YARF - yet another retro functional

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  • hello! i'm posting this here as a way to kick myself up the arse to get on with some upgrades to my current functional/pub/lock-up whip.

    frame is an '89ish saracen - model unknown but not particularly high end. it has a tange maintubes sticker on the base of the seat tube.

    as it stands it has some crappy v-brakes from the 'bin, singlespeed conversion, ahead converter, faceface stem + bars, crappy saddle mounted to an even crappier post...

    plans are to convert back to gears - a 1x 7/8sp setup with DX thumbie (recently purchased from forum) with NW ring, change bars to something with a bit of sweep, new post and saddle, possible wheels upgrade and new less shit rear rack...

    oh, and would like to do a spray.bike repaint! (fadez / splatter?!?!?!)

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  • This has potential. Looking forward to how this turns out.

  • Love the fact that so many people are re-using these old rigid MTB machines as functional builds. You guys are awesome!

  • https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBOOOG/on-­one-og-handlebar
    considering on-one OG bars - anyone used these?

  • Interested in seeing how you go with this. I have an old Dyna-Tech that was partially updated a few years ago and thinking of getting it ready as a winter hack/pub bike.

  • Pretty sure @t0-ster has used them before, can't remember for definite though.

  • Yea love those bars, great shape for all day riding, and quite wide considering the style of bar.

    "On-One OG bar with some random 90’s bull horns filed to sit nicely in the bend, along with some Control Tech Bar Extensions for those extra millimeters. Im even hanging my lock on grips off the edges a little bit, because width is better than safety!"


    Bike looks pretty rad as it is right now!
    Bigger tires for sure, mudguards, maybe a little canti mounted front rack for the basket. Black seatpost, new saddle (cambium all weather?), and sweepy bars sounds like a solid plan. Aaaand splatter plz. Fade sounds overwhelming, whereas splatter can be done half assed and still look gud.

  • cool, thanks for the reply!
    your bike looks awesome! I've bookmarked your site for a proper read through later.

    There's nothing particularly wrong with my Saracen as it stands, but I just want to make it a bit better without going too far.
    I'm lucky enough to have several other bikes for other purposes at the moment so this one is purely for around town pootling, loading up with shopping, kids swimming bags, etc etc. and don't want it to be so nice that it becomes a theft target. it certainly doesn't warrant a cambium for example, as it doesn't do enough miles to warrant the expense.

    OG bars will be ordered later today!

  • in terms of v brakes, I was looking at putting some parallel push shimano on there instead of the crap ones, or are there other options that are worth considering that do as good a job? avids, trp, etc.

  • I found that the parallel push ones developed a bit of play in the extra pivots and also squealed due to vibrations through looseness in overall construction etc. Could be poor set up from me but they seem like an unnecessary solution to an insignificant problem in the v-brake world! I've got a pair of Tektro V-brakes from eBay for £20 (which included levers, cables, and brakes with pads) which have been excellent for years. Don't have a link I'm afraid as it was a few years ago but they're still going strong, and with fresh pads and eventually an upgrade to compressionless housing, they're brilliant.

  • cheers, that sounds like a good shout.
    I'm happy with my current levers, so hopefully I'll be able to pick up a cheap pair of v's and some decent outers.

  • Nice build! I have a similar bike with 1x7 Deore LX shifters that I found in a bin. And it's the most solid of all my drivetrains. Perfect shifting from the get-go with no adjustment required.

  • cool, post a pic!
    did you use a narrow wide front ring?

  • yep, a Hope 34t (or 32?) I got off here. I use a front mech as a chain catcher but never had any issues in that regard anyway.


    It usually has a child seat on there! Now also has a rear rack for #more #function

  • back from a week away and thumbies have arrived!
    now I need to work out which parts will work together to give me a usable range of gearing.
    I'm thinking a 1x8 setup, with possibly a megarange cassette. not sure if that means I need a long cage rear mech, do I need to stay with Shimano or can I go with sram, will the pull ratios work?? confusing!

  • If they're Shimano thumbies then SRAM won't work unless you can find one of their ancient Shimano-compatible derailleurs. I would go with a 7/8/9-speed Shimano MTB mech (which will have correct pull ratios), then whatever cassette you like. Sunrace do an 8-speed 11-40 which you can find for £20, I've got one + love it. Might need one of those £1 RoadLink things.

    It is cassette is it, not freewheel?

  • progress at last!
    gears are on - sram 9sp cassette, LX rear mech, dx thumbie on friction seems to get through all the gears ok!
    rear brake cable re-noodled with a neater cable routing.
    going to test ride in the morning to the station (2 miles) and see how it goes.

    still need a narrow wide ring, seatpost, better v's, new rear panier rack, and bars + grips etc.

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  • Rad! Getting there! Just add bigger tires to your list of needs ;)

    Btw looks like your chain could lose a few links

  • thanks!
    bigger tyres maybe... I've got a few sets in the shed I could try out.
    chain is intentionally loose until I get a new nw front ring.

  • 13 mile test commute this morning.
    shortened the chain before i set off. bought new blocks yesterday which need installing as a matter of urgency, also need to ferule the bare ends of my shifter cable outer...
    friction shift feels good on the 9sp cassette, but need to get a (cheap) NW chainring as i dropped the chain when i hopped up a kerb.
    digi calipers confirmed 26.2 seatpost - none at the LBS so will have to be an internet job.

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  • Can't see your most recent pic - shame! I hope the Internet gremlins decide I'm allowed to see it later

  • image updated!

  • new parts

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  • Looking good.

    Can you fettle the the rear rack to have a horizontal top?


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YARF - yet another retro functional

Posted by Avatar for bigshape @bigshape