Building up SS #3- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Building up SS #3

    My first post here on mtbr...hello everyone!

    A few years ago I got the SS bug and bought a used 1990 Specialized S-works hard tail to convert to a singlespeed:



    I had MUCH fun on the Specialized and it was my favorite bike to ride, despite the fact that I had an FS.



    I rode the SS so much I decided I deserved a 'real' singlespeed. So I bought myself a Surly 1x1:



    Funny thing is...I just don't enjoy riding the Surly as much for a couple of reasons:

    1. It's just a little big for me. I like to 'get around' on the SS, and this one is just a tad too big. It seems to affect my climbing efficiency too.

    2. The Zen factor. There's something magical about riding an SS rebuild...about using a bike that would otherwise be on the trash heap. I miss that...



    So... I've been casually looking around for another SS project. I am a little picky... has to be in decent shape, steel, a reasonable color, has to be a bit smaller than my Surly, but no too small, has to be new enough to accept V's and a 1 1.8" steerer tube is a plus.

    Well, it took me several months, but I think I've found what I'm looking for:



    Bought this classic for next to nothing from a dude in town that hardly rode it. Utilizing Sheldon Brown's incredible Bridgestone resources (https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/), I was able to discern that it's a 1993 frame, and thoroughly check out all the specs on it! Nice, thanks Sheldon!

    Wheels are dead straight, 1 1/8" headset, nice color, not too many scratches...a perfect conversion opportunity!

    I've got a couple of bits on order, and we'll be starting work on rev1 soon. Revision one will be just getting her (cheaply) set up in SS mode to see how I like the geometry and such. Assuming that goes well, some higher quality parts to follow...specifically around the drivetrain.

    Wish me luck! I'll keep everyone posted...

    G

  2. #2
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    Nice builds... I've been stalking this and the VRC forums for a while- want to build me up an old SS like your Specialized(s).

    Just waiting to find the right bike though- a little harder to find vintage MTB's in Australia...

    Keep us posted on your build.

  3. #3
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    Nice looking Bridgestone. Are you sure that the headtube is 1 1/8"? I had a 1993 mb3 and the headtube on that was only 1". To me, it seems odd that a lower model bike of the same year would have a different size headtube. I hope that I am wrong, regardless that bridgestone will be a great ride.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by henrymiller
    Nice looking Bridgestone. Are you sure that the headtube is 1 1/8"? I had a 1993 mb3 and the headtube on that was only 1". To me, it seems odd that a lower model bike of the same year would have a different size headtube. I hope that I am wrong, regardless that bridgestone will be a great ride.
    You are correct sir! The specifications for the fork say "CroMo 1 1/8 oval blades", so I took that to mean it had a 1 1/8" steerer. However this afternoon I started getting the bike set up for some light test riding and it definitely has a 1" steerer tube.

    'Sok, I plan to run it rigid, but now it means I have to order another stem...DOH! I guess I'll run the stock one for a bit and see how the geometry feels and then look for another.

    G

  5. #5
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    Good job! sweet

    cool builds.i like the 1x1,never owned one but like surly's philosophy.those other 2 are way cool i've got an early '90's ht that was the 1st lbs bike i ever bought new...it was either a mongoose or a diamondback ,can't remember which (i have a valid excuse-head injury betweenst then and now ),and it's had at least 2 repaints.anyhow,i tore it down a coupla years ago to restore it,then while lookin for period parts,got sidetracked w/ other projects.i'm kinda new here myself,and all this talk of projects (and the retro/vintage forum)has me really itchin to dig those parts outta storage!

  6. #6
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    MB5 SS rev1

    OK, rev1 and a short test ride complete



    Talk about fun, grab a beer, hit the garage, kick on the tunes, and start stripping unecessary crap off the bike to make it a lean mean single machine!

    I definitely need to change the stem and bars. That long reach stem and those narrow bars aren't fun. The brakes are disappointing too...way too flexy, and obviously the cranks need to go as well, but...just testing now.

    I think with a more upright/shorter stem and a riser bar will give me the fit that I like...I like to keep the front end light on the SS bikes. Excellent downhill and there's no penalty on the climbs since you're standing anyways.

    More to come...

