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Help needed with Giordana Capella

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Help needed with Giordana Capella

Old 03-05-18, 11:33 PM
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txiong
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Help needed with Giordana Capella

I'm looking to upgrade my Capella with new parts soon, but I have little information on what parts will work and fit. I've already contacted Gita Bikes, who were the importer and contractor of all Giordana frames. I've yet to hear back from them about the exact year my frame was made and all relevant info, but I'd also like to receive some feedback from vintage enthusiasts: Any clue as to what will work best on the bike? Right now, the rear derailleur, cassette, and break/shifting levers are all Campy, though I'm not entirely sure which model they are. My front derailleur, crankset, and break calipers are all Shimano 105. I'm aware this is an odd mix, but the bike came like this when I purchased it and I didn't dive deep into components until recently. I'll provide some photos.

Any feedback would be appreciated. If anyone has rebuilt one of these frames before, I'd like to hear what worked for you, or what you would have done instead. My pockets aren't deep but I'll be able to purchase some parts in the near future. Also, I have no experience working on a bike so I'll have my LBS put things together for me.
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Old 03-06-18, 12:28 AM
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That looks like a great bike, good parts all around, and the bits that need to match up to allow those Campy Mirage shifters to index as intended (shifters, rear derailer, 8-sp cassette) are all present. If that were my bike I don't see anything I'd necessarily want to change, it looks like a fun ride.

Is there something in particular that isn't working, or that you're not fond of that's leading you to want to make changes?
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Old 03-06-18, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
That looks like a great bike, good parts all around, and the bits that need to match up to allow those Campy Mirage shifters to index as intended (shifters, rear derailer, 8-sp cassette) are all present. If that were my bike I don't see anything I'd necessarily want to change, it looks like a fun ride.

Is there something in particular that isn't working, or that you're not fond of that's leading you to want to make changes?
Thanks for pointing out that they're Mirage, I wasn't exactly sure as I had narrowed it down to either Athena or Mirage. Nothing's wrong with them per se, I was just looking for a potential update to help it ride smoother. I was debating on putting indexed downtube shifters on it, but that's still up in the air. I'd like to change the stem to something chrome too for a different look.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
looking for a potential update to help it ride smoother
In that case the answer is straight-forward: run the widest tires that will fit in that frame, this will allow you to ride with lower tire pressure. From the pictures I'd guess you could fit 25mm tires, maybe even 28mm, but it's best to measure first before making purchases. Even if you stick with the same tire width you're riding now, going from Gatorskins to Continental GP4000 tires will make a big difference, because Gatorskins are designed to be an extra-tough tire and they have stiff sidewalls that make for a rougher ride, particularly if you're a smaller, lighter rider.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
In that case the answer is straight-forward: run the widest tires that will fit in that frame, this will allow you to ride with lower tire pressure. From the pictures I'd guess you could fit 25mm tires, maybe even 28mm, but it's best to measure first before making purchases. Even if you stick with the same tire width you're riding now, going from Gatorskins to Continental GP4000 tires will make a big difference, because Gatorskins are designed to be an extra-tough tire and they have stiff sidewalls that make for a rougher ride, particularly if you're a smaller, lighter rider.
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. In terms of my parts, would it be unnecessary to replace them with 'higher end' stuff? All I use this bike for is commuting to and from school.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind. In terms of my parts, would it be unnecessary to replace them with 'higher end' stuff? All I use this bike for is commuting to and from school.
All the components on your bike right now are good quality, upgrading them doesn't much make sense because the relatively simple things to change (like your crankset) wouldn't achieve anything but a very marginal weight savings. And because those Campy 8-speed parts are an old gruppo not compatible with parts made since, making changes to your drivetrain would require replacing several parts at the same time to maintain compatibility, and this would be a fairly expensive project that I wouldn't recommend undertaking unless you had a specific outcome in mind. So aside from different tires, and making sure you've got your saddle and bars set so you have a proper fit on that bike, I wouldn't change a thing.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
All the components on your bike right now are good quality, upgrading them doesn't much make sense because the relatively simple things to change (like your crankset) wouldn't achieve anything but a very marginal weight savings. And because those Campy 8-speed parts are an old gruppo not compatible with parts made since, making changes to your drivetrain would require replacing several parts at the same time to maintain compatibility, and this would be a fairly expensive project that I wouldn't recommend undertaking unless you had a specific outcome in mind. So aside from different tires, and making sure you've got your saddle and bars set so you have a proper fit on that bike, I wouldn't change a thing.
Thanks again for everything! I'll keep this all in mind.
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Old 03-06-18, 07:54 AM
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I agree. Changing out the components won't make the ride smoother, it might make the shifting smoother and the brakes feel like they are stopping better but the ride is all about the style of wheels, size and quality of tire and riding style.

