Thursday, June 21, 2012

Early 1970s Masi Gran Criterium

Photos used by permission from Ray Dobbins

The Masi Gran Criterium of the 1970s is a finely-crafted racing thoroughbred that is arguably the most sought-after bicycle among vintage enthusiasts. I hope to own one someday, but in the meantime, I can enjoy numerous pictures online, including some wonderful shots by Ray Dobbins, found on his site HERE

You can read more about the Masi GC HERE, HERE, and more nice pics HERE.

If you own one of these, chime in, and send some pics as well. I'll be happy to post them. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Campagnolo Nuovo Record Long Cage Derailleur

Campagnolo Nuovo Record with Rally cage

This 1976 Campagnolo Nuovo Record long cage derailleur is a freak, a mutation, a grotesque monstrosity that shifts better than any other long cage I've ever owned. Purists beware...this post may offend.

No, Campagnolo didn't offer this in their line, but a great mechanic named Spence Wolf at the Cupertino Bike shop in Northern CA did a lot of these mods back in the 70s (see pic below). 

Spence Wolf mod

Mine is simply a Campagnolo Rally cage bolted onto a Nuovo Record derailleur. It came mounted in my old Klein touring bicycle and, capably, nearly silently, pushes the chain along the six speed, 13-30 range. 

Here's a couple more mods:

[Community member quote] "I am running NR and SR derailleurs with Rally cages on two bikes, and an old steel Record with copy of last gen Rally cage which is longer, and they all shift great.  Faster than Rally and I think it covers a greater range since the upper pulley can't pull itself into the large cog.  The longer cage on the steel Record allows me to use 28-44-48 and 13-31, a range of 38 teeth, with ease.  The longer cages are being reproduced now and will be available before too long.  In versions to fit all of the above derailleurs.  Pics show the steel Record and the cage I copied on a last gen Rally."

Campagnolo Super Record with a Lepree cage

Have any photos of other derailleur mods? Send them on in and I'll post them. VintageRacingBicycles [at]   Thanks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Cirque du Cyclisme - Leesburg, VA

2012 Cirque Results HERE.

2012 Cirque Results HERE.

I had a phenomenal time at the 2012 Cirque du Cyclisme and wish to thank Dale Brown, MJ, Wayne, and all of those who brought their wonderful bicycles to the show. It was great to put faces to so many of the names I've become familiar with on the CL List over the past few months. This was my first Cirque, and I hope to make this an annual event.

Twenty-five years ago I hung out with "cyclists," but they were competitive racers and had no real interest in their bicycles beyond how many grams they could shave off of them. I learned a lot about riding from them, but found no kinship in my love of the gear. The fine folks that I've met through the Classic Rendezvous Google Group (The CL List) and those at the Cirque love cycling as a sport, but also love these simple, elegant machines that we collect. It isn't about weight, it's about legacy, workmanship, creativity, and inspiration. I've found my people! :)

Many photos are online, and here's a sample:

From Dale Brown - click HERE and HERE.

From Thomas Adams - click HERE.

More of mine - click HERE.

Also, please check out Mike Kelly's blog HERE. He has taken the time to do a better job writing up the Cirque and has many nice photos as well.

If you have pics of the 2012 you'd like to share, leave a comment with the link to the pics and your name, and I'll add them to this post. 

Thanks! Can't wait for next year!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Restoration Notes - Scratch Removal

Mondia Special Scratches and Paint Blemish - Before

Mondia Special Scratches and Paint Blemish - After

David Tesch Scratch/Abrasion - Before

David Tesch Scratch/Abrasion - After

About $8 at Lowes, $11 at AutoZone

It's satisfying to watch a restoration come together, and on two of my bikes, my David Tesch custom and my Mondia Special, the final steps involve detailing the frame, starting with scratch removal. I've tried a couple different scratch removal systems, including the Fix-It Pro pen, and Meguiars Scratch-X 2.0. Today I used the Meguiars, and, between the two products, I think it worked the best.

For both bikes, I started with a pea-sized amount of Scratch-X on a microfiber cloth and applied in both circular and back-and-forth motions for about two minutes, then wiped the area clean, reapplied the Scratch-X to the cloth, and started again. I did this about three times for each area, for a total of 5-7 minutes of buffing. I also used a Q-Tip as an applicator and buffer, as I found I had greater control of the buffing areas, being careful not to apply to too large of a surrounding area. I used light to moderate pressure, throughout. When finished, I wiped the area clean and applied a coat of Mothers Cleaner Wax, then buffed clean.

If you have any bicycle scratch removal tips or other bicycle restoration ideas, please chime in. Thanks.

David Tesch Custom 1984

[UPDATE - I had the opportunity to speak with frame builder, Brian Baylis a few weeks ago, and he took at look at this Tesch, which he painted. He observed that there was no serial number on the bottom bracket, and this indicated a very early Tesch build. He confirmed this was his paint job, that the bike was custom-built and known in the early 80s as a Tesch 100 model - not 101, which came later. He said that the purple paint scheme was very rare, and there may have only been a handful with that paint scheme.]

I found this David Tesch custom bicycle two weeks ago, and it's a handsome addition to my stable. You can find more photos HERE.

David Tesch was a local, Southern California frame builder who started with Masi, then went into business of his own in the mid-80s. He started making custom frames, like this one, in 1984, then began production of his California 101 bicycles as well as others. You can read a great tribute to David, who sadly died of a brain tumor in 2004, HERE

This bicycle is quick. The frame geometry is tight, but not skittish. When you stand, the bike moves beneath you like any good criterium frame should. I haven't taken this on any long rides yet - just tooled around the neighborhood, but it deserves to be ridden and will be. 

I'll add more about this particular bicycle as I get more info from the experts at the Classic Rendezvous Google Group. These guys really know their stuff, and are always eager to help identify bicycles and provide info on anything to do with vintage racing bikes. 

Drillium Revival

Photo borrowed from Drillium Revival

Over the years, people have attempted to create the lightest bicycle components possible by drilling and milling components and frames. Sometimes this ends badly, as the structural integrity suffers. Other times, it is simply awesome art. This guy is GOOD. He currently has a seat post on eBay that's going for a reasonable amount, considering time he put into modifying it. Click HERE to view his gallery on Flickr.

Many purists scoff at modifications such as these. What do you think?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...