Attempting to create a road bike.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cattasraafe, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    I recently bought an old 12 speed Univega what seems to be a hybrid bike and I plan on getting some road bike tires for it and changing out the handle bars to sport handle bars or whatever they may be called. However I would like to change my shifters as well and they of what seems like very old school handle bar lever shifts with a ratchet feel to it. I was wondering if it is possible to change these over to a set of quick fire shifters that would be more accessible when leaning over to hold the under side of the new handle bars. I will try to post a picture of the shifters soon but I am hoping I was able to explain my self decent with this post.

    My ignorance in this subject is vast at the moment so any help and or advice is much appreciated.
     
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  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Look for a used road bike on Craigs list. You can buy a used bike a lot cheaper than you can upgrade your Univega. Some people take pleasure in building up their bikes. If you fall into this catergory and still want to upgrade you should start looking for used parts on ebay. You are going to need to replace the deraileurs, cassette, rear wheel hub, cables and shifters.
     
  3. Steve_A

    Steve_A Member

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    I would also suggest that you read up on the various shifter types to see what options you have on a road bike. The most common and popular nowdays are combination brake/shift levers, also know as STI in the Shimano brand. SRAM and Campy also make this general type of lever. Most people like these a lot and they are very quick and easy to use. There are other options. The Harris Cyclery website would be a good place to get some information.
     
  4. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    I had been looking for a bit on Craig's list and found some road bikes but sadly they are still out of my price range to just out and put that much money into a bike. So I will definitely be upgrading the univega. As far as prices go it seems like the shifters are going to be the most expensive part on the bike since I will not be going for premium light weight parts and such. I do already have in mind to get the Brake/Shift lever combo that will fit to the under grip bars I will be getting. What I am hoping to do eventually is after I get new wheels and the other assorted items is to eventually get a new frame I am not sure if this something that can be done but I am surely hoping so.
     
  5. Len67

    Len67 New Member

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    First off they are drop bars, if you are talking about going with the bars that have a C like shape on both sides.

    OK, now if you plan on buying new wheel sets, you might first want to decide which type of cassette you want (7-11 gears). The more gears, the smaller the hub. Then you will also need to know if your rear derailleur is matched up. Then is when you go and by your shifters. You want to match this stuff up before you buy your shifters, as you don't want to buy a 7 speed cassette, and then realize you have a 10 speed shifter.

    If you are not planning on changing things like this, then see what the bike was set up for say a 7 speed rear cassette, then go with that all the way around. I do highly suggest you buy a new cassette, and keep the old wheels, and gears for spare parts, bad weather riding. If it is anything below a 10 speed rear cassette I will suggest you try ebay, or craigslist for the shifters. It will be cheaper to get a 7,8,9 speed shifter, this way.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. I think that almost any frame can be used to for a Road bike:

    [​IMG]

    The Mongoose Hardtail frame is undoubtedly a more distant starting point than your bike's Hybrid frame.

    FYI. 10-speed (non-QS) Campagnolo shifters + a 10-speed Shimano rear derailleur will index to 8-speed-through-10-speed Shimano drivetrains with varying amounts of effort from zero to minimal depending on the rear derailleur you choose ...

    8-/9-speed Shimano rear derailleurs work, too!

    7-speed SunRace Freewheels fit in 126mm O.L.D. rear wheels & are close in cog spacing that they should index to an 8-speed shifter.
     
  7. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    OK so I am apparently way more ignore than I though or I am not understanding something. About the gears the rear wheel cassette if I think I know what you mean by that is 6 the bike itself is a 12 speed and if what I am understanding your saying go with lower than a 12 speed or is a 6 speed rear cassette what I am looking for. I need to get a better understanding of that first before I even decide what type of wheels I want.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI. When the number of cogs on the Freewheel exceeded '7', someone decided that rather than refer to the bike as a 16-speed that the number of cogs would be the reference point. So, an 8-speed usually has a 2x8 drivetrain where the '2' refers to a Double crankset and the '8' refers to the number of cogs.

    Similarly, a 9-speed generally refers to a 2x9 configuration ... that is, a Double crankset is now presumed to be on the bike.

    A contemporary 10-speed generally refers to a 2x10 configuration ...

    And, so on.

    A 12-speed Univega probably dates to the mid-80s AND what you are referring to as a "Hybrid" might have been classified as a Touring bike at the time if it had been equipped with Drop handlebars.

    The current spacing of the rear dropouts on your Univega is probably 126mm ...

    • MOST readily available, contemporary 700c wheels will have 130mm spacing.

    If your Univega has a steel frame (more than likely) then it can be repaced to 130mm.
     
