Masi Nuovo Strada – the tweaks

The Masi build was finished, but there were some changes I felt were needed.

First, the Koolstop brake holders and pads just didn’t look right. I had picked up a set of Campagnolo replacement pads for the Chorus pad holders, but they slipped into the holders a little too easily. Rolling the bike back with the brakes applied would have probably slid the pads out of the holders – not good. A friend suggested that I look for Clark pads and I found them on ebay coming from the UK. Once they arrived, I found they fit the holders perfectly, and installed them. Then I swapped the Chorus holders and pads in place of the Koolstops, and we have Campagnolo braking bliss again.

Second, the tubulars on the Mavic GP4 rims were Yellow Jersey 3-fers, and I wanted top end tubulars for this bike. I picked up a set of Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ tubulars, and decided to use Effetto Mariposa tape to mount them. This would be my first set mounted with tape, I had used Panaracer glue on the YJ tubs the first time. The Effetto rim cleaner worked very well, and you could not tell that a tub had ever been mounted on the rims. The actual taping for the tubs was anti-clamactic – it took less than 10 minutes per wheel. I left a small section of the rim untaped opposite the valve stem, to make it easier to remove the tub if an on-the-road swap was needed. Put the tape on, press it firmly onto the rim, and fold the plastic film over the edge of the rim. I used cellophane tape to hold the plastic film in place while I installed the tub. Add some air, up to about 40 psi or so, and straightened the tub so that it tracked as it should. Then you just pull the plastic film out, recheck the alignment, and add air up to 120psi. Let it sit at that pressure for a day or so and it’s done.

The latex tubes in the Vittoria tubs lose pressure after a few days, but I always top off the tires before every ride whether tubs or clinchers so that’s no real issue for me. They ride beautifully, making chip seal roads feel almost like fresh tarmac, except for the sound. After talking with more experienced riders, I decided to try higher pressures than I had been using – I’m at 95F and 110R now, and the performance is great. The Corsa Speed tubs are not renowned for their puncture resistance, but either I’ve been lucky this year or I’m careful where I ride (maybe a bit of both) and they’re fine.

Centenario Coppi 2019 – Hollandale, WI

First, sincere thanks to Dave and Rob for their behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-camera hard work. It would not have been the success it was without your efforts. THANK YOU.

I missed the warmup ride on Friday, but the Friday get-together at Tony’s Tap was great. Nice to see some friends from previous rides, and to put names with new friend’s faces. This is a really remarkable group – different backgrounds, ages, education, jobs, from different parts of the country – but we all enjoy cycling and the people it brings together.

On Saturday morning, we met at the guest house for another warmup ride. Immediately, we’re climbing – this is a theme that repeats itself many times. Good roads, and the group stopped often enough to keep everyone together. In Dodgeville, we rode a rails-to-trails that I think is called the Military Ridge Trail. It ran the gamut – pavement, chip-n-seal, gravel, sand, and mud. The muddy parts made it a little risky to keep the speed up, but I don’t think there were any casualties. We agreed to meet up again at the A&W in Dodgeville for a root beer (as a recovery drink, of course), and then to head back together. A quick shower, and it was off to Hollandale to set up the bikes for the show. There were some VERY nice machines there, and some that are the only example of the breed (at least the only examples I’ve seen). A lot of time to talk and meet folks that weren’t at Tony’s the night before. Think about the accumulated bicycle knowledge that was in the Hollandale town hall on Saturday – truly staggering. There was bread, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to take the edge off before dinner. The dinner was first rate, can’t say enough good things about it. Afterwards the awards were handed out, and I apologize for not remembering the recipients. Then we packed up the bikes, cleaned up, and headed back to our various accomodations. Sunday’s ride awaits.

