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Ted E
(denver_whitest185) - MLife

Locale: CO
bike touring/backpacking on 02/16/2010 08:39:03 MST Print View

Im trying to get my touring bike set up for this, and i was wondering if anyone does the same thing, and had any advice. the bike is an old centurion Lemans 12 (steel lugged, 62cm). i bought the bike with most of the stuff on it, and the only things i've personally added have been fenders, lights, and the GPS mount. the bike has a very comfy salsa bell-lap bar, suntour bar-end shifters, a brooks titanium B17 saddle, and some very nice 35cc tires. What i don't like is the very aged rear derailleur and cables (im planning on replacing these). it also has some very weak side-pull brakes that i don't really like, but im not sure about how i would upgrade these beyond getting new pads.

what i have planned to do is add a rear rack (which may be interesting since i only have the lower eyelets) so that i can mount my saddlebags. my plan is to stuff most of my stuff into my saddlebags while touring and leaving my backpack strapped to the top of the rack, and then whenever i get to where im going, i can just unload the saddlebags into my pack and leave them mostly empty (leaving only cycling specific stuff behind)

so, here are some pictures (kinda large to show detail). any advice on things to look for or things i may want to add or change would be appreciated.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e344/tedehrlich80227/IMGP1815.jpg
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e344/tedehrlich80227/IMGP1818.jpg
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e344/tedehrlich80227/IMGP1819.jpg
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e344/tedehrlich80227/IMGP1820.jpg

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: bike touring/backpacking on 02/16/2010 09:16:27 MST Print View

That bike looks like a nice find. You didn't say what you paid but given the market for "ordinary" old bikes it's likely less than the replacement cost of the saddle alone!

Regarding eyelets for mounting a rack, ask around at bike shops about where to get a steel frame repaired ... they can probably braze on some eyelets. OR ... used to be you could get racks that clamp onto the seat stays ... they'd be OK for a steel frame assuming your load is not real heavy. I might even have one that I'd part with at low cost if you decide to go that route.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: bike touring/backpacking on 02/16/2010 09:20:23 MST Print View

How much touring do you plan to do? What kind of mileage daily/overall trip? Riding out in Colorado? Are you only riding on roads or on trails as well? Where will you be leaving it when you're off backpacking?

Some quick notes:

Deore XT was a good derailleur, you might consider just cleaning it up, replacing the wheels and lubing it. I'd definitely replace the cables.

I prefer centerpull brakes, you can get some inexpensively and put them on in place of the side pull.

Ted E
(denver_whitest185) - MLife

Locale: CO
Re: Re: bike touring/backpacking on 02/16/2010 09:36:03 MST Print View

i only paid $200 for the bike, and i've probably spent about $70 on it to buying a set of panniers (a new "old stock" frostline kit for $10), new brake pads, fenders, the rear light (i already had the front light), and the pedals. im also getting a set of powergrip straps soon so i can bike in trail runners or my hiking boots.

The trips will range from 100 miles to 300-400 miles possibly, where i'll be doing ~40-50 miles a day. there might be some leveled dirt roads, but nothing beyond that. I'll probably just carry the bike off trail, mark a waypoint on my GPS, and lock it to a tree.

do you think refitting it with center-pull brakes would be relatively easy. i don't see where they would mount, so im thinking i would have to get some mounts brazed on. I've done alot of auto-mechanic work to my rally car (90 celica all trac), but i'm just learning bicycle work on this bike.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: bike touring/backpacking on 02/16/2010 18:51:57 MST Print View

Sorry, wasn't thinking. Not worth retrofitting centerpulls on your bike, IMO.

Get a good, solid bike rack. I've broken a number of them on tours. Also, if you're only going to be on hardpack or asphalt (no gravel or mud, etc.) then I'd go for 28 tires instead of 35. I've done a ton of touring on 28s and never had a problem except for a couple of miles or so of gravel road in NZ.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: brakes, etc on 02/16/2010 20:40:42 MST Print View

I'd certainly put new cables and housing on all around. The rear derailleur may still be fine, and if you can find new pulleys that will fit you should be set.

