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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, new to the forum and just recently picked up an old Schwinn High Plains for $20 in hopes of getting more active (plus I know my dog would love the higher level of activity). Recent purchase has also gotten the little lady excited about getting her a bike and we're also looking at bike trailers to take the little one on bike rides as well.

The Schwinn needs a bit of work, not much, but I tend to make projects of nearly everything I touch :p . I've been debating converting it to a single speed due to the shifters not being in working condition, but not sure how much I'd like that considering having multiple speeds would make it a hell of a lot easier on trails and just riding around my neighborhood.

Bike currently needs:

- Bottle Holders (I want two, one for myself and one for the dog :p )
- Pedals (Missing one, might as well get a matching pair)
- Brakes (Rather have some new ones)
- Tires (Same as above, plus they don't match)
- Seat (It's torn, foam seems to have had a battle with a pack of squirrels)
- Shifters (If I decide I can fix the current ones, swap for ones that work, or simply go single speed)
- Brake Levers (The ones on it are incredibly loose, I'll look into tightening them up before buying anything)
- Grips (Safety first right. Some basic grips for the time being should do me fine)
- Paint (When the time comes it definitely needs some paint to beautify it, even though I do like the black with silver splatter)

Right now I'll simply be doing a bit of searching on the forums for parts I should consider, but recommendations are more than welcomed. Also, f anyone has some extra parts lying around they'd like to sell for cheap or donate I'd appreciate it. :D

Searching around the forum I found a couple bikes that are pretty much the routes I'd like to go with mine.

If I go the single speed route:



If I fix the shifters:



And just because I really like these handle bars (could someone tell me what brand they are):

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tip. I'll look into those. Found some items already and they seem to be well priced. Will check out reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick question, seeing as I plan on swapping to V-Brakes and some new Shimano Acera shifter/brake levers would I be needing to brake and gear cables?
 

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DreamN said:
- Bottle Holders (I want two, one for myself and one for the dog :p )
- Pedals (Missing one, might as well get a matching pair)
- Brakes (Rather have some new ones)
- Tires (Same as above, plus they don't match)
- Seat (It's torn, foam seems to have had a battle with a pack of squirrels)
- Shifters (If I decide I can fix the current ones, swap for ones that work, or simply go single speed)
- Brake Levers (The ones on it are incredibly loose, I'll look into tightening them up before buying anything)
- Grips (Safety first right. Some basic grips for the time being should do me fine)
- Paint (When the time comes it definitely needs some paint to beautify it, even though I do like the black with silver splatter)

And just because I really like these handle bars (could someone tell me what brand they are):
$20 is not a bad price for that bike. How about some pictures of it?

Keep in mind that you can get a used bike for around $250 from a shop that will be in ride-ready condition, or less on Craig's List if you know how to evaluate the mechanical condition of the bike. So try to price out all the things you feel your bike needs before you start spending money. Is the chain in good shape? Whether or not it's stretched can give you some hints about the condition of the rest of the drivetrain. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#stretch

I don't believe in expensive bottle holders. Now and then, they get broken, and the $5-$15 one does the job fine. Pick them up at your LBS. Do you have both sets of screws on your frame?

I have a set of cheap Redline pedals that I use if I want platforms on one of my bikes. This can be a bit of a subject of holy wars on the forum, since there are three schools of thought. You can do platforms, platforms with toe clips, or clipless pedals. Most MTBers use either platforms or clipless pedals because clipless pedals are better than clips and straps for athletic riding and platforms let you put a foot down or drag a foot if you need to do that. Clips and straps and platforms will both let you ride in sneakers, clipless pedals require you to buy funny shoes. Pick a class of pedal that you think makes sense for you, and people can give you some more specific recommendations.

You probably don't need new brakes. You may need new brake pads and you may need new cables. Unhook the little metal thing that the cable feeds into from the little metal thing it hooks into. If your brakes rotate freely on their pivot points and there's enough spring tension to move them away from your rims, they're fine. If not, try a couple drops of Tri-flow or light oil in the bushings, and try again. If that doesn't work, fine, buy new brakes. For pads, I highly recommend Kool Stop Salmon or All Conditions pads. Buy the ones that come in a holder for a little bit more money, and replace the entire brake shoe, unless you already have the kind of brake shoe that has a separate pad and holder.