We met at the Hollandale town hall again Sunday morning at 8am, for coffee, scones, bananas, and other assorted delicacies. Fuel, you know. Dave and Rob were in the cat-herding business and were mostly successful. We rolled out around 9am, and guess what – a relatively flat start for a little while, then a right turn and a respectable climb. Someone had painted a purple COPPI on the road about 2/3 of the way up. The climb and subsequent descent theme played out often and was unrelenting. A couple of the climbs on County Road Z and Sandy Rock just weren’t fair – you crest what you think is the top, only to see a “wall” yet to be climbed. It wasn’t actually a wall when you got to it, but it was a little demoralizing to see it and realize that you’re not even close to being finished with that climb. But you persevere and you earn the reward on the other side.

One of the descents early on came up to a T, with a left turn and the fresh chip-n-seal had left a fair amount of loose gravel right where you needed to stop and check for traffic. There were a few skidmarks in that gravel when I got there, but I didn’t see any evidence of bandages, blood, or surplus bike parts – so apparently everyone got through that part safely. County Z had a few rough spots, but for the most part the roads were in great shape. My GPS track showed a couple of descents at over 40mph, so I guess the work to climb up for them was worth it.

The rest-stops-that-weren’t-rest-stops-because-this-was-an-unsupported-ride were welcome, and a sincere thanks to those folks spending their time to help a bunch of moderately-insane cyclists enjoy a great ride in beautiful southwest Wisconsin.

Brats back at the Hollandale town hall afterwards were a nice way to crown off the weekend. Congrats to Allan and Pete  for being beasts. A welcome to his first event to Nic with his very nicely done Trek. Nic and I rode together on Saturday and Sunday, and I enjoyed that very much.

I feel privileged to have enjoyed the people, bikes, and the rides as much as I did.

Masi Nuovo Strada – the wrap

The Chorus polished alloy calipers seemed a little sluggish.  So I took them apart and gave them a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner.  Lubed them with Chain-L, and reassembled them.  They’re now installed and centered – they look great with the rest of the alloy group.  The replacement pads arrived, but they are loose in the Campagnolo holders.  I’m going to use some Koolstop pads and holders for now, and I’ll sort out the Campy pads/holders later.

The 32 tooth small chainring arrived, so I removed the crankbolt and pulled the crankarm off the BB.  Switching the chainrings took less time than the disasssembly, and then it all went back together.  The 12-30 cassette is here, and I swapped it onto the rear hub.  I installed the Wippermann chain and sized it to big-big plus 1.  That’s the drivetrain ready for cables.

I traded another 13-26 cassette to Rob for a Cinelli 1A stem and Cinelli 64-40 bars.  A little polishing on the stem and the center of the bars and they’re ready to install.  I took a guess at the stem height and bar angle – it’s as good a starting point as any.  The levers are slipped on and tightened (mostly) so that the cables can be installed.

I installed the shift cables and checked to be sure that cable is pulled and released by the shifters.  Fit the front housing sections and put them in place, then cut some cable liner to use around the BB shell – there are grooves for the shift cables, and hopefully the cable liner will cut down on friction and prevent road dirt from causing shift problems.

There is a small hiccup with the rear derailleur housing section – the “diver’s bell” cable stop on the DS chainstay has an opening too small for the stepdown ferrules I have.  I don’t want to zip tie the housing to the chainstay, I want the correct part.  The proper OD of the small section is 3.5mm.  I’m looking for the correct ferrule now.  Found it, and the shift cabling is complete.

I taped the cables to the bars and will wrap the bars once the lever positions are correct.  It will take a few miles to be sure they’re right, but it’s worth it to wrap the bars just once.

Now on to the brake cables.  I usually install the brake housings first – it probably doesn’t matter in the long run but that sequence works for me.  This is the only frame I have where the rear brake cable runs inside the top tube.  It doesn’t use any additional ferrules, and the install was straightforward.  I’ve read that some internal cable runs are a nightmare, but fortunately this was an easy one.  That’s the brakes installed and adjusted.

