Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ron Cooper

I have wanted a Ron Cooper racing bike ever since Richard Oddy brought his 1969 Cooper on our first ever Retro Ride back in 2002.

Early this year I posted a wanted to the Classic Rendezvous email list, and within a couple of days I was in negotiation with CR listmember Gabriel Romeu for his celeste Cooper frame.
Gabriel emailed a few photos, and I was sold as soon as I saw the four neat holes in the bottom bracket shell.

The frame arrived in the mail 4 or 5 weeks later and, as is my wont, I quickly assembled the bike for the following morning's ride with the Solo bunch.

Most of the parts were handily lying about, but the Roy Thame sacrificed its wheels, to which I glued a pair of 25mm Continental Competition tubulars.

My plan was to build a basic Campag Nuovo Record road bike, but, as I rummaged around, it became inescapably obvious that I should use a lightweight OMAS headset and titanium bottom bracket which presented themselves.

Continuing in this vein, after a couple of rides I felt compelled to replace the steel Nuovo Record derailler pivot bolts with titanium Super Record parts before venturing onto the Butter Chicken loop with Gayle.

The initial build left a bit to be desired.
I struggled with the 14-21 cluster on the wheelset, and the modern Brooks Professional saddle was a bit wide, so I found a 14-24 freewheel and a rough looking old model Pro which has become more presentable with use.

Gabriel had told me the frame took a 26.8mm post, but my 26.8 post seemed to slip every couple of rides, so I reamed the seat tube out slightly to take a nominally 27.2mm SR Royal post.
While I had a broken collarbone recently, Gayle very kindly came round and buffed the post, which I had de-anodised with ovencleaner, to its current shiny finish.

The Salsa stem was quickly replaced with a plausible looking 14cm TTT Record that came at very good price from ebay.
To further improve my hillclimbing performance I replaced the expander bolt with an aluminium part that requires a 7mm allen key, a tool which is never to be found when you need one.

Headset               OMAS
Bottom bracketOMAS Big Sliding titanium
CranksetCampagnolo Nuovo Record 175mm, 41/53
BrakesCampagnolo Record, standard reach, pre 1978
Brake leversCampagnolo Victory
ShiftleversSuntour bar end shifters
Front derailler             Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Rear deraillerCampagnolo Nuovo Record Pat.82
Hubs Campagnolo Record, wide flange 28h
FreewheelSuntour Ultra 6, 14-24 or 14-26
RimsFiamme Red label tubular
SaddleBrooks Professional
SeatpostSR Royal ESL
StemTTT Record 14cm
Handlebars TTT 44cm

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