If the bike's been sitting for a few years, you probably could use new tires. I like my Panaracer Dart front and WTB Velociraptor rear for good traction and predictable handling on a variety of surfaces. You could also do the Velociraptor set - they come in both a front and a rear version - to get matching tires. Or ask locally about what riders are using.

Saddles are a tough one. Ask about new bike takeoffs at your local shop, and see if you can pick up something for $10 or $20. As long as you stay away from the silly over-padded ones, how well they work and how much they cost are not very related. The most I've spent on a saddle is probably about $35, for a racing saddle that had been sitting on the shelf too long. I liked it so much I keep a search for them open on EBay now.

What kind of shifters do you have? The old dial ones, or the trigger ones, with separate levers for cable takeup and release? I like the trigger ones much, much better.

Grips are one of the places I'm willing to spend a little bit more money. Locking grips are much better on trails, and make tinkering with cockpit setup a lot easier. I have ODI Ruffians. There are other brands and models out there; I'm not willing to claim one is better than another.

The handlebars are probably WTB Dirt Drops or Salsa Woodchippers. Depending on how you want to set up your cockpit, they may require making some other changes to your bike. They're road bike levers, sort of, and the diameter of the handlebar is compatible with road parts but not MTB parts. MTB shifters can frequently still be made to fit, though. If you want to use integrated shift/brake levers, you need to use either brakes that are compatible with road bike levers (cantilevers, like those in the picture,) or a device to address the compatibility issue - a Travel Agent. I'd recommend just going with cantilever brakes. I like simplicity, when I get a choice. If you plan to put the shifters somewhere else, there are a few models of road brake levers that operate V-brakes. So I'd go with those. I think V brakes are better than cantilevers.

There are a couple of possible compatibility issues with 7-speed bikes and contemporary equipment. It's rare, but some 7-speed mountain bikes had 130mm rear dropout spacing. (This is the inside space between rear dropouts, and outside distance across the rear hub's lock nuts.) The current standard is 135mm spacing. If the bike is steel and spaced like that, it's no big deal to get it respaced. If it's aluminum, there can be some problems. 7-speed bikes came with either thread-on freewheels or one of two kinds of cassette. If it's a freewheel, throw out the wheel and buy a new one that doesn't suck. If it's a cassette, you can only have 7-speed cassettes unless you buy a new rear wheel or you do a little tinkering. I like to have a lot of "speeds" on my MTB, but don't care as much on my commuter, for which I don't use nearly as wide a gear range, or as low a lowest gear. It's not difficult to find 7-speed shifters, but since the shifter is the most expensive part of upgrading to more "speeds," if you find you can't rescue your shifters or you want to use integrated shift/brake levers on a road bar, it's something you should consider now, and not later when you've spent money on staying with a 7-speed setup.

The kind of paint job that bikes come with from the factory is quite expensive to get done aftermarket - about $200. You need to get the bottom bracket shell and head tube refaced afterwards, which costs a bit too, but not that much. Otherwise, get some spray paint, rent a paint booth, and have at it.

A long answer, but you had a bit of a list of things you want to do. I think the bottom line is that you need to decide if this is about having a project or having a bike to ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
AndrwSwitch said:
$20 is not a bad price for that bike. How about some pictures of it?

Keep in mind that you can get a used bike for around $250 from a shop that will be in ride-ready condition, or less on Craig's List if you know how to evaluate the mechanical condition of the bike. So try to price out all the things you feel your bike needs before you start spending money. Is the chain in good shape? Whether or not it's stretched can give you some hints about the condition of the rest of the drivetrain. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#stretch

I don't believe in expensive bottle holders. Now and then, they get broken, and the $5-$15 one does the job fine. Pick them up at your LBS. Do you have both sets of screws on your frame?

