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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was a mountain bike by birth, but it`s the closest I`ve had to a road bike since my old Nouvo Sport was swiped in about `82. Here`s the condensed background: This frame was my uncle`s mountain bike and it spent a few lonely years after he passed away because nobody had any need for it in its original form. Actually, I`m the only one in the family who rides more than once in a blue moon and I had no use for another mtb. On a visit to my uncle`s girlfriend last summer, she offered it to me again and I took it home with me. I`m glad I did.

Aside from the family connection, it`s a pretty nice cromo frame with some unusual touches for a mid-level bike- diamond reinforcements on the bottle bracket bosses, "semi-Hetchins" CSs, chain hanger, and a fancy seatpost clamp. I think it`s going to be a dandy tourer when I get done with it. For now it`s going to spend a few months in the "wannabe rando" costume it currently sports.

I kept the original derailers (seem to work fiine), brake calipers, BB, and seatpost- the rest is boxed up in case anybody else wants the original bike for some reason. Besides, I felt a little bit bad about dismantling Uncle Dick`s bike. I put it together with a pair of touring wheels I`d built up last year for my mtb (Aeroheats on XT- 32/36), 1.25 Pasellas, some old logo Sugino 165s, 8 sp Shimano shifters, "compact" bars, a pair of old Superbe brake levers that the owner of my LBS gave me a deal on, Terry Fly that I didn`t like on my commuter, but seems great on this one. The headset was a little gritty for some reason, and I kind of wanted a silver one anyway, so I replaced that while I was at it. Oh yeah- also a Paramount bottle cage to keep the brake levers from getting snooty and picking on the Exage derailers. This thing eats potholes for breakfast! It likes them even more than my commuter does. The commuter is another rigid mtb frame with 1.5s. Maybe it`s the cromo, I dunno- my commuter is plumbers pipe and all the other mtbs I`ve had have been aluminum. Anyway, here she be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The rack

This is number six or seven for me, I think. My bronze brazing is really comming along, but I need a lot more practice with silver if I ever want to do more with that. Most of the rack is fillet brazed, but I used silver for the light mounts (little threaded barrels) so I wouldn`t melt what I`d already done. I was going to have it powder coated right away, but decided to give it a while just spray painted in case I want to change anything. The powder will be pretty much the same color, maybe a little bit lighter.
 

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Love it- Old schwinn MTBs are amazingly versatile bikes. I turned mine into a Rene Herse style french commuter...

Now for the obligatory questions, WTF is that stem? (love the cap on top of the steerer tube BTW...)

and can you build a rack like that for me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bags

I like big bags because I carry a lot of crap with me- I don`t know how you real roadies manage without even handlebar bags! The nice canvas rando bags are what I`d love to have, but there`s no way in Hell I`m paying $80 plus for a stinkin bag, so I improvised. The black one came from a thrift shop ($3) last week and I added a set of Lone Peak pannier mounts to it. Wayne at thetouringstore.com sold them to me- $22 for two bags worth including shipping. Can`t beat it. The blue bag is one I made up for my commuter a few years ago and will work on this new rack also. The plasic block goes between the uprights, then locks in by twisting it 90 degrees. It cost me nothing, but took several hours to fabricate and is considerably bulkier than the Lone Peak clips. I`m going to modify my commuter rack to fit the Lone Peak stuff and ditch the blocks. For now, I have my choice between the blue Mamma Bear bag and the black Pappa Bear bag, with a Baby Bear bag comming soon.
 

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buck-50 said:
Love it- Old schwinn MTBs are amazingly versatile bikes. I turned mine into a Rene Herse style french commuter...

Now for the obligatory questions, WTF is that stem? (love the cap on top of the steerer tube BTW...)

and can you build a rack like that for me?
Agree.

Agree.

Agree.

That is a sweet build.
 

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abominable slowman
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That's great. I didn't know your uncle Dick, but I bet it does his memory well to have his bike back out the roads and trails.

I'm inspired!! I have an old Trek Singletrack 930. It's true temper OX and right now I use it as hardtail and errand bike. Maybe i'll convert to a good adventure/touring bike. hmmm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
buck-50 said:
Love it- Old schwinn MTBs are amazingly versatile bikes. I turned mine into a Rene Herse style french commuter...

Now for the obligatory questions, WTF is that stem? (love the cap on top of the steerer tube BTW...)

and can you build a rack like that for me?
The stem was a great idea that I swiped from Alex (Wetmore)? Something on phred.org It`s fully adjustable and I don`t know why nobody sells them commercially. I used one when I was setting up my commuter until I got it dialed in where I wanted it, then made one exactly to the specs I wanted. This one is going to take longer to be sure about because I`m not used to drop bars, so I might be tweaking things for quite a while until I`m sure I have what I want. Eventually I`ll make a fixed stem for it. That`s a crutch cap on the top because my mother was absolutely certain I was going to impale myself on the little stub.

As far as building racks for money, I`d love to do it as a sideline, but I don`t think it`s in the cards for me. For one thing, I only have a carport to work in at home (plans to put up a garage have been put off until the idea of taking out a big loan isn`t so terrifying), I have no business knack, and I don`t know how I`d manage if I didn`t have the actual bike around to measure from. I`m glad you like it though- that`s why I`m showing it off. If you REALLY like it, you can get pretty much the same thing from VO at about the same price (or less) than I`d have to charge anyway. Nashbar has a cheapo version without the backrest, I think.

Do you have any pics of your "Herse" Schwinn? I`d like to see that one too.
 

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rodar y rodar said:
As far as building racks for money, I`d love to do it as a sideline, but I don`t think it`s in the cards for me.

Do you have any pics of your "Herse" Schwinn? I`d like to see that one too.
That's OK- you wouldn't have to charge me any money.

Pics of the Franco-american in summer...


and winter...



Old 89 schwinn frame- it was chromed under the paint, so off came the paint and on went the fenders- vo 650 zeppelin fenders will clear 26" x 2" studded tires...
 

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rodar y rodar said:
... That`s a crutch cap on the top because my mother was absolutely certain I was going to impale myself on the little stub......
Listen to mom! :yikes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like it, 1.50 I need to get some nice swept back bars like that on my commuter. Are those clampon shifters? I tried to find some for this bike but they were all too small.
 

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Those are clamp-ons. I had the opposite problem- the frame is OS, and no one made clamp-ons for OS tubes. But, Touch0gray hooked me up with a set that worked fine with just a little filing.

The swept back bars felt weird at first, but once I got used to them, they've been really comfortable.
 

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Baltic Scum
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Great build - sweet looking ride. Especially the gumwall tires.

...but, for f#ck's sake, Rodar - that stem has got to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ummm... thank you?
Yeah, I guess it does stray a bit form standard road or mtb conventions. It really isn`t all that far removed from an LHT though, and I think it`s just about what I needed. I rode from second grade through high school because it was my only way to get around, then had no bike or interest in bikes for many years, then started mountain biking. My tires have gotten progressively skinnier since then, but there`s just no way I`d be content with anything resembling an Allez. Maybe the next bike. N+1, right?
 

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You are quite the metal worker. As usual, I am impressed. I've had similar thoughts about converting my wife's old mountainbike for heavy-duty commuting and touring. Her bike is a Giant Rincon with similar geometry and features.
 
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