Luigi Fontana 650c road bike

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  • Im putting together a bike for my sister. As there arent many (if any) 650c builds documented here I thought it was starting a thread. I could really do with some help sourcing parts too, as we are on a tight budget!

    Props to 'Unit Lost' for selling us this really nice frame at an even nicer price. I originally purchased a ratty raleigh kids frame for £5, but it was too crude to put the effort in! This fontana is lovely. Columbus Neuron tubing. Made in Verona.­chmentid=50899&stc=1&d=1331850454

    Unfortunately I couldnt afford those wheels or the headset. Finding decent but not too dear wheels is being a real ball ache.

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  • Finding decent but not too dear wheels is being a real ball ache.

    Not many low end 650c wheels out there, Miche Young are probably the cheapest easily available new­256/Miche-Young-650c-Wheels.html

  • Not many low end 650c wheels out there, Miche Young are probably the cheapest easily available new­256/Miche-Young-650c-Wheels.html

    Thanks for the tip, already found the miche young for £107 posted on fatbirds. But holding out for something more durable. Never keen on 16 spoke wheels!

  • I thought they were 20f/24r - that's what Parker says*. On the little rims, that's like 24/28 on grown up wheels.

  • damn, your right!

    I thought I read somewhere that it was 16 on the front and 20 on the rear Doh!

    Can you comment on what I might expect in terms of quality from them?

  • I expect they're up to the usual Miche standard - nothing special, but good enough.

  • Well I got the frame and a bunch of parts. It is still being a headache finding parts on a budget, especially to do justice to the amazing frame. Im going to be recycling a few bits I have lying around, plus ive ordered stuff Ive seen reduced or second hand, may not match all that well. People will probably cringe and the poorly matched colours and parts, but damnnit, Im going to do the best I can.

    Phone pics:

  • Found some stelvio tyres on planet-x for £10 each. Probably my best bargain. May by another as a spare. Hopefully the bright yellow looks ok with the more neon-pastel yellow on the frame.
    Finding adequate shifters was a bit of a headache, but in the end I settled for bar end shifters. I have no experience of these and I hope they work! Got them bundled with the levers on ebay for just under £40. Very well used, so not exactly a bargain. But I think they will be less clumsy for the small handed person this is for, plus the friction left shifter will be compatible with triple or double. I hadnt decided on the chainset/gearing at the time to this was useful. The seatpost is a really nice aero tricolour 600 one from my own bike which has the full group. I do not have it on emine because it is too short. I tried it in the fontana and it was infuriatingly too tight. I started to force it in like an oaf, but stopped myself just in time to realise I was chewing it up. Seat tube probably needs a ream. I ordered a new set of miche brakes from wiggle for around £18 which seemed great value. They were long drop, which means good re-usability if this bike doesn't work out. Bar tape was just £2 a roll from CRC, got 2 sets. Cream colour, hopefully similar enough to the other yellows to not look ridiculous.

    My next big challenge was choosing a chainset. This proved to be the biggest pain in the world, for the life of me I could not find what i wanted. 160mm chainsets didnt really exist and I couldnt find any 165mm ones. I trawled every classifieds and asked everyone on ebay. The main options I was choosing between was:

    160mm triple compact from spa cycles:­plid=m2b0s109p2000

    Or these 165mm 105 octalink chainset from ebay overseas:­sPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1­438.l2649#ht_2450wt_1165

    The triple didnt appeal because it was a compact and would look out of place on a racing bike. Too utilitarian. After going through gear calculators many times I decided that a big double up front combined with a wide range cassette on the back would give by far the best ratios. This option would also allow me to re-use good quality long cage derailieurs I already own.
    But adding in the cost of the octalink tool which I dont have, and the very specific octalink BB required. It seemed too expensive.

    In the end out of frustration I went for an oddball solution. I gambled on a shimano 600 chainset auction I saw finishing on ebay. Getting it for around £27. I found out later it was 170mm. I own a 165mm tricolour crankset (without road rings) that I used to use on my fixed bike. I will transplant chainrings over and sell the 170mm crank arms. I also get a free BB. Hopefully the chainrings are in good shape, then this may work out well.

    Yesterday/Today I got fed up with the bike not having a headset to hold the forks in place. I got the hammer out and bashed a 105 headset of a broken frame I have and started to go about getting it on. Again I ran into problems. The crown race never seemed fully tight against bottom surface no matter how much I hit it. I tried to control my frustrations but ended up bashing away. Thankfully I never damaged anything. But there is still a hairline gap.
    Later, I realised that the top nut needed a spacer underneath as the steerer was slightly long. I had to go salvaging of yet another unused frame to get one, which turned out to be too tight. Again silly me bashed it on. Which left it stuck, cannot imagine getting it off again! The annoying thing was that now not ENOUGH threads where showing. So I could only screw on top nut halway, and it seemed to go on cross threaded too. FUCK. Everything is going wrong.

