The Pinarello Build – all wrapped up

The Pinarello build is finished, for now.  Wrapping the bars was an interesting exercise.  The hoods did not want to roll back out of the way while taping like modern hoods do, and tearing the hoods would be a disaster.  NOS Campagnolo brake hoods are hard to find, and even more so in white.  They’re basically ubobtainium so care was essential.

I hit upon an easy way to lift the hood out of the way so that the tape could be properly placed underneath it.  I used a Park Tool plastic tire lever.  I put a little soap on the top (the part that would touch the hood) so that it would slide more easily.  I wrap from the bottom up, slid the lever under the edge of the hood, lifted it, and continued on.  The same on the top of the lever.  The tape is tucked where it should be and the hoods are undamaged.

I use silicone self-fusing tape to hold the free end of the wrap in place.  No gooey mess in the summer heat, no sliding around and loosening, just tight and goo-free.  I learned to cut a taper in the tape so that the ends aren’t too wide when the tape is stretched while wrapping the end of the bar tape.

I’ll get a couple of photos today if the rain holds off.  That’s it until I rebuild the wheels with new rims and spokes.  The front rim has an annoying “bump” near the rim seam that you notice while braking.  It’s not ideal, but it will be OK until I can get the wheels rebuilt.

Patience is a virtue, but one that I don’t have in abundance.  This build took a long time from when I bought the bike, but I think it’s turned out well.  And for you patient souls that followed along with this project, photos follow.

The Pinarello build – wrapping up

The maiden voyage with the newly finished Pinarello went fine, no major issues. The front brake lever slipped a little on the bars, but that’s an easy fix.

The harder fix is the stem. The original stem is a 3T, with Pinarello pantographed on both sides of the stem. It’s 70mm long and at least 40-50mm too short for a reasonable fit. I really don’t want to swap out the pantographed stem, but the fit isn’t good with it due to the short length. I picked up another 3T stem that is 110mm long and I think it will give me a much better fit – but I lose the pantographed stem in the swap. It really isn’t the trade I want to make, but if the bike isn’t comfortable to ride it will sit unridden – and the Pinarello deserves to be ridden and enjoyed.

The headset is better than my first assembly but it is still rough. It’s really noticeable when riding hands-off, and especially when riding hands-off and pedaling. It’s bad enough that it needs to be fixed so I bought a replacement.

<START OF RANT> Note to ebay sellers – you can’t say an item has been shipped when you print a shipping label. It’s shipped when you deliver it to the shipping company, whether that is USPS, UPS, FEDEX, or another shipper. I’ll be taking this up with the seller when I receive the headset, and the complete tracking history shows the sequence and timing of it all. <END OF RANT>

Once both parts are here, I’ll swap them both at the same time, and when it’s back together a short ride will confirm that everything is set up and working properly. Then I’ll wrap the bars and call this project done.

The Pinarello build, part 3 and a test ride

Installed the Cuissi Inox bottle cage (thanks, Rob), and the Campagnolo crank bolt covers.

Ground about 3mm off the seatpost binder bolt recessed nut, filed it smooth, and installed it.  Greased the seatpost and installed it.  Clamped the SA white saddle to the seatpost and sort-of aligned it.  Tightened the clamp bolts but it will need to be set to the right place once the bars are on.  The white saddle looks great with the blue frame and the white decals.

The bearings and the brake lever ferrules are supposed to be delivered on Saturday, they are the last parts I’m waiting for to finish the build.  Getting it ready for the maiden voyage should take a couple of hours.

The headset bearings were delivered a couple of days earlier than initial estimates.  Under-promise and over-deliver is alive and well – but no complaints.  I replaced the 5/32 bearings with 3/16 bearings, and quickly noticed that the lower race wasn’t in the correct place in the lower cup.  That meant that this headset uses 5/32 bearings, which is what I had.  After texting back and forth with a knowledgeable bike guy (thanks, Bob) I learned that 5/32 is in fact correct, and that I had not used the correct number of bearings.  I fixed that error and the headset is much better.

Installed and adjusted the stem and bars.  Pretty easy and quick once the headset was sorted out.

Next is the brake hoods.  I lucked onto a set of NOS Campagnolo white brake lever hoods a few months ago and picked them up, knowing I would use them on this build.  Installing the hoods was an exercise in frustration and anxiety, since older hoods are known to tear when stretched, and you must stretch them to get them onto the brake levers.  Another knowledgeable bike guy (thanks, Scott) suggested putting the hoods in very hot water, allowing them to become more pliable, and then sliding them onto the lever body.  It worked – no tears and they’re in place on the levers.  Slid the levers onto the bar, positioned them to what I think is the proper place, and tightened them down.

