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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well, i've gotten a bunch of tips in my "decent 27 inch tire" thread about restoring an old piece-of-crap bike i want to use as a commuter bike that i can use to ride long distances. i've been told to get new tires, tubes, cables, and brake pads to bring the 30something bike up to somewhat modern standards. i've already repacked all the bearings (boy was that fun), threw on some pedals i took off my mtb, and bought a longer seatpost and a new saddle. as of now, the bike is sitting at home whilst i'm at college, and i wanna finish 'er up this summer...but, i've got a few questions first

regarding brake cables and derailleur cables...is there a huge difference between the $2 cable and the $118 cable? i realize i'm not gonna buy the $118 cables; in fact, i'd be more apt to buy the $2 set.

is there any sort of instructional for replacing cables? like, is it really simple, or would it be worth paying my LBS to do it for me?

i've found a few 27" tubes, but they've been at MC sports and walmart; seems 27" is too obscure to find at a bike shop. if i wanted to support the bike shop, could i substitute a 700c tube for the 27"? or, would i be better off buying a bell or schwinn tube from "big evil corporation?"

tires...i've basically thrown in the towel as far as finding anything decent at a bike shop...online all the way for me, on that one.

and finally, the bike has old dia-compe cantilever brakes with the teensy weensy pads...would it be at all possible to use a more modern shape of brake pad? or, is that something that i'd have to look at on the bike, and figure out if it would work; i.e. not something i should be asking an intarnetz forum about?
 

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Wow. $118 cables. That's insane. Go with the $2 cable. Get this at yer LBS. They'll charge you more, but hey, it's still less than $118.

Replacing cables is easy, even if you don't have every possible tool. Best tip for servicing old bikes- go to half-price books, go to the sports section and look for old copies of Bicycling magazine's bike repair guide- it's actually really well done and it'll walk you through everything you could possibly want to do to that bike. Figure it'll cost less than $10.

Tubes: 700c tubes that fit 32mm tires will fit 27" rims just fine- that's what yer bike shop will tell you. If they're cheaper at wall-mart, get 'em there.

Tires- Just go for 27" paselas. They're an awesome tire, they last forever, they're cheap and they roll really well. And, yer LBS probably has them.

Brake pads: Maybe. You'll want to talk to yer LBS about this one. Figure there are all manner of brakepads designed to work with cantilever brakes for Cyclocross (you've actually got centerpulls) and many of those would be compatible with yer brakes. But you probably need someone to walk you through the hows and whys.

Good luck!
 

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i'ld say to skip the $4 for derailleur cables, and by some lunch with it and just make it a single speed. replacing cables is very easy btw. $118 cables is a sin.

as for tires, you should be able to find an economy set of 27" tires at just about any "family" oriented LBS. if they sell kids bikes, there's a good chance they carry 27" tires too that aren't expensive.

as for pads, are your current ones in that bad of shape or don't work? again something you may find at the local wallymart, target, cvs or other drug store that carries bike supplies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
moschika said:
as for pads, are your current ones in that bad of shape or don't work? again something you may find at the local wallymart, target, cvs or other drug store that carries bike supplies.
the pads are in great shape, i've just been told that rubber gets harder over the years...and the bike is over 30 years old at this point, so new pads would provide noticably more stopping power...that's also the reason i was given to buy new tires, too.

velodog said:
I may be mistaken but isn't that $118 buying a box of 100 cables?
oh...

:blush2:
 

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Seems most 700c tubes come with presta valves, while 27" come with schraeder. It's prolly wise to get the valve designed for your rim.

Keep the brakes stock, so you get the same terrifying braking experience of yesteryear. Added bonus for screeching sound effects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
fast ferd said:
Seems most 700c tubes come with presta valves, while 27" come with schraeder. It's prolly wise to get the valve designed for your rim.

Keep the brakes stock, so you get the same terrifying braking experience of yesteryear. Added bonus for screeching sound effects.
already done ;)
the few times i had 'er out, i'd try to stop...but instead of being *slow*slow*stop* it was more like *squeek*squeek*slow*whirrr*slow*OMGI'MSTOPPING*
 

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old_fuji said:
already done ;)
the few times i had 'er out, i'd try to stop...but instead of being *slow*slow*stop* it was more like *squeek*squeek*slow*whirrr*slow*OMGI'MSTOPPING*
Try taking an emory board and sand off the oxidized surface of the brake pads. this can make a huge difference. The pads should be installed and shaped so that the front of the pad touches the rim first. This will usually stop the squeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
here's another one for ya
the wheels are steel...they had a nice chrome finish on them, but over the years, it's rusted over. i've tried restoring the chrome, to some avail, with automotive chrome finish and polisher, but i'm wondering if the refinisher will affect the braking surface of the rims at all.
 

