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Did Crampy throw Athena under the bus?

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Did Crampy throw Athena under the bus?

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Old 08-19-16, 03:36 PM
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Did Crampy throw Athena under the bus?

I have a 1987 Bianchi that I have been messing around with (or degrading).



I got this in 1987, but had to warranty-replace the frame in 1989, and the original rear wheel is long gone. Originally it had Campy FD, RD, hubs, and Modolo brakes and Gipemme crank, so even before I started degrading it (with a Shimano wheel in the early 1990s, and more recently with a boutique 46/30T crank and some more ergonomically satisfying Origin8 levers), it was a mixture of components.

I still really like the frame, which is in quite good condition, so I am contemplating getting it a new Athena 11-speed triple groupset (and new wheels that would make this possible).

(a) Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?

(b) Are Athena brake calipers better than my 1987 Modolo?

(c) It looks like Potenza is replacing Athena, at least from what I can gather looking at various websites. Moreover, it looks like this will be my last chance to get a sliver (or any other color) triple groupo. WTF?
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Old 08-19-16, 03:52 PM
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(a) No, go for it if you feel like it.
(b) I can't help you with that one. But since Athena brakes are much, much more modern design I'd bet my money it stops better.
(c) Yes, Campagnolo discontinued Athena last year and introduced Potenza in it's place. You can get Potenza in either silver or black, but as it uses Campagnolos new 4 arm crank design its unavailable in triple configuration.

Athena was the prittiest, classic looking Campagnolo groupset. I would choose it over Potenza for this beautiful Bianchi of yours.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:04 PM
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Thanks. I think I am going to have to do it, or spend the rest of my life regretting it.

Hopefully I can sell the family dog without anyone noticing.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
(a) Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?
I can't think of a good reason not to do it. BTW, do you want to sell those shift levers?


Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
(b) Are Athena brake calipers better than my 1987 Modolo?
There are a few people who still love single pivot caliper brakes, and probably an unusually high concentration of them on this forum, but I am a huge fan of dual pivot calipers. I got a set of Campy Skeleton calipers with my Athena groupset (I don't think they made an Athena-specific brake, but I could be wrong about that). I haven't been able to use them because I needed longer reach. The Skeletons max out at 49mm.

What I can tell you is that the Athena levers with a set of cheapo Miche-branded Tektro dual caliper brakes (Miche Performance) and Kool Stop pads have been nothing short of outstanding.

The people who prefer single pivots generally prefer them because the dual pivots feel "too grabby". What I take this to mean is that they are used to squeezing the lever hard and when they squeeze the lever hard with dual pivots it goes into "panic stop" mode pretty quickly. The flip side of this is that when you squeeze the lever lightly with dual pivot calipers they actually slow the bike down and you can achieve a fairly safe quick stop without a lot of lever pressure. That's why I like them.


Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
(c) It looks like Potenza is replacing Athena, at least from what I can gather looking at various websites. Moreover, it looks like this will be my last chance to get a sliver (or any other color) triple groupo. WTF?
I haven't heard an official confirmation from Campy about this, but I panicked and bought an Athena group on the day that Potenza was announced. We're kind of between model years right now so everything Campy is in low availability. I've genuinely considered picking up another set of Athena components just to have them on the shelf in case I wanted them. And right now I've got a bare Italian frame with no components, so I kind of feel like this:



So, yeah, WTF.

Veloce might also continue to be an option.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:39 PM
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athena triple not silver $625 Campagnolo Athena Black 11 Speed Triple Groupset - Road Groupsets - Ribble Cycles

silver veloce 10 speed $325....one left Campagnolo Veloce Silver 10 Speed Double Groupset - Road Groupsets - Ribble Cycles


105 silver 11 speed double $355 http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shiman...uble-groupset/
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Old 08-19-16, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
105 silver 11 speed double
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.


This should help this decision making, wgscott:


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Old 08-19-16, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
IBTW, do you want to sell those shift levers?
Vulture! Maybe. (Right now I am hoarding all the original components, which is probably irrational.)

There are a few people who still love single pivot caliper brakes, and probably an unusually high concentration of them on this forum, but I am a huge fan of dual pivot calipers. I got a set of Campy Skeleton calipers with my Athena groupset (I don't think they made an Athena-specific brake, but I could be wrong about that). I haven't been able to use them because I needed longer reach. The Skeletons max out at 49mm.

What I can tell you is that the Athena levers with a set of cheapo Miche-branded Tektro dual caliper brakes (Miche Performance) and Kool Stop pads have been nothing short of outstanding.
The only thing missing from the groupset I am looking at are the brake calipers. I suppose I could get the rest and use what I have now, with an eye to completing the set when I can find something suitable.

