Monday, December 26, 2016

Modolo Professional Brakeset - NOS, Boxed

Sorry - not for sale. I purchased these from an estate sale last week. Got a decent price on them and, of course, figure they're keepers. Rare to find anything "new in box" from 30 years ago. These are from the early 1980s from my research. Either way, this was the heyday of my road riding and the beginning of my passion for collecting bikes. I couldn't afford Campagnolo back then. At 20 years old, I could barely afford the newly-designed Shimano 600 group, but that's what I put on my Batavus Professional frame - my first "good" bike frame. 

The Batavus frame is pearl white with blue decals, and I always thought it would look stellar with these blue Modolos. The question then is - do I live for the moment and build the bike up with the Campy and these Modolos it deserves, or keep these brakes in-box for their collectible value and show-off potential? I suppose, if this is the only thing I have to keep me awake at night, life must be okay. :)

Here's a link to some great info on Modolo brakes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

1980 Trek 710

Bought this Trek 710 two weeks ago from the original owner. He changed out the original Campagnolo Nuovo Record crankset for a triple 20 years ago, added fenders, changed the stem to allow for a more upright riding position. He included the original Campagnolo crankset and bottom bracket. I've torn it down to the frame and will clean, rebuild over the next few months - Winter project.

The Reynolds 531 frame and fork and Dupont Imron paint job are in very good condition. It has the original Campagnolo Nuovo Record (Record) headset, which was rusty/corroded, but I cleaned it up and swiped some steel wool across it to really bring it back to life. 

Looking forward to this build. More pics to come! 

Be sure to check out the Facebook page HERE

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dura Ace RD-7401 Rear Derailleur - The Rise of Dura Ace

Although marketed as a 7-speed SIS derailleur, the 7401 could be used with 6, 7, or 8 speed drivetrains. The industrial design is elegant, the lines, fit, and finish, impeccable. All this reflects the devotion to detail that remains a hallmark of Shimano engineering. 

1986 marked a turning point for road components as Shimano began, finally, to outshine Campagnolo with index shifting technology. It was an exciting time in cycling history as we watched Dura Ace, in particular, but even the Shimano 600 line continue to rise in popularity. For decades, Campagnolo was the pro cyclist's first choice for reliability and performance. At this point, however, we were witnessing something that most hadn't predicted - the gradual but undeniable adoption by pro teams of Shimano Dura Ace. The seemingly-indomitable Italian giant finally had some formidable competition. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Form Meets Function - Dura Ace 7400 Brake Calipers

These beauties will go on my new-to-me Tesch 101 that is my spring/summer project bike. The bike came with a full 1987 Dura Ace group, and these cleaned up really well. They are virtually blemish-free. The levers are also in great shape, and I'll clean them up this weekend. 

Will post full build pics as I go. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

1977 Peugeot PX10

I bought this 1977 PX10 two years ago and it's in beautiful, original condition. I really can't find a scratch on it. There's some clear coat problems on some chrome, but nothing too bad, considering that the bike is nearly 40 years old. 

I'm keeping the huge, rather ugly reflectors and that pie tin spoke detector on the bike. Plain lugs, nothing fancy other than the chromed stays and fork ends, but still a nice specimen and one I'm proud to own. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Encino Velodrome Bicycle Swap Meet - March 5, 2016

A good mix of vintage and modern road bikes with very
little BMX/cruiser/single speed.

Two of these Team Raleigh bikes there. Neither in terrific shape,
but pretty nonetheless.

Late 60s LeJeune in beautiful shape with matching fenders.

Beautiful Legnano-branded Campagnolo hubs.
More on "branded" components HERE.

Many cool, interesting, rare components. 

NOS vintage cyclocross shoes - unused!

New vs not-so-new. Love those Shimano EX/AX brakes.

Although not a large swap, the Encino velodrome bicycle swap drew a moderately-sized crowd this morning under overcast SoCal skies. The threat of rain later in the day didn't dissuade the sellers who spread their wares on tarps and tables. Great prices and plenty of vintage bikes and gear draws a strong C&V crowd to this quarterly meet. 

I walked away with a nice and very shiny 1950s chrome-plated crankset (still need to determine brand), a pair of Serfas cycling eye glasses, pair of toe clips, a pair of Look-branded carbon bottle cages for my (non C&V) Look 585 Team, and some brake pads. 

I'll plan on hitting this again in six months. For the vintage enthusiast, it's better than the monthly Whittier swap that I've attended a dozen times over the past few years. 

Chime in if you've attended this swap or any other you'd like to share a story about. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

1973 Raleigh Professional

My 1973 Raleigh Professional. All original, minty fresh. Frame is 24.5". 

Additional photos here:

Photography: Juliana Jordan

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gummy Gum Rubber Brake Lever Hoods

I really like Suntour Superbe brakes. I've talked about this before; and I'll likely talk about it again. It's something my family and I have grown to accept. 

The pair of levers, shown below, came installed on a Motobecane. They were not original to the bike; but that's academic for the sake of this post. Fact is, I have never seen rubber brake hoods in such tragically-odd condition. This folks, is what happens to brake hoods after the bike has been hanging in the loft of a garage in Southern California for 30 continuous years. Seriously - the previous owner hung the bike up in his garage 30 years ago, and just took it down two weeks ago to place an ad on Craigslist.  

The hoods actually melted onto the lever bodies and handlebar. The pics tell the story.

It wasn't difficult to remove the levers, but I faced a significant challenge in cleaning off the coagulated gum rubber. 

At first I used a narrow-blade plastic putty knife; but this proved too flimsy to pry off the congealed goop. Then I remembered a similar situation about two years ago, where the dried, cracked rubber hoods had adhered to a pair of Modolo levers. I used a simple process involving hot water, a plastic calk remover, and patience. 

I did the final clean up on the Modolo levers with some mineral spirits or paint thinner - can't remember which. 

The same technique worked great for these Superbe levers. I haven't done the final, solvent phase yet, but will when ready to put new hoods on. 

Soak in 140 degree water for 15 minutes. Use caution when removing as the metal is HOT!

You can see the calk remover here. For the most part, the old rubber
just peeled away from the metal.

Ummm.... old gum rubber. Goes great in salads or use as a dessert topping!

A metal pick is great for the small, stubborn bits. 

Lots of rubber had melted into the cable groove. 

The Takeaway:
Most people reach for the solvents first, and ask questions later. Just remember, water is the universal solvent. I learned that in 8th grade science with Mr Tuttle. He's the same person that taught me about using a Bunsen burner and how eyebrows do, indeed, grow back in six to eight weeks. The lesson here is simpler and much less painful. Never underestimate the power of hot water on loosening up gunky particles, sticky dried-on grease, or melted gum rubber hoods. And please, keep the cards and letters coming. 

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