I bought a Dahon Cadenza with the idea of throwing it in the boot of my car when I drive to see family (which happens relatively often right now) The idea was to load it up with mudguards, disc brakes, maybe 1x and a canti mounted front rack.
I got it to the state you see below:
And rode it around about twice. It was very nice! However when I was putting it into the boot one day I noticed a slight issue.
The bottom bracket was a few mm away from shearing entirely on both sides. I should have noticed this when I went to pick it up from a nice lady in Hampstead, but well, I didn't think to look. Caveat Emptor.
It's a shame because the bike would have been perfect for me and likely wouldn't have got much heavy use but alas alack, dental insurance indeed. I didn't feel much like trying to work out how you'd go about repairing something like this. I assumed it would cost more than the frame is worth, (could get another full bike for probably £200 on ebay) and also I wanted to try and learn a bit more about bike fettling, so I decided to have a go at building up one of the myriad 26 inch mtb frames around with the parts from the Dahon (where possible).
I don't really have much (any) experience on bike maintenance but I've got enough spare bikes that it's not going to be an issue if i completely cock this up. Anyway, first things first was obtaining a replacement frame:
(not my photo, hence the clarity)
It has since been taken to my LBS who fitted a bottom bracket (they said it was probably the right one but I could bring it back for a swap if it wasn't) as well as gave me a dubious look. I think I'm not the first mechanic dilettante they've had to deal with. I also have an Ogre non suspension corrected fork on the way which I've been told might (should?) work. (I could probably use the dahon fork as well? I have no idea).
So now, to the dismantling of the old frame. It took me a while to work out how to remove the gear cables and how exactly the NVO stem on this thing worked, but in the end, applying penetrating liquid and instantaneous force (WD40 and a mallet) prevailed and the fork is removed
Next I guess I'll try to remove the rear wheel and derailleur, that seems straight forward, but removing the cranks apparently needs a 'crank puller' and some large allen keys which I'll have to buy (recommendations appreciated). I think I'll also ned a 'chain breaker' ? But have no real idea about that and haven't watched a park tools youtube video about it yet.
Why are all your photos shit?
Sadly, the camera on my phone is broken after being dropped out of my pocket and ridden over on a bridle path near Haslingfield. It seldom focuses and even when it does, has a dreamy look. I recommend you treat the aesthetic affect as 'lomography'
You've got a lot of plants innit?
Yes, I like plants.
This is definitely on the edge of being a great thread and a total trainwreck
I feel like YouTube and google is your friend here, definitely got some good potential!
I like your FAQs. And the thread potential.
Never considered putting a circa-1996 FAQ section in my threads. I like your style. Orange frame looks great.
Having seen the bloody aftermath of a Dahon frame failure on two occasions, I am rather relieved that you are moving away from that death trap.
Enjoy yourself assembling the Orange.
Today's progress was still trying to strip the Dahon. It's pretty much gone as far as I can go
First order of business was finding out that I do indeed need a crank puller to remove the cranks. I'm going to take it to the LBS to do + remove the pedals because I can't really bring myself to ask all of my bike friends if they've got a 'crank puller' and i can't remove the pedals anyway, they're really seized up.
It was pretty hard work trying to remove the chainrings, apparently you need a special tool for that too. I made do with a screwdriver before giving up and youtubing it.
(dunno how to embed)
I found this video which gave me a passable method that eventually worked on all but one of the bolts, which sheared whilst I was trying to remove it. I was forced to seek guidance from my dear friend M.Allet again and between the two of us we managed to persuade the chainrings away from the crank. Hopefully my physical enthusiasm hasn't compromised the cranks in any way. I didn't hit them very hard.
Anyway after that I had a bugger of a time trying to work out how to remove the chain. I spent some time trying to open the 'master link' by using some 'bog standard needle nose pliers' and didn't really get much luck. I made an executive decision and cut the chain with some bolt cutters. I'm going to assume it was 'badly worn' and would have 'needed replacing' anyway. I will add 'master link pliers', 'crank puller' and 'chainring bolt tool' to my Christmas list.
Anyway the upshot was I freed the derailleur
I guess it's an 8 speed tiagra? I've seen people take derailleurs apart and spruce them up, is that something I should be bothering with here? Should I even be bothering to save this derailleur? The front one is totally seized up so I'm willing to let that go. It seems like I should save this one and use it as a hacky 1x set up with a new narrow/wide chainring at the front. I know I wouldn't get much range but some range is better than nothing, no? There doesn't seem to be such thing as a wide range 8 speed cassette and even if there was I assume this mech wouldn't fit it. Would love some advice here. This build is meant to be cheap where possible, but I'm not trying to be a total skinflint. If I could get a replacement derailleur + cassette off the bay or elsewhere for not much then I might as well do that. Answers on the back of a postcard please.
