Upgrading an old racer (UPDATE) 700c wheels wanted

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JamBux
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Joined: 17 Jul 2009, 4:34pm

Upgrading an old racer (UPDATE) 700c wheels wanted

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 12:41am

Hello all, a bunch of nooby questions afoot, I'm afraid...

A tourer isn't really in my budget and i need to get a bike to take over to America by next Friday. I have an old Carlton racer which is a great size for me and as it stand, it is mechanically good. The thing is there isn't a great gear range and can be hard work on inclines. I'm worried that it's going to kill me as i havn't ridden in a while and our plans are quite ambitious (for us anyway). We're heading down the west coast so i suppose alot of it isn't going to be hilly so maybe i won't need what I'm about to ask about...

I'm not sure of the age but i guess 70's/80's, it is 12 speed. It has 27 1 1/4'' wheels, is this different to 700c? Now my plan would be to buy a pair of 700c wheels and a 9 speed cassette with appropriate rear mech. What i don't know is if this is possible and if i need anything else, I'm also hoping to pick up these parts 2nd hand so if you can point me in the direction of some good buys I'd be very appreciative...


Here are some pictures of the bike.

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Oh and will a pannier rack fit?

Sorry for the drawn out post, i'm getting desperate :)

Thanks!
Last edited by JamBux on 17 Aug 2009, 11:24pm, edited 2 times in total.

Captain Cruton
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby Captain Cruton » 12 Aug 2009, 2:07am

Don't want to be the one to put you off, but you've certainly left it a bit late to be sorting multiple bike problems out and also getting in some riding experience.
Firstly your pictures-
Whilst it could be a decent bike with some work and money, as it now stands, the gearing looks very close, both on the chainrings and the rear freewheel. Looking at the photos, you would need a good level of fitness to ride that bike up any reasonable hill, and that would be without carrying an additional load.
Moving on to changing the 27 x 1 1/4" wheels for 700s. If you did this then you could use a wider range cassette that would improve the gearing matters, but it may possibly create other problems with deeper drop brakes then being needed in order to reach the rims.
To be realistic, it would at least need a complete stripdown with all the bearings being checked/greased/replaced as necessary, new tubes & tyres, cables etc.
There looks to be too many potential problems on that bike, to sort out and test ride in the short time you have left.

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quiksilver
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby quiksilver » 12 Aug 2009, 5:56am

You need a newer bike and plenty of Deep Heat and the best of British to you. Nice old racer though.

thirdcrank
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2009, 9:42am

JamBux

Virtually anything is possible - at a price and with some effort - in terms of modernising a bike like that but as others have said, you have not left a lot of time. I'll not waste any now explaining the why's and wherefores of widening the rear triangle etc. I think your best chance of getting lower gears is to fit a new six speed freewheel with a 28 T big cog. These are still available - if you get stuck Spa cycles at Harrogate have them for about £15. http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php ... 32s112p197 You are going to need to remove the old freewheel and unless you have the appropriate remover you will either have to buy one or go to a bike shop equipped to take it off for you. You will also need a new chain. The teeth on the inner chainring look worn and a replacement might be in order but I imagine the one you have will probably be 42T, the smallest that will go on that Campag chainset so no scope for reducing the gearing there. (If it is bigger than 42, replace it with a 42T) What I suggest should give you a bottom gear of about 40" compared with what looks like 63" at present (I'm guessing at a 13-18T freewwheel.)

It's a nice bike.

PS A rear pannier rack should fit. You will need to think about what you are doing for the mountings, especially as you have no time for faffing about. Often when people talk about a racing bike, they just mean a so-called sports bike of that era or earlier. That is a genuine racing bike and it was not built with anything else such as mudguards or luggage in mind. I'd recommend either a sympathetic local shop which stocks touring stuff where you can go in for help etc or else one of our national tourist shops - Spa Cycles http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s79p0 or St John Street Cycles http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-CAR ... 31.htmwhen you might email them some pics of your bike so they can be sure they are providing the right stuff. basically, you need either a three point rack (which usually fits to the mudguard mountings and the rear brake bolt or a four point rack, which fits to the seatstays (the tubes from the back hub up to the saddle) in which case you would need some P clips. A proper shop would understand all this - and a whole lot more. (The rear drop out - where the back wheel fits into the frame, has a small hole which looks as though it has been drilled as an improvised mudguard mount. I'd think twice about using it to support heavy panniers. You would probably be better with some other mounting down there such as more P clips unless you are not carrying much stuff.)

JamBux
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 12:52pm

Thanks all for the (daunting) replies :D

With the 28 T cassette linked to, will my current rear mech be ok with this? I think this maybe the way i go (somone also suggested a 7 speed?).

I have done some miles on this bike, being a novice everything seems fine to me. I will definetly change cables, tyres, tubes. Will 27 1 1/4'' tyres and tubes be harder to get hold of if anything goes wrong? But the checking all the bearings ect sounds quite daunting, which bearings are we talking about (noob!).

