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Old 09-05-10, 05:11 PM   #1
Michael F
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Worth restoring Gianni Motta?

Hi All,
First time post, great site!
I`m hoping to get some solid opinions regarding a 1987 vintage Columbus Aielle "R" Campagnolo Triomphe equipped bike.
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i9...o/DSC01501.jpg
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i9...o/DSC01497.jpg

Bike was bought new and all components are complete except for a 26.6 Nuovo Record seatpost
in place of the Triomphe post which did not fit the post tube.

I recently put it back on the road with new Specialized rubber after too many years of collecting dust and have rediscovered my love for cycling
Just the other day, a rear spoke popped and cut my ride short, luckily I was able to limp home.
I decided to have all the 13/14 guage butted spokes replaced by straight 14 guage DT`s as it has been my experience that once one spoke goes, others would soon follow.
Unfortunately the rebuilder brought some issues to my attention, namely swelling spoke holes and hairline fractures on the Wolber Alpine rim and strongly suggested a replacement
I had him put on an Ambrosio FCS28 which seems like a good quality rim.

Here is my dilemma: will this bike become a money pit? I mean, if I can use a car analogy, all cars have a finite service lifespan and throwing money at repairs is just that, throwing money away rather that starting over with something else.. I`m about $250 into repairs so far and considering having the front wheel rebuilt as well.

It is worth noting that although the bike is pushing 25, it seems to be in reasonable condition
with the exception of a little indexing on the head but for it`s age, still rides real nice!
Though it must have several thousand kilometers on the clock, it was never abused.

Ultimately, I`d like to restore it to it`s former glory with new paint, decals etc. but the fear of snapping the forks or cracking a vital tube has me wondering.
Sorry for the long post, any input appreciated!

PS.
Other components include 3TTT handle bar and stem, Regina CS-X freewheel, Sedis chain,
Concor saddle.
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Old 09-05-10, 05:53 PM   #2
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Restore away!

Many on here regularly ride bikes that 25, 35, 45 years old. Steel, as long as it isn't rusted, can be ridden a long, long time.
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Old 09-06-10, 03:02 AM   #3
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I would, the Motta should be quite a nice bike.........I've got a Olmo with a aelle frame, and it rides very nicely.....
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Old 09-06-10, 12:39 PM   #4
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totally worth it and IMHO not at all analogous to a vintage car restoration (ask me how I know: a 1968 BMW TI owner )
Since you've already broken the ice with the modern rear rim, if it were my bike I'd opt for something that shifted better than the Triomphe RD, but if you're happy with it, keep it (and don't throw any "old parts" away, store it for later use by somebody who might care to keep it all original). Many components on bikes are not made to last forever, and few bike owners are fanatical about stock originality, especially on a "rider" like this Aelle R frame, as opposed to a 'show bike'...I'd also look after the HS since the "indexing" you mention is not going to get better by itself. Instead of new paint and decals I'd clean and wax it as-is, then just enjoy it for the outstanding ride quality it most probably has.
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Old 09-06-10, 12:57 PM   #5
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1) You have history with the bike having bought it new. That to me expands the "zone" of what I'd do to keep it roadworthy.
2) Because I'm a stickler for symmetry I'd rebuild the front wheel. It's likely that Wolber rim might start to exhibit the same flaws (if it hasn't already). I think the Ambrosio rim looks awesome on it.
3) It is, even in the small pics we have to ogle, a beautiful bike in great condition.
4) I would forgo the repaint as well, clean, little polishing compound, wax, ride.
5) Replace the headset as finances allow...it's not that expensive.

You have a great ride there. If you are committed to riding I think you have a great bike there to do it on...just take care of the small issues and enjoy the heck out of it.
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Old 09-06-10, 05:57 PM   #6
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Hey OP, be sure to update us with what you do/decide. It may be just me but I'm always interested when someone is working on a bike that have history with or that has an interesting history.

It's just neat that you still have the bike 23 years later, have renewed interest in riding, and are considering getting the bike ready right. I'm sure most here would agree with me that we really like these kind of stories

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-10, 06:17 PM   #7
Michael F
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Thanks to all who replied, it is most encourageing! Between what was posted on this thread and others, I`m much less apprehensive about investing some time and money into my ride.

