Road Bikes: December 2008 Archives

Masi Speciale Commuter

E_with_bike.jpgI was quite surprised yesterday when my wife gave me a 2008 Masi Speciale Commuter for Christmas.  This is a real 'swiss army knife' of a bike that comes set up as a single speed bike, but has all of the braze-ons, rear frame spacing & rear derailleur hanger to add as many gears as would make a guy happy.  I would imagine ultimately the bike will end up set up with a compact double front chainring and 9 speed rear + bar end shifters + (probably) fenders....which, by the way, is what Masi is selling in their '09 line as the "Randonneur".  The bike's not hard on the eyes, and a nice ride too!  Here are some pics of it with the family + one to show the really cool curve of the handlebars.....very cool!
E_with_bike2.jpg Masi_Christmas_day.jpg


1987 Schwinn Le Tour 12 Speed Road Bike - Reborn

I thought I'd put some photos up of the Le Tour.  This is a nice, simple US-made Schwinn that I am tempted to build a cool, "city bike" style bike out of.   The running gear is all good.  I have a feeling that some of this bike was grafted with a Peugeot at some point in time because it has Hueret detrailleurs (as opposed to SIS Shimano, which I believe would have been correct for '87), a Stronglight crankset and French Rigida 27" aluminum rims.  In it's current state, it's a few cm too small for me, but I am thinking with stem, bar and seatpost changes it could be a great upright greenway cruiser.

LT_crank-forweb.jpg   LT_rear_derailleur-forweb.jpg   LT_rear_triangle-forweb.jpg
LT_rim-forweb.jpg   LT_4130_label_FD-forweb.jpg

Like a lot of my bikes, this one has also been modified and reborn as something slightly different.   Today - October 2009 -  it looks more like this:

Dsc_0977.jpgThe original drivetrain remains on this bike.   I changed the handlebars for mustache style bars and installed Suntour ratcheting bar end shifters.  The seatpost was replaced for something longer and a new take-off seat gifted from a friend was installed on it.  I used a set of aero brake levers (circa late 80s) paired to a set of 105 dual pivot brake calipers also of a late '80s/early '90s vintage.  I added the rear rack and usually run some type of SPD pedals.   It got new cables, re-lubed bearings and the usual fare of "clean up" work you would expect.  It makes a very nice urban bike that isn't bad at all to log 30+ miles at a time.  I am hopeful the 27" Rigida wheels hold out.  I was lucky to find a pair of virtually new, good tires for the bike from the local Craigslist for $5 for the pair.  I am sure this bike will continue to evolve.  In fact, it has already evolved a little bit since these photos were taken!

The Peugeot P8, reborn - an Urban Commuter/Tourer

P8_1-forweb.jpgThis turned out to be a rather slow and randomly accessed (ie, done in bits & pieces here & there...with bits & pieces from here & there) project, but I have almost completed Phoenixing  the 1982 P8 Carbolite bike into a nice, sturdy urban commuter (or tourer) bike.  This was done using take-off parts mostly, along with some Ebay bargains.  The wheels migrated from the PSV10, since they were 700c, aluminum, 7 speed rear, and generally in alright condition.  The handlebar was swapped with an aluminum drop bar that came attached to a stem I needed for Elliot's bike and the Shimano 105 derailleurs and brakes were all random spares from Ebay.  Mounting modern brakes with recessed bolts required some minor drilling (one side) of the brake bridge and upper fork to accomodate post-1985 style road bike brakes.

P8_front_brake.JPG P8_rear_brake.JPG

This Carbolite 103 frame is not the finest piece of craftsmanship to ever leave Europe, but on the other hand the geometry is great and it's probably unbreakable to the same extent as you'd imagine a 1965 Schwinn!  The frame originally did not have a rear derailleur mounting tab, but rather incorporated an adaptor as part of the original derailleur.  I modified this adaptor by tapping it to fit the 105 derailleur and grinding/welding the metal to mate correctly to the tensioner mechanism.  Ultimately, this turned out nicely, though having to do such work may be the first clue to move to another frame for someone who doesn't have access to basic machining tools & a welder.

The brake levers are Shimano 105 and the bar end shifters are Shimano ultegra (currently set on friction).   I have not tried the light out in truly dark situations, but this is the Cree LED Lowe's Task Force flashlight that was recently highly acclaimed as the best bargain on a bright bike light. The saddle is a vintage suede Turbo saddle from the 1980s.

P8_4.JPG   P8_5.JPG
P8_handlebar_setup.JPG   P8_rear_der_hanger_detail.JPG P8_crank.JPG   P8_carbolite_label-forweb.jpg

Bertoni Nuovitalia

NI_head_badge.jpgNot sure the year model, but this is a Bertoni Nuovitalia, with Columbus Matrix tubing and a mix of Shimano 600 and Campy components.  It should be from some time between 1986-1988.  I'm still researching this marque and the models.  This is the same size as the Bertoni Professionale, but there are a number of subtle and not-so-subtle frame construction differences.  Still, to me it's a beautiful machine and it appears to be quite original in its current state.   Of course, the challenge will be for me to see if I can resist giving it a few modern amenities....well, or maybe which ones to give it....or....well, for now, it's almost a time capsule to the '80s.
NI_sideshot_1.jpg NI_crank_frame_center.jpg NI_brake_lever.jpg

NI_rear_frame_detail.jpg NI_rear_brake_bridge_detail.jpg NI_pedal.jpg NI_full_shot_perspective.jpg

I thought I should add an update to this section to show the current evolution of this bike.  For the purists who love ribbon tape and gum hoods, I'm sorry.  I love those things too, but I realized quickly that there were some things I wanted on the bike in order to really have it be one I reach for when I want to go for a ride.  So, here it is today...well, as of August 2009....

bert_nouva.jpgWhat's different on the bike is now it has the Cinelli bars original to my Bertoni Professionale (probably need to have a good angle shot to get a sense of these...not much flat area on top with these..made for hammering in the drops!), Tektro brake levers (very practical Campy hood copies, imho), new brake cables and housings, new Campy Veloce brake calipers.  Since the photo was taken, I have also replaced the Columbus stickers that has been scratched off when I got the bike.