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Found my bike, plan to build it
#1
Spent some of the best 5 years of my life with a Univega women's specific bike, which disappeared when I left it with someone as I traveled to Alaska in 2000. Lately been having the touring itch again and been perusing craigslist. Acquired a 2000 Trek 520 for four bills. THE VERY NEXT DAY I saw a listing of my lost Univega.

How do I know it's mine? It is pearl metallic pink and from the 80s. A friend "did me a favor" and put new handlebar tape on it at one time and he chose Royal Blue. Bleecccch...but what could I say, he had done it for love. Anyway I got to talking to the seller of this bike and asked her to look for the hand painted trim around the edges of all the butted seams...she did not really know what I meant, but she did say, "Oh and it has this little rainbow sticker just under where the seat mounts..." BINGO that's my bike!

Aside from the sentimental value and the tears I plan to cry when I get this baby back, I'm going to ride it as is (the Biopace chainrings have been replaced with something else, there are only 2 chainrings now instead of 3, it still has the stock brakes and pedals and I believe the same seat it has always had, not sure, and I think the wheels are still stock cuz she says they need truing) and see if I still like it as much as I once did. Never did care for Biopace, good riddance, but must have put over 4000 miles on that set. Hated it every time I got to spinning.

If I do still like the bike's fitment, I plan to build it up to a touring bike with modern components. I want a butterfly handlebar and maybe some velo orange hammered metal fenders. But besides that, I don't know what's current or even desirable these days for a drivetrain, brakes, shifters....for touring and training for touring.

Not averse to shopping used for quality parts. Not averse to paying for new on the right stuff. And since I have the Trek 520 on hand, I don't have to hurry up to get the pink pacer up to speed right away. Not without discretionary income but unable to just spend willy nilly.

(Pink Pacer, that kind of has a ring to it)

Been loving reading this site, just signed up so I can post and interact. When I get the bike in hand I will post a picture. Before and after, can't wait to see the contrast.

Any suggestions on drivetrain, brakes, shifters....?
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#2
Brakes: depends on what is on the bike currently.

Drivetrain & shifters: what sort of terrain are planning on riding? What is your budget? What do you expect the fully loaded gross weight to be?

On our T50, we have 11-34 9 speed SRAM cassette, X.9 RD, X.0 twist grip for the rear, 54-44-26 rings on the front with Shimano DX FD and Shimano lever shifter (planning on changing to a SRAM twist grip soon). My SR, it has a 13-25 7 speed Sunrace freewheel, Shimano 2200 RD, Shimano LX FD, Shimano lever shifters. My GT has 11-30 8 speed cassette, 48-38-28 rings on the front, Shimano Tiagara RD, Shimano M413 FD, Shimano lever for the front, and SRAM MRX twist shifter for the rear. The 310 is getting Shimano Brifters, Shimano 2200 FD & RD, 12-26T SRAM 8 speed cassette, with 52-42 at the front.

Brakes: linear pull (Avid and Origin 8) where linear pull will fit. Tektro R559 dual pivot side pulls on the 310.
Nigel
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#3
It sounds like you have a fresh slate to work with if you so choose. First you need to define the project, what do you want the bike to be and where do you want the bike to go. Like Nigel said, how much load do you intend to have at any given time.
I have been doing a frame off on a Alpina series Univega Mtb. To be defined as a expedition/commuter. Why the Alipna? I wanted the ride, comfort and durability of a rigid cromo rig suitable for commuting, and loading with packs/gear that would take me anywhere I so choose, gravel roads, paved roads, single track or what ever comes my way, a durable workhorse for all weathers. so because of the all purposeness I will have to give and take a bit mainly overall speed on the road but I can live with that for the versatility. i am running 28-38-48 with a 13-28 cluster and I will scoot just fine loaded or not. plus i can pull a trailer and the bike will handle that well. just keep the things you want the bike to do in mind and customize away. the secret is not to change your vision half way through after you have purchased half the parts.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#4
(05-14-2013, 02:21 AM)painkiller Wrote:  First you need to define the project, what do you want the bike to be and where do you want the bike to go...the secret is not to change your vision half way through after you have purchased half the parts.

Good insights. BTW my first Mtb was a Univega Alpina. Gave it to my sister who just recently passed it on to a friend. Nice bike.

My vision is to have the bike ready to tour with about 25 pounds, as that was my success in the past. But we also just bought a Burley Travoy trailer so not sure yet if I will load the bike up with panniers and such. If my current training and touring matches previous experience, it will be about half and half road and dirt track (logging road, bike trail, the like). I can't remember what the bike itself weighs...

