• Prologue

    Like many others, I have become an enthusiast cyclist in the year 2020. I used to cycle purely for daily commuting to and from work, which involved a completely flat and boring journey of 10km, handled by my trusty Steamroller. Lockdown / working from home led me to start cycling for fun, and being a Steamroller means I can pretty much throw anything at it. I put on a 20t cog and started doing some gravel rides in Epping, followed by a set of bullhorns to ride some painful (and many failed) attempts at hill climb, plus the subsequent not so fun descending on fixed.


    The shame of having to walk my bike up a hill, together with the frantic spinning to get down led me to my 2nd bike, a Paul Donohue 853 roadie. It came with an old 8sp 105 DT shifters and tubular wheels. Upon my first puncture I switched to a set of colour matching mavic helium. I also eventually upgraded to 10sp STI, naively believing that DT shifters and gears were the limiting factors for my strava PRs. To my shock (and everyone's expectation) my performance in the battles against my arch-enemy aka canonbie road in London SE ranked like this: Steamroller > 8sp DT > 10sp STI.

    (picture was done before all the upgrades)


    Anyway the process of maintaining and upgrading my 2 bikes eventually built up my confidence for a complete bike build. Both the steamroller and PD being lugless (not to mention PD having a not so elegant OS tubing) means I am constantly drooling over many 531 frames I see on the forum. Thankfully (to my wallet) being the tiny 5"4 person I am, most frames are not my size (otherwise this could have been my 17th build). I was very close to pulling the trigger on @Acliff argos (sorry!) when @luccas put up this beauty for sale. I could not resist and today I picked it up from him.

    end of prologue


    For now I'm to clean off the surface rust on the chainstay while I decide on the build. I'm choosing between:

    • shimano 2x10 with DT shifters and silver everything for that vintage vibe; or
    • sram apex 2x10 for a more modern look


    P.S. a little nervous making this post, seeing this will be listed among all the great threads I have been following and sourcing inspiration from. A year ago the best I could do was to change a tube. I feel I have gained much from this forum and its friendly members, and I hope my project thread could provide the same inspiration for someone starting off their 1st build. Thanks for reading!

  • Non of your pictures are working for me...

  • oh crap you are right! fixed now

  • Hah, maybe I should get my bike repainted in metallic purple...

    I would totally keep it in which case!

  • sram group on, with beater wheelset (need to source for a set). Seat tube is too skinny for the FD clamp, so might use the excuse to try out 1x finally.

    Anyone else here also lives in a tiny flat and struggle with bike maintenance in restricted space?

    Frustratingly the chain is rubbing against the seat stay when it's on the smallest cog. Cassette is a 10sp 11-32, and my legs are not strong enough for anything smaller than a 11. I think my 8 sp cassette has a thicker lock ring, but that is a 13-26 so might have to revert to a 2x8 set up...

    Really stupid question: would it work if I get an 11sp rear wheel, and put a 10sp cassette in before the spacer?

  • the purple is irresistible... but so is metallic blue. if the argos has lugs around the head tube and seat post, I would likely be £300 poorer already.

  • erm, it might be worth a try - but I think it would be the same, the additional depth of freehub body with the spacer would sit under the seat-stay that is the issue... both are still 130mm, I think the issue you are having is because the frame is spaced for 126mm - maybe add a 1mm washer to both sides of the axle to pack out the inside of the dropouts and force the frame out a bit more?

  • Not sure about this, but I think 10 speed cassette is actually thinner than 8 speed. So that won't solve your problem. A 10-speed cassette should have a thin spacer on the back to compensate for this. You could put it on the front instead.

  • been thinking about this - any idea why this dropout has had the paint removed? has it been repaired and is it straight? Might just be the photo but it looks like it may be a little bit curved towards the wheel...
    other questions are - is the cassette lock-ring fully tightened up? is the wheel sat in the drop out correctly? can you take a picture of the tyre clearance near at the chainstays on both sides? is the gap equal and does the wheel look to be in the centre of the seat-tube by eye?

  • if the frame was indeed 126mm then I think it must have been re-spaced, since my 130mm wheel goes in freely without manually spreading the stays. any concerns to further spreading it by adding spacers in that case?

  • hmmm maybe it's a sram thing to not have a spacer? the cassette goes in with the last cog overhanging the hub already. My other shimano cassette did in fact require a spacer (thanks to @jontea sending it over for free!) - I will put that cassette on to see if it makes a difference

  • I wouldn't cause me huge concern if its by another 2mm, my concern is why is doesnt fit in the first place... any thoughts on my comment above?

