Road Bikes: March 2010 Archives

puch_mistral_top_seat_lugs_www.jpgSometimes you see things on Craigslist that just make you chuckle.  A few months ago, I saw an ad in the bicycles section.  There was no photo, and basically the ad read "Puke classic road bike - $40".   If that doesn't sound enticing, I don't know what does!  Well, I called and the seller said it was an expensive bike when it was new, but since that time I believe it was probably put up a bit wet a few times.  The components were a little rusty, but the frame (inside and out) had no deeper battle scars than a few surface scratches.  This bike is probably about a 1986-1988 model and it came with all of what I believe to be the original equipment - a full SIS Shimano 106 6 speed drivetrain with aero brake levers and a Tange triple butted chromoly frame.   Here's basically what it looked like:

puch_mistral_before-www.jpgI think that photo was taken after i cut off the rusty chain with bolt cutters and probably while I was in process of using the same method of removing the brake and derailleur cables.  The bottom bracket was super-notchy feeling, but surprisingly enough the axle races and cups were not really bad.  The headset was fine but the wheel bearings will need to be repacked before they can be put back into use.

So, what to do with a bike that comes in as a basket case and - without a sentimental attachment to make it original?   A lot of choices came to mind, but this time for me it was time to rob the parts bin of some kinda cool stuff I had scrounged and build a modern-esque bike on the very nice lugged steel Puch frame.    So, a few months later, it came out pretty much looking like this:

puch_driveside1_www.jpgThe wheels were take-offs from someone's "plastic" road bike, the tires, tubes, and fork were on another bike I had (1" threadless steerer).  The drivetrain is a compact double (Campagnolo Veloce) 50/34 crankset matched with a 9 speed rear end with a Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur and brake/shifter set (I know, I know....but the shifters had been pronounced dead & I brought them back to life).  The bars and seat were general shop fodder. The pedals were among a group of old Look pedals I picked up from a parts bin at one of the local shops.  Oddly enough, perhaps, I have something like 10 sets of pedals that use these cleats. With my interest in trying out different setups (thus the compact crankset), I also tried a rather narrow (compared to modern standards) bar width matching my shoulders a bit more precisely than the wider bars I usually see on modern machines.  All in all, it turned out to be a nice ride.  I'm not convinced I like the compact double setup, but it is certainly a different - and perhaps more efficience in terms of gear ratio duplication - experience for me.  Here are a few more pics of the build.

puch_drivetrain-www.jpg puch_bars_www.jpg

Grandis Special

October 2010 UPDATE:  The Grandis has finally been (sort of) brought back to it's (mostly) Italian glory with a rebuild using late '80s Campy drivetrain and brakes and a somewhat nicer wheelset laced to Shimano 600 hubs.  Here are some photos taken right after a hilly 16 mile test ride where I decided I much prefer 39/53 chainring sets to the 42/53 that I have here.  Whatever the case, it is smooth, fits nicely and I believe will work it's way into my rotation of riders quite nicely.   For now, here are some pictures of how it sits at the moment:

grandis-newbuild-2.jpgBelow is the original post.  Since the frame is the same as below, check out the beautiful construction of this Grandis frame in the photos below....

grandis_driveside_lr.jpg This is the latest museum addition.  This is what i believe is an early 1980s Grandis road bike.  Grandis is an Italian bike maker who only imported to the US in relatively small numbers, apparently during the late '70s and early '80s.  The company is still alive and well, but is no longer importing to the US.  The bike was originally a completely Campagnolo-clad machine built on a highly detailed  (but tastefully done) lugged Columbus steel frame.  Almost all the Campy was gone by the time this fine machine was added.  Currently, it has it's fair share of scratches and general "patina"  - which is fine, but all the components except the seatpost have been replaced some time in the past with a Shimano Exage group.  The upshot is that the bike arrived in the condition shown, with new tires, new bar tape, and mechanically ready to ride.  I hope for this to be a slow, period-correct and tasteful (er, as opposed to some of my other works) restoration to the Italian glory this bike was built for.

grandis_seattube.jpg  grandis_crownfork.jpg

grandis_bottombracket_lugs.jpg grandis_brake_bridge.jpg

grandis_seatboltdetail.jpg grandis_seatlug.jpg

gandis_chainstay_nondriveside.jpg grandis_rear_dropout.jpg

grandis-chainstay_driveside.jpg grandis_campy_seatpost.jpg