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Vittoria Margherita Help-Advice needed

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Vittoria Margherita Help-Advice needed

Old 04-02-16, 09:21 PM
  #1  
lenos
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Vittoria Margherita Help-Advice needed

My Bianchi Saetta is finally converging. I've installed the Vittoria Margherita and dealt with the clearance issues etc. (Not simple is it?) Now I'm having trouble getting the jockey wheel to behave itself. All is OK (for the most part) when pedaling forward, but when pedaling backward, as needed to shift, the chain runs off the jockey wheel and jams between the guide (on the arm) and the jockey wheel. Am I missing a part that would keep the jockey wheel aligned with the chain or **********. I've heard that, back in the day, the Margherita and like systems were very reliable compared to the derailleur systems of the day so I must be missing something. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-03-16, 12:24 AM
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The system is quite finicky. Wheel position in the dropout will ultimately matter, but there are a couple things first.

Most important is the position of the tension arm jockey wheel. You obviously want the straightest chain line, but here's the thing, you or may not want it perfectly straight. What you aim for is the least amount of noise when pedaling. That will be your indicator you have it right. This requires bending the arm that holds the jockey wheel down by the jockey wheel. I use an adjustable wrench to make it snug to the thickness of the metal and apply force to bend. You may make it worse when you think you are making it better, so be prepared to bend it in different ways. It is not straightforward.

But the noise is straightforward. When it is right, it is surprisingly silent. When it's wrong, mine tended to jam the chain when back pedaling. Occasionally making a loud popping noise as teh tension arm would pop off the teeth. Make sure up at the teeth area of the tension arm it is bent to positively engage the teeth. You don't want it too loose.

Once you have it just so, make notice of the position of the wheel in the drop out because if you move it, you will go back to square one. Same thing can happen if you change your front chainring by more than 3 teeth.

Also, while I do ride with a period correct Regina Gran Sport chain, I have had it setup with a modern 1/8 chain when I run a smaller front ring for hilly rides. That modern chain is more flxy and makes it quieter and easier to shift.

btw. I think I have given you some good advice over the 18(?) months you have been working on this bike. How about some pictures!
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Old 04-03-16, 01:10 AM
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I think I like the idea of owning a bike with a Vittoria Margherita drivetrain more than the reality.
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Old 04-03-16, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I think I like the idea of owning a bike with a Vittoria Margherita drivetrain more than the reality.
Like I said, once setup right, it is very smooth. What I can't imagine is racing it on the dirt roads of the 1930s. The tension arm is quite flexy, getting mud and dirt into the system would easily knock that thing out of whack.

That is why Campagnolo marketed his cambio corsa as "Il Cambio senza attriti e senza rumore ", or "The derailleur smoothly (or frictionless, depending on your translator) and without noise."

1943_GdS_Campagnolo by iabisdb, on Flickr
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Old 04-03-16, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post

btw. I think I have given you some good advice over the 18(?) months you have been working on this bike. How about some pictures!
Coming later today, sorry for dragging my feet, I really appreciate the advice.
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Old 04-03-16, 10:01 PM
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I now have the beast working fairly well. I ran a piece of string from the chain wheel to the center freewheel cog to get the left-right alignment, then eyeballed the jockey wheel along the chainring from behind to make sure the "roll" alignment was right (it wasn't to begin with). After a few iterations it is working quite well. The 1/8 chain I started with was way too stiff so I'm using a 3/32. If I can find a Regina extra I'll put it on for grins. Pictures are posted under "Bianchi Saetta"
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Old 04-03-16, 10:21 PM
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I enjoyed reading about the Vittoria Margherita online; I'd love to see some pics of the bike and the set up.
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Old 04-04-16, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I enjoyed reading about the Vittoria Margherita online; I'd love to see some pics of the bike and the set up.
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ta-photos.html
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