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HerrOtto

Finally riding a big boys bike
My go to bikes, are, my Raleigh Sports 3 Speeds and My Schwinn 3 speed speedster. I enjoy the riding position and ease of the internal gear hub 3 speeds, but there are times, I would like a lighter bike, with more gears, but still have the same riding position and an internal gear hub. I currently have a 7 Speed Shimano Nexus hub laced to a 700c rim that I can use for this venture. My question is, what kind of frame would I be looking to convert, a Road bike, a mountain bike or what? Something lighter, but still give me the upright riding position and something that will accept the width of the Shimano Nexus hub which Is 5 1/4". I have measured between the rear drop outs on a Schwinn 10 speed which is 4 3/4", a mountain bike which is 5", and my 3 speeds which are 4 1/4". I know the drop outs can be spread apart to a certain point before you do any damage. I'm just wondering, do I choose a mountain bike solely because it's rear drop outs are closest in width? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you
 
My go to bikes, are, my Raleigh Sports 3 Speeds and My Schwinn 3 speed speedster. I enjoy the riding position and ease of the internal gear hub 3 speeds, but there are times, I would like a lighter bike, with more gears, but still have the same riding position and an internal gear hub. I currently have a 7 Speed Shimano Nexus hub laced to a 700c rim that I can use for this venture. My question is, what kind of frame would I be looking to convert, a Road bike, a mountain bike or what? Something lighter, but still give me the upright riding position and something that will accept the width of the Shimano Nexus hub which Is 5 1/4". I have measured between the rear drop outs on a Schwinn 10 speed which is 4 3/4", a mountain bike which is 5", and my 3 speeds which are 4 1/4". I know the drop outs can be spread apart to a certain point before you do any damage. I'm just wondering, do I choose a mountain bike solely because it's rear drop outs are closest in width? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you

What you want is "a modern" Schwinn Suburban. Schwinn actually came close to your dream bike when they introduced the lugged framed Le Tour Tourist model, but it still had the normal derailer drive train.

If it were me, I would look for a high-end (Campy/TA/Dura Ace/Stronglight equipped) road bike for the lightweight, high-quality components. Just make sure the "stand over" height fits your inseam length. 700C wheels would allow you to buy any old road bike that was originally equipped with sew-up's, like a Peugeot PX-10. (note, the frames designed wheel size effects how the axle to brake shoe distance fits) You need to either buy an "old production bike", or one that was built with what they called "touring geometry". You want something with longer chain stays, and a more laid back 73/73 frame geometry. If you look at Schwinn Paramount's, they built both different frame types. For example the P13 was a race bike, but the P15 was the same quality bike but built to a touring geometry for a softer, longer ride. Road bikes sell at really cheap prices and you just need to shop for the correct bike.

The Nexis internal geared hub would be a perfect choice today. There's absolutely no reason the frameset you choose could not be properly reset to the "over lock nut distance". This needs to be properly done, not by a threaded rod with two nuts! You need to set the frame width, and also have it centered in the bottom bracket. The frame has to be "in alignment", NOT just spread. After the rear width is set to your desired width, it then needs to have the fork ends "squared" in all directions, or when you tighten the axle nuts it will put the axle in a bind.

If you choose an "old road bike", or a "touring model", it will have fender/rack eyelets still on the fork ends. Toss some Blumels plastic fenders and a couple of Blackburn racks on it and spend the day on a comfortable positioned, lightweight, lively bike. While you're looking for the perfect bike to convert, start looking for some nice alloy "tourist bars", brake levers, and a comfortable saddle.

Have fun.

John
 
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I'd look at a vintage Trek touring frame from the 1970s to mid 1980s era, vintage Dawes Galaxy touring frame, or maybe an old Raleigh Super Course frame. A 1980s era Dawes Ambassador might also be a good starting place. The other thing you could do is convert your Raleigh Sports to Sun CR-18 aluminum rims. All else being equal, wheel weight savings help the bike more than frame weight savings.
 
All else being equal, wheel weight savings help the bike more than frame weight savings.

This cannot be OVERSTATED!

Nothing will improve a bikes ride more than reducing the "moving mass", or more accurately applied to a bicycle, the rotating mass. The ride is all about the tires, tubes, rims, hubs, even the spokes. The performance gained is in rolling resistance which helps when your pedaling, AND coasting.

Hang a two-pound rock from your water bottle cage and it will not be noticeable but put that same two pounds inside your tires by installing thorn resistant inner tubes and you have killed the bikes ride.

John
 
upright riding position is more a factor of your bars and stem than anything else.. frame size as well.

I reformatted my mountain bike into an old man city bike.

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upright riding position is more a factor of your bars and stem than anything else.. frame size as well.
True. Another way to get the geometry for an upright position is BMX-style handlebars. Depends on the look you're going for. Have fun!

bodyglove 6.jpg
 
My go to bikes, are, my Raleigh Sports 3 Speeds and My Schwinn 3 speed speedster. I enjoy the riding position and ease of the internal gear hub 3 speeds, but there are times, I would like a lighter bike, with more gears, but still have the same riding position and an internal gear hub. I currently have a 7 Speed Shimano Nexus hub laced to a 700c rim that I can use for this venture.
Sounds like desire more low range gearing for easier pedaling, hills, etc. Comparing gear ratio range, nexus 7-speed seems offers only one lower gear ratio than your 3-speeds, 0.68 vs 0.75 or thereabouts. Also factor in 700cc tires are larger diameter, 622 bsd vs your 3-speed tires, makes pedaling the "lower" gear ratio 0.68 on 700cc wheelset more like pedaling 0.7 to 0.75 ratio on your Raleigh and Speedster.

For 700cc nexus 7 wheel bike build, consider a 1x conversion using single small front sprocket, eg 32 to 46 tooth to keep it simple with one shifter. 👍
 
Check out what size tires you can squeeze into the frame. Maybe a 1970s touring frame- cantilevers are a plus-can take a 650B or 26X1.75. An early 1980's lugged mountain bike is built for 26X2.125 tires out of the box. Light tires made my commuter Miyata Ridge Runner handle like a sports car, but at the expense of one or two flats a week on cratered city streets and not making it in on time. I downgraded to thornproof tubes and cheap tires for reliability... For a touring frame, look into 650B rims and tires- it seems like a good option. I'll probably do that to my high school Lotus legend if I ever move back to the homestead in redneckistan, which looks less and less likely.
 
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