  • the photo does suggest that... I will check in the evening. some online searches also suggested the wheel could be the culprit. I know the wheel is not spinning true, but maybe it needs dishing too

  • 10speed cassettes don't need a spacer on an 8/9/10 speed freehub body... the cassette depths of 8/9/10 are the same afaik

  • Sram doesn’t need a spacer unless it’s going on an 11 speed cassette body.

    Shimano used to have one for 10 speed, so 2 spacers needed on an 11 speed body, but the 11 speed cassettes do away with this.

  • so the problem was the rear wheel itself, not the cassette. put the cassette on an old tub from my PD on there and now there is ample space! Unfortunately the tyre has a red sidewall which temporarily ruined the look though

    Now I can't tell if it's confirmation bias but it does seem the derailleur hanger is a little bent inwards. It doesn't seem to affect shifting so I will happily ignore this for the time being.

    And yes the cassette does need a clean...

  • Bar tape installed. going with some loud colours to match the frame. let's see what it looks like comes the end of winter

    waiting for:

    • 40t NW chainring

    looking for:

    • SPD pedals
    • wheelset
  • Looks fantastic with the yellow tape!

  • Snapped a pic of the current state of PD last weekend. apologies for the non drive side pic

    Current setup

    Shifters: Ultegra 6700 STI
    Bar: Deda Elementi Speciale
    Stem: Deda Elementi Murex
    Tape: Fizik Endurance Classic
    Brakes: Sora brakeset
    Wheels: Mavic Helium
    Crankset: Sugino RD2 w/ Stronglight 48/38
    FD: Ultegra 6700 double
    RD: Ultegra 6600 Medium
    Seatpost: Shimano 600
    Saddle: San Marco Monza
    Cassette: Ultegra 12-30
    Mudguards: SKS Raceblade long
    Pedals: Shimano m520

    Not much I want to change on it aside from moving down to 46/36 for rings and trying out DA DT shifters

  • 40t NW ring picked up (thanks @Glws ). Since the Orbit doesn't really have a coherent black or silver scheme, I thought I might as well embrace the combo. Few weeks ago I accidentally bought a kmc chain in black & silver, that should come in handy now.

    Waiting for some single speed bolts now to go on the cranks. Also found some MKS pedals with toe clips in the bin, so that can go on temporarily. My last pair of spd m520s cost just £19 new a year ago, now everywhere is selling at £30+

  • Thanks, and I agree! The colour probably means this will be a straightly summer bike...

  • December means slow deliveries, but alas everything finally arrives. Finally touches: added a set of archetypes, switch out the apex cranks for spa cycle TD2 for 165mm length, and a set of cheap silver spds from ebay. Also got a set of spare SKS raceblade long fittings on so that the guards can easily be swapped on and off between this and my PD.

    Went for a test ride yesterday. 1x is surprisingly noisy, particularly with a bit of grit from the road spray. I can imagine myself moving back to 2x already for that silent drive chain.

  • X'mas lockdown project: make an old 26" Raleigh Cajun ridable again

    I was going to properly document this, but when I actually started I never had the (1) patience & (2) clean hands to take step-by-step pictures with my camera. So let's go straight to before & after pics...

  • Background

    When I bought this bike I didn't know any better. It was my first time buying 2nd hand bikes. I got it off gumtree and paid a hefty premium for what it's worth (for a price I am ashamed to admit). Everything seems to be "off": gears don't shift crisply, brakes don't stop swiftly, and cranks don't spin smoothly. Even so, it sufficed as a spare bike for commuting and borrowing it to friends.

    Covid hit and my brother needed a bike. Naturally this went to him, though quickly enough he found himself wanting a better bike, only this time I (think I) did a much better job in my purchase

    Anyway, like many of us here, lockdown means retro 26" restoration project. Since the purchase of this bike, I learnt a lot more about bikes, and also gathered a lot more spare parts. The aim is to make the bike enjoyable to ride while keeping the cost to a minimum by utilising as many spare parts as possible.

    What it looked like when I first gave it to my brother:

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cfkb's steel stable (Surly Steamroller, Paul Donohue, Raleigh Cajun) + Venge

Posted by Avatar for coffeekeyboard @coffeekeyboard

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