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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On my 83 Razesa I've got 7spd with downtube suicide shifters, a late 80's Suntour rear derailure, and a bunch of newer, lighter parts (levers, brakes, cranks).

I've got alot of weight in the rear cassette (screw on type), rear derailure, and wheels. I've got wheels (Mavic Open Pros), but they are cassette type. I've also got a SRAM OG1070 10spd rear cassette laying around too, but I'm hesitant to go to 10spd.

Things I like about the current 7spd setup:
- Incredibly durable: I've mashed on it for 6 years now without a skip, jump, or break
- Cheap...cuz it's already on there.
- Incredibly durable: serious...I've never spent a dime on this setup.
- Accurate: Even with clunky old downtube shifters, the drivetrain is not fussy

Things I don't like about the 7spd setup:
- Downtube shifters are getting old. These are Suntour types, and not really worth much
- I want brifters, but the clean types. Not the huge ones.
- Incredibly heavy rear cassette
- Incredibly heavy rear derailure

So, is there hope? Or should I just leave it alone? I'd like to race this bike (because I'm too broke for a new one) and because the bike has a lot of sentimental value to me.

I am not apposed to going to 8 or 9 speed freewheel, so long as it allows me to use my current chain.

 

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What size are the wheels on that bike? If they`re 27in, it doesn`t look like your current brakes have enough room to go to 700. If the OPs fit, you should be able to put an 8s cassette on it and use the same chain, shifters (in friction), and deraillers. I know nothing about brifters, so won`t even bother offering any useless BS.
 

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I would not change it. First, all the 7 speed setups I am aware of are 126mm wide and the 8-9-10 speed hubs are 130mm. Therefore, you would have to spread the rear triangle. I went that route on my vintage Bottecchia and eventually went back. It was originally 7 speed but I wanted a "modern" setup so I cold set the rear triangle to 130mm, stripped off all the Shimano 600 (6400 series) and upgraded to 10 speed brifters. It wasn't long before felt like I lost the retro coolness factor that the bike had. I put a 7 speed cassette (with spacer) on the 10 speed hubs and put all the Shimano 600 back and haven't looked back. It's much more fun to ride this way.
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Whoa, I didn't realize suicide shifters were like that. Someone once referred to my downtube shifters as suicidal, and I kinda kept with that nickname...little did I know.


Anyway, yes I've got a 126 rear spacing, but I've got a 130mm cyclocross wheel in it right now.

People tell me all the time that I shouldn't change the bike. That's easy for them to say, they've got brand new $2000 road bikes. This is my only road bike. This is the only one I want. I want to ride it more, and I'd like to race. Hence the use of brifters.
 

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Don't think you would save all that much weight switching out although your wheels do look a bit on the heavy side (36 spokes?). You could always look for some lightweight 7 speed wheels for race day. Have you tried racing with the downtube shifters yet? People used to do it all the time and were plenty fast. If you find it to be a huge handicap then start looking for a suitable setup. For everyday riding I wouldn't bother.
 

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First off, that's a nice old bike. But switching to 8-9 or 10 speed will require a lot of changes for it to be accomplished and work properly. As mentioned above, your rear spacing needs to be adjusted. I know you stated that you already have a 130mm rear wheel in there. If you intend to race the bike like that, wheel changes for a flat, will be out of the question. Also changing the rear cassette/freewheel should also be accompanied by a chain replacement.
As mentioned before, a lighter set of wheels would be the most notable change. New down tube shifters can still be found on ebay. Also a new derailluer should even work with your current set-up, but I'm not sure how much weight it would save. All in all it comes down to how much money you want to throw at it. Good luck.
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not bike envy, because I don't want a new bike. I'm not a roadie. I just find myself; even after years of riding it with friction shifters, still searching for gears. I don't need lots of gears (I ride SS on the dirt) because I could care less about cadence.

