Old frames and new bits

by apidya   November 11, 2008  


I'm trying to make use of an old bike I have and build it up to use as a commuting machine. The frame is an old Raleigh road frame from around 1988 (Kellogg's Pro Tour 501 tubes).

I'd like to replace the drive-train, and upgrade the existing 6 speed system with a 9 speed tiagra config, which would be more similar to my existing 'real' road bike.

I don't know much about this sort of thing, and part of the plan is to do this all myself and learn in the process.

I was pondering this the other day though, and while I think most of the parts will just swap out, I suddenly wondered whether there would be an issue with the BB area. The question is, has BB technology (the threads or whatever) changed in the intervening 20 years? Or should I still be able to slot in a Tiagra chain-set to my 20 year old frame?

If I can't then do I have any other options for upgrading the drive-train, as I assume that my existing chain-set wouldn't work with the thinner chain required for a 9 speed cassette.

Any information gratefully received. Thanks!!


5 user comments

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Don't know about your BB - I don't think they've changed the thread specification - but you'll certainly need to respace your dropouts at the rear, as a six speed hub is a different width to a nine. There's two ways to deal with that: the proper way, which involves a framebuilder and some money; and the 'home workshop' way, which involves a vice and some swearing... Devil Devil

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [305 posts]
11th November 2008 - 11:35

1 Like

Sounds like a nice project, you shouldn't have any problem with the bottom bracket - as long as you can get it out and the threads aren't damaged (and even then you could probably get them re-faced). So, as Cactuscat says you're only real issue is going to be squeezing that nine speed block into a six speed space…

I must admit that I'd be torn as to whether to go the DIY route or take it to a framebuilder for that, maybe a good halfway house would be to take it to the bikeshop you're going to buy the components from and see if they'll do the stretching…

One other thing to bear in mind, did you want to swap over to Tiagra STI shifters? If you do, then you might have a problem with cable routing on a bike that was built for down tube shifters. On the other hand I think you can get 9-spd Tiagra downtube shifters. If you want to go for STI levers then you probably will need to visit a framebuilder to get some cable guides brazed on, if you're doing that you might as well get him to do the stretching too. Smile

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
11th November 2008 - 11:48

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I hadn't considered the dropouts. I'll look into that before I do much then. I don't want to start a project I can't finish.

Is is even possible to buy halfway decent components built around a 6 speed block these days? (In the event that I decide not to proceed with the dropout change). Additionally, how far could I go? 7/8sp?

Regarding the shifters, I was actually thinking of going on ebay if possible for some SIS downtube levers. You're right that mine are braze on at the moment, they're friction too. I have seen that Wiggle and CRC are still selling Dura-Ace downtube shifters that I think would work with my planned drive-train. But Dura-Ace is probably a bit excessive.

Then some basic shimano road levers to replace the ones I have (but that's down the line).

It would be really good to resurrect my first road bike that I did evening 10s in the 80's on.

apidya's picture

posted by apidya [5 posts]
11th November 2008 - 12:17


You'll have no trouble with the rear wheel in the dropouts going from 126 to 130mm with a steel frame, that's a bend of 2mm per side. My 'cross bike has frame spacing of 132.5 so either road or mtb hubs can be used. I cold-set a steel frame after a crash easily 20mm by hand. Also, the if you get STI there is an adaptor to go over the braze on for the downtube shifters, I have this arrangement on my commuter.

posted by smiffy [2 posts]
11th November 2008 - 14:09


smiffy wrote:
You'll have no trouble with the rear wheel in the dropouts going from 126 to 130mm with a steel frame, that's a bend of 2mm per side.

yeah, you're right actually. my head was in aluminium-land when i wrote that, never a good idea to bend something that fatigues when you do Smile
I think those dura-ace downtube shifters are ace, btw. the kona honky tonk's got 'em and it's a reet good looking bike.

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [305 posts]
12th November 2008 - 10:40