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I would like your opinions............(22 posts)

I would like your opinions............davet
Mar 16, 2003 3:34 PM
I have this early '80's Della Santa, equipped with mostly Record/Super Record running gear, and correct bars, stem and seatpin.`Only the front der and brake levers are not correct. I'm too old to be pushing the big gears this bike has, and I have the notion that to keep the bike (I love the ride and handling!) I must convert it to modern 9-speed.

So I guess my question for you all is: is there any worth to the equipment that is on the bike now? It's perfectly good, serviceable and in very good shape. If so, will someone hazard a guess? I know the eBay routine, but I don't have the time or tolerance to deal with all of what would be sold. The only thing I want to keep, off this bike, is the saddle and the Nitto stem.

I thank you in advance for your time and thoughtfulness.
Why must you convert it to 9-speed?Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2003 3:52 PM
Sounds to me like it is very nicely equipped, but you would like to move the gearing to a range more suitable to you. I'd look into replacing the corncob with something with more teeth, not more sprockets.

Or downsize the chainrings.

I'm a lifelong singlespeeder ... I think a 2x5 is overkill on gears. I sometimes think otherwise on a century or a long climb. But the key is having a modest assortment of useful gears, something I'm sure can be done with that bike without drastic equipment changes.
Why must you convert it to 9-speed? Because........davet
Mar 16, 2003 4:40 PM
There is not a variety of chainrings for the Super Record crankset, and the Super Record rear der does not like larger cogs.

I've been down this road doing the research, before I came to the decision to do what I'm planning. I'm 61, like to do longer rides (centuries etc.) and live in very hilly Eastern Washington. I ride in northern Idaho and and western Montana frequently. (can you say Rocky Mountains?)

I like the bike other than the gearing problems. I'm still debating whether to go to STI, BarCons or downtube shifting, but I NEED the gears. One of my other bikes has 'traditional' Shimano STI/9-speed equipment and a 12/27 cogset, and sometimes even that can be a struggle up the mountains. I tell you, getting old is a waste of time.
Oh, PLEEZE stop talking like that ...Humma Hah
Mar 16, 2003 5:20 PM
... being as I will hit 50 in a few months, I keep trying to tell myself that getting older is NOT the problem, considering the only known alternative.

So far, my concession to age has been to get a lighter fixie/singlespeed to deal long hilly rides. The cruiser starts getting to be a real pain after the first hundred miles or so. 'Course, I don't ride it in the Rockies.

By the time I'm 60, I may be looking for your SR hardware on e-bay to convert the Paramount back to gears.
Oh, PLEEZE stop talking like that ...OKdavet
Mar 16, 2003 5:45 PM
I only started biking three years ago. Until then I probably was the definitive couch potato. My sole athletic endeavor was using the TV remote to turn on the F1 races. I truly wish that biking was something I discovered 20 years ago. I've lost weight, gained muscle and aerobic capacity and am pretty damned fit compared to what I WAS. I've even come to like the pain. My wife thinks I have great legs.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a cream-puff. I like to ride hard and I've never met a hill I didn't like. I ride alot, over 2,000 miles a year, mostly up or down.

I recently met a guy, 63, that rides up and down a 3,000 ft mountain on a somewhat regular basis. I think I hate him.
Just find a new freewheel...MrDan
Mar 16, 2003 4:31 PM
If you're cheap, (like me...) and you like the bike, just get a new freewheel, though you'll need to be resourceful to find one... that is the path of least pain... if the bike fits you well, and you like the way it rides, but your legs aren't what they once were, you'll just be losing riding time to that project.

Forget your notion of upgrading to 9 speed; live in the bliss of ignorance of the modern era... though I see speedplays on it! The components you have have alot of life left in them...

I concur that you could also change the chainwheels...

That's a nice bike, and you'll spend alot of coin on a 'notion'. Better to just buy a new bike - sounds like you have bike lust...
Just find a new freewheel...davet
Mar 16, 2003 5:11 PM
I do have bike lust, and a new bike being delivered this week. It's just that I really like this bike, the Della Santa 'history' and I've had a converstation with Roland Della Santa and he's a hell of a nice guy! I have a new Ultegra triple group that I could whip on this.

According to people that know more than I do about this Campy stuff, the Super Record rear derailleur doen't shift cogs well above 23 or 25 teeth. With the chainset on this bike, I would need at least a 30!
Mar 16, 2003 5:28 PM
I too shudder a bit at stripping off that sweet SR stuff but if you are sure it's the answer I'll hazard a few answers.

Campy SR invariably finds buyers on eBay which is how I'd recommend selling. If you just don't want to sell that way still use eBay as a resource to determine a good price by checking closed auctions. After that you could list on You won't get eBay money (I know b/c I bought a SR group there for a LOT less than what it would have gotten on eBay) but if you are deadset against eBay it's free and pretty painless. You could use the classified listings here too though I've no idea how well vintage equipment sells here.

