a much more upright (back straight) riding position .

Carlton green
Posts: 553
Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby Carlton green » 11 Nov 2019, 8:53am

Lots of useful comments already but I add a slightly different angle below and I’m mindful that the OP is working with a limited budget.

IIRC some of the mixte bikes were sold with flat or non-drop handle bars so it would be worth researching what bars were used and what brake levers were used on those models, etc.

Handlebars can be expensive from traditional retailers but eBay might well provide a pre-used but serviceable item for a fraction of the cost. If you go for simple sweep back bars be mindful of where and at what angles the hands will comfortably sit, narrower rather than wider bars might be more comfortable for a lady too.

I’d be inclined to leave the gear changers as is for the moment and see how she gets on with the changed handlebars. She probably does not like them because they’re a bit outside easy reach for her, but check - change stuff when needed but otherwise don’t fix what isn’t broke. For what it’s worth it used to be possible to get stem mounted friction changers.

It’s hard to judge and a guess but I wonder about the seat position, is it fractionally too far back? IIRC the seat should be positioned such that when the ‘front’ crank is horizontal then the middle of the knee should be vertically above it.

Good luck to the OP with the changes. I suggest that he does one change at a time and has his wife try the bike after each one. I’d be very interested to hear from him what the outcome of his work is.
Last edited by Carlton green on 11 Nov 2019, 9:03pm, edited 6 times in total.

peetee
Posts: 1829
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Updating an old Dawes Galaxy

Postby peetee » 11 Nov 2019, 10:18am

The saddle looks to be way back on the rails. Loosening the seat post bolt and sliding that forward will bring it about an inch and a half closer to the bars which is, generally speaking, a more conventional position for the shorter rider.
With a bit of luck and good judgement brake levers, handlebars, twist grip shifters and grips and brake cables can be had for £50. Also needed for the gears would be cable end adjusters fitted into the down tube clamp/bosses. I have used brake adjusters of a style identical to old Weinmann sidepulls. These match the threads in most gear lever bands and are still available at a couple of pounds each. The rear mech looks like a more modern Shimano Alivio/Acera so no change needed there.
If all this proves not to fit the bill I would suggest all would not be lost as IMHO the bike would be more attractive if put up for sale.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.