Thursday, September 14, 2017

What's the Buzz?

   I've been a busy bee since we returned from Europe, not only because I was playing catch-up with all of the parts that came in while we were gone, but a good number of folks needed repairs or recruited me for bike searches. I had also tried to organize (some successful, some not-so-much) a few group rides on the weekends.
   Anyhow, I have nearly cleared out my Eli Whitney-like assembly line of parts that had been lined-up and ready to go on my long work table with nearly four complete bikes-worth of components! The only parts row remaining is for a Look KG 271 to which I'm am still attempting to match up some touch-up paint before building the bike.

   The latest project to reach completion is a mid-1980s Battaglin. I had explained here a couple of months ago that it was from the shop of the late Luciano Conati. However, I neglected to include the photos I found online of the pro cyclist in his prime:

   The bike build would have been fairly simple, had a dishonest seller not supplied me with a lefthand shifter that had a crack in the body near the lever. It was not new damage, as closer inspection showed that someone attempted to glue it back together. It wasn't something I had noticed when I looked everything over months ago when the packaged groupset arrived at my door, as the rubber hood covered the area
    I buy component groups when I find quality, affordable products and set them aside for my future projects. However, before storing away a groupset, I make sure to insert cables in the levers and make sure the shifting and braking function properly. In this case nothing appeared wrong until I installed the brakes and applied real stopping pressure to the wheel then heard a popping sound.
   Unfortunately, after all this time I no longer have any recourse through eBay, but I sent a note to the seller, as sometimes you find out folks are quite reasonable. With the way the damage was concealed, I'm not feeling too confident.
   I did have an identical lever in stock to swap in from that in-limbo Coppi bicycle, so I wasn't further frustrated by having to put everything on hold. Later that night I even found a replacement-for-the-replacement part on eBay.

   The other bicycle I finished off is a really nice 1999 Cannondale R600. I see this bike as the ancestor to the "Green Machine" that was custom made for Peter Sagan to ride during the final stage of the 2013 Tour de France, where he claimed the green points jersey.
   I had an older Shimano 105 groupset set aside for a friend's build, but he changed his mind, so I was on the lookout for another era-appropriate project. This frameset is in a rare color for this Cannondale model and is also in fantastic condition for its age.

My rafters are crammed with bikes, and I'm still working on a couple things - check out my For Sale page, as I'm ready to make a deal!