October 2011


This fall my wife Sara and took a trip to Italy; Tuscany in particular where we toured the area by motorcycle. We had over 10 days to see the region and covered over 1200 km during the trip. We saw the countryside from Cinque Terre to Siena and many of the backroads in between. All the while I kept an eye on the cycling opportunities in the region. After a thorough investigation I can report that the area is a cycling paradise, particularly the area north of Lucca as well as the Chianti region of Tuscany. The trip also helped me get a feel for the area of Chianti where the vintage L’Eroica event is held each October. For more on L’Eroica click here. If you want to read more on our adventure, here is a full detailed account of the trip, or if you just want the quick slideshow click here. We are back home now and I am making plans to hopefully return in 2012 to ride the bike. To keep track of my preparation for next year you can follow the L’Eroica posts.

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The L’Eroica bike, continued.

The Bianchi came stock with wheels built from the following components: Campagnolo Victory hubs, Mavic G-40 rims and straight guage steel spokes. The hubs are in good shape so even though I have a set of Campy Record hubs on hand I will re-use the Victory hubs. The Mavic rims are in nice condition but I have never liked anodized rims. Mavic doesn’t make anything like the G-40 anymore but I did find some rims from Velo Orange. They are a polished box section rim that is very similar to the Mavic. I think they will be a good choice and keep the bike looking more original than any other replacement rim. Finally, the spokes: The original spokes are okay but they are rusted and pitted; same with the nipples. I will replace these with new DT double butted SS spokes and brass nipples. I have lots of DT spokes on hand so I just have to cut them to the right length and thread them.

For the rest of this episode click,   (more…)

The L’Eroica bike, continued.

Okay I have started by tearing the bike down to the last removeable item and then cleaned all of the parts throughly. Once you have everything cleaned and prepared then assembly can go forward in an orderly manner and progress will be swift. The headset and bottom bracket are repacked with new grease and then installed and adjusted properly. On older bikes these areas are poorly sealed so I will use a waterproof grease. I am re-using almost all of the original parts with just a couple of exceptions. I start with the crankset and seatpost which go on quickly. The crankset is the Italian brand Ofmega and its quality is just below Campy Nouvo Record.  I have added a little trim color to these parts to dress things up a little. The derailleurs and brakes will also get a little accent color to tie it all together.

The stem, handlebars and brake levers go on quickly along with the brakes and it is starting to look like a bike again. Click on any of these pics for a larger image. Next I’ll have to start work on the wheels. I love building wheels!

Previous posts on this topic:

Dreaming of L’Eroica

The L’Eroica bike