Alan CX neo retro build

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  • Last January I got myself a Cannondale CAADX gravelbike (much too overshooting stuff for my needs, with Ultegra 6800 disc groupset and all of that). Very great deal (got 35% off) and nice riding it but I missed the lightness and responsivity of the CX bikes I used to ride back in the nineties. Disc brakes on a CX are fantastic but the CAADX felt more like riding an army tank than a crossbike. So when I recently got this nice ano red 1985 Alan Competizione offered, I couldn't resist.


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  • The first plan was building a neo retro CX bike but that changed very quickly to building it era correct with a Campagnolo Superrecord. But when I started working on the bike, I first noticed why it was so cheap: all but one cable stops were ruined. F%*ing hell, the frame looked useless.


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  • But I remembered the guy I met in bike repair classes and so I knew I could get them easily off by heating them (to break the epoxy bonding). But it wasn't even necessary heating them, I just had to screw them loose.

    On the Bay I found some similar new stops so ordered them right away.


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  • Today I went shopping. Bought 2,5 x 10 mm screws, a clamp and a DIY epoxy gun.


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  • And this is how far I'm now. Stops are drying.

    In the mean time, I changed plans. I recently came to the point that I've had it with vintage stuff that works shitty (I have a cellar full of 80's road bikes...) so I decided to go modern on this one. That is: brifters, compact chainset and a minimum of 9 cogs in the rear. Still to decide what groupset to put on it: a 9 speed Record Titanium or a 10 speed Force...


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  • Brakes will be these Frogsleggs and crankset a nineties Race Face (need to clean it as it still got nineties mud on it...), I still had in my spares box


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  • Great project and yes to 10 speed Force

  • subbed, this is gonna be good!

  • Used some free time to work on this one. Cable stops seem OK so cleaned up the BB thread to install the "new" BB. This didn't go as I hoped it would go as I had some issues to get a good chain line (the Race Face is actually a mountainbike crankset).

    As I only wanted to use parts I already have on this build, I decided to go modern on the BB/crankset combination and installed my S950 crankset.

    Had some issues with the frogleggs too so changed these to black Deore LX canti's. These should do the job as I only intend to use this bike in (more or less) dry conditions. Muddy stuff will drive me to take the 'dale out.


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  • And at the end of today, it's starting to look like a bike.


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  • Lovely

  • Nice, what are those cranks? Non-series?

    EDIT- S950, thought so I just didnt read properly

  • Nice! Neo Retro CX, definitely a cool niche!

  • Sram S950. Think they were non-series, indeed.

  • Thanks.

    It is actually a test. I want to know how this older geo performs (call it a methodical doubt on my romantic idea of how it all was better in the past ;-)) and, if it really is better than the CAADX, will use the geo to have a new steel frame built. Plan is to put the Ultegra 11 Disc groupset (from my CAADX) on that new frameset. and sell the CAADX.

  • Interesting test, there's also the chance that the old alan frame and the new components are the best combination. Jan Heine seems to love his CX alan and apparently it was one of the most successful CX frames of all time (but you probably knew that already)

    My old Alan worked really well, too. I really love how the bike seems to spring out of corners like a cheetah – it really “planes” well for me. It may be old-fashioned these days, but it still works as well as it did when I first raced it almost 20 years ago. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: These bikes have won more ‘cross world championships than any other.

    https://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/11/1­4/why-i-love-cyclocross/

  • My brother and I rode one winterseason on 2 (rented) Alan/Guerciotti frames (the mid nineties ones, with carbon tubing) and both broke after only a coouple of weeks. That's when I started to distrust these bikes (they all had a bit the same problem: the lugs failed) and never rode one since. Untill this one... I must confess I'm still not confident about it and only will be when it's still there by next summer. :-)

  • I might as well just buy a new Alan...

  • Grrreat! This is gonna be a lovely bike!

  • I have a real fondness for skinny CX bikes.

    Sub'd to this.

    I remember Alan's being really whippy.

  • I did a driveway test today and braking felt like the aluminium front forks were about to bend... :)

  • Ready for her maiden trip.


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  • looking great!

  • Thanks!

  • Look very good. Where's the maiden race?

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Alan CX neo retro build

Posted by Avatar for WimVDD @WimVDD

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