  9. Steve_A

    Steve_A Member

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    What you are considering doing is going to be way more expensive than waiting and finding a good deal on a more modern road bike on craigslist or even eBay. As you've seen, you will find lots of help and good information and advice here if you go ahead and upgrade, but just be aware of the costs. To restate a point that Alfeng made above, drivetrains on road bikes have progressed from 6-speed (like yours) on up to 10 speed, in increments. There is some compatibility among those increments, generally in the 7-8-9-10 generations. However, your 6-speed setup is quite old, and upgrading will therefore require more parts and more work. Not that it can't be done. If you buy all of the parts to upgrade, ride your frame for a while and then want to switch the parts to a new frame, you can do that. But you will have spend much more (even with bargains) than you would with a decent deal on a whole bike.
     
  10. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    if you are serious about doing this, there are major things you need to know. first of all, your bike doesn't have a casette, it has a freewheel on the back. 2nd of all, it almost certainly is spaced at 126mm and as someone else said if it is steel it can be respaced or you can simply fit a modern wheel in there. Modern drivetrains use 130 spaced wheels.
    4th, I recommend if you do upgrade this that you do it as a flat bar road bike. Nashbar.com has a set of 9 speed shifters for $30, and a matching Rear deraileur and front deraileur for about $30 each as well. you can totally redo your drivetrain for under $100. STI shifters are going to run you $300. Nashbar does have 10 speed sti shifters for $130 that, would keep it cheap.

    I'm a big fan of rebuilding old bikes but I agree with everyone else, do it because it's fun and you like to do it, don't do it to save money. although it's sort of like financing a new bike, you will spend more money by the time you are done but at least you can pay for parts piece by piece.

    if yo ucan post pics of your bike, that would help us advise you more.
     
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  11. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    This is the sort of help I was hoping to find here you just explained alot about stuff I had no clue about well helps a bunch. One thing I gotta ask though is there any advange other than price for going for a flat bar a drop bar? If not then I would still prefer the drop bar over the flat simply because I got tired of dealing with a flat bar riding my mountain bike everywhere. So when you talk about respacing the the cassette do you mean bending the rear.. forks of the frame (not sure if thats what its called) to find the cassette in?
     
  12. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    Cost would be the overwhelming reason to go flat bar vs drop bar. Even the lowest level STI shifters (shimano sora) are significantly more expensive than low end flat bar shfiters. Of course, you could also stick with downtube shifters or bar end shifters and simply put a drop bar on with brake levers. it's the old school way but some people prefer it. As for the spacing, you are refering to the "dropouts", its where you slide the wheel into. Steel frames can be "cold set" to permanently change their spacing from 126mm to 130mm but most people elect to just wedge the wheel in. the nature of steel makes this easily doable. Aluminum is another story, you run the risk of cracking the aluminum tubes. steel bends quite a bit, aluminum will just snap.

    www.sheldonbrown.com is a great resource you should start reading. learning the nomenclature will be a big help to you in asking for advice. For example, I earlier mentioned "downtube shfiters" but if you don't know what the downtube is, it's not going to mean much to you. If you are riding "in the drops" (the bottom part of the drop bar) it's not too hard to reach down and shift a downtube shifter. they are inexpensive and if used in friction mode, you have far few issues with deraileur adjustment. but lets face it, we all love the nice index shifting with a click of a button but you pay a steep price for that.
     
  13. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    @ Motobecane I will indeed check out that website to learn the cycle speak :) I would love to sound less like an ignorant child when referring to certain parts of the bike. I did think about down tube shifters because of price differences but I may shell out the cash to get the drop bar shifters. The idea of reaching down while riding in drops does not bother me I just like the idea of having them "on the index" as you put it. I think I also just sent a pm to you with a question you just answered about the spacing between the dropouts. So knowing the size I just need to decide what size cassette to get for rear wheel. Any advice or opinions on preference of 7 through 10 speed will be well respected.
     
  14. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    i did get your pm and I replied. regarding number of gears, it's largely going to be dependent on what you buy for shifters and what you want to spend. Shimano Sora and Tiagra are presently 9 speed systems. 105, ultegra, and duraace are 10speed. Older versions of sora and tiagra that are still available are 8 speed and older versions of ultegra, 105 and durace are 9speed. all of this stuff is readily available. I would base your drive train decision on what your willing to spend on shifters and then whatever you end up getting for shifters you will design the rest of the drivetrain around that. cranks, and deraiers are pretty interchangeable so you don't need a 8,9, or 10 speed specific deraileur in most cases.

    hope i'm not confusing you.
     
