Status: Personal Collection (Not for Sale)
Frame & Fork: Double Butted Chromoly
Groupset: Shimano Exage 500LX Front Derailleur, Shimano Deore XT Rear Derailleur and 9spd Cassette with MicroNew 3x9 integrated shifters and brake levers
Wheelset: C4 wheelset and Continental Terraspeed 700x35 tires
I was on the lookout for a vintage bike that I could turn into a gravel bike so that I'd have something for my boys to ride when I went on gravel adventures or bikepacking trips. When I saw this touring bike come up for sale, I decided I had found the right one.
I had to make this bike more comfortable and safer for gravel bike riding. It needed better brakes. I replaced the nylon/plastic things that were originally on it with some nice aluminum cantilevers. I also replaced the brake pads with some very effective Kool Stop pads. It also needed a more upright riding position for the trails and wider bars. I installed a nice Easton stem with Easton gravel specific drop bars. The 7-speed rear derailleur and cassette were replaced with an almost new 9spd Deore XT rear derailleur and cassette to give it better gears and shifting. As well, I didn't want my boys to have to take their hands off the bars on rough trails in order to shift at the downtubes so I hunted for some shift/brake combos. The only ones I could find in 3x9 were on AliExpress and called MicroNew. I was skeptical but I have to say, they work really well, shifting crisply with a nice loud click. I wanted nice off road tires but was limited in the width by the rear chain stays. These Continentals work quite well and have been ridden over 400km of gravel with no issues or flats. New shift cables and housing, a Brooks C17 saddle and bar tape finished off the build. So far, two of my three boys have gone on adventures with me. It was an excellent investment!