Sunday, November 12, 2006

Light Cross Bike #26: Andrew's Budget Bianchi

Andrew sent me this bike for the lightweight gallery, a pretty cool Bianchi Cross Concept that he spent less than $400 to build!
Andrew said this:

"Hey man, love your site. Been meaning to send you my bike. Your site kinda inspired this project in a way:

I bought a used cross concept frame/fork over the summer, and after I saw your site a few months ago decided to see if this project would make your site. But the goal was always to do this bike on the cheap. So, I had to use the parts I had. Thankfully I had a bunch of stuff lying around.

* Ultegra wheels front and rear, with one mavic 21t cog and spacers on the rear cassette hub
* ITM stem
* Ritchey bio-max pro bars
* two right brake levers, a tektro put on the left and shimano on the right
* Ritchey cross crank, 48t chainring
* Shimano 105 bb
* Michelin mud tires
* crappy Bontrager carbon one bolt post
* old school Dia-compe canti's (gotta swap those yellow pads for green ones!)
* Shimano 520 pedals
* super old Selle Italia flight saddle (lightest thing I had around)
* SRP inline brake levers

The only things I bought for the bike were a cable hanger, the inline brake levers used off ebay, and the bar tape. so in terms of new expense, it was a $360 project. the result is just under 18 pounds on my bathroom scale.

I like it! I've liked the looks of those Bianchi Cross Concepts, something about the black and celeste thats sexy. Even better was the budget aspect of this ride, looks cool!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Colnago Conversion pt 5: Where we at?

Well, first post in a week, and I thought I'd give a little update on where the Colnago "restoration/conversion" is going. Basically, Im hunting down the parts that I still need, like a Dura Ace seatpost and cranks. I bought a stem that will work, Cinelli, 1980's period-ish. Ideally, I want to toss on a Dura Ace stem, but I dont want to pay $75 for one, so im hunting the ebay for one at a reasonable price.

I've considered some of the comments I got on the last post about running STI's and Ergo's, basically no one wanted me to use barcons. This is my reply:

I wanted the drivetrain (derailleurs, cassette, cranks etc) to be Dura Ace because all my wheels are Shimano. I chose DA because all my other bikes are Shimano, and I already had some Shimano parts to go on this bike. I could run Campy Ergos that ran through a Jtek to my DA derailleur but thats weird. Campy shifters and the rest of the bike is Dura Ace? I dont like that.

I could sell off all my Shimano stuff that I've bought for this project and replace it with Campagnolo, then I could use Ergos, but I dont I'd still have only Shimano wheels laying around, and I dont like conversion cassettes, I've never had one that shifted like a champ. And I dont need to collect Campy wheels for just this bike.

I could use Shimano STI's, and I might do that at some point in the future, but right now its about building this as cheaply as possible to minimize the amount my fiancee yells at me when I bring home more bike parts to go in our cramped "office". But "dont cry for me" +1lap reader, things will be okay, I have a plan.

At this point, I really am going to use barcons, If I can snag a deal on a set of STI's, I'll pick them up and mount 'em up, but til then, I'll be in the drops with one pinky on the retro-indexed shifter.

Unless anyone has parts they want to donate to the project?

Friday, November 03, 2006

History of Paul brakes...

Thought this was an interesting read and something I havent seem before, the history of Paul brakes with pictures.

"The silver canti [2nd from bottom left corner] was my second attempt at canti's. The first was in high school, and it was a true hack job. All through high school and college I worked in bike shops on the early mtb bikes.:


Colnago Conversion part 4

The build list?

I want to keep a fairly retro feel/look to this bike as its not a new bike. Its going to be powdercoated white. All white with the chrome in places (as mentioned).

All the components will be silver. I will also have a replica Colnago decal set in white with World Champ stripe color theme for the tubes.

Many Colnago’s came stock with this decal set at one time, its not me merely trying to be a World Champ poser. That would require me wearing this:

And for the build list, I’m thinking of going full Dura-Ace model 7402. Campagnolo would be a better fit for this bike being that it’s an Italian manufacturer, but I really like that old 7400 series Dura-Ace stuff. It looks pretty sharp and it’s cheaper than its Campy counterpart.

What I have and what I still need.

I have: Frame, Fork, Dura-Ace headset, Dura-Ace Bottom Bracket, Tektro aero brake levers (silver, could use new hoods), Nitto shallow drop bars (silver), Candy Sl pedals, White Saddle, Wheels, Paul Neo-Retro and Touring Brakes (silver), White handlebar tape, Dura Ace 7402 Front Derailleur, Dura Ace rear derailleur.

What I need:
27.2 seat post (Dura Ace)
100-110 quill stem (silver or titanium) preferably Dura Ace
170-172.5mm Dura Ace Cranks
White brake lever hoods
Sram/KMC Chain

I still need to decide on the method of shifting.

A typical conversation that occurs within the minds of many cyclocross racers and amongst friends goes like this:

Retro Ron: This is a retro bike; you need to stay with the theme. If this was 1983, it would be bar end shifters for sure.

Modern Matt: But its not 1983. Its 2006, and better options exist.

Retro Ron: But barcons are more durable in the mud and muck.

Modern Matt: But they’re kind of a pain to shift with once you’re used to STI/Ergos.

Retro Ron: But barcons are cheap.

Modern Matt: But they’re kind of a pain to shift with!

In the end, Retro Ron will always tout barcon’s durability and low cost. And Modern Matt will come back to convenience and ease of shifting. For this build, I think I’m going to use barcons. If this was a 2006 Specialized or Redline, I’d probably choose STI levers. But the scale was tipped in barcon’s favor with the theme of this bike being a retro one.

Lastly, I've got the rear dropouts pretty clean and sparkly. Here's a photo progression of what that process was like:

Dropout 1: As I received the frame.

Photo 2: Some Epoxy paint stripper applied.

Step 3: Most of the paint off.

Step 4: All polished and looking good.

Part 5 coming soon...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Cool Gloucester video

Saw a really nice Gloucester video on, inspiration.

Video link

Colnago Conversion part 3

Part 1
Part 2

Well the conversion is changing into more of a restoration. This Colnago frame technically has all the aspect of a cyclocross bike now (rear width for a cross tire, and cantilever brake mounts), now its just piecing it together and restoring this forgotten and abused frame into something wonderful.

Today, I removed more powdercoat from the fork crown and dropouts. Because this fork was once all chrome, the dropouts are still chromed, so I will leave those chromed areas as well as the fork crown unpainted. Basically, my plan is to clean up the areas of the frame and fork that I dont want the powdercoater to powdercoat.

These areas will then get masked off and the rest of the bike will be PC'ed white. The pantographs on the frame are begging to be accented, so I am in the process of choosing an accent color. Thus far, I'm thinking blue or red. Below is a rough photoshop mockup of what I'm thinking the fork will look like when complete with the red accent.

The chrome on the dropouts is in better condition than that on the crown, which kinda sucks, but guess thats life. The dropouts are stamped Brevetto Colnago. It'll be nice to not have the dropouts on the front or the rear powdercoated as this way the skewer wont tear up the paint in those areas.

stay tuned for part 4...