Where would i go to find a replacement inner chainring for my chainset, is it a fairly universal size?

thirdcrank
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2009, 3:45pm

JamBux wrote:Thanks all for the (daunting) replies :D

= If anything is unclear, don't be afraid to ask for an explanation, but the more you have to ask, the more it suggests your plans may be impractical in the time available. =

With the 28 T cassette linked to, will my current rear mech be ok with this? I think this maybe the way i go (somone also suggested a 7 speed?).

= I think that mech should swallow a 28T cog but discuss it with the shop where you buy it. I don't think the bike will take 7 speed without quite a lot of faffing. Once you go down the route of increasing the number of gears at the back, you are into new mech, new levers ........... etc. =

I have done some miles on this bike, being a novice everything seems fine to me. I will definetly change cables, tyres, tubes. Will 27 1 1/4'' tyres and tubes be harder to get hold of if anything goes wrong? But the checking all the bearings ect sounds quite daunting, which bearings are we talking about (noob!).

= Bearing in mind the short time remaining, I'd be inclined to take the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" route. Not the ideal approach if you are planning on a big tour but there's not a lot of point starting something you cannot finish. 27 x 1/4" tyres are still available in the UK but only in a few types of tyre. I've no idea what the availability of anything is in the US. IMO 27 x 1 1/4" inner tubes are interchangeable with 700c. (We had a recent thread where somebody disagreed.) =

Where would i go to find a replacement inner chainring for my chainset, is it a fairly universal size?

= Spa Cycles - as before. You will need to tell them the BCD or the exact type of chainset. Have a look at the below link to Sheldon Brown. I think you've got what he describes as 'Old Campagnolo' (which I'm surprised to see will go down to 41T) If it's current (AKA New) Campag, you can go down to 39T. (Sheldon Brown is a valuable resource for just about every type of bike query) =

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_bo-z.html



Overall, you need to think about what you are doing or rather intending to do. You have what is quite an old racing bike from the days when specifications only changed slightly once a blue moon. Since then all sorts has changed, not least we've gone from 6 speed to 11 at the cutting edge. In very short order you want to fit the bike with lower gears and pannier racks and you have also got the notion of a bit of modernising as well. My suggestion of a bigger block and the inevitable new chain should give you some appreciably lower gears with the minimum faff. Fitting a pannier rack will almost certainly involve a bit of ingenuity with the adaptors, which is why I suggested getting advice. I don't know what the bike is going to have to stand up to in the US but you are not going to end up with a treking bike. I don't know what it costs to fly a bike to the US and back but I have a nagging doubt it might be cheaper to hire something over there or even buy something with a view to selling it before you come back.

============================================================================

PS I see from your wanted ad that you hope to fit wheels with more speeds. Have a look at this link from sheldon b on frame width and OLN measurement.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sp-ss.html#spacing

If you sesrch further on SB you will find items on widening the rear triangle to accommodate a wider hub. You will also find items on the widths of hubs taking different speeds and all the rest of the Pandora's Box, sorry implications of that route.

JamBux
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 7:37pm

The cost is about 40 for both ways on top of my flights. I'm in America for just shy of a month and planning to ride as far down along the west coast as we can from Astoria, Oregon and average maybe 30 miles throughout each day and maybe some usage of public transport. To me it doesn't look like a lot to take my bike over, and I'm not having to fork out on a new bike so i can at least see how it goes and i could also find something else out there. I am however keeping my eye out for a last minute bike and i have been offered a part exchange by someone on here for something more suitable but i don't know how much the Carlton is worth? and part of me wants to keep it to do up in the future even if i don't take it.

But 2 other questions i'd just like to clear up.
With 700c being the common wheel for what looks to be quite awhile, is my wheelsize going to cause me problems with finding tyres and tubes over there?
2nd, will my current mech work with the 6 speed block linked and a 7 also (bought a cheap one on ebay)?

Cheers!

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Si
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby Si » 12 Aug 2009, 7:54pm

Another option (depending upon your technical abilities) is to convert it to a fixed wheel, sell it for a massively over inflated price to some kewl-dude-wannabe-poser from the smoke, and spend the profits on a nice used tourer :wink:

JamBux
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 8:04pm

Haha, my friend often jokes about that. It is an option though. Might be seeing this bike for sale under 'fixie project' in the for sales section soon

thirdcrank
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Aug 2009, 9:18pm

This is the most comprehensive technical info I can find for your Suntour ARX rear mech:

http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Sun ... 00%29.html

My tail is well and truly between my legs :oops: because it seems from that it will only take a 26T cog max. I am sorry I misled you. The other version of that freewheel sold by Spa has a 24T big cog - lower than what you have at present but nothing like a 28T. I simply don't know if your mech is 7 speed. I think the original ARX was 6 speed - I don't know if they later brought out a 7 (or if the 6 could be 'persuaded' to cope.) If it's original equipment on the bike, I assume it would be 6 speed, simply because whenever more speeds have become available, manufacturers have been quick to fit them. Unless somebody posts with a better memory than mine, I think experimenting would be the only alternative.

