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  1. #1
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    First rebuilding project - 78 Raleigh. Noob mistakes listed and photographed!

    Hey y'all, I'm actually really excited to share this project with you. Ive been reading the forums for a good while now, squinting into the night over ancient posts about various questions I've had and before I describe my rebuild, I'd like to say thanks. All the knowledge in these forums is priceless, and for my purposes this site has been a perfect companion to sheldonbrown.com. I've read about tubing, countless posts on specific bikes and models, and have admired many a picture of nice classics posted in C&V.

    This may be quite a long post, so get ready. I'm going to include all the information I can, along with the mistakes I've made, and photographs.

    Having spent the last 6 months putting in hours volunteering at my local bike coop (austinyellowbike.org) and reading here and on Sheldon's site, I finally feel like I am beginning to know what I'm doing.

    I picked up a frame and fork about 6 months ago, off craigslist, from a guy who assured me it was a 1978 Raleigh Professional. It had been repainted, and the headset had been replaced with a Shimano 600. The top tube had been drilled to allow for internal cable routing. NOOB MISTAKE #1: All this means I should have passed on it. But this was 6 months ago and I didn't.

    Official Before Photo:
    Before.jpg

    Because of the repaint I may never really know if it is a Professional or not. The Serial number is WK8003002, and the lugs match photos I've seen of the real deal. Dropouts are campagnolo, as is the bottom bracket cable guide (which I found out later).

    At this point I realized I needed more skills and knowledge to pull this thing off, and the frame went into the living room corner for the next six months.

    Coming back to it, I made a few decisions. The top tube and the repaint meant that a full restoration would be a waste of effort, so I set about looking for a decent set of components for a decent price, and settled on a full set of Shimano 600 Ultegra (the tricolor one) off ebay. NOOB Mistake #2: I should have waited and picked up a cheapo thing off craigslist to strip. The nice thing about the ebay listing was that it included almost everything I needed. Being new to this my personal "Box o' Parts" consisted of one pair of no-name brake levers (with bonus safety/suicide levers), and a rear wheel with a bent axle.

    Components off Ebay, just after degreasing:
    Head and stem.jpg
    Crankset and BB.jpg
    Brakes.jpg
    Components.jpg

    The wheels are Mavic MA40 rims with shimano 600 hubs and a 7 speed cassette. The rear wheel was super bent:
    Bent Rim.jpg

    NOOB Mistake #3This part I'm sure there will be objections to and words of caution: I unlaced the bent rim and laced the hub and spokes onto a double walled aluminium rim I got at the LBS. Re-using spokes! that came from a wheel that was bent from unknown forces!? Yep. At this point I was feeling very DIY, and didnt want to spend any more money. None of the spokes looked damaged, and If I get nervous about it I'll bite the bullet and spend the cash for the LBS to cut me some new spokes, and I'll rebuild the wheel.

    After truing the rear with the new rim:
    Rebuild Wheel.jpg

    I then turned my attention to the Frame and Fork and decided I hated the paint, and still swept up in the DIY spirit, bought sandpaper.
    NOOB Mistake #4 Next time, I will be using paint thinner....
    It took me a week solid of evenings on the apartment balcony, with a pile of 220 sandpaper, a pocketknife and a sixpack, but I did it, eventually. I used a crappy old pocketknife to take off the glossy clearcoat and much of the colorcoats, and sanded away the old primer.

    In process:
    Half Sanded.jpg

    Done!
    Sanded Fork.jpg
    Sanding Complete.jpg

    Time for priming! I donned gloves did a last sanding run with 500 grit and wiped it down with rubbing alcohol.
    NOOB Mistake #5 I hadn't planned out a suitable way to hold it while painting, and ended up making a massive mess of the primer coat:
    Primer OOPS.jpg
    This sort of stuff was all over the frame. I hadn't ever used a can of srpaypaint before. Anyway I let it dry and sanded down the rough areas and came up with this:
    Hanging solution.jpg
    Genius.

    I've done the first layer of color, which was white (bonus noob mistake: Don't use white primer if you're going to make the first coat white, it's very difficult to figure out where you've painted).

    While this was drying I went to the LBS and got cable-housing, tubes, and a pair of continental gatorskins.

    I can't wait to get this baby done. Tommor will be the red paint, Thursday the blue, Friday the gloss, and then sunday the build. Ill add on to this thread with a picture of progress is anyone is interested.

    Again, thank you all for all the posts and information you've given over the years, I wouldn't have the confidence to do this without it all. I probably would have tried, gotten stuck on a simple step and given up, but thanks to you all, this time next week Ill be riding a handpainted vintage that I assembled myself, which will be pretty rad.

