Monday, October 24, 2011

Rosalie's Univega Mixte Update

(Pictures taken by Larissa)
My friend Andrew introduced me to Rosalie, who worked with him, and used to be manage the Berkeley Farmers' Market. She bought a bike as an upgrade from her mountain-ish hybrid bike. The bone of it--early 1980's Univega Mixte--is very good, and we were able to keep several key parts, but significant upgrades were required and demanded. The parts we kept are:

Suntour derailleurs, Sugino double crankset (and the bottom bracket), the original headset, the Weinmann brake levers, and the beautiful metal coil cable housings for the front and rear derailleurs.

We bought 700c wheels--front is a Shimano LX (equivalent to DH-3N80) dynamo hub laced to Mavic A319 rim, and the rear is a (black) Shimano 105 hub laced to a Mavic Open Sport rim. We got an 8-speed cassette and two brick-red Soma Express tires (with Pasela tread). The quill stem is old, but wasn't installed on the frameset, and the handlebar is Soma Oxford.

The difficult part of the built was the shifters. Originally I thought about reusing the clamp-on downtube Suntour shifters that were already on the bike. However, these shifters are keyed to the clamp and can't be used independently. I found a pair of suntour friction downtube shifters that can serve the purpose to go with the bar-end pods. To use bar-end shifters with Oxford/Albatross bars one needs to have a way to recess the derailleur cable housings. We bought a pair of pre-grooved cork grips from Rivendell, which is glued to the handlebar and the housings recessed and tied with twine.

The drivetrain otherwise works well. The crankset has 52/42T rings, but the cassettes goes all the way to 32T, and the 42/32T combination should be low enough for most purposes.

We bought a pair of Tektro long-reach brakes (47-57mm) for the build and were almost foiled. The bike takes 27" wheels originally, and we created more clearance and tapped into better and more standard tire selection by going to 700c. However, the shrinking of wheel diameter by a mere 8mm almost made the rear rim not reachable by the Tektro brakes. I mounted the brakes on the lower seatstay, and facing the front. I then use Koolstop thin-line brake pads for V-brakes in place of the stock road cartridge brakes. The thin-line pads made it work. I could probably play with the adjustment screw on the caliper to give it a little more breathing room, but it works for now.

The Busch and Muller IQ Cyo head lamp, which is driven by the Shimano generator wheel, is mounted on the brake hole. Rosalie bought the near-field version to illuminate the area in front of the bike more.

The final touch came in the form of a old Terry saddle, with a long-haired woman wearing a dome helmet as the logo on the side. These old Terry liberator-type saddles are very comfortable, and my wife swears by them.

Unlike bikes I built for myself, I didn't try to ride the bike too much (it was too small), but hopefully I will get a more detailed report from Rosalie once she is settled and has more chance to ride it in San Diego.
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