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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:23 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 3:30 pm
Posts: 37
Location: London
Evening all,

I'm currently riding a Townsend road bike that's nothing exceptionally special, but it's done me well for a while. I've added aero levers and a brooks saddle but otherwise it's pretty much as it was when I bought it. I recently took it on the London-Brighton and other than being a bit limited by 5 gears (and probably my own personal fitness) it held up well. The only niggle was the brakes, which are a bit rubbish around town and frankly useless on a long downhill!

The question is, how much do you put into a bike with no pedigree in terms of parts? The frame is showing it's age with a few rust spots here and there, but otherwise ok, It's got odd-sized (27x1 1/4) wheels that need rather specific tyres (but I've already got a decent pair of tyres) and a mixture of good and bad components (Huret gears, Plessier hubs but Formos brakes!).

I realised today as I looked for a new set of 57mm calipers that this is never going to be a 'great' bike, but the idea of shelling out for a whole new one seems worse than buying the odd part here and there!

Here it is:


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:10 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1109

It really depends how far you want to go. Putting on a set of better brakes wouldn't break the bank, if that's the biggest problem. Not heard of Formos, but maybe even Weinmann would be better, they are decent brakes for the time, they just don't have the sex appeal of campag, shimano, suntour etc. You could replace with something modern, but you can run into problems with nutted vs allen key fittings and so on.

If you want to overhaul the whole group, beware: buying individual parts is often more expensive than buying a whole bike. You can often do better buying a whole bike with bits you like and transferring them over than buying parts bit by bit. For example, I once bought a bike with a full Campag Nuovo Gran Sport group for about £60. It certainly would've cost more than that to buy the bits individually.

Point is that bit by bit upgrades can work out more expensive in the long run.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:10 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:13 am
Posts: 3
This isthe first time i came here

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:25 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
Posts: 8133
Location: New Forest, UK
If it has steel rims, then that's the source of your braking problem - they are dodgy in the dry, useless when wet. First stop would be wheels with Aluminium rims.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:40 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 7:56 pm
Posts: 264
One thing that is worth bearing in mind is that if you buy second hand parts for sensible money they have a value in and of them selves that probably isn't going to vary much over a period of time. If you can keep the original parts off your bike and store them, and pick up superior parts over a period of time then you shouldn't loose out in the long run, because you can always break it all up again if you see a nice frame that you want or your pick up another bike with a better frame but inferior components.

It sounds to me like you are already finding the limitations of the bike you have, though.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:17 pm 
Retro Guru
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:08 pm
Posts: 2179
Location: Shrewsbury
Its all about the frame.

The old saying goes, you put cheap parts on a good frame and you will still have a good riding bike. You put expensive parts on a cheap frame and you will still have a poor riding bike.

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