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Old 01-27-09, 01:47 PM   #1
nayr497
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balancing original parts v. performance

I have a few questions about the attempt to balance the all-original aspect with performance. I have a 1990 Tommasini Diamante, steel frame. The bicycle is more or less in 1990 condition, as it saw less than 25 miles of riding.

1) The tires are original Continental Grand Prix 700x23, with skin sidewall. The rubber is certainly a bit dry, but they are still in great shape, fully treaded still. I have only been out on a handful of mid-distance rides on the bicycle due to winter weather, grit, wetness.
- Should I change the tires just because they are 18 years old?
- Should I leave them, test them out come spring, then decide?
- If I change them...does anyone know where I can get good road tires in 700x23 in skinwall style?
- I still like the GP tires, but they don't offer a skin wall, and the colors aren't that appealing, so I guess I could choose all black 2009 GPs.

2) Again, haven't put this bicycle through that much stress yet, to see what it can do...but the Delta brakes have the original brake pads. They certainly stop me, but do chug a bit, which is not a rim/wheel issue as the bicycle is in pristine shape, fully tuned.
- Should I change the brake pads simply because they are 18 years old?
- Should I test them out in the spring, then decide?
- If I change them...can someone remind me of my options? I've read the thread on Delta brake pads...source old, but they are still old, some have modified current pads, someone found a new pad that fits these calipers/holders, right? I can't recall the style...maybe a Japanese company (or Japanese-sounding name...)

3) The pedals are cages with clips and a great Campagnolo toe clip strap. They really hold my feet remarkably well. I have considered leaving them on, as they do work far better than any clip/cage combination I've ever used. But, I ride clipless on my other road bikes.
- Should I switch to clipless because I like it and they are a performance upgrade?
- Should I not switch because I should embrace the feel/style of 1990?

4) I'm still working on figuring out exactly which brake hoods I have, but I'd like to get a different set, and in color. My current hoods are original Campagnolo from ~1990 and they have a little mountain peak above the lever, and the thumb shifter on the inside. I think people felt that Hudz current Campagnolo model would not work for me. Has anyone found a solution, beyond sourcing NOS?
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Old 01-27-09, 03:03 PM   #2
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Oh, and if I change my tires, I might as well change my tubes, correct? Or am I just being silly and rubber is able to last 18 years...
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Old 01-27-09, 03:26 PM   #3
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Tubes are cheap. I get mine for $2 each from www.pricepoint.com. I would not risk my fanny on a 18 year old tube. I would find other ways to save $4.
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Old 01-27-09, 03:50 PM   #4
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Ha ha ha, I agree. Yep, it isn't a money issue, more like a conservation issue. If the tubes and tires are just fine, I'll use them. If I risk puncture, sidewall blowout, skidding due to hardened rubber, I'll happily invest in new tires and tubes.
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Old 01-27-09, 03:56 PM   #5
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Change the tubes.
If tires are dry rotted, change them.
May want to try a little sand paper on the brake pads before determining if they warrant replacement.
No opinion on the hoods.
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Old 01-27-09, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
I have a few questions about the attempt to balance the all-original aspect with performance. I have a 1990 Tommasini Diamante, steel frame. The bicycle is more or less in 1990 condition, as it saw less than 25 miles of riding.

1) The tires are original Continental Grand Prix 700x23, with skin sidewall. The rubber is certainly a bit dry, but they are still in great shape, fully treaded still. I have only been out on a handful of mid-distance rides on the bicycle due to winter weather, grit, wetness.
- Should I change the tires just because they are 18 years old?
- Should I leave them, test them out come spring, then decide?
- If I change them...does anyone know where I can get good road tires in 700x23 in skinwall style?
- I still like the GP tires, but they don't offer a skin wall, and the colors aren't that appealing, so I guess I could choose all black 2009 GPs.