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old_fuji said:
here's another one for ya
the wheels are steel...they had a nice chrome finish on them, but over the years, it's rusted over. i've tried restoring the chrome, to some avail, with automotive chrome finish and polisher, but i'm wondering if the refinisher will affect the braking surface of the rims at all.
eeeep. chromed steel rims really suck. get them wet and your brakes stop working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
old_fuji said:
:eek:
can i fix it?
^^that, and would it be at all smart to drill some holes around the circumference of the chainrings to alleviate some rotational mass? i've seen pics of old bikes that have that, but i'm not sure if those are mods or what.
 

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Your best bet would be to upgrade to 700c wheels but that would probably be out of your budget. This could create problems with your brake pads reaching the rims, too. Better brake pads may be an option, though. Without seeing a picture of your brakes it would be difficult to recommend something.

Drill holes in your rims? I wouldn't do it!
 

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I think I might be able to help you out with a wheelset. PM me.

27" wheelset in great condition, only a little polishing required. Off of a Schwinn 11.8 solid chrome bike I own.

Here is what you CAN run into when trying to switch out wheelsets. Some times it works and alot of times it does not. I think Sheldon Browns site has some info but from my experience; a 27" rim is smaller than a 700mm, I think it is 630mm. Since you went to a smaller rim now your brakes don't line up so you try buying longer reach double pivot calipers made by Tektro from Nashbar. They come in and then you discover that the 30y/o manner that the original brakes were mounted has changed and now use a recessed bolt that fits in the brake bridge and fork. How do you make that work? Drill more metal out of the fork and brake bridge to make the bolt fit and risk destroying a perfectly good frame just to go to a smaller wheel so the brakes will work. And then after you do that you find out that the brakes are still too short to reach the rim (pad hits the tire) so you start drilling out the brake arm to give it more length. Now the way to measure before you go to these lengths is to throw in a 630mm rim BEFORE anything and see where the pads hit with your existing center pull brakes.

Also PM me or try www.bikepartsusa.com for wheels in 27". the Sun rims are really good for a 27" wheelset. The others are a little on the generic utilitarian TCN variety, think bikes in India.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ARP said:
27" wheelset in great condition, only a little polishing required. Off of a Schwinn 11.8 solid chrome bike I own.

Here is what you CAN run into when trying to switch out wheelsets. Some times it works and alot of times it does not. I think Sheldon Browns site has some info but from my experience; a 27" rim is smaller than a 700mm, I think it is 630mm. Since you went to a smaller rim now your brakes don't line up so you try buying longer reach double pivot calipers made by Tektro from Nashbar. They come in and then you discover that the 30y/o manner that the original brakes were mounted has changed and now use a recessed bolt that fits in the brake bridge and fork. How do you make that work? Drill more metal out of the fork and brake bridge to make the bolt fit and risk destroying a perfectly good frame just to go to a smaller wheel so the brakes will work. And then after you do that you find out that the brakes are still too short to reach the rim (pad hits the tire) so you start drilling out the brake arm to give it more length. Now the way to measure before you go to these lengths is to throw in a 630mm rim BEFORE anything and see where the pads hit with your existing center pull brakes.

Also PM me or try www.bikepartsusa.com for wheels in 27". the Sun rims are really good for a 27" wheelset. The others are a little on the generic utilitarian TCN variety, think bikes in India.
the wheels i have are in great condition...it's just that buck50 said that when chrome rims get wet, they don't brake as well...so, i was wondering if there was any way to remedy that; be it by sanding the chrome, milling it a little maybe, or what.
 

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You are inviting rust if you scrap/scratch the rim surface

old_fuji said:
the wheels i have are in great condition...it's just that buck50 said that when chrome rims get wet, they don't brake as well...so, i was wondering if there was any way to remedy that; be it by sanding the chrome, milling it a little maybe, or what.
I think he was refering to the brake pad, scuff those! Really you find Koolstop salmon colored pads with studs, they might be called eagle claws or something like that, I have a set on my old retro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
removing safety levers

is there a good way to pop dem safety levers off? or, should i just leave 'em on for retro steez?
 

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It depends on which brake levers you have. On the old Dia-Comp brake levers in my past there was a screw that was holding the safety lever in place. This was screwed onto the cross piece that is used to attach the levers to the bars. You remove the brake levers from the handlebars, remove the screw, slide the lever off, take the cross piece off, cut off the nub, sand it down smooth and reassemble everything. YMMV, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Squidward said:
It depends on which brake levers you have. On the old Dia-Comp brake levers in my past there was a screw that was holding the safety lever in place. This was screwed onto the cross piece that is used to attach the levers to the bars. You remove the brake levers from the handlebars, remove the screw, slide the lever off, take the cross piece off, cut off the nub, sand it down smooth and reassemble everything. YMMV, of course.
yeah, it's got the dia-compe levers. i'll give this a shot then...as far as bar tape, could i tape over the hoods on these ol' brakes?
 
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