Campy SR is definitely restricted as to max gear teeth so if you need more you need to part swap. Of course you could just put on a touring style rear der. change the FW and friction shift it just fine. You could even put on a modern 8-10 speed rear wheel and friction shift it as well though you might need to spread the rear triangle. The fact is that you can friction shift just about any rear der. Those are the least expensive options. Once you spread the rear you also have the option of going full STI/Ergo. Personally I'd go Ergo. That bike might forgive you removing it's SR parts but replacing them with Shimano?
Sell it to ME!!!girchygirchy
Mar 16, 2003 5:37 PM
Of course the new stuff won't work at all, it'd be a waste. Get rid of it! Actually I have no idea, I'm just trying to help my cause :Þ

That is almost exactly what I've been looking for, if decide to sell it and can give a decent price. I'm a poor college student, so I don't have enough to spend on a new road bike (especially with what I've put into the mt bike), and I'm finding myself to have a longing for a vintage bike. And I just bought new mt bike wheels that make it a damned pain to switch to my slicks, so I've been semi-hunting for a used roadie.

What size is that? I'm about 6'1" with a 35" inch inseam, and it looks to be about the right size. If you're thinking about selling, my address is brian_elmer at hotmail dot com.

Forgot to mention...that's one beautiful bike!! (nm)girchygirchy
Mar 16, 2003 5:51 PM
by all means upgrade.desmo
Mar 16, 2003 9:27 PM
If it keeps you on the bike do it. It's not a crime to upgrade that bike. Go Chorus 10 with a 13-29, you'll love it. But unless you really need the money to offset the new gruppo, just pack all that nice SR stuff away in a box and pass it all along with the frame sometime (hopefully a long time) down the road. I love old bikes, and have a full NR bike, but I'm not blind to fact of how much better most of the modern stuff works. Just having brakes that work is a nice touch!
Advice from an aging, non-retro guymapei boy
Mar 17, 2003 3:28 PM
Hold off on agonizing about your Della Santa and its potential upgradability until you've gotten your new bike and have gotten the fitting sorted out.

A while ago, I went through a situation similar to yours. For months (years?) I agonized about whether to upgrade my five-speed, Nuovo Record equipped mid-80's Steel Somec. Would I be risking death and destruction when I widened the rear stays to accomodate the modern gearing? Several bicycle stores told me horror stories of what happens to frame strength and gear shiftability when that operation is undertaken.

Then, the fork on my wife's mid-80's Pogliaghi Italian steel frame gave up the ghost. It gave my wife and I the excuse to just buy a couple of new bikes - Colnago Dreams. From our very first rides on the new bikes, our attachments to our old Italian Steel Frames were forgotten about. Apart from the sheer beauty of the old lugged frames, the new bicycles were so superior it was almost laughable. My Somec is now my office bike. I ride it to lunch. I only take it on happy little cruises. I have rubber pedals on it.

In other words, if your new bike is a good one (like a Colnago, Litespeed, Look, high-end Trek or anything else of that ilk), chances are you'll soon put the Della Santa into gentle, dignified retirement. You'll forget about trying to modernize the thing. You'll just enjoy it as the gorgeous antique it is.
My new bike........davet
Mar 17, 2003 8:15 PM a Calfee and it just arrived today. I brought it home and I'm building it up, much to my wife's consternation, in the family room.

I don't think the Della Santa will fade into obscurity, it's too good and too much fun to ride. I'll probably wind up with 9-speed/friction shifting just to keep it 'in the style". It gets ridden as much as my Colnago, when I'm not trying to climb hills.
Upgrade to a Calfee !!! of course! What happened?!?MrDan
Mar 18, 2003 1:59 PM
Davet -

What a move, first moaning over the Della, then Mapei boy must have really given you the ammo to go out an do what you really wanted to all along! - You sly dog... must have shown the wife these posts! Genius move...!
Thanks, I've been working on that ploy for months!davet
Mar 18, 2003 4:05 PM
My wife fell for it hook, line and sinker.

However, can you help me explain the new Oswald that's coming in April?
re: Thanks, I've been working on that ploy for months!MrDan
Mar 18, 2003 7:38 PM
You're in deep man! I don't have a wife to worry about anymore! (not related to cycling stuff, but that would have helped it along...!) just don't get any ideas like the "Baretta" guy... Robert Blake!

Mapei Boy, you're a master with words....Dave Hickey
Mar 18, 2003 6:52 AM
My hat's off to you. The perfect explanation. Bravo!
Mapei Boy, you're a master with words....mapei boy
Mar 18, 2003 11:05 AM
Thanks for the kind words.
keep it the way it is and buy a new bike nmDougSloan
Mar 18, 2003 7:29 AM
The whole question is moot...............davet
Mar 23, 2003 7:35 PM
....I sold the complete bike.
I hope the buyer appreciates ...Humma Hah
Mar 24, 2003 2:47 PM
... how nice it is, and that you have no regrets, and don't miss your old buddy.

I personally get WAY to attached to old bikes, and can't get rid of 'em, no matter how pathetic they are compared to modern rides. You're a better man than I, in this regard.
I hope the buyer appreciates ...He does....davet
Mar 24, 2003 4:38 PM
..he currently has about 30 bikes (I think) in his stable.