pego1My Pegoretti Palo Santo (Ms. Peggy) is my tried and true middle distance bike. I have ridden it since 2002 and use it mainly for 200 mile events and shorter brevets. I originally built it with a set of Campy Neutrons, an asymetrical rim design with bladed spokes. After doing some rim damage to the Neutrons I sold that wheel set and replaced them with some polished Campy Record hubs on Mavic Open Pro’s. These have made a great and durable wheel set and I have ridden them for many miles. After I wore out this first set of OP’s I simply rebuilt the wheels with a new set of Open Pro rims. Now, with many miles since this last rebuild the rim sidewalls are worn again and I am thinking about new wheels. I will keep the Campagnolo Record hubs so the real decision is, what rims should I use?

pego6After much research and some discussion with the mechanics at my favorite shop, CyclePath in Portland Oregon, I have made my choice. I will use Velocity A23 rims this time. They are also a durable rim but are just a little lighter than the OP’s. They have a wider cross-section, 23mm vs. 19mm which is supposed to give a better ride with any given tire. The theory being that since the tire doesn’t pinch in as closely at the bead the resulting shape of the tire is slightly wider which offers a more compliant ride. If you use a quality tire, they are said to ride more like tubulars which is the gold standard of performance. As a bonus, the ERD of the A23’s is almost identical to the Open Pros, which means that I can use the same length spokes without any modification. The A23 has a slightly aero profile but it is probably too insignificant to notice in performance.

pego2Once I had the old wheels disassembled and cleaned everything thoroughly, I started building the new wheels. The Campy Record hubs still looked great and are as smooth as butter. I also re-used the DT double butted 14/15 spokes. I paid particular attention to the angle of the bend at the spoke heads which indicates whether they were used on the inside or outside of the hub flange. I wanted to re-install them in the same position on the flange so that the angle of the bend would not change. If you pay attention to these details and there is no other damage there is no reason that you cannot re-use spokes and still have a reliable wheel. Using a replacement rim with the same ERD as the original makes this an easy swap!

I re-installed the Bontrager 25c tires that were on it but will probably change those out to Continentals soon.


The wheels are now done and re-installed on the bike and they look great. I haven’t had a chance to get many miles on them just yet but I hope to get a few local rides in soon. This bike is my favorite middle distance bike and is quite comfortable. It is perfect for 200 or 300 km brevets and double centuries but I have gone as far as 300 miles on it in a day.

 Here is my original post on this bike from 2008

This bike is a modern classic. I would like to claim that I had talked to Dario personally and that he had built this bike to my specs. Sadly it did not happen that way but I was lucky enough to be able to purchase it from the American distributor Gita-Bike early in 2002. It was an unsold model from the previous year but it met my needs perfectly. First, it was the right size, a 58 cm frame in both seat tube and top tube length. 2001 was the last year this model came with a paint matched steel fork, after that they came with a black carbon fork. Being all steel was very important to me as I think it is mandatory if you want to do a classic build. Also, the geometry of this Palo Santo model is ideal for comfort on longer rides which is what I mainly do. It also climbs like a mountain goat which is a great testimony to the versatility of this bike.

To complete the classic build I used a Campagnolo Chorus/Record mix. I was going to use this bike on “big rides” so I went with a 3×10 gear setup. In 2002 this was a lot of gears and was a rarely seen combination. I knew though that when you are out all day on 200 mile rides with 17,000+ feet of climbing that the extra range of gearing can make all the difference. Mavic Open Pros wrapped around Campy Record hubs (32h) and double butted DT spokes help keep this wheelset lightweight and durable. 3T handlebars and a quill stem maintain the classic look. The great Brooks Swift leather saddle provides all the comfort needed for the long haul.

I use this bike primarily for centuries and double centuries, though I have gone as long as 300 miles on it in a day. It is responsive, reasonable light and most of all it is comfortable. The great Italian style is just one of the side benefits. Very few bikes that I have owned have generated so many unsolicited comments from fellow riders. Even in this age of 15 pound carbon fiber bikes many people still recognize classic style. In a year or two when that new (I just had to have it) carbon bike is old news or unrideable because you dinged a tube, this old Pegoretti will still rolling out the miles in style!