I don't know all the jargon anymore, I read on a site somewhere that v-block (?) brakes are best for stopping a load... At one time "center pull" brakes were the rage but it looks like on the upper end road bikes they are using some version of side pull so that must have been a fad. There aren't many examples of a touring or randonneur type of bike in the shops. Saw a nice 'looking' one at rei the other day. The Univega currently has some side pull version, and I don't have it in hand yet, picking it up on the weekend.

Your comments have given me a place to start thinking from...thanks!
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#5
(05-13-2013, 04:10 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Brakes: depends on what is on the bike currently.

Drivetrain & shifters: what sort of terrain are planning on riding? What is your budget? What do you expect the fully loaded gross weight to be?

On our T50, we have 11-34 9 speed SRAM cassette, X.9 RD, X.0 twist grip for the rear, 54-44-26 rings on the front with Shimano DX FD and Shimano lever shifter (planning on changing to a SRAM twist grip soon). My SR, it has a 13-25 7 speed Sunrace freewheel, Shimano 2200 RD, Shimano LX FD, Shimano lever shifters. My GT has 11-30 8 speed cassette, 48-38-28 rings on the front, Shimano Tiagara RD, Shimano M413 FD, Shimano lever for the front, and SRAM MRX twist shifter for the rear. The 310 is getting Shimano Brifters, Shimano 2200 FD & RD, 12-26T SRAM 8 speed cassette, with 52-42 at the front.

Brakes: linear pull (Avid and Origin 8) where linear pull will fit. Tektro R559 dual pivot side pulls on the 310.

All good details, I will have to parse it out. Twist grips, hmmm...I have them on my Giant hybrid commuter and husband has on his Trek commuter. Maybe there are some really good ones that don't feel like they are going to stick?

Terrain: coastal Washington. Everything from flat ground, rolling, to steep. At one time I could do steep, not there again yet. Right now I can do flat and rolling pretty well, and gnarly trails for a couple hours at a time. My ultimate goal is to be able to put in a day's riding for several days at a time on up to...back to a rolling lifestyle? A person has to have a dream.

Fully loaded gross weight? Will have to work on that. First, get the bike in hand this weekend and weigh the frame. I remember the bike as being impressively low in weight (cro-moly) with nice wheels.

Budget: well, I am known to pay good money for the right quality whether new or used. I don't have a figure in mind yet for the total build but I'm thinking in the range of $800-1200 retail. Subject to change because once I learn more I will want what I want, and it may go into the $1200+ range retail, just not enough info. I see the price on Rivendell and I am not sure what they are paying for. Trek's brand new touring bike still around $1300. No knock intended, it might be just right on the Rivendell. I don't have any current experience with the cost of parts to build vs. the cost of buying retail. Maybe there is a rule of thumb?

My current data is based on watching craigslist and occasionally looking at new bikes (but too tempting so not often and they are only selling what I already have or don't want). I see several builders in seattle/Portland postings offering up vintage models, some tricked out in vintage, some in modern. The prices they post are $700-1200 or even more for exotic stuff. I'm not into "the look" if it ain't reliable quality. I guess what you are pointing out is I need to define what my load and use specs are so I can determine what level of gear to go after.

If I wanted a brand new touring bike that I know is reliable I'd go for a brand new Trek since that's what I know. Above that price point it's pretty much out of my pay grade. But buying a new bike is a little less than what I want out of the experience.

Linear pull brakes, is that the newer term for center pull? Much to learn. Dual pivot side pulls...hmmm...where's my bike dictionary? Maybe better subscribe to a mag....LOL

Thanks. Still laughing!

Thanks.
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#6
Greatest single source of bicycle information is Sheldon Brown.

A couple of articles on brakes:
http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html
http://sheldonbrown.com/calipers.html

Linear pull; V-brake; direct pull - all mean the same thing.

Check out painkiller, Bill and nfmisso (me) bikes here: http://forums.bicycletutor.com/forum-36.html

We all build bikes from older cr-mo frames. My focus is function and reliability, all the better if it looks good too. I expect to get more than my money's worth on things that I purchase, and do not buy things for the brand name. If your frame has 135mm rear spacing, definitely check out the Wheelmaster Tandem hubs I recently used on wheel builds for our T50 and a Jack Taylor.