2) Again, haven't put this bicycle through that much stress yet, to see what it can do...but the Delta brakes have the original brake pads. They certainly stop me, but do chug a bit, which is not a rim/wheel issue as the bicycle is in pristine shape, fully tuned.
- Should I change the brake pads simply because they are 18 years old?
- Should I test them out in the spring, then decide?
- If I change them...can someone remind me of my options? I've read the thread on Delta brake pads...source old, but they are still old, some have modified current pads, someone found a new pad that fits these calipers/holders, right? I can't recall the style...maybe a Japanese company (or Japanese-sounding name...)

3) The pedals are cages with clips and a great Campagnolo toe clip strap. They really hold my feet remarkably well. I have considered leaving them on, as they do work far better than any clip/cage combination I've ever used. But, I ride clipless on my other road bikes.
- Should I switch to clipless because I like it and they are a performance upgrade?
- Should I not switch because I should embrace the feel/style of 1990?

4) I'm still working on figuring out exactly which brake hoods I have, but I'd like to get a different set, and in color. My current hoods are original Campagnolo from ~1990 and they have a little mountain peak above the lever, and the thumb shifter on the inside. I think people felt that Hudz current Campagnolo model would not work for me. Has anyone found a solution, beyond sourcing NOS?

I have the original 1986 Conti Super sports from a set of wheels I bought back then, and they hold air, roll, grip the bead, and grip the road just fine. They are 23 mm, and feel like rocks compared to my 28 mm Gatorskins. This is partly the larger tire section, but I think its mostly just better design in recent times.

Tubes are wear items, just buy modern ones that fit.

I would try to see if the original brake/pad set are usable. Delta brakes are very odd birds. If you got them set up correctly, you're probably best off doing hand exercises and leaving the brakes alone. They're not as powerful as modern dual-pivot, but nothing else is as cool.

I like toe-clip pedals. I would not change them out for clipless unless I had clipless shoes I could not bear to leave at home, or if I only ride clipless. In your position, give the existing pedals a fair try.

Brake hoods, hmmm, I'm not sure I know which levers you are talking about.

BTW, I would not sandpaper the brake pads.

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Old 01-27-09, 04:29 PM   #7
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My suggestion on clip cage vs. clipless - be careful. I put clipless on the vintage bike I ride the most (Bottecchia Giro d'Italia) because I found that on group rides, when I wasn't paying attention and chatting, I would roll to a stop and start twisting my foot - with no affect of course. I only tipped over once before I realized clipless pedals were a pretty good idea on that bike.

So now I only ride toe clips on my single speed, which means I only have walking shoes or boots on, and is going to be a ride with a completely different purpose.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:02 PM   #8
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Okay, one of you suggests sanding the brake pads, one suggests not doing this. Reasons? Other opinions on this?

- I will replace the tubes.

- I'll save the tires and use them when the weather gets better. If they feel okay, I'll keep them, if not, I'll update them. I'll probably due that either way. Yeah, 18 years newer is probably better in terms of tires.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:17 PM   #9
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Replace the tires before they blow out.
Replace the brake pads with KoolStop salmons before you crash.
If you run clipless on all of your other bikes, consider converting this one to the same clipless system. (I run toeclips and straps on all of my bikes, and the thought of having some bikes with one system and the others with a different system scares the cr@p out of me.)
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Old 01-27-09, 11:35 PM   #10
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*i'd definately replace the tires and tubes and keep the original tires for the occassional static concours show and/or resale.

*pedals are more personal-your choice-do whatever kind of setup that will have you riding the bike -keep the original pedals regardless.
myself, i still don't see any huge advantage to clipless over toeclips/straps & cleated shoes aside from a little added convenience, particularly for exits./stops .
toeclips are definately more versatile for casual and recreational riding.

*adjust the delta brakes so that they engage "late" to maximize their leverage/power before considering alternatives
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Old 01-28-09, 02:51 AM   #11
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I agree with the sand paper on the brake pads, not normal sandpaper though, I'm talking about the stuff that looks like a steel grid.

bicycletutor.com uses it in their demonstration video:
http://bicycletutor.com/sidepull-caliper-brakes/
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Old 01-28-09, 04:45 AM   #12
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The Michelin Erilium 2 is a pretty easy to find skinwall tire in that size. They've got a little red stripe around the skinwall too, very cool looking tires. I have yet to finish the bike I put them on, so I don't know how they ride yet, but they sure look nice!
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Old 01-28-09, 06:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nayr497 View Post
Okay, one of you suggests sanding the brake pads, one suggests not doing this. Reasons? Other opinions on this?

