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Restoring Custom Vintage (Columbine) Bike - Finishing the Build

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Restoring Custom Vintage (Columbine) Bike - Finishing the Build

Old 05-10-24, 07:58 PM
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Restoring Custom Vintage (Columbine) Bike - Finishing the Build

I'm putting a vintage (custom) frame I sourced on eBay back on the road and need some advice on how to finish it off.

The frame has a 1" threaded head tube, so definitely '80s or earlier. I have a bunch of Campy stuff stashed from my racing days and am using that kit. I don't have a set of matching wheels, so I'm going to lace up some low flange Campy hubs.

My question is what would be period correct (actual or looking) 700c 32h clincher rims?

Also, are there period correct shifters that aren't on the downtube (my ancient body shudders at using downtube shifters again)?

Last edited by PromptCritical; 05-21-24 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-10-24, 08:21 PM
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Hi,
First, it would be helpful to know the brand & model of the frame as well as how you are going to use the bike. As a regular rider, you can build it up with what ever parts you have that work. A good option to DT shifters on vintage bikes is bar ends. You can even get indexing models.
Good luck with your build. It sounds like an interesting project.
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Old 05-10-24, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
I'm going to lace up some Campy hubs. What period correct 700c 32h clincher rims should I use?
Here are some threads that might help:

Silver rims with rim brake tracks

Classic Rims, Maybe Even Vintage Rims

Recommend Rims for a Wheel rebuild

Rims
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Old 05-10-24, 08:37 PM
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Thanks, but I should have been more clear in my question.

My vague recollection is that rims back in the late '70s and early '80s were pretty much silver with a few gray. Am I correct?

Also, I recall them having a flatter inside visible face than v-shaped rims of today. Am I remembering correctly?
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Old 05-10-24, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the rim advice. Silver rims are hard to find! I ended up finding a pair of Weinmann rims at a good price.

I was very surprised to find out my old wheel has a freehub on it, so I think I’ll use a set of Ultegra STI levers I have lying around, although I’d really like to stay all Campy. Just don’t think my body will appreciate downtube shifters. I had Shimano bar end shifters on a tandem and they were terrible. No doubt partly due to the short lever.
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Old 05-10-24, 10:56 PM
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Sounds like you went clinchers with the Weinmanns. My Raleigh Pro sports those, probably the same model.
Can't blame you for going Ultegra STI. That will mean spreading the rear from 120/126 to 130. Fun times.
We all want to see photos of your project!
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Old 05-11-24, 12:34 PM
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PromptCritical no pics? Is this a mystery frame?
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Old 05-11-24, 01:35 PM
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Old 05-11-24, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
PromptCritical no pics? Is this a mystery frame?
No, just has a Klingon cloak device.

I was gonna post some last night but I couldn't find my phone and had a 5:00am wake up for a ride.
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Old 05-11-24, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
PromptCritical no pics? Is this a mystery frame?
OK, here are some pics. Found out shooting good pictures in the garage is a bit challenging. Bike isn't quite a "roller" yet, so....no outside pictures.

Front view. No headset yet. Handlebars and stem are the originals on my '76 Colonago.

About 85% done. Not bad for one evening's work. Shimano caliper brakes from my '06 Trek Madone (cracked the carbon frame in a minor crash).

Original front wheel from my Colnago. Bungee cord is keeping the fork in place until a headset arrives.

Campy triple crankset and rear derailleur. Shimano HG freehub. No idea where I got it, but it must have been a long time ago as I had to cut off the tire after I broke two tire levers....
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Old 05-11-24, 10:37 PM
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That is one tall frame…

Period correct silver rims would be Mavic MA-2. The dark grey Mavic MA-40 is also possible if that’s what you’d like.

Finding these unused is getting tough. Mavic rims with Campy hubs were ubiquitous “training” wheels back then so they tended to get dinged, thrashed, or just plain worn out.

If I were building equivalent wheels now, I would be using H+ Son TB14 rims. Solid, durable, and good looking:

https:/www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=42964&category=139
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Old 05-12-24, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills
That is one tall frame…

Period correct silver rims would be Mavic MA-2. The dark grey Mavic MA-40 is also possible if that’s what you’d like.

Finding these unused is getting tough. Mavic rims with Campy hubs were ubiquitous “training” wheels back then so they tended to get dinged, thrashed, or just plain worn out.

If I were building equivalent wheels now, I would be using H+ Son TB14 rims. Solid, durable, and good looking:

https:/www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=42964&category=139
Yes, it is really tall! And, I sat on it and I think it is going to fit perfect. (For my height, I have long legs and a short torso....).

The frame is a little unusual. The B-screw doesn't line up well with the dropout, so I'm not sure what to do about that (I really don't want to weld on the frame). It has the shortest chain stays imaginable and really narrow. I put a 700c x 32 tire on my wheel and I couldn't get the wheel on. I deflated the tire and it went on, but when I re-inflated it, the tire hit both sides of the chainstays. Fortunately, I had a 700c x 25 tire lying around and it went back together.

I haven't been able to find Mavic rims in silver or any
H+ Son TB14 rims yet. I'll check out Universal Cycles - thanks!
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Old 05-17-24, 02:14 PM
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Woot! Woot! Some parts (Wing shifters and the cable stops (came in today. Got my old Campy Super Record seat post out and fitted my current favorite seat on it.

