Thursday, January 19, 2012

Project 26: Completed

I had to put this on the back burner for a while due to Triple D. It is my project to get a bike built around a set of Continental Top Contact Winter 26"er tires. It also was taking a lot longer than I wanted to due to the persnickety roller cam brakes. Anyway, you can go back to the original post here if you want.

Old MTB turned commuter
So, here it is in all its vintage mtb glory. This started out life as a Schwinn High Sierra, probably from '86 or so. It came stock with SunTour Rollercam brakes, so I had to stick with those as brakes. They are a bit temperamental  and it took several tries to get them to operate correctly. The only other surviving parts from the original bike are the seat post, seat post quick release, and the head set.

The wheels are even older, having come from an old Mongoose All Mountain  Pro from about 1984-85 vintage. The rims are drilled like fatbike rims and have a gold foil rim strip showing through the grey anodized aluminum. The hubs are Suzue sealed bearing units with bolt on axles. Another component from that bike is here in the form of the SunTour top mount shifter.

Next we have the stem, which was pilfered from an early 90's Schwinn Criss-Cross hybrid bike. That holds a pair of Ergon GE-1 grips and a Salsa Moto Ace 17 degree sweep bar. Brake levers are early 90's Shimano Deore DX SLR two finger type in a black anodized hue, (or is that paint? Dunno. They are very black though.).

These about drove me mad.
The crank set is from an early 80's Specialized touring bike. The Sugino arms have a nice, pearly ano finish. I miss this look in components! I bolted a single Sugino 38T ring to this. The crank set spins on a 90's vintage Shimano UN-52 sealed cartridge bottom bracket. I suspect this used bottom bracket will easily outlast this bike.

The pedals are some old Odyssey Triple Traps. These were some of my favorite old pedals back in the day.

The chain is a Sedis Sport from Sachs, which was bought out by SRAM eventually. Sedis chain was my preferred 90's mtb chain, and they do last a long time. This one is from back in the day. I pulled it out from my single speed box, since I save these old Sedis chains for single speed duty when I find them. Fortunately it was the perfect length for this application.

The chain turns through a SunTour MounTech derailleur which shifts that chain over a five speed SunTour freewheel. Again, I wanted to go single speed with this rig, but the wheels I had would not allow for this sort of set up.

The five speed set up will be simple, should stay working through most winter muck, and should last a long time. Not single speed simple, but it should be okay.

The saddle is from a 70's Raleigh Gran Prix. It is a Wrights leather saddle, very similar to a Brooks B-17. I "butchered" it to look more like a Brooks Swift model. I actually rode this very saddle, (pre-butchered), on the longest single ride I have ever done, which was over 160 miles.

I then bolted on some accessories. I had an old Vetta rack, which was used for touring back in the day by me, (I think!). Then I grabbed a set of  Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders and slapped those in there. Finally, my old touring days are represented here by my vintage Jaand Mountain panniers.

The reason for the whole deal.

During my test ride of this set up today, I found that everything works just fine. Shifts great, brakes work, position is upright-ish and comfy. I do think I will need to buy one thing to make it really useable though. That would be a Brooks saddle.

I'm thinking a Brooks B-67 in black is what I need here. My aim is to make the bike as comfortable and useful as possible, and that saddle will go a long way to making it so. Okay, other than that, the bike is finished.

Now, about those tires! I have only ridden them down to the store and back, so this is merely a very brief impression, but the grip is definitely there on packed down snow. Of course, the real test will be when we start getting some ice here and there. I'll be back with more about the tires, and this bike, in due time.

Continental sent the  Top Contact Winter tires over for test and review at no charge. I am not being paid, nor bribed to do this review and I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


Small Adventures said...

I LOVED this project,Mark! Turned out a pretty sweet and useful bike IMHO,nice show,my friend,I envy your getting to ride it thie winter :) Looking forward to the tire update.

Big Dave said...

That thing looks about the size of my first mtb.

My brother had a High Sierra. It was orangish. We rode the piss out of those bikes.

Travel Gravel said...

Love those roller cam brakes, always wanted a set. Too bad the rears are not under the chain stay. Way cool bike.