I was concerned that I`d be opening a can of worms I could not contain, much like several cars I used to have but that logic does not seem to apply here.
I will go ahead and replace the front Wolber before it too, becomes a wobbler

FWIW, it has served me very well in the past and apart from a few tire and tube changes, I have not spent any money on repairs, so a small investment on wheels can easily be justified.

As far as the headset is concerned, what would you recommend as a suitable replacement? I would like to stay with Campy if at all possible. And should I hang on to the old headset?
I can understand retaining a component that was replaced due to an upgrade but this part is
worn out.

Repainting at this point is a luxury, I`ll consider it at some point in the future as the paint is in reasonable shape with no rust, however, there are a number of scratches that do bother me even though they dont appear to be down to the metal.
I`ll give it a nice polish and wax while I await the new rim and will post up some more pics.
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Old 09-06-10, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
Thanks to all who replied, it is most encourageing! Between what was posted on this thread and others, I`m much less apprehensive about investing some time and money into my ride.
Good! We're really good at spending each other's money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
I was concerned that I`d be opening a can of worms I could not contain, much like several cars I used to have but that logic does not seem to apply here. I will go ahead and replace the front Wolber before it too, becomes a wobbler
Nah, you have very little to do to this now that you're already in for the rear wheel. Smart move on the rim...and seriously, you're gonna have one sharp ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
FWIW, it has served me very well in the past and apart from a few tire and tube changes, I have not spent any money on repairs, so a small investment on wheels can easily be justified.
And honestly, with proper care it should last you another 23 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
As far as the headset is concerned, what would you recommend as a suitable replacement? I would like to stay with Campy if at all possible. And should I hang on to the old headset?
I can understand retaining a component that was replaced due to an upgrade but this part is worn out.
A period Campy heaset should be available on eBay. I'm not a Campy guy so I can't help you with an idea of cost. I'd save the old parts just for fun, but that's just me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
Repainting at this point is a luxury, I`ll consider it at some point in the future as the paint is in reasonable shape with no rust, however, there are a number of scratches that do bother me even though they dont appear to be down to the metal.
Do go down to a well stocked model shop and find a reasonably close paint match and cover anything that appears to be down to the frame. You do want to prevent rust if at all possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
I`ll give it a nice polish and wax while I await the new rim and will post up some more pics.
Atta boy, we live vicariously through other people's bike pics. But seriously, I for one would like to see some closer shots once you get 'er all cleaned up and purty. Closer pics might help the Campy folks with headset ID.

Good luck!
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Old 09-06-10, 06:47 PM   #9
Michael F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
Hey OP, be sure to update us with what you do/decide. It may be just me but I'm always interested when someone is working on a bike that have history with or that has an interesting history.

It's just neat that you still have the bike 23 years later, have renewed interest in riding, and are considering getting the bike ready right. I'm sure most here would agree with me that we really like these kind of stories

Good luck!
A history indeed. When originally purchased in April of `87 at the cost of ~$1100, I remember buying it on lay-away as I did not have all the funds available at one time.
It was replacing an old Legnano I had bought from a friend a few years earlier, nice bike but I "outgrew" it by then.
I never raced or competed, but man did we ride! Living on the island of Montreal, we would do the "Tour de L`isle" without thinking twice about it, a 100+KM trip.
More leisurely rides would be to the summit of Mount Royal, a centrally located mountain with an elevation of 700 feet. The thrill of zooming down the mountain at speeds in excess of 100km/h is something I`ll never forget, nor will the countless other treks.
So yes, there is some sentimental value attached to that bike.

Fastforward a couple of decades and that passion is being rekindled albeit at a pace more consistent with a 48 year old body.
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Old 09-06-10, 07:36 PM   #10
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a 1985 catalog @ velo-pages.com to get you motivated
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Old 09-06-10, 09:05 PM   #11
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a 1985 catalog @ velo-pages.com to get you motivated
Some nice stuff in there...me thinks the OP has a nice bike on his hands. About $2100 in today's dollars...
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Old 09-07-10, 08:33 PM   #12
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It's junk. I'll save you the junkyard disposal fee, just put some stamps on it and send it to me. ha
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