- I will replace the tubes.

- I'll save the tires and use them when the weather gets better. If they feel okay, I'll keep them, if not, I'll update them. I'll probably due that either way. Yeah, 18 years newer is probably better in terms of tires.
I suggest not modifying the brake shoes for several reasons.

First, I have tried the various pieces of advice regarding modern brake shoes, and without fail found new Kool-Stop or modern Shimano or even Campy replacement shoes to make no difference over the OEM shoes, even old ones. Call me an insensitive dolt, but there it is. This is on Campy NR/SR, Shimano 600/BR6207 sidepulls, and Gen 1 Dura-ace sidepulls from 1974. I have a set of Campy dual-pivots on my Mondonico, and those are more powerful than any of my C&V brakes, but I don't think it's because of the shoes. Caveat: I do not ride mountains. I have never had vintage Campy shoes fragment the aluminum of vintage rims.

Second, Deltas are very different from other brakes. If I had a set correctly or at least reasonably set up and adjusted, AND I was going to depend on the bike imminently, I would not change anything that would lead to needing to re-adjust them. Changing brake shoes would be such a disturbance, in my mind. YMMV. Removing them to sand the faces might also affect the setup.

Third, it does make some theoretical sense to remove a glazed surface. But with hard pads, I would expect the surface to HTFU again with use. If you can do this without changing the shoe position, such as by removing the wheel, fine. In my experience I've never done this or seen the need to do this. I have two bikes set up with original Campy NR/SR brakes and shoes, and they stop quite well.

So you asked for some rationale, and there's mine.

What I think is important in brakes are good mechanical geometry followed by system rigidity. Compression or deflection of the outer cable, stretch of the inner cable, and flex in the handle and caliper all detract from my effective use of a bike brake. YMMV, this is just my opinion based on my cycling experience.
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Old 01-28-09, 09:45 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the helpful and useful answers.

1. Okay, I'm going to update the tires and tubes. Now I need to decide if I should go with 23s or 25s. Differing opinions. The bike feels great right now with 18 year old 23s. My other road bike is Al/Carbon, so steel feels quite a bit better, in my opinion. I guess as this is my riding for fun/cruising road bike 25s wouldn't hurt and might be a bit more comfortable. Good idea to hold onto the tires for those museum days

2. Yeah, the current pedals/straps hold my feet extremely well. But, I don't have old cycling shoes with cleats, just been wearing smooth soled sneakers. While clips are more versatile, this bicycle will only be ridden on rides, not commuting, locking up, etc. I have clipless on most of my bikes and don't mind switching. But, I do like clipless on my true road bikes and I think I'll make the upgrade, but of course keep the original pedals/clips.

3. I'm going to leave the brake pads for now and see how they do in the spring. They certainly stop and stop well. The issue is that they do chug a bit, mainly on the front. It is almost like there is road grime on the pad and it makes a skimming, like when riding in winter slush. But, the pads are clean and the rim/wheel are true. I'll ride it more before deciding on anything. The brakes work very well, it is just more of an annoyance when braking to have the skimming/chugging.

Thanks for the replies! I love the C&V forum, which I'm relatively new to - just helpful answers, no insults or nonsense. Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-28-09, 11:19 AM   #15
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You could always acquire period correct clipless pedals. Look started making them in 1985, so there was probably a few others making them by 1990 as well.
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Old 01-28-09, 06:45 PM   #16
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The Michelin Erilium 2 is a pretty easy to find skinwall tire in that size. They've got a little red stripe around the skinwall too, very cool looking tires. I have yet to finish the bike I put them on, so I don't know how they ride yet, but they sure look nice!
I have them on my Raleigh Pro, my second set. I like them.
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Old 01-28-09, 11:36 PM   #17
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vintage clipless pedals

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You could always acquire period correct clipless pedals. Look started making them in 1985, so there was probably a few others making them by 1990 as well.
If you are interested I have a pair of Look pp196 Team Issue pedals for sale, about 1990 vintage. (see info here: http://www.bikepro.com/arch_products...ook_pedal.html). They have some cosmetic wear but are in great mechanical condition.
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Old 01-29-09, 12:01 PM   #18
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Thanks for the link. Those are pretty cool looking Looks, but I think I'll stick with the the Looks I have, since I use them on more than one bicycle.