My main problem is I am a bit scared to ride a road bike where I live (Santa Cruz mtns) without my trusty hydraulic discs, so I am interested in getting something that would make me feel more secure than what I have now. Maybe the dual pivot would emulate that kind of modulation a bit?

The people who prefer single pivots generally prefer them because the dual pivots feel "too grabby". What I take this to mean is that they are used to squeezing the lever hard and when they squeeze the lever hard with dual pivots it goes into "panic stop" mode pretty quickly. The flip side of this is that when you squeeze the lever lightly with dual pivot calipers they actually slow the bike down and you can achieve a fairly safe quick stop without a lot of lever pressure. That's why I like them.
Thanks. That is really helpful. Basically, my hands hurt now by the time I get to the bottom of a hill with my current rim brakes.

I haven't heard an official confirmation from Campy about this, but I panicked and bought an Athena group on the day that Potenza was announced. We're kind of between model years right now so everything Campy is in low availability. I've genuinely considered picking up another set of Athena components just to have them on the shelf in case I wanted them. And right now I've got a bare Italian frame with no components, so I kind of feel like this:

Veloce might also continue to be an option.
Nice to know I am not alone in my paranoia.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:51 PM
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Power torque cranksets will not be missed. That said potenza cranks will sell a lot of silver 105 groups (equally fugly and not worth more $ imo).

Pads make the most difference in braking performance but dual pivots provide much more stopping power than single pivots. Single pivots can be made to be fine with good pads and cables so you have choices.

Tough times for shiny...
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Old 08-19-16, 04:55 PM
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Here is my currently degraded Bianchi:



I put on a IRD 46/30T crank, which necessitated replacing the Campy RD with a Shimano Tiagra.

The remaining FD sits too high due to the braze-on, but a clamp adaptor under the braze-on would force it too low (I tried it.) The levers are Origin8, which I thought I would try for awhile during the time I try to decide if I want to dump more money into this. I also put some pink salmons on there, which seems to help.

If I got the Athena 11 group, I would also need to get a new wheel-set, which is going to go over real nice at home, given the second disc one I just got about 2 months ago.
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Old 08-19-16, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
My main problem is I am a bit scared to ride a road bike where I live (Santa Cruz mtns) without my trusty hydraulic discs, so I am interested in getting something that would make me feel more secure than what I have now. Maybe the dual pivot would emulate that kind of modulation a bit?
In that case I would definitely recommend upgrading to dual pivots. I actually prefer them to disc brakes for road riding in dry weather.

The Veloce brakes, which are available now at a pretty cheap price, look about the same as the Skeletons but without the cut out window in the caliper arm. It wouldn't surprise me if they perform better.

FWIW, it wasn't long ago that there were no complete Athena groupsets available on Ribble at all. I don't know if the fact that they have one now means that they scavenged a few closeout parts or that the reports of Athena's death were greatly exaggerated.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chrome Molly View Post
Power torque cranksets will not be missed.
True. I like the way it works on the bike, but I'm not liking the decision between paying an LBS to take it off for me so I can move it to a different bike and spending a bunch of money on custom tools so I can do it myself.


Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
The levers are Origin8, which I thought I would try for awhile during the time I try to decide if I want to dump more money into this.
I've got the Tektro version of those levers on my Trek with some Tektro 539 calipers and I'm very happy with that. You could try that or some shiny Campy brakes as a next step to make the bike more fun to ride before plunging into the full gruppo.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:10 PM
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That was my original plan, but now I worry about the groupo being historical...

Ah, the existential angst that this bike now brings me is something I did not contemplate when at age 25 I spent every last dime I had on it...

You will have to excuse me for a moment. I am going to go ride it.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:20 PM
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What, can't get the right answers from the (dwindling) RBR crowd? I'm hfc over there. That frame is a keeper, whatever it takes to keep you riding it, and I support staying with silver Campy.

@andy k - Any problems with the 11 speed on the 126 mm frame or did you cold set it?

Here's my 1989 Giro - I originally had a frame with decals like yours Scott but it was too big so I sold and bought a right-size replacement. I'm an unabashed Campy hoarder, so if you want to unload the original RD and FD (brakes for that matter), let me know.

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Old 08-19-16, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Here is my currently degraded Bianchi:



I

If I got the Athena 11 group, I would also need to get a new wheel-set, which is going to go over real nice at home, given the second disc one I just got about 2 months ago.
always ready to help others spend their money

$170 Mavic Open Sport 32 Hole Silver Rims Wheelset Campy 9 10 11S [74496] - $169.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

$370 Mavic Open Pro Miche Campagnolo hubs 32h 9 10 11 speed wheelset [7744 miche racing box open pro] - $370.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
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Old 08-19-16, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
My main problem is I am a bit scared to ride a road bike where I live (Santa Cruz mtns) without my trusty hydraulic discs, so I am interested in getting something that would make me feel more secure than what I have now. Maybe the dual pivot would emulate that kind of modulation a bit?

