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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I'd like to make this 80's Razesa more dual-duty.

I don't ride a whole lot of road, and when I do, I'm usually hitting the hills. Raw speed is not required. I do however, need the ability to hit some dirt trails and occasional gravel road.

That little 6 gear cassette in the rear really makes me struggle with some of the steep climbs.

So I'm thinking of switching to maybe an 8 speed rear hub (90's XT laying around), and I'm not worried about rear spacing because I've got an 8 speed axle in the 6 speed hub. Long-Arm brakes, some additional levers...and of course the tires.

My biggest worry is the frame strength. Can an old lugged frame handle the abuses of gravel roads and dirt trails? The trail I have in mind has some rocky sections as well a section of old railroad ties.

Opinions?
 

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duh...
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9,658 Posts
why new "long-arm" brakes? looks like you've got decent clearance, and the pads are hitting the brake tracks properly

I wouldn't worry too much about the frame... wheels, maybe, if you go bashing things. I inadvertently hit a little step-up to a bridge last weekend and got a pinch flat and dented rim
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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523 Posts
PHeller said:
Opinions?
First, cool bike.

Second, forget why: what are "Long-Arm brakes"? I assume you mean long-reach calipers - but those are dependent on the distance from axle to brake-pivot centerline. i.e., if the arms are longer, they have to reach further from the brake pivot on the frame/fork to the braking track on the rim. i.e., you can't just make longer stays and a longer fork. If those are 27" wheels you might be able to switch to 700c and get a little more clearance - and necessitate and be able to use long-reach calipers - but a) I seriously doubt those are 27"; b) I don't know for sure whether it would work anyway; and c) if it did, you'd be guaranteed some wonky-arse handling.

My suggestion is put whatever tires you want on it as it is - it sounds like you want just the biggest you can fit - and ride it 'til it breaks. Which to answer your "biggest worry," it won't do any time soon. (Unless you omitting being, e.g., 350 lbs.) I ride my road bike (basically an "old lugged frame," except new) on all sorts of awesomely rotten surfaces.

Having said all that, I think it's pretty rockin' as it is, and wouldn't change anything that wasn't worn out.
 

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it's a nice older road bike.

what's the widest tire that will fit well on the rims and clear the stays?

consider the total cost of changes vs. selling the this and buying a used cyclocross bike.
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I can't sell the bike. It means too much to me. If someone stole it I'd probably cry and beat them if I found them...and not because it cost me anything. It was free. It was my fathers. He rode it back and forth to work when he was a truck driver and was in the best shape of his life on it. If I sold it he'd be incredibly pissed. He's dead and gone now, but the bike stays.

My father believed that you bought quality and abused it until you couldn't use it anymore. I plan to do that with this bike.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get any larger tires than what's on there now, thats why I was looking at different brake options. Only issue I see with tires are the rear stays being so short that I might actually rub the seat tube if I go too big. The likelyhood of that is slim though.

I'd like to switch the rear hub to be able to fit a higher cassette. Maybe an IRD Classic with 13/32 gearing would give me the nice mix between the hills and the trails. Anyone know prices? I've got lots of hill and want *gasp* a granny gear.
 

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Is not a clown car
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2,191 Posts
Sure it can handle that stuff. I've got an 84 Trek 400 or something that has been converted to cross/ss/trailer tower/trail-a-bike hauler/occasional CXer/gravel bomber/general abuse bike.

In fact I TRYING to break it, see if Trek's lifetime warranty is still good. I fear that I am failing at breaking it. Which is ok, cause I love riding the damned thing. Its just soooo comfy and smooth.
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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523 Posts
PHeller said:
Only issue I see with tires are the rear stays being so short that I might actually rub the seat tube if I go too big. The likelyhood of that is slim though.
That's the only thing I see, too: I think your tire choices are height limited, not width. Different tires have different profiles - some are short and wide, some tall and thin, some tall and wide. Unfortunately there aren't any useful guidelines to go by. See if you can find a shop that will let you try a bunch, or at least find a shop that has an example of each tire model they offer inflated on a rim. But again, just going from your picture, you should be able to get a pretty darn big tire in there before it starts threatening the brake bridge or fork crown. You've got kind of long dropouts on there, so if it's too close to the seattube, just move the wheel back. You might have to deflate the tire to get it in, but c'est la vie...

Gear choices are up to you. Run anything your derailleur can handle. It sounds like the frame is already 130 mm spaced? Put any cassette you want to in there, and while you'll need to change the chain, you'll be able to hit any gear you want with the original downtube shifters.

Again, don't take it dirt-jumping, but don't worry about breaking it.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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Looking at the picture it looks like the wheel is already mounted all the way back as far as it will go.

If the drop-out screws are still in there you can alway remove them to allow you to mount a wheel a little further back. It should give you around a quarter inch more clearance.
 

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TheHeadlessThompsonGunner
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You won't fit anything with knobs through that fork/brake. You can get more meat in the rear, but there's not much reason to if you're limited to a slick 28 or so in the front. New brakes certainly will not afford any more clearance (but they would certainly afford better braking!).

Again, cool bike. I'd just ride it as it is, for (mostly) what it was designed for, and it will last a very long time. You could also modern it up (i.e., basically all new components) and have a very nice road bike. ...but it will never be a cross bike!
 

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the axles on those wheels were often a weak point, the span on the drive side was llong enough that they broke from time to time
 

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why not get some heavy duty tires like a gatorskin or bontrager hard case in a 25. You won't have knobs but this will reduce the tendency for getting flats, though you will need to run pretty high psi. You will not fit a knobby tire in that frame, no way. The frame is the issue, not the brakes.
 
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