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Bicycle guys/gals - parts?

I have an old cyclocross frame in the garage and decided to build a drop-bar gravel/trail/commuter bike as a Covid projet. (Like I need another project!)

It's been a long time since I've bought parts and find my previous sources have changed their offerings quite a bit or gone out of business. Which companies are your current favorite sources for components / wheelsets / forks etc?

Alternatively, let me know what you've got for gently used parts and maybe we make a deal. I'm looking for 700c wheels (rim brakes, 130mm rear dropout spacing, don't have a fork yet, cassette hub) to start, haven't figured out the specs for the rest yet...

Thanks for the help.

Old 09-02-2020, 07:20 AM
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LWJ LWJ is offline
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Universal Cycles (no connection, but it is in my area) has a great selection and pricing is often the best.

You may find lots of items are sold out. Huge bike boom now.
Old 09-02-2020, 07:59 AM
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weekend wOrrier
 
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If you have classic cantilever brake bosses on the frame, tecktro? on ebay has some low cost/decent quality brakes. Decent quality, stop well, priced reasonable. No snob factor, and none needed on cross bike.

I think a big part is deciding on what kind of drivetrain you are going for. Downtube shifters/bar shifter/brake combos, etc. 1x or 2x front.

Then the frame itself- if it's old, you might want to consider carbon bars or fork to take the edge off front end hits. I've got a friend who had a cannondale aluminium fork. Beat him to death. I had a crosstek al fork. Beat me to death too.

Personnally, I'd get the largest tires that would clear the frame, to allow lower pressures and bigger hits. More comfy for long gravel rides.

edit- I'm also going to drop a deuce and say this- Get a plan of attack and price it out before pulling the trigger. I know... It's more fun tinkering with parts and the "hunt" for the perfect everything, but those parts will add up quick. There are a bunch of cross / gravel bikes in the $1500-2000 range that work really well on a platform designed to work together. Buy a set of carbon rims/upgraded rims, and they will work REALLY REALLY well. I tricked out an old bike with top of the line stuff- ksyrium ssc rims, xtr cassettes, etc. etc... It was the best of the best 20 yr old parts, but never still worked "quite right" as a whole. It's pretty decent, but, It did not hold a candle to the new cross bikes I tried and bought last christmas. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have messed with upgrading my older bike.

No replacement for credit card displacement

Last edited by LEAKYSEALS951; 09-02-2020 at 08:52 AM..
Old 09-02-2020, 08:17 AM
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gtc gtc is offline
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I'd try to find the newest drivetrain that will fit the frame/wheels. Decent chainrings, cassettes, etc for older grouppos are getting hard to find.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:31 AM
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interesting. i’m in the process of doing something similar except i’m taking my old cannondale mtb from 1992 and converting it to a more upright city bike using nitto and velo orange parts

i have a modern XC mtb that i’ve turned into a gravel/bike packing style bike

would need to know what year approximately is your bike.....i recently found out just how hard it is to find good 1” threaded forks
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:25 AM
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as for 700c wheels it really depends on budget. nice wheels built with good hubs are gonna be around a grand or more for modern/ new stuff

what size/ condition is your current wheel set?
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Last edited by ramonesfreak; 09-02-2020 at 11:35 AM..
Old 09-02-2020, 11:32 AM
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as for tires, i’ve been using panaracer gravel kings 700c x 43 in place of my 29 x 2.3 tires and love them
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWJ View Post
Universal Cycles (no connection, but it is in my area) has a great selection and pricing is often the best.

You may find lots of items are sold out. Huge bike boom now.
Thanks for the info. on Universal. I'm trying to get some new brake discs. My current ones are at or below the wear limit.
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Old 09-02-2020, 02:57 PM
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I buy all my parts and accessories from Amazon. They have almost everything.
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Old 09-02-2020, 02:59 PM
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The Yellow Jersey in Arlington, WI, near Madison. Lots of older stuff and very savvy. I plan to drop in next week on my way up north and grab some sew ups.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:03 AM
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At this point I'm trying to figure out the Shimano disc rotor compatibility chart.
My bike came with SM RT 81 S (160mm) and 81 SS (140mm)rotors. The calipers are BR RS 505 both front and rear. My rotors are lasting about 1 or 1.5 years.

I found a Shimano chart online but I'm not sure how to use it exactly. The 160mm (81 S) seems to be out of stock at a number of places including Merlin and Universal. It looks like an alternative is SM RT 99 SS and 99 S. These have an additional heatsink, which I think I need. These are also out of stock at Merlin.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:08 AM
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Sort of did the same thing with my 1976 vintage Raleigh International, I bought new for the crazy price of something like $300, I raced it for UMASS for a few years. Full Campy, everything, and Brooks Saddle. A few months ago, I took apart and cleaned and greased every bearing set, down to the pedals. I decided the front wheel bearings were kind of iffy, thankfully the cones and races were in great shape. Tried to match up ball bearings at a few local places and ended up ordering real Campy ball bearings at $30 for the thirty or so in the front hub. Whatever, I really don't care about $30, I'm just happy I could obtain them.