I have a set of cheap Redline pedals that I use if I want platforms on one of my bikes. This can be a bit of a subject of holy wars on the forum, since there are three schools of thought. You can do platforms, platforms with toe clips, or clipless pedals. Most MTBers use either platforms or clipless pedals because clipless pedals are better than clips and straps for athletic riding and platforms let you put a foot down or drag a foot if you need to do that. Clips and straps and platforms will both let you ride in sneakers, clipless pedals require you to buy funny shoes. Pick a class of pedal that you think makes sense for you, and people can give you some more specific recommendations.

You probably don't need new brakes. You may need new brake pads and you may need new cables. Unhook the little metal thing that the cable feeds into from the little metal thing it hooks into. If your brakes rotate freely on their pivot points and there's enough spring tension to move them away from your rims, they're fine. If not, try a couple drops of Tri-flow or light oil in the bushings, and try again. If that doesn't work, fine, buy new brakes. For pads, I highly recommend Kool Stop Salmon or All Conditions pads. Buy the ones that come in a holder for a little bit more money, and replace the entire brake shoe, unless you already have the kind of brake shoe that has a separate pad and holder.

If the bike's been sitting for a few years, you probably could use new tires. I like my Panaracer Dart front and WTB Velociraptor rear for good traction and predictable handling on a variety of surfaces. You could also do the Velociraptor set - they come in both a front and a rear version - to get matching tires. Or ask locally about what riders are using.

Saddles are a tough one. Ask about new bike takeoffs at your local shop, and see if you can pick up something for $10 or $20. As long as you stay away from the silly over-padded ones, how well they work and how much they cost are not very related. The most I've spent on a saddle is probably about $35, for a racing saddle that had been sitting on the shelf too long. I liked it so much I keep a search for them open on EBay now.

What kind of shifters do you have? The old dial ones, or the trigger ones, with separate levers for cable takeup and release? I like the trigger ones much, much better.

Grips are one of the places I'm willing to spend a little bit more money. Locking grips are much better on trails, and make tinkering with cockpit setup a lot easier. I have ODI Ruffians. There are other brands and models out there; I'm not willing to claim one is better than another.

The handlebars are probably WTB Dirt Drops or Salsa Woodchippers. Depending on how you want to set up your cockpit, they may require making some other changes to your bike. They're road bike levers, sort of, and the diameter of the handlebar is compatible with road parts but not MTB parts. MTB shifters can frequently still be made to fit, though. If you want to use integrated shift/brake levers, you need to use either brakes that are compatible with road bike levers (cantilevers, like those in the picture,) or a device to address the compatibility issue - a Travel Agent. I'd recommend just going with cantilever brakes. I like simplicity, when I get a choice. If you plan to put the shifters somewhere else, there are a few models of road brake levers that operate V-brakes. So I'd go with those. I think V brakes are better than cantilevers.

There are a couple of possible compatibility issues with 7-speed bikes and contemporary equipment. It's rare, but some 7-speed mountain bikes had 130mm rear dropout spacing. (This is the inside space between rear dropouts, and outside distance across the rear hub's lock nuts.) The current standard is 135mm spacing. If the bike is steel and spaced like that, it's no big deal to get it respaced. If it's aluminum, there can be some problems. 7-speed bikes came with either thread-on freewheels or one of two kinds of cassette. If it's a freewheel, throw out the wheel and buy a new one that doesn't suck. If it's a cassette, you can only have 7-speed cassettes unless you buy a new rear wheel or you do a little tinkering. I like to have a lot of "speeds" on my MTB, but don't care as much on my commuter, for which I don't use nearly as wide a gear range, or as low a lowest gear. It's not difficult to find 7-speed shifters, but since the shifter is the most expensive part of upgrading to more "speeds," if you find you can't rescue your shifters or you want to use integrated shift/brake levers on a road bar, it's something you should consider now, and not later when you've spent money on staying with a 7-speed setup.

The kind of paint job that bikes come with from the factory is quite expensive to get done aftermarket - about $200. You need to get the bottom bracket shell and head tube refaced afterwards, which costs a bit too, but not that much. Otherwise, get some spray paint, rent a paint booth, and have at it.

