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  1. #1
    CS2
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    Modern Upgrades for Your Vintage Ride

    Anyone upgrade their vintage bike, especially a daily rider, with modern parts? I was thinking more in line with ramped & pinned chainrings, STI shift cables and new brake pads. They're not period correct but on a daily rider they would or should make a difference.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  2. #2
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Cables, yes
    Brake pads, for sure
    Grips, sometimes
    Tires, sometimes
    Chainrings, no way. Any attempt to index front shifting has been a disaster in my opinion. I stick with flat Salsa, Vuelta, Sugino, etc chainrings.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  3. #3
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    Cables, yes
    Brake pads, for sure
    Grips, sometimes
    Tires, sometimes
    Chainrings, no way. Any attempt to index front shifting has been a disaster in my opinion. I stick with flat Salsa, Vuelta, Sugino, etc chainrings.
    I was wondering how the chainrings might effect things. Have you ever tried a HG freewheel out back? My only experience with HG is on an indexed bike. And it does make a difference there.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  4. #4
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    I'd say it depends on the bike: I have an old Ross I bought new in 1985; it used the old-tyme loose-ball-cup-and-axle bottom bracket with a Japanese copy of a stronglight/TA crankset...which I wore out.

    Because the bike is my "baby", I couldnt just let it waste its declining years on a hook: I still ride it, so I fixed it with used, but very modern parts. The Deore crankset with black accents looks a little out of place, but it sure shifts nice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Anyone upgrade their vintage bike, especially a daily rider, with modern parts? I was thinking more in line with ramped & pinned chainrings, STI shift cables and new brake pads. They're not period correct but on a daily rider they would or should make a difference.
    There are a few schools of thought on the topic, and I seem to embrace the whole range.

    I have bikes that are period correct. I have a bike that has modern parts, and I have bike that is a mix of some period correct and some modern. The period correct stuff is my "mobile museum" that I take out now and then for a guilty pleasure. I get a kick out of being asked about the bike or the parts, admittedly that's rare. I get that a bit more on my period correct road bikes.

    The modern set up is a rider, as is the bike with a mix.

    The "mixed bike" is period correct drivetrain with modern chainrings (but not ramped - I just think it's not necessary if you set it up right) modern grips, clipless pedals from about 10 years ago, tyres are about 8 years old. Brakes are a modern cyclocross model canti that take cartridge v brake pads, simply because I like the ease of set up and ability to buy pads almost anywhere.

    Cables are always a modern specimen, and usually in a colour to match something on the bike. I dig coloured cables for some reason.

    I build my bikes to ride and enjoy, and as much as I dig using period correct stuff, I'm not hung up on it. Not to say it's wrong to have all period correct and I appreciate the efforts of those who do.

    I just want to enjoy riding my vintage bikes and see others doing the same.

    Grumps

  6. #6
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    Cables are always a modern specimen, and usually in a colour to match something on the bike. I dig coloured cables for some reason.
    I've been looking for some 5 mm colored derailleur housing. Lots of brake housing in that size. It seems most of the derailleur/shift casings are now 4mm. Which is OK it works but is a little too skinny for a vintage ride.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  7. #7
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    I've upgraded everything to modern to Sram X9 with my Sakae Litage frame accept the bars and stem but it's not totally finished so cant comment on any issues yet.

  8. #8
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    All of my bikes, including my old road bikes have some mix of period correct and "newer" but not necessarily current parts.

    While I appreciate period correct builds, I build my bikes to make them ride as well as possible and if a 5 year older shifter and a 5 year newer derailleur work better for me that is what I will use. I will admit that in the sea of cookie cutter bikes, I really do enjoy showing up on the road or the trail with an old bike that is perfectly tuned.

    My mountain bikes are early-mid 90's and I run 7 speed on everything, but I will run XT760/XTR960 derailleurs with XT730 cranks with non-ramped chainrings. Shifters are 7/8 speed Shimano index in rear to HG cassettes and Suntour thumb shifters for chainrings. Cane Creek 40 sealed headsets seem to be a good way to go, Marzocchi late 90's early 2000's forks. Most current parts are the the BL-T780 3 finger trekking brake levers for V-Brakes. All of the bikes have Cateye BC-100 water bottle cages.

    As for different colored cable housings, I've been using Jagwire sets off of ebay for $15-$20 dollars for a complete set with cables.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21
    (STOLEN)

  9. #9
    whoa
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    I have some bikes where i don't care about period correct parts. My Singlespeed has even parts which are 5 or more years older than the frame. My daily rider has a wild mix of old (cranks, bb, seat, stem, headset, ...) and modern parts (hub dynamo, lights, brakes, 9speed dura ace/ultegra/105 mix, chainrings, tires, ...). Nearly all wear parts are modern stuff.
    On the other hand i have my vintage bikes, some of them completely period correct (including chain, cables, tires, ...) and some others mostly period correct (modern chain, repro tires, ...).

