I pulled out my Davidson today
I recently posted a pic in the Seattle downtown thread of my Davidson. I had been wanting to get it back on the road for a few months, so I ordered a new chain. Today, I took off the old chain, cleaned the pulleys, cleaned up anything else I could find, lubed whatever parts needed it (most of them), and put the new chain on. The one thing I didn't clean was the wheels because they're used off and on with my other bike and well maintained.
This frame was made by Bill Davidson in 1981 for me, with a custom build by Charles Hadrann of Wright Bros Cycles in Fremont, Seattle, the center of the universe. It was my pride and joy for 20+ years before I finally gave in and updated to carbon fiber and modern components for my 50th Bday.
I took it for a ride in Prospect Park today, the same loop I do all the time and did 6 loops, about 25 miles. It was cool and threatening all day so I didn't plan a longer ride, plus tomorrow is the 5 borough bike tour that I'm doing with my daughter, her first long ride on her road bike. Anyway, the thing that really surprised me was how nice it still felt, even in comparison to my cf bike. It still has downtube shifters, Campy NR derailleurs, but I used a Shimano 10speed wheel. I can only use 9 of them, but that's plenty. I kept reaching for the brifter to shift of course, but I got used to the downtube pretty quickly. The biggest problem is that the braking really sucked.
I was riding with one younger guy for a few loops that had a Ti Serotta with Record components that couldn't keep up with me or at least wasn't trying. On the little uphill I just dropped him even though I was just keeping a steady pace. The thing about this that was remarkable to me is that one of the things I really like about my Kuota cf bike is how well it climbs, and how poorly the Davidson felt the last time I rode it. This time though it didn't feel any different and I just went right up the hill.
So maybe, just maybe, what a lot of people say is true, it's not the bike, it's the engine. http://zacfi.home.acedsl.com/Davidson.JPG
The only thing that changed from this picture is I used my Campy Vento wheel in front, I used my SPD pedals, and I pumped up the tires. I also have the saddle bag mounted on my Kuota now. The picture is three years old from when I last used it.