Early 90s Kestrel 200 SCI. Please HELP!
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  1. #1
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    Early 90s Kestrel 200 SCI. Please HELP!

    Hi everyone,

    Newbie here. I recently purchased an early 90s 54cm Kestrel 200 SCI (guessing based on Shimano 600/6400 groupset) for $300. Unfortunately, brifters were changed to 105 flight deck (not sure of the model number). I hope that I'm not at a complete loss with this purchase (I think I may have paid too much): paint is pretty crappy (decals removed by 1st owner, I'm the 3rd owner)--no carbon breaks that I can tell (tested with a quarter for dead sounds), Shimano 600 groupset besides the brifters, Mavik Open 4 CD with Shimano 600 hubs & 9sp cassette, Nitto stem, FX Sakae handlebar, random comfort saddle with KORE aluminum seatpost.

    I'm deferring to the wisdom of this forum for any upgrade recommendations that'll result in a smooth, fast ride. Not worried about weight. I'm currently quarantined in Santa Clara, CA, and I'm also looking for shop recommendations for a tune-up.

    Hoping to invest no more than $600 into any suggested upgrades (wondering if that's even a smart move given the age/condition of this bike); can always move components to another frame later, but I love the curves of this classic frame. Thinking about wet sanding it to give it a raw carbon look (please let me know if that's a dumb idea). I have only ever owned one other full carbon bike: 2012 GT GTR Carbon Elite Shimano 105 groupset, so I'm still wet behind the ears with regards to road bikes.

    I've read up on Bike Forums about the Kestrel 200 SCI in an attempt to understand what I've gotten myself into (buy now, worry later scenario). Any advice/suggestion is much appreciated!

    -Steven

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    Last edited by stran1989; 3 Days Ago at 02:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks pretty clean for that old of bike. I'd just clean it up and ride it. I'd get some acetone to clean up those grease marks (?).
    Put the biggest tires on it that will fit in the forks/chainstays. You'll need to loosen the brakes to get the wheels on/off, but the ride will be a lot nicer.
    Upgrading will be difficult.
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  3. #3
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    You're wayyyyy above the max limit line on the stem, lower it. And, as always...


    They're shifters, not some abomination that starts w/ 'b'. Also, do NOT sand your frame down to the carbon, you won't like what it looks like and need to be super careful to not remove too much material.
    #promechaniclife

  4. #4
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    Minimize your upgrades, especially a bike that old. How does it fit you? Does everything work correctly? Ride the snot out of it, answer those questions, and put any $ to fixing those deficiencies. Maybe you'll want some clothing or shoes and pedals. And as cx said, drop that stem.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Looks pretty clean for that old of bike. I'd just clean it up and ride it. I'd get some acetone to clean up those grease marks (?).
    Put the biggest tires on it that will fit in the forks/chainstays. You'll need to loosen the brakes to get the wheels on/off, but the ride will be a lot nicer.
    Upgrading will be difficult.
    Sounds good! Thanks for the advice!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You're wayyyyy above the max limit line on the stem, lower it. And, as always...


    They're shifters, not some abomination that starts w/ 'b'. Also, do NOT sand your frame down to the carbon, you won't like what it looks like and need to be super careful to not remove too much material.
    I was eyeing that. Thanks for pointing it out!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogre View Post
    Minimize your upgrades, especially a bike that old. How does it fit you? Does everything work correctly? Ride the snot out of it, answer those questions, and put any $ to fixing those deficiencies. Maybe you'll want some clothing or shoes and pedals. And as cx said, drop that stem.
    The bike fits well. If anything, I really want to change the seat and get some new bike shorts. I have my old pair of Mavic Huez shoes that I need to dust off. I'll take the bike for a tune-up and put some miles on it. I've been itching to get back on the road.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    As CX said, please lower that stem to below the MAX line.

    As for making it "fast and smooth"....

    There is no way that bike is ever going to be comfortable on a long ride. All of those early carbon bikes were super stiff. Your best hope is to put a wider tires on it (as wide as will fit and still go between the brakes and not rub the fork and stays) and run the pressures on the low end of the spectrum.

    As far as making it 'fast', it's already 'fast'. How fast is up to you.

    To quote a comment i saw on a youtube video about 'bike upgrades to make you faster'.... ."I wanted my bike to be faster, so I gave it to my neighbor".

    If it were me, i'd focus on you and your 'kit'. Make the bike as comfortable as possible - good shorts, light, well vented comfortable helmet, comfortable shoes, and gloves if you wear them.. - anything that will make riding it more enjoyable. The more you like riding the more you will ride it. The more you ride it, the faster it will get ... or - just give it to your faster neighbor...

  9. #9
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    That is a 'race' fit bike. You'll probably need to work on your flexiblity after you reset your stem. Take it slow!
    I would order some short reach/short drop bars and put on it, if you have issues. You can also rotate the bars about 5-10deg up in front to get the hoods closer to you and up.
    If you can find some smoother roads, that frame stiffness will be less of an issue with the big tires.
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  10. #10
    Never Give Up!
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    Start out slow, ride it A LOT before putting $$$ into upgrades, upgrades can be expensive and don't want to your waste money.

    As others said move that stem down, it a safety hazard in its current placement. My first attempt in investments would be cycling specific shorts (I prefer bibs), jersey and shoes before the bike.
    "I refuse to be afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday & I love today!!"

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