Sunday, September 27, 2015

Modolo Speedy Brakeset - Black

I love finely-crafted brake calipers and levers. The best ones illustrate a harmony of form and function. That being said, Modolo brakes may not be the best stopping brakes out there - certainly not by today's standards, but even back in the day. However, Modolo did make great-looking brakes, and their attention to design detail is, to me, very apparent in their models starting at the Speedy level.

I also love Suntour Superbe and Superbe Pro brakesets and, of course, most of the Campagnolo offerings in this category prior to 1990. Don't get me wrong; when it comes to modern builds, there are few brakes more sexy that gleaming polished metal or black Campagnolo Skeleton calipers. But those belong in another blog.

I purchased the Modolo Speedy brakeset pictured here off Craigslist for a song - $50. The levers even had the original hoods on them, but they were so cracked and deteriorated that I threw them away as I began polishing. These will go on a build, eventually. In the meantime, they'll remain in my offsite, climate-controlled, subterranean component vault. 

Share your experiences with Modolo brakes below so our readers can enjoy your stories too!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

1983 Bianchi Tipo Corsa

This build is 98% done. 58cm 1983 Bianchi Tipo Corsa. Wheels are going to need to be changed out. They have era-correct Phil Wood hubs (so nice), but the rims are early 90s Mavic. No huge deal, but there's so much effort in keeping the rest original that I didn't want to skimp on the wheels. I have another set of 80s Mavic wheels that will go nicely. Might even splurge for celeste tires... we'll see.

Dropout screws are in backwards. I have another, shorter pair coming in the mail this week, so those will be fixed. Stem isn't correct. It's a more recent Cinelli. Other than that - pretty much a correct (catalog) build for this bike. 

Frame came to me as a freshly-painted bare frame and fork. Spent this summer slowly builging it up - piece by piece. Really had fun with this build. Something about taking my time, polishing things - working on early Saturday mornings in the garage to assemble what I know will be a beautiful machine. 

More pics HERE.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1985 Schwinn Super Sport

58 CM Center to Center Seat Tube and Top Tube

Full Shimano 600 Grey Edition

All parts removed, cleaned, lubed, replaced

Frame has only a few, very minor blemishes and nicks.

Ready to ride!

Picked this bike up from a local seller in Orange County, CA. He may not have realized what he had. Once I brushed some dirt off the top tube, I saw a beautifully-preserved 30 year old bicycle. 

Took a couple weeks taking it apart and reconditioning it - had a blast doing that, as always. 

For sale, so leave a comment if interested. 

The 1985 Super Sport was three from the top in the Schwinn line-up. Club racer with effective racing angles, light Columbus Tenax (older name for Chromor) tubing. Weighs in at 22 pounds 4 ounces on my Park scale; which is 2 full pounds less than Bianchis of the same era I have. 

Tubular wheels on this one. The original rear wheel (clincher) had a bad axle, so I swapped out the set for something more lively/light. 

Chime in if you've ever owned a Super Sport. 

Catalog can be found HERE.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vibrating Parts Cleaner - It's Time to Come Clean

I recently purchased a 5 lb Vibratory Tumbler from Harbor Freight to clean bicycle parts and bits. Here's a couple videos showing how I used it and the results. 


Chime in by leaving a comment if you've used one of these and care to share your story. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bianchi - The New Obsession

Original listing photo. That is NOT my douug!

1982 Campagnolo NR mech and Gipiemme dropouts

Bianchi-branded Ofmega Strada crankset

Dia Compe hoods fit fine over Universal levers. I have since removed the top ferrules. 

I've always loved Bianchi bikes; particularly the celeste ones from the early 1980s. I found one on eBay recently and the seller was local, so I contacted him. It is a 1982 Nuova Racing with original components and a well-preserved paint job. I took it apart, cleaned it up, and now it's ready to ride.

Actual photos of the Tipo Corsa frame.

Not my bike, but a close-enough vision of what it will look like. 


Red cable housing. Yes!

Three weeks later, fueled by my recent purchase and the fun I had bringing that Bianchi back to original condition, I searched for another. I quickly found a 1983 Tipo Corsa 28-T that was a repaint, but well-done and quite pristine. The buyer was, again, local, so I purchased it and that is now my Summer build project.

I've taken the parts from my Guerciotti and some other I had in stock to build this, and am having a blast.

So why the interest in Bianchis? In and around 1981 and 1982, I couldn't afford any other bike than my trusty Univega Viva Sport. It served me well and I put many miles on it. Still, I longed for a "real" racing bicycle. I cut apart Bianchi, Specialized, and other brochures and created a collage on the wall next to my bed. No poster purchased in any store could have been more inspirational or fun to look at. I memorized the bicycle specs from the charts in the catalogs and dreamed of the day I could finally one one of these fine, elegant machines.

Fast-forward 33 years and I finally purchased a 1981 Super Leggera in mint condition. Unfortunately, it was too small, and I decided to sell it after two years. The ones I recently found fit fine and the experience of wrenching on these and riding them is, in every sense of the term, a dream come true.

I have my eyes open for more and am saving my pennies. The thought has even crossed my mind to sell a Colnago or two to pay for another Bianchi, but I've, so far, talked myself out of that silly notion. :)

What about you - ever own a Bianchi?

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