The revival of my classic 90s Shogun MetroAT is almost complete. I just need to get a Hyperglide 7 speed chain pin (bloody Shimano make them so you can’t reuse chain pins) to rejoin the chain, fitting of the recently acquired centre-pull brakes, replace the old v-brake spigots with short M8 allen head screws for tidiness, fit the racks, dynamo and headlight and, finally, tweak everything to perfect adjustment.
One little oversight (and resultant stroke of luck!) was measuring the size of the frame. As it turns out, it’s 22 inches (56cm) from BB centre to top tube centre, which is just about the perfect touring frame for me, being exactly a 6 footer. (183cm) One should always measure a frame before embarking on a build-up, so I quite got lucky. A little small wouldn’t have been a problem, I rode an 18″ MTB for 20 years, but one size larger might have been as uncomfortable as Mr Reid, the parts donor bike.
The bike’s specifications are…
||22″ Shogun MetroAT, externally butted, 4130 aero grade chomoly
||Tange Touring fork, chromoly, 1″ threaded steerer with 2x dropout threads and mid-fork thread each side for rack and mudguards
||OEM 700c 36 spoke Alex rims and Quando hubs, ex 2013 Reid City 1, fitted with 35mm touring tyres
||Shimano Tourney 7×3 derailleur, ex Reid City 1, with after market 2013 Tourney 7×3 STI integrated shifters
||Currently Tektro V-brakes, but soon to be replaced with second hand, vintage Weinmann centre-pulls (more compatible with STI than V-brakes, easier to adjust and better self-centering than any other kind of caliper brake)
||Zoom 25mm ergo drop
||scrounged junkbox 1″ mountainbike quill stem (ugly but theft resistant )
||hard rubbish find diecast heavy duty
||Vavert low-rider style
||Toba (extremely light weight)
I have to say, the quality of parts, even the aluminium frame, that was my Reid City 1, while cheap and cheerful, were amazingly high quality for a $300 bike. If you need a cheap, city commuter, the Reid City 1 is the BEST value for money out there. A little heavy by modern standards at 15kg, but that includes rack and guards so, if you commute with a backpack or messenger bag, in a low rainfall town, take the rack and guards off to get down around 14kg.
The ONLY reason I chose to “upgrade” to a chomoly frame was because this bike is destined to see serious touring miles, as well as the daily commute. When your target travel distance is 80 to 120km a day, aluminium, I feel, anyway, is a harsher ride. I also had a little trouble getting quite the right position on the Reid, which can happen with a $3000 bike, never mind a $300 one. It was a longer frame than the MetroAT and stretched my reach, while adjusting the variable stem up only fixed this a little once the drop bars were fitted.
Even though I’m a 6 footer, I’d choose Reid’s medium size City 1, having it over, so think about reach and sizing when buying any bike. That said the City 1 is an exceptional bicycle for somebody on a budget. In car terms, as good value for money as a Hyundai i30 compared to a BMW 1 series.