Old ISIS Stock


Few days ago, a young English guy and his girl showed up like magic an old Raleigh awating major repairs. After few questions regarding the past of the bike I thought it was suitable to go in the workshop, even when some important seating and braking parts where missing, making impossible an almost compulsory test after the repairs considering the condition of this bike.

When I came in the company, I spotted a nice and repeatedly dropped ISIS Decathlon double ring crankset for 25 quid. Since then, I’ve been always keen on fitting it on a modern road bike. But I never got around to it.

I’m trying to push myself so hard to get rid of old stock that I did not mind to “betray” my principles for the ocassion.

Normally I’m really reluctant to go ahead with these services because of:

  • Personal reasons. After a repair I need to feel my work follows a criteria. Locally, I would never upgrade any of my classic bikes mixing old parts with new ones, unless they are really distinguished or witty. Consequently, I don´t offer these crazy jobs to my customers. Beyond doing a good repair, the component I fit must not degrade the essence of the bike.
  • Decathlon workshop doesn´t stock much spares and keep on hand tools to work with vintage bikes. If I agree a service on such a bicycle (probably as old as me) I would not be surprised to find myself struggling during the repairs doing things for free in order to get the troubles sorted out.
  • Our customers. Old school bicycles, unlike in Spain, they come fatally wounded because people use them for hardcore commuting! And what a wet weather the UK has!

To sum up: no dodgy bikes or unworthy repairs (thanks Julien&Marcos, lesson learnt).

After inspecting the bike I offered a very good price, and as a result, the customer booked in the bike with us to change crankset (and BB), chain and freewheel.

Let’s begin with the particularities of this repair.

  • When taking apart the crankset I realised the left pedal was stuck. Lucky me I told the guy he’d probably need new ones. First surprise, but no consecuences. The innermost ring became warped because of losing chainring bolts little by little until the last fatal chain suck completely deformed its shape.

  • The cup and cone type bottom bracket needed to be replaced. Play impossible to remove by just bringing the balls back into contact with the adjustable cup. I expected the drive cup to be tight but not so bloody seized. Using the taps I managed to leave the threads in perfect condition.

  • The chain line question. Road bikes with a double crank come with a chain line of 43.5mm. Something that I checked with the ruler before removing the old parts. To maintain the specifications with an ISIS BB it means using a 108mm spindle length. 113mm brackets are intended for MTB triple while 118mm for road triple cranks. At this point I was confused because there was no 108mm ISIS in stock. Time to try with the next size. At least I warned customer we had different BB lengths to choose from before cancelling the service but also with different prices. I’d included the cheapest one in the bill, so I started to be scared of the price of the repair. Pedals and a more expensive BB would arise the total cost in £24. With no success guaranteed about the chainline, I made the decision of carrying on with the service only with the condition of getting a nice one with no crazy modifications in the rear axle of the wheel.

  • With both 113mm and 118mm spindles on hand I quickly found out that there was a big-headed bolt passing from the inside of the frame avoiding the axles going through the shell of the frame. Normally, to attach the cable guide that goes underneath the frame the bolt comes screwed from the outside. In addition to that, it had an uncommon hex size of 3.5mm and no cleareance to take it off with any of my tools. I was about to give up. The stubborn bolt just grinded my gears, but considering we haven´t been busy lately, and with energy to fight this battle, I took my file (the bastard one :mrgreen:) and proceed as issue of personal pride. I fitted first the left cup not to damaged the threads just in case the file eventually slipped. Some copper based anti-seize in the non-drive side and the cup was ready to be installed. Besides grinding away 80%-90% of the head of the bolt I did also a small hole in the BB. I was lucky that the middle section of the anodized orange BB came with a narrower diameter in compare with the silver Truvativ BB that made the best use of the shell width.

  • Time to install the cranks. An easy job that refreshed me that, unlike square tapers, ISIS bolts depend on manufacturers. M15x15 is the common size (like Octalinks or this ISIS BB), but then again, the cranks came with odd M14 bolts. M12 are also possible. Using the red pin spanner I removed the original self extracting bolts and used the black ones that came with the BB.

  • This is the bike with new chain, 6 spd freewheel and new rear derailleur cable.

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