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Upgrading an old road bike
#1
I own an old road bike from the 80’s I quite like. To this day, all the original parts are still on the bike, except the last mudguard that broke this year. The wear and tear is getting more noticeable lately, especially the wheels and the breaks. Shifting is not as smooth as it used to be, but it’s not a major concern. The wheels are probably the biggest problem since the wheel ring is not totally straight so the brake pads need to be further apart which is reducing the braking performance. Also last month 3 spokes broke. I am thinking of upgrading the bike for some time now, but I don’t know if new parts will fit on the old bike or if it can be achieved without spending too much money.

So I would like to replace the wheels because I don’t think it is worth repairing them. The current size is 27 x 1 1/4. I read a lot they can be replaced with 700c wheels. But when I look at 700c wheels I find a lot of different sizes mostly 29 inches. I don’t wanna buy wrong ones. My current last wheel has 5 gears. So should I look for a wheel with 5 gears as well ? A lot ot rear wheels online do not seem to have any gears.

The breaks are not the best anymore and it’s not easy even to adjust them. I am wondering what kind of brakes can I install on an old bike. Can I install something like Shimano sorabrakes? They are quite cheap for around 20€. I included some pictures of the bike and the brakes so you have a better picture of the bike.


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#2
hi Jerry. i believe that this bicycle is of sentimental value? replacing wheels is a good judgement, original ones seem to be of steel and heavy (not 100% confident that it's steel only from photos yet 95%). 700c wheel conversion should work, but you might have to do some frame spacing. @Jesper and @painkiller definitely have more to add here.

i'd start step-by-step with overall inspection; grease parts, take a closer look at rear derailleur etc. it's fun!

you might find useful tips in repair section: https://www.bikeride.com/guide/
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#3
Nice ride! The brakes are a problem. You need long reach calipers that are compatible to your brake levers, unless you want to replace them as well. No need to go with full STIs, downtube shifters work with higher number of rear sprockets as well, the front crank might (!) not work with the narrower chain, but give it a try!
As PapaDom pointed out you need to widen the spread of the rear triangle, but that's not problematic
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#4
Ok, the tyres / wheels issue. Your tyres have a bad seat diameter of 630mm. What most people refer to as 28" (and 29er) has a diameter of 622mm. Depending on the width of the tyres you want to use (and can use, mudguard clearance, frame clearance) you can pick the rim width. The brake arms now need to be even longer (4mm). Good luck!
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#5
Thanks to everyone, that has provided some feedback. I will add a little more info. The bike does not really represent any sentimental value for me. It is a great bike for the work commute in the city especially because it has two pairs of brake levers (vertical and horizontal) which can come in handy in the city. Lately, it does not feel as safe anymore especially when the road is wet, so I was thinking about replacing it with a new one or just upgrading it. To get a normal used road bike, that is not 30 years old, I would have to spend around 150- 200€ here. I found a dealer that is selling new front and rear wheels (27 x 1 ¼ without freewheel) for 50€ - both. Also, Shimano sora brakes (which I hope would fit - have not done the measurements yet) cost 40€ for both. If these wheels and brakes were the only major parts that I would have to replace (besides other little things) I would probably decide for upgrading. If it would end up costing me 150+, I would buy a newer bike. However, since I do not have much experience replacing bikes I come here to get some feedback about what to replace and if it is worth doing it. I appreciate your help guys!
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#6
(02-08-2020, 02:23 PM)jerry Wrote:  I own an old road bike from the 80’s I quite like. To this day, all the original parts are still on the bike, except the last mudguard that broke this year. The wear and tear is getting more noticeable lately, especially the wheels and the breaks. Shifting is not as smooth as it used to be, but it’s not a major concern. The wheels are probably the biggest problem since the wheel ring is not totally straight so the brake pads need to be further apart which is reducing the braking performance. Also last month 3 spokes broke. I am thinking of upgrading the bike for some time now, but I don’t know if new parts will fit on the old bike or if it can be achieved without spending too much money.

So I would like to replace the wheels because I don’t think it is worth repairing them. The current size is 27 x 1 1/4. I read a lot they can be replaced with 700c wheels. But when I look at 700c wheels I find a lot of different sizes mostly 29 inches. I don’t wanna buy wrong ones. My current last wheel has 5 gears. So should I look for a wheel with 5 gears as well ? A lot ot rear wheels online do not seem to have any gears.

The breaks are not the best anymore and it’s not easy even to adjust them. I am wondering what kind of brakes can I install on an old bike. Can I install something like Shimano sorabrakes? They are quite cheap for around 20€. I included some pictures of the bike and the brakes so you have a better picture of the bike.

Hello Jerry,
I'll make a quick comment and then get back to you. I got electronically poked in the side. Also, welcome to group!