A long answer, but you had a bit of a list of things you want to do. I think the bottom line is that you need to decide if this is about having a project or having a bike to ride.
Great post, much appreciated.

I'll take some pictures in a few. Been busy picking up a new bike trailer for the little one. Got an amazing deal on a Chariot (Great name for a bike trailer company haha) CX-1 with all the attachments we wanted.

Definitely keep in mind that I do have a budget for this and I'm being very money conscious. Really, the bike simply needs a seat, some shifters (ones on their don't work properly), and new pads for me to fell comfortably riding it.

Though I already put air in the tires and went around the neighborhood and everything except the shifters are "A-OK". Thing is I love to personalize things a bit haha.

I did price out some cantilever brake pads, but when I saw that I could upgrade to Shimano Acera units for double the price I figured why not especially considering the set includes pads. This puts me at $23 for front and rear v-brakes. Found Shimano Acera/Atlus brake levers that have integrated shifters and are 7 speed for $19 for ea. side. Last piece I'll be buying for the time being are pedals. Won't be going clipless due to price. Not a fan of straps either, so platforms are my choice. I'll look into which I may like, but feel free to throw whatever recommendations you may have.

Current List:
Shimano Acera/Altus ST-EF51 Shifter/Brake Lever - Left, V-Brake, 4-Finger, Black $18.88
Shimano Acera/Altus ST-EF51 Shifter/Brake Lever - Right, V-Brake, 4-Finger, 7-Speed, Black $18.88
Shimano BR-M422 Acera Bicycle V-Brake (Front, Black) $11.34
Shimano BR-M422 Acera Bicycle V-Brake (Rear, Black) $11.06

Purchasing from Amazon unless I find a cheaper source. Plus I have $16 left on a gift card :D

The bottle holders I plan on getting cheap or free. I don't need anything fancy. As long as it holds the bottle in place I'm good. Oh, and yes I do have both sets of screws.

Tires I'm unsure of. Until I make up my mind I'll ride on the ones I have. Whatever is cheap and does the trick for both street and some light trails should do be fine (Still searching the forums).

Seat, I found one I really like, but unfortunately it's discontinued. It's the SDG Ventura Comp. Read some good reviews and love the look. Found one in Denver (criagslist.org) for $10, but sadly it had sold already. Color isn't an issue as I could always dye it whatever I'd like as long as it is leather/vinyl. Color preference is a light grey or white though.

Staying with the 7 speed cassette so before I purchase the stuff on my list I visit the LBS and see if its all compatible and what their opinion is on new cables (which I really prefer). Also, if I recall from my reading I have a 128mm or at the most a 130mm rear dropout.

That roadbike lever just looks great. Won't be making that purchase anytime soon. Though good to know that there are options out there for whatever brake choice I do end up going with.

Paint is also something I won't be doing anytime soon. That's later down the road when I feel comfortable taking apart the bike completely. I have a powder coating system so I may go that route. Done a few pieces on my car already, but it all depends if the frame will even fit in the oven (don't use my personal oven, but a buddy's electric unit that he uses specifically for powder coating). Want to do a Carribean Blue/Black theme to match it to my Nissan Cube :p

Member on here actually did something very similar to what I've had planned since I purchased the bike.



Love the way the brake lines flow. Very clean. Been wondering if I could do this on my Schwinn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, so I decided not to order the dual shifter/brake lever set as I read a few negative reviews on them. Not to mention I started thinking if one failed or broke for whatever reason I'd have to replace the entire unit rather than simply one.

Definitely makes much more sense to have separate brake levers and shifters so I'm going with Acera brake levers, but I'm undecided on what shifter set I should purchase. Definitely won't be doing some hardcore off-road biking. Pretty much just some light trails and street stuff. Though if I do get a bit more into mountain biking I'd like something that I won't feel the need to upgrade so soon.

Advice? Already purchased Shimano Acera M422 V-Brakes by the way.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Not much of that inventory left around anymore.

I did a quick Google Products search and saw two choices. There are still SRAM TRX units around. Not to be confused with SRAM's numbered line (as in X.3, X.4, etc.). The TRX, MRX, Attack, and other named shifters are designed to work with Shimano drivetrains. You still need to match the number of speeds. Shimano SL-M310 shifters also came up. This is either an Acera or Altus level shifter.

