1985 Schwinn Cimarron Touring Bike Build Part 2

The Schwinn Cimarron touring bike build continues. As I mentioned in part one of this build, Jeff is converting this Cimarron mountain bike to a drop bar touring bike.

Setting up the brakes

The original cantilever brakes are staying, but have been improved with Velo Orange cartridge brake shoes. The original wheelset, while in great condition, was replaced with Shimano Deore M525 hubs laced to Sun Rhino Lite rims and the tires are 26×1.75 Continental Touring Plus Reflex.

Headtube Badge

The frame has been polished up and looks great for a 28 year old bike.

Vintage Crankset

The bottom bracket has been repacked and the original crankset has been cleaned up. The gearing is 28-38-48 in front with an Sram PG 850 11-32 8 speed cassette in back.


The shifters are Shimano 8 speed Ultegra bar end run in friction mode and the cables are VO Metallic Braid. The pull ratio of the Deer Head Superplate rear derailleur does not match the Ultegra shifters, but the friction shifting is spot on with the Powerglide II cassette. Teflon cable housing lining is used to guide the cables under the bottom bracket shell and reduce friction.

Ready to roll

The cables are adjusted, the bars are wrapped and it is ready to ride. Now it is ready for fenders, cages and racks.

1985 Schwinn Cimarron Touring Bike Build Part 1

Oh the beauty of vintage bicycles. Jeff has a couple of Schwinn Cimarron mountain bikes, one of which he’s had since new, that he is looking to fix up. The Cimarron that is the subject of this build is is a Craigslist $100 find that’s being converted from a classic mountain bike to a still classic drop bar touring bike.

The Begining

It is 100% original, with the exception of the tires and the frame is lugged 4130 chromoly steel with a fillet brazed head tube.

Fillet Brazing

Jeff is converting this to 8 speed indexed shifting and swapping some parts for fit and reliability, but keeping the classic Shimano Deer Head derailleurs.

Deerhead RearDeerhead Front

Some of the parts that are being swapped off this bike are going to be used on the other Cimarron build still to come and the parts that are being reused are getting overhauled and cleaned.

Back Work

The stem that is going on is a Nitto Dirt Drop, the handlebar is a Velo Orange Grand Cru Chris’s Rando Handlebar, brake levers are Cane Creek SCR-5 and the cables are VO Metallic Braid.

Front Work

Lots of work still to come.

What was in the handlebar bag?

Bar Bag

Inspired by a post Dave Cain made last month on his blog Yurtville, I thought I would give a rundown of what was in my handlebar bag for the Lake Champlain 300K brevet pre-ride. This serves as a future packing list for me and possibly information for others. The bag is a rather large Velo Orange Grand Cru and inside I found…..

Main Bag:

  • My tool and repair kit – to be outlined in a future post
  • 2 spare inner tubes – 650b tubes are not stocked at most shops
  • Reflective sash
  • Princeton Tech EOS Bike light
  • First aid kit – Band Aids, some ibuprofen, duct tape, large bandages and gauze
  • Ziplock bag with sunscreen, “emergency rations” (snacks), T.P. and spare batteries
  • Large Ziplock bag for “to go food” – chicken nuggets, pizza or other greasy food
  • Rain pants wrapped with a reflective leg strap
  • Rain jacket
  • Ibex Shak full zip long sleeve jersey
  • Cue sheet and a map of the route – stored in the top flap map pouch

Front Pocket:

  • Waterproof saddle cover – I try to take really good care of my Brooks saddle
  • 2 plastic grocery bags – many uses from vapor barriers to rain covers

Handlebar BagSide Pockets:

  • Ziplock bag with drivers license, debit card, cash, pen (and brevet card if needed)
  • 2 pairs of Nitrile gloves – for mechanical or medical repairs
  • Snow Peak titanium spork – for digging into rock hard ice cream
  • Leatherman Skeletool

Back Pockets:

  • iPhone 4
  • Chain lube – a quiet bike is a happy bike
  • Halt dog repellant


The total weight for all of this is……..  I don’t want to know.