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sweet as a pearl(24 posts)

sweet as a pearlSpirito
Aug 15, 2002 4:38 PM
my one and only bike (well i still ride the "nobody will steal it' english 3 speed around town). merckx strada OS (columbus brain). its new but its old in flavor - not pure yet to my mind very classic. my obsession has come to fruition.

light touring, regular riding and quickly converted to a fixie/single were my goals. i now am a commited single bicycle owner and hope to ride it for quite some time. a mix of campy from 1985 till 2002 - record to veloce (even has rear derailleur cable clamp from a 1972 nuovo record as i lost the modern one).

stocked up on suntour ultra 6 freewheels (13-19, 13-22, 14-30) and spaced the rear hub so that it has very little dish (124mm rear spacing - a couple of mm added on the non-drive side). my bargain basement veloce rear derailleur handles all my gearing options very well and the sram chain pulls it all sweetly. c-record high flange hubs 36 3x DT's - sweeet. 170mm x 42-53 up front with a record '02 carbon sleeved track b/bracket.

couldnt be bothered to continuosly search for brake hoods so opted for '02 brake levers - a little twist on a classic theme but friction shifters and a nitto quill bring back the balance.

red regal with brass plated steel rivets and rails from richard sachs. FIR SC170 clincher rims and vittoria open corsa's (my first clincher wheelset on my main ride - about time i changed over). chorus '99 calipers, Ti seatpost and salsa skewers coz vintage variants just piss me off.

cloth tape over ITM bars and it rides very sweet (even better than i expected). sure turns heads as well. everything i wanted - steel with chrome, high flange hubs, and classic sexy lines. :-)

to view some more....

i am now not buying anything but tires, tubes etc etc. free at last. pearl paint blows me away .... its just so pretty.

I'd do 'er.Ahimsa
Aug 15, 2002 4:52 PM
Spirito my boy, you may have put together one of the finest looking rides I've ever laid eyes on.

Only one problem. I couldnae ride it. It's too cherry. I'd be afraid to park it anywhere. I'd be afraid to wreck it.

I think you can not possibly be a one bike guy. You need a fixte beater for sure. ; )

Nice work, mate.

Good on ye.

nope ..1 bike it is ..... look forward to scratches and patinaSpirito
Aug 16, 2002 6:29 AM
anyway its hard to park anything in the city but i have enough friends around town should i need to leave it indoors.

part of the reason i respaced the rear wheel was so that the inner ring runs a straight line so that converting it to a single or fixte would be a matter of stripping the derailleurs and taking off the freewheel. the ultra 6 freewheels are narrow and the chainline isnt too twisted for regular use.

when i get the cogs and necessary tools (yes i still go to the LBS to swap a freewheeel) ill post it in its fixte/single guise. i also hope to show it as a light tourer soon as well.


well done...colker
Aug 15, 2002 5:35 PM
pretty, tasty and original. yes.. the pearl color gives a warm feeling.
and the low bb turns me on.colker
Aug 15, 2002 5:42 PM
very cool bike. red and white, yes.
Very nice, well done nmrwbadley
Aug 15, 2002 7:57 PM
ooo ooo are those campy high flange the...rwbadley
Aug 15, 2002 8:01 PM
Now I have to think,,,, were they the special edition for Bianchi?
don't think so ....Spirito
Aug 16, 2002 6:34 AM
but i may know of the bianchi you are thinking of - it had the complete C-record group but in century (dark chrome) finish. i think it was on the vintage velos site.

that group is probably the rarest as only 500 or so were imported to the states.

ive always loved c-record and the hunt for a NOS set of high flange hubs wasnt easy, took quite some time but luckily i got a great price. whilst looking for them i found a lot of older campy NOS which i sold off and more than paid for the complete build of the merckx.

some cats just swing like that .....

So sweet, needs a Curtis Mayfield score...Djudd
Aug 15, 2002 10:52 PM
"Superfly!!! you're gonna make your fortune by and by"
or Isaac Hayes, " They say that cat (fill in the blank) is baaaad mother... shut yer mouth"

When I see bikes like this I'm 15 staring in the window of a bike shop enthralled with Colnago, Atala, Masi whatever they are all beautiful

Bravo brother, Bravo
Absolutely beautiful... My hats off to you Spirito nmDave Hickey
Aug 16, 2002 3:09 AM
Aug 16, 2002 3:33 AM
light-hearted, with cap and scarf,
you take your bike to the open road,
healthy, free, the world before you
the road leading wherever you chose
the efflux of the soul is happiness
here is happiness--it pervades the open air
your strong and content
as you ride
;-) xox ... NMSpirito
Aug 16, 2002 6:36 AM
re:" i now am a commited single bicycle owner"Steve_0
Aug 16, 2002 3:41 AM
I absolutely know the feeling; I'm 'almost' a single bicycle owner - my late-80's era raliegh fixer being my only ride.

I do have my carbon-fiber trek i use for tri's, but only because it's a remnant of when I was younger and more foolish with money.

