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What a long, strange trip it has been...

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What a long, strange trip it has been...

Old 09-06-18, 11:06 PM
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What a long, strange trip it has been...

I joined the Forums back in July of 2009 - almost ten years ago. Just a few months later, I picked this up at our local annual swap meet:



After a couple years searching - and not finding - the missing pantographed items, I instead parted it out and sold the frame, too. I knew I'd have to get it refinished and at the time I had other projects - and little enthusiasm for this one.

Fast-forward to 2017 and the frame/fork shows up on my local CL. I hardly ever buy or sell on CL, but just happened to be checking it out for the heck of it that day. I was pretty surprised and thought: "Hey - I could make that my bare-steel-and-rideable bike!" So I contact the seller, who was the same dude I sold it to years ago! It was difficult to believe this frame was back in my hands some 4/5 years after I passed it along - and now it was time to build it into a bike.

I had to find a few bits, but I had to do some frame modifications, too. I had built it up bitd and tho never actually took it for a ride, the braking and shifting never felt right on the stand. The braking to the rear didn't have a nice, "direct" feel, which I put down to the split housing required of the internal routing. Ditto the crappy shifting due to - IMHO - the internally-routed cables. @gugie to the rescue. He closed up the holes in the top and down tube and brazed on external brake housing guides on the top tube and a pair of Campy gear cable guides on top of the BB shell. He even added a pair of bottle bosses on the seat tube, so that will allow me to find out if this really is an all-day ride. After sending it out for a nice, clean media blast he finished up by opening up my seat clamp to the required 27.2mm and lightly reaming the seat tube. I picked up the frame while at Mark's Wrench and Ride last month.

Once home, I went at the frame with a wire brush and finished off with 000 steel wool. I achieved a nice, consistent finish, but didn't take it as far as I did with the Colnago. After placing the Casati decals I've had for nearly 8 months, I shot four coats of matte Krylon clear. My LBS installed the headset and I put everything else together the following day.

One snag, tho. This frame takes a proprietary seat bolt. I was able to cobble something together, but it's a stop-gap for sure. I took a long shot and emailed Casati. I was very surprised to get a return email the very next day, asking for a photo of the seat binder ears so they could get me the right bolt. I did and they confirmed they had it, gave me a price plus shipping and I sent my payment. Bolt is on the way, and supposed to arrive by the tenth. Cool!

The frame is every bit as clean as the nekkid Colnago - the perfect specimen. I'm super-happy with the way it came out. The wheels, bar/stem, brake levers, headset came from my recently-deconstructed-and-sold Davidson (@Chombi1 is the happy new owner of that frame). Crankset is a pair of 73 datecoded arms - the non-drive one came from @Otis (Jon Williams); the arm is complete with an Eldi helicoil insert at the pedal end which was done by him and, sadly, the last item about which he and I exchanged emails before his untimely passing earlier this year

I have an NOS Concor Supercorsa in black which will go on in a day or so. I had to cobble together a front derailleur and I don't remember where I got the RD. I don't rightly recall where I got the SR post, either. Oh, well.

Besides looking cool with the steel/brass transitions at the lugs, the frame also received some light oxidization which must have already begun before I got the clear down. These oxidized blooms are fairly slight, but noticeable. They look cool to me. I am not sure how well this clear will hold up over time, but I will be sure to clean up fastidiously after each ride in order to get the longest life out of it. We'll see. I've already had it out for six or seven rides and it is pretty much disappearing underneath me as the miles pile up. It's distinctively active - it really wants to move when I push down on the pedals - but smooth and predictable. Great fit as well - this is a 57cm c-to-c and felt a little tall the first time I rode it, but it fits like a glove now.

Anyhoo, enuf words. How about some pics?

















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Old 09-06-18, 11:09 PM
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Hey, what happened to 8,888 and I'm out?

That build looks sweet! Great job, as always.
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Old 09-06-18, 11:10 PM
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Nice and clean.
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Old 09-06-18, 11:24 PM
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A few more pics...



















Last build for awhile. Can't see myself needing/wanting anything else now I have a raw rider. I'll stick a wider-range FW on the back and see how it does on some real climbs come next spring/summer. For now, I'm going to stick with the out/back, flat-ish local rides to get her dialed in completely before the rains arrive and force her to stay indoors.

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Old 09-06-18, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Hey, what happened to 8,888 and I'm out?

That build looks sweet! Great job, as always.
Ah, what the hell - I couldn't stay away

There are three/four threads I have been itching to comment on, too. Not the helmet one, tho

Btw, saw this today and thought of you and Matt:



Of course, it applies to me for the second summer in a row, too!

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Old 09-06-18, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by nesteel View Post
Nice and clean.
Thanks, John. It certainly fills a niche, and is a superb rider in the bargain.

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Old 09-07-18, 12:20 AM
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Beautiful!

Is there a way to clear a bare metal frame to be rain tolerant?
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Old 09-07-18, 04:44 AM
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Wow, the C&V world is indeed a small community. I'm not sure if you remember, but back in 2014, we PM'd back and forth over this Casati frame. I really wanted it, but I just couldn't justify it at that time. I'm really happy it came full circle back to you! It goes to show that you were always meant to have it!

You really have a nice way of putting bikes together. I always considered you to be one of the very best "constructors" here at the forum. Always classy, never over-the-top, and this Casati is no different. Everything looks perfect and fits the period . I especially love the bare metal look. I wasn't sure I would, but it actually looks a lot like my silver 78 Colnago Super. Glad you like the ride to. It does look like a typically fast Italian rider.