I just recently discovered however that my rear hub is trashed. I already replaced the axle last year and repacked the bearings, and it's already getting junky. I also noticed instead of riding a 7 speed like I originally thought, I'm running a 6 speed freewheel.
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone know the weight in grams of lightweight race-day 6/7/8 speed freewheels like the SunTour Winner Ultra-7?

I'm trying to compare the weight of a freewheel setup vs going to a cassette.
 

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PHeller said:
Not bike envy, because I don't want a new bike. I'm not a roadie. I just find myself; even after years of riding it with friction shifters, still searching for gears. I don't need lots of gears (I ride SS on the dirt) because I could care less about cadence.

I just recently discovered however that my rear hub is trashed. I already replaced the axle last year and repacked the bearings, and it's already getting junky. I also noticed instead of riding a 7 speed like I originally thought, I'm running a 6 speed freewheel.


if you have enough gears, how about just some indexed or power ratchet dt shifters?
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yeah I think I've got the brifters situation taken care of.

Now I'm starting to revisit the topic of the thread. Weight.

Even with a LX rear hub and modern 10 speed SG1070 cassette, the rear of the bike is almost as heavy as my MTB. The LX hub is extremely heavy, attached to a heavy tire with 36 heavy spokes and the Suntour V-Luxe is 239grams.

So now I'm trying to decide if it's worth investing in lightweight freewheel, or going to a newer, lighter cassette style setup.

The BB is probably another weighty issue as well, but that will have to wait until I get enough cash to investing in an external BB crankset.
 

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PHeller said:
Yeah I think I've got the brifters situation taken care of.

Now I'm starting to revisit the topic of the thread. Weight.

Even with a LX rear hub and modern 10 speed SG1070 cassette, the rear of the bike is almost as heavy as my MTB. The LX hub is extremely heavy, attached to a heavy tire with 36 heavy spokes and the Suntour V-Luxe is 239grams.

So now I'm trying to decide if it's worth investing in lightweight freewheel, or going to a newer, lighter cassette style setup.

The BB is probably another weighty issue as well, but that will have to wait until I get enough cash to investing in an external BB crankset.
If you knock 5 pounds off the bike it really won't make a bit of difference and will cost quite a bit. I'd embrace the weight--it's a good excuse when you get dropped and it makes you look awesome when hang with the weight weenies.
 

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Look for replacement 6 or 7 speed "freewheel" and find a nice vintage hub - not a freehub - just a hub and put the new freewheel on the hub. If you want a freehub make sure it is a 126mm width and put on a indexed 6 or 7 speed cassette. Maybe get some new "down tube" shifters. Index down tube shifters and indexable freewheels are around. The weight issue will always be there. Even if you could put on a Sram Red group and light wheels - you will still be heavier because the frame isn't light. Trying to moderise your vintage bike is almost if not impossible to do for the average cyclist. The modern light weight components do not swap easily with 6 speed equipped bikes and without the lightweight components - the low end modern components are still on the heavy side. Keep your bike in good/safe running order and enjoy it for many more years.
 

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I just went thru this. Weigh your stuff first. You can easily get a 7/8 cassette and wheel in there. Skip indexing or buy indexing down tube shifters. I ended up keeping the freewheel and buying cheap 700c wheels- just to finish. Your bike looks better than what I started with though -Id leave it.
 

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duh...
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grandetour said:
I just went thru this. Weigh your stuff first. You can easily get a 7/8 cassette and wheel in there. Skip indexing or buy indexing down tube shifters. I ended up keeping the freewheel and buying cheap 700c wheels- just to finish. Your bike looks better than what I started with though -Id leave it.


isn't 7 to 8 when things went from fw and 126 to cassette and 130 (w/ same cog spacing)? too much messing around will lead to a domino effect of escalating costs
 

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Destroyer of BBs
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've already got a 130mm wheel on the bike. It's also my understanding that it wasn't until 8/9 speed when the spacing changed.

It wouldn't be such a big deal to keep the freewheel if I could find an inexpensive sub-250gram freewheel.
 
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