Thanks. That is really helpful. Basically, my hands hurt now by the time I get to the bottom of a hill with my current rim brakes.
I'm completely satisfied with dual pivots and Kool Stop salmon pads for the steep hills in and around Seattle. We have 10-25% grades just leaving my West Seattle neighborhood. (No, I don't ride up that 25% grade coming home. I walk that short stretch.) I'm using Ultegra short reach on one bike, RX-100 mediums on the other and both work very well whether I'm on the hoods or in the drops. Levers on both bikes are Campagnolo 8-speed (pointy top) Ergos.

I remember being amazed at the braking improvement when I first tried dual pivots. When my son was first riding drop bars, the dual pivots were OK for the 10% grades, but the addition of Kool Stop salmon pads made them great.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:43 PM
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Dual-pivots are definitely nice on the front, but perhaps overkill on the rear wheel, which is much easier to lock up anyway. I like how Campy bucked the trend and kept SPs in the rear for a while. (Not sure if they still do or succumbed.)

Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to mount a clamp-on FD under the braze-on tab, or is there not enough room? I've never owned a bike with a braze-on tab.
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Old 08-19-16, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
@andy k - Any problems with the 11 speed on the 126 mm frame or did you cold set it?
I didn't need to cold set the frame. I did need to adjust the derailleur hanger alignment, but I don't think that was directly related to spreading the frame. It was bent inward vertically more than anything. That was a relatively small adjustment but it made a huge improvement in the shifting. It basically went from "working OK, but not as good as 105" to "Wow! That's crisp!"
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Old 08-19-16, 06:03 PM
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I bought a set of wheels from them with the same hubs and spokes but with Velocity A23 rims:

Velocity A23 Silver Formula Hubs For Campagnolo - Road Wheelset [740843] - $179.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

I would have preferred butted spokes, but for the price either of these wheelsets is tough to beat. Based on feedback from various Velomine customers I stress relieved mine and fixed up the tension before putting them on the road. They didn't seem terrible out of the box but there was some room for improvement. I've only put a couple of hundred miles on them, but so far I'm very pleased. Those Origin8 hubs look great and are amazingly smooth.

I just finished building a set of wheels for my A-D with those Open Sport rims and some NOS 5501 105 hubs. The Open Sports aren't as wide as the A23's but the weight it pretty similar and I like that they have eyelets. (I especially liked it while I was building the wheels.)
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Old 08-19-16, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
What, can't get the right answers from the (dwindling) RBR crowd?
I'm doing my part to contribute to the dwindle. (They banned me. I'm not sure whether to be ashamed or proud, but am leaning toward the latter.)

I'm hfc over there. That frame is a keeper, whatever it takes to keep you riding it, and I support staying with silver Campy.

@andy k - Any problems with the 11 speed on the 126 mm frame or did you cold set it?

Here's my 1989 Giro - I originally had a frame with decals like yours Scott but it was too big so I sold and bought a right-size replacement. I'm an unabashed Campy hoarder, so if you want to unload the original RD and FD (brakes for that matter), let me know.

That is such a beautiful bike. I may have to leave the room for a minute ...

I'll probably never use the RD again, and the front (as you might remember) is ill-suited to the current setup, so if I do the groupo updato, I'll let you know. The brake levers and calipers are Modolo (as is the stem -- which I found out was recalled -- and the original bars. I swapped all of them out as a unit, with the new Nitto stem and bars).
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Old 08-19-16, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Just out of curiosity, would it be possible to mount a clamp-on FD under the braze-on tab, or is there not enough room? I've never owned a bike with a braze-on tab.
It didn't work with the clamp-on adaptor, but maybe with a genuine clamp-on, it might fit. Might be worth the gamble (some of the FD are only $30 or so).

I cracked my first frame ca. 1989 at the braze-on tab, and was without the bike for almost a year waiting for a warranty replacement. This makes me scared to grind it off, and I avoided getting one on my custom steel frame. They are more trouble than they are worth.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I bought a set of wheels from them with the same hubs and spokes but with Velocity A23 rims:

Velocity A23 Silver Formula Hubs For Campagnolo - Road Wheelset [740843] - $179.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

I would have preferred butted spokes, but for the price either of these wheelsets is tough to beat. Based on feedback from various Velomine customers I stress relieved mine and fixed up the tension before putting them on the road. They didn't seem terrible out of the box but there was some room for improvement.
I got these Open Pro Miche wheels for my Campagnolo build up of a Giordana.