Rims: I have decided on Velocity Dyad for ISO622 (700c); Sun CR18 for ISO590 (26 x 1-3/8) and Velocity Aeroheat AT for ISO559 (26 x 1.xx & 26 x 2.xx). The Alex Adventurer rim on my GT is also a fine rim. I get my rims from Amazon or Niagara Cyclery thru Amazon. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/velocity.asp

Spokes: Wheelsmith. http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/spokes.asp I use Wheelsmith SS14 because they are inexpensive, strong and reliable. For very heavy duty use, I have used Wheelsmith DH13 on the drive side of a rear wheel. As I get more experience, I find that the SS14 are fine for everything.
Nigel
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#7
(05-14-2013, 03:25 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Greatest single source of bicycle information is Sheldon Brown.

A couple of articles on brakes:
http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html
http://sheldonbrown.com/calipers.html

My focus is function and reliability, all the better if it looks good too...

All your replies will be used in my research, thanks. I've read enough on the site here to recognize the names you mention, will follow up.

Also recognize Sheldon brown, I researched his site recently because of a thrift store Raleigh that I bought and added some parts to (saddle, pedals, fenders)...maybe I posted about it here, can't remember. I'll go back and look again at these articles by Sheldon. The Raleigh is a sport-tour and I find the geometry not quite a good fit and gearing a little too high for my current fitness. Just could not resist it, the geometry looked right and it was pristine, but I had forgotten about the long chainstays on a touring bike. Sport-tour does no service to either classification I think, too much compromise, but... May put some more into it (longer stem, not-race tires) but for now my current obsession is the touring genre.

I like it to look good but if it doesn't function or be reliable it's not for me.

Thanks for your tips, much appreciated.
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#8
I try to balance components and colors in my retro builds, I prefer the higher end stuff and mostly use period correct depending on the bike but ultimately go for function and dependability and challenge myself to make the bike appear as if thats way its always been. I try to stick to no more than three component manufacturers instead of a hodge podge of stuff just because it was more inexpensive. I gave $60 for my Univega Alpina gutted it and tossed roughly $900 in to it.
But the whole drivetrain brakes and shifters and wheels are new old stock, the racks and cages are powder coated to match the bike
and custom modified a trunk for the front rack. So all in all it will be tuned just for me and an awesome ride with everything brand new but the frame and it polished up pretty nice and the bike will outlast me. A fully equipped Cromo bike like that for $900 to me is well worth it
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#9
(05-15-2013, 02:29 AM)painkiller Wrote:  I prefer the higher end stuff and mostly use period correct depending on the bike but ultimately go for function and dependability and challenge myself to make the bike appear as if thats way its always been... A fully equipped Cromo bike like that for $900 to me is well worth it

Agree with this esthetic. Looking back I realize what a commitment I made in buying the bike in question from a LBS, it was about a year in the shop before I bought it and they gave me quite a discount just so they could see it go to a person who was going to put it on the road. My BF at the time was a bicycle traveler with thousands of miles logged in a notebook he kept, and he saw the bike and made the connections just before he and I left on the epic tour of my young life.

I look forward to learning more, my sister considers herself a bike snob but she is riding a stock Bridgestone from the 80s that she has owned since new, raced and beat other girls on fancier expensive sexier bikes within the past 5 years. She told me go with Shimano Ultegra but...I just don't know enough. I do like the idea of period correct but not if period correct is highly superceded by something proven to be better.

Also noted was your comment I didn't include in the above quote about color choices. I just could not believe my friend had put royal blue on my pink bike but did not have the heart to tear it off. If the paint on this bike is still worth saving, I might go with hot pink tape. Originally it had white but white gets cruddy if you really ride the bike. I saw that Brooks is offering their leather bar wrap in psychedelic colors, maybe something they have will go. I looked at some Specialized bikes lately, the fancy $2000 road bikes they are marketing to women all have white/hot pink or gray/hot pink. I found it curious to see so many bikes being aimed at women. Where are all these women riders on $2000 bikes? Certainly not in the boonies of Washington! It's the first time in my life I've ever walked into a bike shop and seen six or nine high quality women specific bikes in my frame size or close to it. Times have changed.

Sure appreciate your time in sharing your experience. Did look at your Alpina bike that you posted. My Alpina was red and the smallest frame they made it in, I think, I must have bought it in 1984 or 1985. I have not seen it in years and plan to tell my sister if the girl she gave it to wants to unload it, send it my way!

Writing about all this I realize the two bikes I mention here were way above my pay scale at the time, and here I am getting back into spending all my time and money thinking about bikes. Not sure it's a good thing.
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