A test ride is next, so I double-checked that all fasteners are properly tightened, aired up the tubublars, and rode out.  Firstly, the brakes work.  That’s the important part right up front.  Shifting the chain to the middle of the range in back, I checked the front shifting – works fine, but takes 1 extra click to shift compared to the double chainrings on my other bikes.  Staying in the middle ring up front, checked out the rear shifting.  It works fine, but the top pulley makes contact with the cogs in the lowest three gears.  I need a roadlink to move the rear derailleur down a little bit.  The chain has some sag in small-small, but that combination is pretty severely cross-chained and I won’t use it anyway.  Such is the result with a medium-cage rear derailleur with a triple.

Afterwards, I crimped caps on the ends of the shift and brake cables, and wrapped the bars.  For now, that’s the Masi finished.


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Masi Nuovo Strada – chainwrap issues

The first problem to solve is to determine the width of the bottom bracket (BB).  It needs to be wide enough that the inner chainring does not contact the driveside chainstay.  3-4mm is enough clearance to allow for some frame flex during hard efforts.  On this frame, the 115mm width gives me the necessary clearance.  The 111mm version might have been cutting it a little too close, but it’s difficult to see the actual chainline without installing the chain.  For now, the BB is greased and installed, cups torqued to spec.

The crankarms are installed, using blue loctite on the crank bolts.  I greased the washer and the bolt shoulder before torquing them to spec.

Installing the front and rear derailleurs is simple.  This frame has a mount for a braze-on FD, so just a single bolt is used.  I set the bottom of the FD cage with a couple of mm clearance to the large chainring.  The RD fastens to the dropout hanger and is tightened in place.

Now some calculations are needed, to be sure that the derailleurs can properly shift the chain across all of the cogs in the back, and the chainrings in front.  This is called chainwrap capacity, and this number is provided by the manufacturer for a specific rear derailleur.  Their numbers are generally conservative and you can usually exceed them by a little bit without creating a problem.  The medium cage Campagnolo Chorus rear derailleur has a chainwrap capacity of 36.  You can calculate your chainwrap requirements by finding the difference between the largest and smallest cogs in the back (30-12=18) and the chainrings in the front (52-30=22) and adding those results together (18+22=40).  That’s 4 larger than Campagnolo says will work, so I either need to accept some chain sag with certain gear combinations, or adjust the gearing to better meet the RD specs.

A long cage rear derailleur would solve the problem, but they are basically unobtanium and very expensive when and if you find one.  I could use a rear cassette with a smaller big ring, but I’m building a climbing bike and I want the 30t cog in the back.  I could make the large and middle chainrings smaller, going with 50-40-30, which would lower the chainwrap to 38.  Those rings are expensive.  What I chose to do was to replace the 30t small chainring with a 32t chainring.  With 2 extra teeth, I now have a chainwrap of 38 – still larger then the recommended 36, but only by 2.  Some careful adjusting of the B screw and it should work fine.

Sure, you can bolt parts together and they will usually work, but sometimes not very well.  A bike that doesn’t shift reliably, or brake well,  isn’t going to be an enjoyable ride and will probably gather dust rather than being ridden.  Part of the challenge of bike builds is to make all of the components work well together.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Masi Nuovo Strada – the build begins

An Italian bike – a Masi no less.  They’re none too common in the smaller frame sizes, so when this one showed up, I picked it up straight away.  Getting it home took some finagling.  The seller dropped the bike at Village Cycle Shoppe in Cocoa, FL, and they packed it up for me.  I sent them a bikeflights label to get it up here.

I stripped the frame and cleaned it up, and shipped it to my paint guru, Duane at chestercycles.com.  There are some scratches that need attention, but he will (as usual) do a fantastic job with it.  I picked up the frame from Duane on March 7th, and it is stunning.  The red paint looks about an inch deep and the chrome fork is a great accent.

I have a full Chorus 3×10 drivetrain that I was going to install on the Lemond Zurich, but the Italian Masi practically screams Campagnolo, to me, anyway.  So, the Zurich will get a different group and the Campy group goes on this Masi.

I’m going to use the Chorus-hubbed Mavic rims with tubulars on this one – that combination seems appropriate too.

