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Drivetrain help for De Bernardi frame

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Drivetrain help for De Bernardi frame

Old 03-05-21, 10:35 AM
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lajt
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Drivetrain help for De Bernardi frame

I bought a beautiful 1980s De Bernardi frame from another member, and I'm going to take a crack at building it up; it's something I've always wanted to try.
However, the drivetrain is definitely more complex than I realized. It's one thing to swap out a cassette or BB, but much harder to design the whole drivetrain. It's fun getting to choose, but also exposes how little I know.
I don't have a strong preference regarding new vs used parts; I'm going to ride it regularly and don't have the budget to make it period-accurate or anything. That being said, it does seem like it'd be fun to put an old Campagnolo crank on there.
I'm going to use friction shifters rather than indexed, so that should make it a little easier.
So far I'll be constrained by these 2 elements:
  • A Shimano Tiagra FH-RS400 hub that fits a 10/11 speed cassette.
  • The bottom bracket opening is 70mm and Italian-threaded.
Okay, so I get that I need a 70mm Italian threaded BB. However, for the square taper ones, they come in different spindle widths: 110.5mm, 113mm, and 118mm (maybe others too?).
What determines the right spindle width? My guess is it's related to your crankset and its width (and perhaps whether it has 2 or 3 chainrings)?
Let's say I get on Ebay and buy this neat vintage crank:
"
Campagnolo Chorus Vintage Crankset Square Taper 42/53 80's era"
Will this 1980s Campagnolo taper fit on a new Shimano square taper sealed bearing? Or would I need to get a vintage Campagnolo square-taper bearing to match it?
Then, how do you match the correct front derailleur for this crankset? If you're buying a vintage one with no documentation, how could you know?

For the cassette, I'm pretty sure I need to get a Shimano, since I doubt the Campagnolo ones would fit. Would an old DuraAce fit though? I've seen some vintage "New Old Stock" DuraAce cassettes for sale.
For the rear derailleur it's a little easier, I'm guessing? As long as it can swivel enough to handle the number of cogs in the cassette?
So Shimano/Campagnolo might not matter so much?
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Old 03-05-21, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
  • A Shimano Tiagra FH-RS400 hub that fits a 10/11 speed cassette.
  • The bottom bracket opening is 70mm and Italian-threaded.
I can understand that you are constrained by the 70mm bottom bracket, but why are you constrained to an 11 speed Shimano hub? That bike has a 126mm drop outs, so the 130mm 11 sp hub would be a poor fit to begin with. Also, assuming you go with Campy components- Campy cassettes no fit on Shimano freehubs.
But to answer your question- cranksets manufacturers typically specify the spindle width that go with the particular crankset. If none is specified then you install the crankset on some random spindle and measure the chainline yourself. You want it to be around 43mm from center of seat tube to the center of the chainring mounting tabs. It's not an exact science. A few mm off is no problem.
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Old 03-05-21, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
why are you constrained to an 11 speed Shimano hub? That bike has a 126mm drop outs, so the 130mm 11 sp hub would be a poor fit to begin with. Also, assuming you go with Campy components- Campy cassettes no fit on Shimano freehubs.
Probably because of what you said, compatibility between brands, and probably because OP may not realize that 7/8/9s cassettes will fit as well?
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Old 03-05-21, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I can understand that you are constrained by the 70mm bottom bracket, but why are you constrained to an 11 speed Shimano hub? That bike has a 126mm drop outs, so the 130mm 11 sp hub would be a poor fit to begin with. Also, assuming you go with Campy components- Campy cassettes no fit on Shimano freehubs.
But to answer your question- cranksets manufacturers typically specify the spindle width that go with the particular crankset. If none is specified then you install the crankset on some random spindle and measure the chainline yourself. You want it to be around 43mm from center of seat tube to the center of the chainring mounting tabs. It's not an exact science. A few mm off is no problem.
hi, thanks for the response. I was given a pair of new 700c wheels, which is what kicked off this project. I'm glad you mentioned about the possibility these wheels won't even fit the frame--that shows another bad assumption on my part! I assumed wrongly that this width was fairly standard.
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Old 03-05-21, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
hi, thanks for the response. I was given a pair of new 700c wheels, which is what kicked off this project. I'm glad you mentioned about the possibility these wheels won't even fit the frame--that shows another bad assumption on my part! I assumed wrongly that this width was fairly standard.
They will fit just fine, don't worry. Look up cold setting.
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Old 03-05-21, 12:21 PM
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If you're going to use downtube friction shifters, suddenly your life becomes a lot easier, because they don't care what freehub you use (Shimano or Campagnolo), and they don't care how many speeds, 7-8-9-10-11.

