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Member since May 2017 • Last active Oct 2021
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    Bit of an update following the first ride this weekend!

    Got invited down to Thruxton for the 10 mile TT to mark 25 years since the weird and wonderful were banned by the UCI along with a handful of other pre-96 bikes.

    Was a great day out meeting people and seeing how a proper TT is done (people take it a lot more seriously than I did, apparently 'training' is a thing you should d0?), was my first one and I'd definitely like to do some more. Slow as fuck but it was great to have it back out. Didn't realise quite how small the frame is, so going to put some work into raising the seat next, it's a good 3-4" below where I'd like it to be and my knees are not thanking me for it today!

    Some photos below - have put the bike back more or less to its '94 spec. Cinelli XA with Tempos, 3TTT Bio Arms, Comete sourced from France and a replica GAN graphic made up for it. Bonus pic of me going full-kit wanker because someone had to.

    The bike does, however, now need a new front wheel as I managed to drive over the cosmic on my way out. Always check you've put everything in the car before leaving...

    Looking forward to putting it back into slightly more frequent use! If anyone's got a front Mavic 3G tucked away, I'd give it a very good home here.

    Cheers to everyone who's helped get it to this point :)

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    Haha, cheers! The yellow's growing on me but I think I'm just gonna rock tan walls - will be super nice tying all that together though...

    Anyway, round-up from the weekend:

    With the BB soaked, wrapped in some rags & grabbed with the big grips it spun off pretty easily. Fitting it was easy as anything, couple firm taps with a mallet and it was in. Can definitely feel how tight it is to the threads but it didn't protest too much - friends reunited I suppose!

    Tooling for the final fit was the next question (currently only hand tight) - fortunately another Lotus owner runs a shop up in Ipswich and has the proper tools for it all, so I'm gonna pop up there this weekend coming and get it tightened / aligned properly. Cost of tools vs cost of 30miles in the car with something I hope I'll never have to touch again is a no brainer! Quite nice to have a 'final form' build for a change, everything else I've ever had is always guaranteed to be changed again with my mood.

    BB in (sort of), I couldn't resist getting the cranks on. I picked these up cheap from a group on FB, then spent almost as much as the crankset on a replacement dust cover - says a lot about their respective prices! Tarty bit, but it really completes it, great copy from some dude in Poland. Spot the original:

    Project (dogject?) manager checked in on progress:

    With those on, I could get the chain replaced and give the front derailleur a tentative set up. I'll run new cables when I get the bar extensions mounted, so for now just doing a little recycling. Deeply satisfying before & after of chains:

    Plus a look at the old cassette - fair to say those teeth have seen some things. I switched it over to the 3g but will absolutely be next on the replacement list. The Sugino it came off will also be making an appearance til the stars and my bank balance align on a Comete. I still think it's a massively cool and thoroughly bizarre thing, this was always the 'no breeze on the A127' wheel and must have done thousands and thousands of miles over the years.

    With the drivetrain loosely assembled, I started running some new cables where I could. As mentioned previously, I rather zealously took the OG 600 groupset off and pulled the inner brake line through. Fortunately my dad had the good sense to run an outer the whole way through the frame when building it, so replacement was a breeze. Old outer was looking sorry for itself, so that was replaced thanks to the magic of insulating tape.

    Things got a bit bendy at the bar end - the bullhorns are drilled for internal routing which is 1: rad and 2: awkward. Fairly easy 'til you try and mount levers and get everything butted right up to what it wants to be.

    Was also a nice reminder that I need to give the frame some love and repair the 25+ year old crack coming out from under the calliper mount. It terminates at a circular hole though, so the learned engineer / former trials rider in my head says it's no drama. Rear brake feels super nice though - going to leave the front off 'til I've decided on the stem for ease of swapping.

    And that's about that, for now:

    Next up is to decide on a stem, tighten the BB up, replace the cassette, remember where I put the bar extension brackets & elbow supports (somewhere in the abyss of the garage), run new gear cables, tyres, bar tape... Then it should be good to go.

    Only outstanding parts to find are a 305 headset and some shoes to match these Time pedals... Think that may be a dream for another time, so I've got some Mavics which take Look cleats which I can revert back to.

    All in all, much more straightforward than I anticipated. No doubt when I swap the headset I'll take the front of the frame off or the forks are gonna snap on the next ride or something. More soon.