It looks like a great bike and if it functions properly upgrading to say a 2018 Chorus or Dura Ace group will only cost you money and you may end up with those low spoke count deep V wheels which may give you a rougher ride.

As to the stem, yeah a silver one may look better but unless you get something with a removable face plate you'll have to remove the bar tape and brifters. Look around on Velo Orange, Niagra Cycles and even ebay at quill stem adapters and threadless stems or just 1" quill stems.

As to the year I am thinking the very early '90s Lots of companies were marketing Oria tube bikes just before everyone decided if it was carbon it wasn't good enough.
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Old 03-06-18, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
As to the stem, yeah a silver one may look better but unless you get something with a removable face plate you'll have to remove the bar tape and brifters. Look around on Velo Orange, Niagra Cycles and even ebay at quill stem adapters and threadless stems or just 1" quill stems.
I was afraid quill stems would be a bit difficult to insert your handlebar into, but I'd still like one. Since my stem isn't all one piece, I assume it's a quill stem adapter with a threadless stem. I couldn't confirm because it's VERY stuck. I'm having my bike overhauled by my local LBS since the poor thing has accumulated a lot of dirt and grime, so hopefully they can figure it out.
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Old 03-07-18, 09:29 AM
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Definitely decent components on that bike right now. I think you're wise concentrating your efforts on the tires and a silver quill stem. Like Bianchigirll says, a stem with a removable faceplate will make stem replacement easier but if the bike shop is doing it not a big deal. They will end up replacing the handlebar tape. My vote is for white tape next time.
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Old 03-07-18, 10:09 AM
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I had a Giordana XL-Eco, which is a later generation than yours. I think yours is early 90s, and mine was mid 90s. Billato made mine, don't know about your generation. But Billato made Oria-tubed Mosers at the same time, so there's a good chance they built yours too. Gita imported them, as you know.

It's tough to get a very smooth ride out of skinny tires. Especially on bumpy streets.

Get the widest/lightest tires you can afford. I used Compass tires, which are extremely cush but pricy and not very flat-resistant.

My Giordana couldn't even fit a 28 mm tire. 26 mm actual was the max size before it started rubbing on the bottom of the brake caliper.


While you're getting the stem un-stuck and replaced, perhaps try different bar/stem combos. You may find the ride more comfortable if you can get a little more upright with some bend in your arms.

I ended up selling the bike to a friend (who loves it) because of that tight tire clearance (and the frame was a tad small for me).
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Old 03-07-18, 10:52 AM
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For tires, I've always liked the Continental GP4Seasons. Almost as good of ride as the GP4000, as tough, or almost as tough as the Gatorskins. Better wet traction/cornering than Gatorskins as well. The two pairs of 700x28 in these that I have measure ~26mm wide (mounted on Mavic MA4 or Ambrosio Elite Durex rims). They do now make these in 700x32 as well.
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Old 03-07-18, 09:38 PM
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Both of my Giordana's fit the Conti 4000s II 700 x 25 just fine while the 700 x 28 size isn't happening. These tires will ride nice. Tire pressure matters too. With these tires I'll normally run 80/90 psi F/R until my winter weight gets up above 190 lbs. I don't have pinch flat issues at these pressures and usually average one flat a year despite my yearly mileage being in the 5000-8000 range. Buy them from one of the UK sites and look for their regular sales. You should be able to get them around $35-$40 a piece. I prefer running Vittoria Latex tubes inside them.

Make sure the quill stem you pick is compatible with your bars. The clamp area dimension needs to match your bars. Not sure what size you are running now with the current setup.

Have the LBS check your chain too. When they wear you lose performance. Or just get a ruler and measure it yourself. 12" should be exactly pin to pin on the links. If it's off at one end then the chain should be replaced, Good ones are cheap.

Good luck and I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
I was afraid quill stems would be a bit difficult to insert THE handlebar into, but I'd still like one. Since my stem isn't all one piece, I assume it's a quill stem adapter with a threadless stem. I couldn't confirm because it's VERY stuck. I'm having my bike overhauled by my local LBS since the poor thing has accumulated a lot of dirt and grime, so hopefully they can figure it out.
The only issues with putting a regular quill style stem on that bike is finding one the same with the same size clamping area as the handlebars, and removing and replacing the tape.

