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steel bike advice?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am just starting to ride again after a pretty long hiatus and I thought people here might be able to give me some bike advice. I have my road bike from about 23 years ago that is in great shape- an 1984 Pinarello Treviso (Columbus SL), mostly Campy (SR headset and seatpost, NR derrailleurs and hubs, Suntour Superbe Pro brakes (campy copies) and Ambrosio Chrono durex sewup rims. The bike is perfect condition, except for some peeling decals, and fits well. I changed the pedals to Looks a number of years back (still have the Campy SL's in a drawer) and put a new saddle on it (Selle San Marco SLX I think, replacing a Concor).

There are 2 issues to be addressed:
1. I would love to change to index shifting, but it will cost a lot- new rear wheel (mine is pre-cassette vintage), and drive train, brake levers, plus going to a frame builder to cold-set the rear triangle, which is 126mm spacing, to 130mm.
2. I would like wider range gearing (this is Colorado!) from my current 42-52 front and 12-21 rear. Is it even possible to get good quality freewheels anymore?

Does the market value for a high quality vintage hand built Italian race frame make it worth selling and looking for something new, or should I upgrade the steel frame? For what it is worth I am very light (129lbs) and don't need a super stiff frame. I like the feel of the Pinarello, but have never ridden anything in carbon or Ti. I may be able to get some good buys on last year's Camp stuff right now (you don't expect me to put Shimano on it, do you?!!).
post #2 of 29
Quote:
2. I would like wider range gearing (this is Colorado!) from my current 42-52 front and 12-21 rear. Is it even possible to get good quality freewheels anymore?
http://www.interlocracing.com/freewheels_steel.html

Quote:
Does the market value for a high quality vintage hand built Italian race frame make it worth selling and looking for something new, or should I upgrade the steel frame?
As a whole bike, probably not. Take the parts off and ebay them for most cash return, IF you're sure the nostalgia factor has no appeal to you.


Quote:
new rear wheel (mine is pre-cassette vintage), and drive train, brake levers,
Could conceivably be done in stages, if you don't mind riding (and occasionally fussing with) a chimaera drivetrain.

Quote:
plus going to a frame builder to cold-set the rear triangle, which is 126mm spacing, to 130mm.
Almost trivial, really, could be part of the same visit as pulling the crank and putting on a new BB.
post #3 of 29
About 1976 I started riding an all Campy road bike made by Tom Ritchey of mtn bike fame. After about 12 years I made all the changes you're looking at. I did switch to Shimano but there were no other issues. Used it to commute until 1996. Still hangs in the garage.
post #4 of 29

you can do the frame yourself

read the stuff at harris cycles by sheldon brown. also lots of vintage parts.
post #5 of 29
http://www.yellowjersey.org/ergokit.html

I've been to this shop and it's pretty nuts. They are very, very passionate about bikes. Seems like a pretty good deal too.
post #6 of 29
Out of curiosity, dp, is the front derailleur screw screwed into a braze-on or clamped to the seat tube?

PS I did find a youtube vid that shows an 85-86 Treviso as a clamp-on.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!!

Comprex- it is a braze on. It has braze-ons for down tube and seat tube bottle cage mounts, and under the bottom bracket cable guides, braze on down-tube shift lever mounts. The chain stays are chromed, and the fork is painted but I believe it is chromed under the paint (the crown is chrome and engraved). It is a really nice bike, and although looking at some of the latest carbon frames makes me mighty tempted, I am not about to drop $3000+ for a new frame right now. My next door neighbor got a custom made Gangl last year (Ti main triangle and carbon forks and stays) that is just amazing but I think he pain about $4000 for the bare frame before adding a full Campy Record gruppo to it- but he doesn't have any kids in college!

I guess part of the equation is whether I want to keep the bike as a vintage bike or not, but since for now I am likely to be limited to one bike (4 pairs of skis, but 1 bike!) I am leaning towards doing some upgrading if I can do it economically and (as you suggested) incrementally. I'll keep an eye on ebay, too, for drive train upgrades. I guess I should take something new and fast out for a test ride just for a standard of comparison, but maybe that will just make me dissatisfied with what I have now!
post #8 of 29
I have a 1975 hand-built Bill Boston, Reynolds 531 with filed, tapered lugs (not built for me but a pretty good fit -- I bought it in 1977 from a racer going to grad school). By 1999, Bill was retired, so I took it to Bill's protege Tom Kellogg (see Spectrum-cycles.com) to have the rear triangle spread from 120 to 130 mm. He also repainted it (I had had Bill paint it a couple of times over the years just out of boredom with the color) and computer-generated some Bill B decals. Tom said it was completely rust-free, and put Weigele frame-saver inside so it would last another 25 years. I then found bargain Athena ergolevers, cassette, and a rear derailleur on line, and a nice set of new, unused wheels with one year old 9-speed Record hubs on ebay, so I still had my classic lugged steel baby with modern shifting and gear range. So it's eminently doable, and worth it if you love the frame.

