Thursday, November 12, 2015

1994 Colnago Bititan Decor Titanium Road Test.

Because of my truly obsessive nature,  
I really do live and breath vintage bikes for
a large part of my waking life,
 especially now that the kids are older.
so consequently I get to ride quite
a few different vintage road/track bikes, so I 
can tell you, it really takes a lot to move me...
 This Campagnolo Record equipped Colnago did just that.
Although the frame (58cm c-c) was a little on the large 
side for me, I quickly found a comfy sweet spot, which
mirrored the rest of the ride, namely the bike 
rode,operated and feels just right.
Straight away the frame lets you know it is perfectly
aligned, and it's geometry beautifully designed.
The frame feels very stiff, but is also very forgiving
on our heavily chipped New Zealand roads, which will
soon rattle your fillings out riding the wrong frame.
Record seat post probably helps save a few grams, though the Bititan
isn't any real lightweight, I haven't weighed it, maybe 9/10 kg's.
Maybe a lighter wheel set would help in this department, and
usually I am pretty obsessive about unwanted weight, but I 
wouldn't change anything on this bike, except change 
the cassette from the 13-23 to a more reasonable 26.
 The very jewel like Campagnolo Record R/D.

I guess if I am pushed, I would say that the 1995 Campagnolo
ErgoPower system is a little clunky at times, not quite as smooth as the
same period Dura Ace on my Pinerallo, but then this was still
relativity new technology to Campagnolo at the time.
I thought the straight Precisa fork might send shock
waves right up the handle bars and into my wrists and
arms,  but no, like the rest of the bike, they performed
faultlessly. Great looking forks as well!
The twin down tubes which make the Bititan so
unusual,  I had always thought looked butt ungainly in 
the period magazines, but actually they look kinda cool
in the flesh.
Apparently the twin tubes where designed to take some
of the flex out of the B/B, which other earlier
titanium bikes were notorious for.
Having ridden a couple of vintage titanium road bikes,
I can say the ones I encountered where unbelievably
sloppy down low, so I guess Colnago was right.
The Bititan felt super stiff in all circumstances,
it didn't produce any chain slap or sway when climbing,
and in fact it felt stiffer than most. 
Great bike, nice Group set...lovely.
Serious bummer that it is a bit to big for me.
Footnote. in regards to the Campagnolo being a bit 'clunky'
I have heard since writing this post that the first batch of these
derailleurs did in fact suffer from over stiff springs, which you
could have replaced at no cost.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

1960's Cinelli Supercorsa Pista

Here is a newly restored Cinelli Pista
I am really happy with this one, the colour
works really well I think, a pretty classic combo 
with the chrome.
A hell of a lot of work went into the restoration,
but all worth it in the end.

A very nice frame from any angle.

Look's like it means bussiness.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pinarello Restored

Just finished restoring this Pinarello 
frame set for a friend, came out pretty nicely.
 I was a bit worried about the metallic
grey, but was surprised in how well it carried the 
chrome lugs, quite subtle.
I was also worried that the black key line on the 
main decals would get a little lost, but again was
pleasantly surprised to see that they worked well.
Although, I did lighten up the grey quite a bit. from
what was originally intended.



While at work in The Little red bookshop a couple of days ago,
busy doing book stuff, a man entered the shop, carrying
under his arm, what seemed to be some sort of
interesting race bike frame.
Even from a quick glance, one couldn't help but notice a 
bulbous black contraption jutting forth 
from the front of the bike.
Can I help you? I asked.
Would you like this bike?, the man replied, 
 upon hearing the voice,
I immediately recognized that it was Harold,
a gentleman I had brought a very (very) nice set
of 28 hole Mavic Gel 280/Campagnolo wheels from
last year (tied and soldered even).
It turns out Harold is moving to a smaller house, can't really
take the bike and thought I might like it....
like it! I love it, although not not love at first sight.
The carbon 'TT flight deck', made by Carbonz in Wanganui, 
took some getting my head around, I mean yes it's ugly...
but somehow after a day or two of appraising it, letting it sit
in the context of of it's own time, the less than high style 
early/mid nineties that is, I finally came to see the brutal logic
behind the design, and in it a form of the over the top,
go fast thinking that was inspiring  cycle makers at
and you will see what I mean.
To the bike itself, well for a start it's not a Colnago, it's 
a New Zealand built Vincolo, apparently built for
NZ Olympic rider Lee Vertongen.
Garry Buys, who started Vincolo, was a very innovative
frame builder, especially his track and TT  frames.
I am going to Palmerston North in a few weeks to do
an interview with him, so stay tuned.
The frame is fillet brazed from Columbus Max, a tubing 
set that has quite a loyal following among collectors. 
I can see why, the tubes firstly have a really beautifully
rounded tone when you 'ping' them with your finger nail.
They sound light, if that's a possible sound.
The tubes are all contoured, and flatten off at the joins, 
they have complete aero rear triangle, and their
own aero forks, which are very pretty.

I am not sure if the aero head tube is factory, but I am sure the 
aero foil on the B/B has been locally fabricated...nice.

So after taking these photo's last night, I got all fired up,
and assembled the bike into a reasonable riding condition.
 I have to have at lest one ride before I restore it back into
in original Vincolo livery, and put it on display.
 Will let you know how it rolls...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bertin C38 Track Frame

Yes, more Bertin action,
Just today finished this lovey C38 track frame.
Mid sixties frame #38341
This one was in a pretty sorry state when I got it, 
so I decided it needed the full had been a full
 noise track race bike bike in it's early life, and then turned into
a training bike after being retired from the track in it's later life.
After such a full life. I thought it would be nice to 
bring it back to it's former glory..and then some.
The first thing was to have it fully rechromed.
Gisbourn's Custom Chrome to a fantastic job, thanks guys.
 Next, I fixed the numerous small dents and blemishes,
masking, several coats of etch primer/paint/clear coat etc
and voila..a very pretty C38 Bertin Track bike.
I left the brake holes so it could be used as a town bike by
it's new owner if they wish.

hope you enjoy, I did.