Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Purpler City Bike Project

Cannondale did a lot of fade jobs in the early-mid 90s, and the purple ones are some of the coolest. This one, a 54cm from '93 or so, was too cheap to pass up - $60, including functional Forté (Performance) carbon/alloy fork.  Including shipping, about $85. Cheap.

Having just bought up a bunch of NOS XTR/XT stuff from Murphy, the shifters are brand-new NOS XT 9-speed, and the rear derailer is an NOS XTR 8-speed (works fine). The brakes are Dura-Ace 7400 (parts bin), as are the cranks. This generation is among the more elegant Shimano made, with the caveat/bummer that the 7400 derailer only works with 8-speed shifters, which aren't supported in this garage.

The Rolfs aren't going to stay on for city duty, but they look cool with the yellow Cannondale script.

The Steelman stem is now an extremely expensive item ($400?), but I had it in the bin so WTF.

Headset is the usual Cane Creek, which still makes reasonably priced 1" stuff. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

1974 Schwinn Paramount


Scored this lovely, lovely thing off ebay.  Still deciding how to build it up, but may start with a track-style rig just so I can ride it while I acquire the 70s Super Record stuff.

From bikes!

Tubes are Reynolds 531, their top alloy at the time.  Dropouts are Campagnolo front & rear.  Headset is Campy Record.

From bikes!

Reynolds decals are usually pretty cool, but this one is my favorite.  Ok maybe it's a tie with the 6-4 Titanium one on my Moots SL.

From bikes!

Haven't decided on rims yet, but these are the hubs.  Period-correct thread-on freewheel Record units, 32-hole.  Beautiful.

From bikes!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2001-ish Cannondale silk road Caltrain bike

Update: we had an altercation between this bike and the house... everyone forgets their bike is on the roof of the car at least once right?  Well, it finally happened.  Screwed up the Open Pro CD wheels, so I put some reasonable alternatives on.  Need to swap out this racy 11-23 cassette with the 11-32 hillclimber.

Rolf Vector Pros with tubular Tufo Elites makes sense for a commuter bike, right? 

First iteration: normal road bike with drop bars; this is at Sea Otter 2002

I bought this frame a long time ago and used it as a regular road bike (did the death valley century on it, ouch), then as a geared commuter with bar-ends & bullhorns, then a single-speed commuter with bullhorns for riding to Urchin HQ in San Diego, then as a very comfortable and fast beach cruiser for Mission Beach boardwalk duty, and now, finally, as a Caltrain bike commuter/hillclimber, with very low gearing for going up Folsom St.  Don't seem to have any pics of the first version (normal road bike), but here are some other variants.

2nd iteration - ghetto "STI" shifting setup with bullhorns, bar-ends, and regular vintage levers... kinda cool

cockpit is wacky but works pretty well and is cheap-ish

in commuter guise - redundant lights, kinda ugly
Perhaps this is an ignominious state for a somewhat "serious" road frame, but you know what, it's really fun & comfortable to ride like this, and I think it looks sorta cool.
front 1" or so of suspension makes this thing super plush for boardwalk cruising
Wheels are pretty matchy -- Open Pro CDs front and rear -- but with a King front hub, and Paul WORD rear.  Front whee was found on ebay cheap, rear was built up by Mike.

Soma Sparrow riser bars are perfect for road bike->city bike conversions (but I like the SyCip Wonderbar even better)

on wet/hard sand, this thing actually works fine with 23mm tires

cool vintage Paul brake levers
But then, in Sept. 2011, we moved up onto Bernal Hill, which entails the ~18% Folsom St. grade.  Time for gears I guess.

Went with a 1x9 setup.  Dura-Ace 7700 crank w/ 42t chainring in front, 11-32 cassette in back, with XTR derailer from the parts bin.

Rolf Vigor is ridiculous overkill, but it's an orphan and it's handy, so oh well.  Thanks M. Gaiman!

XTR derailers from ~2004 are sharp

Paul Thumbie plus Shimano bar-end shifter make a super crisp shifting setup.  Dig it.
The curent state of this bike is my favorite.  Upright and comfortable like a cruiser, fast and efficient like a road bike, equally good on flats or hills, hassle-free flat pedals, and pretty light at 20.5 lbs.

Cannondale 2.8 weight-weenie project

King ti cage, looks alright
This one started, like so many others, from a saved search on ebay.  "Cannondale polished 2.8" or something.  Then, one day, while minding my own business, this allegedly NOS frame pops up.

"NOS" 1994 Cannondale 2.8 road frame/fork/headset

Pretty smudged and the decals weren't perfect, but I suppose it could have been hanging out in a dusty rafter for 17 years or so.  Definitely not in a box though.

R.I.P., Pennsylvania production facility

So, the "2.8" on these frames refers to the approximate weight, in pounds.  This one is a bit heavier, coming in at 2.91 lbs., or 1320g.  Not bad for 1994 or so.

From bikes!

