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  1. #1
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    My winter project? Some of you will be a little surprised.

    Short version: It's a Basso!

    Long version: It's still a Basso! But it's really a long story....

    Ten or fifteen years ago my father in law made some upgrades to his bike, which was an early 90's Specialized road bike. He gave me the stuff he took off, which was Shimano 105 8 speed sti's, derailleurs, cranks, and some other bits. I tried selling the stuff once or twice, but always found myself asking more than the market would bear, from which I was forced to conclude I wanted to keep it. So I decided I would build a bike with it, if I found the appropriate frame.

    And then I proceeded to pick up some more components from that same group. The great Box-O-Crap that went around a year ago came my way with a pair of 1056 pedals, and left without them. Kurt offered a 1055 headset in the for-sale forum, and I snapped it up. Before long, I had pretty much everything. I put it all on a very nice early 80's frame, which was blue, so I got blue bar tape and blue cable housing for that. But (alas!) that frame proved a little too big for me; too long. I like a short top tube.

    Then in December I saw this Basso Gap frame on ebay for a $150 buy-it-now price, and I thought, yes, that will do. I put the money down.

    Once the frame was in the stand I realized some things were still missing, so I placed an order... screwed that up and had to try again... and the necessaries continued to pile up in December and the first week of January. Last Wednesday the last package arrived, with a bottom bracket in it, and I put it all together. Ha! It all seemed to work.

    Not having a chance to test ride it, I rode it to work on Friday. That worked out pretty well. I stopped a few times to adjust the seat forward, then up, then forward some more; changed the angle of the handle bar; futzed with the fender line (this thing has close tolerances). Fiddled with it some more Friday around which time TimmyT arrived and we downed a couple beers while I changed the seat, pumped up the tires, and added a few cheap battery-powered LED lights (I prefer dynamo lighting, but this didn't seem the bike for it).

    It all looked good. Well, it looked pretty strange to my eye, being purple (which I can't even see, but it looks like blue to me, and I like blue) and green (I can't always see green, but this green I can see) and blue (). But it looked like a bike.

    We went to bed late and got up early, hit the dark and foggy roads at 6 AM, rode through low hanging clouds until we could legitimately stop for breakfast. It did eventually get light, but we never saw the sun. The roads were wet all day long, even though it never really rained.

    We put in a total of 105 miles on Saturday, and I have to say this bike is okay. It more or less disappears under you. I can't call the ride magical; way too bumpy for that. And even with the skimpiest fenders I could find, the tires seem to be maxed out at 23 mm. I don't really understand why they make bikes that won't take fatter tires, but whatever.

    Anyway, without further ado, here are some photos I took on Sunday.


    The pump is a Topeak Master Blaster Road. It fits the frame nicely. I don't like using it, but it handles very high pressures.


    Crud Guard road fenders. They seem to be the best suited fenders to a bike like this; vintage Bluemels would be all wrong and probably wouldn't fit anyway. They wangle around a bit on the bumps, and Tim complained that they made an occasional rubbing noise, but he did not complain about getting sprayed with road grime so I consider the fenders a success.


    Like I said, I bought the blue bar tape and blue cable housing for a different bike. But since blue and purple are indistinguishable to me, they look about right. Note the cheap LED lights on handlebar (obvious!) and the Planet Bike "Spok" safety light on the front fender (aw, isn't that cute...). If you're going to ride a century in January, you need lights. The daylight hours are too short.


    More Shimano 1055 / 1056 components than you can shake a stick at! This is not, in my opinion, the ugliest group ever made (Mavic starfish crank, anyone? ) though it deserves an honorable mention. But it suits the bike.


    RHM#3 saddle. This was the Brooks Pro frame I rode to its demise 1980-1995 and was the third saddle I recovered. Not a great success, but I reworked it a year later with hammered rivets and lots of holes in the top in the manner of Ottussi. Note the stamps on the side: Shimano 11t cassette cogs! It is actually a pretty comfortable saddle.


    Oh, yeah, it's goofy, but I even stamped the rivets.

    Anyway, there you have it. My winter build. Frame and components all "period correct" for 1993. It's a fun and fast bike. Top tube might be a little long for me, but really my only complaint is that there's no room for fatter tires and better fenders.
    Last edited by rhm; 01-14-13 at 08:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Tight clearances, long top tubes and gaudy color schemes. Italian bikes ftw?

    Super cool saddle, man!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    I can't believe you did that to an Italian bike.

  4. #4
    WNG
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    Nice build! The paint looks blue/green to me, not purple. The Basso frame is sweet!
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    I'd rather add more life to my years, than years to my life.

  5. #5
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
    I can't believe you did that to an Italian bike.
    What, you're not supposed to ride them?

    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    Nice build! The paint looks blue/green to me, not purple.
    Thank you!
    That is exactly how I see it. I don't really believe purple exists at all, it is just a hoax perpetrated on the naive. Ha! I'm not falling for that. The word gullible is in the dictionary, I know, 'cuz I looked once.
    Last edited by rhm; 01-14-13 at 08:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Great looking Basso. Personally I always like that group.

    They do make bikes that take bigger tires, they are called Touring, Hybrid and Mountain bikes LOL. I bet without the fenders you could shoehorn a x28 in there but if you want fenders then x23 will simply have to do.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  7. #7
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Ditch the fenders now! If ever a frame was made for the Speedblend tires, it is this very Basso.

    http://store.somafab.com/rirutuspti.html

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  8. #8
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    ^Oh, my! If those ever go on sale, please let me know.

  9. #9
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Those are pretty groovy!

