Wednesday, April 11, 2012

update for this spring

Not a whole lot to report. I have made a few changes to my bicycles which I will report here.

The road bike got that new rear wheel with the 9 speed drum and brand new 32 hole Mavic Monthlery rim. I also exchanged that lead-heavy Shimano bottom set for a much better Miche, both lighter and nearly perfect fit which is not that easy with the old-fashioned 68mm bottom bracket. Also found a pair of Miche 702 pedals with Ti axles and CF fittings.

The "stable" with the Wastyn, Lea, Pinarello single speed and Koga Myata ready to go.

Much more important tho, I finally got around to having my favorite motorcycle chainwheel maker, Leonard Sieg, make a 42t replica TA chainwheel for the original Stronglight D-49 cranks. These have not been made for a long time now and it is nearly impossible to find anything smaller than 52t, new or used.

Now the bike is as close to original as I can get it. Both rims are replacements, both 36 hole Mavics of the same type, but the hubs are the ones I used in 1962, Likewise the 165mm D-49 cranks, axle and cups, Unica Nitor saddle, Ambrosio bars and stem and Campa headset. I used the matching Unica Nitor seat post which I still have and which is probably much more valuable (rare!) than the Campa now installed but I wanted that Campa back then and could neither afford nor get it. Obviously the Miche 302 pedals are a misfit but I do ride this bike most. The original Campa track pedals are alive and still going strong on the green Lea mixte with short touring clips.

fixed of course

Campa, Nervex, Ambrosio

The Nitor was a revolution ca 1960, the first plastic saddle, available both as road and track saddle like this one. I have used and use other more modern saddles like the Specialized on the Lea but this one remains my favorite for riding comfort.

When I was active, I had two sets of wheels as well as both 165 and 170mm cranks, using the longer for sprints and the shorter for time trials, one wheel set basically for road and training and one with silks on the track.

Since I keep mentioning the Lea mixte and discussed it in some detail in the last entry, here are few pictures of that bike, custom built 1974 by Eric Prooft, owner of "The Cycles Lea" in Bruges.