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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:10 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
Just picked this up - and very nice it is too!

It's clearly not been ridden much - the coating on the MA40's is virtually untouched, as is the drivetrain. There a few chips to the paint and some light fading on the toptube but all the chrome is perfect.

Full Chorus (inc Campag "Look" pedals), and included Cinelli 65's (centres unmarked) and an unmarked Record stem - one issue is that the stem bolt is broken so I need to find a replacement & the bar tape is goosed.

I'd hoped I could investigate the frame number and get some details from Terry Dolan, but sadly the frame number on the BB is almost impossible to make out - a combination of very lightly stamped and quite thick paint - will take a look at the fork steerer at some stage. My guess is late 80's vintage.

Looking at slowly bringing it back to life and enjoying some sunny rides on it - will post proper pics when completed.

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Last edited by velocipede on Sat May 23, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Cougar 653
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:57 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:46 pm
Posts: 953
Nice - I got a Cougar 653 this week too (thread is somewhere in this section as well)

I've had a Cougar in a similar colour to that a few years back - it was Columbus SLX 'new' tubing... Beautiful thing it was!

Best of luck with it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cougar 653
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 7:40 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
So, made some nice discoveries with it today as I stripped it and polished it.

First thing is that the groupset and wheels are in more or less mint condition. No scoring at all to the MA40's and brake blocks hardly touched. Only slight downside is a few of the chromed nuts on the brake calipers have some rust, but I can live with that.

Paintwise, it's in great condition all over apart from the top tube, where it has a few paint chips. Also, looks like it's been stood in the sun for some time as the top tube paint is faded, but the rest is all nice and bright.

The Turbo Special saddle was really dried out so I've dosed it up with some Brooks Proofide so that hopefully will bring it back to life.

One really nice find is that the cassette is actually a 9 speed (I think this groupset would have been 7 speed originally?) and is the part Titanium version and absolutely mint - like a jewel when you strip it down! Runs perfectly (on the stand) with the downtube shifters.

All of the chrome is immaculate and has polished up a treat.

Once I've got the stem sorted, it'll be up and running!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:49 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 3:23 pm
Posts: 623
Now that's well handsome. Just a little envious :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cougar 653
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 8:54 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:31 am
Posts: 732
Location: North Kent Coast UK
Now that is nice and just my size too, I am more than a little envious well done air


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 Post subject: Re: Cougar 653
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 5:48 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
OK so finished it off this morning - main changes:

Now with a Cinelli 1a stem
New Benotto tape
Vittoria Pave tyres
Ultegra SPD-SL pedals (I only have one pair of road shoes, between three bikes, these days so had to sell the Looks!)
Turbo Special saddle had a load of Proofide rubbed into it, which has brought it nicely back to life after being so dried out
Inner and outer cables renewed

I'm recovering from a broken back (MTB fall, 4 vertebrae) so can't give it a proper ride but I have just pedalled it gently to the end of the road and it's absolutely fantastic - lovely and smooth, as you'd expect.

Here's some pics!

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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:22 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:53 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Scotland
That looks very nice indeed


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 10:40 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
I used to race on Cinelli 65s in my youth, and a bit beyond, and swore by them.

Now though, even after just a short ride, I'm not as convinced! I think I've got used to modern, squarer bars that bring the levers much closer in.....I'm going to do a retro-mod experiment and fit some carbon deda bars I have, with matching stem (will need a quill converter) just for the hell of it! Will be interesting to see how it feels.


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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:33 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
I've decided to not do the carbon bar thing afterall - I've ordered some Deda Speciale bars that will fit this stem, giving me the retro "look" but a modern bar shape - let's see how that pans out!

In the meantime, I've speculatively advertised the bike on ebay as I have strong feeling that post broken back recovery, I'm going to be stuck on flat bars or my more "upright" adventure road bike - shame but probably realistic


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 9:28 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:48 am
Posts: 1259
Location: Cheshire
OK so the Deda bars have arrived!

Much improved position (for me!) with the levers now lifted up slightly, and pulled in slightly, with the flat section of the bars perfect for riding on the tops.

Much happier with it now!

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