I thought of another question for this thread. The bike has an old Ciclomaster IIa bike computer. I can't figure out how to turn it off (maybe it doesn't) and don't really like all the wires. I don't really use cadence data.

I was interested in picking up a new computer. Any suggestions? I'd like to go wireless. I have the Vetta RT88, which I like. And I also have a Cateye MicroWireless. The Vetta took awhile to get sorted out when I got it (maybe even needed a replacement sent) and it doesn't have auto-on, which is annoying. I like the Cateye but the fork sensor is huge, and I'd like to keep my chrome fork lookin' clean and pretty.

Anyone like a particular model of wireless computer that would look okay on a 1990 steel bike? I'm in the $30-$50 range and need current speed, avg. speed, total distance, odometer, ride time, auto on/off.

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-09, 09:58 AM   #19
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Just a thought, (because this is what I plan on doing) Suunto http://www.suunto.com/suunto/main/index.jsp makes heart rate monitors that work with a bunch of bicycle specific accessories that will measure speed, distance, cadence etc. These gadgets send the signal directly to the wrist receiver, so there is no bar mount computer to take up valuable handlebar real-estate or detract from the look of a vintage bicycle. The distance/speed isntrument replaces the front quick-release skewer, while the cadence is measured from a unit that attaches to the frame.

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Old 01-30-09, 04:57 PM   #20
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On one of my vintage bikes I had years ago put Looks on. I had stopped riding it a few years ago when I bought my carbon bike. But this year I decided to restore this bike back to original after I had restored my other steel bike to a ridable mix of new and old components. I had to go search through boxes of stuff from when I moved into my house 15 years ago to find the original Campy pedals, clips and straps. I found them and put them on. I only say all this to say it is OK to change the pedals to fit your riding style, but keep the vintage ones for show.

And after all that, I still haven't had a chance to ride this bike. I still need a tubular tire for the rear and some nice weather to ride it in. And I have an old tubular on front, so maybe I'll replace them both. They don't last forever even if you don't use them.
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Old 01-30-09, 05:48 PM   #21
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I have an 1984 Fuji Espree that has seen little action over the past 15 years, but it was recently pressed into service while my primary bike was out of action. I took it to my LBS and they went over the bike, made adjustments, washed and waxed it (even armorall'ed the tires). It looked and drove like new. All for the sum of $45. Of course, I put on some extras that increased the tab a little. My suggestion is to take it in and have it evaluated. It may not need much work at all other than a good going over.

But I agree with you that keeping it as "stock" as possible is the route to take.
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Old 01-30-09, 07:16 PM   #22
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very definitely change the tires, I made the mistake of being cheap on my schwinn superior with the original tire and took a turn at speed and the front tire just slipped out from underneath me.. me and the bike were ok, but ive had trouble trusting the bike the same after that. There was no grease patch or anything either. Especially when you can get the pasela tires for so cheap.
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Old 01-30-09, 07:41 PM   #23
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Is it just my imagination or have you guys been drinking the bong water.


To the OP,

We would like to see some pics of your 'Diamante' please.

...in the spirit of helping you evaluate your tires of course.
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Old 01-30-09, 07:55 PM   #24
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I've sanded the pads on my Delta brakes, and the improvement is noticeable, but temporary. It's a quick fix to extend their life until I get around to buying new pads. When they're glazed, they barely work. When they're freshly sanded, they work beautifully.

As for pedals, I'd go with what you use on your other bikes.
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