The Saga of Plain Jane


As JosephGarcia said, "Buy new forks..." I'm not sure I'd go all the way to a front disc, but modern brakes are much better than those old side pulls. I get all the stopping I can use with these. Oh, And I recomend front shocks too.


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Hi Alaska,

The thought has crossed my mind. I have been scouring the net for information on brakes and there is a lot of it out there. There are even a couple of disk brake systems that can be had for about $60/wheel. Discs are also new enough that there seem to be adapter plates out there to retrofit them to bicycles that originally had other braking systems.

If I go with a disc, I'm not sure that it could be adjusted to brake evenly with the crummy side pull rear brake currently on the bike's rear wheel.

If I don't go with a disc, then replacing the fork with something that can take a cantilever brake is possible. Replacing the fork definitely means going with something with front suspension.

Gee, and to think that all of this came about by cheaping out on the original bike purchase (which was kind of the point of this thread).

Still not quite sure what I'm going to do here but smoke isn't coming out of my ears yet so I guess I'll keep thinking for a while longer.
Be forwarned, if you use a disc front brake, they can be VERY powerful if set up properly. Disaster will soon follow a handful of brake at speed. I speak from experience.

You mentioned that you don't have a good bike shop near you. Is there a junk yard around? If there is, you might be able to salvage a fork from there at low cost. I let people dig through my parts pile, and charge little or nothing if they do any required disasembly. Recycling is a good thing.
Be forwarned, if you use a disc front brake, they can be VERY powerful if set up properly. Disaster will soon follow a handful of brake at speed. I speak from experience.


I completely concur with Dan, and don't really think you have to worry too much about switching out the present fronts at this time, unless you are doing something radical on the front forks.
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I fully understand. At bicycle speeds: "Disc brakes...oooh! pant, pant drool!" At motored bicycle speeds well, I'm not so sure. Right now I'm leaning toward sticking with rim brakes of some sort. What sort, however is a mystery.


No bike shops and no junk yards that will let you salvage. I'm keeping an eye on some of the second hand shops and garage sales but nothing has turned up to date that looks usable. Good idea, though.
Just a gentle reminder to casual readers of this informative thread about the power of craigslist, I dunno whats closest to T & C, but a perusal of the 4 cities in NM might be a interesting study.

I saw a 1966 Schwinn coaster for $200, probably could offer $150, but then again, I don't like coaster/single speeds.
Hi Bama,

Not doing anything radical. I'm just not happy about what I'm seeing as an alternative to the cheap side-pull brakes on the bike right now. I can get better side pulls from a variety of vendors but at a cost that may lead me to switch the fork out for something that can take a cantilever brake which has become much more common. That would also ease front fender installation if I go with fenders too.

It's fortunate that I have the time while waiting for the motor kit to get here to think about all of these things. If nothing else, it keeps me moving on the project with little stuff while waiting.

Yesterday, I spent the whole evening in a fruitless search for the spoke wrench I know I have somewhere. After a recent move, all of my tools are in disarray until I can get the shop re-organized. I'll probably pick up another one while I'm down in Las Cruces this weekend.

The two nearest cities with a craigslist node are Albuquerque and El Paso, TX, 140 and 120 miles away respectively. I'll go there if I have to but I'd really rather not.