I've taken the bike for a short spin around the neighborhood to sort things out. It seems to handle nicely, and felt pretty good over the old brick-paved streets near my home (they're like the Akron version of cobblestones -- Akron pavé, if you will).
|This view tells me I need to remove a little excess cable housing - the "loops" look a bit big to me.|
|Up front, I have the SunTour ARX, a nice-shifting but under-appreciated front derailleur. I used the same Vx/ARX combination on one of the bikes I built for my daughters. I got the VO crank slightly used for a fraction of the price of new (the version with drilled rings would have been a nice touch, but that's how it goes). MKS Sylvan pedals have the right vintage appeal.|
|Always Brooks saddles.|
|I know I included the catalog and specs in an earlier post, but it's worth seeing again.|
Being my first 650B conversion project, I tried to keep the investment low. I got the frame pretty cheap, raided my parts bins or bought lightly used parts wherever possible, and went with budget-friendly new parts where needed. I'll have to get a sense of how much I like the bike, and make sure the fit (and everything else) works for me. For one thing, I did go with a 25" frame (I normally ride 24") based on some recommendations from people who've done similar conversions. Going down a wheel size lowers everything enough that I can still straddle the top tube just fine - but I do wonder about the length/reach. We'll see how that works.
If I decide I really like it and want to stick with it, I do have some thoughts about things I might do with it later - like maybe sending the frame out for new paint and having some braze-ons added, such as brake pivots (either for direct-mounting the center pulls, or possibly cantilevers), and cable guides/stops, etc. But I'll want to ride it as-is for a while before I make any decisions like that.
Here are the full specs:
Frame: 1977 Motobecane Grand Jubile, Vitus 172 chrome-moly tubing throughout, 25".
Wheels: SunTour Vx hubs, Grand Bois rims, 36 Sapim double-butted spokes.
Tires: Pacenti Pari-Moto 38mm
Rear Derailleur: SunTour Vx-S
Front Derailleur: SunTour ARX
Shift Levers: SunTour BarCon ratcheting bar-end levers
Freewheel: SunTour Pro Compe, 5-speed, 14-28
Crank: Velo-Orange, 48/34
Pedals: MKS Sylvan
Bottom Bracket: IRD QB-55 with Swiss-threaded cups.
Headset: Velo-Orange (French threaded)
Stem: Nitto Technomic, 9cm
Handlebars: Velo-Orange "Course," Maes-bend
Brake Levers: Dia Compe 204Q (with quick release)
Brakes: Dia Compe DC750, with Velo-Orange pads.
Seatpost: Kalloy Uno, 26.4mm
Saddle: Brooks B-17
I'll get more pictures posted and a ride report when the last bits are finished.