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  1. #1
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    New here

    So I haven't ridden since the mid 80s. I ran into a deal I couldn't pass up a few weeks ago and now I have a decent bike again. A lot has changed since 1985.. like everything. Which prompted me to get onto a forum and try to sort out what's happened in the last 35 years. My wife and I have cheap almost mountain, almost road bikes and it's like pushing a cart compared to the old days. Takes the enjoyment out of riding. Looking to fill my brain again with bike knowledge.

    I picked up an F. W. Evans, best guess is from around 1980. Nice frame, but most of the original gear is gone. Campy dropouts, brazed on pump bracket and cable guides, Reynolds 531... my kind of bike. I don't remember any brazed on parts before about 1979. But I don't remember much before 1979. It does have Phil Wood hubs (gen 1) and they spin well, Ambrosio wheels, Sugino AT cranks and bottom bracket, Superbe sidepull brakes, Campy friction shifters and a decent seat post but the rear derailleur is a cheap, bloated beast off a mountain bike. Turns out you can't just run out and buy a short cage derailleur anymore. The bike is a 15 speed with some odd chainwheel sizes which would be great if I were traversing the Sierras, but I'm not. Found some chain wheels which should be here tomorrow and it will be a 10 speed again. I did find a used Suntour Cyclone M2 for 20 bucks. That should tide me over for a while. Anyway, I feel like a kid at Christmas. Glad to be here.
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    Last edited by Neil S; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:18 PM.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    EVERYTHING has changed orders of magnitude. Saddles and handlebars/levers are actually comfortable. Brakes actually work. Shifting is...well, much better. Tires aren't stupid skinny and rock hard. Wait til you get on something current.
    #promechaniclife

  3. #3
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    Looking at the photo, it looks like you have a very comfortable SI Turbo saddle on it. Because of the clearance between the rear tire and the seat tube, it looks like a "sport touring" frame...I'm fairly sure you can fit 28mm tires on those wheels, that will add to the comfort. If the brakes seem weak, you can always get new calipers and "aero" non-STI) brake levers. If you have 5 cogs in back, you probably have a freewheel on it. (so the gearing choice will be limited.)
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  4. #4
    Old enough to remember ..
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    EVERYTHING has changed orders of magnitude. Saddles and handlebars/levers are actually comfortable. Brakes actually work. Shifting is...well, much better. Tires aren't stupid skinny and rock hard. Wait til you get on something current.
    I'll second that, but I believe my 39 years old Nishiki will last longer than I will.
    BTW thanks for the help with my "minor problems". No riding today, riding in the rain wasn't appreciated back in the 80s and now .... just not on the program.
    Cheers

    HJ
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    Hans-Joerg Mueller
    Coldstream, BC Canada

  5. #5
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    FWIW, short cage derailleurs are still available, and widely so. Find a decent bike shop.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
    xxl
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    [QUOTE=cxwrench;5423793]EVERYTHING has changed orders of magnitude. Saddles and handlebars/levers are actually comfortable. Brakes actually work. Shifting is...well, much better. Tires aren't stupid skinny and rock hard. Wait til you get on something current.[/


    I agree with you about bike tech moving forward (but Superbe brakes, Dia-Compe's finest at that time, work as well as any rim brakes. Non-aero levers are a drag, though, and I'd spend the $20 or so for some TRP/aftermarket "aero levers.") I'm of the thinking that bikes of this vintage aren't usually cost-effectively fully modernized, but a few moves, and dude has a quite nice and rideable bike, one that'll become a nice "rain bike" for when he gets something from this century.

    Other moves for me would be: Get some wider tires (hard to tell from photo, but this may have been done); a preferred saddle (Grumpy may like it--or was being sarcastic, who can tell?--but I gave away my Turbo because it wasn't at all comfy for me, to a guy who preferred them over all others); clipless pedals; new SS cables/housing; new rear derailleur; new freewheel, and new bar tape, because white is for guys who pay other guys to wrap their bars way more often than mere mortals (plus, black tape on that bike would look *****in'.) As to the bars/stem, that's his call, but if he's an older guy, he'd probably like 'em up higher and closer than he did when he was younger.

    Others' MMV.

    Oh, and welcome back to the road, Neil S.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the ideas. I will try some wider tires. The last tires I rode on were sew-ups and gumwall Michelins when touring. Since the photo, I added toe clips, the Suntour Cyclone M2 rear derailleur. Not sure I'm crazy about it. Pulled 2 links from the chain Dropped the 50/45/34 chain wheels and swapped them out with a 52 and 40. I'm convinced the chain has stretched. More noticeable when I put on the 52 chain wheel. Haven't measured it but I hear it popping off the teeth on the top wheel. The white bar tape will stay till I paint the bike. Just haven't decided on the paint. Kicking some ideas around in my head. I'm not sure if I'll ever modernize the bike. I bought it because it reminded me a lot of the last touring bike I had (stolen) in about 1982 and really can't stand riding the mule cart I have. I had just put on Campy fingertip levers when it was stolen. If I bump into some at a reasonable price, I'll put them on. If I don't, I won't. I have put on new cables and housings. Nice to see I could still find campy style lever and brake cables. When I take it apart to paint it, I'll take care of a few things... it's got a little play in the rear hub bearings. Once I take it apart I'll see what's up with that. Looks like I can still find Phil Wood Gen 1 bearings. Haven't painted a bike in 40 years. Looking forward to that. The bike deserves a new paint job. Not sure what I'll do about the seat if anything.

