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Old 08-07-14, 01:48 AM   #1
eschlwc
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'84 davidson challenge

finally got around to taking some pics after i worked out a few 7-speed problems. it's a fast bike (for me) that's offered a few 'firsts':

- first bike from a custom builder
- first 7-speed
- first campy bb and crankset
- first dura ace component (brakeset)
- first sealed bearing hub (specialized rear)

the '84 catalog page shows three different groups were available for this challenge model:
- specialized, $995
- dura ace, $1195
- super record, $1395

this one came to me with a combination of all three groups:
- dura ace brakeset
- specialized stem, seatpost, rear hub, and pedals
- campagnolo super record headset
- campagnolo nuovo record bb, front hub, crankset

unfortunately, someone pulled the derailleurs and shifters before i took ownership. but a couple forum members helped out by providing more nuovo record. thanks, jeff and michael!

yeah, it's been a fun and challenging project. thanks for all the help!

Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles | Bicycles Handbuilt in Seattle, Washington
History | Davidson Handbuilt Bicycles
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Old 08-07-14, 01:49 AM   #2
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Old 08-07-14, 04:11 AM   #3
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That's a beauty.

Well done.
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Old 08-07-14, 05:04 AM   #4
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I agree beautiful bike. That red is very deep and rich.


I noticed your other post about stripe orientation before this one. I noticed Davidson fooled with the color order for his logo.
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Old 08-07-14, 11:01 AM   #5
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I am such a sucker for Davidson bicycles. They are nicely crafted and have a great reputation for consistent quality. Perhaps some day I'll manage to snag a Davidson single.
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Old 08-07-14, 11:34 AM   #6
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Looks great! The yellow cable housings really work.

I have one question - what are the black plastic retainers at the top of the handlebar tape?
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Old 08-07-14, 12:04 PM   #7
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Gorgeous, but that's true of all your builds.
Is this your largest frame?
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Old 08-07-14, 12:09 PM   #8
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...
...I'm convinced from my own collecting and riding that the American small production and custom builders from about the 80's onwards are equal
(often superior) to anything else I've ridden. I was wondering about the size of this compared to your other stuff, too.

But I cannot tell sizing from a photo accurately, no matter how much I think I should be able to do so.
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Old 08-07-14, 12:34 PM   #9
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Gogeous! Love that color red! Cool info on the lugs too!
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Old 08-07-14, 12:54 PM   #10
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From your thread title I wasn't sure whether "challenge" referred to the model -- I see it does -- or to the difficulties in scrounging correct parts together for it.

That is one sharp looking bike (I am a sucker for red), and I'll bet it is a blast to ride.
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Old 08-07-14, 01:44 PM   #11
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thanks, guys and gal.

it does look bigger, doesn't it.?. my perfect size is 22" c-c with a slightly longer top tube. this is a tiny bit bigger than that. but i think the head tube is disproportionately longer than the others, making it look a size or even two bigger. i assume this is what davidson called a 58cm, c-t. but it just doesn't feel quite that big. it is my bigget bike currently. i think i've had only one bike bigger (a 58 univega that was just too big for me).

the stem on this one is really long too. on my first ride, i thought i had made a big mistake not changing it to a shorter stem. but i think i've finally dialed-in everything, making it really rather comfortable.

@Bad Lag, i finish tape with electrical tape cut in half, then i cover that with embroidery thread and harden the thread with clear enamel nail polish. i used black thread here. i blame c&v for teaching me that.
.
@Bianchigirll, your note about stripe orientation reminded me of a saying when i was a boy:

"red, yellow, black, stay away, jack! but red, black, yellow, he's a friendly fellow."

remember that the next time you see either a coral or (more likely) a king snake.
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Old 08-07-14, 03:11 PM   #12
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.
...there's a lot of seat post showing, so i don't see how it could be too big for you and still have the saddle end up there.

I use different stem lengths depending on how prone or upright i want to be on the bike. My hand position is on the
bar near the stem a lot, or out toward the first curve, or on the flat just past that, so i end up using longer stems more.
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Old 08-07-14, 03:21 PM   #13
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Very nicely done. Great looking bike. Enjoy the ride.