Ride her well!
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Old 09-07-18, 06:18 AM
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Beautiful - and with a story
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Old 09-07-18, 06:55 AM
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As much art as a functional bicycle. What a treasure.

All it's missing is a subtle Grateful Dead logo.

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Old 09-07-18, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Is there a way to clear a bare metal frame to be rain tolerant?
Not in my experience. Top coats, whether clear or pigmented, tend to be porous. It is the job of the primer coat to seal the tubes against moisture coming through the top coat. Without a primer coat, rust will eventually form under the clear coat. How long that takes depends on the conditions in which the bike is stored and ridden.
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Old 09-07-18, 07:49 AM
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I stripped my '91 Paramount down to bare metal, but I had mine powdercoated in "clear". Not sure if will hold up better than Krylon clear, but I suspect it might. Time will tell ...
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Old 09-07-18, 08:00 AM
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I wish I had your patience and persistence. Nine years to finish it but well worth the wait.

Did eliminating the internal cable routing fix the sluggish rear braking?
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Old 09-07-18, 08:47 AM
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Killer. That is some cleeaaan brazing. Just for fun, I'd love to see a ca '73 Raleigh Gran Sport or International done up like this.
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Old 09-07-18, 08:51 AM
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I have read here from some that the brazing work on British and French bikes can be hit and miss, I guess depending on how bad the torch man's DTs happened to be that day, and whether he had had his first drink yet.
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Old 09-07-18, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Not in my experience. Top coats, whether clear or pigmented, tend to be porous. It is the job of the primer coat to seal the tubes against moisture coming through the top coat. Without a primer coat, rust will eventually form under the clear coat. How long that takes depends on the conditions in which the bike is stored and ridden.
Woah! I thought primers were porous and top coats did the sealing! My world just turned upside down.
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Old 09-07-18, 09:54 AM
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I expected a Gary Fisher Grateful Dead bike. Yours was better.
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Old 09-07-18, 11:02 AM
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love this. would have built it myself almost identical. That steel color is always a favorite of mine.
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Old 09-07-18, 11:10 AM
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That's very nice, Jeff. Yellow accents blend in well with the brass.
Put on that big free wheel and come ride with us at Eroica in April!
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Old 09-07-18, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
Wow, the C&V world is indeed a small community. I'm not sure if you remember, but back in 2014, we PM'd back and forth over this Casati frame. I really wanted it, but I just couldn't justify it at that time. I'm really happy it came full circle back to you! It goes to show that you were always meant to have it!

You really have a nice way of putting bikes together. I always considered you to be one of the very best "constructors" here at the forum. Always classy, never over-the-top, and this Casati is no different. Everything looks perfect and fits the period . I especially love the bare metal look. I wasn't sure I would, but it actually looks a lot like my silver 78 Colnago Super. Glad you like the ride to. It does look like a typically fast Italian rider.

Ride her well!
Dude, I'd totally forgotten about that! So it was 2014 when I finally sold the frame, then. Makes sense - that's when I got back from DG and began my life of leisure

Thanks for your kind words. I had fun with this one, and it's cool to have at least one bike with some Gugificazione (TM)! What I like about the bare metal look is that it looks like silver paint - or even TI - from a bit of a distance. Once you get up close and see the brass - and light oxidation - you realize what you're really seeing.

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Old 09-07-18, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
Beautiful - and with a story
Thanks! While every bike has a story, putting this one together turned out to be a rather lengthy one

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Old 09-07-18, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
As much art as a functional bicycle. What a treasure.

All it's missing is a subtle Grateful Dead logo.

Thank you. When I bought it back the second time, my intention was surely a functional bike, just with a different look. Plus, this is the experiment that will tell me what may/may not happen to the naked Colnago were it to be clearcoated and ridden.

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Old 09-07-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Not in my experience. Top coats, whether clear or pigmented, tend to be porous. It is the job of the primer coat to seal the tubes against moisture coming through the top coat. Without a primer coat, rust will eventually form under the clear coat. How long that takes depends on the conditions in which the bike is stored and ridden.
The matte clear is already beginning to suffer. A couple spots that have been receiving droplets of sweat during my recent rides are becoming a little "frizzled". One is actually becoming a shiny spot, just above the BB shell on the seat tube. Porous, indeed. But that's okay; I want some signs of use. Hopefully it won't get too out of control.

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Old 09-07-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
I stripped my '91 Paramount down to bare metal, but I had mine powdercoated in "clear". Not sure if will hold up better than Krylon clear, but I suspect it might. Time will tell ...
I'm sure that will be much stronger than what I've got. I have to be careful of the tiniest of nicks or this stuff comes right off. Clear PC sounds like it would be some stout stuff. The Paramount looks great in bare metal with shiny clear!

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Old 09-07-18, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobe View Post
I wish I had your patience and persistence. Nine years to finish it but well worth the wait.

Did eliminating the internal cable routing fix the sluggish rear braking?
Well, it was on/off and there were other projects in between, but yeah. This deserved to have been built up long ago.

The cable routing mods did the trick for sure! I really have to thank @gugie again for his work because once I knew he could rectify that one issue I knew I'd have a bike I could rely upon. I had him offset the guides at 11 o'clock so the cable would not rub the frame on the way to the rear caliper, too. It's nice to have been able to have this custom work done so that I can really enjoy this ride.

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