  8. #8
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil S View Post
    Thanks for the ideas. I will try some wider tires. The last tires I rode on were sew-ups and gumwall Michelins when touring. Since the photo, I added toe clips, the Suntour Cyclone M2 rear derailleur. Not sure I'm crazy about it. Pulled 2 links from the chain Dropped the 50/45/34 chain wheels and swapped them out with a 52 and 40. I'm convinced the chain has stretched. More noticeable when I put on the 52 chain wheel. Haven't measured it but I hear it popping off the teeth on the top wheel. The white bar tape will stay till I paint the bike. Just haven't decided on the paint. Kicking some ideas around in my head. I'm not sure if I'll ever modernize the bike. I bought it because it reminded me a lot of the last touring bike I had (stolen) in about 1982 and really can't stand riding the mule cart I have. I had just put on Campy fingertip levers when it was stolen. If I bump into some at a reasonable price, I'll put them on. If I don't, I won't. I have put on new cables and housings. Nice to see I could still find campy style lever and brake cables. When I take it apart to paint it, I'll take care of a few things... it's got a little play in the rear hub bearings. Once I take it apart I'll see what's up with that. Looks like I can still find Phil Wood Gen 1 bearings. Haven't painted a bike in 40 years. Looking forward to that. The bike deserves a new paint job. Not sure what I'll do about the seat if anything.
    Almost certain that the chain has stretched (but measurement will end all speculation), if it's OEM. In any case, if you're replacing the rings, and possibly the freewheel (good news on that, Sunrace has carved out a niche by manufacturing old bike tech, including freewheels--and you could probably get a six- or even seven-speed cluster), you might as well go the extra $15 or so and spring for a new chain.

    Here's a link to Sunrace's offerings: SunRace | Products

    I agree, that ride deserves a new paint job, and to be curated like the fine old machine it is. Post pics when you finish it.
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  9. #9
    I love to climb!
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    When I get old bikes to work on at the shop, and the customer is willing to actually put money into it to make it ride like new, it comes out nice and shiny and riding like a brand new bike. A brand new bike from 35 years ago, ugh.

    Modern bikes are worlds better, sorry. More comfortable, more efficient. A hand position that actually makes sense. Brakes that actually stop. Shifters you don't have to reach for, much easier and safer.

    Sorry, just can't get into old bikes, and don't understand why some love them so much. I'd take a nice frame from back in the day, but I'd put me bars and shifters and brakes and gearing on it. But then I might as well just spend that money on a modern bike...
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  10. #10
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    Jwiffle , Id likely agree. It well take's a wink, a whistle, and while to catch up.
    Bikes worth restoring end up being way too big ol' school ride frames .

  11. #11
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    To each his own. I appreciate this kind of thing. Old cars, old tools, old craftsmanship, old motorcycles and bikes. I also appreciate the new technologies. I'm curious as to how many of the bikes built today will still be in service 40+ years from now? I won't be alive 40 years to to see it. The technology will have all changed by then too assuming people still ride bikes 40 years from now. I've now replaced the bottom bracket and rear hub bearings, cables and chain. It rides like new. I've got about $250 into it. I'm a car painter and have done a good bit of custom and restoration work so I'm looking forward to repainting it. That will only cost me time. Preserving the old is a good thing. Whoever built this frame for F.W. Evans was a very good frame builder. There's only a few frame builders who built their frames and all of them were well known and skilled builders and I'd put this frame up against any in it's day. Evans is he oldest remaining manufacturer in the UK and they never were a major player as they only sold the bikes in their own shops and didn't export them so it's nice to own a little piece of bicycle history. Not for everybody but it checks all my boxes. at 59 years old, I'm not going ride the thing more than about 30 or 40 miles a week so the latest and greatest isn't important to me like it was when I toured and raced in the 70's. This bike check all my boxes.

  12. #12
    I love to climb!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil S View Post
    To each his own. I appreciate this kind of thing. Old cars, old tools, old craftsmanship, old motorcycles and bikes. I also appreciate the new technologies. I'm curious as to how many of the bikes built today will still be in service 40+ years from now? I won't be alive 40 years to to see it. The technology will have all changed by then too assuming people still ride bikes 40 years from now. I've now replaced the bottom bracket and rear hub bearings, cables and chain. It rides like new. I've got about $250 into it. I'm a car painter and have done a good bit of custom and restoration work so I'm looking forward to repainting it. That will only cost me time. Preserving the old is a good thing. Whoever built this frame for F.W. Evans was a very good frame builder. There's only a few frame builders who built their frames and all of them were well known and skilled builders and I'd put this frame up against any in it's day. Evans is he oldest remaining manufacturer in the UK and they never were a major player as they only sold the bikes in their own shops and didn't export them so it's nice to own a little piece of bicycle history. Not for everybody but it checks all my boxes. at 59 years old, I'm not going ride the thing more than about 30 or 40 miles a week so the latest and greatest isn't important to me like it was when I toured and raced in the 70's. This bike check all my boxes.
    Yep, to each his own. Sorry if I came across as condescending or rude, that wasn't my intent. Old bikes have their place, just not under me, lol! Like I said, I can appreciate the frame itself; I'd happily ride it, as long as I put new components on it. Just that for me, doing so doesn't seem economical enough to be worth it. Obviously, if one likes old school components, it is worth the effort.

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