Brad
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Old 08-07-14, 03:28 PM   #14
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I was wondering about the size of this compared to your other stuff, too...
curious ... next time you're in your bike hoarding mega storage trailer, take a look at your davidson's head tube, and tell me if it's much longer than the others of the same size.

it is a nice ride. and i don't even have very expensive tires on it.

one thing that stands out is its slight squirreliness when descending at high speed. (i say this only compared to what i'm used to riding.) i guess the fork is pretty light compared to my others. and maybe it's due to the angles as well. there isn't any toe overlap, which is good.

this 'challenge' model was davidson's production racing offering in '84. the other production model, called 'discovery,' was more slack, with eyelets and more tire clearance for touring.
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Old 08-07-14, 03:57 PM   #15
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That's a keeper.

Are those track or crit bars? They look pretty deep in the drops for giros.
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Old 08-07-14, 04:03 PM   #16
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That's a keeper.

Are those track or crit bars? They look pretty deep in the drops for giros.
That's a Campione del Mondo...

What a beauty! Looks brand new. Should be even better in the flesh with all that red
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Old 08-07-14, 04:06 PM   #17
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Very pretty - I like the details and choices quite a bit.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-07-14, 04:07 PM   #18
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That's a Campione del Mondo...
Wow those bars alone are going for $80 and up out there.
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Old 08-07-14, 04:35 PM   #19
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Are those track or crit bars? They look pretty deep in the drops for giros.
they're 'tall' (if that's the right term). but i'm getting used to them.

Quote:
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That's a Campione del Mondo.
i have giro d'italia 64-38 bars on two other bikes i like quite a bit. they look like this:



not nearly as tall as those on the davidson. i think i prefer the giros.

Quote:
Should be even better in the flesh with all that red.
the bike had red cotton tape, and i kind of liked the look, so i kept it that way using red fizik. i would normally put gumwalled paselas on it, but these black tires were in good shape, so i kept them. i was thinking that might be too much black to go with a black brooks, so i almost pulled the trigger on a brown one, but got cold feet.

would you guys make any changes with tire wall or tape color?
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Old 08-07-14, 04:53 PM   #20
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i think i prefer the giros.
Those Campione del Mondos must be rare as they get good money out there. I have some 40cm giros with notches in the bottom of the drops for leather wraps. They've got some strange little marks where the brake hoods go that must be for keeping the wrapping from slipping. I'll probably never use 'em since I don't plan on leather wraps. You could use them with Bike Ribbon or the like too. PM me if you want 'em and I'll give you a good price on 'em.

Bet that Nuovo Record derailleur makes for less than ideal 7 speed shifting but it's certainly right for that pretty bike.
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Old 08-07-14, 04:58 PM   #21
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That is just plain drop-dead gorgeous. Nicely done.
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Old 08-07-14, 05:14 PM   #22
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Wow those bars alone are going for $80 and up out there.
Are they really.

Time to dig out a set or two....
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Old 08-07-14, 05:15 PM   #23
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That is just plain drop-dead gorgeous. Nicely done.
I've been coming back to this one a few times today.

So many nice features.
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Old 08-07-14, 05:35 PM   #24
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Yes. I like me a good Davidson, and 1984 is a bit of a sweet spot for simple, elegant roadies for me (stable of Japanese, Canadian, and UK roadies: 1x 1981, 1x 1984, 1x 1985, 1x 1986, 1x 1990 + 1x 198?, ca. 1984-5...and one or two not like the others + an '85 frame that's on the sale block). Love your Davidson - wish I had one right around the same age. [EDITED THIS PARAGRAP TO CLARIFY AN AMBIGUITY THAT MADE IT SEEM I MIGHT HAVE 7 DAVIDSONS IN THE STABLE ]

I can see others have remarked on the deep bars - I was thinking to myself, damn, those are as deep as the C. del Mondo bars on my Nishiki...then I scrolled down to the pic that reveals that that is what they are. I like 'em (run with limited saddle to bar drop).

Great color, and great build. Davidson does such nice, clean bikes.

Coincidentally, my first frame from an American custom builder (3rd from a North American builder) is sitting at my post office waiting for pickup. I went with something a little newer, though...always thought my first US-made bike might have ended up being a classic Davidson, but I guess not! Went a little further down the West Coast (practically to Mexico's doorstep), to a new-to-me frame material, and no more than a decade or so since it came off out of the workshop.

Last edited by mikemowbz; 08-07-14 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Clarification!
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Old 08-07-14, 06:03 PM   #25
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seven davidsons, @mikemowbz? please share links or pics.

thanks, everyone. the trick is taking pics at sunset.
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