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Old 12-24-07, 03:02 PM   #1
luker
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old is new again - Havnoonian (Retrogrouch alert!)

for the pending new year.

I have been messing with a single bike over the fall and winter - a 1998 Harry Havnoonian Corsa 700. It is steel (reynolds 525), and has shifter bosses. I very much like the way that the bike rides and fits. I have too many bikes. So I decided to focus on just this one.

Wait! This is about vintage, uh, retro-vintage, um, Reverso-Vintage. No one likes old steel better'n me. This is an experiment, old-school approach to new stuff. Configure new stuff to work like it usta. So...this bike is steel, has down-tube shifters, and had tubulars until I came to the realization that the wheel/tire combination that I was using was heavier than the newer campy clinchers that are on it.

Some of you remember the thread about the 10-speed downtube shifters, last fall. Well, here they are. I had to spring for a real campy cluster before they would work without error, but that is all. For those who don't remember that thread - these are 10-speed bar end shifters that have had their bar end adapters removed. Nothing extra was added, and they work swell.



Last year I had the idea to see how far I could push steel into the realm of really light weight. This bike was dressed in Campy Chorus 8 speed stuff, mostly...Campy Electron clincher wheels. Zepp bars and stem. Very appropriate for a 10-year old bike, except for the downtube shifters.



I found that, if you shop carefully, and especially if you can find individual sales items late at night, you can buy most everything at 50% of retail, or less. Still makes for an expensive bike, but nothing compared to a new one.



The cranks are carbon, but they would be no real suprise to a bike mechanic from the late 70's. They have a square taper cartridge bottom bracket, and conventional tools work on 'em. In fact, the whole bike uses conventional tools, except for the danged Campy Ultra chain. Those things are a piece of work and I don't think I can recommend 'em.



The seat is a titanium SLR...and it weighs just about as much as the bag loops on a B-17. But...really...it is way more comfortable than the titanium Swallow on the Hetchins (but that isn't broken in, yet, so I still have high hopes for it...)



The whole bike, with Schwalbe Ultremo tires and tubes, weighs about 16.7 lb, without pedals (the bastads always weigh the new bikes without pedals, so I can too.) I really don't think that I can get any more weight off of this without resorting to drillium. Probably not too good an idea for carbon fiber.

Oh, and at least half of the brake setup is exactly vintage. The rear brake from the new campy record group is a conventional sidepull. No dual pivot, no nuttin'. I think campy was motivated to save some weight. Imagine that. It works great, btw.




So, let the flames begin! and a very merry Christmas, to you and yours. Many happy miles in the new year!
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Old 12-24-07, 03:12 PM   #2
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Hard to get the full picture without a full picture.
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Old 12-24-07, 03:19 PM   #3
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Hard to get the full picture without a full picture.
I was just thinking that!

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Old 12-24-07, 03:19 PM   #4
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Record on a cromoly frame? Whats with the weird rear brake mounting?
I say you find a more worthy frame to hang the parts on, maybe something lugged.. although if ya like the fit thats most important really!
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Old 12-24-07, 03:37 PM   #5
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Cool ride, though if it were me, I'd probably go whole hog and get brifters instead of dt shifters.
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Old 12-24-07, 03:40 PM   #6
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I'm liking the rear brake concept, especially if the back side is finished cleanly. It would work on the rim just like a front brake.
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Old 12-24-07, 04:18 PM   #7
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If it makes you ride more, it's all good!
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Old 12-24-07, 09:06 PM   #8
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that brake is the way harry builds 'em. they seem to work just fine, and look a little cooler. attached is a full view; you all are right. I forgot!


Last edited by luker; 12-24-07 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 12-26-07, 09:59 AM   #9
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Luker,

Let the Phyllis Steens of the world say what they will, I personally Like it! I like the concept and
every HH Frame I've seen is a work of workable art (even the weird brake mounting).
The only thing I would change (if it were mine) would be to put something like a Deda
215 bar with an italian (shallow) drop and classic bend.
Nice bike, so how's it ride?

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Old 12-26-07, 10:36 AM   #10
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that brake is the way harry builds 'em. they seem to work just fine, and look a little cooler. attached is a full view; you all are right. I forgot!
FWIW, I like. It's fun to ride and own stuff that is out of the mainstream.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:45 AM   #11
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Very interesting, I like seeing older frames updated with modern parts. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-26-07, 03:47 PM   #12
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Wow, 16.7-lbs! That's pretty amazing. I'd like to see a breakdown of the frame/fork/components - my Bianchi Veloce with a carbon crank and hollow titanium bb weighs in around 21-lbs and my Pista with the same frame tubing as yours weighs 19-lbs as a fixie. Granted I could put a few lighter components on either but I can't see the Veloce getting down that light.

[edit] Ok, just FYI, I reweighed mine and they're more like 20.5 and 18.5 without pedals.
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Old 12-26-07, 03:53 PM   #13
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Beautiful bike. I love it.
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Old 12-26-07, 06:33 PM   #14
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Very nice and much lighter than I would have expected! The Campy chain requires a special tool? I have a 10-speed Chorus chain on my Bertoni and I had no trouble with a standard chain tool. Maybe I just got lucky.
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Old 12-26-07, 10:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by divineAndbright View Post
Record on a cromoly frame? Whats with the weird rear brake mounting?
I say you find a more worthy frame to hang the parts on, maybe something lugged.. although if ya like the fit thats most important really!
Ok...maybe your being sarcastic...but if not, I'm going to be a bit brash here and say that you have no idea what your looking at. I was building custom frames at the same time that this bike was built, and for American custom bikes, fillet brazing was/is pretty common. And, it builds an extraordinarily beautiful, not to mention VERY strong frame. And, FWIW, I'd wager that there have been more steel bikes with Record than any other frame medium. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not a "retro grouch", I love all bikes (well, most at least). I have two aluminum bikes, both with some record on them, but I regret ever selling any of my fillet brazed steel bikes. That "not worthy" frame is many times the quality of the majority of mass produced lugged bikes. Nothing personal, it just "irks" me when someone pipes up and starts harping on something that someone has a lot of pride in, especially when the "criticizer" apparently has no background knowledge of the item, or it's history.

