So i have been obsessing over the Torino 76 for a few weeks now. I did the first build pretty hastily, but with most of the major components I plan on using for the final build. I am still too lazy to take pictures - well, I might actually be ambitious enough at this very moment, but it is dark outside and the mosquitoes are pretty bad. I am sure I will have lost the motivation by early tomorrow.
I have built the bike into a functional - but not ideal - 8 speed IGH touring/hybrid bike.
I removed the original bottom bracket without any trouble - the past owner took pretty good care of it and had it maintained semi-regularly, and I don't think he used it in too much bad weather. I did a quick cleaning and regreasing of the threads and tried to screw in the Shimano sealed cartridge removed from my winter bike - the bearings feel like hell in a basket, but they still turn and have no play. I got the threads about 80% engaged before it got tight, as the Proud Canadian 1970s workmanship had left the unmitered end of the seat tube push about 1/4" past the threads into he bottom bracket shell. THe cups on the old bottom bracket were narrow enough to be fully inserted without hitting it, but the modern Shimano model wouldn't quite work. I used a dremel with a grinding wheel to remove almost all of the offending metal and had the bike shop pass the taps through to ensure everything was clean. On the second try I was able to thread the cups in all the way in and used the ratchet handle only for final torquing.
I mounted the Exage 500LX crankset with 26-38-46 rings, intending only to use the heavily worn middle ring on the single cog on my Alfine hub. I measured the chainline of the Exage crank with a 122.5 bottom bracket and it was a perfect* match for the 19 tooth Shimano dished IGH cog. I have purchased a NOS 44 tooth chainring and 21 and 22 tooth cogs, and a new bottom bracket for use when I complete the final build.
The original spacing was much too narrow for the 135mm wide Alfine so I did a basic cold setting using bare hands, a two-by-four that was laying behind my garage, and the string method of checking alignment. THe result was, once again, perfect*.
I found a handlebar with the logos "North Road" and "SR" in the LBS junk pile. Brand new, with only a few scratches from kicking around for years, it is the type you might expect to see on turn of the century (1900s) bikes. These are slightly different than most 'North Road' handlebar I have seen - the ends of the bar come almost straight back, parallel to the wheels, and the logos are stamped so that the bar seems to be intended for use in the 'drop' position - so that's how I mounted them. These are also road diameter bars - 23.8mm grip area instead of 22.2, so I used the RX100 aero brake levers out of my spare partrs bin. The shop only had Celeste tape so that's what I initially installed, but I ordered in and have since installed some Cat Eye cloth tape and finished it with twine. My wife stopped making fun of it after I did this.
THe only 22.2mm stem with a 25.4 clamp I had on hand was a dirty cheapo steel one, so that's what I use, but I wake up with night-sweats worrying that my SR North Road handlebars will be damaged by the clamp. I have the 8speed push/trigger Alfine shifter mounted vertically on the stem, which works well but I plan to buy a bar-end shifter for it. The stem is also a pretty short and the bike feels a little small - I like to stretch out on my bikes and I am quite a tall guy. I my LBS tried to get a 22.2 quill ->1 1/8 adapter but his supplier was out of stock. I will be ordering another one from somewhere else soon. I have a few threadless stems I can try to improve the fit.
The saddle is the worst thing I have ever used. It is the type I think are common on 1970s ten speeds in Canada - sort of medium-narrow width, flat profile, thin soft padding, and a raised diamond/waffle pattern in the plastic cover. I have played with the angle for many rides and find it most comfortable (relatively) with the nose pointing significantly up. I believe the cheap-ass construction of this saddle, combined with my 260 lb girth, allow the plastic to form a sort of hammock for my gootch -albeit a very ill shaped and friggin uncomfortable hammock - and the skyward pointing nose allows my weight to balance in the wider part of the saddle. The original seatpost was too short by a bit. My 7 year old son was getting a little cramped on his bike, too, and we have the same seatpost diameter to I ordered a basic aliminum post, mounted it on my son's bike and took his slightly longer stock post for mine. I still have the home-made reflective stickers on the bike that he made at the Ottawa Velofest a few weeks ago.
The tires are Schwalbe and Continental city tires - the rear is a 38c and the front is 32c, and that feels a little weird, but not unrideable. The brakes set up quick - they are the U-brake style common on old ten speeds, with cable quick-release levers built into the cable hangers on the headset and seat clamp. I have yet to install a rack or fenders, but I will be doing that soon. I also plan on a nicer saddle, and a JTek bar end shifter like I said. I am also trying to decide what tires I will get when the Schwalbe/Conti set wears out. I am trying to decide between a pair of kevlar bead Kenda Kwick Rollers at the LBS and Panaracer Pasela (possibly non
Tour-Guard, although the tourguard will surely slow me down less than fixing a flat on the Alfine hub on the side of the highway).
In conclusion, I still have not taken any pictures, but here is a picture I stole from an Auction for the same model of bike...
Any comments on my plan or suggestions for parts are welcome. I hope my complete disregard for keeping the bike period correct does not disqualify me from posting here. Good day to you all.
Edit: *Perfect (a definition) I worked for years in the back of various bike shops trying to get every single detail to be 'perfect' in the eyes of the customer. I drove myself to distraction and eventually had to leave the business
because I realized I eventually would have leaped over the counter and ripped a customer in two - probably for complaining that a fender doesn't look quite straight, or because the amount of cable I left after cutting off the excess was too short or too long, or because one brake lever moved 1/16th of an inch more than the other before the pads touch the rim, or some other such nonsense.
So now I only work on my own and my family's bikes. Too many people spend hours using a dial gauge on their rims to get them straight, or making sure their tires are inflated to 115psi - not 113 or 117, but 115.00 psi. And what I see as perfect is: good enough that you can't tell the difference without inspecting it closely. If you can't feel it when riding then it doesn't matter.