Whatever you do, you have not much time to decide. If you want to restore it to its former glory you only need deep pockets and time. If you want to modernise it to say 9 speed and 700c you need to research all the changes in frame spec over the last 25 - 30 years then the world is your oyster.

willem jongman
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby willem jongman » 12 Aug 2009, 9:36pm

Change as litle as possible, as others have also suggested. Wheels and tyres. 27 inch wheels are indeed no longer common, either in the UK or in the US. Parts can still be had, but with some delay. Changing to 28 ich/700/ etrto 622 wheels (the latter the proper name for modern road wheels) opens a can of worms, particularly for something who knows little. Just get some decent 27 inch (etrto 630) tyres such as Panaracer Pasela's from sjscycles. Tubes are the same for both sizes - just take enough of them. In the States: Harris Cyclery at www@sheldonbrown.com. Don't get into 7 speed freewheels (there are confusing differences). Just take your 6 speed freewheel to a shop that knows its stuff. See also Sheldon Brown's site for info.
Rack. At this price, I think the Blackburn ex is a good buy, and shouldk come with various clamps. At the lower end, use the trinagular open space in the pad to fit something like a bolt plus a larg emetal ring. Blackburn once made something precisely for this.
Willem

JamBux
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 10:34pm

thirdcrank wrote:My tail is well and truly between my legs :oops: because it seems from that it will only take a 26T cog max.


Well good job in my haste i ordered the 24, i suppose it's a little help and it was only 12 quid posted. What sort of chain do i need?

Ok the cheapskate in me is coming out, 44 for a pair of tyres?! :lol: Just thinking as they are folding and can be packed away is it best to leave them until mine die? Did i get that right in reading 700c tubes will fit my 27'' tyres?

Back on racks, my main bane. ''At the lower end, use the triangular open space in the pad to fit something like a bolt plus a larg emetal ring.'' Not sure i get this, do you mean a ring/washer? large enough to take up the triangle right in the corner? What's the pad?

I'm not looking for somthing to take very much weight at all so would somthing like this be good enough?

http://www.rutlandcycling.com/12430/Ave ... n=pid12430

Cheers guys, my eyes are opening up a lot, keep it coming

JamBux
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby JamBux » 12 Aug 2009, 11:56pm

I see P Clips in my future.

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/tor ... s-ec006759

Would i need to find my own bolts? And is the 13mm the diameter of the tube?

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quiksilver
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby quiksilver » 13 Aug 2009, 4:37am

I really admire your guts mate but couldn't your borrow a bike from someone? I love old racers but I wouldn't want my holiday happiness reliant on an old unprepared bicycle. Its sounds like you will be having a great time. If you think of going for a conversion I would make it single speed not fixed gear. On top of all your existing problems learning to ride fixed whilst holidaying is extra agg you don't need. And you definatly won't be fit enough for it either .

willem jongman
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Re: Upgrading an old racer, advice needed

Postby willem jongman » 13 Aug 2009, 8:28am

Sorry for my lack of clarity: it was late and my English was failing me. Yes indeed a bolt through the triangular hole in the drop outs, and held in place by a washer. Make sure nothing touches the sprockets, however. Fit the rack to the seat stays (as those tubes are called) with p clamps. The seat post racks such as you show are unstable crap, and only suitable for very light loads. If your load is very light I would prefer a Carradice saddle bag such as the Nelson Longflap (plus support). Looks very British too.
As for tyres, well they cost money, and , and your choice is pretty limited these days. This is the sjscycles page for 27 inch, unfortunately al under th efolding header, even if many are in fact rigid bead: http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/category-Tyres--27-(630)-203.htm The ultragatorskin and the Pasela are the nicest tyres. In your case I would go for hassle free. ANd that is what the two Schwalbes are. I recently rode the cheaper of the two (the HS180) on bad roads in Israel, and they did well. The much more modern HS368 would be the nice tyre, however, and that is what I would choose. Tubes for etrto 630 (your size) and etrto 622 (the modern road bike size) are the same. Make sure you get the right valve, the right width (you need one for 32mm wide), and get good quality (Schwalbe are the best, I think) as there is a lot of very inferior crap on the market. You want their type 10429363 Get four: two for the bike, and two spares. You don't want to be without tubes.
Chain. A good chain lasts a lot longer, and it is worn chains that destroy chainwheels and sprockets. A Wippermann Connex is easy to remove and very good. Alternatively, and cheaper there is Sram. Get one for 6 speed (relatively wide, and cheap).
Bring lots of water - it gets hot out there (been there). Don't leave home without something like a gallon of water. That is what I did in Israel, and you may need it. Wear bright clothes or even a high visibility jacket. US drivers may see you, but not register your presence!
Cheers,
Willem