I sprayed Framesaver inside the frame tubes, and twisted the frame around to ensure that all tube surfaces have been coated.  Then, it sits for a day or two.

I greased and pressed the headset cups into the headtube, installed the crown race onto the fork, and installed the fork.  The wheels for this bike are already built, I laced Chorus hubs to Mavic GP4 tubular rims with DT Swiss spokes.  I have a rolling chassis (frameset?) now.

2019 Ride Across INdiana – the RAIN ride

It’s ambitious – a one day ride across the state of Indiana – 165 miles from Terre Haute to Richmond.  Not impossible, but definitely a challenging ride.  The forecasts had temperatures in the mid-90s, with a light wind out of the southwest.  Those forecasts were pretty close, but on to the story.

I got to Richmond about 3 in the afternoon, just minutes after my riding buddy Rob.  We got our bikes ready to go on the bike truck for their trip from Richmond to Terre Haute.  We were supposed to leave at 4pm, but we wound up leaving at 4:45, and after some rerouting around a crash and road construction, finally got to Saint Mary of the Woods College, the start point and our accomodations for the night.  We picked up our bikes, rider packets, and dorm room keys.  I took my bike, overnight bag, and the bag with my cycling gear up to the room.  I put lights, the GPS, and top tube bag with energy bars and gu on the bike.  It’s ready to go, just need to air up the tires before we head out tomorrow morning.

Went out to get a bite to eat with Rob, Allan, and Allan’s wife Donna.  Good conversation and dinner, but we all needed to get some sleep as tomorrow’s start is coming early.  Rob and Allan were going to ride from the Illinois state line to the start, and I was going to meet them at the start at 6am.  While we got ready to go, it was dark but sunrise was imminent.  Filled the water bottles with Gatorate, and the Camelbak with ice water.  Since we weren’t coming back to Terre Haute, my overnight bag went in the back of Allan’s truck for the trip to Richmond.

Turned in the room key, and I was off and riding. not knowing what the day would bring.

The first bit of riding is in Terre Haute, basically south on IN-150 towards US-40 which is our main road to Richmond.  There were some climbs in the initial miles, but nothing I would call a major climb.  Made it to the first rest stop at 40 miles without too much trouble.   I fell in with a group of riders from Columbus, Indiana.  They were riding at 16-18mph, which is a good pace and the paceline made it very manageable.  About 30 miles or so into the ride, the group ramped up the pace on a climb and I let them go.  I probably could have stayed with them, but I would have paid a price for that effort later in the day.

From the first rest stop to the second at 66 miles in, the route was basically east on US-40.  A few climbs,  again nothing huge, and made it to the second rest stop.  Close to the rest stop, we left US-40.  The temperature was climbing and the sweating was in top gear.  I was drinking a lot, and eating as I rode.  I filled my bottles and the Camelbak, and set out for the lunch stop.

The third stop, the lunch stop, came at 95 miles in.  I stopped several times in the shade of trees on this stretch, to drink and eat, and to rest a bit.  This was the hard stretch for me, as the temperature continued to climb and the heat was catching up with me.  This section was on narrower roads, 2-lanes, and being later in the day there was more traffic.  There was a detour around construction just before the lunch stop, by the time I got there I was pretty much done.  Sat around a bit, drinking and eating a little, and made the decision to call it at 95 miles into the ride.  Not an easy decision, but it was the right one to make.

However that left a minor (major) problem in that my truck was waiting for me in Richmond, 65 miles away.  I needed to find a ride from Franklin Community School that could take not only me, but my bike as well.  Luck was with me, because the first people I asked about a ride to Richmond were happy to haul me and my bike.  Really nice folks, and a sincere thank-you to them for their Hoosier hospitality and the ride back to Richmond.

