Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This has got well out of hand

This should have been so simple, to scratch my itch for a Masi by buying a frame and building it up with parts that I had lying around.
That's how it all started, but it didnt take long for things to go pear shaped.



The trouble started when I read a CR List posting by Brian Baylis which said:
"All CA Masis have 1973 dated parts. That shipment lasted for several years." Baylis worked there, so he ought to know.
Most Campagnolo parts from the era are not date stamped, so there was no need to mess with the pre '78 brake calipers or front derailler, but the 1981 rear mech had to go.








That left the unfluted mid-80s Super Record cranks and chainrings on borrowed time.
I searched ebay for a set of 175s but everything on offer was either visibly buggered or astronomically priced.
Broadening my search parameters a smidge, I found a mint pair of 180mm Nuovo Record cranks.
Some nice Campagnolo Super Leggera track pedals, a plausible period correct upgrade, were just collateral damage to my credit card bill.
Thankyou Ebay.


The decision to ride the Masi at this year's Noosa Strade Bianche created a couple of more practical problems.




The unpadded Cinelli saddle looked the part, but was excruciatingly uncomfortable after a couple of hours.
Knowing That Eddy Merckx used Ottusi saddles, a boutique-butchered Brooks, on days when his arse was tender, I wanted something similar.
I pondered doing a bit of saddle butchery myself, but, once again, ebay came to the rescue with a nicely modified Brooks B17 Competition.
The B17 Competition was the predecessor the legendary Brooks Professional, and this one has been reshaped, trimmed and re-rivetted with large copper rivets.


The 32 spoke Super Champion Arc en Ciel rims that I had built initially give a lovely ride, but are a bit light for spirited gravel riding at 340g.

A rummage around the shed turned up a single Mavic Monthlery Route rim, which looked ideal at 420g and 21.5mm wide.I tried to get a match on Ebay, eventually buying a pair from Poland for less than other vendors were offering a single rim.The hubs are small flange Campagnolo Record 36h, laced with Wheelsmith DB14 spokes.
Gravel riding is always better on fat tyres.I have long been fascinated by the fat handmade tubulars used in cobbled road races, so this was the perfect excuse to get pair of FMB Paris Roubaix 27mm tubulars








Sunday, February 16, 2014

I dont know how this happened, honest.


So.
Yeah.
I know.
I said that I renounced vintage bikes years ago.
Anyway, this just happened.
It's a 1975 Masi Gran Criterium, made in Carlsbad, California by Masi USA.
Maybe the legendary Mario Confente was in the room at the time, but to be honest I'm just a sucker for a nice twin-plate fork crown.
Lucky I had all the parts just lying around, huh?


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ritchey rethink.



Given the high expectations that I had when I got my late 70s Ritchey frame in 2010, it might come as no surprise that I was initially a bit disappointed.
The 62cm frame has a short top tube for its size, so I figured that a 15cm stem would provide the reach that I was used to on my Ron Cooper.

Initially I was happy enough that I replaced the Salsa stem that I fitted originally with a more classic looking Nitto Pearl, and swapped the shallow, short reach Nitto 185 bars for a swoopier set of Nitto 175s.

This got me suitably stretched out, but I was never 100% satisfied with the way the bike turned.
In fast sweeping turns it railed a nice tight line, but in slow corners the front wheel would turn in and try to stand the bike up, which was occasionally alarming.

Being unwilling to admit to mistakes, even to myself, I persevered for about 18 months, then quietly swapped the Nitto stem for a fluted SR Royal 13.5 stem.

The slow speed handling is now predictable, and the shorter reach lets me ride on the hoods more.

As a bonus, the stem matched the SR Royal ESL seatpost that I had already fitted.










The final piece of the puzzle was finding a plausible set of Ritchey decals on ebay. 
The decal set came with detailed instructions which took a bit of time to digest but, by following the instructions,  the decals went on without a hitch.


The Ritchey has had few sets of wheels.
Lately I have been using 28 spoke Campagnolo Record Strada rims laced to wide flange Record hubs and shod with Conti Competition 25mm tubulars.
This wheelset is not strictly period correct, but it is too nice to be just lying around in my shed.












Now that the handling and fit are sorted I have had some good rides on the Ritchey, notably a gallop around the Ridge Rd loop with a bunch of weapons grade women friends, and last weekends Tour de Ranges.
In both rides the Ritchey kept performing long my turkey timer had popped.