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Memory Lane - Colnago content

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Memory Lane - Colnago content

Old 11-04-15, 06:40 PM
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Drillium Dude
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Memory Lane - Colnago content

While pulling out parts for sales listings the other day, I gave a couple minute's consideration to listing this:



After a few minutes casting back into the fog of memory, I realized something that - to me - was rather shocking: this Campy freewheel was part of my first-ever vintage parts haul. From the very start of my collecting (begun in London back in 1994) I've had this. It came as part of the package when I purchased my first-ever Campagnolo Super Record gruppo - a 50th Anniversary set, no less.

Lets back up a bit. I've always been dead-crazy about bikes. Here I am with my best Christmas present ever:



As years went by, I became fascinated by gears. I bought my first bike with my own hard-earned money in 1979 - a Schwinn Traveller III. It was stolen the following year. I ended up buying this Raleigh Super Course 12 as a replacement - my first truly serious bike:



Alas, around 1986 or so, it was also stolen. It was replaced with my first Italian, an Olmo Nuovo Super Sprint with mostly Zeus 2000 components. I'll never forget the first ride on that bike - I could barely make myself believe I'd ever be able to control it, so instantaneous was its response to my input! What an eye-opener that bike was. I kept it all the way through my first year in the Navy (1988) whereupon it was also stolen - while locked in the bike rack of my building on Naval Station Norfolk. I went downtown to Conte's and purchased a replacement a couple months later: a Colnago 89XL, a fairly workmanlike road bike with Columbus Cromor pipes. Nothing fancy, but I sure thought it was at the time.

Anyhow, fast forward a bit further. I had it repainted in 1992 but couldn't find decals. I took it to London with me. Shortly after arriving at the end of 1993 I purchased a Gios Compact frameset from Evan's Cycles and transferred all the parts over from the Colnago. Shortly thereafter I sold the Colnago 89XL frame. I rode around on the Gios, happy as a clam, until the fateful day I cracked the newest copy of Cycling Weekly and saw the aforementioned 50th Anniversary set for sale. I chatted up the seller (Andy) who posted it off a couple days later. During our talk, he gave me some history. The set was attached to his 1983 Colnago Mexico, purchased in mid 1983 at Deeside Cycles, Scotland. He removed the gruppo immediately and put it away in its box, then built up the bike with some basic Shimano (ended up with all 105) and rode it for about 7 years. He then parked it.

I expressed interest in the frameset if he were ever inclined to sell it and he agreed. When the gruppo arrived I noted with pleasure that he'd included a Campy alloy freewheel, too - the very one in the photo above - in the case, too. I stripped down the Gios in my flat and built it up, with the notable exception of the Super Record headset which came in the 50th gruppo. I had no HS tools, so I simply left the Campy Chorus HS, installed by Evans when I first bought the Gios, in the frame. I had Condor Cycles build me up a tubular wheelset (for those familiar with Condor, Monty Young built the wheelset) using the hubs. I sold off most of the Ofmega/Modolo parts that had been on the Gios (taken off the Colnago 89XL) in the next couple months.

Then Andy called to let me know the Colnago Mexico frame was mine if I wanted it. I did. I got it a week later. I then dropped it off in a little shop I sometimes frequented near St. Pancras Station. The intention was to bring in the Gios on the following Saturday, strip it, and put together my first-ever vintage bike with top-of-the-line components. I was pretty psyched.

The following are pics taken on that very day. Yes, on that day was born the bike I've had the longest, the one I've ridden the farthest, the one I love the most.

Andy (no relation to the seller) installs the headset. It's still in the bike today:



Ian installs the gear cables - note the Gios frame in the background:



Pumping up the tires:



Ian and Andy pose with the result of their afternoon's work:



So, what's the point of this long, rambling missive? I just thought it was kinda neat to realize that - almost by accident - some bits and bobs from my very-first-ever vintage parts purchase are still around and serving me today. Serving me? That's right; although the freewheel is currently doing duty in my display case, the 50th Anniversary headset is still doing duty on the Mexico 21 years later. While the bike has gone through many, many configuration changes before finding its definitive fully-pantographed specification, the headset has remained a constant presence on this frame. It and the freewheel are the parts I've had since Day One of my vintage bike obsession.

Btw, yes - I realize (now) that my old Raleigh was waaaaaaay too big for me. I've learned a LOT in the intervening years, but back in the day I was pretty much clueless.

