Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

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Jupestar
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Joined: 29 Feb 2020, 3:03pm

Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

My Son asked Santa for a Road bike and Santa duly obliged.

It's a circa 2016 Isla luath 24, 1x 8s. not in the best condition, (Santa had a low budget, thinking it would not get used much).

Finally got out on it today for the first time. A few laps of the park. He amazingly took to it, and said that it was the best day ever!

He was swapping between hoods, flats and drops like he'd done it all his life. Standing up out the saddle while on the hoods and drops and giving it some, was a pleasure to watch.

He now wants to head to the cyclopark in Gravesend and try the road course they have.

Santa regrets only speeding £70... Cause its got a few issues.

Tires are horrible, I had to take the front one off 3 times (failing to fix puncture), and each time I shave off a bit with the lever they are so old. They are also bold (and loose) enough that I will change them now interest has been confirmed.

Easy to fix? Well not really TBH. Pretty hard to find. He was on 23c pumped up to 90psi. Ideally I get something around 32 for him but slim pickings. Seen some 40c but not sure it has the clearance.

The main issue was the gears and Brakes. It has cantilevers, which work great, new pads in and work no issue. It's also has crosstop which is great as he's used to flat bars. Although he has to pull a bit harder then he's used to on the MTB (hydraulic disc).

On the drops it's a nightmare. No way to change gear to a larger cog, the right shifter looks like a full size Sora (although it may not be) and no way he can move the lever that far to the left to move up the cassette, even when stationary.it was a challange, moving down is ok as there is a little lever on the inside of the hood to press. But he can't get close to changing to an easier gear.

Drop Brakes... The left looks like a kids tektro or something similar. He can sort of brake from the drops, but not really. Can't reach the Sora but can just about get the tektro. From the hoods it really tough, and not really possible to get the leverage.

Looking at options to help him. Thinking of getting a second tektro for the right. And a Barend shifter for the gears. (Mostly cause I have one I can use). Then give him time to get used to braking on the drops and hoods.

Has anyone any suggestions for this on kids roads bike?. Appreciate he's young (tall 6yo) to ride one, but he loves it already...

I should have brought a newer one.
rjb
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by rjb »

A good spray with gt85 and working the levers may free them up and allow easier operation. Lubing the cables also helps. If reach is an issue inserts were available to move drop bar levers closer for small hands. If you can’t find any then fabricate some wedges from something to hand. Even past it inner tubes or similar may help. :wink:
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin X2, Raleigh 20 stowaway, Decathlon B-fold 7, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Rudge Bi frame folder, Longstaff trike conversion on a Giant XTC 840 :D
slowster
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by slowster »

Tektro make a compact version of its RL340 lever, designated RL341, which Spa sell - https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m7b0s103p20 ... ake-Levers. The older shape of the RL341 was also re-badged by Cane Creek as the SCR-5 Compact, and had a slightly nicer quality rubber hood, but is no longer available.

Another option might be the short reach Microshift levers, which are what were fitted to the Hoy bikes equivalent of the Isla luath:

https://kidsracing.co.uk/collections/sh ... hort-reach
Jupestar
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

rjb wrote: 7 Jan 2023, 9:17pm If you can’t find any then fabricate some wedges from something to hand
Yes that could work. Might try and buy some of the inserts.
slowster wrote: 7 Jan 2023, 9:40pm Another option might be the short reach Microshift levers, which are what were fitted to the Hoy bikes equivalent of the Isla luath:
Wish I had seen those Hoys, but was in a rush and just picked up a trusty Isla. The Microshift look a good option, but pricey new. When you can pick up a second hand Hoy Cammo or Meadowhill for less than the price of the shifters... Will have a think. See if he sticks will it... (It's 7am, Dark, and he's asking to go out on it already....)
Sparky56
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Sparky56 »

Perhaps cut your losses and find a newer one that’s in better condition? Sounds like this could be a money pit….

Would he fit on a bike with 26” wheels yet? Much more choice. Had similar nightmares trying to get bits for my children’s bikes when they were on 24”.
Jupestar
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

Sparky56 wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 7:25am Perhaps cut your losses and find a newer one that’s in better condition? Sounds like this could be a money pit….
Maybe but the bike is overall fine. Brakes, wheels, frame are in good condition. It's just the shifter and the tires.

In terms of money pit, I can see 8x2 shifters on eBay for £45. And like for like tyres are £20/pair. So it's + £65 I'm looking at. But just deciding if some inserts might be better. + a Barend shifter (which would only cost me time to try).

Also thinking if I just brought him 2x10 short reach shifters they could probably go on his next few bikes and his younger brothers, and I've plenty of 2x10 gearing options..

Thinking I will start with a shim and Barend and see how he gets on...
Sparky56 wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 7:25am Would he fit on a bike with 26” wheels yet?
Nope. They are too big I think.
Jdsk
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jdsk »

Islabikes are famous for finding and fitting components that work well for children. I'm not sure what has happened here.

I'd do something like:

1 Identify all of the components that are currently fitted: part numbers, check with Islabikes, get the instruction manuals. Have some been swapped, and why?

