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Old 07-03-11, 09:26 PM   #1
Chris_in_Miami
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Super Course is nearly ready, what should I expect?

I bought a 73 Super Course at a flea market a few years ago and it somehow slipped to the back of my project queue. I've finally gotten around to setting it up and I'm only waiting for the shellac on the handlebar tape to dry (and the rain to stop) before I can take it for its maiden voyage tomorrow.

I didn't really get a chance to ride the bike when I bought it since it was missing one of the crank spider bolts and the rear hub was gummed up solid.

In the years that I've had it, I've read the "show your Super Course" thread several times and seen countless people extolling the virtues of these bikes, so I'm excited to experience it for myself.

So, will it be a magical ride that belies the bike's humble position in the Product line? Will the ride help me to achieve total enlightenment? Or will it be "just ok?"
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Old 07-04-11, 08:46 AM   #2
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Having owned and ridden several, I've always liked the ride. The sport-touring geometry is similar to the International, I believe, though the frame is heavier and stouter. It has a nice combo of liveliness and comfort.

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Old 07-04-11, 09:32 AM   #3
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Ok, back from a 10 mile shakedown ride and my initial impression is that it's a pretty nice ride and might be a keeper. I didn't get the clouds parting and choir of angels experience, but it actually did exceed my expectations. I didn't know it would be as lively as this and I'm really digging the Schwalbe HS159 tires that I fitted. The only down side is the braking - I've ridden Weinmanns before, but I don't recall them requiring so much hand strength. It feels a bit risky riding the hoods because of that.

I still need to find a front derailleur and a set of bolts for the inner ring, and I'll restring the rear wheel with stainless spokes (odd that the front had them and the rear was UCP.) Here are some photos, as found:



Today, with some Gran Sport parts swapped in:

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Old 07-04-11, 09:36 AM   #4
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Very nice.
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Old 07-04-11, 09:44 AM   #5
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WOW, that is really nice, and the ride will be fantastic........
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Old 07-04-11, 09:46 AM   #6
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Salmon KoolStop brake pads will help immensely. Try new cables and housings, as well, and if you want to keep the bike and don't mind being a little inauthentic, switch to aero brake levers for 10% more braking force. The relatively long reach of the brake calipers (750 in back, 610 in front) doesn't help, either, and that will get even worse if you ever change to 700C rims.

The ride should be comparable to that of my 1959 Capo, which also has a straight gauge 531 main triangle, although a longer wheelbase and thinner stays.

Your Super Course looks great, w/ the chrome forks and stays and w/o the pie plate.
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Old 07-04-11, 09:57 AM   #7
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Beautiful job, Chris - and the colors are purrrrfect!

Getting that front DR will enhance your riding experience - I am certain that alone will be sufficient to have that choir of angels pipe in - (unless of course you have been a very bad boy ).

Personally, I think the Super Course sets the standard for all other sport tourers - It's a real Goldy Locks bike - after riding one a while all others seem too hard or too soft, but the SC is just right. I think in time you will agree.

Again - a very fine looking build.
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Old 07-04-11, 10:06 AM   #8
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Thanks for the compliments! It did occur to me that the braking issue might be due in part to reusing the ancient housings. I'll probably swap them out today with lined housings and see how much it improves, but I hope it's insignificant - these are the originals and they look pretty good.

The brake pads are fresh (though cheap) replacements, and they work well enough once they get to the rims, it just takes a mighty squeeze to get them there It does stop easily from down in the drops.

I was tempted to keep the Sturmey Archer pie plate on, but this one is just too huge!
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Old 07-04-11, 10:29 AM   #9
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You could inject some grease into the cable housings, you would need to remove the cables to do this. That way you could keep the original ribbed housings.
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Old 07-04-11, 11:36 AM   #10
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Try Mafac brakes. They work better on my Super Course than the Weinmanns did.

How would you describe those tires? I know Schwalbe makes some excellent tires, but I don't know much about them. I put Paselas on my Super Course and fell in love. My Super Course far exceeded my expectations for all the reasons other folks stated above. I'm not using it now and haven't decided what to do with it. I might give it to my wife or turn it into a fixie.
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Old 07-04-11, 04:18 PM   #11
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Good suggestions, and I might even be loopy enough to attempt to feed some new liners into the old housings. We'll see...

Tom, the tires are at the low end of Schwalbe's line, and the tread looks like it was designed in the 50's. On the other hand, the tread looks like it was designed in the 50's. I thought these might be a good alternative to the Michelin World Tour for those wanting a vintage-looking tread in 27", and I think they fit that need apart from the silk screened logo.

