So during quarantine I really wanted to make another project, something off-grid, to get me going to forests, lakes and all the places I wanted. 26 inch retro frame, some wide bars, get those wide tyres in and let's get going.
I bought a Cape Wrath from 97 from retrobike. I thought i would share my build process and future plans for it.
Frame arrived safe and sound from UK to Lithuania via local couriers.
So once it came, i found lots of random little strange details which made me wonder "why" :D
I discovered that the there are strange black marks of paint mostly around lugs and screw holes etc. I think somebody try to spray it black on the nickel plating? Have no idea. It came with full xt set, set up as 8 speed (even though rear derailleur is 9 speed). And finally it has a goldtec chainring with teeth cut down to almost oval zero, to serve as mud protector for the ring :D :D good, i like it. i will leave it that way for now.
Plan was to get rid of the fork. Get modern wide handlebars, put new tyres, go for a ride.
So I got myself a group of various parts and put them to use
Random kcnc stem
OG v2 bars
Maxxis Ikon 2.2 tyres
Purple bits for the colour
Cane Creek 40 & a spinner fork from parts bin.
Got it ready for autumn/winter commute with front rack and mudguards.
So what's the plan for future?
I would like to get a proper narrow wide chainring and upgrade the cassete from 8 to 9 speed. So I need all the chainset. New chain, cassete, shifter. And that's a lot for the moment. Winter here is is nasty in Lithuania. It's salty on the roads, so not going to upgrade for this winter yet.
Pedals definetly needs serviced..
I would also like to change the stem to something shorter and thinking about the cranks. Love the look of retro raceface forged black cranks but not sure if I need them. Or maybe retro white industries crankset? Not sure, not sure..
But I love it so far. Everything is just great about it. Taking a spin to gravel roads freshened the mind, and i absolutely looking forward to bikepacking trips in spring.
Psss, also. What do you think about Pace RC31? :?
Looks wicked! The plated finish is great.
So good! Love the nickel, black & purple twang.
How do the Ikons feel on tarmac?
@ectoplasmosis ikons have insansely low rolling resistance on tarmac, gravel and singletracks. Super fast! But the grip goes down once the surface gets loose or wet.
Looks cool. What’s the front rack?
@f1s it’s Basil Portland!
All the drivetrain became crusty, it was time to change chain and cassette so I decided to go for full 10 speed instead.
So 10 speed is on! It changed the feel of the bike, I can't stress how much I recommend it for anyone who is thinking about it.
Also, due to non-bike related wrist injury I couldn't keep regular ODi grips, and decided to get some Ergon GA3 & also - I have been doing some long distance rides and felt that I needed an alternative hand position, therefore, I got some bar ends in the middle of handlebar.
Some pics of recent ride and setup
So I finally got a seatpost shim for gf GT Talera— sort of done but not really, went for a ride around the town - Brakes are terribly setup. Defo needs recabling.
Got too chatty with local mechanics. Ended up like this
Love it. Hard subscribe.
Really nice ‘the future has a past’ styling : )
I was thinking & reading a lot on 27.5 conversion. I guess it's sort of love and/or hate situation for many. We measured the clearance at shop and it does clear Aspen 2.1 front and back. I am taking shot at this absurd but seriously exciting conversion.
350 hubs, silvery spokes and more knobbly Crossmarks 2.1 to hit it!
So after fitting the new wheels i discovered that 2.1 is slightly too tight than anticipated.
Have to go down to 27.5 x 2.0 or 1.9 i think.
Any suggestion welcomed, what I found so far is
Teravail Rutland - 650x47 rear & 2.1 front
WTB Ranger 2.0
Gravelking SK 1.9 rear &2.1 front
Rekon Race 2.0 in the rear, crossmark front.
Also measured the ikon 2.2 i had before and they seems to be the same 55cm as the crossmarks, probably due to narrower rim size.
Brake wise - took a pair of trustworthy avid bb7.
surly does the knard tyre in 650b x 41mm , so should fit ( maybe a bit small four your plans ) and their ExtraTerrestrial tyre comes in at 650b x 46 mm
Good to know
Definetly rear going to be 650x47 or 2.0 but front can clear 2.1 easy. Ideally I would like a tyre set to match and thats ze struggle
While deciding on tyres two things happened.
I broke my scapula while riding outside, got the most silly skid&fall in slippery conditions, so no riding or any major bike fixing for 4 weeks.
And I picked up mid 90s Giant tourer (was clearly designed and has many typical Dutch-functional brazes and mounts) which clears 700x40 easy and maybe even more. Giant is going to go as a gravel grinder with cowchippers, WTB Ventures & Brooks Cambium tape. The rest is going to be parts build as I would like to keep it in budget.
Sorry for the shitty photo from seller, don't have ability to take a nice one with single hand.
Great thread! Sorry to hear about the injury - hope you have a speedy recovery.
The Giant looks absolutely ideal for a gravel grinder conversion, so much potential in those older hybrid/tourer things. Looking forward to seeing how it shapes up!
Thanks for the good word!
Yeah, I was really struggling to find something decent locally, the crowd is mad about specialized and cubes down here
So my shoulder have been 8 weeks in a sling, didn't have much to do as I couldn't any work, so I tried slowly progress on the build but kept on getting stuck.
Anyway, that's what happened:
Got my hand on badly nicked DA shifters for cheap, got them to wetsand polish.
Before and after
Mounted salsa cowchippers, short stem, wtb venture. Looks great imo. Unfortunately the brook beige tape doesnt work, needs to go black.
Other than that -- I got myself a pair of cheap novatec hubs & dt swiss rr511 rims -- going to bring them to LBS to build them up. Black spokes, stealthy looks is what I am after. Keep it budget they said. Yeah right
I am bad at keeping thread updated but tonight I had some inspiration to go for a ride and take some picture of cape wrath conversion
here they are
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