2 Is that shifter working well and the travel is simply too large, or is it faulty or badly adjusted?

3 It stays in the workshop until the tyres and brakes are safe. And that includes braking from all positions.

Jonathan
slowster
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by slowster »

Further to my post above, as per Tektro's website the name of the child's/compact brake lever is RL320, not RL341 as described by Spa - https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=206.

The RL320 is what I think your son's Luath has. I think it's possible/likely that it only differs from the full size adult version of that brake (no longer made) in the shape and length of the lever blade.
Jupestar
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

Jdsk wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 11:17am Islabikes are famous for finding and fitting components that work well for children. I'm not sure what has happened here
Absolutely they are hence why I brought it. It's a really nice fit for him, just need get the brake and shifter set up a bit better. I suspect thats why they come with cross levers.

Partly tweaking the set up, which for sure has been adjusted. And partly more experience on the rider.
slowster wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 1:00pm The RL320 is what I think your son's Luath has
RL320 is correct took me a.while to find the part number though.... and what a PITA it was.

The cable blocks the clamp bolt. Just to move it down a cm and stuff a shim in, you have to take it completely out. ended up recabling the whole rear brake.

Front is Shimano ST-2300 so I managed to stuff a temp shim in with far less effort.

The gear changes will not improve, but see if he fairs better with the brakes now. If he can work the RL320 now. I will consider

1) matching right one and a bar end shifter
2) microshift or
3) sticking Etap on it.. :o)
Jdsk wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 11:17am 1 Identify all of the components that are currently fitted: part numbers, check with Islabikes, get the instruction manuals. Have some been swapped, and why?
all original. I can see the same bike with same levers on sale 2nd hand elsewhere.
Jdsk wrote: 8 Jan 2023, 11:17am 2 Is that shifter working well and the travel is simply too large, or is it faulty or badly adjusted?
Works fine, huge travel.. twice my Tiagra RS-405's
Jupestar
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

So adjusting the position of both levers help. The Shimano was was better once it was wedged as it had a longer lever to reach, had to get the pads to engage quick to reduce the required pull on the lever. The Tektro one never really worked. It's just a short lever, and even wedging it meant he was still reaching up to grab it from the drops.

I brought some 8s Microshift Short reach levers for it. The levers are long but naturally sit closer to the bars. So the reach is fine, they also sit a touch wider on the outboard side of the bars which helps. Meant I was able to leave a bit more modulation on the lever.

Shifting is still tricky, but feels like it will be achieveable with some practice. Rather than the Shimano shifter with so much throw I wouldn't have wanted to ride it.

Over all pretty impressed with the Microshift 8s. As the matching on is 2x I might need to mess around and but an FD on it... 🤣
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531colin
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by 531colin »

Late to this, you have fixed it already!
You can file the bit(s) of a lever which fit against the bars in order to change the angle the lever sits on the bars; I have got these drop bar levers to sit like flat bar levers by taking out the brake lever Q/R mechanism and filing the lever shell'

ImageIMG_5139 by 531colin, on Flickr

Also you can get a device which changes the amount of cable the lever pulls per stroke of the lever.......I think St John St sell them, but I can't remember what they are called? J tech something or other?

Of course, if you reduce the cable pulled and change nothing else, you will swap long travel for high force to move the thing!

(I have seen people reach across with their right hand to shift to a bigger chainwheel with STI drop levers....bar end levers must be better than that!
Jupestar
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Jupestar »

531colin wrote: 19 Jan 2023, 12:07pm I have seen people reach across with their right hand to shift to a bigger chainwheel with STI drop levers....bar end levers must be better than that!
Yes he tried (but left to right..) and I stopped him.

Bar end levers would have worked. But they would not fit In the handlebars. I tried SRAM500 and Dura Ace. So that and replacing the cassette, RD etc. Just felt like too much fettling.

the shifters were £45 secondhand with 4 new cables. So I just did that. Figured it was Probably the path of least resistance. although annoying time consuming, with canti's..
And any other solution would have cost similar.

Hes getting there and loving it. Will take a bit more time to get the down shift (larger rear cog) sorted. But he good on the brakes which is the most important.
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Ciminera
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Re: Junior Drop Road Bike. Reach: Gears and Brakes!!

Post by Ciminera »

glad you've sorted it, but don't fuss about only having spent x on the bike. you've saved a bike from landfill and given it a new lease of life and improved it for the next kid to enjoy when yours grows out of it.

kids grow so fast there's no point spending hundreds or thousands on them just for a year or so. just get them in on it, they learn about recycling and the environment in school at that age, and are happy to be doing something positive by reusing an older bike. My two happily waved their old bikes off with new owners and bought into santa gathering old bikes to give to new owners once other kids grow out of them so as to recycle them.

I honestly don't believe I'd buy myself or the kids a new bike ever again, plus it is an opportunity for you and your lad to learn and carry out some bike maintenance that'll serve him well for the future. time spent spannering together is as good as time riding together
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