You can tell it has a quill adapter just by looking at the stem. I hope they can easily get it out. Sometimes on small frames like this the bottom of stem gets pushed into the butting at the bottom of the steerer tube. Ususally a few good taps on a small pipe from below will get it moving.

As long as the shop is overhauling it, see if they can install a pair of axle adjuster screws in the dropouts. they help ensure the wheel is properly in place for the best shifting performance and to aid in make it straight in the frame.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:19 AM
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Before you do anything make certain the bike fits you. By looking at the seat post, I'm wondering whether the frame might be too big. As far as components, 105 is good kit and so long as the Campy bits are working properly and adjusted right, you're good to go.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
Before you do anything make certain the bike fits you. By looking at the seat post, I'm wondering whether the frame might be too big. As far as components, 105 is good kit and so long as the Campy bits are working properly and adjusted right, you're good to go.
If I recall the seller said the bike was 49 cm. Iím only 5í7Ē and the bike has been fine so far. I can comfortably stand over the TT, if that means anything. Iíve raised the seat up a bit from how it is in the photo, to the point where I can just barely put my toes on the ground while Iím on the seat and keep myself upright. Iíve never been formally fitted for a bike but Iíve had no discomfort with this one.
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Old 03-08-18, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
The only issues with putting a regular quill style stem on that bike is finding one the same with the same size clamping area as the handlebars, and removing and replacing the tape.

You can tell it has a quill adapter just by looking at the stem. I hope they can easily get it out. Sometimes on small frames like this the bottom of stem gets pushed into the butting at the bottom of the steerer tube. Ususally a few good taps on a small pipe from below will get it moving.

As long as the shop is overhauling it, see if they can install a pair of axle adjuster screws in the dropouts. they help ensure the wheel is properly in place for the best shifting performance and to aid in make it straight in the frame.
Thanks for the info! Iíll check it out. Itíll be a few more weeks till I can get my bike overhauled as I still need it for commuting.

Iíll ask my LBS for help about figuring out the sizing of my stems when I do get an overhaul. Tape is no issue, itís in need of replacement for a long time now anyway.

Axle adjuster screws sound interesting. Iíll have to see if the shop does it.
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Old 03-08-18, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
If I recall the seller said the bike was 49 cm. Iím only 5í7Ē and the bike has been fine so far. I can comfortably stand over the TT, if that means anything. Iíve raised the seat up a bit from how it is in the photo, to the point where I can just barely put my toes on the ground while Iím on the seat and keep myself upright. Iíve never been formally fitted for a bike but Iíve had no discomfort with this one.
Glad to hear that. My rule of thumb is if the saddle is too low, find a different frame. Everyone is different and height is only one variable. A better indicator is the relative length of legs versus torso. What matters most is not how the bike fits when standing but how it fits when riding. Not as easy as it seems.
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Old 03-08-18, 06:09 PM
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The component on the bicycle that is most likely to be OEM is the headset, which is Shimano 105SC. Assuming it is OEM would make the frame no older than the 1990 model year. I have Gita price lists for 1990-1992 but no catalogues. Still, all three list the Capella being available with Shimano 105 SC. Unfortunately, the 1990 list doesn't mention the tubeset. However, 1991 & 1992 mention Oria ML25, as opposed to Oria TC 0.8 which is on the subject frame. Consequently, it may be a 1990. Verifying the presence of late 1989 to early 1990 date codes on the Shimano components would increase confidence in the model year being 1990. FYI, the 1990 MSRP was $995 US.
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Old 03-08-18, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The component on the bicycle that is most likely to be OEM is the headset, which is Shimano 105SC. Assuming it is OEM would make the frame no older than the 1990 model year. I have Gita price lists for 1990-1992 but no catalogues. Still, all three list the Capella being available with Shimano 105 SC. Unfortunately, the 1990 list doesn't mention the tubeset. However, 1991 & 1992 mention Oria ML25, as opposed to Oria TC 0.8 which is on the subject frame. Consequently, it may be a 1990. Verifying the presence of late 1989 to early 1990 date codes on the Shimano components would increase confidence in the model year being 1990. FYI, the 1990 MSRP was $995 US.
Wow! Thatís a hefty price. Any idea on where to look for said date codes on the Shimano parts? Iím now very intrigued.
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Old 03-08-18, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
Glad to hear that. My rule of thumb is if the saddle is too low, find a different frame. Everyone is different and height is only one variable. A better indicator is the relative length of legs versus torso. What matters most is not how the bike fits when standing but how it fits when riding. Not as easy as it seems.
I hear ya. Reading around, Iíve gathered that if you feel like youíre kicking yourself with your heel when pedaling, the frame is either too small or your seat post should be raised. I raised my seat post because of this, but only by about two inches. Thereís still definitely space for me to keep raising the seat, but I left it at that height because I still want to be able to touch the ground from my seat. I just feel safer that way.
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Old 03-08-18, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
Wow! Thatís a hefty price. Any idea on where to look for said date codes on the Shimano parts? Iím now very intrigued.
See the Shimano section of Date of Manufacture of Bicycle Components can be used to date a bike: component dating
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Old 03-08-18, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The component on the bicycle that is most likely to be OEM is the headset, which is Shimano 105SC. Assuming it is OEM would make the frame no older than the 1990 model year. I have Gita price lists for 1990-1992 but no catalogues. Still, all three list the Capella being available with Shimano 105 SC. Unfortunately, the 1990 list doesn't mention the tubeset. However, 1991 & 1992 mention Oria ML25, as opposed to Oria TC 0.8 which is on the subject frame. Consequently, it may be a 1990. Verifying the presence of late 1989 to early 1990 date codes on the Shimano components would increase confidence in the model year being 1990. FYI, the 1990 MSRP was $995 US.
The design of the headbadge decal is a match for my 1989 Antares. I just had my new decals made with custom colors but the design is the same.



