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Evolution! or... It Seemed Finished at the Time.

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Evolution! or... It Seemed Finished at the Time.

Old 03-16-19, 09:28 PM
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Fahrenheit531 
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Evolution! or... It Seemed Finished at the Time.

So I'm looking at the Volare the other day, thinking: Alright, yeah. That sucker is finally finished.*

...And I got a serious sense of deja vu. As if maybe I'd thought that somewhere, sometime before. Like when I set it up single speed and absolutely fell in love with the frame and the ride:


...or when I missed the top-end speed and added some Cyclone derailleurs. Long cage and wide gears for all-purpose goodness:


...or when I was sure that setup demanded barcons. At which point some Superbe non-aero brake levers were an obvious choice as well:


...and when I realized that no, actually I hated the barcons so I found some NOS Cyclone levers. Yep. Thought it was finished then, too:


...and here I am now, thinking for sure this is it. Done. Racier, with narrower gearing and short-cage RD. Superbe shift levers back on there. Red tape solved the aesthetic issues created by the skinwall tires. And it's all over but the ridin', so to speak:


...and the punchline is I actually left out a few in-between, transition versions of this monster. When I think about it I realize two or three other bikes have undergone this process as well, where it's less a "build" than a trial-and-error evolution toward that just-right balance of whatever the hell it is I'm looking for at the time. In this case it's been about a half-dozen iterations in 15 months. End result? Pretty freakin' sweet.

But man. Who else takes this route with their bikes? Let's see some evolution!


*Finished, in this case, does not include an upcoming wheel rebuild on new rims. The word has become borderline meaningless anyway.
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Old 03-16-19, 09:39 PM
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Nice Pics.
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Old 03-16-19, 09:47 PM
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With chrome lugs, tan sidewall tires were the correct call, just took a few iterations to get there.

I just assembled a provisional build on my son’s next bike. Aesthetics are not sorted at all but it works well enough and fits him much better.
His last bike, a mid 80’s Masi GC fit him when he was 61” tall, now 67”. It was time.
New mount? A 90’s Masi Team 3V. Needs a longer stem, but it will work out.
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Old 03-16-19, 10:23 PM
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I like so many forms of your Volare!

My '74 Paramount has been through nearly as many compositions, from period correct to touring triple with downtube shifters, then with STIs (very briefly), then back to downtubes but with fenders for rain riding, then 10-speed barcons (3x10), then a black/stealth heavy 2x9 with a compact crankset, and now finally an 'advanced' 2x11 setup with Campagnolo EPS (which I think looks smokin' hot). I liked nearly all of my compositions for that bike, and built them and changed them for perfectly good reasons. I think I had the period correct stuff on it for a year before I began messing with it. Oh well!


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Old 03-16-19, 10:41 PM
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I really like the Volare in its current form. It looks way sharp, and gives a strong impression of a fun ride!

I also appreciate the account of the ever changing build, and the recurring sense of the bike being “finished,” or “done,” at each stage along the way.

Its too soon in the process to provide photos, but I have a strong feeling it’ll be a similar experience with my Gary Hale. The bike was purchased in December and began riding it daily in its single speed configuration, just falling in love with the frame, the ride quality, and handling. Plans to redress it in full Record came up, and I gathered all the parts to make it happen.

As rebuild time began to get near, I realized I didn’t need a bike that was worth three times my rent, especially if it was one that shouted “steal me.” So a last minute decision to “downgrade” components led me to go with some of the finer Japanese offerings, So far, Superbe Brakes & mechs, and a Mighty Compe crank are at the forefront of my inspiration.

As of yet, I’ve only installed the brakes. I’m impressed with them. Soon I’ll get that double crank, and derailleurs set up with a 6 speed freewheel in back.

Its exciting! I think I’m preferring the piece meal approach to this bike more than I would a all at once build. But either way, I have to really wonder if it will ever honestly be “done.”

The Gary Hale as purchased...



And as it sits most recently. Fenders off, Cinelli bars & stem, Concor saddle, Superbe brakes and levers (too low on the bend. What was I thinking?).


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Old 03-16-19, 10:57 PM
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Fiddle much? I have a bike that has been a compact double, and fendered triple and has been a fenderless fat tired 1x9 for the last 6 years. I think its endemic of this forum to fiddle
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Old 03-16-19, 11:23 PM
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I wish @Sixty Fiver still hung out here. He had some good stories of bikes that went through several iterations as need or fancy dictated.

I know @randyjawa has a couple too.
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Old 03-17-19, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
...and here I am now, thinking for sure this is it. Done. Racier, with narrower gearing and short-cage RD. Superbe shift levers back on there. Red tape solved the aesthetic issues created by the skinwall tires. And it's all over but the ridin', so to speak:
That latest incarnation is downright beautiful. The skinwalls and red bar tape just click.

Granted, if you wanted to take it over the top...throw a set of red Bluemels Club Specials on it.

-Kurt
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Old 03-17-19, 04:40 AM
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Evolution... I like that concept. Nice bike, BTW, in every stage presented.
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Old 03-17-19, 08:07 AM
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Don’t make me choose! I love all those evolutions.
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Old 03-17-19, 10:06 AM
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@RiddleOfSteel: What are those whitewall tires in the first pic?
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Old 03-17-19, 10:18 AM
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My '86 Volpe went through a few different iterations

More or less stock but with a Campi LC RD

Lots of changes racks fenders, stem. I thought the Celeste fenders would be cool but then I didn't like them.


I tried Turkey Levers but again didn't care for them


Lots of changes. I think might be the final form for this bike, except probably a new saddle this year. The Woody's Fenders I bought for the Hetchins look fabulous on this.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 03-17-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
@RiddleOfSteel: What are those whitewall tires in the first pic?
They were Kenda K34 white wall tires. 27" x 1 1/4" -- Not light by any stretch, and I ended up running them at 75 PSI to stave off the sluggishness as the bike let me know that she was quite fond of speed instead of putting around.
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Old 03-17-19, 12:28 PM
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Personal bike evolution...

Legnano GP as found...


Build one...


Build two...


Build three - in the works for this summer and will see some new components, long sought after...


NOS crankset and bottom bracket...


Legnano embossed Campy HF hubs (1960)...


Legnano embossed head set...


And a new Brooks saddle. Might even consider new paint but pretty doubtful, at the moment.
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Old 03-17-19, 01:48 PM
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^^^ I love this bike. Perhaps the coolest color I’ve seen yet too. @randyjawa
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