standard better half beater build

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  • I guess my constant banging on about cycling has had an effect and now planning a build for lady velohobbit. This will probably come about in a few iterations, the first of which I'm hoping to have up this weekend. This idea is to make an inexpensive build first up that she can get used to and if she hates then no drama, then improve as she enjoys and rides more.

    F&F: kindly donated by @acdiz86 about 8 months ago
    Wheels: Spare front I had laying about and a rear I'm picking up from wheelfox
    Crankset: SR cranks from the parts bin (more on them later)
    Pedals/Straps: Again, parts bin
    Bars/stem: You guessed it, parts bin
    Front brake: Condor

    Frame is ratty af, again once she has a better idea on what she'd like it will be a job which I'm really looking forward to!

    Thanks to @jsabine for the coffee/tools/natter I finally managed to removed the old BB from the frame

    Question on the crankset - anyone know a way to determine if the spindle is ISO or JIS ? Cranks are nothing crazy, think the caps said SR Sakae which Sheldon says may be JIS?

    Looking for any advice on what to do moving forward, mainly paint ideas and inspiration!

  • Following! I can vouch for the fact that the frame is, indeed, ratty as fuck!

    Curious to see what you manage to make out of it. Have fun :)


    The basic rule of thumb is that Italian-made cranks use the ISO taper specification, while most everything else conforms to the JIS standard mainly due to Shimano’s power within the market. The exception to this is that some high-end track cranksets (and all bearing the keirin racing approved NJS stamp) conform to the ISO taper design due to Campagnolo’s might in 1957 when the NJS standards were codified. When in doubt consult the manufacturer or revert to the old trial and error method of finding the best fit.

  • You can check the tapers by throwing on a crankset of which you know whether it's jis or iso. With a jis crank on an iso taper, the crank will use almost the full length of the taper and there is a risk that the taper will bottom out. The tapered bit is a bit longer on iso spindles when compared to jis. I'd go with a single ring in the front, did it like this on both bikes I built for my partner since she never used the front mech anyway. Given that the frame has mudguard eyelets and a relaxed geo, there's probably enough space for chunky tires. I'd go with 32c and some mudguards to make it more usable. As for bars, in my experience, ladies often like porteur bars with a bit of sweep. Also, make sure the reach is not too long. Having an uncomfortable riding position has a deterring effect especially for beginners. If you want to put on gears, I'd look for some flat bar shifters (or a single one for the rear mech) since many newbies don't get along with dt shifters, especially in traffic.

  • 8 months its taken me to get round to this, see if I can't get it up for some summer miles

  • Thanks and thanks to @russmeyer I think it's ISO so going to take a punt on that, from what I've read it would be an issue of chainline if the spindle & crank didn't match? Trying to work out what width to go with as well but sort of in the dark on that since the old BB was cottered so not sure the length of that will be of much use.

    Short of taking a punt and seeing, any suggestions on spindle length? (probably a bit of a how long piece of string). Thinking about 110 as a middle ground since I'll be running it to a fixed hub at the back.

    Heaps of clearance and space for mudguards is really ideal if she decides to keep riding it out of the summer, else its a win for me as it solves my winter commuter search! Aiming for 32s need to try and source some on here. Porteur bars were my thought, I've got a few things laying around so will pop on each one and see if she has a preference.

    Great shout on the flat shifter (would go for 1x8), hadn't thought about the learning curve for a dt shifter!

  • +1 on porteur bars. I recently built up a dawes galaxy for my SO (current project thread pending) with swept back risers and bar end shifters - admittedly it looks a bit weird - but she finds the setup comfortable.

    On the mudguards front, if I recall correctly one of the rear eyelets is messed up...might not be a problem, but you may want to check to make sure.

  • if SR i bet its JIS...

  • From what I can see the shimano sealed units e.g. un26/55 are JIS? going to take a stab based on the lenfth of the old cottered spindle length and see where I end up (probably at Cycle PS crying)

  • yup that will be a jis bb. post a picture of the crankset? dont use cottered axle length, will be waaaaaay out! if its a road double being used for single ring up front, and you want to use the outer ring, then you want it pretty close, 110/107 maybe even 103. thats if you are running it to a fixed hub at the back, but then you mention geared set up? there is definitely an element of guesswork involved in trying to marry road cranks to spindle length and chainline.

  • Tried to order one in for the weekend but no luck so going to give me local store another chance at the behest of @acdiz86 and see if they can help me out, otherwise London Velo or Cycle PS although they are significantly more of a ball ache. Straps and wheel procured and cranks in picture

  • definitely jis taper cranks. some of those have funny BCDs. worth measuring before you get a chainring...­D=f964d672-fb6e-421d-ab24-cd8760521754

  • hope they can help, the trick is to compliment them for the restored bikes in the display window :)

  • Yeah I measured it up 130mm so thankfully not horrifically unique!

  • They had a really lovely neo-retro thing in there for a while, just hope I get the man himself, or I'll just ride to London Velo

  • Below par morning. Lions match was pretty dull, picked up the chainring which was the wrong BCD (@dscorpio you were absolutely right and I am an arse that can't measure things properly). Local store were just useless. After I explained what I wanted the chap pulled out a VP bottom bracket I thought fair enough not brand name but cheap and cheerful. "That'll be £29.99" Will it fuck. So I've got a sugino messenger (probably) coming from @hoops and vp bb coming from amazon which won't cost me £29.99. No weekend ride but weather is good for bbq and I'll do a sprint session tomorrow to get ready for Nocturne. Aim is now to have this ready mid week and go for a relaxed spin one evening see how she gets on. Oh, and I got a set of risers of a colleague so slightly better position.

  • With cranks from @hoops and everything thrown on this is how its come out

    Actually goes pretty well, seat will need raising and possibly replacing depending on feedback! Next up will be deciding what to cut down and file before painting. I have a dislike for top tube cable routing so they will probably go. May leave the dt shifter boss as I might want to add some gears on here for the winter and I've already got the shifter. Now to get a decision on paint and get sanding!

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standard better half beater build

Posted by Avatar for velohobbit @velohobbit