  2. #2
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    Good story! Subscribing, and looking forward to the result.
    Klunker King wannabe

  3. #3
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    good for you for repainting it. that's quite a project.

    how did you know the old spokes would be the right length for the new rim? and were they?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
    good for you for repainting it. that's quite a project.

    how did you know the old spokes would be the right length for the new rim? and were they?
    I took the warped rim into to bike shop, and they dug through their rack until they found a 32 spoke 700c rim. I mainly just hoped, knowing that if they didnt, I'd just go back with the hub and new rim and buy new spokes. The shop near me cuts their own spokes, 90 cents each for straight bore. I think its 1.50 for double butted. as it turns out they were long enough, probably because the new rim is double walled and the profile is a bit thicker than the old, so the spoke holes are maybe a millimeter closer to the hub than they would have been on the old rim.

  5. #5
    Senior Member dave42's Avatar
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    Awesome stuff. Don't worry bout the paint job. I worked as a commercial painter some (alongside much better painters than me) and got pretty good with a sprayer, and equally good at fixing mistakes. While it's easier to do it right the first time, you've got to start somewhere. Remember too that most people won't be as critical as yourself (or some drunk painter friend lol). It's fun stuff, ain't it? Maybe on your next one, you could look into a cheap compressor and a cup ***. Allows you to fine tune your spray with different size tips. A place like Sherwin Williams can advise you on which tip you need.

    Edit...that censored word is the g word. Dang it, that's what it's called around here.

  6. #6
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    when you buy spokes, you calculate length with the hub dimensions and the effective rim diameter (erd) of the rim. i'm not sure what the variance is in erd for 700c rims, but you could have easily been left with too short or too long spokes.

    sometimes things just work out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wythnail View Post
    NOOB MISTAKE #1: All this means I should have passed on it. But this was 6 months ago and I didn't.
    Great thread and please keep the updates coming. I'm not sure your NOOB#1 is all that bad. It ALL depends on what you wanted out of this project. Mistake #!! if you wanted a real nice collectible Raleigh but I don't think that's what you are after. You may very well have a proper Mk V. The key elements I see are the SN (correct 78 Worksop format), the HT lugs with the window cutouts, the seat cluster, the cutouts on the BB shell and the contour of the BB shell lugs. I cannot see too well in the photos but also compare the fork crown and the rear brake bridge to original Mk Vs. I'm pretty sure you will have a great bike that will ride very nicely and be a lot of fun. And you'll learn lots of valuable lessons and skills that will serve you in the future.

    I have a '76 Mk IV, one of the last of that model made. I completed my overhaul a couple of months ago and have become really impressed with how nicely it rides. It is still the one (of my three road bikes) that I think about the most and grab most for the daily scoot. After you get it done and on the road keep us posted on how you like it in the real world.

    BTW: anyone who says they never made noob mistakes will lie about other things too. You've done well. Thanks for the thread.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Great post. You learned a heck of a lot on this project. And you will enjoy riding your new bike in a way that many don't because you will have rebuilt this bike from soup to nuts.

  9. #9
    Senior Member daf1009's Avatar
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    Wonderful post...we have all been there (or are still there!)...cannot wait to hear more...
    58 Raleigh Lenton Reg Harris Grand Prix, 62 Raleigh Lenton Blue Streak, 62 Raleigh Gran Sport, 70 Raleigh International, 72 Raleigh Professional, 72 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 73 Schwinn Super Sport, 80 Raleigh Super Course, 81 Miyata 1000, 85 Bianchi Veloce, 86 Raleigh Competition, 87 Team Miyata, 89 Masi Team 3V, 91 Tommasso SL-56, 92 Bridgestone RB-1, 92 Bridgestone RB-T, 93 Bridgestone XO-1, 05 Pinarello Surprise, 07 Novara Strada, 11 Raleigh Port Townsend, Royal Enfield

  10. #10
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    Thanks for posting this up. I just bought an '81 Schwinn Super Le Tour for $50. It's complete and as far as I can tell, original. It doesn't have any collector value, so I'm going to use it to learn on. It's white now, but I'm thinking either a bright red or a bright yellow/orange......keep up the posts and let us know how you are progressing......

  11. #11
    Senior Member DiegoFrogs's Avatar
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    The drilled holes in the top tube have me a little concerned. Was it done professionally? Any reinforcement brazed into the holes?