Hopefully tomorrow the LBS will free the cranks, I'll throw the Dahon at an enemy and start building up the orange next week.
Why have you done things in the wrong order, the wrong way round, with the wrong tools and with the wrong motivation in your heart?
I don't know. I'm very green, please let me know if there's something I could have done better here.
I see a cat bed but no cat, what gives?
Please see my avatar for a picture of my cat, Monkey.
Subbed! This is delightful and more self-aware than most build threads. Please feel free to put more plants in the soft focus pictures.
Loving the thread so far, I'm in a similar boat too, starting the first ever build. Going the 1x route as well, I suggest that if it has enough tooth capacity keep it. I live in a hilly area and will build up my bike with an 11-32t, 8 speed sprocket paired with a 44t chainring, which would give me a slightly higher gear range to the current beater.
cut the chain with some bolt cutters
cut the chain with some bolt cutters
I respect this approach
I respect this approach
It is the correct approach.
8 speed is fine for pootling around and even commuting/touring, if you're not aiming for blistering speed and use a suitable chainring - maybe a 40t if you can get up to 30t or 32t on the cassette. For sprucing, I'd just give it a blast/soak/wipe with GT-85 or similar, which should get most muck off it with a toothbrush & cloth approach. It doesn't look too grubby.
8 speed is fine for pootling around and even commuting/touring
8 speed is fine for pootling around and even commuting/touring
9-speed is a cheap upgrade here. Just needs a new shifter and cassette (the derailleur will work). Parts aren't much more expensive than 8-speed
Just drench those derailleurs in WD40 and they’ll free up.
I’m happy that my forks contribute to this build, but sad now that I took them off using the correct tools. Tempting to refit and then remove using a can opener and sledge hammer.
My dad would love this thread, he almost wilfully uses the wrong tool even if you have the right one, including ignoring the secetuers to use kitchen knives in the garden, building a cot using a letter opener then being shocked it wasn’t done up very tight, etc
After weighing it up, I decided not to bother trying to extract the cranks. Given the state of the rest of the drive chain I figured they were probably basically cemented in so I packed up the dahon to take it to the bike mans who removed the crank + pedals for a fiver. Money well spent I think. Also I got to indulge my fakenger day dreams by pedalling around town with a frame on my back.
They also disposed of the dahon for me. Farewell shitty friend who tried to kill me and destroy my beautiful face, fare thee well.
Anyway, out with the old and busted, its time for the new hotness:
This is a 'mock up' using the surly ogre forks I got from tallboy above.
I could use some advice on my 'next moves':
I need a new headset put into this frame, I was going to take it to the bikemans but he told me I should bring the fork in at the same time when I do. That seems like kind of a pain and surely he doesn't need the fork to know what kind of headset cups to attach? Does anyone know what I need to measure/ask him to do?
I'm expecting to buy:
A new stem ( pictured is the NVO one from the dahon which only works with the weird NVO stuff that I don't understand entirely )
Some chainring bolts
A chaintool (so I can rebuild the bolt cut chain that I'm now regretting bolt cutting though it seemed a great idea at the time)
I'm on the fence about needing to buy:
narrow wide chainring (could just use the old chainring for a bit? I'm not exactly going to be going offroad but cambridge roads are dire)
new cables + outers for gears + brakes (Can I just use the old ones? Is it not worth being stingy like that? There was a pretty long length of outers on the dahon)
In the future I'll definitely get round to things like switching to 9 speed, nw chainring, getting bigger tyres etc but in terms of getting a workable machine in the short term, am I on the right path? Any help appreciated.
The crown race (lowest part of the headset) will need to be seated on the fork so he's probably talking about that, which would make sense to do at the same time.
Narrow/wide chainrings are very good, but the old one will be fine assuming it's not too worn, and chain/chainring/cassette are all of a similar age.
Cables - reuse if they aren't rusty/corroded etc, outers and inners can both degrade over time. Otherwise it's not a big expense to replace with new.
Got the frame back after having the headset fitted. I asked the bike shop to fit whatever second hand mtb stem they had kicking around and they gave me this marin one, seems fine though I guess I kind of wanted a straight stem. I'll see how it rides.
