Thursday, July 15, 2010

70s Stella city bike

finished bike: about 22 lbs. (pre-basket)

Against my better judgment, I pulled this frenchie road bike from the pile of crappy bikes in our breezeway and set about removing all the heavy steel parts and making it a useful city bike. I admit I was seduced by the cool "Stella" cursive script and especially the "VAINQUEUR DU TOUR DE FRANCE CINQUANTENAIRE".


This means more or less "winner of the 50th anniversary of the Tour de France", for you non-francophiles. Turns out that was 1953, and it was won by the great 3-time TdF champion Louison Bobet, and on 100%-French bikes (last guy to do that, I think). Of course, the actual 50th Tour was the 1963 (several years were skipped due to wars, etc.), which was won by Jacques Anquetil on a Gitane, as was his habit.

thanks to the Park BTS-1 threadcutter, the Ultegra 6500 BB and 105 crank (with half-length chainring bolts) could be installed - 24 TPI English threads, yay

Anyway, about this project -- absolutely everything on this bike fought me:

  • bottom bracket: wacky french threads... I actually bought a $500 Park bb threading tool and fixed the threads (24 TPI English). Then the shell width wasn't quite standard -- a 68mm stuck out a bit in square taper, but an octalink one finally worked well. Kind of silly to put an Ultegra BB in this thing, but I had a 105 crank, so it worked out.
  • fork interior diameter: 22.0 mm.

"adjusting" the 22.2 mm Serotta stem down to 22.0 mm

Say what? The nearly universal standard for stems is 22.2 mm, but no, the frenchies go .2 mm smaller, so I had to get some sandpaper and manually "machine" this old scratched-up Serotta quill stem to the french standard... but now it works fine.
  • seatpost: 26.0 mm, but had to be filed to accept a modern post

  • before: 36 lbs. or so and really ugly

    Component highlights:

    • Serotta 22.0 mm stem (custom!)
    • Tektro purple brake levers (yeah, I got a deal on a bunch of these, despite their questionable taste)
    • Cannondale (Tektro) rear dual-pivot brake
    • DiaCompe super long reach dual-pivot front brake
    • Specialized Alias 130mm seat (silly overkill, but I had it and it matched)
    • pink Velocity deep-V rims w/ Godspeed hubs (again, more than I wanted to spend, but they presented themselves with tires, freewheel, and fixed cog for $199 brand new)
    • Topeak removable shopping basket
    • Planet Bike fenders
    • Ultegra 6500 octalink BB
    • Shimano 105 crank
    • Kalloy Uno seatpost
    • Nitto handlebar

    handsome Nitto handlebar detail... and dig the purple lever

    My brother rides this bike around now with his 2-year old in an iBert. Cute!


    mkm said...

    Looks great! Good job.

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