So the Takara I had previously built up didn't quite cut it, so I sold it and moved on to another. this time I had an old "Concours" frame that was sold by Huffy, but was probably built (as near as I can tell) by Motobecane or Carlton. Nice lugwork, still heavy. And it has stamped dropouts which is not great but, so it goes.
Basically, I needed something for the Frankenbike 50 that Cap City Cross put on, so I dug around and this is what I came up with.
The Fulcrum Racing wheels on this is like polishing a turd, but I bought them as a backup wheelset and, well, I needed them. MTB triple crank up front which was bought again for a different use, but... well, I had to get something together. Plus the Frankenbike had some really steep long hike-a-bike sections that I was hoping to ride so I left it. Pure friction shifting. Everything else was from the parts bin, except for the saddle (awesome deal from Cyclist Connection).
Getting the required rear wheel clearance was aided by a gently-applied hammer and some really big pliers. Spreading the frame from 120 to 130 was accomplished by, ahem, brute force (thus the off-center rear wheel). And the stamped dropouts meant that if I really cranked the pedals the rear wheel would slip forward thoroughly pissing me off every time. Fixing it by route of a toothed washer seems to have helped. And there was no derailler mount, so you have to use one of those clap-on jobs. Which makes clearance too tight when using the 11t cog, so I've adjusted the limit so it doesn't use the 11t. Which makes my 8-speed casette a 7-speed. But it's a budget bike, right? These things happen.
I really like the full-length cable housing and it handles great. It's a tank, no doubt. Centerpulls with Kool-Stop red pads work fantastic, have more clearance at the rim than most low-profile cantis and have plenty clearance all around. What's not to love?
I dissasembled it after the Frankenbike, but recently put it back together for winter riding duties. Fenders are called for, certainly in the snow and crap.