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Grail bike, check

Old 03-18-22, 08:58 AM
  #1  
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Grail bike, check

There was discussion of this in the eBay/Craigslist thread and with the proper bad influence of merziac I nabbed this 1983 Strawberry. I have wanted a bespoke bike but canít make myself bleed the $$ required to get one. Finding this one in my size I call a mega-score.

The ad pictures were awful and in this case, the seller didnít Ďknow what he hadí. (ďI think this is a local bike companyĒ.) Young guy bought it for fancy Rolf wheels that were on it so he swapped those for the mismatched tubulars.

I havenít done anything to it yet. It needs a complete service but I am THRILLED to have it!

I exchanged a few emails with Andy Newlands at Strawberry (great guy!) to verify the build date.



Yes, thatís silver bar wrap. Not a fanÖ

Gipiemme drivetrain is likely to be replaced. Iím thinking Superbe.

Stem is unbranded

Iíll clean these and see how they work. The levers are some sort of plasticy thing and will be swapped for something else.

The Gipiemme/Simplex derailleurs are an unknown to me. Opinions are welcome.
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Old 03-18-22, 09:27 AM
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I had to go back through the Craigslist thread because I had not seen the discussion, and WOW - you practically stole it. Not only a grail bike but also an amazing deal.
Frame looks really nice, I hope it fits you well. Enjoy.
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Old 03-18-22, 09:34 AM
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Nice score, beautiful bike, love the color, and rarity. Derailleur’s are really cool too.
If mine, I would replace the mismatched tubular rims with some silver Velocity A23 clinchers, retape the bars, black, yellow, or whatever color is on the derailleurs, tune it up, then ride the heck out of it.
Awesome machine!
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Old 03-18-22, 10:56 AM
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Good job by Merziac! Nice bike.

Those Gipiemme are cool, but I can see the upgrade.

Suntour Sprint are cool as well.
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Old 03-18-22, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
Nice score, beautiful bike, love the color, and rarity. Derailleurís are really cool too.
If mine, I would replace the mismatched tubular rims with some silver Velocity A23 clinchers, retape the bars, black, yellow, or whatever color is on the derailleurs, tune it up, then ride the heck out of it.
Awesome machine!
Tim
I have a great set of clinchers that should fit perfectly.

Yeah, the silver tape challenges my aesthetic. Duct tape-ish looking.
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Old 03-18-22, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
There was discussion of this in the eBay/Craigslist thread and with the proper bad influence of merziac I nabbed this 1983 Strawberry. I have wanted a bespoke bike but can’t make myself bleed the $$ required to get one. Finding this one in my size I call a mega-score.

The ad pictures were awful and in this case, the seller didn’t ‘know what he had’. (“I think this is a local bike company”.) Young guy bought it for fancy Rolf wheels that were on it so he swapped those for the mismatched tubulars.

I haven’t done anything to it yet. It needs a complete service but I am THRILLED to have it!

I exchanged a few emails with Andy Newlands at Strawberry (great guy!) to verify the build date.



Yes, that’s silver bar wrap. Not a fan…

Gipiemme drivetrain is likely to be replaced. I’m thinking Superbe.

Stem is unbranded

I’ll clean these and see how they work. The levers are some sort of plasticy thing and will be swapped for something else.

The Gipiemme/Simplex derailleurs are an unknown to me. Opinions are welcome.
Originally Posted by jdawginsc View Post
Good job by Merziac! Nice bike.

Those Gipiemme are cool, but I can see the upgrade.