Anyway, having recently disposed of my previous weight-weenie project, a Giant TCR that was built-up as a Campy-powered cheap-ish sub-15 lb. frankenstein, I decided this one should also be a Campy-10-equipped low-budget vintage weight-weenie project.  Can it be done at under 15 lbs.?  We shall see.

Standard Chris King headset & spacers -- can't help it, I love 'em (sorry BSNYC).  Easton EC90 1" fork.

The shifters on this thing are Centaur 10-speed, which are slightly lighter than Record due to lack of the "escape" shifting mechanism (the ability to shift up several gears at once -- "dump the whole cassette", which is cool but not super necessary)

Chorus 11 to start, but then I switched to Record 10 for harmony's sake once I'd disassembled/cleaned my old one.

The goal for this project is sub-15 lbs. with alloy wheels and nothing ridiculous like tubulars.  The initial build is close -- 15.2 lbs. with pedals & cage, but not where it needs to be, so some additional weight-weenie-ness is being considered.  Probable move will be a Ritchey ~100g stem, KCNC titanium cassette and fancy chain, and maybe some zero gravity brakes, tho I much prefer the Campy Record units on there now.

Centaur crank... may swap in Record, not sure if they're really any different.

Speedplay X1 ti pedals, my favorite

Selle Italia C64 80g saddle, actually reasonably comfortable

Almost done, just need to lose about 90g

Regina's '90s Polished Cannondale 2.8

Another gorgeous 90s Cannondale polished 2.8 series frame, my favorite.  Cannondale didn't make a large number of these due to the tedium of sanding the welds with tiny belt sanders for long enough to make the tube junctions almost totally seamless.  Apparently they were expensive labor-wise because of this, and it was cheaper to just do a decent job and paint them.

This one originally had some pretty cool mango/gold-ish colored Mavic Open Pro/CODA wheels that you don't see too frequently, but one of the hubs failed, so these sweet Rolf Vector Pros were swapped in, which matched the King headset much better anyway.  Stem is a Syntace F119, also in polished aluminum.  Total bike weight with pedals is 16.9 lbs., not bad.

Regina races in Rosarito-Ensenada, Sept. 2006; yes she was wearing lots of sunblock

Cannondale cyclocross race bike

This project started, as usual, when I found this deal on ebay.  $225 for a frame, fork, and chris king headset... well, couldn't not buy that.  The headset alone is worth almost half that.

The original iteration of this bike was a touring/rain setup with fenders etc., but since I never toured anywhere, it got repurposed into a cyclocross race bike.  Disc brakes are far superior of course, but the mechanical Avids are not super impressive, and I figure once Shimano comes out with hydraulic road levers, that will be the time to switch.  In the meantime, cantilevers set up well work tolerably ok.

The key addition to this thing was the Reynolds Cirro tubular wheels.  I got these free from a race team because they were damaged -- each rim had a small crack from impact with a pothole.  So I got them repaired by a carbon-experienced friend (Trystan), glued on some Tufos, and bam, this thing is hella light.  These wheels are about the lightest you can get this side of $3k-each-Lightweights.  1150g for the set(!)  With some other light stuff -- Easton EC90 carbon bars, a carbon Record lever, Alpha-Q fork, and SLR seat/Thomson Masterpiece.  Drivetrain is Dura-Ace 7700 1x9 with Paul chainkeeper (an absolute must -- have had a few races ruined by dropped chains that couldn't quickly be put back on due to lack of front derailer).

I think older Cannondale cyclocross frames are the best way to go for a low-budget/high-performance cx race bike.  Light, strong, cheap, and made in USA.

2000 Polish Olympic team Ellsworth track bike

This is one you won't see every day.  Apparently this was made for the 2000 Sidney Olympics Polish track team.  Sat in a warehouse for years, until Ellsworth decided to ebay the unused frames in about 2008.

Per the frame sticker, these are made from Easton superlight scandium/aluminum tubing, and indeed they are light.  This one weighs in at 13.99 lbs., with old Campy front wheel and quick-release seatpost clamp. Could be quite a bit lighter.

These were made by someone besides Ellsworth in Portland I'm told, but I'm not 100% sure about that.  No shortage of capable builders up there.

Anyway, some odd things about it.

  • 1" fork -- lucky I found this rare Oval Concepts Jetstream fork in 1"... like hens' teeth
  • 28.6mm seatpost tube -- fortunately Thomson makes one
  • seatpost tube is so thin the welds came thru, so there was much filing involved getting the post to fit the frame, and this is very hard aluminum, took forever

Heading to the San Diego velodrome with the Ellsworth and the 90s Cannondale track bike in the '78 300D... a night that would not end particularly well.

Ouch! the velodrome concrete is like 100 grit sandpaper, and is very effective at removing skin.  I don't recommend sliding across it at speed.  What I do recommend wholeheartedly is real Japanese kieren gloves with armored kevlar knuckles.  They are expensive -- ~$150, but you'll be very glad your hands didn't get destroyed if you ever crash.  Small price to pay.