Thanks for indulging me and I hope you, too, enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. In case some of y'all don't know, this is the bike in question today:



DD

Last edited by Drillium Dude; 11-05-15 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 11-04-15, 07:02 PM
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Awesome post.

Thanks for the memories.
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Old 11-04-15, 07:07 PM
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Awesome that you have the photos to look back on.

Per usual, stunning bike in it's final state!
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Old 11-04-15, 07:32 PM
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Thanks, guys - it is nice to have all these old pics. Not so easy to photograph the old photographs (too many were shot with that shiny-finish paper), tho!

Here are a couple more pics of the Raleigh - note the weird little detailing I was doing even way back then

Look closely here and you can see the grub screw is broken off on the lower pivot housing. No wonder it was always such a PITA to get the wheel back in after changing a tube/tire:



Oh, yeah - I was a flute-painting fool back then, too. Just not as good at it. Doesn't look as though my attention to detail was fully-developed, either, looking at that bare-ended FD cable:



I did the lug-lining (badly) and the heart (fairly competently) in this shot. I was into decals on my bike back then - why, I've no idea:



NDS, baby! What a dork I was...



DD
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Old 11-04-15, 07:42 PM
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That's some corn cob on the Raleigh, D. Dude.

And the Parmalat decal on the down tube?
I get it.
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Old 11-04-15, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
That's some corn cob on the Raleigh, D. Dude.
Scott, some things never, ever change

DD
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Old 11-04-15, 07:52 PM
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Awesome, thanks for sharing and it's beautiful in that last picture of the first post.
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Old 11-04-15, 08:16 PM
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Either you shrunk or something happened because the size difference between the Raleigh and the Colnago is pretty vast. Lol. How the heck did you ride that Super Course?
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Old 11-04-15, 10:14 PM
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I've ridden with Jeff a couple times, and he's not that much shorter than I. He sure does like his nice little bikes, though.

I like them well enough too, for their museum-quality attention to detail. I don't blame the guy for not wanting to ride them in the rain. And one of these days I may build a high end bike almost as nice as one of his, they are pretty inspirational
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Old 11-04-15, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post



DD
Pure Porn. A standard to aspire to.
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Old 11-04-15, 11:58 PM
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Good to read some of your back story, DD!
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Old 11-05-15, 04:39 AM
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I simply loved your ramblings of the past. Fantastic freewheel and such a wonderful Colnago.
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Old 11-05-15, 06:43 AM
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DD...great post...thank you for sharing...the memories...the old pictures...and, of course, the picture of your Colnago Mexico...what a gorgeous bike!
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Old 11-05-15, 06:54 AM
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Taking lots of pictures back then too, huh Jeff! Thanks for sharing your history with bikes! Enjoyable. I wish I could remember all the ones I had, or at least what they were. I remember each bike but don't recall the MFG or model of most. I think I paid attention with the Peugeot in 1969 when I was bit by the bug of quality bikes. Eddie may have had some influence as this was in Franfurt. I purchased a sew up set of wheels with the bike. Clinchers to ride to work, sew up's for weekend rides. Now I am rambling!

Your attention to detail sets the standard as does your personality that comes through your posts!
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Old 11-05-15, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for the post! I like the ramblings and the pictures and it's wonderful that you've hung on to that beautiful bike.
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Old 11-05-15, 07:21 AM
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Great story, great pics and of course, great bike.
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Old 11-05-15, 08:04 AM
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Cool story Dude!
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Old 11-05-15, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
Either you shrunk or something happened because the size difference between the Raleigh and the Colnago is pretty vast. Lol. How the heck did you ride that Super Course?
I just didn't know any better - which is funny, because I'd had the Schwinn and the place I bought the Raleigh was an authorized Raleigh dealer.

Note the post was slammed as was the stem. Still couldn't corner very fast on it - just too top-heavy, and my position didn't really afford a lot of confidence in leaning in further!

DD
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Old 11-05-15, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
Taking lots of pictures back then too, huh Jeff! Thanks for sharing your history with bikes! Enjoyable. I wish I could remember all the ones I had, or at least what they were. I remember each bike but don't recall the MFG or model of most. I think I paid attention with the Peugeot in 1969 when I was bit by the bug of quality bikes. Eddie may have had some influence as this was in Franfurt. I purchased a sew up set of wheels with the bike. Clinchers to ride to work, sew up's for weekend rides. Now I am rambling!