Back in Richmond, I was there to see my riding buddy Allan finish the ride.  That left Rob still out on the route.  Went to take a shower, which was good but would have been better had the water been a little cooler.  Oh, well.  I was back in Richmond, Allan had finished, Donna was there as well, and Rob was inbound.  When I got back from the shower, Rob had texted Allan that he was a couple of hours out.  I made the difficult decision to head south for home instead of waiting 2 hours for Rob to finish.  I know he will be OK with it, but I will probably regret that decision for a while.  I told Allan and Donna goodbye, and headed back home.  With construction delays and closed roads around Indianapolis, I finally got home at 11:15pm.  A long day, but I will be back to start and finish next year.

Lemond Zurich build – wrap up

The maiden voyage was a success.  The Vittoria Corsa tires and latex tubes are great at 90/95, I give them an “A” rating.  Coming from Campagnolo groups, it was a little different to downshift using the brake lever, but that sorted itself out pretty quickly.  Upshifts are done with the small lever behind the brake lever, instead of the button on the side of the lever housing.  Again, just a little adjustment to make.

Brake modulation is good and they stop well and silently.  No need for new pads just yet.

I made a couple of small adjustments when I got home.  I tilted the saddle up a little bit, and straightened the right lever on the bars.  Ready to wrap the bars.

A little grease came out around the axle seals, so I cleaned that up and rechecked the preload on the front and rear axles.  All good to go.

There is a small issue with shifting.  When I shifted to the largest cog in the back, the first shift to a smaller cog was a “blank” in that the lever moved, but nothing happened.  Pressing the lever again worked properly, and all other shifts are fine.  I need to sort this out, but may need some help with people more experienced with Dura Ace shifting and setup.

All things considered, this is a very nice ride.  I like the Lemond geometry, and the 853 steel frame is first rate.  I must admit that the Dura Ace group is very nice (being a Campagnolo advocate), and with a little tweak it should be perfect.  Coupled with the tires and tubes, this is definitely a keeper.

The bars are wrapped and the Zurich is finished.  Photos to follow soon.

 

Lemond Zurich build continues, part 2

When I bought the 7800 group, it came with an 11-28 10 speed cassette.  I have no real use for an 11t cog, and a larger cog would be useful on the hills around here.  So I picked up an Ultegra 12-30 cassette.  Normally, the Dura Ace RD won’t handle a 30t cog, so I installed a Roadlink to give me the clearance I need.

Ran the cables and housing for the brakes.  I chose yellow housing (Jagwire Pro) for both brakes and shifting, as it is compressionless, lined housing for good braking and reliable indexed shifting performance.  I may need to replace the brake pads, don’t know that just yet.  They look fine, but we’ll see how they perform on the test ride.

I removed the old downtube cable stops and installed the new ones.  I’m looking through my bike parts to find the BB cable guide I need for the shift cables.  Found it, and installed it.  Ran the shift cable for the front derailleur.  No issues with it so far, limit screws are set, but will have to wait for the rear derailleur to be sure that it’s good on both chainrings and at either end of the cassette.  Ran the rear derailleur shift cable, and it’s shifting up and down the cassette without any real issues.  The FD adjustment seems good, but I needed a little more tension on the RD cable to dial in the shifts perfectly.

Taped the brake housing to the bars, and checked everything over.

Received the 50t chainring, so loosened the chainring bolts and swapped the 53t chainring for the 50t, being careful that the pin is oriented with the crankarm.  After installing the smaller chainring, removed one set of links.   I also lowered the FD just a touch.  Might be able to remove another set, but will hold off on that for now.

It’s ready for the maiden voyage, and I’m planning on a 30+ mile ride on Saturday morning with some folks that leaves from the Hoptown Y at 7am.

Lemond Zurich build continues, part 1

I cut some 3M paint film for each side of the headtube, for the bottom of the downtube, and for the top of the DS chainstay.  Now the most commonly chipped and abraded paint is protected.

The steerer/headset issues have been sorted out (thanks to Rob and an extra keyed washer) and the fork is installed.

Installed the Hollowtech II crankset, which took just a few seconds more than typing this sentence.  The front and rear brake calipers are installed, along with the front and rear derailleurs.  The Ritchey Classic seatpost and the Brooks saddle is installed, and I’ve positioned it to match the Merckx measurements.

