Hello everyone, new member here.
I’ve been trawling through the forum looking at some great Concordes and thought i’d add my own. The bike is now complete and I had a first ride yesterday. I’ll start from the beginning though so get ready for a few posts!
I’d love to say I’ve always been a fan of Concorde bikes but in truth, I saw a PDM Squadra on the Cycling Tips website a few weeks ago and thought it looked great. In their article they’d built it up with modern components and a lightbulb went on in my head.
I’ve built all my own bikes and like most people on here I guess, have ended up with a big box of spares - enough to build a whole new bike. I built up an old Ribble alu frame but never rode it, it just languished in the garage not filling any need. This would be my donor bike.
A quick search on EBay and a Concorde was for sale and nearly ending. A bit of research revealed this is the bottom model in the range but that didn’t bother me, it’s just for a bit of fun.
This is the bike - a Concorde Colombo in Columbus Aelle tubing. A bit of surface rust and the chrome on the forks is shot but otherwise looked OK.
The postman brought the frame at the same time as some Italian BB cups, a secondhand Campy seatpost, A-Headset to quill converter and some down tube barrel adjusters.
A good check over the frame revealed the rust is all cosmetic and the string-test proved it was all straight. The Campy headset was in lovely condition and the cups popped out nicely with my usual tool, a bit of metal pipe.
There were some problems though, with the dropouts and bottom bracket...
First with the dropouts. The drive-side had closed by a fraction of a mm but enough to stop the axle sliding in. I took a drill bit of the same diameter as the axle, placed the smooth end sideways into the entrance of the dropout and pushed it in with a squeeze-clamp. I felt no resistance but this opened the dropout enough to get the axle in.
Next, the rear spacing was 126mm so I used the Sheldon Brown technique i.e. a bit of 2x4, a chair and a size 9 to get the extra 4mm. Worked a treat first time with the wheel perfectly lined up.
Both dropout adjusters were very rusty, stuck and one slightly bent. However they were both in all the way and centred the wheel fine, so I decided to leave best alone.
Next problem the bottom bracket, a strange FAG design with plastic lock rings either side. These had gone very brittle and a normal lock ring spanner just chipped bits off. A pair of mole grips took off the left side in seconds but the drive side was stuck solid.
I used a grinder to cut spanner flats into the plastic which gave a really nice hold, but no good it was still stuck solid. Eventually the remaining plastic sheared off, leaving nothing to hold at all!
Nothing for it, I used a thin drill bit to chain-drill the plastic between the shell and the metal bearing race. Miraculously I didn’t damage the shell threads with the drill but somehow managed to scratch the threads on the other side when I pushed the bearing race out! A quick go over with a thread-restoring file soon sorted that (get one if you don’t have one, very useful and often all you need rather than a full tap. I tend to use it on even new frames, amazing what a difference it makes installing). A quick check and the new cups went most of the way in by hand.
On to paint. The frame came in a rather odd mix of white, flat silver and metallic blue. It appears in the 1989 catalogue as ‘Design Halley’ but doesn’t appear in the 1993 catalogue as far as I can see. There’s a version with yellow which looks quite nice but the blue version is not to my taste.
Interestingly the decals on the left side have peeled off at some point, perhaps a side facing a window in storage?
Paint stripped where I can get to it and the old paint feathered in where I can’t. The whole rear is chromed and I did consider revealing it all, however the steel seems to have been brushed before chroming on the painted areas, I guess to help the paint stick.
The frame feels quite light to me, despite being of the cheapest Columbus, certainly lighter than expected. The rust was only cosmetic with none inside the tubes that I could see.
I understand that Concorde just imported re-badged Italian frames and I read that Torpado may be in the maker for this model. It certainly looks like their Nuovo Sprint or Superstrada models. Any thoughts?