Your attention to detail sets the standard as does your personality that comes through your posts!
Such nice words, Patrick - thank you. And you know that goes right back at you

I made a list some years ago that included every bike I'd ever owned up until then. I can probably recite from memory...lets see...

Purple bike I learned on
Schwinn Apple Krate (red)
Schwinn Traveler III (red)
Centurion Le Mans (black)
Raleigh Super Course 12 (bronze)
Olmo Nuovo Super Sprint (metallic gray)
Colnago 89XL (red)
Orbit Road (white)
Raleigh Technium (red)
Nishiki MTB (yellow/blue fade)
Gios Compact (blue)
Colnago Mexico (gold)
Freschi Supreme (red)
Condor Strada (metallic red)
Guerciotti Air (metallic blue)
Saba (rebadged Alpina)(champagne, then flo-orange, finally metallic brown)
Colnago Mexico (red, then pink, then metallic red)
SR Litage (raw aluminum)
Tommasini Super Prestige (silver marble, then red)
Eddy Merckx Corsa (yellow)
Colnago Super (black, then red)
Huffy Good Vibrations (rusty red)
Denti Special (green/silver fade)
Gios Torino (blue)
Davidson Road (custom, metallic orange)
Cinelli Super Corsa (pearl white, then metallic blue)
Atala Professional (pearl white, then metallic purple)
Mondia Special (rattlecan black, then metallic blue)
Olmo Competition (silver)
Somec Supercorsa (metallic blue)
Casati Perfection (metallic pink fading over gold base)
Colnago Super (Molteni orange, then Molteni orange again)
Dennis Sparrow (orange)
Olympia Super Leggera (red)
Colnago Super (metallic light blue)
Colnago Super (metallic dark blue, completed bike in bare metal)
Medici Pro Strada (dark green)
Davidson Stilleto (burgandy)
Klein Pulse II (powder blue)
Medici Pro Strada (California Burgandy)

Bold
denotes the bikes (or framesets) which currently reside in my stable.

I think that's pretty close - might have missed one or two frame-only purchases

DD

Last edited by Drillium Dude; 06-06-17 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 11-05-15, 02:07 PM
  #20  
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Thanks everyonebody for your nice comments

Do y'all have similar stories? Or just stories? Feel free to leave 'em here!

DD
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Old 11-05-15, 02:53 PM
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Awesome post, DD. It's really wonderful you still have those original build pics. Your Colnago looks as great as ever! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-05-15, 03:28 PM
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Love your post, Dude! Thanx for the memories. Colnago's ROCK. Here is a similar FW from my '77 Super...
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Old 11-06-15, 04:58 AM
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..well if we are going to pick a part like FW's, then here is my earliest one that was on a bike I wish I could still ride, 1972 Le Champion. Given that I still have all the parts from this bike including the frames set, I think I can pick a component to match anyone's choice. It is 1972 ish so can't go back further...
~[IMG]Cyclo-Competition 14-15-17-19-21, on Flickr[/IMG

Well I still have this from the Peugeot of about 1968:
~[IMG]Mafac tool kit + , on Flickr[/IMG

If I am going to do my equivalent story, I will have to create it in Word, edit and then post. Spotty memories that haven't been linked together, if you know what I mean!
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Old 11-06-15, 05:30 AM
  #24  
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Great story.
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Old 11-06-15, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Do y'all have similar stories? Or just stories? Feel free to leave 'em here!
Well who knows where any pictures are but I think my cycling started, haltingly, around 1958. My Father bought us a SS fat tire bike. I think it was a Hawthorn but we lived on Hawthorn Road so that memory is probably scrambled. I had a LOT of trouble learning to ride that thing. Training wheels until my Father got mad and took them off. We all remember that one day, in utter frustration at my lack of progress, when he braced me and said "Get out there and learn to ride that bike or come back bloody!" I wheeled the Hawthorn slowly down the driveway and my brother came running along behind with a bottle of ketchup. Big smile and "smear this all over you." Somehow I did learn and never stopped after that.

The Hawthorn passed on as did a 'stingray' type we built up from scratch. Then I started mowing lawns for peanuts, but it seemed like a lot of money back then. I took all my pay in one dollar bills so it looked like more than it was. Finally I had enough green for a new green Schwinn Varsity from a bike shop out on the river road along the Mohawk. I was in heaven. Long story after that for another time........... Now there's 11 bicycles on the property and I'm in better shape than I've even been in. Gosh.
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