Got to work on two things I've never done before last night, setting up V brakes and breaking + reattaching a chain. Setting up the Vs wasn't too bad, I had to use the furthest setting on the brake studs because the pull felt mushy otherwise, but they look like they'll work + don't rub or anything. I feel like I've made some mistake with the cable outers though, at the moment its covered all the way along (as it was on the dahon) but I feel like generally brakes have a bit without cable outers? Does this make the brakes feel sharper?
Also what do people use to cut brake outers? I used my bolt cutters but they didn't leave a very clean cut and there was some shard of metal or something that I had to pull out the way with tweezers.
Anyway aside from that I fixed up the chain with my new park tools chain tool. It's quite satisfying squeezing rivets out. It's not much fun trying to push them back in though, but I persevered. Seems like a useful skill if I go on some tours.
I also reattached the small chainring with some chainring bolts I got off amazon. They don't use the stupid chainring tool thing so were a lot easier to reapply and I didn't have to buy that dumb tool.
Next I guess...derailleur? Front brakes? Exciting times.
I Don't want to piss on your cereal... but!
You shouldn't be re-fitting rivets in the chain - it'll fail pretty quickly. Use the correct jointing pin (if it's a Shimano chain), or the correct quick link for basically any chain. Also, always use a new quick link - it's cheap insurance against a chain failure.
For cutting cable outers (and inners) use a half-decent set of cable cutters. They'll leave a clean & square cut. Using side cutters or pliers etc. can work if you judiciously file the end of the cut outer, but proper cable cutters are quick and easy.
I always refit rivets after adjusting a chain length, no failures so far. Use a proper tool and a dash of ability and hey presto. Never ever skimp on the backing off the tension step or you will get stiff links and a world of trouble.
I don’t think we had quick links when I were a lad. I do remember the old boy at our LBS used to give us maintenance lessons whenever we took a bike in to be fixed. Sort of learn to fix it yourself and there’s no charge. This is back in the days when there were less than 6 sprockets on a cassette so maybe the world has moved on a bit since then. But I fuckin ain’t.
Hmm, this is useful info! Obviously I have no idea where the hell the reattached rivet is now so I'll probably just have to wait for it to fail, but I'll get hold of a quick link. I did kind of mean to but then... Just didn't.
Thanks for the heads up either way. There are some things you have to learn the hard way..
Is this common knowledge and accepted? I've been doing this for 15 years+ and in fact the 0nly issues I have ever had were quick links exploding a couple of times.
Eh? I've never had a chain fail because of that. Squeeze the pin back in properly and it's fine. Ok, not with 10-speed chains because it breaks the peen off the end of the pin (so probably not 11 or 12 either) but everything else is fine.
i've experienced an 11 speed chain fail after a couple of hundred miles from re-fitting the original rivet...never had a problem with quick-links though
Time will tell on the topic of my bodged chain job. Either way we can all agree its been a great opportunity to learn and if my chain snaps whilst I'm out on an 'epic tour' I'll at least have some confidence to fix it. Also I'll try carrying some of those quick links you guys are talking about. Hopefully I'll replace this entire drivetrain at some point in the foreseeable.
I attached the front wheel, front brake and screwed on the rear derailleur (visible as a grey smudge in the image below)
Ecstatic that the chain tension and front brake meant that the bike was in all manners except for gearing, identifiable as a bike I took it out for a little spin. It was OK frankly! I wonder how the steering will be affected when I put my tiny canti stud mounted rack on it? I don't really understand any trail/a2c/whatever stuff. Maybe I'll watch a youtube video about it today at work instead of whatever I'm being paid to do.
After doing the above I told myself that the next thing I would do is cable up the derailleur, which seemed like the kind of thing that would be a big learning opportunity as I don't know anything about rear derailleurs, cable routing, etc. But when it came down to it I got a serious flare up of CBA syndrome (has plagued me from my youth) and instead I did something easy like attaching mudguards:
Which went really well! Mudguards are easy when you have absolute buckets of clearance like you do on a mtb frame with narrow tyres. There's only one hitch:
Absolutely no chance of that gap being breached, and frankly I don't have a lot of faith in that cable tie so I'm not going to ride until I figure it out. I know that problem solvers have that widget that you can use but #16 for a widget seems a bit extravagant for a ride such as this one. I guess I could try and find a piece of metal and drill holes in it? I do have a drill but frankly whenever I try to bodge something like this myself I end up with something that works fine for about twenty minutes and then stress fractures. Any other ideas? Obviously doesn't really need to look good on a ride like this.
sort rear derailleur
shorten front brake cable
replace rear brake pads (thought they were fine but actually one of them is fine and the other is way past its use mark so I guess they were set up wrong)
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