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Help - Need advice as to how to hybridize a 1980's road bike(2 posts)

Help - Need advice as to how to hybridize a 1980's road bikeHelix
May 17, 2003 7:56 PM
My wife has expressed an interest in getting back on her old road bike, a 1980's Terry Despatch (17" steel lugged Japanese frame with a 26" rear wheel mismatched with a 24" front wheel, equipped with Sun Tour components). I got the bike out of storage this afternoon where it has been sitting for the past 15 years without being ridden. It appears to be in pretty good shape aside from a few small spots of rust on the chain. However, my wife wants a more upright riding position and would like to swap the old road bars for handlebars that are either horizontal or have a bit of a rise. Replacing the bars seems easy. However, this would also involve replacing the brake levers and the shifters.

What options do we have regarding the levers and shifters. Are there Shimano mountain bike parts that we could use? Is index shifting possible? At what cost? (We're looking for a good, workable solution, not a state of the art set-up.) The bike has all its original Sun Tour components and is set up with a 6 speed cassette in the back (The frame has a 126 mm opening for the rear axle rather than the current 130 mm. The rear hub is threaded rather than splined).

Any suggestions/recommendations and advice would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

What are you trying to accomplish?Spoke Wrench
May 18, 2003 4:45 AM
A flat bar, different brake levers, a set of friction thumb shifters and new cables and housings will cost you between $50.00 and $75.00 if you do all of the work yourself. If you think that she'd want a higher bar, I'd get a taller stem rather than try to mess with a riser bar, which will be wider, for a short woman. Trying to make it index reliably is probably going to ecomonically prohibitive.

By comparison, about $300.00 will buy a brand new comfort bike with a cushy saddle, suspension seatpost, index shifting and upright riding position. Every single part will be brand new. Every single part will have been designed to work with all of the other parts and you'll get a new bike warranty.