Chalo said:[T]he fact the frame was cheap and has stamped steel dropouts. Both of those things make it a much better choice for conversion than most of the "nice" bikes of the period. Thick tubing is stiffer than thin, and stamped dropouts (if they're reasonably thick) can take a lot of damage without breaking.
Thanks, Chalo, these were (on whole) my thoughts when I got the bike. I knew what I was going to do with it. I wanted a strong frame that could take abuse with grace, and wasn't worried about light weight, or what some snod thinks about it. If I had it to do over again, I might have chosen a similarly "cheap yet strong" bike that was young enough to have a freehub and maybe 700C wheels, but I didn't know then what I know now and I'm not going to beat myself up about it.
BTW, someone else brought up the question of the dropouts' thickness, so I paid better attention and found they're remarkably thick - about 5mm.
Chalo said:It really is all in the details. A 1982 Huffy, with paper-thin dropouts and internally brazed frame, would not be nearly as suitable as your Raleigh. And an expensive 1982 Colnago with thin Columbus SL tubing would probably fail sooner too.
IDK what those particular bikes are, but I like your points. Thank you for making them.
Chalo said:You should verify the dropouts are aligned, because if they're not parallel, it puts a great deal of stress on the axle. A bike shop has special tools for gauging and straightening dropouts.
Yes, I get that. I dare say they're more parallel now than before I started.
I'm pretty good with metal - I have a 5000 sq ft workshop mostly devoted to metalworking. I'm also a reasonably competent engineer. So, of course, just out of "Standard Operating Procedure," I measured the parallelism of the dropouts before I even began - they were pretty crappy, measuring from about 120mm to 125mm along a length of, oh, about 25mm. I measured about 122 at the point where the (bolt on) wheels were anchored for decades. When I opened them up, I put a very modest effort into making them more parallel by squeezing them back together while the hydraulics were keeping them spread, thus helping some. I did this mostly because I knew that the spreading was going to make matters worse. But I didn't put even more effort into it because by then it was clear that I MIGHT want to spread them further, beyond 130, and I didn't want to work-harden the pieces unnecessarily.
Just curious, can you either briefly describe such tools or point me to them online? ... I don't need any help figuring parallelism - I already have a good selection of precision measurement tools to do that with, I'm thinking about the straightening tools...
Chalo said:The wheels might or might not work for you in the long run. There are very few 27" wheels that are equal, structurally, to what comes with a cheap no-frills 700c bike today-- let alone something built for heavy duty. It looks like your wheels have zinc plated spokes, which tend to become stuck in the nipples over time. That complicates later truing. But if your wheels do what you ask of them, then it's no big deal that you could have better ones.
I'm interested in this, but until my budget can return to a better place, I'm not going to change what I'm doing. ... BTW, half the rear spokes are stainless steel - the ones on the freehub side. I had to order shorter ones to mount the freehub correctly. The fronts and the other half of rears are the stock ones that Sta-Tru sells with its new wheels.
Chalo said:The very limited selection of tires in 27 inch curtails your ability to let fatter tires protect your wheels. Here's one fatter tire you can get: http://www.swifttire.com/product/sand-canyon-27-x-1-38-folding-tan/
The excellent Michelin World Tour tire I have recommended in the past seems to have been discontinued, unfortunately.
Thank you so much for this additional link - I looked for the Michelin World Tour tire and was unsuccessful in anything but old stock, and I thought that a bad idea. (Plus they were very expensive.)
Chalo said:There are some valuable points to what he's saying. Some is irrelevant-- like the fact the frame was cheap and has stamped steel dropouts.
As I learned when I was a teenager, in the process of becoming an adult, "it's not what you say, it's how you say it." I'm not inclined to believe he was ignorant of the caustic nature of his posting(s). It's been called out before... But more to the point about cheap frame and stamped steel dropouts; it seems clear to me he didn't mention these things in recognition that for my application these are assets, not liabilities. -shrug- Not looking back on that.
And thanks again for posting.