jueves, 16 de julio de 2009

The Classic Italian Racer Project: 1st version

At last I have managed to complete my "winter" bike project: a pure-breed, classic racing Italian frame from the mid 80s, fully equipped with a Campagnolo Chorus groupset from the early 90s, and 4th generation Delta Brakes. A humble tribute to that fantastic machine, the steel racing bike of 8 speeds, that characterised, both in terms of the employed frame building techniques and materials, as well as the technological solutions applied to componentry, the history of ciclying race through most of the 2nd half of the 20th century. I have nicknamed it, unknowlingly turning again a blinking eye to ciclying history or legend, "La dama bianca".


Frame: Columbus double butted CIÖCC frame. Size 55. NOS. I believe from the mid 80s.

Groupset: Campagnolo Chorus 8 speed including indexed gear shifter. Early 90s. Acquired in a relatively good nick so only a throughout disassemblage and polishing has been needed to leave it in nearly spot-on condition.

Wheelset: Campagnolo Chorus hubs laced to Mavic M40 rims. Used wheelset but the hubs are still going strong. In few months I am planning to build the hubs again, but this time laced to a Campagnolo silver tubular rim, another humble tribute to the history of ciclying and an extra bonus to get the whole "retro" experience when riding this bike.

Headset: Campagnolo Record (modern version from the mid 90s). I couldn't find the old style Campagnolo headset at an affordable price and perhaps rushed to install a modern one just to get the project going. Even if I find one now, the steerer tube is, alas, too short.

Pedals: Campagnolo Chorus pedals acquired in well-used condition: a tenatious polishing was required to leave them in relatively good-looking shape, plus the replacemente of bearing, new dust caps, cages and buttom straps. I found by chance on a LBS a pair of rare, NOS brevatto road straps, a defunct-manufacturer from the mid-80s I believe.

Brakes: 4th Generation Campagnolo Delta Brakes in nearly NOS condition. Breathtakingly beautiful set of brake calipers with astonishing manufactured finishes, above all its internal mechanism, plus a look which enlivens any frame in which they are mounted. They are, however, a minor pain in the arse to set up correctly, especially due to its top cable entry.

Steering: A 3ttt stem and handlebar, a sleaker look than a Cinelli combo I tried before on the bike. Fizik Microtex handlebar tape for that vintage look. I need to source silver bar plugs and some white electric tape for the tops.

Saddle: San Marcos Rolls and 26.8mm Campagnolo aero seatpost.


I hope to do an update with final version of the bike, once I get those tubular rims laced and deal with few other, minor improvements just to complete the whole project nicely.

martes, 7 de julio de 2009

What a craftmanship! Otero pista 1960s.

Just check this lovely fillet-brazed pista frame, produced by one the most reputed Spanish frame builders of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, Enrique Otero, and allegedly ridden by Federico Bahamontes, nicknamed "the eagle of Toledo", in six day events during the late 50s and early 60s.

Otero, the brand name, does not longer produce any frame in-house, all production having migrated to the Far East, but still have one of the most respected road bike shops in Madrid, where just a few of these "beauties" still hang from the top of the walls of the workshop.

More pics can be found in Classic Rendezvous's recently added entry for Otero: certainly, a great addition to this wonderful resource for all vintage bike enthusiasts. Well done!