You can put modern brakes on that bike, you need some long or standard (two words for the same thing) road brakes. Something like this: http://www.treefortbikes.com/107_333222344310__R556-Long-Reach-Road-Calipers-Silver-55-73mm.html The brakes on there look horrid.

Ted E
(denver_whitest185) - MLife

Locale: CO
Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/16/2010 20:55:23 MST Print View

Those calipers look awesome and better yet, they look like they'll work too! They are actually made to clear larger tires, where mine barely clear.

I had an idea about the rear rack. what if i made a bracket that attaches via the brake caliper bolt (since its the only attachment point near that part of the frame) out of some high grade aluminum (steel will rust out, and i have a few peices of 7075-T6), get a standard rack that attaches to the eyelets and then bolt the front of the rack to the bracket coming off the caliper bolt. its kinda hard to visualize, but i think it will work, and i have access to a machine shop through my university that i could use to make the bracket.

I may go down to a smaller size tire, however since i know that the tires that are on there right now will work for just about any terrain im planning on being on, im not too worried. when the rest of the bike is inline, i'll look into tire options.

Ted E
(denver_whitest185) - MLife

Locale: CO
Re: Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/16/2010 21:06:46 MST Print View

you know what, i can just get a set of p-clamps and call it a day on figuring out the rack attachment.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3027/2683477837_32430ca5cf_o.jpg

those should make just about any rack fit. anyone have any opinions about a blackburn EX-1 rack. it seems to fit the bill for a solid rack at a good price...

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/16/2010 23:11:49 MST Print View

A lot of improvements can be made for free or little $. The rear derailleur looks like it could use a serious cleaning. It is not hard to disassemble, even the pulleys can be taken apart. For the rims, alcohol wipes work well. Braking power should be fine after new cables & pads. I would go ahead and replace the chain or at least measure it for stretch. The links should be 1/2" apart. If you measure a length of chain from pin to pin you can get an idea of whats going on. New handlebar tape can make your hands happy. Your wheels are fully serviceable with a few inexpensive tools. I carry a spoke wrench with me. The few times I have needed it have made it worth its weight in gold.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/17/2010 06:19:28 MST Print View

"I carry a spoke wrench with me."

When touring I've always carried a couple of extra spokes as well.

Andrew Wilson
(andreww) - MLife

Locale: Vosges
Sweet find! on 02/17/2010 10:48:14 MST Print View

Great find! $200 is a steal, the saddle alone runs well over that alone. Don't discount the old derailleurs. They're a non-indexing system, so if they shift well (when cleaned up) they'll keep shifting well for a long time to come.

Get a good rack; consider a saddle bag, too. Check out Velo Orange and salivate.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/17/2010 13:51:51 MST Print View

"When touring I've always carried a couple of extra spokes as well."

Doug I used to carry extra spokes but someone forgot to order extras when he built his last pair of wheels :( There are emergency spoke replacements like FiberFix. These can be great especially since you don't need to remove the cassette to replace a drive side spoke.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re: brakes, etc on 02/17/2010 16:17:31 MST Print View

"These can be great especially since you don't need to remove the cassette to replace a drive side spoke."

Excellent point!

Ted E
(denver_whitest185) - MLife

Locale: CO
update on 03/01/2010 01:05:20 MST Print View

so, i ended up getting a blackburn EX-1 rack, which works great with my saddle bags. i also got some hardware from a local shop to attach the third chainring.

I decided to have a learning experience with truing up the rear wheel while tightening all the spokes a little. i got a park tools #2 spoke wrench and now all of the spokes are well tensioned and the rim is still straight. i had a shop check a few random spokes with a tension meter and they said that the tension was good.

i also got a bottom bracket "stand" to make working on the bike easier, and now im just trying to figure out if there's anything it could possibly need. im kinda hoping to be done with the bike till summer comes along.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: update on 03/01/2010 07:50:58 MST Print View

I don't remember from the pics, but I've always been glad that my touring bike has a kickstand. Might consider that.