    G

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure how you're going to get a riser bar in the stem.... I heard of a trick once that involves pennies, but I forgot how it went...
    Bike Building and Painting

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  8. #8
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    Here's a vintage I just finished painting and building. Old panasoncic...

    If the images don't show up then click my web link in my signiture.
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  9. #9
    wot no bike?
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by duotone
    Here's a vintage I just finished painting and building. Old panasoncic...
    duotone:

    I just realized you painted that Panasonic yourself, it looks like it turned out great and that color is amazing. Incidently I have an old Panasonic road frame (that looks exactly like your MTB frame except for the rear spacing and cable guides) that I'm getting ready to strip/paint myself.

    How long did it take you to do the stripping/prep work on that Panasonic frame? This is the main thing that's holding me back, I'm dreading stripping around the lugs and stuff.

    I read the info on your website, but I couldn't tell what kind of paint you're using. Are you using automotive paint in a rattle can?

    Thanks for the info...
    pete

  10. #10
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    Yeah... stipping is a pain, for sure. What I've been doing lately is scuffing up the paint, providing the paint that's on the frame isn't too knarly, and take about 200 grit paper to the parts that need more attention.

    If you need to strip the paint, use aircraft paint remover from any automotive store.

    What ever paint you decide on, use the same brand and and type of primer, if you use primer that is.

    Cheap way > Rattle Can
    Rustoleum White can goes on THICK and heavy, drys very fast. Put on 2 fast coats.

    Krylon Plasticoat goes on really smooth and takes for ever to dry.

    Anodized paint is supper cool and is a bit tricky to use, but when it's done right it looks and feels great.

    More costly way > http://www.x-actoblades.com/preval/preval.htm
    This is what I'm going to try on my next frame.
    I'll be going to the local auto paint store and tell'em I want to have a quart of some left over paint they've mixed and hope to score some. If not the paint's a bit costly.
    You'll need hardener and some self etching primer, oh, and some clearcoat.
    This method will be professional quality if you use the selfetching primer, paint with hardener and clearcoat. MAKE SURE ALL THE items are meant to be used with each other or they won't work well.

    Hope that helps.

    Tony
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    Crystavox Single Speed Bikes

  11. #11
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    Oh, I forgot... you asked how long... I didn't strip that, I merely roughed it up.

    Painted on Friday, assembled on Sunday...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by duotone
    I'm not sure how you're going to get a riser bar in the stem.... I heard of a trick once that involves pennies, but I forgot how it went...

    hmm i think it is like you put the bolt in and you put a penny in between the bolt and the threads on the other side and it streches it out?
    Singlespeed since September 24, 2006.

  13. #13
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    That's a sweet looking classic Panasonic!

  14. #14
    Hi!!!
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    Hey IdahoGee --- did you have that 1x1 on Boise CL not too long ago? Heck I thought it was Geoff's (Earthpig) bike.

    You should be a "member" of S.W.I.S.S. --- SouthWest Idaho Single Speeders. No meetings or dues. Every now and then folks from the Idaho board will take their SS for a ride or two or thrhee.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by duotone
    Hope that helps.
    Very much, thanks. That sprayer is awesome, I may do what you're going to do provided I can get the auto paint for a good price. I'll definitely look into it.

    Thanks again.
    pete

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Hey IdahoGee --- did you have that 1x1 on Boise CL not too long ago? Heck I thought it was Geoff's (Earthpig) bike.

    You should be a "member" of S.W.I.S.S. --- SouthWest Idaho Single Speeders. No meetings or dues. Every now and then folks from the Idaho board will take their SS for a ride or two or thrhee.
    Doode, I think I am...I got a shirt and everything! (got it from Earthpig himself) In fact wore it to work last Friday.

    Yes, the Surly was on CL, and it's now back on there. I think I'm going to end up stripping off some parts for the MB5 and selling the FF on Ebay, and perhaps the wheelset too. We'll see.

    G

  17. #17
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    I probably shouldn't post this, but I got one-a-those too (a roadie):
    http://boise.craigslist.org/bik/276984842.html

    Haven't ridden it for a while so I'm trying to sell it.

    G

  18. #18
    Hi!!!
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    Damnit....don't you have a 52 or 54 sitting around in the garage!?!?!?

