Fiona wants a new bike, and what she wants she tends to get!

 

Her Breezer Uptown is great for getting her around comfortably, but after my debut in Audax she has expressed the desire for something a little more suited to longer rides so we can do them together. Unfortunately, there isn't much money to spend at the moment, so we decided it would be fun to try to do it a little cheaper, building it up ourselves using second hand components where possible - it should be quite fun and we will learn a whole lot about how bikes go together.

 

Yesterday we purchased the important first component - a frame.

 

Fiona was after a mixte frame, for the occaisonal brevet or light tour the material was ideally going to be steel - not too many people make a suitable frame these days, except for Rivendell's Betty Foy. I was prepared for a bit of a search when we started looking halfway through last week, but then on Thursday we saw that a Sydney seller on eBay had listed a 1980s steel Apollo mixte frame, freshly sandblasted and painted (unfortunately pink, Fiona insists that that will change) and it was the perfect size for Fiona. Bidding started at $50 and it had yet to receive a bid, so it was definitely within our price range!

 

We watched it for the next few days, and no bids were lodged. 5 minutes before the bidding ended we placed a $50 bid, which was enough to win it for us. We have yet to actually see the frame, but from the pictures it looks quite good. Even if it turns out to be a false start, it hasn't cost us very much.

 

Here she is:

 

Nice lugs :)

 

So, that was easy. Now comes the harder part - getting it rideable!

 

I'm thinking of heading on the Cycle Re-Cycle to see what can be scrounged from there. There are some things that we would probably prefer new, though - I think a new groupset would be nice, probably just start with Deore. Considering Fiona doesn't want to keep it pink I don't have too many qualms about getting some braze-ons attached for racks and maybe v-brakes too.

 

I know there are a few people that are pretty experienced when it comes to doing this kind of thing (KimR, I'm looking at you), so if any one has suggestions about how we should plan this out, good places to get our components from either new or second hand, or any other tips we would really appreciate it.

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Comment by Bill Parker on November 20, 2011 at 10:29am
Seems fair given you got a nice new one recently
Comment by Rob Berry on November 20, 2011 at 10:47am

I did buy her a nice new one last year, I think I'm building up a good store of credit in the n+1 stakes ;)

Comment by back street baron on November 20, 2011 at 6:40pm

Should be a fun project. I just did a similar one with pretty similar goals to you.  I ended up spending a bit more than I initially wanted to ($500 all up) but my wife has ended up with a mixte frame with modern gearing, rapidfire shifters and solid wheels.  I stuck with the original paint job (which i touched up) also which saved on the $$.

The OLD on the frame i used was only 4mm shy of a standard 8/9/10 sp wheel so i did not even need to cold set the frame to get a new wheel to fit in, with any luck your will be the same. You should be able to scrounge a lot of the parts from council clean ups. Or you might be able to buy a donor bike cheap and transplant some of the parts across. I already had alot of the parts on hand from other bikes which made this easier for me.

Looks like there are eyelets for rear racks on the frame you got on the dropouts anyway. I personally would not bother fitting v-brakes as road calipers work fine (with good levers), although mixte cable routing is not ideal on the rear. 

 

 

Comment by PeterT on November 21, 2011 at 7:47am

Exciting project. Sounds like quite a bit of learning, good thing it came with a fork already as I think attaching a fork is one of the 'barriers' . That and the headset and the bottom bracket I think would be the hardest bits.Hope you keep a detailed how to list!

And so many sizes! I swear it's a conspiracy.

Even a simple thing, like recently when I tried to change my kids seat post. So I bought a vernier caliper to measure the diameter of the old one, and after cross-checking a few other bikes and after matching what I could see on websites, I concluded it was a 27.2mm, I purchased one. and when attempting to swap the seatpost I found it pretty difficult and when I looked at the old seat post...... lo and behold, stamped on it was 27.0mm.....  so if you don't mind a black seat post and the inner diameter is 27.2, let me know and I'll send it your way.

 

Good job on that working on the credit of the n+1.

Comment by Rob Berry on November 21, 2011 at 9:22pm

Thanks guys,

 

We haven't worked out a budget yet. I've made a spreadsheet with what I think covers all the parts that are required and had a look around for components that I have on my tourer or are at a similar level on various sites (Wiggle, Chainreaction, Jenson) to try to gauge the potential price if we got everything new - just the groupset, crankset and brakes done so far and it is around $400-450 (including the frame), which is probably nearing what we would want to spend in total, so we will certainly be looking to scounge a bit. I will definitely keep an eye out for a potential bike to canibalise if it can be had for a couple of hundred or less and has most of the parts we are after and we will head down to Cycle Re-Cycle too. 

 

I'm sure there will be a bit of trial and error getting things to fit, but that is all part of the learning process. :)

Comment by Rob Berry on November 26, 2011 at 2:26pm

Picked it up, all looks good... except, I did overlook one thing - no rear derailleur hanger! Beginners mistake, that one, but considering we already wanted to do a bit of work on the frame repaint it isn't the end of the world and is easily sorted out.

Comment by Leon Arundell on November 26, 2011 at 5:17pm

The derailleur hanger should not be an issue, as it until recently the hanger was part of the derailleur. You can probably scavenge most of your components from an old mixte.

One of the best things about the mixte frame is the short rear brake cable. Combined with a centre-pull brake (if your frame will fit it) and good quality brake pads, this will give you the best pre-V-brakes you can get - and it won't chew through your rims!

Comment by Rob Berry on November 26, 2011 at 6:52pm

Cheers Leon, I was actually researching rear brakes earlier today - there seems to be a whole bunch of options for cabling and positioning on a mixte that I hadn't really thought about and will now have to :)

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