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90s (?) Fondriest Coming To Me Shortly

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90s (?) Fondriest Coming To Me Shortly

Old 05-15-19, 01:44 AM
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ridelikeaturtle
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90s (?) Fondriest Coming To Me Shortly

As the bids on these things usually shoot up in the last minute or so, I was quite surprised I won this one. Maybe because it was misspelled "Fondreist" in the description, there weren't many looking at it?

I know it's not the greatest Columbus steel frame, but I figure it'll be a nice bike on the road. I'm only missing a couple things out of my collected "box o' crap" that's got some Campy Mirage 9-speed bits, so it shouldn't take long to build up.

I don't see a lot of info about the frame, so if anyone knows more about it, please chime in. Columbus Gara, I read on another forum is "3 steps below SLX". But it's got chrome forks, a chrome chainstay, and nice lugs - I can't see going too far wrong for the price.

Ebay seller's original photo. I'll post more when I get it, and of the build and final result.

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Old 05-15-19, 03:16 AM
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Nice looking bike! Yes, please keep us posted. I love those "build it up" threads
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Old 05-15-19, 07:09 AM
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Columbus Gara was a plain gauge CrMo tubeset. with 0.8mm main tubes. Basically, it was Columbus Aelle in a CrMO alloy, with the only other difference being lighter gauge seat stays which gave it a 45g weight advantage over Aelle. Gara is definitely not included in the 1988 literature and the earliest confirmed example I've found dates to 1990. While it was three steps below SLX/SPX, by this time there also three tubesets above SLX/SPX.

Maurizio Fondriest won the 1988 World Championship Road Race riding a Legnano. Like many professional riders of note, he started started a bicycle brand prior to his retirement, to take financial advantage of his fame. He would end his career by riding eponumous bicycles for the 1996-1998 seasons. The earliest Fondriest branded frames that I've seen, date to 1993. Sean Kelly rode a Fondriest for the Catavana team for his final pro season in 1994. The graphics of the 1994 Catavana team bicycles are similar, sporting diagonal fade stripes, so it may be from around mid-1990s.
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Old 05-19-19, 06:14 AM
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Parts that should arrive this week along with the frame: new bottom bracket, cable & housing set, chainrings and crankset. That will get me 99% there, with pedals being the only thing to get - and I'll try to see if I can find something used, cheap-and-cheerful, locally.

Getting something off eBay is like waiting for Christmas to arrive.
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Old 05-25-19, 01:08 PM
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I was not impressed with the packaging job done by the seller. Stem blown through on one end, and rear derailleur hanger poking out the other. Fortunately, nothing was broken, though the rear triangle was slightly squished.

At least being a steel frame, it's not a big deal to cold-set it and widen it back the couple of mm's to make it right.

Just a few quick shots to start; I'll take more as I go, there's still a handlebar to get because the previous one is some inappropriate 31.8mm clamp modern monstrosity. I'm really happy with the overall general condition (despite how it was shipped), and the forks are nothing short of lovely.

The work so far:
- remove and clean out the old seatpost. Happy it wasn't stuck, but there was some weird goo applied to it (?), and the binder bolt was a broken quick release.
- remove the bars, stem, and quill stem adapter. Also happy it wasn't stuck, though it did require a bit of hammering from below.
- readjust the headset. Amazing how overtightening can make it feel like crap, and a bit of grease and adjusting it properly can make it feel like new.
- remove the bottom bracket. I passed by the LBS, and they did this in a couple mins for no charge. It was some Shimano cup thing for which I didn't have the tool, still in good shape but not what I'd ever use - I've already got a new campy Italian square-taper BB ready to go.
- fit the rear wheel, make sure it's all straight.
- general wipedown & clean.





Last edited by ridelikeaturtle; 05-25-19 at 02:33 PM. Reason: 31.8, not 31.6
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Old 05-25-19, 05:01 PM
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WTF is up with that packaging?

Nice looking bike.
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Old 05-26-19, 04:24 PM
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... and now we know why the previous threadless stem adapter had to be punched out from below: it's got a 22.0mm ID headtube!

(I thought this "Fondriest" guy was Italian, not French. Hmmm.)

The 3TTT 2002 Evol I want to use is, of course, *not* 22.0mm, it's a more standard 22.2mm. But after a bit of sanding, we're all good. OK, so it ain't pretty, but this isn't a "pretty" build, it's more a "survivor" build, where the odd scratch and a lot of patina is a good thing.


Last edited by ridelikeaturtle; 05-26-19 at 04:26 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-31-19, 03:03 AM
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Quick update & info: this project was going to involve an experiment using 9s Campy Mirage and a Shimano 9s cassette (as I had the old Mavic wheelset w/Shimano hub already). My searches here and elsewhere revealed varying opinions on how well this would, or would not, work. I got it to shift decently on the stand, by setting the limits and lining up the middle of the cassette, and any cumulative error in cassette spacing vs cable pull (by the time you shifted 3 gears away from the middle) did seem to be "acceptable", if not perfect, at least on the stand.

Then it dawned on me that my "old heavy" Bianchi Sprint 76 has a decent 9s Campy Khamsin wheelset on it. I had previously put ergos on (for a "neo retro" project), but decided last year it'd be fun to reinstate the DT shifters, using old SunTour friction shifters from the 80s, which pull enough cable to cover the 9s cassette. Since the friction shifters don't care about cassette spacing, and the 9s Campy Mirage shifters do care, why not swap wheelsets?

An easy fix, as with the 9s Campy Khamsins with a Campy cassette on the Fondriest, the shifting is perfect (at least on the stand); and the Mavics with a Shimano cassette on the Sprint 76 w/friction DT shifters that are ignorant of cassette spacing, that should be absolutely fine too.

Now I only need to finish painting the seatpost, get a binder bolt from the LBS, and I can do some test rides this weekend.

One more reason - as if we all needed another - to have multiple flavors of bikes hanging in the shed.
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Old 06-01-19, 11:18 AM
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Got the new seatpost binder bolt yesterday, and finally finished respraying the seatpost. Adjusted the controls and wrapped the bars, and it's finished.

Can't wait for a spin on it.



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Old 07-04-19, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
[IMG]https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikeforums.net-vbulletin/1024x576/20190525_104908_001_dc54b4bea2a4f7176ad3eee67a0c8c8a12afd575.jpg[/IMG
That is the worst "packing" job I've seen.
Nice frame, I have 98 X Status, significantly different frame so l can't attest to how yours will ride.
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