オッス! from near Kanpachi

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#1
Morning all. I've recently had Y's Road (tip of the hat!) look over and tune up a bike I hadn't touched for a decade, while I was, uh, simply too lazy to ride it or anything else. It's now twenty years old or so and I realize that it's a bit of a museum piece, or dumpster piece, or whatever. Anyway it's all one color and you can't see any brand name on it from ten metres away; plus the design of gear levers and so forth follows the KISS principle. Thirty-six spokes per wheel, each crossing a number of others. Actually it still strikes me as a sensible design, and really all it needs is a rider who, unlike me, is in decent shape and has a few muscles here and there. Still, I've taken it into central Tokyo and back three or four times in the last couple of weeks, and even though the trip took half as long again as it used to and I had to use my tiny third chainwheel in a couple of places, I didn't collapse and didn't notice any mamachari overtaking me.

The topmost part of the (Maes, I think) handlebars of my Showa steed are a very few centimetres below the saddle, which is fine most of the time, but once every couple of km I'd like to sit up straighter. When I consider this and also the fact that I never want to use the drops, I infer that I should throw current convention to the winds and raise the bar. The stem's at its highest position but I already have a 2200 yen replacement on its way from Yahoo Auction.

All this reminds me that I (183cm or so) am far more comfortable riding what is still a big bike by Japanese standards. My oldie has a 58cm seat tube, and a 57 cm top tube. As it's a lovely old bike (at least in my misty, ageing eyes) and I'd be most upset if it got thrown into the back of a truck with lots of mamachari, I'm already thinking of supplementing it with a "beater" for commuting and quasi-mamachari use. I guessed that aside from enthusiasts keen on particular prestigious brands, there'd be a horror of six-sprocket cassettes and changers on the downtube (let alone non-indexed gears), so KISS options palatable for me would be cheap and plentiful at Yahoo Auction. And suitable-looking "road" bikes indeed are cheap and plentiful, for people shorter than me. Some store calling itself "cycle_1229" sells a lot of big new frames at surprisingly (suspiciously?) palatable prices, and this is one option, but if I assemble the beast myself I fear that I might develop so much affection for it that again I wouldn't want to leave it locked up outside supermarkets. Maybe a "cross bike" -- love the name! Annoyed with everyone, or just the rider? -- would be a better bet. But at this point, I'm both lost and worried. Lost, because I don't know what dimensions (or other indicators of size) to look for. Worried, because I (pessimistically?) imagine that, unless it's expensive, complicated switchgear on the handlebar is going to need lots of tuning in order to keep working decently. Any recommendations for old, cheap, big, trouble-free annoyed bikes?

(I did see this recent thread ["Hi from London"]: Standard advice is to go to Sports Authority (they usually have them on discount) and pick up something from Giant`s range of hybrids. I went to its website but had to give up looking for any bicycle before the site's gaudy design induced migraine. If the stores are anything like the website, you'd have to pay me to enter!)
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#3
Thank you, Mr/Ms Blob!

Yup, I realize that stamina and luck will be necessary in order to find a cheap (and thus disposable) but sound bike in my size. FWIW, this suggests that the right hybrid/cross bike frame size for me is about 57cm, but I haven't a clue what the centimetres refer to for a generalized description of such frames. The imagined length of the seat tube if only the top tube were horizontal, perhaps? (If it were the actual length of the seat tube, wouldn't 57cm correspond to an enormous "road" frame?)
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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Miura, Japan
#4
Welcome!

They do not say in the article how they are measuring. On U.S. websites, that measurement is often the seattube - Center to Center. Center of the bottom bracket to center of the top tube.

That is all fine and dandy, however that is not be best way to measure.
My Trek is a 60cm C to C (as stated by trek) but it is only 58cm 'effective top tube' - Distance from the seat to the stem on a horizontal plane.

Probably not the best measuring guide, but some info

Welcome again!
 

microcord

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#5
Thank you Bloaker!

Yes, I think I understand what that Tenerife page is saying -- but it's about "road" bikes with top tubes that slope only slightly. Hard for me to square it with many designs for "hybrid" bikes, which seem to assume that the saddle will be a long way up. The seat tube can be (and probably is) angled so that the distance to the handlebar goes up about as fast as does the distance to the bottom bracket -- but of course the handlebar itself doesn't go up too.

Let's change my question a bit. Bloaker, it seems you're slightly taller than me. If you needed a replacement "beater" (something you'd happily leave locked against fences for hours at a time), what would you look for?
 

bloaker

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#7
When you look up bicycles from different manufacturers... many will list 'effective top tube' - this should take into account the slope of the top tube.

--
I have never been one for hybrid bicycles. I kinda feel they are the worst of all worlds... no as fast as a road bike, not as rugged as a mountain bike, etc...

For a light off road / on road bike, I like cyclo-coss bikes.
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This was my commuter for Virginia Beach. I could ride my bicycle to the oceanfront and skip all the traffic. Since it has slightly bigger tires than a road bike is beefy rims, it does not scare me to hit the occasional pot hole and I can keep up with a moderate road bike pace. (switch out the tires to smaller 700 x 23 and you can keep up with your normal road pace). I put a riser stem on it to help me get upright so backpacks/camel baks are not too uncomfortable.

At times I used a pannier
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microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#8
Thank you Owen!

Includes Dura-Ace front mech, and Dura Ace Bottom Bracket.
A little beyond my requirements/budget for a "beater"!:confused:

Bloaker, with brake hoods slightly above saddle (it seems, at least in the second photo), your bike looks very practical. That handlebar doesn't look quite like any I've previously noticed; does its shape have a name?
 

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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Miura, Japan
#9
I do not recall the name on the scott.. they are shallow drops tho.
My Fargo has 'Wood Chipper' bars. The drops flare out considerably. I find it comfy for long lazy rides.

Also note the bar on this one are much higher than even the Scott.

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microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#10
Yes, that does look very practical and comfortable. (The bars are even higher than I'd want my own to be.)

Yahoo Auction is starting to reveal a small but significant minority of bigger bikes; I'm sure I'll be able to find something.