It's now in storage since I went back to Tom and had him build me a custom Ti with a compact crank and 10-spd Campy that fits me better as my retirement present to myself. If anybody's interested in a gorgeous, modernized, rideable classic I might be persuaded to part with it
post #9 of 29
keep the Pinarello vintage, get the $$$ together and ride a carbon machine
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
keep the Pinarello vintage, get the $$$ together and ride a carbon machine
Yes, I was originally thinking along those lines, but several things mitigate against it.
- $50k tuition/room/board for my son for 3 more years
- my wife would never go for it. She already thinks I have too many pairs of skis!
- if I got a great carbon bike, how often would I really use the Pinarello? It is such a beautiful machine, but I don't have a place to keep it where it will be appreciated.

I am curious to know how many people have nice hand made vintage Italian frames and ride them in preference to their new up to the minute carbon or Ti bikes. Even those who had vintage bikes who responded to this thread sound like they don't use the old ones much after they moved to a new bike.
post #11 of 29
We've already established that it isn't really suited to your riding, even as an only bike. Keeping it vintage then means selling it.

I see Trevisos on CL for $250-500, and it is hard to believe you could get much more than that for a minty Campy dressed one. Say $800. Heck, say $900.

Neat parts removal (i.e. without marks of violence) and eBay could help someone else keep or restore one or a dozen vintage bikes. And you're still left with a frame you want to ride.
post #12 of 29
I haven't been able to find a road bike that rides as nice as my vintage steel Japanese bike. Bought it at a garage sale for $100, ditched the tubular wheelset for a set of Mavic clinchers on Sachs hubs (bought from a coworker for a case of beer), swapped in a Specialized Toupe saddle and Look Keo pedals. Altogether, the bike cost me around $300. I've been searching for a bike that feels as nice as this one, but none of the bikes I've taken home from work seem to feel similar. I've tried carbon and aluminum, lots of manufacturers (pretty much every brand we sell except Litespeed and Merlin) and I'm still stuck on my old red garage sale bike. I'd love to upgrade it to new components, but the deraillier hanger is really soft and it's gonna come off pretty soon. I'm thinking of getting a custom built Indy Fab with the same geometry and tubes to match the feel.

So, I feel your pain.
post #13 of 29
Just ride it the way it is and see how much you will really ride? I ride everyday and hardly ever buy new stuff unless something breaks. I think biking is the lowest cost/hour ratio of anything I do.
post #14 of 29
Keep the Pinarello, it is a sweet ride. All you need to buy is shifters, rear derrailleur, rear wheel and cassette. If you want to stick with Campy, and you should, You can get used or even new Centaur stuff on ebay pretty cheap and it works and looks great. Don't worry about cold setting the rear, the 130 will fit in just fine. You can buy some tension adjusters to screw onto the shifter bosses and you are set to go.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

update thus far.....

Well, I decided (after losing an ebay auction on a Trek 5200 frame in great shape (sold for about $350, believe it or not, and I missed by a few dollars- I don't have the timing on these things down yet) to do what roadrash and comprex suggested. So far I have a pair of nearly new Fulcrum Race 5 wheels with a nearly new 10sp Chorus cassette for $250 (including tires) and a Chorus square taper crank set for $31. I am still looking for some Chorus dérailleur and (what I was surprised to find was the most expensive part of all) the shift/brake levers. After that I just need the cables and a chain and I'm set to go. I think that I may be able to get the whole thing together for about $600 if I am lucky. Then it is my turn to put the vintage stuff up on ebay, I guess. Anyone here interested? All mint or excellent condition- NR front and rear dérailleur and downtube shifters (also have a set of Modolo carbon composite levers), NR 52/42 crank, Record hubs with Ambrosio Chrono Durex sewup rims, nearly new Vittoria Competition Rally sewup tires (kevlar belt) and 2 regina cx freewheels.
post #16 of 29
You don't need Ergoshifters immediately- 10 speed can be friction shifted with your downtube shifters.
post #17 of 29

NR drivetrain

Hello dp,

What are you asking for the NR front and rear derailleurs, crankset, and shifters?

Thanks.

Stan

PS. I would have sent a PM, but was unable to as a new member without the minimum number of posts.
post #18 of 29
dp, Recent upgrades to Campy's lineup should help you find a few bargains if you have a little patient. Two years ago (model years) they switched from the old square BB and chainrings to the new ultratorque format. As a result the prices of new and used square BB chainsets plummeted. (I saw a brand new Record aluminum chainset for $99 in a bike shop this weekend). This year, Chorus, Record and the new Super Record are coming out in 11 speed, and from Centaur up are getting redesigned shifters. This should really put downward pricing pressure on the previous generation of 10 speed shift levers.