  12. #12
    Senior Member jeirvine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wythnail View Post
    The shop near me cuts their own spokes, 90 cents each for straight bore. I think its 1.50 for double butted.
    Good on you for supporting the LBS, but be aware you can get double butted stainless spokes from danscomp.com for $0.40 each including nipples.
    The man who dies with the most toys…is dead. - Rootboy

  13. #13
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    That internal TT job must have been a popular "upgrade". My '78 Pro had some installed ~ '87 by CyclArt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    So what did you find printed on the tubing? Reynolds Vitus Durfort anything on the lugs was the bottom bracket welded?
    riding

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoFrogs View Post
    The drilled holes in the top tube have me a little concerned. Was it done professionally? Any reinforcement brazed into the holes?
    I have no way to know how they were done. It doesn't seem to have any reinforcement, so it could have been a home hack job. Ill be inspecting everything very carefully after each ride for the first few weeks, and other than that crossing my fingers. There are several frame builders in my town that I could talk to about top tube replacement if I see any cracks or bends developing.

    Jeirvine, thanks for the tip about spokes, thats a huge price difference.

    kc0yef, I didn't find much, to be honest. The only markings other than the serial number that I noticed were on the bottom bracket cable guides, which had "Campagnolo" etched in tiny letters.

    I've added some red today, and heres a better view of the seat cluster and rear brake bridge and bottom bracket shell
    seat and rear brake.jpgBB.jpg

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wythnail View Post
    Hey y'all, I'm actually really excited to share this project with you. Ive been reading the forums for a good while now, squinting into the night over ancient posts about various questions I've had and before I describe my rebuild, I'd like to say thanks. All the knowledge in these forums is priceless, and for my purposes this site has been a perfect companion to sheldonbrown.com. I've read about tubing, countless posts on specific bikes and models, and have admired many a picture of nice classics posted in C&V.
    Boy, I sure echo that. I came here 2 years ago with an old Sears 3 Speed that I wanted to know more about, and now C&V is where I still spend countless wasted hours. Get into alot of trouble with GF regarding my C&V spending habits these days too...


    Anyways, great looking project. Can't wait to see more as it moves along!

  17. #17
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    Several paint coats later, here's how I'm looking:
    Almost.jpg

    Part of the reason I was unwilling to pass up this frame in the first place is it's heritage. My father is English, I and a British citizen and out family is from the North, about 50 miles north of Nottingham. As I was doing a repaint (and frankly struggling to come up with ideas for a paint scheme), I went with the union jack on the down tube and a red with white accent thing on others. The cable housing I have is blue, which may or may not work. We shall see.

    The paint job isnt poerfect. When its finished Ill post some close-ups of the problem areas, but for my first time painting a frame or with a can of spray paint I think it turned out well so far! (LOTS of masking tape).

    The more astute among you will notice a rather glaring error I made, as the actual flag has a strip of red going down the angle of the blue bit.
    1200px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg.png
    At this point I have to let the blue dry before I tape it up again and add those.

    I have a question! The fork at this point i just white, and Im torn between keeping that or doing it red. Im also planning to outline the lugs with a white paintbrush to help them pop, since they are soooo cool.

    Thanks for the feedback so far, its been very supportive

  18. #18
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    Well the Home depot ran out of clear coat enamel (should have bought two cans to begin with, so I've been delayed for a week, which is quite annoying. I also realized I rushed things a bit and didn't sand and windex between the coats of paint as I've read that you should. I have been doing that with the clear coat, so I'll have to just cross my fingers that the paint doesn't shed as much as my dog. Still, even if it does, I don't think I'll mind all that much, certainly not as much as I would were it the original paint.

    While waiting for home depot to resupply, I've gone over all my planned components, taking them apart and de-greasing, so that when I take everything to to co-op, I can maybe have it all done in one sitting, although that is probably wildly optimistic. I did run into a bit of a fright, looking at the front derailleur. It's in beautiful condition (whatever bike the parts were pulled off of seems to have been barely ridden), but looking at it the clamp almost seems too small. I haven't tried it on the tube, as I'd rather not damage the paint before I've given the clearcoat some time to properly set. I've just been eyeballing it and holding it around the tube without actually closing the clamp, so hopefully I'm just being nervous for no reason. I've read that seatposts are always 26.8, which I would think would mean clamp on front derailleurs would then also always be 26.8. Is that right?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wythnail View Post
    Well the Home depot ran out of clear coat enamel (should have bought two cans to begin with, so I've been delayed for a week, which is quite annoying. I also realized I rushed things a bit and didn't sand and windex between the coats of paint as I've read that you should. I have been doing that with the clear coat, so I'll have to just cross my fingers that the paint doesn't shed as much as my dog. Still, even if it does, I don't think I'll mind all that much, certainly not as much as I would were it the original paint.

