Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Restoring a Bike to its Old Glory

I have been spending so much time talking about Campagnolo components I am tempted to start another blog in that name; this is another one. A while back I identified all the Campagnolo components on my Specialized Allez. All the components were Nuovo Record, except the shifters and derailleurs that had been "upgraded" to the C-Record shifters and C-Record era Chorus Derailleurs below.

While these are very nice components, I just felt they did not belong with the Nuovo Record parts so I endeavored to restore the old style drivetrain components to their old glory.

Here is the new side view.

The classic Nuovo Record Shifters

The front Derailleur with the very classy clamp.

And the pièce de résistance, the Nuovo Record rear derailleur.

This little gem was lasted almost unchanged for 16 years as the must have racing derailleur. There were some incremental changes however, each getting it's own yearly patent number. I looked to find a late model; this being a Pat 84. There are simply a jillion of these derailleurs out there but they are still quite pricey. I actually found this one in Poland. Turns out the pulley back plate was bent (a very easy fix) and the pulleys are Shimano. The OEM pulleys for these are quite pricey and hard to find, but there are some high quality replicas for about $30, which I will be purchasing in the near future. The NR derailleur was rated for 6 speed, but handle pretty much any tooth count about up to 8 speed. I have retained the 7 speed 13-23 freewheel for now, but I have a 5 speed in reserve. My reasoning for the 5 speed instead of the 6 speed, is because there is something still classic about a 10 speed race bike.

I have the Regina Extra chain that came with the other components but it is a couple of links too short. I have still run the chain through the derailleurs and it works great. But I continue to use a SRAM 8 speed chain, as it works great and is easily replaceable.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You Don't Know Campy

Recently I came across someone in the Netherlands selling a "Gazelle AB-frame, Reynolds 531c, Campa Thriomphe rare" on ebay.
The seller believed or at least advertised a Gazelle
Gazelle AB-frame, Reynolds 531c, Campa Thriomphe; or a Gazelle AB frame made from Reynolds 531 cromoly with a Campagnolo Triomphe gruppo. The Triomphe is certainly not top of the line, just a step above Gran Sport, but one rarely sees the gruppo in the United States and they work very well, so it might be worth buying. The issue is this bike does not have a Triomphe gruppo. Above is the bike and below are the components and the real model.

Crankset: Campagnolo Triomphe; I think they got this one right
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Triomphe; not Triomphe, most likely Victory

Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Triomphe (very rare, take a good look); the rear derailleur is a Croce d’ Aune. As strange as this derailleur looks, they are about as rare as C-Record and usually sell for less.

Brakes: Campagnolo Triomphe; these are old style Veloce.
Brakelevers: \Campagnolo Triomphe; these are old (C-Record era) Chorus.

Hubs: Campagnolo Triomphe; not Triomphe, probably Nuovo Tipo. These were the bottom of the line Campy hubs with stamped steel races.

Seatpost: Campagnolo Record; not Record, these are (C-Record era) Chorus again.

Headset: Campagnolo Mirage; This looks like a winner, of course the model is on the headset, so it makes it earlier to figure out.

And just for fun I'm including the shifters which appear to be (Record era) Chorus friction.

My issue here is not that this seller is trying to pull the wool over someones eyes; I'm sure he really thinks these components are what they think they are. But if you are in the market for vintage Campagnolo, do some homework or find someone who knows; or you may end up with this mismatched gruppo, while it may work, has no real value as a collector's piece.

Take care.