Since I was splitting wood last week, I was working by our shed, which houses the wood splitter, the mower, the tractor, and whats left of the C’dale….
I had stripped a good many parts off of it to equip the LHT and keep the Marin serviceable, but it breaks my heart to see this bike collecting dust. It’s pretty, it’s light, and it’s a good stiff frame. The main issue is that it has very narrow chainstays, thus limiting the tire size. Additionally, the rear spacing is 125mm (7 speed), and the aluminum frame can only be spread so far.
So in the last few days I’ve had these thoughts: first was the idea of an Xtracycle. It would allow me to switch to 700c rims with 135mm spacing, provided I could spread the dropouts safely. The downside is that the frame is probably too big to really function well as an SUB, given that most that I see have a lower top tube (including the Big Dummy). Brakes are also an issue. While the Xtracycle would allow mounting a V-brake on the rear, the front would still have the Shimano 600 caliper – not very effective for a heavy load. Finally, the price tag of $500 minimum is too much.
My second idea is to see what a wider tire would look and feel like. This bike has the old 27″ rims, with 1″ tires. If I could fit 1 1/4″ tires on it, they would be the equivalent of 32mm. If I could get 1 3/8″, 35mm. That would go far to making the bike a lot more ride-able for backroads and trails. If it would work, I’d then outfit it with the Albatross bars from the Marin (returning that to the MTB setup), find a B17, 67 or Flyer saddle, and put the fenders and rack back on it. I’d also need to score a rear derailleur, pedals, replace the bottom bracket, and go with a triple crank. If Ebay is kind, maybe $150.
So I’ll need to do some research and see if I can’t score a 27″ rim with 1 1/4″ tires to see what it would look like. I’d love to get that old girl back on the road.