They are heavier than Paselas, and the sidewalls are stiffer, but they do honestly feel like they roll with a bit less resistance. I like Paselas a lot, but they always seem slightly sluggish to me. The Schwalbes on the Super Course are only aired up to 70psi due to the non-hooked rims. They went on to the rims easily, no levers needed for installation.

I'll do some more riding on these and the Paselas on my Trek in the next few days to see if that impression holds up.

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Old 07-04-11, 04:34 PM   #12
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It might be interesting to try it with another pair of wheels and tires. I never rode my Super Course with original equipment. That may be why it exceeded my expectations by so much.
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Old 07-04-11, 04:34 PM   #13
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The Paselas do make a big difference - I've ridden a LOT of different (clincher) tires and they are my hands down favorites. On the SC, my preference is the 1-1/8" version - they roll a little faster than the larger size, but still have enough cush with this bike.
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Old 07-04-11, 05:56 PM   #14
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Super Course is nearly ready, what should I expect?

in Miami?

probably a bike thief, but I hope not.
nice bike, enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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Old 07-04-11, 07:14 PM   #15
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Nice work. What BB spindle did you go with for the conversion or did you do the entire BB, cups and all?
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Old 07-04-11, 07:21 PM   #16
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Super Cool!

Two quick questions.

Is that a kickstand on a just a prop stand for the picture?

What did you do with the cannondale water bottle and velcro waterbottle cage??
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Old 07-04-11, 08:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Super Course is nearly ready, what should I expect?

in Miami?

probably a bike thief, but I hope not.
nice bike, enjoy the fruits of your labor.
True, but it won't be left unattended. I'm actually a few miles north of Miami now where it's statistically 3% safer, I just chose this name for the street cred

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Nice work. What BB spindle did you go with for the conversion or did you do the entire BB, cups and all?
Yes, the BB is a Gran Sport also, the group came from a Competition GS that I bought a while ago, which is now jstewse's "beater."

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Super Cool!

Two quick questions.

Is that a kickstand on a just a prop stand for the picture?

What did you do with the cannondale water bottle and velcro waterbottle cage??
The prop stand is the lower two segments of a small Gitzo tripod, which I use because it collapses small enough to fit in my camera bag. It's a terrible solution really, since I always forget to bring a chock for the wheel (hence the stick,) and it's pretty sketchy if there's any breeze at all. I need to find a better stand that doesn't leave one wheel in the air. Either that, or ride more and take glamor shots less...

The bottle is possibly destined for ebay, and I'm hoping it's worth what I paid for the bike (ok, I got it cheap )

I forgot to post the photo of the tires earlier, I think they're an interesting option for under $20 in 27x1-1/4" size. They come with white walls too.

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Old 07-04-11, 08:23 PM   #18
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..

I forgot to post the photo of the tires earlier, I think they're an interesting option for under $20 in 27x1-1/4" size. They come with white walls too.

^ Oh.
DO the Paselas. You WON'T be sorry.
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Old 07-04-11, 09:24 PM   #19
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Wow, very nice!
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Old 07-05-11, 07:21 AM   #20
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Those look like thick sidewalls. I don't mean any disrespect to your choice or the Schwalbe company, but "DO the Paselas. You WON'T be sorry."
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Old 07-09-11, 12:56 PM   #21
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Hi, I sent you a PM..
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Old 08-02-11, 09:29 PM   #22
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Again, another reason to get up early in the morning and search for "one" more bike! Superb transformation in the hands of an artist! :-)

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Old 08-02-11, 10:12 PM   #23
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Shoot, this thread was a month ago?

I finally put together my 1971(?) Super Course over the weekend and took it for a short ride and I couldn't believe how smooth yet lively it was.

The 27x1 Paselas TGs Nashbar had for cheap worked a lot better than I was expecting. They were only at 80psi as I wasn't sure what these hook-less rims could handle, but I don't really have any reason to change the pressure if this ride keeps up.

Mine isn't a terribly photogenic specimen, but I'll grab a photo of it tomorrow.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Having owned and ridden several, I've always liked the ride. The sport-touring geometry is similar to the International, I believe, though the frame is heavier and stouter. It has a nice combo of liveliness and comfort.

Neal
I've never ridden either an International or a SC, but I love the ride of my Gran Sport, and would describe it in much the same way. I wonder how much difference there is in ride quality among the three. Anyone with experience across the models, feel free to comment. And, lest I've gone too far OT, Chris, your bike is beautiful.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:37 PM   #25
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I was pleasantly surprised by how good my super course was the first time I rode it. I don't ride it as much as I should, though.
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