    Need to use less hammers! And be patient enough to go to LBS and get things reamed, threads chased etc. Even if I wanted to get new headset now, going to have to get spacer in a vice to get it off again.

  • Thought I might list some of the costs accumulating.. (new unless stated)

    Frameset: 120
    Miche Young Wheels: 107
    HG51 11-30 Casette: 11.50
    KMC X8 93 Chain: 7.25
    Schwalbe Stelvio Tyres: 20
    Inner tubes: 6
    Gear & brake cables (colour matched): 13
    105 front mech: 5 (from a friend)
    deore lx rear mech: free (from me)
    Shimano 600 chainset: 30 (ebay)
    Cyclus Chainring bolt tool: 13 (need to swap some rings around)
    Miche Brakeset: 17.59
    Bottle Cage: 3.95
    bar end shiters & brake levers: 40
    Cable stops: free (me)
    Bar tape: 4

    remaining to get
    38cm compact drop Bars: 14 (found on ebay but undecided still)
    Dia compe headset: 10 (wiggle, still not sure if its the right size)

  • That's a lovely frame!

  • I only hope I do it justice.

  • Ok, about time for an update. There has not been much progress of putting it together but I have received a few things:

    I was very excited about these wheels, they looked great and seemed to be built really well. I very rarely buy stuff like this new, so to get a miche box fastened with campagnolo distributors tape was somewhat of a luxury. To my surprise, they were actually made in ITALY. Which is surprising considering their low cost.

    I couldnt wait to stick the tyres on the wheels but I realised I had no rim tapes! And I never had even any PVC tape which I have often used. So had to leave that. I also wanted to stick the cassette straight on, but I ran into a big hurdle here that I did non expect with a set of new wheels. The lockring just would not go on. The threads seemed to be very undercut, could only get it on a single thread. So irritatingly this had to wait too. I wrote to fatbirds and left it a few days, after getting no reply I decided to have a go at forcing it on today. After all casette torque settings are a whopping 40NM. I was really careful, backing of several times and using grease. I was surprised at how many turns it needed and I kept doubting it, as I often fuck up bike parts in a fit of furious bodging. But thankfully it was a success. Risky with a aluminium freehub though.

  • The cranks on the left are the shimano 600 cranks I bought off ebay. They are too big at 170mm but luckily they came with some very nice TA rings attached. I decided to move these over to some 600 tricolour cranks I used to have on my fixed. They are only 165mm. I find chainring bolts (the rear side) extremely fiddly and prone to getting fucked up. So I invested in professional chainring bolt tool. I was a little underwhelmed when it arrived. Doesnt seem worth £15 but I look forward to using it.

    I also got a very nice bottom bracket. But I again had another unexpected hurdle when I realised the bike needed an italian BB. If fell straight through! So another cost!

    The KMC X8 chain was a good bargain at 7.25, much better than the chains on any of my own bikes. Also the HG51 cassette was surprisingly one of the higher end ones, as all the sprockets were drilled out.

  • How did this beauty end up turning out?

  • I got stuck in a rut last minute, I need the aid of someone with frame prep tools to chase the BB and fork threads. Everything has been lying waiting for a couple months, very frustrating!

  • My 650c dura ace wheels are clincher, not tubular!

  • If I'd found this thread earlier I'd have given you some tyres! They're new Hutchinson and all black.

  • DFP - what state are the bb threads in? If you having trouble locating someone with an italian tap you can make a rudimentary one from an old steel italian cup/cone BB - Might be worth it?

  • The thread are perfect, just a bit tight from some light corrosion. To be honest I have half solved the BB issue already, I just need to get myself a 8mm bolt to hold my BB tool in place so I can tighten appropriately.

    Its the headset affair that I am stuck on, the crown race will probably get on with a proper press. But the threaded part of the fork just doesnt seem to match with my headset top nuts. The thread doesn't line up and it is extremely tight, like its too big.

  • Was going around in circles for months trying to get help from various people to no avail. In desperation I finally turned to my LBS which is about 300m from where I live. And low and behold they sorted out the fork threads and BB installation for me, as a favour no less!

    So, got the bike finished just in time for a cycling trip to peak district tomorrow. Have spent all day teaching my sis to use derailieur gears. She is somewhat overwhelmed my the jump from a rattly 70's 3 speed. Bike turned out really good. The budget miche brakes + standard blocks are working better than any road brakes ive used. The gears were extremely quick to setup and work super crisp.

    My only difficulty was wrapping bar tape as my usual technique proved incompatible with bar end shifters!

  • At last! Really nice bike. Some small bikes look really cute

  • We need more pictures of the bike!

    glossy photos of girls on bikes thread >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Looks ace btw

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Luigi Fontana 650c road bike

Posted by Avatar for DFP @DFP