However, you'll find anything above 9 speed is much more "finicky" when hunting for the gear you want... so I'd suggest considering 9 or 8 speed with friction shifting. Just set your limits to the bounds of the cassette, and shift away!

Do make sure the overall range will be covered by the shifters you choose. Older shifters have a smaller diameter and pull less cable, having less range. Stuff from the mid-80s upward seem to work just fine.

As previously mentioned, cold-setting to 130mm (esp from 126) should not be any problem.

Any bottom bracket you want should also be fine, as long as it's Italian. I just put an external cup Ultra-Torque on an old Colnago, taking a square-taper out of it, all Italian threads. Italian bottom brackets are not hard to find, and so you won't have any problem putting whatever crankset you want on it. I like to stay within brand here, as far as bottom bracket + crankset; and obviously use a double crankset with the correct bottom bracket. I thought doubles were 102mm, but I'm not expert here, so double-check that.

I'd be surprised if most any front derailleur couldn't be made to work also, as long as it's double or triple -specific as you want. Again, since we're friction shifting here, your "margin of error" is quite large, and you just need to set the limits.
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Old 03-05-21, 01:05 PM
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I sold him the frameset, pretty sure it’s 128mm out back. Typical of late 80’s when standards began to change. Assuming those new wheels have a 130mm rear hub, which is likely, they will ease in there just fine, no need to cold set for a mm on each side.

Agree with much of what has already been said. Downtube shifters make it easier, but using period correct indexed DT shifters will work too; friction shifting in the front gives you a lot of latitude with regard to cranksets and chainring sizing. And yes, any 7-8-9-10-11 speed Shimano compatible cassette should fit the freehub.

As mentioned in our previous online conversation, Sheldon Brown’s site has a lot of information with regard to bottom bracket sizes & spindles relative to different cranksets.

Good luck, and welcome aboard!
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Old 03-05-21, 01:25 PM
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Thanks everybody for the advice and reassurance. I'll see how it goes. Good tip on the cold set--found a video that explained that process.
Hopefully like Doc said, though, it may not even need to be stretched.
Gosh...so much to learn! It's good for the mind though; also keeping me busy and giving my wife a break from me.
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Old 03-05-21, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
Thanks everybody for the advice and reassurance. I'll see how it goes. Good tip on the cold set--found a video that explained that process.
Hopefully like Doc said, though, it may not even need to be stretched.
Gosh...so much to learn! It's good for the mind though; also keeping me busy and giving my wife a break from me.
Definitely don't bother with the cold set. Let us know if you have any more questions!
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Old 03-05-21, 03:49 PM
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Yes, if 128 mm like Doc says, I wouldn’t cold set the frame. Once you settle on a crank, then you’ll get your spindle length. You can always ask here. If you’re thinking 53/39 crank, I have some late 80’s and 90’s Campy cranks. Drop me a line. I even know what BB they need!
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Old 03-05-21, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Definitely don't bother with the cold set. Let us know if you have any more questions!
^^^

Absolutely, we love this stuff. I've assembled a few bikes out of my "box o' $h!té", and the amount of knowledge on this forum is ridiculous.