    While waiting for home depot to resupply, I've gone over all my planned components, taking them apart and de-greasing, so that when I take everything to to co-op, I can maybe have it all done in one sitting, although that is probably wildly optimistic. I did run into a bit of a fright, looking at the front derailleur. It's in beautiful condition (whatever bike the parts were pulled off of seems to have been barely ridden), but looking at it the clamp almost seems too small. I haven't tried it on the tube, as I'd rather not damage the paint before I've given the clearcoat some time to properly set. I've just been eyeballing it and holding it around the tube without actually closing the clamp, so hopefully I'm just being nervous for no reason. I've read that seatposts are always 26.8, which I would think would mean clamp on front derailleurs would then also always be 26.8. Is that right?
    The clamp often does seem a couple of mm too small, it's so the bolt holds it in tension, so the FD is tighter then it could be if, the clamp were a little larger.

  20. #20
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    My first "build" was combining parts of a couple of Schwinns onto a Raleigh Sprite frame.

    I learned a lot, and made a metric ton of mistakes.

    Your bike is coming along great- Hopefully yours will turn out better than mine did!
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  21. #21
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wythnail View Post
    ...... I did run into a bit of a fright, looking at the front derailleur. It's in beautiful condition (whatever bike the parts were pulled off of seems to have been barely ridden), but looking at it the clamp almost seems too small. I haven't tried it on the tube, as I'd rather not damage the paint before I've given the clearcoat some time to properly set. I've just been eyeballing it and holding it around the tube without actually closing the clamp, so hopefully I'm just being nervous for no reason. I've read that seatposts are always 26.8, which I would think would mean clamp on front derailleurs would then also always be 26.8. Is that right?
    It's 28.6, not 26.8, but there do exist out there some 28.0 front derailleurs for [French] metric sized tubing. So it is possible that your clamp is small; but more than likely, as Wogster points out, it's just an appearance. This can be an issue if you've laid your paint on rather thick.
    72 special CNC ______ 72 Frejus (ala Legnano) _73 Holdsworth Record
    80 Ranson__________ 80 unknown French____ 83 Trek 600 (620 styled)
    85 Gianni Motta_____ 90 Miele Gara ________ 02 Casati Dardo #1
    02 Casati Dardo #2 __ 03 Casati Dardo ______ 08 BF IRO (fixed/SS)
    09 Dogma FPX magn_ 10 Vassago Fisticuff (IGH)

    For Sale: _________ 78 Raleigh Professional __ 82 Peugeot PXN10
    85 Trek 560_______ 88 Guerciotti GLX

  22. #22
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    UPDATE TIME!!! - Pics at bottom
    Woo! what a week. I left off worrying needlessly about the size of the clamp on front derailleur and waiting for clear coat to set. All that is in the deep dark murky prehistory when I didn't have a bike I could ride. The world has returned to normal, now, because the first draft of my first bike building opus has been completed. There will be a few more mistakes to point out and photograph, so sit back and relax!

    My personal tool inventory consists of a set of allen wrenches (swiss army knife style) a phillips screwdriver (no flathead) and a hammer, a multitool, and a really small adjustable crescent wrench. In short, I am not set up to be working on bikes. to true wheels I rely on the frame of the bike as a truing stand and a sharpie on a flat surface inching closer to the spinning rim and my multitool pliers to turn the nipples (all the while praying i don't crush them or round them off if they're stubborn).

    Luckily, Austin residents have access to an incredible resource: austinyellowbike.org which is an organization that uses volunteer hours to build and repair bikes, which are then left around town for people to use (or more likely steal). If you volunteer for two hours, then you can use their tools and grease and parts to repair your personal bike for two hours. I dumped all my components into a box, grabbed the wheels and frame and headed over.

    The workstand (Didn't realize at the time that I was taking blurry photos, sorry ) :
    Workbench.jpg

    Bike in the stand:
    Build Day.jpg

    I had four hours to build the thing up, and decided to start with the bottom bracket. I cleaned and greased the threads and it went in like a dream. (On a sidenote, the vents in the bottom bracket shell leave virtually everything open to the air, which I didnt really realize before. I hope I dumped in enough grease). Next up was the headset, which I had to hope about. I had the cups, spacer bearings and dustcaps from a shimano 600 headset, but not the races. I basically had to pray that the races on the fork and headtube were in good condition, which they were (phew). In went the sweet Nitto quill stem and bars and I quickly threw on the brake levers.