Added a small circular nut to the B-Screw bolt on the rear derailleur to try and deal with the stop on the frame being at a wonky angle. Fingers crossed it will work. Adjustment is limited, so I hope having the screw turned in a bit extra isn't a problem. I don't want to have someone weld on it, but that is an option.


Installed the pedals, chain and seat post

Wing shifters are nicely made
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Old 05-17-24, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills

If I were building equivalent wheels now, I would be using H+ Son TB14 rims. Solid, durable, and good looking:
I found some H+ Son TB14 rims. They should be here next week. I'm going to see how much rust there is on my wheel building skills. I have a 32h small flange Campy hub I bought in Italy in 1981 that I'm going to use (No, I'm not a hoarder. Pack rat, maybe).
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Old 05-18-24, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Also, are there period correct shifters that aren't on the downtube (my ancient body shudders at using downtube shifters again)?
SunTour, Shimano, Campagnolo, and Simplex all made bar-end shift levers in that time period. Of those, the SunTour "BarCon" is probably the most common, and one of the best performing (the rare and costly Simplex "retrofriction" bar end shifters are arguably "better"). The Suntour ones have the same ratchet mechanism found in their "Power Shifter," Shimano's "Fingertip" bar end shifters have a spring to make it easier to move the lever, and Campagnolo's are just plain friction levers.
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Old 05-21-24, 12:39 PM
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I’m betting that if you mentioned the bike was a Columbine, you’d get way more interest from folks ‘round these parts.
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Old 05-21-24, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
I’m betting that if you mentioned the bike was a Columbine, you’d get way more interest from folks ‘round these parts.
Yep, probably should have led with that.
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Old 05-21-24, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
I’m betting that if you mentioned the bike was a Columbine, you’d get way more interest from folks ‘round these parts.
Well, yes it is. I don’t know anything about them. Is it special in some way?
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Old 05-21-24, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, yes it is. I don’t know anything about them. Is it special in some way?
Umm. YES!!! Iconic brand, and a personal grail for me.
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Old 05-21-24, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, yes it is. I don’t know anything about them. Is it special in some way?
, yes, just a bit.
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Old 05-21-24, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, yes it is. I don’t know anything about them. Is it special in some way?
https://www.columbinecycle.com/bicycles
Show off your pretty LUGS!
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Old 05-21-24, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, yes it is. I don’t know anything about them. Is it special in some way?

Yes, it is considered a very high tier hand built American road bike. Just like Huffy.

A local bike shop near me has a small museum of very high class vintage road bikes, and amongst them was this Columbine:










As well as this frame:



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Old 05-21-24, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Yes, it is considered a very high tier hand built American road bike.

A local bike shop near me has a small museum of very high class vintage road bikes, and amongst them was this Columbine:


As well as this frame:
Originally Posted by merziac
, yes, just a bit.
Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Umm. YES!!! Iconic brand, and a personal grail for me.
Score!

I guess I’m that proverbial blind squirrel that found an acorn
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Old 05-23-24, 05:47 AM
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PromtCritical, I'm a custom framebuilder and let me put your Columbine frame in perspective for you. Typically my colleagues take on average somewhere around 16/20 hours to make a custom frame not including painting (occasionally even less). Some of us put a lot more effort into making one frame and that time can stretch into 100 hours or more - often this time is spent on carving and refining the lugs. Brothers John and Richard Murphy the builders were experts at this and often used stainless steel lugs which are much harder to braze properly. They require greater cleaning and there is a tighter temperature window the brazer has to maintain or the surface becomes corrupted and the sliver brazing material won't flow. And then the lugs were polished to a shinny finish. in addition these shinny bits need to be masked when painting and that in itself requires a lot more time. What I remember is that they charged several thousand dollars more for this work which could double and triple the price of a frame compared to other builders.

Because Columbine frames were custom frames, how much work the brothers put into a set of lugs could vary. Some were simple and others more elaborate. I would very much like to see the lug work on your frame. In your pictures you didn't show the details on the lugs. Perhaps you are willing to post some pictures?
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Old 05-23-24, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Fattic
PromtCritical, I'm a custom framebuilder and let me put your Columbine frame in perspective for you. Typically my colleagues take on average somewhere around 16/20 hours to make a custom frame not including painting (occasionally even less). Some of us put a lot more effort into making one frame and that time can stretch into 100 hours or more - often this time is spent on carving and refining the lugs. Brothers John and Richard Murphy the builders were experts at this and often used stainless steel lugs which are much harder to braze properly. They require greater cleaning and there is a tighter temperature window the brazer has to maintain or the surface becomes corrupted and the sliver brazing material won't flow. And then the lugs were polished to a shinny finish. in addition these shinny bits need to be masked when painting and that in itself requires a lot more time. What I remember is that they charged several thousand dollars more for this work which could double and triple the price of a frame compared to other builders.

Because Columbine frames were custom frames, how much work the brothers put into a set of lugs could vary. Some were simple and others more elaborate. I would very much like to see the lug work on your frame. In your pictures you didn't show the details on the lugs. Perhaps you are willing to post some pictures?
Doug,

I’d be happy to.

I’m on a bicycle tour, so will send them Monday when we get home. I can also email them if you’d like higher quality (we’ve corresponded by email so I have your email address). Just LMK.
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