I'd been looking for a retro road ride for a while, in particular something Italian. I know there are some great British bikes out there but there's something about the Italians that stir the blood (with one hand while emptying the wallet with the other). I'd looked at a couple of retail sites but these ranged from fully restored to untouched bikes, both with a high price tag. eBay was the usual minefield of faux-lnagos or overpriced primadonnas. Buying unseen worried me and did size. As a mountain biker the whole sizing nomenclature was a bit confusing, but after consulting a few buying guides it seemed a 54-56cm would suit. Having a short inside leg I decided to go for the lower end of the scale. For a while every bike in the right size was collection only, usually in the south of England which is less than ideal when you stay in north east Scotland. Then my eventual purchase came up. It was an honest description of an honest bike, the seller didn't try to over egg everything and gave a rating for every part of the build. It could have turned out so bad as I've no experience of retro road parts or of Campag's hierarchy, even now I just have to assume it's all what I'm told it is. But the bike is lovely and rides great, so as far as I'm concerned it's all worked out fine.
After a few rides I decided to change the stem for a slightly longer one as I was just a bit too cramped on the top of the bars even with the seat pushed right back. As I had to strip the bar tape I took the opportunity to change to while brake outers and white bar tape. Don't know how long it'll stay white but in my opinion it looks better, even with my slightly clumsy wrapping (only the 2nd set of bars I've ever wrapped). I also swapped the pedals for a set of retro look style Campag pedals. The paint is a bit rough but the bearings are still silky, best of all the were a 99p eBay bargain! Pity the cleats cost 8 times what the pedals did! I went the whole hog with a pair of NOS blue Diamant shoes. A wee bit narrow for using for a whole day but they look the part and are fine for a couple of hour rides. I might invest in a set of single sided spd trekking pedals so I can use my normal shoes on longer rides.
Original tyres were blue and black Vittorias (enough said) which have been changed over for good old Michelin dynamic classics. The seller also had a set of sprint wheels which we did a deal on after the sale, I'm just waiting on getting around to cleaning the old glue off and fitting a set of amber wall Vittorias.
Spec as it was described to me below.
Frameset - 1985 Colnago Superissimo. Columbus SLK tubing, original paint. Chrome fork.
Wheels -1985 grey Mavic G40 Clinchers on Campag NR hubs and QRs with black oil clips.
Campag. SR 52/42 chainset, 170 crank, fluted stamped "strada 170"
Sachs 13-26 7-speed freewheel.
Pedals- Campag SR, original dust caps, complete with guides ,Campag medium clips and Alfredo Binda Straps
Rear derailleur Campag SR.
Front derailleur braze-on is not SR, it looks right but I believe it is from the later c-record group (I bought a clamp-on SR mech. by mistake) . His words!!!
Downtube levers- Simplex SLJ,
Brakes-SR drilled levers
Campag SR brake calipers, black Campag blocks and wheelguides-
Cinelli "giro d'Italia" bars 44cm,
Cinelli a1 stem 120mm
Saddle- CONCOR San Marco supercorsa.
SR fluted seatpin.
I did not want the hassle of used headset and bottom brackets (NOS Campag SR are hard to come by and very expensive) so I decided to use NOS Campag chorus from the 90's which look right,are very smooth and totally reliable. Again his words!!!
Sprint wheels - Mavic GP4 on Campag NR hubs. 13-24 7 speed freewheel.
I know the purists will tut at the headset and BB but they're parts that nobody really looks at. The headset you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference unless really looking and although the cartridge style BB is a bit more obvious I'd rather have nice smooth new bearings.
, on Flickr
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Hopefully nobody will spot anything obviously wrong in the photos.
Actually, just previewed this post and the front brake cable does look a tad too long. I've said it so you don't have to!!!
'97 GT STS 2 - XTR'd to the hilt.
'94 Retrodale Delta V