  15. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    Okay I got hopefully some decent pictures of the parts of the bike that need to be seen.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Hope these can help anyone help me :)
     
  16. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Alf,

    I reckon you would mention Campagnolo shifters in a conversation about anything - even something obscure like the compatibility of patagonian goats for grazing on the tough vegetation of the northern tundra...

    "with the implementation of a well source pair of non-QS Campagnolo shifters, we could see the herd breed sucessfully for many years"

    ;)
     
  17. OldGoat

    OldGoat New Member

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    Shimano, Suntour and Sunrace 6-speed indexing downtube shifters are readily available on ebay for $25 or less including shipping. Typically the rear is indexed and the front is friction. There are versions both for attachment to downtube braze-ons (if your bike has them--doubtful) or with a clamp for frames lacking braze-ons.

    Here a a couple of links for your reference:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/NOS-Suntour-Downtube-shifters-6-speed-friction-index-/120676814037?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c18e60cd5
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-105-down-tube-shifters-6-7-speed-/170606200811?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27b8ec07eb
    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=downtube+shifters+6+speed&_sacat=See-All-Categories

    Downtube clamps to which braze-on style shifters can be attached are also readily available. Be sure the clamp size matches the outside diameter of your downtube. See this link:
    http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=downtube+clamp&_sacat=0&_odkw=downtube+braze-on&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

    You may also get indexing 7-speed bar end shifters like the ones below to work with your six-speed rear freewheel.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/SHIMANO-ULTEGRA-7sp-bar-end-shifters-new-/300529446471?pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item45f8f36e47
     
  18. Motobecane

    Motobecane New Member

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    Good pics, they are very useful. first and foremost, are you riding it with the seat in that position? if so, that frame is most likely WAY to small for you. A 5 inch saddle to handle bar drop would be considered a lot on a road bike. your saddle to bar drop isn't that far there but that stem is angled really steeply upwards and you have riser handlebars. but lets say in theory that it is the right size, some issues you need to consider to create a road bike out of this.

    1. Brakes- that bike has cantilever brakes, you may have some compatibility issues with the cable pull if you use sti levers for braking. I'm not 100% positive on that but research it further. if you removed the front reflector you could probably mount regular dual pivot caliper road brakes there and a cheap set of those can be found online for around $25 for the pair.

    2. Handlebars- You have a threaded headset there so swapping a different stem is more difficult, that stem that is in there now has a ton of rise but that may suit your needs. the real issue is checking the clamp size. most modern drop bars have a 31.8 diameter clamp while most older threaded stems use a 25.4. There are drop bars that are 25.4 in diameter though. in fact, I have a pair of them that also have cross brakes on the tops of the bar that I would sell for cheap. pm me if your interested.

    3. Wheels - You want to find out if those are 700c or 27" wheels. 700c is more or less the modern standard but tires are still available for 27" bikes. keep in mind that if you decide to go 8,9, or 10 speed it will require a new rear wheel anyways.


    Here is my .02 cents. I would NOT convert that style of bike into a road bike. That bike would make an EXCELLENT commuter/utility bike. the larger tires would make for a comfortable ride on potholed streets and that bike can easily go from pavement to dirt trails without any issues. It appears to be in really good shape and would probably benefit from a few things that an lbs could do rather inexpensively such as checking out the hub bearing, headset bearings and bottom bracket bearings and replacing bearings and grease as needed. If you really want something more modern shifting wise, I would keep it as a flat bar bike and add the microshift flat bar shifters which only cost 30 bucks and the microshift rear deraileur which is also about $30 and would give you indexed shifting. I would then get an inexpensive rear wheel and with a 9 speed casette and call it a day. replace the brake cables if needed but thats it. A decent rear wheel can be had for $50 and a new casette and chain would run you $40. I think your rear deraileur says shimano sis, so you may not even need a new rear deraileur, you may be able to get that one to index.

    As is my scenario would still have you spending close to $200 but I think keeping it as a hybrid utility means if its not quite the right size it's less of an issue. If your gonna get a road bike and start doing serious rides of any great length, you really want it to fit pretty decently.
     
  19. Cattasraafe

    Cattasraafe New Member

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    Well now I could even be doing the seat all wrong. I was under the impression that you need to be able to fully extend your leg when pushing the peddle down. If that frame is to small about how would I find the proper size bike for me? I'm only 6 foot tall. Not really sure what else to do.
     
  20. Ozgur.Nevres

    Ozgur.Nevres New Member

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    I would recommend you to buy a cheap 2nd hand road bicycle. Changing this bike into a road bike will be more expensive. And the frame will never give you a road bike frame's feeling and aggressivity (look at the length of the chainstay, wheelbase, etc.).



    You can use this fit calculator for frame size: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO
     
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