    I love the text in the add... nothing like spending $100+ on tires for your 'beater'

    "" Perfect way to add a lot of color to that all-black beater you've been riding and thumb ur nose at bikesnobs. Underneath the rubber it's all business with a Kevlar belt for flat protection and taffeta reinforcement of the side walls. 700x28c. Made in Japan ""
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  10. #10
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Ehhh, it would look better with an IGH

    The coolest thing there is the saddle...that is just AWESOME, especially the signature in the rivets. If I had the skill to do that, I'd put my mark down as well.

  11. #11
    rhm
    rhm is offline
    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    Ehhh, it would look better with an IGH.
    You make a good point, but sadly this bike has vertical dropouts and every other optimization for indexed shifting derailleurs. But it's okay, I have other bikes with IGH's

    (and thanks for the kind words about the saddle!)

  12. #12
    Senior Member shoota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    ^Oh, my! If those ever go on sale, please let me know.
    They're on sale.

  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shoota View Post
    They're on sale.
    Indeed they are!

    Then again, you could consider converting this bike to 650B.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  14. #14
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Indeed they are!

    Then again, you could consider converting this bike to 650B.
    Yeah, but 1055 long reach dual pivot calipers are really hard to find. I searched on ebay for a while, and all the ones that came up were in far away lands and outlandishly priced.

  15. #15
    likes to ride an old bike
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    I'm really loving this bike.

    If you're unhappy with the harsh ride on the 23mm tires it maxes out at, maybe you should relace the hubs into some tubular rims? Then you could run 85 or 90PSI for a nicer ride without fearing pinch flats.

  16. #16
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    More Shimano 1055 / 1056 components than you can shake a stick at! This is not, in my opinion, the ugliest group ever made (Mavic starfish crank, anyone? ) though it deserves an honorable mention. But it suits the bike.
    So... Now I see you're taking potshots at my Alpine. Nice work!

    Now about your Basso, that is a pretty neat bike and definitely outside the norm for something you typically build. I've never seen those Crud Guard fenders before. Those may be an option for a couple of my road bikes. Where did you hear about them?
    --
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  17. #17
    rhm
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    You misunderstand me, sir! I am proud of the ugliness of my 105 group but have to give credit where credit is due. I am awed by the starfish. In am era not known for sensitive and subtle design, it's ugliness stands out. No doubt when the other designers saw that, they shrugged their shoulders and went home.
    Fire the crud guards, I saw them on the internet!

  18. #18
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I actually kind of like the Starfish; at least it's distinctive. I have to say...the DA 7400 crank is uglier (and it scuffs if you look at it cross eyed). Suntour's derailleurs are also largely hideous...

    But the ugliest thing in the history of ugly are bulbous IGH hubs

  19. #19
    AmiableNitrite Member VonCarlos's Avatar
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    Very interesting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I actually kind of like the Starfish; at least it's distinctive. I have to say...the DA 7400 crank is uglier (and it scuffs if you look at it cross eyed). Suntour's derailleurs are also largely hideous...

    But the ugliest thing in the history of ugly are bulbous IGH hubs
    I heard that about you.........

  21. #21
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
    I heard that about you.........
    From a maternal relative?

  22. #22
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Great job on the Basso!

    It really came out great. I know this is unchartered territory for you, but I hope you like the change. I ride a Basso, and I really like it. The bike always urges me to go faster and harder, and I can't seem to go easy with it. That SL frame is pretty special IMHO. Basso's give you the best characteristics of Italian bikes without the high price tag (relatively speaking of course!) and they always have those wacky, but cool two tone paint jobs. You got your frame for a great price!

    Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of the fenders though. I understand you wanted them for rain, but they don't do the frame justice. After all, she is Italian and she should always be racy and scantily clad. As for the saddle, I agree with everyone else, it looks really good! Nice job. Brown bar tape would go great with that. Nothing wrong with the Shimano 105 IMO. I've got a bike with that group and she is fine.

    You really broke her in right on that long ride in pretty dreary weather, glad you enjoyed it. It's nice to see another rider enjoy their Basso!
    Colnago Super
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  23. #23
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Tubular Tyres On A Basso? Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrEss View Post
    I'm really loving this bike.

    If you're unhappy with the harsh ride on the 23mm tires it maxes out at, maybe you should relace the hubs into some tubular rims? Then you could run 85 or 90PSI for a nicer ride without fearing pinch flats.
    I'm doubtful you'll be talking rhm into using tubs anytime soon. Of course, who would've thought he'd be riding an Italian bicycle for that matter!
    --
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  24. #24
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I actually kind of like the Starfish; at least it's distinctive. I have to say...the DA 7400 crank is uglier (and it scuffs if you look at it cross eyed). Suntour's derailleurs are also largely hideous...

    But the ugliest thing in the history of ugly are bulbous IGH hubs
    Ya better watch out taking potshots at IGH's. I'm liable to build up my Appel as an IGH if you push it.
    --
    Ridding the world of derailleurs, one bicycle at a time.

    46 Hercules Roadster, 49 Hercules Kestrel, 50 Norman Rapide, 51 Hercules Lion, 52 Hercules Windsor, 56 Hercules Royal Prince, 61 Fiorelli Tandem, 67 Carlton Super Race (IGH), 70 Schwinn Collegiate (IGH), 71 Hercules, 71 STF Hercules, 72 Peugeot PX-8 (IGH), 76 Raleigh Sports, 77 STF Raleigh Sports, 77 Jack Taylor Tandem, Early-80's Mike Appel SC, 84 Davidson Tandem, Late-80's Alpine, 10 Bilenky "BQ" Signature Tandem

  25. #25
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
    Of course, who would've thought he'd be riding an Italian bicycle for that matter!
    They all come around eventually...
    Colnago Super
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