Honestly, I don't know which would be preferable. I tend to be a bit biased toward Shimano, but they don't take their 300-level products very seriously. If TRX is more serious within the SRAM line, it would be better - I just don't know if it is or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^ Thanks for the post. Searched around and found a set a shifters that I feel should treat me well.

So far I've bought:
- Shimano Acera BL-M421 V-Brake Levers
- Shimano Alivio/STX 3X7 SL-MC40 Shifters
- Shimano Acera BR-M422 V-Brakes (Front & Rear)
- XLC Caged Alloy MTB Pedals

Grips, I'm looking at some WTB Clamp-Ons on ebay for around $10 shipped. Tires I'm thinking Kenda Kross Plus considering I'll be on paved roads the majority of the time and light dirt trails once in a while.

Still looking for a saddle, but I'll just be using one off a neighbor's bike. It fits so can't complain. Fairly comfortable, but will eventually purchase a white or light grey saddle once the time for paint comes.

Oh and here a few shots of the bike. Nothing special, but I like it.

(Don't mind the flat rear as I accidentally left the presta valve open)



 

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Take the money that you're planning on spending on that and buy a more worthy bike. By the time you're done with seat, tires, grips, pedals, wheels, cables, ect, think you can find a better bike for less money and ride instead of wrench.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
theMeat said:
Take the money that you're planning on spending on that and buy a more worthy bike. By the time you're done with seat, tires, grips, pedals, wheels, cables, ect, think you can find a better bike for less money and ride instead of wrench.
I don't mind the wrenching, I enjoy it actually.

It's a small project that I wanted to take on until I have everything I need for one of my cars. Besides the drivetrain works flawlessly and the parts I'm buying are interchangeable if I ever decide I want a better bike. Besides the bike still has some good riding left, why not give it a little polishing. :thumbsup:

Funny thing is I've been offered double what I've payed for it by a couple local high school kids. Guessing they see it as a good start for a fixie. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
jpeters said:
I like old school bikes if it all works why not lol
Exactly. For a $20 initial purchase I felt it would be a project that would be worth it in the end. Plus I do like the simple styling of these old school bikes. Much simpler.

If I had cash to simply blow I'd get a FUGI or Yeti frame and go balls out, but I don't even have the riding experience nor do I want to be a nervous wreck every time I touch the damn thing lol.
jpeters said:
I would clean and lube the headset lube and clean the wheel bearings get new tubes and tires seat post your good you can get great deals on ebay
Will do. I plan on greasing up everything and anything that needs it.

Yup all it needs is tires, tubes, saddle, and grips. Been hunting for good deals for everything :D
jpeters said:
how much do you plan to spend
My limit was actually $100 including the bike, but I'm already $4 over budget. LoL

Probably looking at spending at least another $30 just on tires and tubes, but no biggie there as that's simply a wear and tear item that I'd have to buy at one point or another. Rather have new than used any day.

Grips I'm looking at $10 grips (preferably clamp-ons).

Saddle, that can wait till I beautify the bike when paint comes. Right now I'm just going with a used one for free.

Buying separate brake levers and shifters is what bumped up the spending, but I think it's for the good.
 

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Usually a LBS has a bin of $10 take off saddles to pick through, as well as know a good tire for the area's terrain. Could get a seat post clamp like the origin 8, that has the canti brake hanger built in to clean up that rear cable flow. Wellgo Mg1's rock for the price. JensonUSA, Pricepoint, and Fee bay, I mean Ebay have some good buys if you haven't been there, done that already, and Bikepedia, or maybe FirstFlight might show specs, and speced groupo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^ Really? I'm going to call a few shops tomorrow and hopefully they do have a bin of saddles for sale.

Tires, I'm somewhat set on some semi-slicks from Kenda which have knobs on each side for light dirt trail action. As mentioned, I'll mostly be on the street so these seem ideal. They have also received good reviews and are priced well. Tubes I'm looking at are the Slime self sealing tubes, but not completely sold on them.
 
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