These days, its seems most riders have a seperate bike for
Training, Racing,MTBing,Cruising,Sunny Days,Rainy Days,'Fixie' training (remember when we used to just swap a wheel for the wintertime?), and Touring

At times, I feel quite the odd-ball being satisfied with a single bike (and an inexpensive one, at that) for all my needs. Glad there are still others out there.
you know where im comming fromSpirito
Aug 16, 2002 8:04 AM
whilst some feel that more is better im just happy to have one and try to use it for as much as possible.

i love riding a bicycle and wanted to focuss on just that. its not and easy decision in choosing the one bike to have though unless you like classics. manufacturers take more advantage of this then most are willing to admit and sometimes i read the general forum like its a never-ending-spam.

now i just have to figure out how to stop all those damn catalogues from bike wholesalers.

beautiful job, spiritotarwheel
Aug 16, 2002 5:52 AM
You've inspired me on my search for a steel Merckx. Now that they've quit selling them, they're even more classic. Hopefully some day soon I will be riding one myself.
thanks all .......Spirito
Aug 16, 2002 6:59 AM
tarwheel -

i dont know at all what the rake, trail etc of the merckx forks are but i would recommend using one.

im still trying to find flaw with the geometry and handling and the steering is unnervingly good. it likes to turn and swap direction but is stable as well - something that ive always had one or the other of and am absolutely pleased with.

i rode with a group last night at fast pace with a lot of twisty rolly stuff and the bike sped through as if it was on rails - i even jammed it into corners on bad lines and wrong cambers just trying to see how much it would handle. took it all in stride. then rode home on the cool down - slow pace, mostly no-hands in traffic and apart from a dragster i had when about 10 i dont think ive ever had a bike as easy to hold a straight line and not have to think about - glugging from the water bottle and giving the back repreive was never so easy.

i dont know how much of this is attributed to just the fork but i suspect its of some influence in the overall geometry and angles. its a good thing and i wouldnt change it at all.

with regards to value - thats always a tough one and something i cant help you decide. i bought mine as i wanted to be riding it certainly in 5 years, hopefully 10 and who knows maybe it will stay with me the whole journey. in that sense its cost is less of an issue as steel is a good choice for year after year use.

i wanted a new frame for a multi-user and as it had long dropouts and chrome that i just adore i knew it would fit the bill. they aren't popping up as often in that style and im glad i picked it up. it rides better than i had expected and built up lighter as well.

Bears repeating what I saidscottfree
Aug 16, 2002 7:19 AM
on the General board: That's the prettiest bike I ever saw. (Boy, that saddle REALLY brought everything together, didn't it?) And since we're over here amomg brothers, I'll add that your component/accesories selection is as classy as any I've ever heard tell of.
thanks again ....Spirito
Aug 16, 2002 7:47 AM
i focussed on the frame, wheels and cranks ... the rest just fell in place and i either used what i had or what seemed practical in terms of using everyday and being easy to find parts for.

a word of advice if anyone plans to use a modern rear derailleur with a low dish rear wheel - chop the springs that sleeve the limit screws in half. the high limit screw is wound all the way through.

i had thought of using older period derialleurs and brakes but i thought that mixing new with old would work better and its no pain to find or pay for either.

when i saw the saddle on richard sachs' site i must admit i was clicking my heels as i love regals but had no luck searching for a red one. mr. sachs is a man of great taste and the styling cues are not dissimilar to one of his creations on his site. copying a neat thing is a form of flattery, right?

my aim was to have a nice looking bike which was reasonable in price and rode well as ive really felt shamed when i think how much ive spent on swapping parts and changing bikes in the last few years. i love cycling and im not exactly poor but i could do better to spend the money elsewhere rather than being a catalogue whore - it mightn't be for everyone but i can already feel it suits me fine.

amen, scottfree, amen...Djudd
Aug 16, 2002 8:45 AM
Spirito has done the retro board proud. No plastic bike could match the classic beauty of steel and lugs.
1st rate eye candy to be sureWalter
Aug 16, 2002 6:42 PM
Sweet, very sweet. Stand up and take your props.

I don't know about this 1 bike stuff though. I mentioned something like that to my wife awhile ago.

She eventually stopped laughing.
Mighty handsome ...Humma Hah
Aug 17, 2002 9:27 AM
With most roadbikes consisting of two skinny wheels on a double diamond frame with drop bars, it is rare, in my mind, for such a bike to stand out.

Chromies or bikes with half-chromed forks do stand out, but that's almost cheating.

This one just jumps out at you. Very nice!
The best I've ever seen on this board ..jkh
Aug 17, 2002 8:44 PM
Very gorgeous bike. I've kept looking at your pics over and over again for the last two days. (a comment and a question or two)Kurt H
Aug 20, 2002 5:40 PM
.....Heavens what a pretty machine!!!
I thought I'd seen some beautiful bikes, but this has ignited a truly improper kind of bike envy in my heart. Bravo, Spirito!

And now the question:
Where did you find the rims? I'm looking for a set of 28 hole red rims, preferably something in a semi-aero profile. It looks like yours are 36 hole, but that's the look I was shooting for. Who carries FIR?
not quite sure .......Spirito
Aug 20, 2002 10:54 PM
i had a friend in the industry order them for me and i did notice the importer or the distributor is in NJ and heard mention that his name is matteo. sorry for being so vague but i was lucky to be able to leave my "shopping list" in the hands of another.

i would be surprised if they were not available like all else through QBP - so ask your lbs. i know that bulltek sports lists them but have never ordered through them. im sure there must be others carrying their line of product.

heard so many cool things (well made, round, strong etc etc ) about the rims from people who really know wheels so it was a simple choice. they come in a TI-bronze, red and blue and are fully eyeletted.

i havent done enough miles yet to carry my own judgement but they look a quality product and better finished than others that i was considering (mavic open pro's, velocity aeroheads, campy montreal). and yes ..... i thought my build would look neat with red rims :-)

mine are the FIR SC170 but they are also known (new name?) as Zenith's. the SC150's i beleive are the same
but in silver.