Suntour Sprint are cool as well.
Always happy to help spend other peoples money, especially since I don't have any of my own.
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Old 03-18-22, 02:50 PM
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I think the rear derailleur is Simplex Super LJ 6600 which is a highly regarded derailleur. What I do know is the mounting bolt is accessed from the backside of the derailleur hanger, and you don't mess with what's behind the plug where the mounting bolt is usually found on most derailleurs. Forgive me if you know this already.
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Old 03-18-22, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Always happy to help spend other peoples money, especially since I don't have any of my own.
Between you and gugie iím going to go bankrupt.
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Old 03-18-22, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hobbiano View Post
I think the rear derailleur is Simplex Super LJ 6600 which is a highly regarded derailleur. What I do know is the mounting bolt is accessed from the backside of the derailleur hanger, and you don't mess with what's behind the plug where the mounting bolt is usually found on most derailleurs. Forgive me if you know this already.
Iím completely ignorant regarding Simplex so your input is very helpful.

The groupset is Gipiemme except the brakes and my understanding is that Gipiemme bits are anywhere from slightly less than Campy quality to WAAYYY less than Campy quality.
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Old 03-18-22, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
There was discussion of this in the eBay/Craigslist thread and with the proper bad influence of merziac I nabbed this 1983 Strawberry. I have wanted a bespoke bike but canít make myself bleed the $$ required to get one. Finding this one in my size I call a mega-score.

The ad pictures were awful and in this case, the seller didnít Ďknow what he hadí. (ďI think this is a local bike companyĒ.) Young guy bought it for fancy Rolf wheels that were on it so he swapped those for the mismatched tubulars.

I havenít done anything to it yet. It needs a complete service but I am THRILLED to have it!

I exchanged a few emails with Andy Newlands at Strawberry (great guy!) to verify the build date.

Stem is unbranded
Oddly enough, I have the exact same setup on the Behringer that came from your neck of the woods and had been worked on by Southwest bicycles?, it may have been a common "upgrade" from them.

I think its a cool setup for being different from the norm and Ambrosio made bars way back as well.


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Old 03-18-22, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Between you and gugie iím going to go bankrupt.
We're always here for ya, except the bankrupt part.
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Old 03-18-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Oddly enough, I have the exact same setup on the Behringer that came from your neck of the woods and had been worked on by Southwest bicycles?, it may have been a common "upgrade" from them.

I think its a cool setup for being different from the norm and Ambrosio made bars way back as well.


I bought a couple of wheel sets from Southwest and one of them will go on the Strawberry. The owner of SW has been in the business for a long time and could lace up a wheel blindfolded in less than a minute. Maybe I should go have a chat with him about my bike. 🤔
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Old 03-18-22, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
I bought a couple of wheel sets from Southwest and one of them will go on the Strawberry. The owner of SW has been in the business for a long time and could lace up a wheel blindfolded in less than a minute. Maybe I should go have a chat with him about my bike. 🤔
Good idea, he'll probably know if he put the bar/stem combo on. If he did he would also probably like to see the bike again and have more insight as well.
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Old 03-18-22, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Iím completely ignorant regarding Simplex so your input is very helpful.

The groupset is Gipiemme except the brakes and my understanding is that Gipiemme bits are anywhere from slightly less than Campy quality to WAAYYY less than Campy quality.
I'm just gonna raise the flag before you lift the wrench, too. I'm fairly certain I've seen advice that many a Simplex derailleur have been rendered useless by ham-fisted efforts to remove them, specifically because the bolt on the inside of the dropout is not addressed correctly. I haven't had time to look that up to confirm, but I'm just saying it's worth it to do a bit of research before digging in. You may find that I'm wrong about the degree of risk or just flat out wrong, but I'd rather you approach it with caution than find out after the fact.

That's a very cool bike. BTW, those downtube shifters are widely considered to be the finest ever produced, Simplex retrofriction. Not sure if those flew under your radar, but they're a nice perk.
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Old 03-18-22, 06:15 PM
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Sinterized Modolo pads will destroy a rim. IMHO, they are not good.

If you want to be sure to maintain speed downhill you can have a pair of Mach III brakes and install those pads on it.
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Old 03-18-22, 06:15 PM
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Oh la la. I would have been quite happy to snag this. Nice work!
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Old 03-18-22, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
I'm just gonna raise the flag before you lift the wrench, too. I'm fairly certain I've seen advice that many a Simplex derailleur have been rendered useless by ham-fisted efforts to remove them, specifically because the bolt on the inside of the dropout is not addressed correctly. I haven't had time to look that up to confirm, but I'm just saying it's worth it to do a bit of research before digging in. You may find that I'm wrong about the degree of risk or just flat out wrong, but I'd rather you approach it with caution than find out after the fact.

