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Bruised Bike #14 - Franco-American C&V Carbon

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Bruised Bike #14 - Franco-American C&V Carbon

Old 07-17-13, 07:32 PM
  #1  
afilado
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Bruised Bike #14 - Franco-American C&V Carbon

This 1991 Specialized Allez Epic came to me fitted with Shimano 600 Tricolor. I stripped it and there the frame hung season after season. Over the years I've also accumulated a critical mass of cross-era Mavic bits with only faint intentions. Now, they all call out for one another.

Notable departures from "norm" are the Kestrel CF fork with similar exposed weave as frame (instead of the aluminum original) and an emphasis on showcasing the various yellow/gold notations.

I was a bit surprised at the performance of the 840 rear derailleur, even of the drive train altogether. I favor friction shifting and love Suntour stuff especially. There is, however, a glitch in compatibility between the retrofriction shifters and the Maeda produced RDs. In short, it has to do with a progressive inconsistency in cable pull as one moves up and down through gearing patterns. It's possible to compensate, of course, but disconcerting until muscle memory sets in on a given setup.

The matchup between the 840 and the retrofrictions, however, is brilliant. It's almost as predictable, steady and linear as an indexed setup. No doubt it has to do with the genuine design innovation of the 840; i.e., multiple options for cable routing through the derailleur itself. It's far more than a slant parallagram knockoff.

After about 50 miles I can say that the Epic is a high class bike of that era and a genuine pleasure to ride. It possesses a clean smoothness and is sufficiently stiff for me - especially vertically speaking and under pressure is no more "noodley" than a Super Course of the same size. It's reminiscent of butted 531 or Columbus SL with a hint of wood. A bit remote in feeling. Independent but cooperative. At a smidgeon over 20 pounds as shown it has a good store of alertness and jump.

I built the wheels in a marathon cold weather flurry which produced about a half-dozen novel C&V wheel sets. The Mavic (Vittoria) tires are a bit lazy at 110 pounds but improve as I up the pressure towards maximum. The Modolo-produced-for-Mavic calipers are another good little surprise....no squealing and fine stoppers. A Nitto Pearl stem and early Weyless seat post. Specialized racer-boy pedals and bottle cage, Stronglight A9 headset and Simplex QR spindles. That's about it.

Bruised up Chattanooga style. I like it.

J
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Last edited by afilado; 07-18-13 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 07-17-13, 08:42 PM
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That's a fine ride, right there.

I always remark on these bikes as I stumble across them, but I do think the Kestrel fork in fact makes for an aesthetic improvement.

Dark anodized rims and the black-and-silver alloy 840 RD fit right in with the effect.

It's good to hear the 840 elicits some appreciation - I picked up one of these with about 1200 well-cared-for km on it for $20 from a former time-trialist this Spring, and the Mavic collection (gathered also "with only faint intentions") is starting to fill out.
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Old 07-17-13, 09:05 PM
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Pretty schnazzy work, as usual Julian.
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Old 07-17-13, 09:25 PM
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Dats puuurdy
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Old 07-17-13, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by afilado View Post
. The Mavic (Vittoria) tires are a bit lazy at 110 pounds but improve as I up the pressure towards maximum.
LOL. Pump those babies up.
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Old 07-18-13, 03:35 AM
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Another fine one from one of the finest....
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Old 07-18-13, 05:34 AM
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Beautiful
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Old 07-18-13, 05:44 AM
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Beautiful. Loving that Mavic stuff.
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Old 07-18-13, 09:09 AM
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Looks great. Grab a new Mavic helmet and hit the streets!
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Old 07-18-13, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Another fine one from one of the finest....
That says it all. Well done J.

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Old 07-18-13, 11:43 AM
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Nice, but I can't be the only one who thinks the brake lever position and bar angle are more screwed up than a soup sandwich...
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Old 07-18-13, 11:51 AM
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A Great build!... And so refreshing with the cool French Mavic stuff on it (DA or Superbe Pro would have been the usual default for people building up an Epic.)!
The Allez Epic remains as something I might still add to my mostly CF C&V stable as it's another really nice C&V CF bike that's just waiting to be re-discovered by C&V riders and collectors.

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Old 07-18-13, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
Nice, but I can't be the only one who thinks the brake lever position and bar angle are more screwed up than a soup sandwich...
Nope, you're not the only one but working with vintage bikes often leaves no choice but a bad looking compromise to make a frame rideable versus a new stock frame or a custom. I ride my 54 alan with a way too long seatpost, but I need the leg room and the short reach. One day I'd like to do what you did and teach myself how to build my own!
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Old 07-18-13, 04:59 PM
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Wow -- I have never felt much desire for any carbon bike until this very moment. Lovely.
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Old 07-19-13, 11:43 AM
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Nah, the bar set up is near text book, it's just the angle of the pic that's throwing you off.

J


Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
Nice, but I can't be the only one who thinks the brake lever position and bar angle are more screwed up than a soup sandwich...

Last edited by afilado; 07-19-13 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 07-19-13, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by afilado View Post
Nah, the bar set up is near text book, it's just the angle of the pic that's throwing you off.

J
I'm pretty sure that I never read that textbook. Your bike, set it up the way you want, but to me it looks a couple of degrees shy of a DUIcycle.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:18 PM
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Happy to help. Try this. And don't worry, just stick with it and you can pick it up soon enough.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/...r-positioning/

https://www.mytenspeeds.com/My_TenSpe...BarsLevers.htm

BTW, your moniker is apt.

J



Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
I'm pretty sure that I never read that textbook. Your bike, set it up the way you want, but to me it looks a couple of degrees shy of a DUIcycle.

Last edited by afilado; 07-20-13 at 06:22 AM.
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