I have bigger tires, and rims, on it for street cruising, instead of "lace ups" which are incredibly expensive and fragile as heck.

I take it with me inside the rear of the Jeep Grand Cherokee when we tow with my RV, that keeps the road crap off of it. A few people have said "Wow, is that a Campy Equipped bike?, I haven't seen one of those in decades".

As I said above, its a 1976 vintage, so that makes it what? 44 years old? Still rides great.

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Last edited by Hugh R; 09-03-2020 at 10:47 AM..
Old 09-03-2020, 10:43 AM
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If you have to buy all new parts, it's cheaper just to buy a bike.
- I ran a bike shop for 6 years and it worked the same for me. Piece by piece is always more expensive even when it's on sale. Most new parts are not compatible with old frames.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:49 PM
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You really want the old parts? I am sure I have a bunch of that stuff boxed away somewhere. I know I have a crank, front and rear derailleurs but no shifters. I got a bunch of road bars, but maybe too light for gravel? Don't know nothing bout' gravel but they are slow bikes for kids who want to play in the dirt Lemme look this weekend. Not sure exactly what you are looking for? I remeember my old Kore Mtb stem sitting around in my shop somewhere. Its brand new but not sure if it will fit your drop bar? if it fits, you can have it

Last edited by look 171; 09-03-2020 at 05:03 PM..
Old 09-03-2020, 04:59 PM
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Jenson USA should have a bunch of old parts.
Old 09-03-2020, 05:01 PM
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That Raleigh is pretty sweet - "Steel is Real!" I have a mostly unadulterated early 80's Peugot hanging in my garage - it gets out about once a year.

Thanks for all the pointers and suggestions. I haven't built a bike from scratch (and I mean starting from bare tubes and getting out the torch) since ~2001. I haven't kept up with bike tech for about 5 years - and it sure has changed. I do understand the necessity for a systems approach for bicycles. I figured this would be a fun project (and probably is less expensive to buy a new bike). I've been riding mostly recumbents for the past 23 years but have felt the itch to get back on a wedgie for a bit.

The frame I have is a ~2004 vintage Kona "jake the snake" cyclocross frame. This will be my first foray into the evils of aluminum and thought I might pair that with a carbon fork. My rough thoughts on this so far (still have to measure some things):

- 700c wheels

- 2 or 3 x 9 drive train (aiming for lower gears - to save the right knee)

- Canti brakes, drop bars, bar end shifters
Old 09-03-2020, 10:02 PM
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This should be 1 1/8" steer tube? Carbon fork with Canti-brakes? I should have a complete new 10 speed drive train off my kid's mtb.

I don't know about using old alum rims. After some time, that alum on those rums get brittle and nipples starts to pull.
Old 09-03-2020, 10:14 PM
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for parts comparability check out https://sheldonbrown.com/

sheldon died in 2008 so the info will be relevant to pre 2008

i find the website a little difficult to navigate but the information i have gathered from there doing bike conversions is extraordinary
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Old 09-04-2020, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepstein View Post
If you have to buy all new parts, it's cheaper just to buy a bike.
- I ran a bike shop for 6 years and it worked the same for me. Piece by piece is always more expensive even when it's on sale. Most new parts are not compatible with old frames.
This past June my youngest was visiting me from Philadelphia. He doesn't drive so he bought a used Trek off Craigslist for $30. This was just to commute for a few days. Well he replaced the front tire and tube and the chain would fall off after he biked about a mile.
He returns home and I now have a bike . I was on furlough for a few weeks and everything was locked down, I decided to look into the bike.

I have replace the rear brake cable, new brake pads and crank bearings. I have no bike tools other than metric and allen wrenches. I replaced the handle bar tape and NOS RH brake handle. Needed to get some bike tools: Amazon, Ebay, Youtube and a local bike shop became my friends.

That still didn't solve why the chain kept jumping off. I then learned this was a multi speed bike converted to a single speed bike and the alignment between the wheel spocket and crank spocket wasn't straight. I now need the wheel to be redished and BTW, the rear axle needs replacing. I bought a new/used wheel.

I don't want to tell you what I have in this bike with parts and tools. - it is nice but........ It did pass the time and I learned allot. I sent my son the tools - he is happy.
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Last edited by jcommin; 09-04-2020 at 05:33 AM..
Old 09-04-2020, 05:29 AM
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In seattle we have a non profit community bike reuse store. Lots of people donate their old race bikes so there are bikes and bins of old parts. Course its closed with the virus but when open it made it easy and very economical to keep my old road bike ticking.

Ill echo what others have said, new parts will add up quickly. There was a time when you could source 'grey market' shimano from chain reaction cycles in ireland but shimano closed that loophole, so good parts are expensive.

Used old cx bikes with disc brakes are less than $1k here complete. Canti? Ha, $600? Less? So unless its a super nice frame (high end custom steel: If, cielo,...) You should probably donate the frame and buy someone elses complete. Life is short, buy something you love.

Old 09-04-2020, 05:30 AM
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