I am recently returned to more regular cycling after many, many years of, at most, infrequent rides. I've been commuting daily for about 3 months (about 5 miles a day, now), and I remember what it was I loved about bicycling in the first place.
I've never ridden 'seriously' but I was an avid commuter cyclist in college, and owned mid-80's Bridgestone 400, Bridgestone 500 (to replace the stolen 400) and Trek 400 (which replaced the stolen 500). I let the Trek gather dust and rust for many years (and stored it outside, no less) after getting married and starting a career, and let it go for something like $15 at a yard sale more than 10 years ago. Since then,my only ride was an old hand-me-up Schwinn no suspension Mountain Bike from my younger brother, which I outfitted with hybrid tires, and some commuting friendly accessories. My son is now tall enough to ride it, so it remains in the stable for him and for rainy day commutes. It has some issues that are not economically feasible for repair (such as a crank bearing issue) but it rides just fine, and if it dies, it owes no one anything.
After 2 months of commuting daily, I decided it was time to get a better commuter, and got turned on to the Kona Dew series by my LBS. After some test rides, I realized I really wanted the Dew Drop, but I couldn't pay the freight (or, more to the point, I couldn't justify it to SWMBO). I happened to find a Dew Plus on Craig's list a few weeks ago, which I snapped up and I am pretty happy with it. As a commuter, it is just about perfect for me, except that I really prefer the riding position of drop bars. Last week I did two separate 10 mile rides (yes, I know that's short by most serious cyclists' standards, but long for me) and I liked everything about my rides except that my wrists weren't too happy, because of how they sit on flat bars. This brings me to my reason for actually registering, rather than just continuing to lurk and read...
Last night, I picked up a 'vintage' ?Tommaso? road bike from Craig's list for $180. The frame seems straight, the shifters (index, on the downtube) seem smooth and completely functional, the brakes work quite well, the wheels/tires roll just fine and hold air, no play or binding in the steering head or crank that I could detect, etc... So at the very least, I have a ride-able road bike, which was my main objective. My curiousity now is whether I should consider changes, or if this is a mostly original vintage bike that would be better kept as close to original as possible. As far as I could tell from Bikepedia, the component set matches the original components spec'd for the Tommaso road bikes of the approximate era. The two things that mar the appearance and function of the bike now are 1) the quick release skewer for the seat was obviously replaced with a VERY cheap substitute (probably removed from a kid's walmart special), and 2) the pedals are ugly and I don't have shoes to work with them. They seem to be some kind of clipless road pedal, black 'plastic' and roughly triangular in shaped, relatively flat on the top, and the bottom follows the profile of the pedal ?stem? ?axle? (forgive me -- I don't know that much about correct bike terminology). I didn't notice a brand name on them, but I didn't look that hard.
The question mark on the Tommaso is not that I don't know anything about them -- I read about them here and on some other fora, and it appears that they were Italian made steel frame bikes sold in the US as reasonably good middle/high end racers. My question mark is that I am now wondering if it ~is~ a Tommaso, as I didn't think to check the fork or tubing for actual stamped/machined 'T', so it is possible that someone just slapped some decals on it, clear coated, and off we go. I will check that tonight :-)
I will try to post some pictures, and put my various questions into the correct threads, etc...
Anyway, if anyone actually reads this, then thanks in advance for any help/guidance/wisdom/anecdotes/stories/entertainment that you will or have provided.