  10. #10
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    I tend to put vintage parts on newer frames, more than newer parts on vintage frames. My parts bin is full of old parts and most work well with current components so I use them.

    It's rare that I have "new" components on an older frame. However, I do have bikes with components that are newer than the frame. I have an '86 frame built with components from the early-mid '90s.

    As far as putting brand new group on a frame I'd be more likely to do this on a road bike than a mountain bike. Road geometry has not changed in the past 40 years - other than rear spacing. An old bike with new components would be just as fun/fast as a modern road bike. Mountain bikes on the other hand have changed a lot: fork travel, braking systems, wheel size, and frame geometry are all different today than they were 10 years ago. Since there's no way to make an old bike "modern" I'd prefer to keep it original(ish) and ride it on appropriate trails.

    However, if I were building up a gravel road bike, I'd seriously consider an old bike with new components. Do what makes you happy.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  11. #11
    Humanoid Lobster
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    I've never been much of a stickler for correctness, but I will say that I'm absolutely converted to allen key lock-on grips. Can't do without them. /shrug
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  12. #12
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    Ban JakOzilla!
    Technology dragass

  13. #13
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jak0zilla View Post
    I've never been much of a stickler for correctness, but I will say that I'm absolutely converted to allen key lock-on grips. Can't do without them. /shrug
    They're nice for bar/control changes.
    But ironically the 2 pair of lock-on grips I have are the only grips I have problems with rotating on the bar while I ride.
    *** --- *** --- ***

  14. #14
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    I'm with JakO on the grips. Makes life so much easier when changing bars/brake levers/shifters/stems.
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  15. #15
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Since there's no way to make an old bike "modern" I'd prefer to keep it original(ish) and ride it on appropriate trails.
    That's what I was thinking. Modern cables and casing really don't look any different that 80's do. Maybe some Koolstop brake pads and a HG freewheel would make a friction shifter a little smoother and faster shifting and still look original. I'd like to believe getting rid of the spiral wound derailleur shift casings would improve performance.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  16. #16
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    I love the Salsa 660mm wide "flat" bars. They can be found in 5,11,17 degree bends and with 25.4 clamps. Carbon or Alu.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/9261427319" title="Untitled by Mr. P, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5506/9261427319_ff7ebb663e_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="Untitled"></a>

    This is the carbon 11 degree (I think) - trimmed a little IIRC.
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/9264209140" title="Untitled by Mr. P, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3705/9264209140_482672691d_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="Untitled"></a>

    I have the 17 degree on my 94 or 95 Slingshot right now
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/rmplum/10857327165" title=" by Mr. P, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3763/10857327165_7294a0678a_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt=" "></a>

    - the combination of width and the back sweep to reduce reach a bit is perfect for my old self, and sort of works from afar in terms of aesthetics.

    Surly used to also do a wider steel "flat" bar - maybe the Torsion Bar?

  17. #17
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    The options for wider flat bars is opening up somewhat thanks to 29ers. A lot of riders are seeking the width and sweep of a riser bar without the rise.

    I've run the Salsa bars on a singlespeed for about 10 years now, I love the leverage of the wide bar for honking up hills. And as you say, they can add some comfort, certainly a nice change to the narrow flat bars we ran when we thought we were all XC legends in the making.

    Grumps

  18. #18
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    fatchanceti - I just might know that Stumpie.....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by datmony View Post
    fatchanceti - I just might know that Stumpie.....
    yes you do. That was an awesome craigslist find. Most of those low mileage (but rusty) XT parts are now on my Slingshot. That Stumpy was an absolutely fabulous riding bike though.

  20. #20
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    Still is. Put a king headset in it and then single speeded it. Been an amazingly fun bike to ride around the campus here at work in between meetings and what not. Love that it has drop outs that make it great for single speeding. Been a blast......

  21. #21
    CS2
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    I just swapped out the original spiral wound derailleur casings and cables on my 85 Stumpjumper Sport. I replaced them with a set of Jagwire 5mm casings and stainless inner wires. So far the shifting is better. No more over shifting to get it to change gears. The new cables made the biggest difference in the front. Shifting is much more positive. I might have to try new cable/casings and brake pads next. The only glitch is that there are no aftermarket pads for the 700 series XT brake pad holders. I called Kool Stop and they don't offer any at this time. It was actually easier to find 5 dot Mafac tandem pads.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  22. #22
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    The options for wider flat bars is opening up somewhat thanks to 29ers. A lot of riders are seeking the width and sweep of a riser bar without the rise.