    I'd like to get a SS roadie for Greenbelt use.

    I'm gonna SS an old Trek sitting in my storage unit to use at lunch time in downtown.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    Damnit....don't you have a 52 or 54 sitting around in the garage!?!?!?

    I'd like to get a SS roadie for Greenbelt use.

    I'm gonna SS an old Trek sitting in my storage unit to use at lunch time in downtown.
    If you're looking for a chainring I might have some sitt'n around gathering dust I can send you.... what'er you look'n for?
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  20. #20
    wot no bike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    I'd like to get a SS roadie for Greenbelt use.
    That's what I sort of did with my Panasonic road frame. It was designed for 27" wheels, and I put a set of 700Cs on there with cyclocross tires, and an SS freewheel (White Industries). It's geared for road/fire-road/flat trail and I love it.
    pete

  21. #21
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    The right stem move.

    Put on one of those 1 -> 1/8" converters and threw my RF risers and RF Deus neck on the MB5 for a few trips around the neighborhood. The cockpit is a little tight, but I like that fit, _except_ the bars are a tad low. I'm going to raise them up. It appears I've got 2 options:

    1. One of the Delta stem risers:



    2. A 40 deg rise 1" quill stem:




    I'm going to try #2. Ordered that 130mm from Nashbar. That will be as much rise as I can get w/o the Delta unit.

    I've been a little side-tracked due to some fresh pow pow falling in the hills, but now it appears to be warming again so I'll be back to playing with the bikes.

    G

  22. #22
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    Got the Nashbar riser...tried it for a bit but took it off and decided to give the penny-trick a try to use the original Ritchey stem (put the screw in backwards and used the pennys to cover the hole so the stem would spread...pretty easy going with the steel):






    Worked like a champ! Got the risers on the original steel stem. That Ritchey isn't too bad after all, stiff and with the risers it may be about right.

    Also put my gigantic Specialized Body Geometry (Milano) saddle on there. It definitely doesn't look cool, but it's one of the few saddles that work for me. This is where we are now...need to take a ride up into the hills this weekend:


  23. #23
    wot no bike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoGee
    Got the Nashbar riser...tried it for a bit but took it off and decided to give the penny-trick a try to use the original Ritchey stem (put the screw in backwards and used the pennys to cover the hole so the stem would spread...pretty easy going with the steel):
    That's brilliant yet so simple, I wish I had thought of that in the past. I had that situation once and I struggled with a screwdriver as a pry bar and scratched the crap out of a bar. Damn, so obvious...
    pete

  24. #24
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    We've come full circle

    Well, after building up the Bridgestone, riding, adjusting, riding, adjusting...hmmmm

    ...then putting the Surly back together, looks like I'm just nuts, the Surly rocks. I'm sticking with the 1x1. Why did I ever doubt! The good news is, now I'm convinced.

    The Bridgestone w/ shorter top tube is better for climbing, but kinda sucks for descending as I'm too far forward. All in all things aren't so bad, was able to try a large number of bike fits for about $80, and I should be able to sell the Bridgestone off and recoupe some of that.

    This is how the Surly's set up now w/ the 32x20 flopped on (got a 17T on the other side), gonna attack some of the steeper stuff with the spinny gear this week.

    Thanks for reading and ride on!
    G



  25. #25
    The Other F Word
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    *that* is beautiful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    just plain unfriendly and maladjusted.
    "Yes, honey: I do love this bike more than I love you."

  26. #26
    The Other F Word
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoGee
    My first post here on mtbr...hello everyone!
    Come to the dark side...we have cookies. Or trail snacks that are a reasonable facsimile thereof.
    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoGee
    1. It's just a little big for me.
    OK...*that* is a scary concept.

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoGee
    lean mean single machine!
    :cough:

    gabrielle
    Quote Originally Posted by Impy
    just plain unfriendly and maladjusted.
    "Yes, honey: I do love this bike more than I love you."

  27. #27
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    As for the dark side, this place may be the bright side all things considered.

    Here's your new avatar: (you're welcome)
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica
    Here's your new avatar: (you're welcome)
    Thanks Formica... I remember that day well...pehaps the best ride of my life... seriously.

    G

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