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vintage 27" cyclocross frame (questions)

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vintage 27" cyclocross frame (questions)

Old 05-07-14, 10:25 AM
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wearyourtruth
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vintage 27" cyclocross frame (questions)

hey folks,

i recently picked up a vintage steel cyclocross frame. it's made by Vagacini (of which i've found very little info online) and is branded "cyclo cross" on the top tube and has Reynolds 531 stickers on the frame and fork. these decals all appear to be original and i have little reason to believe that this wasn't built to be a cyclocross bike, probably in the 70's by the weight, lugs and fork crown.

the frame has cantilever brake bosses and definitely is built for 27" wheels, not 700. i have a nice set of wheels for it, but i can really only find 2 manufacturers that produce a knobby 27" tire. i tried searching for knobby 27" tubulars and found even less. even looking around for past ebay auctions revealed little, new or used.

i know cyclocross started loosely in the early 1900's, and that it became an official sanctioned event in the 50's. And i know it wasn't until the 80's (roughly) that manufacturers had made the full switch over to fully 700c bikes. So that means there had to be at least a couple decades that people were racing cyclocross, as an official sport (presumably with tires built for that purpose), on 27" wheels. is that a fair assumption? where did they all go?
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Old 05-07-14, 10:46 AM
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There is no such thing as a 27" tubular. They were all 700c. Probably you'll have no problem mounting 700c wheels.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:09 AM
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All the Vagacinis I see online are custom frames, perhaps the original owner wanted brake studs for centerpull arms, U-brakes, or Roller Cams?
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Old 05-07-14, 11:14 AM
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Can you please show it? I always enjoy seeing a nice Vagacini.
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Old 05-07-14, 11:35 AM
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i can post some shots tonight.
@DiegoFrogs. i didn't know there were never 27" tubulars. good to know.

to give a little more detail, i can obviously fit a 700c wheel on the bike, but i've tried 3 sets of canti brakes and none of them are able to be adjusted low enough to hit the rim on a 700c squarely. they all, at their lowest setting, still sit half on the tire. are there any recommendations on a set of canti's to look for that might be able to solve this problem? would definitely give me a wider range of tire choices
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Old 05-07-14, 11:55 AM
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I would have guessed that it originally would have worn some kind of Mafac brakes.

To be honest, I don't think there were many good knobby 27" clinchers available even when this bike was brand new, although I'm an early '80s model myself...
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Old 05-07-14, 02:15 PM
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I've got a set of smooth 35mm Schwalbe tires in that size, those seem
common enough (come to think of it, I think 27" tires in anything ELSE than cx - 30 to 35mm - are much harder to find in general).
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Old 05-07-14, 02:17 PM
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Also, I'm pretty sure u-brake and opd Mafac centerpulls might need a little higher bosses... Try a set of centerpulls and see how that goes. Most Mafacs have oodles of reach and adjustability.
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Old 05-07-14, 02:59 PM
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to clarify this frame has canti bosses. the rear bridge isn't even drilled so running anything other than canti's isn't an option
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Old 05-07-14, 04:15 PM
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I used a set of NGC 982 that had an elliptical mounting configuration that made it easy to go from 27" to 700c. Not sure how easy they are to find though

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Old 05-07-14, 04:18 PM
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to clarify this frame has canti bosses. the rear bridge isn't even drilled so running anything other than canti's isn't an option
Some Centerpulls mounted directly to the frame on canti studs but I think it would be obvious if that it what was needed.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
to clarify this frame has canti bosses. the rear bridge isn't even drilled so running anything other than canti's isn't an option
Actually, the bridge with the mounting bolts and brake arm studs on classic mafac centrepulls is removable. This means that when you have a frame with the proper studs you can just bolt the brake arms directly to the frame. When you google for mafac brakes one of the first hits is a blogpost from a chap that bought a NOS set on the bay; he was surprised the braze-on "canti" posts came packaged with the brakes (including the aforementioned mounting bridge).
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Old 05-07-14, 06:39 PM
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I have knobby 27" tires
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Old 05-08-14, 12:15 AM
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You might try using cantilevers fitted with these offset brake pad holders;
BDop OFFSET HOLDERS

These are road style pad holders so wouldnt work for post mount pads but there are cantilevers (and most V-brakes) that use bolt-on pad instead of smooth post.

Another good long term solution would be to have a framebuilder relocate the cantilever post lower, if they were originally brazed and not TIG welded, it is not a big job to do.
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