Also, keep an eye on Bike Nashbar, every once in a while they have Campy shifters on sale for ridicules prices. I got a set of Chorus shifters last year for $184.
post #19 of 29
DP, Bike Nashbar has both the Chorus ($254) and Centaur ($199) shifters on sale right now. The Chorus shifters allow you to dump you rear in one push of the shift lever, where the Centaur you have to do it one gear at a time.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post
DP, Bike Nashbar has both the Chorus ($254) and Centaur ($199) shifters on sale right now. The Chorus shifters allow you to dump you rear in one push of the shift lever, where the Centaur you have to do it one gear at a time.
You could also go with ProBikeKit and get the Chorus brifters for $237 (or Centaur for $154, or Record for $281) with free shipping that'll likely arrive faster from the UK to your door in the USA than an order from Nashbar.

I love ProBikeKit: they're usually the best price on components, and their service is speedy (with free shipping for most items). I've ordered a lot of stuff from them (Campagnolo components, Shimano stuff and tires from Michelin and Conti) with excellent results and service.

And if you want to save a little money and don't want the full-cluster dump capabilities of Chorus and Record, you could get the Veloce units (same as Centaur but with metal brake levers and gear paddles) for $101 from PBK - a great value!
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!!

I snagged a couple of other items yesterday on ebay really cheap- Chorus 10sp ergo shifters for $153 and a nearly new Chorus front derailleur for $41. All i need now is the rear derailleur and I am done. I think unless I get a great deal on brakes I will keep the ones I have for now. Roadrash, a guy in a local bike shop clued me in on the discontinued Campy lines- I found a Chorus crank for next to nothing (not the carbon one, but it was only $30!). I think that I will get the cost of the whole project in under $600- completely new drive train (except bottom bracket- using the old NR for now), shifters, wheels, cassette. Thanks for all of the help and advice.

Retrofit- you can email me at dp AT epicski DOT com; I have to do a little research on prices. I also have a pair of Campy SL pedals with Binda toestraps if you are interested in the full vintage setup.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 

update on bike rebuild

I'm almost there- I've got all parts now (final item was a virtually new Campy Record rear derailleur with a carbon cage- more than I wanted to spend but less than 1/2 of retail). The frame comes back from the framebuilder today after cold-setting the rear triangle, and assembly starts tonight! Before and after pictures will follow.

Retrofit, I will do some research and get back to you on the vintage parts soon, although it breaks my heart to see them go. I think the older generation Campy stuff is just beautiful.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp View Post
I'm almost there- I've got all parts now (final item was a virtually new Campy Record rear derailleur with a carbon cage- more than I wanted to spend but less than 1/2 of retail). The frame comes back from the framebuilder today after cold-setting the rear triangle, and assembly starts tonight! Before and after pictures will follow.

Retrofit, I will do some research and get back to you on the vintage parts soon, although it breaks my heart to see them go. I think the older generation Campy stuff is just beautiful.
Thanks. Looking forward to seeing pics of your build.

-stan
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 

finished but not yet ridden

Before: Mostly Campy Nuovo record (except Super Record headset and seatpost, both of which I kept, and Suntour Superbe Pro brakes); Ambrosio Chrono sewup rims
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After: Mostly Campy Chorus (bottom bracket, 53/39 cranks, 13-26 cassette, carbon brifters, front derailleur), Record carbon/Ti rear derailleur, Record chain; Fulcrum Race 5 wheels (clinchers). All snagged on Ebay, gently used.
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http://forums.epicski.com/images/attach/jpg.gif
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post #25 of 29
Cool ride man! Those Fulcrums look kinda odd next to that steel frame though.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobatt View Post
Those Fulcrums look kinda odd next to that steel frame though.
I think I see what you mean, except I don't see it in the steel so much as the mismatch of black deep section wheels against the polished quill stem, fork crown, and threaded headset.

Good job dp, how is the ride?
post #27 of 29
[img]

Take those stickers off the wheels and you've REALLY got something going... I'd probably go with solid tape too - and a white Blackburn cage.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Actually, I can't tell you about the ride yet- I finished putting it together on Sunday night and caught a flight to LAX on Monday morning, so the test ride will have to await my return. However, we are flying to Seattle on Thursday, and I do plan on skiing the Paradise Glacier on Rainier on Friday, so that TR will probably be posted before the bike ride.

I had the yellow and blue tape around the house, so I used it rather than buying new. Otherwise I was thinking of black tape. I do like the Fulcrum wheel logos, however, even though they look a bit out of place with the narrow tubing of the frame. (I saw a pair of Racing 1's on a CF Calfee in the shop on Sunday that I'll admit looked a lot better!) I think the CF brifters are more of a clash than the wheels- maybe I need a black stem...
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

test ride

just got back from a 15 mile shake-down ride. The bike is great! Acceleration feels noticeably quicker than before (new wheels) and the gear ratios are fantastic- easy to fine tune to just the right cadence, lower end is much better even on the few short hills I tried to power up. I can see that it will take a bit to get the hang of shifting, but it is so cool to be able to do it with just a flick of the hand without taking them off of the bars. I am still going in the wrong direction at times, and I need to adjust the rear derailleur a bit- there seems to be a little bit of cage rubbing and it jumped down a couple of times when in the biggest cog. All in all I am pretty pleased.

TR on skiing the Paradise Glacier to follow later tonight (preview: >2500 continuous vert in perfect weather...)
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