Mavic Open Pro Miche Campagnolo hubs 32h 9 10 11 speed wheelset [7744 miche racing box open pro] - $370.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

I rode the heck out of them on rough chipseal for about 2000 miles and never touched them. Pulled them off a week or two ago to put some Shamal Ultra's on the Giordana. But these are going on my late 80s Schwinn Circuit as that get's built.
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Old 08-19-16, 07:55 PM
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I have been really struggling with choosing a wheelset to go with the Athena I got for my old Miyata. Right now I'm leaning towards Campy Record hubs with TB14's or Open Pros. I can get them for about the same price as the Miche wheels from velomine, so I think it's quite a bit better value, but the campy hubs only come in black. I really don't want black hubs so I also find my self considering literally every other campy compatible hub that comes in silver. If only they still made the campy record hubs in silver.
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Old 08-19-16, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks. I think I am going to have to do it, or spend the rest of my life regretting it.

Hopefully I can sell the family dog without anyone noticing.
New dual pivot Campy Athena brakes will not stop your bike any better than 87 single pivot Modolo brakes. All that is a bunch of nonsense by the younger generation who think if it's newer it's better. I have top of the line Suntour Superbe single pivot brakes (made by Dia Compe) and had a bike with Campy Athena dual pivots and currently have a bike with Shimano 105 dual pivots and I cannot tell the difference between the two in braking performance, and dual pivots are not grabby nor do they modulate better. Even my mid level single pivots stop just as well as the dual pivot design. What stops the bike is the adhesion of the tire to the road and the quality of the brake pads.

It's true that cheap low end single pivot brakes sucked because the calipers flexed, but once you got into the mid level and higher that was gone...but guess what? low end dual pivot brakes had the same issue! Low end and some mid end single pivot brakes seemed a bit stiffer in their mechanical action, but again all of that faded way with better mid to high end brakes.

Look, I'm an odd duck, which you'll find out with the argument that will pursue from what I just said about the two different types of brakes, but I think a bike as fine as the one you have should be left in it's original factory condition. What you're wanting to do is like taking a vintage 1987 Ferrari F40 and ripping out the engine and dropping in a Chevy 350! I'm a small time collector of classic cars and wouldn't dream of taking say my Studebaker Avanti, or any of my other cars and ripping the guts out of it and replacing it with an all Chevy drivetrain. But that is just my opinion, I appreciate things the way the manufacture originally designed it, after all a car, or a bike like yours is only a true vintage bike if it remains in it's original condition, I'm sure you and others will disagree and that's fine after all it's not my bike...though I wish it was!
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Old 08-19-16, 09:14 PM
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Thanks very much for your input.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been in its original condition since about 1989. The original frame had to be replaced then, and the rear wheel had to be replaced in the 1990s. So it can't really be considered a "true vintage" bike in the strictest sense.

Also, the cars you list have greatly appreciated in price, and are collectors items. I'd be lucky to get $300 for my bike if I were to sell it, even if it had the original frame and rear wheel.

Finally, is an Athena group (or a Veloce group for that matter) inferior in quality to what was originally on the bike (a mixture of Campy, Gipemme, and Modolo), or just not period-correct? (Keep in mind that I have ridden the thing many thousands of miles and really beat on it. I never treated it as a museum piece.) I'm finding it hard to follow the analogy between a Chevy engine and an Athena drivetrain. If I was suggesting putting the lowest-level SRAM stuff on it, I could better see your analogy.

Last edited by wgscott; 08-19-16 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 08-19-16, 10:12 PM
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rekmeyata
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks very much for your input.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been in its original condition since about 1989. The original frame had to be replaced then, and the rear wheel had to be replaced in the 1990s. So it can't really be considered a "true vintage" bike in the strictest sense.

Also, the cars you list have greatly appreciated in price, and are collectors items. I'd be lucky to get $300 for my bike if I were to sell it, even if it had the original frame and rear wheel.

Finally, is an Athena group (or a Veloce group for that matter) inferior in quality to what was originally on the bike (a mixture of Campy, Gipemme, and Modolo), or just not period-correct? (Keep in mind that I have ridden the thing many thousands of miles and really beat on it. I never treated it as a museum piece.) I'm finding it hard to follow the analogy between a Chevy engine and an Athena drivetrain. If I was suggesting putting the lowest-level SRAM stuff on it, I could better see your analogy.
The chevy driveline was trying to convey the thought of complete destruction of a semi rare and expensive vintage car by taking out what helps make it semi rare and collectable and replacing it with cheap parts, even if one built the 350 engine to be more powerful than the original Ferrari engine you still have ruined the cars value.

I didn't realize the bike frame was replaced and all that other stuff too is in doubt so maybe you could go ahead and change it the way you see fit for your purposes.
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