The stem, a Nitto Pearl, is installed along with the handlebars which are Nitto B115 alloy.  The brakes/shifters are next.  Handlebars set and semi-tightened, levers are installed and lined up.

Next I laced the H+Son TB14 rims to DA 7400 hubs, using DT Swiss Competition double-butted spokes.  I need to swap the 7401 freehub for a 7403 freehub so that I can use a 10 speed cassette.  I was lucky enough to pick up a 7403 hubset and the tools I need to do the swap.

It was a bear to remove the 7403 freehub from the donor hub.  I had to lace it into a spare rim to be able to apply enough torque to remove it.  But it’s off, and cleaned up now.  Removed the 7401 freehub from the “real” hub so I can replace it with the 7403.  Then the 10 speed cassette can be installed.

I cleaned up the 7403 freehub and let it soak in a bath of Mobil 1 gear oil for a couple of days.  Let it drain for a couple of days, then cleaned the oil off the threads that go into the hub.  Odd not to use  any kind of lube on these threads, but that’s what Shimano says, so I followed their directions.  The freehub is on, and the 10 speed cassette fits fine.

2019 Bourbon and Tobacco Tour – a great weekend’s riding

We hit a weather jackpot this weekend, low 80s for a high and sunny on both days.  You can’t do a lot better than that in Kentucky in June.  The postponing of the ride from the original April date worked out well, and also meant that Allan was able to come and ride, as he had a commitment in April.  Even better.

Just a great ride on Saturday.  Drivers were very courteous, no close passes, didn’t hear a single car horn, waited behind as we crested a hill, and one driver even stopped in the northbound lane so that we could turn across the lane in front of him.  Makes me proud to live in Kentucky.  Allan, Rob, Bob, Ron, and I rolled out at 10am.  The hills come quickly and are unrelenting.  There are 5 climbs in the first few miles, all of them over 6%, a couple at 8% and one close to 10%. They wake up the legs pretty quick. Then there were some rollers, and some flat sections as we worked our way north and then west towards the Woodlands Trace road. The Woodlands Trace road has several climbs, not overly steep but longer than the earlier climbs.

Rob had positioned his truck at the midpoint, and we had coolers with ice water, gatorade, coke, cookies, and bananas waiting for us. Worked out great. The second section had a navigation problem, in that the ridewithgps maps showed a road connecting back to the main east-west road, but it doesn’t. It turns to gravel and dead-ends at Lake Barkley. Asked a park ranger how best to get where we needed to go, and got there just fine. There is a steep hill, 10.9% grade, on the second part of the ride. It is a butt-kicker. I was with Bob and we went up it once – I walked a good part of it. Going back down was fun too, once we had the proper route in our heads. My top speed was 42mph on the descent.

We met back at the start point and headed out to grab a shower and meet back at my house for a cookout, some libations, and of course, bike stories.

Rob and Allan brought pizza to my house for an appetizer, and we had burgers, chips, pasta salad (made by my wife Amy), and spent the time talking and figuring out riding plans for the rest of the summer. A good time, great people, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s ride.  Bob had to head back to Memphis after dinner, so that left Rob, Allan, and I to ride tomorrow.  Ron had plans for Sunday and couldn’t join us.

Now to get things in order for the gravel ride tomorrow. The creek crossing should provide some entertainment.

Sunday was another great day out riding in LBL. We decided to take a shorter road ride today, instead of riding gravel. We met at the Visitor Center at 8am, and headed south shortly afterwards. We wound up at the Kentucky-Tennessee state line again, and took some photos for proof that we were actually there.

A few hills, but less demanding than yesterday’s ride. Rob got a flat a couple of miles from the end, so we stopped and offered sage advice and constructive criticism of his tube-changing skills even without being asked. It seemed like the proper thing to do – you know, being helpful and supportive and all of that. Afterwards, we were back at the truck in just a few minutes.

Rob and Allan headed for home, and the 2nd Annual Bourbon and Tobacco Tour is now in the historical documents.