Just for general knowledge, Harry Havnoonian did build the majority of his bikes with the "backwards" brake bridge. The reason he gave was that the natural flex in the frame/caliper is best harnessed into additional braking power with this configuration, but I've never seen any actual data on this, at any time. I'm sure that many of you know that Havnoonian was/is also one of the only people in the states that does high quality and accurate repairs of bonded aluminum bikes (like Vitus and Alan frames) as well.
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Old 12-27-07, 12:12 AM   #16
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The retro-grouch credo is not necessarily Luddite. Don't change that thing if it doesn't make it better. I wanted to see how far I could push a steel bike into the really light range. The answer is "Not Far", but probably as far as I want to go. I don't think that I'd be comfortable on a 13 pound bike...

At the same time, I did not want to stray from the classic and vintage bike very far, and didn't want to break my poor little piggy bank while doing it. So, shy away from boutique parts, and stick with the classic flavor.

Down tube shifters are a must, because I like 'em and don't see one thing wrong with the way that they work. 10 speeds in the rear are available, and i just luuuv to ride at 102 rpm. Up hill, down hill, into the wind, with the wind, into the bumps and gravel. 102 rpm, if I can manage it. Those 10 rear cogs really get me closer to that ideal, and so 10 speeds there are.

At the same time I really like those campy brifters under my hands. Fortunately campy saw fit to offer brake levers without the rifter guts. I didn't have to buy an expensive pair of brifters and gut 'em myself...

The frame itself is Reynolds steel, assembled in the modern mode. I think that TIG likely makes a little lighter frame than lugs or fillet-brazing. It is just, well, ugly. Sorry, I know I'm being snobbity, but TIG is not esthetically pleasing. On the other hand, this fits me nearly perfectly, and I appreciate the ride.

The original fork was brazed up from 531, and rode very nicely too. But it was way fat. The carbon fork trade removed over a pound from the bike (and I never could get a Grammo stem for what I thought was reasonable). So, carbon fork it is. I think that this carbon fork stiffens the front end, which is good for me out of the saddle.

The group is mostly Campy Carbon Record 10, from the last couple of years or so. Not the lightest, but pretty darned light, and Campy has my best interests at heart (I think. At least they would like for me to live a couple of more years so that they can beat the maximum profit out of me).

- Ritchey WCS road stem. Honest 103 grams. Beautiful to look at.
- Easton EC-90 bars. I know that multi-bend bars are not "new", but I can't get over thinking that they are. These bars are bent just like I like 'em, and executed in carbon, so they weigh very little (about 180 grams...). I just can't expect 'em to hold up in a get off, now can I? I can't expect me to hold up in a get off anymore, either. So I choose my packs carefully, and spend a lot of time riding by myself...
- The square taper record bottom bracket. Light, but not weird. Carbon Record Cranks to fit that bottom bracket. It is good to have a few AR friends that must have the latest, hollow-bottom-bracket, outboard bearing thingies on their bikes.
- Electron wheels that have been discussed in a thread a while back. 1500 grams or so for the pair, about as light as I dare to ride with my fat butt suspended over 'em.
- Ultremo tires and tubes. About 255 grams each wheel. Tubular weight, if not quite tubular ride.
- Campy Steel/TI cogset. I tried to score a full TI set, and that would have saved considerable weight, but would have cost about twice what the frame and fork originally cost. So, Steel/TI.
- I replaced the skewers with the only boutique parts on the bike. From Black-ops, a TI and Carbon set. They were pretty cheap on eBay.
- the brakes are the only new parts on the bike - Record Skeleton D brakes from 2008. Really light, and the rear is really a conventional side pull. Not zero gravity, not zero gravity cost, either.
- The saddle is a selle italia SLR, honestly 135 grams, and I like it.

It was not cheap, but really not breathtakingly expensive either. The whole thing cost me less than a used Ghisallo frame...if I switched out the Havnoonian for the Ghisallo, I'd be in the 14 pound range, wouldn't I? I just bought Patti a new road bike for Christmas, a Specialized Ruby Expert, with the new Ultegra SL group on it (her old road bike is almost moving into the Vintage category...she has about 10 years on a Trek 5200 with about 3K miles per year on it). That bike weighs almost exactly what the Havnoonian weighs (w/o pedals, again). Costs nearly twice as much, too, but it is new, and very pretty.

The chain is supposed to be assembled only using the Campy tool which costs about 100$...I put this one together with a Raleigh 10-speed tool. Honestly, it didn't go well, but it went together, and I expect it to stay together for a while...

How does the Harry ride? I dunno. I have single-handedly reversed the global warming trend by putting this bike together. It has snowed every day since the bike was completed, and the temperature has never gone above about 20 degrees farenheit. The weather is cold all of the way down to Gainesville Fla. I guess you could say that I've used up all of my Carbon Credits.

heh.
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Old 12-27-07, 11:06 AM   #17
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Down tube shifters are a must, because I like 'em and don't see one thing wrong with the way that they work


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That's exactly where shifters belong dammit, right there on the downtube!
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