Sunday, January 16, 2011

Building Up a Bike - Getting Started

1980s Bridgestone Serius frame

Having completed the "Park Tool School" (for bike mechanic basics) a while ago I am interested in seeing if I can bring together all the (used) parts of a bicycle, assemble them, and have something ridable. Well, something even fun to ride, actually. I have started by buying a old-ish steel frame on eBay (above). I liked the looks of it, a lugged frame, that includes the bottom bracket and (the thing the pedals attach to) and a fork.

So now I have to acquire all the stuff that bolts to the bike - and make sure I get the right stuff for this frame (where it matters). Much of that is what is known as the "gruppo" or group - gear shifters, brake levers (or integrated brake levers/shifters), brakes, front and rear derailleurs, a bottom bracket, a crankset, a chain, a cogset and a freewheel (or cassette). One small problem is that I already have a bottom bracket but near as I can tell, people selling older groups on eBay often don't include that. It is an interesting puzzle to sort out what would work with this frame (and what won't).

My first puzzle is with crankarm length - that is, how long the arms that have the pedals on them are. (This iscertainly not the only or most important thing to figure out but the one I have bumped into first.) Various lengths are available, but most road bikes come with 170 or 172.5 mm. I believe my two road bikes have 172.5, but I realize I would have to measure - it isn't in the technical details supplied with one of them and the other was rather short on such info generally.

I have already found a detailed bicycle crank length discussion that suggests that the Shimano 105 group I have located with 170 mm cranks would be fine (assuming I can successfully purchase it).

Of course a more reasonable question is why Shimano 105? Hmm...

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