The 1991 Giordana at Velobase has different artwork with the italian color background. And has the newer Oria tubing decal not the one on this bike.

VeloBase.com - Head Badge Gallery

Those 105 brakes are a direct match for the ones on my 1989 G.L. Ventoux also.

So I'm with T-Mar about us looking at your bike being right around 1990 timeframe.

I'm constantly hunting for Giordana catalogs from this era but they just never seem to come up available anywhere.
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Old 03-08-18, 09:15 PM
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Awesome! Just confirmed the parts are from '89; they were stamped with either NG or NH, meaning July or August of '89. Not necessarily late '89, so would it be safe to assume it's the 89' model and not the '90?

Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
The design of the headbadge decal is a match for my 1989 Antares. I just had my new decals made with custom colors but the design is the same.



The 1991 Giordana at Velobase has different artwork with the italian color background. And has the newer Oria tubing decal not the one on this bike.

VeloBase.com - Head Badge Gallery

Those 105 brakes are a direct match for the ones on my 1989 G.L. Ventoux also.

So I'm with T-Mar about us looking at your bike being right around 1990 timeframe.

I'm constantly hunting for Giordana catalogs from this era but they just never seem to come up available anywhere.
The paint job on my bike is actually suffering large scratches and lots of chips. A large portion of the Giordana decal is scratched off on both sides of the tube (one side has exposed metal, didn't notice how much bike racks scratched the paint), and there are a large amount of chips around that area. It's always been scratched and chipped, but my negligence has made it worse. As a college student I can't exactly afford to have it professionally redone either. This weekend I plan to sit down for a good while and retouch what I can with some cheap enamel paint. For future reference, how do you redo your decals? Or, do you have someone do them for you?
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Old 03-08-18, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by txiong View Post
Awesome! Just confirmed the parts are from '89; they were stamped with either NG or NH, meaning July or August of '89. Not necessarily late '89, so would it be safe to assume it's the 89' model and not the '90?



The paint job on my bike is actually suffering large scratches and lots of chips. A large portion of the Giordana decal is scratched off on both sides of the tube (one side has exposed metal, didn't notice how much bike racks scratched the paint), and there are a large amount of chips around that area. It's always been scratched and chipped, but my negligence has made it worse. As a college student I can't exactly afford to have it professionally redone either. This weekend I plan to sit down for a good while and retouch what I can with some cheap enamel paint. For future reference, how do you redo your decals? Or, do you have someone do them for you?
Not sure on the year issue. Sometimes you just have to settle for a timeframe. You can try emailing Billato with pics of the BB and the serial number and they may be able to give build info.

I got a full set of decals from VeloCals bicycle decals - Quality, Durable, Ultra-thin. He doesn't show the proper artwork on the site but if you call or email him he'll confirm that he's got it. A full set is around $35 and I think I paid a tad more for the custom color but I might not have.

The decals on these old Giordana's were not clearcoated over so the get dry and brittle over the years.
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