That's a very cool bike. BTW, those downtube shifters are widely considered to be the finest ever produced, Simplex retrofriction. Not sure if those flew under your radar, but they're a nice perk.
Cautions well noted. Iíve learned that if something isnít apparent, seek advice.
If the Simplexís shift as well as some of Suntour products Iíll be more than happy.
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Old 03-18-22, 06:48 PM
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You also have the Retrofriction shifters. They were/ are the best non-indexed downtube shifters ever. If it were me, I'd keep that group together. If you do a google search for Simplex Super LJ & Simplex Retrofrictions you should find some information to convince you to give them a try. One thing, the SLJ can only supposable handle a 24t large cog.

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Old 03-18-22, 06:50 PM
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Probably close to or my size even, I like these earlier Stawberry bikes.
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Old 03-19-22, 12:39 AM
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That's a very nice bike, and it looks like it will clean up well. Congrats!
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Old 03-19-22, 01:36 AM
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The Simplex SLJ6600 RD (re-branded as a Gipiemme in this case) was the best shifting, non-indexed racing derailleur from France in the 80's. It definitely shifted much better than the Nuovo and Super Record RDs that were its contemporaries.. While the Retrofriction shifters were the best non-indexed shifters in the industry. They were so good that pros riding top of the line Campy gruppo equipped bikes liked them so much that they were known to use them on their bikes, instead of Campagnolo shifters.
I do have to admit though that the Simplex RD was short on looks with its quite blocky appearance which makes it understandable if you might want to replace it with a better looking and even better shifting Suntour Superbe drivetrain....
Many C&Vers look for these Simplex components for their builds and will pay lots of money for them in good condition.
Agree with the recommendation to dump the Modolo "sintered" brakepads as they don't really improve braking, but just eats up your rim sidewalls badly and quickly.... Just replace them with brake pads from Kool Stop......

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Old 03-19-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
... better looking and even better shifting Suntour Superbe drivetrain....
.... Just replace them with brake pads from Kool Stop......
With SunTour Superbe derailleurs and KoolStop brake pads, life is as good as it gets.
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Old 03-19-22, 08:06 AM
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Alright, you people have convinced me. Iím leaving everything on the bike, doing a thorough cleaning/servicing and riding.

I do have a hitch. I was fitting wheels last night and a 6 speed barely fits. When I say barely, I mean less than a mm between the small cog and the chain stay. 126mm spacing at the dropouts and 126 OLD wheel. I tried giving the adjusters a couple of turns but the springs look like they are fully compressed. Take Ďem out? The wheel is right at the edge of the slot.






Best photo I could get of cog/chainstay clearance.
Itís not touching but REALLY close.
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Old 03-19-22, 08:14 AM
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I love those brake levers. I'm guessing they are also Gipiemme. They were also packaged for Mavic as I have on my Montello.
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Old 03-19-22, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Alright, you people have convinced me. Iím leaving everything on the bike, doing a thorough cleaning/servicing and riding.

I do have a hitch. I was fitting wheels last night and a 6 speed barely fits. When I say barely, I mean less than a mm between the small cog and the chain stay. 126mm spacing at the dropouts and 126 OLD wheel. I tried giving the adjusters a couple of turns but the springs look like they are fully compressed. Take Ďem out? The wheel is right at the edge of the slot.






Best photo I could get of cog/chainstay clearance.
Itís not touching but REALLY close.
Did someone perhaps put a spacer in behind the freewheel? Maybe obtain an Ultra 6, but 126mm should be straight 6/7 spacing. Maybe someone cold set the frame sloppily? I'd check the rear drop alignment as well.
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