Update: Bianchi and Cross Check


The Bianchi has been in somewhat of a holding pattern as of late. Once I got the headset and bottom bracket removed, it became clear that the frame needs some attention. So I took some time off to think over my next move.

The resurrected Brooks saddle.

The resurrected Brooks saddle.

In the meantime, I did some shopping and managed to pick up some odds and ends, one of which is a Campy Record front derailleur from 1960, which appears to be of the proper vintage to me. Ordered it from France and it actually arrived here in three days. Another item I purchased was a tin of Brooks Proofide, which has allowed me to bring the original Brooks saddle for the Bianchi mostly back from the dead.

Another purchase consisted of two small tubs of Oxalic Acid, which I’ll use to soak the frame and remove all of the rust while preserving the paint and decals. I’m a little hung up on what to do for a soaking tub, but I think I’m going to build a wooden frame out of some 2×6 planks I have lying around, then line it with a couple layers of 3 mil plastic secured by cinder blocks. Hoping to do that this weekend, since it’s probably going to be the last warm weekend of the year. Once that’s done and I can do some touchup and preserve the decals, it’ll be time to finish cleaning all the parts and building it back up.

I still need a period rear derailleur and one of the downtube shifters appears to be seized up and bent (not sure if its repairable). It’s getting closer though—just in time for the rainy, cold weather of a Northwest winter.

Cross Check

Box o' parts

Box o' parts

The Cross Check is scarily close to completion. I ended up getting a great deal on used parts from an acquaintance, which basically included a lot of  “thrown in” goodies—enough to build the bike up and make it ride-worthy. The only items I was left needing were headset, pedals and some odds and ends. Got really lucky. While I wanted to get all new, super nice stuff, I quickly came to the realization that I’d rather get up and riding on a pretty good setup than wait another 6–12 months for a “perfect” setup. This way, I can get my bike on, but also selectively upgrade parts as I want/need to.

So what did I get? Well, it’s definitely going to be a Frankenbike—I can assure you of that. Here’s what I’ll be sporting:

  • Campy Veloce Rear Derailleur
  • Campy Veloce Brake Levers/Shifters
  • Shimano 105 Front Derailleur
  • Shimano Ultegra Cranks and Chainrings
  • Shimano Cartridge BB
  • Bontrager Drop Bars
  • No-Name Cross Brake Lever (rear only)
  • Old Onza Cantilever Brakes (these could either be really cool or a pain in the ass)
  • Beaten up old Selle Italia saddle
  • Cannondale seat post
  • Alex R390 Rims
  • Campy Mirage Rear hub
  • Campy unknown group front hub
  • Tires and tubes
  • Even more odds and ends
  • All cables pre-attached
Alex R390 Rims, Campy Hubs and Worn Tires!

Alex R390 Rims, Campy Hubs and Worn Tires!

Really, it’s kind of like Bike Building for Dummies here, but I’m not one to complain! I’m sure you’re probably wondering what particular brand of hell I’m going to encounter as I try to make all this stuff work together, but it all actually came off the same bike and apparently worked on that. Keeping my fingers crossed, I tell you! The frame is currently at Camas Bike and Sport, where they are in the process of fitting it with a headset. As for pedals, I’m going to use the very old Specialized SPD pedals that were on the Bianchi for now, but plan to eventually get platform/SPD combos or Egg Beaters.

Can’t wait to get this built up and go riding more… Of course, once I get it together, again, it will be just in time for the rain. Of course, now I’m plotting ways to make the woods by my house into a cross-racing training course…

1 Comment

  1. Kevin
    Nov 12, 2009

    An old plastic kiddie pool makes a good container for soaking a frame. You can get creative and wall off part of it to reduce the amount of water/oxalic acid you need.

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