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xcaferacer

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Reply with quote  #1 
Whilst wandering through the local Craigslist a couple weeks ago, I came across an ad for a 1985 Specialized Sequoia frameset. I'd never seen this model before, so I did some research, which led me to believe I had to have this frame.

The asking price was higher than I've ever paid for just a frameset, but the seller sweetened the deal with some quality bits and bobs that would fit, so I paid the man.

There followed the usual frenzy of sourcing parts and waiting for deliveries - that took a week. I had been wanting to do a 650b project for some time now, and I found a new wheelset for $80. These are pretty basic, single-wall 36h, and I had to repack the hubs and loosen the cones before they would spin freely.

When I finally put this frame on the workstand, it only took Friday night and half of Saturday to build it up. In fact, Friday night I had it ready to ride without the fenders and racks, so I took it out Saturday morning and shot this:



... and this:



Then I rode it home, and spent a few hours installing V.O. Zeppelin fenders, and PDW rack and basket. I struggled with the front fender install, which was wider than the fork wanted to take. I considered using the Dremel to grind out some reliefs, but ended up carefully bending the metal around the fork legs so that it clears but doesn't rub on the tire.

I think it turned out pretty nice. What do you all think?









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tallbikeman

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Reply with quote  #2 
The bike looks brand new.  How do you get a bike through 30+ years and have a paint job and decals that look so great?  I love the old steel bikes with lugs.  They can be had at such a discount over new lugged frames and work just as well.  It's true that today bicycles with massive tires are available compared to the 80's bikes but I have yet to need those tires in any of the riding I do.  So 80's style framesets work well for me.  Are those steel or aluminum fenders.  I don't use fenders here because I don't ride in much rain.  But I ride a lot on dirt roads after rain storms and fenders are just another place where mud collects and causes problems.  Your bike looks like it would be a great dirt/gravel road bike.  What brand of rack is that.  I really like its lines and yet it looks very practical.  Are you using the Tektro 559 brakes?  I have a pair and they work fine.  Good looking bicycle.
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xcaferacer

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Reply with quote  #3 
I guess I'll start by answering your questions:


The V.O. Zeppelin fenders are nice, light aluminum. The rack and basket are from Portland Design Works - Loading Dock rack and Takeout Basket - both made from aluminum tubing. I tried to keep the weight of this bike to a minimum, and I think I succeeded. The Sequoia weighed-in at 34.6 lbs ready-to-roll, with a full water bottle and a chain lock in the basket.

This bike was built to commute on our cracked and potholed roads. Minnesota is terrible for maintaining this vital infrastructure - they just assume everyone will buy SUVs so they can drive over the rubble. Remember the 35W Bridge Collapse?

Yes, Tektro 559s are my favorite brakes. They work so much better than anything I have ever found on a stock bike. I use them on all my 27 inch to 700c conversions, and they work perfectly for this 700c to 650b build.

I'm very happy with the way this turned out - I think it's my best build to date.



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graveldoc

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Handsome machine!
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xcaferacer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by graveldoc
Handsome machine!


Thanks, Doc!

Here are a few more shots I took the other day:










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tallbikeman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Xcaferacer I've done several 27 inch wheel conversions to either 700c or in one case to 26 x 1.75 tires.  Recently I left an old Schwinn Sports Tourer model in its original 27inch specification.  I couldn't be happier with the bicycle.  After a couple of years of great asphalt riding I started riding it off road on dirt and gravel roads.  It turned out that the 27 inch wheels with the super tough Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires was well suited for dirt road riding.  The tires measure 32mm wide in the metric system so there is just enough to perform this feat.  Old 27inch tires used to be 70psi when I was a kid but during the 1970's 100psi 27inch tires became more the norm.  I'm using tires that I inflate to 100 psi whether on dirt or asphalt and they work great.  There is still a lot of good choices for rims and tires out there in the 27x1 1/4 inch wheel size.  On the other hand put a 700c wheelset on some bicycles and I've been able to upsize the tires a few millimeters.  My old Schwinn Varsity conversion from 27x1 1/4 inch to 700c allowed me to run 40 millimeter Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires which are about optimum for dirt riding for me.  They grip better and roll almost as well as the 27x1 1/4 inch tires at a lower tire pressure.  The Sports Tourer is just a tad faster than the old Varsity.  In the late 1970's I converted a Varsity to a single speed Mountain bicycle with 26x1.75 inch tires and competed in a lot of mountain bike races here in Northern California.  I had Mafac cantilever brake mounts brazed on the Varsity fork, got rid of all the Schwinn cranks, stems, seat post and put in all aluminum components.  Cut off the kick stand too.  This bike in the 26inch seatpost length size weighed 31lbs ready to race which was in the ballpark with all the other bikes of the day.   2018 Schwinn Varsity Picture1.jpg     IMG_1770.jpg   Upper bike with I phone sideways picture is a converted Varsity with 700c wheels.  Bottom bike is the Sports Tourer with its original 27in wheel size out walking the dog.
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lugdoug

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Reply with quote  #7 
You really have an eye for building up bikes that look great. The Sequoia looks fantastic. I've had VO Zepplins on past bikes. They are one of my favorite fenders.
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Spencer

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Reply with quote  #8 
Beautiful Job!
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xcaferacer

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks, guys. It rides as good as it looks, too. I took it on a nice little 60 mile tour last Saturday to Hastings, MN and back home. It was a pleasant ride, and so comfortable compared to normal 700c or  27 inch road tires. The ride on flat pavement is almost effortless. This one's a keeper.
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