Hello and Welcome, At the end of the last post regarding the Trek Multi Track 700 I stated that the test ride had revealed some problems. So many in fact I decided it would be best to go in a whole different direction.
Above: Above for starters (A) The road bike brake levers do not have enough range to operate the brakes properly. I had spent some time positioning the levers so that the suicide levers were within easy reach. If you are thinking all I needed to do was set the levers up higher, you are wrong. Because doing that positioned the suicide levers much too low to be reached easily.
But there are bigger problems (B) The stem mount index shifters that arrived were actually down tube shifters. So no big deal I will mount the index shifters on the down tube. Not a bad idea, except they don`t fit the over sized down tube. Not to mention that I know Laura likes her shifters mounted up high. (C) The chain is stretched, no big deal I already made plans to replace it if necessary. Now (D) The rear derailleur is all over the place, tightening the shift levers did not help. And I set the limit screws on the rear D when I had it on the stand. It seemed to work fine on the FeedBack Work Stand. But on the road with a load and resistance "it's a mess". So where do I go from here?
Above: Laura had brought this partial bike she purchased from a sporting goods store. It is pretty nice. But I know she wanted drop handlebars if possible. But she also mentioned she could live with straight bars if necessary. (just no risers) Well it looks like with the brake lever problem, the shifter problem and the sketchy rear derailleur... The straight bars just became necessary. Above (E) straight bars with nice levers and SRAM X4 Impulse Shifters. And (F) a very nice looking 8 speed derailleur. (but I`m not sure about that hook up) At this point I drag both bikes to the basement. I am a little "pissed off" now. But this also has my Adrenaline up. And I am in the perfect mood for a late night in the basement / make shift bike shop.
Above: I removed the drop bars with the stem attached. I also removed the stem mount friction shifters. I had disconnected the brake cables to keep those with the drop bars and stem. Then I removed the front and rear derailleur cables along with the rear derailleur and the chain. Fortunately I had a salvaged mountain bike stem (and cable hanger) on hand in the correct size. (sometimes it pays to be a hoarder)
Above: I removed the shifter, brake lever and grip and bar-end from the left side of the straight bars. Then slid the bars into place. The brake cable routing is totally different now. So I installed new cables and cut new lengths of cable housing. Luckily I still have white cable housing left over from the Parliament restoration. Once the brakes are hooked up I can see that they will no longer be an issue. Now for the Rear derailleur.
Above: I had two concerns about the SRAM derailleur, (1) The mounting was different. And (2) The SRAM is an 8 Speed derailleur and we have a 7 Speed cassette. The mount was simple, I just removed the bridge piece that connected the derailleur to the machined drop out on the parts bike. After that it attached to the drop out just like the original. Things are looking up. The first time I ran it through the gears (on the stand) it over shifted the largest cog. After shortening the reach by adjusting the (L) low limit screw that problem was solved. There was no problem with the shifter to the front derailleur as both bikes had triple chain-rings.
Above: Well I have made all the changes, and I am feeling pretty good about life in general. But I still need to test ride the bike again to be sure everything is "good to go". Unfortunately the weather has gone from bad to worse. It is icy and snowy, that's not so bad. But it is also colder than a bat's A&&. I am getting too old for this $#!& I'm gonna have to wait until the weather lets up.
Above: The weather finally let up a little, although it is still pretty cold. The test ride was both good and bad. The brakes are working great.(yeah!) The tires are surprisingly good in the light snow over hard packed snow on the road. The front derailleur is working beautifully and the rear derailleur is shifting crisply and smoothly. There is a problem though. On the two cogs (or sprockets) above the smallest cog (6th and 5th gear in my book) it is slipping. Every where else it is fine...%$#@!!! It has to be the #@! %@ cassette! I have to go to the L.B.S. (15 miles away) and get the original cassette removed. On close inspection the teeth on those two gears (5th and 6th) are not looking too good. Funny thing, all the other sprockets or gears look pretty good. I order a new Sram 8 speed cassette. I got this Really Stupid idea that removing the pie plate would give me enough room to add another gear. I have done it before with a five speed free-wheel. Only one problem, This ain't a %$# @*%$ freewheel! What the #@&$ was I thinking. Removing the pie plate ain't gonna make the slots in the hub any deeper! How can I be so %#$@&%$ stupid!
Above: A few days latter (actually more than a few) the new SRAM PG830 cassette shows up. And as feared it does not fit. I did manage to find a 7 speed SRAM PG730 cassette at Cycle Therapy Waterford Mi.(15 miles one way) Only one more little problem. I still have not received delivery of my new Park Tool FR 5G (Shimano/Sram cassette removal tool) The tool I ordered the same day I ordered the first @#& %&@% Cassette! No worries I am sure the new cassette tool will arrive in the morning. Wrong again! Anyway I have a tool that almost fits. And I was able to snug up the 7 speed cassette pretty good. Why not just take the wheel with me when I went to pick up the 7 speed cassette? I did not think of that until I was almost there. I was kick'n my self in the a$$ at every turn on this project. Why stop now? ltms
Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! It is finally working properly :) Tomorrow Laura is coming to pick up her new winter ride. (just in time for summer) I have no idea why I thought I could make the 8 speed cassette work. I know there was a tiny voice in the back of my head saying "Hugh, just order the 7 speed cassette, the 8 speed might not fit" I really need to learn to listen to that little @%&%#@!
Above: Considering where I started I think it came out pretty good. I hope Laura agrees it was worth the wait (well most of it anyway) to get it right. UPDATE: The new Park Fr-5G Cassette Removal Tool showed up the morning after Laura picked up her bike. UN #%$&*@% believable!
Above: The drop bars did not go to waste. I think they look awesome on the L.L. Bean bike.
And with the suicide levers I can still ride in the semi upright position. But what did I do with the flop and chop bars that were on the L.L. Bean ?
Above: Well they did not go to waste either. I think I finally found the right look for the free Spirit fixed gear bike. And the bars that I removed from the fixie? Those are going to the scrap guy for recycling. A good deal all the way around :)
Before I close I would like to say Sorry about all the #%& @% swearing! Sometimes nice words just don't get it done :) Until next time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always.....RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!!
Someone made "The First" few purchases at Hugh's Online Bike Shop the other day. So THANK YOU whoever you are. I hope you enjoy your purchases.
Welcome, My name is Hugh. I grew up in the Metro-Detroit area. My love for bicycles goes back to the mid 1960`s. I was not a bicycle tech by profession. I was a Mason Contractor. I am now retired. As a boy I was taught how to repair and maintain my bikes by my friend Mike Armstrong. I also learned a few things from the guys at Powers Schwinn Bicycle Shop. In 2003 I was told by my doctor that I would not be able to continue working as a mason. So I asked myself, What did I like to do before construction work? The only thing I could think of was bicycles. So one day I picked-up an old road bike to see if I could "fix er up". By the end of 2009 I had stoped doing masonry work altogether. This blog is about that journey. And about sharing some of the things I have picked-up over the years. I hope you find something useful here. I will try to respond to any comments you may have. Thanks, Hugh