Can't wait to see some pics!
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Old 03-06-21, 09:40 AM
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Would also be worth it to become a paid subscriber and post a Want To Buy (WTB) in the C&V For Sale section.
You might be surprised at the complete (or nearly so) component groups that surface there.
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Old 03-06-21, 10:21 AM
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Thanks for the tip on that. I probably should've done that to begin with. I've been ordering parts piecemeal, which has made it fun, though it's going to look a bit chaotic with all these different brands on there.
Doc, random question, but do you have pics online of the various bikes you've restored and built up over the years? I'd love to see them.
I was really into reading about road bikes in high school back in the 80s, then got busy with life for the last 30 years and I'm just waking up from the coma. My son wanted to start riding so I found him a nice '80s Bridgestone RB-2 on Ebay. Getting that bike and adjusting his derailleurs really reawakened that interest. It's fun to meet you guys who have so much knowledge and experience with the vintage bikes (though it's weird to think of 80s as vintage! They just seem like cool bikes).
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Old 03-06-21, 10:25 AM
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Do the rest of you have pics of your bikes? It looks from your signatures that you have all owned a whole lot of nice top-of-the-line roadsters. Are these bikes all ones you guys currently own, or ones you have owned over the years?
I'd love to post a pic of my son's Bridgestone RB-2 but I think it said I have to wait until I've built up 10 posts to gain that ability.
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Old 03-06-21, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
Do the rest of you have pics of your bikes? It looks from your signatures that you have all owned a whole lot of nice top-of-the-line roadsters. Are these bikes all ones you guys currently own, or ones you have owned over the years?
I'd love to post a pic of my son's Bridgestone RB-2 but I think it said I have to wait until I've built up 10 posts to gain that ability.
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Old 03-06-21, 04:02 PM
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Hey, this site is pretty sweet! I'm digging your diary style that goes through the range of emotions with each, like the Colnago was destined to be sold, then you later rethought it. So interesting that the Bianchi Ti still edges out the Planet X carbon. The Olmo...that's a crazy story all around, like winning the cheap bid uncontested. Is that on Ebay, I guess? Just submit the initial bid on various bikes and see what happens?
You've had an impressive arsenal over the years.
I'm digging the blue 90s Fondriest. It's cool to see how you fixed it up after they sent it so poorly packaged and bent even.
It seems smart how you do it--acquire a bike, take good care of it and possibly upgrade the components, then sell it a few years later if you're tired of it or want to try another speed machine.
You don't seem too daunted by ordering internationally--does it seem to work smoothly most of the time?
I ordered encaustic tile from Spain once, but it became a bit of a mess. They got stuck in customs for weeks, then most were broken upon arrival.
I guess the advantage is a much larger market of items to choose from.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
Hey, this site is pretty sweet! I'm digging your diary style that goes through the range of emotions with each, like the Colnago was destined to be sold, then you later rethought it. So interesting that the Bianchi Ti still edges out the Planet X carbon. The Olmo...that's a crazy story all around, like winning the cheap bid uncontested. Is that on Ebay, I guess? Just submit the initial bid on various bikes and see what happens?
You've had an impressive arsenal over the years.
I'm digging the blue 90s Fondriest. It's cool to see how you fixed it up after they sent it so poorly packaged and bent even.
It seems smart how you do it--acquire a bike, take good care of it and possibly upgrade the components, then sell it a few years later if you're tired of it or want to try another speed machine.
You don't seem too daunted by ordering internationally--does it seem to work smoothly most of the time?
I ordered encaustic tile from Spain once, but it became a bit of a mess. They got stuck in customs for weeks, then most were broken upon arrival.
I guess the advantage is a much larger market of items to choose from.
Thanks for saying that, I appreciate it!

I have a clear sentimental attachment to that Bianchi, and I know it very well, so that may bias my opinion.

Yes, eBay, if you're patient and know what to search for, in several different languages (or language-irrelevant terms), you can find some interesting things.

I've never had a problem with international sellers, and I always work within the eBay / Paypal system. I once had a problem with a local (to Ireland) seller, Paypal refunded me some money on a saddle that had a tear in it which the seller attempted to hide. To me, it's the same if across the city or in a far-away country, nobody is going to call around to your house if there's a dispute.
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Old 03-07-21, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by lajt View Post
Do the rest of you have pics of your bikes? It looks from your signatures that you have all owned a whole lot of nice top-of-the-line roadsters. Are these bikes all ones you guys currently own, or ones you have owned over the years?
I'd love to post a pic of my son's Bridgestone RB-2 but I think it said I have to wait until I've built up 10 posts to gain that ability.
There are many threads here on C&V that feature plenty of “bike p*rn”. This one, now 14 years old and still going strong, has LOTS of pics, all featuring classic frames that have been built up with “brifters”, albeit different than your DT friction shift plan.

Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos
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Old 03-07-21, 02:21 PM
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This is cool! Thanks for the link; checking them out right now.
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Old 03-07-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
I sold him the frameset.
Have we seen pics of it before here? I have two De Bernardi bikes and am always interested to look at others.
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Old 03-08-21, 08:11 AM
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Pics not previously posted:




Bought this some time ago intending to build it up as a fast 25mm tire bike but then came across a Schwinn Tempo frame and then an Ironman in my size. Built up the Tempo and (as per its predecessors) it stole my heart, so sent it to Franklin Frames for a respray- it should be back home this week. The Ironman received all of the Tempo components and then stood in as the indoor bike attached to the Neo2T for four months (see pic below). Plus have a custom frame arriving early summer that's a 70th birthday present to myself. In the end decided to move this lovely De Bernardi along to someone who would appreciate it.

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Old 03-08-21, 12:49 PM
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Strongly suggest NOT mixing Campy and Shimano square tape bottom brackets and crank arms. They appear the same but have differing tapers. A Campy crankset won't draw fully onto a Shimano square BB spindle. Congrats on your DIY build.
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Old 03-09-21, 09:57 PM
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Hi Ford, thanks for the wise advice--also to icemilkcoffee for the tip about chainline and Spaghetti Legs for the offer about Campagnolo cranks. I ended up ordering a new Sugino crank, which does provide spindle width. It's been a firehose of info, to say the least: Chainline, ISO vs JIS taper, Italian vs English threading, spindle width, cold set; these were all new terms to me a few weeks ago. The cool thing is I'm learning a ton, but also humbling how little I knew. Before talking to you guys, I wouldn't even have known to search these terms. It's so interesting about learning--once you have some seeds planted, the internet's good parts start working their magic and you can really ramp up your education, but you need some initial tutoring (so thank you for that!).
It's definitely more expensive than I thought; I see why they say it's cheaper just to buy a better bike than to build one, or at least to buy a groupset rather than piecemeal parts like I've been doing.
For you experienced builders, when you get on Ebay and see, say, a vintage 1980s Dura Ace derailleur, is the primary reason to buy this because you're building a period-accurate bike? I'm building a bike I'm going to ride, not showcase, but I see that old-school Dura Ace and think, "ooh, that's cool looking! I remember those from 80s triathlons--that would be neat to put on this bike", but then I see a closeup pic with the rust on the spring and realize that a 35-year-old Dura Ace derailleur isn't going to shift as well as a brand-new Shimano 105, even if it was top-of-the-line back then.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:48 AM
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If I'm looking to buy an 80's Dura Ace derailleur, it's because I already have (or am in the process of acquiring) other DA parts from the same group/period. Typically, I'd put a 740X group on a frame made between 85-91, but will also do it if you can make a case that the frame is old enough that the original owner might have worn out the original parts and replaced them with something that would have been available at the time. Hence, while this 78 Davidson still has its original Dura Ace foirst gen bits on it:


This 1978 Richard Sachs has had its (likely) Campagnolo NR group replaced with later 84-85 Dura Ace 7400:



But mixing and matching is perfectly OK if you are trying to accomplish a particular goal. For instance, many riders in hilly areas will replace their rear derailleur with a longer cage Deore or Campagnolo Racing Triple so that they can put larger cogs on the back and use a compact up front (as I suspect your Sugino is). Did you get an Alpina?
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Old 03-10-21, 09:51 AM
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Yes, the Sugino Alpina! That's impressive you deduced that. I'm not strong enough to spin those big 50+ teeth cogs with any reasonable cadence, plus I do have some hills to contend with, so I wanted a compact crank. I initially figured I'd just get some used one on Ebay and swap out the big chainring, but then I learned there's a lot more to it. Even assuming you choose the right taper, you must decide: 4 or 5 (or even 3) hole rings? What BCD? What minimum size ring will fit on this arm? At least the pedal threads seem relatively standard (I think?). I'm learning that you can't assume anything; it's a rich and complex history in the bicycle world (which does make it more fun and interesting, although a bit scary for me in this 1st build attempt).
Gosh, I know I'm not doing this De Bernardi justice by turning it into a FrankenBike. It's going to be like those beautiful Victorian mansions with mahogany hardwood floors that have been covered with 70's linoleum. I hope you guys don't cringe when you see the finished product.
P.S. The Richard Sachs and Davidson frames are so cool! I'm going to look up the history of those on my next work break.
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