THE REBUILD – Stage I

THE REBUILD – Stage I

Project: turn an Orange P7 mountain bike into a dedicated touring bicycle.

Orange Bikes: a British company, circa 1988.

I purchased my Orange ๐ŸŠ P7 in 1998. The forks, I upgraded to Marchozzi bombers ( front suspension) and Magura hydraulic brakes before departing for southern Africa in 2003 to attain my Commercial Pilots Licence.

She happily endured many a single-track through the South African forests of Knysna and rugged bedrock of the Namibian bush. A testament to a superb design and a well constructed frame.

Now, with the onset of more leisurely cycling in the pipeline. I objected to purchase a dedicated built tourer, on the grounds of the cost โ™ป I hope to reincarnate my trusty โ€˜P7โ€™ into a home-built touring bicycle of my own.

The frame and seat post are the only two things that have survived from the original mountain bike.

The frame is a heat-treated custom double-butted series 8 cromoly tube set, with a beautiful nickel finish. Most importantly, very light, but incredibly strong.

The design of the frame is very much of an expedition heritage, making it a worthy canvas.

The frame had a lacquer, but started de-laminating over the years. After a bit of research ๐Ÿ“ฃI found a suitable paint stripper (one that would not blacken the nickel). Carefully taking her back to, just the nickel layer.

The two big additions; been the forks and saddle.

I had to import the Kona Project Two forks from the USA to accommodate the 1โ€™โ€™ steerer. Itโ€™s becoming increasingly more difficult to find 1โ€ steerers, as most bikes and forks are now made 1 1/8โ€.

The saddle, is the classic Brooks B17 , a real thing of beauty. And eventually comfort!

I’m very pleased with the finished article. But as they say, โ€˜the proof of the pudding is in the eatingโ€™!

My first tour will be onto and around Bodmin Moor โ›บ Then I’ll have a good idea of how she handles with full days riding her laden.

Rebuild components

Rigida โ€“ Sputnik touring rims (handbuilt by Spa Cycles, Harrogate)

DT โ€“ Swiss spokes

Shimano โ€“ XT hubs

Shimano โ€“ Deore chainset and cranks

Shimano โ€“ SPD/flat touring pedals M324

Schwalbe โ€“ Marathon tyres 1.5″

SRAM โ€“ X7 grip shifters and groupset

Magura โ€“ Hydraulic brakes

Tubus โ€“ Ergo front rack

Blackburn โ€“ EX2 rear rack

Brooks โ€“ B17 saddle

Ergon โ€“ GP1 grips

Exotic โ€“ CNC machined 6061 T6 aluminium adjustable spacers

System EX โ€“ Adjustable stem

Titec โ€“ Long bend bar ends

Sigma โ€“ BC1606L commuter

Kona โ€“ Project Two triple butted forks 1โ€ณ steerer (Bikeman, USA)

SKS โ€“ Chromoplastic mudguards

Topeak โ€“ Turbo Morph pump

Tacx โ€“ Bottle cages