I don't know much about this brand, but it is not Italian although the name sounds like it. I believe it was German made/marketed (maybe Austrian?) I'm not sure if it was distributed in the US, but I've seem them for sale in Europe ($150 or so in above average condition). It would seem to be the "Super Klasse" model; a redundant name since "klasse" essentially means: super, great, top, best, etc. Given the model name it may be the top model that was marketed, but it is not a high end frame/bike. That doesn't mean it is of poor quality; just that it was not manufactured with super light tubing and high end components. If this is your ride that you rely on for transportation/recreation and more; and you have some attachment to it for whatever reason then it would deserve a complete rebuild utilizing either the original parts if functioning properly, and/or new parts to replace worn parts and/or upgrade existing parts. From what I can see in the photos it appears to have steel rims and brake calipers. Nothing wrong with steel parts, but unless I was trying to restore to its original glory, and of course if your budget is willing; I would replace most of the steel components with aluminum alloy components (rims/hubs, calipers, seat post, handle bar/stem). You will end up with a substantially lighter bike ( can drop over 10lbs depending) and have better performing parts. I will continue on this thread for you in the next day or two; probably get some others to add their 2 cents in the interim. Changing certain parts is easy, but we would need to ensure that they will fit/mount to your frame (guessing '80s, but need more photos). You should definitely replace with original style or upgraded: cables, cable housings, brake pads, tubes, tires (unless recently replaced). Rims, if kept, need to be trued (or replaced) or braking will never be efficient and could be potentially unsafe. More detailed photos will help as well as listing the components, thread type for bottom bracket and shell width, headset, rear fork spread, seat post diameter. Let's hope we don't have French threads! That's all for now. Oops, quick question: does the frame fit you comfortably? No use rebuilding if it won't be a comfortable, efficient, and safe ride. Nota bene: 700c tires should not be used on 27" rims, if you try to do that, don't! Wrong bead diameter and won't seat properly, thus unsafe.

Take care,
Jesper
"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#7
(02-10-2020, 05:37 PM)Jesper Wrote:  
(02-08-2020, 02:23 PM)jerry Wrote:  I own an old road bike from the 80’s I quite like. To this day, all the original parts are still on the bike, except the last mudguard that broke this year. The wear and tear is getting more noticeable lately, especially the wheels and the breaks. Shifting is not as smooth as it used to be, but it’s not a major concern. The wheels are probably the biggest problem since the wheel ring is not totally straight so the brake pads need to be further apart which is reducing the braking performance. Also last month 3 spokes broke. I am thinking of upgrading the bike for some time now, but I don’t know if new parts will fit on the old bike or if it can be achieved without spending too much money.

So I would like to replace the wheels because I don’t think it is worth repairing them. The current size is 27 x 1 1/4. I read a lot they can be replaced with 700c wheels. But when I look at 700c wheels I find a lot of different sizes mostly 29 inches. I don’t wanna buy wrong ones. My current last wheel has 5 gears. So should I look for a wheel with 5 gears as well ? A lot ot rear wheels online do not seem to have any gears.

The breaks are not the best anymore and it’s not easy even to adjust them. I am wondering what kind of brakes can I install on an old bike. Can I install something like Shimano sorabrakes? They are quite cheap for around 20€. I included some pictures of the bike and the brakes so you have a better picture of the bike.

Hello Jerry,
I'll make a quick comment and then get back to you. I got electronically poked in the side. Also, welcome to group!

I don't know much about this brand, but it is not Italian although the name sounds like it. I believe it was German made/marketed (maybe Austrian?) I'm not sure if it was distributed in the US, but I've seem them for sale in Europe ($150 or so in above average condition). It would seem to be the "Super Klasse" model; a redundant name since "klasse" essentially means: super, great, top, best, etc. Given the model name it may be the top model that was marketed, but it is not a high end frame/bike. That doesn't mean it is of poor quality; just that it was not manufactured with super light tubing and high end components. If this is your ride that you rely on for transportation/recreation and more; and you have some attachment to it for whatever reason then it would deserve a complete rebuild utilizing either the original parts if functioning properly, and/or new parts to replace worn parts and/or upgrade existing parts. From what I can see in the photos it appears to have steel rims and brake calipers. Nothing wrong with steel parts, but unless I was trying to restore to its original glory, and of course if your budget is willing; I would replace most of the steel components with aluminum alloy components (rims/hubs, calipers, seat post, handle bar/stem). You will end up with a substantially lighter bike ( can drop over 10lbs depending) and have better performing parts. I will continue on this thread for you in the next day or two; probably get some others to add their 2 cents in the interim. Changing certain parts is easy, but we would need to ensure that they will fit/mount to your frame (guessing '80s, but need more photos). You should definitely replace with original style or upgraded: cables, cable housings, brake pads, tubes, tires (unless recently replaced). Rims, if kept, need to be trued (or replaced) or braking will never be efficient and could be potentially unsafe. More detailed photos will help as well as listing the components, thread type for bottom bracket and shell width, headset, rear fork spread, seat post diameter. Let's hope we don't have French threads! That's all for now. Oops, quick question: does the frame fit you comfortably? No use rebuilding if it won't be a comfortable, efficient, and safe ride. Noto bene: 700c tires should not be used on 27" rims, if you try to do that, don't! Wrong bead diameter and won't seat properly, thus unsafe.

Take care,
Jesper

Thanks for all the guidance. I will add more pictures , information and provide some measurements soon, when I am able. Thanks
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#8
Nice bike, Jerry ... Torino Super Klasse.
I second what Jesper wrote, it most likely was made in Germany even though the brand name points more toward Italy.
Autobahn
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#9
For å reliable commuter fix the brakes first. Steel rims are bad in wet weather, changing to aluminium and modern brakes and pads will improve things a lot. Good luck finding brakes with that reach, standard road bike parts will not fit. The clearance on those old randonneur style bikes is greater, plus modern wheels have a smaller rim diameter (by 8mm), exacerbating that problem. Look for the brakes first (probably new brake levers as well, not sure about the compatibility), then look at the money you will need to invest for that.
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