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    I've been looking forward to this weekend a lot, so much so I even bought a bike stand after 15 years of doing it as awkwardly and uncomfortably as possible. Did I bring it with me today? Did I fuck.

    Still, the grass holds the bike up fine so I set to the first job of the day. Shimano BB's done great service but I've heard bad things about overtightened 631 cranks on slightly-wrong-pitch axles, so decided to see whether the BB shell would stay bonded into the frame while removing it... A bit of wincing later and it's all still in the right place. Interesting to see the machined inset chamfer here as the retail frames apparently just had standard British-threaded shells in them, one for the nerds there. Also gave me a chance to admire the chain rash the stay has enjoyed over the years - doesn't seem structural but it's definitely not one to look at too closely... Can see why these Mavic BBs are touted as having eternal life too, compared to the Shimano they are thicc.

    Next up, bars. I love the ITMs - they're rad-looking and feel so nice but for those 1994 team-issue dreams I'm switching to a Mavic set up. Also, as you can see from the underside, my dad took no prisoners with them - check the crack. Gear cables should go again with a bit of lube, then it's just to re-run the brakes. Already made the mistake of pulling the rear inner through the frame so can't wait to sit there with a hoover and some thread to rectify that.

    While I was faffing with the little things, a moment of massive satisfaction came from putting the mech on. One bolt and literally nothing achieved but it always feels like a big step forward when the visible bits of a groupset are coming together... In my box of bits above, I was given an 841 which is the mid-cage BB for triple cranks. This week, I bit the bullet and bought a NOS 840 with the short cage from a very nice bloke on Retrobike. Cool things these.

    Unfortunately, one of the lockrings on the BB is a little stiff and, without the right tools (yet) I couldn't beast it without a guarantee of mashing something, so it's sat crank-less for now while that soaks in penetrant.

    Popped the bars on just as it started raining, and that's where I had to call it a morning! Feeling super motivated for the rest of the weekend though - just look at it! Needs to do at least a lap of the block by Monday.

    A little unsure on stem choice, I've used a Mavic 365 from the Zap era here which looks real smart - it had a Cinelli XA back in the day but I might keep this one. Do have an XA also, but it's a 130 and I'm not sure how much of a toboggan I want this to be - one to keep an eye on eBay for no doubt.

    So there we are - not huge progress but stoked for another go tomorrow when the weather picks up. For now, barbecue & beers.

  • in Current Projects
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    Does not disappoint. Excellent project manager you've got there, look forward to the next update!

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    This thread's great. Coppi build's awesome, absolutely love the Ammaco though - must be great having that sorted after so long! Looks like heaps of fun and, as another late-dad-rig custodian, the connection when you ride them is super nice.

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    Oh wow... How nice is that paintwork! Here's to hoping git's not permanently buried beneath the ming of time.

    Can't wait to see how you get on with this!

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    Speaking of bar positions, this was posted by the 110 Club over the weekend - some epic historical photo digging goes on back there!

    Mental set of bars made from all sorts of chopped and welded metal to put your back out for gains -

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    Dead right on the above re; Zap, I've never seen a photo of him riding anything other than 1x gearing on the 110. That's a statement of intent if ever there was one. I'll be going full Pascal with this as I am definitely not as much of a man as Boardman, though I do have a 58T ring for these cranks (!)

    Anyway, typically long overdue update. Got all I need to make it work now which is great, although I've ended up with a mid-length derailleur rather than the short cage I really need. May have to commit an atrocity against TT bikes and use it while I wait for a standard 840 (or better still a short cage to swap onto this one) to turn up, but there's no events on the horizon just yet so maybe I'll just leave that til last... Also got the Mavic bullhorns & extensions to go on, so looking forward to a weekend of bike fettling.

    The pedal conundrum's gonna be a good one. Picked up two sets of these Time Equipe Magnesiums as they were the team-issued part, then realised how hard it is to find shoes to match. Fortunately the Mavic ones got thrown into a deal this weekend so at least I've got a standard Look-compatible version to tide it over.

    A more exciting update to follow this weekend, I hope.

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    @ojwithbits is a very good dude - super easy chat and helpful from start to finish, beacon of hope amongst a day of central London traffic. Cheers man!