    An aside: If you're wondering about what components I had, here they are: Shimano 600 Ultergra (Tricolor) Brake levers, Brake calipers, front and rear derailleurs, crankset, and hubs (with 7 speed cassette i believe). Shimano 600 headset and bottom bracket. Mid 70's Campagnolo clamp-on downtube shifters. Nitto quillstem and handlebars. American classic equipment seatpost. Other bits to be replaced: Look clipless pedals and a terrible old schwinn anatomic saddle off my old world sport.

    Back to the action:
    Brake calipers on, seatpost in, rear derailleur on. no problem. At this point I tore the hubs open and feverishly sprayed simple green all over the place, almost lost 3 bearings, slapped the grease in and adjusted the cones. At this point the following thought crossed my mind: "Uh Oh. How do chains work."

    uh... NOOB Mistake number 6:

    Four broken links and hands hurting from the chain-breaker later: I asked for help.

    A very nice dude explained things and we dug around the parts section to find a small section of chain to place my damage. Measured the chain out with it strung around both big cogs, and popped it together, and massaged the link until it was smooth.

    At this point I was out of time. the coop was closing, so I frantically threw a brake cable into the lever and tried to get the front brake working so I could ride home, I adjusted it in record (for me) time and was all proud of myself until I realized I hadn't put a tube in the rear wheel after rebuilding it because I didn't have any rimtape. I walked home.

    Still I felt awesome and proud of myself and the next day had a couple hours at home. I went to the local bike shop for rim tape and shifter cables and cable housing (another thing I forgot for the coop build). The front derailleur clamped on perfectly, and i decided I needed to replace the pedals. I attacked them for almost an hour before claiming a hard earned victory, with my small adjustable crescent wrench looking very very much worse for wear. The bike shop provided some MKS GR-9 pedals and I was almost done with all the mechanics.

    Shock horror, the brazed on cable stop on the chainstay was too small for my ferrule, and I needed to be at work. The cable housing was getting dragged through the cablestop, so shifting was impossible.

    I think one of the reasons I love bikes is perfectly represented in this issue, both in the solution I came up with and in the problem itself. Bikes are machines which require everything to work together, you can have the best components and frame in the world but if the tiny little cable stop doesnt work correctly, the entire shifting system is useless.

    Solution:
    I have a pair of ancient tin snips, a hammer, and a nail. I also have a beer, I open the beer, and drain it . I take the bottlecap and drive a nail through the center. I take the tin snips and cup out a circle about 3 mm across with the hole from the nail as the center. I insert the shifting cable, and then run it through the cable stop. the housing sits on the bottlecap, which sits on the cablestop. All is right in the world again.

    Genius cablestop.jpg

    So I now have a bike with wheels that turn, brake that stop the wheels, pedals/cranks that turn the chain, a chain, and derailleurs to shift the chain.

    First draft done, all that remains is bar tape and a new saddle. When that's complete, Ill post one more pic here and one in the before and after thread.

    Thanks for reading, I know its long!
    Rear Derailleur.jpg
    Cablehouseing and stem.jpg
    Front Deraileur.jpg
    First draft.jpg
    Last edited by Wythnail; 07-12-14 at 12:02 AM.

  23. #23
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    That came out looking pretty sharp!
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  24. #24
    Senior Member Paramount1973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear_a_bug View Post
    Boy, I sure echo that. I came here 2 years ago with an old Sears 3 Speed that I wanted to know more about, and now C&V is where I still spend countless wasted hours. Get into alot of trouble with GF regarding my C&V spending habits these days too...


    Anyways, great looking project. Can't wait to see more as it moves along!
    An hour spent on the C&V forum is never truly wasted...

  25. #25
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    Thanks @jimmuller I just ordered some VO half clips, a friend's selling me a honey brooks b17 for 40 bucks and I went for the deda mistral faux leather bar tape. We'll see how that stuff looks, I'm a bit skeptical. I'm hoping the leather and the clips give the thing a bit more of a retro feel. One of my biggest debates was about authenticity. I have a Campy front derailleur coming in the mail, but I didn't want to break up the 600 group. I feel like the 600 group makes the bike look a lot more modern than I'd like, so hopefully the clips, brooks and tape can adress that a bit.

    Does anyone have advice about hoods? I was honestly planning to try and figure out a DIY solution, as that's been the spirit of the build throughout, like a few layers of that 1/2 inch cloth bar tape, or maybe an old bandana. Thoughts?

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