    I've run the Salsa bars on a singlespeed for about 10 years now, I love the leverage of the wide bar for honking up hills. And as you say, they can add some comfort, certainly a nice change to the narrow flat bars we ran when we thought we were all XC legends in the making.

    Grumps
    Grumps, I just checked out Salsa's site. Looks like everything is 31.8. Where did you score the bars? Or better yet, did you get a quill stem in 31.8?
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Grumps, I just checked out Salsa's site. Looks like everything is 31.8. Where did you score the bars? Or better yet, did you get a quill stem in 31.8?
    I don't think they make the 25.4 bars anymore, so you have to find them used. I have a 5 degree (660mm full width) 25.4 Salsa carbon flat bar sitting in my garage that I probably won't use. You can find the 17 degree bars in alu pretty easily/cheaply as they sold a bunch of them with the stock Surly Pugsley build the past few years.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatchanceti View Post
    I don't think they make the 25.4 bars anymore, so you have to find them used. I have a 5 degree (660mm full width) 25.4 Salsa carbon flat bar sitting in my garage that I probably won't use. You can find the 17 degree bars in alu pretty easily/cheaply as they sold a bunch of them with the stock Surly Pugsley build the past few years.
    Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize Pugsleys came with that bar. Now for brake pads.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  25. #25
    Phobia of petting zoos.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Grumps, I just checked out Salsa's site. Looks like everything is 31.8. Where did you score the bars? Or better yet, did you get a quill stem in 31.8?
    I've had the Salsa bars for a decade or so, back in the good old days when 25.4mm bars were good enough.

    Hmmm, a 31.8mm quill stem, now that's an idea. About all you could do now to achieve that is get a 31.8mm threadless stem and the appropriate quill adapter. Functional, but not exactly elegant.

    Grumps

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize Pugsleys came with that bar. Now for brake pads.
    Karate Monkey also using it. Still specced with a 25.4 clamp stem and a Salsa Moto Ace 17 degree flat bar. So Salsa, QBP still making them, but only for OE.

  27. #27
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    Main upgrade for vintage bikes> tubeless wheels. There is no fun in multiple flats on thorn country.
    WTB: Bomber Z2 1 1/8 steerer, in good to excellent shape OR bomber rebuild kit.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    I've had the Salsa bars for a decade or so, back in the good old days when 25.4mm bars were good enough.

    Hmmm, a 31.8mm quill stem, now that's an idea. About all you could do now to achieve that is get a 31.8mm threadless stem and the appropriate quill adapter. Functional, but not exactly elegant.

    Grumps
    I agree.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  29. #29
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1 View Post
    Main upgrade for vintage bikes> tubeless wheels. There is no fun in multiple flats on thorn country.
    Unless you DIY the conversion nobody make rim brake tubless rims. I think Stans discontinued theirs a while ago.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  30. #30
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    I have an old bike i bought new in 94 ,a nishiki fs-4 ,front forks were old rockshox that were weak so i stared with more modern fox ,then the brakes were next ,i tried v-brakes ,those were better ,but ended up getting disk to work ,bike rides ok ,but rear shock is nothing like newer bikes so a frame swap will be next to get a better rear shock ,the bike is such low hours ,i think will put the stock parts back on and make a wall hanger out of it ,
    here it is stock
    Modern Upgrades for Your Vintage Ride-nishiki-bike-004.jpg

    and with more modern parts

    Modern Upgrades for Your Vintage Ride-nishiki-fs4-014.jpgModern Upgrades for Your Vintage Ride-nishiki-fs4-016.jpg

  31. #31
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    Yeah, I'm not a fan of modernizing old FS bikes. It's not a particularly great frame so why not donate the frame to your local bike kitchen and get an old rigid bike to hang your old parts on. Get a modern FS bike that meets your needs and you'll have the best of both worlds.

  32. #32
    whoa
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    Modern upgrades:
    new ODI Attack Grips, Panaracer Smoke Repros and Aztec Control Blocks
    Rim Pads | Aztec Brake Pads


  33. #33
    whoa
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    And here a nasty "before" picture. ;D
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Modern Upgrades for Your Vintage Ride-large_img_0558_1600x1067.jpg  


  34. #34
    Humanoid Lobster
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    I'm curious if anyone has tried a Nitto SimWorks "Little Nick" bar? I'm thinking of ordering one because I've spent enough time now on a modern wide bar to want more width on one of my "resto-mods".

    The Little Nick is a 700mm wide, 25.4 cro-moly bar with a 15 degree sweep. I think I'd probably end up cutting it down a bit, but try it un-cut first.

    Anyone got one? Anything similar? Thoughts?
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

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