Ran the brake housing for the rear brake, left of the stem and up under the bars then down to the lever.  Checked lock to lock bar turns without any binding, and cut it length.  Installed the cable and clamped it in place.  Rear brake is braking.

Ran the brake housing for the front brake, make the housing loop the same height as the rear brake housing, cut it to length, installed the cable, clamped it in place, and we have front braking.

It’s ready for a test ride.  Rechecked the fasteners to be sure they’re tight, and rode down to the neighbor’s house and back.  There is a bump in the front rim that I noticed while braking – I might be able to repair that but if not, I was going to relace the hubs to new rims anyway.  I just might have to move that project up earlier on the calendar.

The levers seem to be correct, but I want to get some miles in before I decide that for sure.  Once that’s settled, I’ll wrap the bars and the Pinarello will be finished.  Thank you for following along with this project.

The Pinarello build, part 2

The replacement bottom bracket arrived a day earlier than expected, and given the increase in the number of items that are being shipped these days, is something of a surprise.  A good surprise.  Confirmed that the BB is the one I ordered and installed it, torquing the cups to the proper spec.

HOWEVER, the axle in the cartridge BB, being the correct length is not the only part of the puzzle.  The original axle is asymmetric, meaning that the drive side extends further from the centerline and the non drive side is closer to the centerline.  The difference is enough that the chainrings don’t have enough clearance with the symmetrical axle.  So, the search begins for a replacement BB with an asymmetrical axle.  Luckily enough I found one and it finally arrived.  The cup and axle races are in excellent shape, so we are back on track.  Cleaned, greased, and installed.  Crankarms are on and torqued, and the clearance to the chainstays is good, for both the chainrings and the crankarms themselves.  This crankset is old enough that the crankarms are straight, not curved, so the clearance is set by the width of the bottom bracket axle.

The Nuovo Record RD is lubricated at the pivots and the main bolt, and installed.  The spiral SS housing and liner are cut to length and installed.

The front derailleur attaches to the seat tube by a band that clamps around the tube.  To position it properly, the cage that encloses the chain needs to have 2-3mm clearance between it and the largest chainring.  There is some debate about the proper orientation of the cage to the chainrings.  Some folks say they should be parallel – others say the rearward part of the cage should be slant towards the center of the bike by a couple of degrees.  I’m going with parallel for now.  Friction shifting is more forgiving than indexed shifting.

Installed the chain (without going through the derailleur cages) and sized it to big-big plus 4 links.  I think it will wind up 2 links shorter than that, but I’ll let the shifting performance tell me if that is necessary.  Ran the shift cables, using cable liner around the BB shell for both FD and RD cables.  The RD hanger was not straight, it was in a bit at the bottom.  Adjusted it to straight, then reinstalled the RD.  Fished the chain through the FD and RD, installed the quick link.  Set the hi-lo limit screws and adjusted the shifting.  Installed the pedals and torqued to spec.  Adjusted the axle locating screws in the rear dropouts to center the rear wheel.

A bit of headset drama – whoever assembled the bike before I bought it used 5/32 balls in the upper and lower races, and I found out that Campagnolo used 3/16 balls in their Nuovo Record headsets.  I ordered a bag of 3/16 balls so that I can replace the existing balls with the correct size.  So until they are here, I’m pretty much at a standstill.  A good friend used the phrase “parts pause” and it certainly applies here.  Frustrating, but a part of the C&V build game, at least for those of us without a large parts inventory.

Until next time…

Pinarello Turismo – the build begins

I’m finally getting around to the Pinarello.  This frame was built in 1983, so it’s coming up on a 40-year birthday.  Columbus SL tubing and a full Campagnolo Nuovo Record group make it a great example of Italian craftsmanship.  I’ve been riding outside a fair amount, and that always spurs interest in completing bike projects.  This build is no exception.

Duane at painted and decalled this frame, and it’s stunning.  I had been putting off starting the build because I was hesitant about reinstalling the headbadge and it needs to be done first.  It’s held on by two “drive screws” which have very coarse threads and are hammered into a properly-sized hole.  There’s no real stress on the screws, they just hold a small headbadge to the headtube.  Not wanting to risk denting the headtube and not sure about a good way to prevent that I was hesitant about the job.

I decided to use a deep-well socket that fit nicely into the head tube as an inner support, which, as it turns out, was not needed.  I used a small dab of glue under the badge, set the drive screws in place, and tied a strip of cloth around the badge and the headtube to hold it in place while the glue dried.  Since that task is now done (whew!), on with the rest of the build.

Waxed the frame and fork.  Cleaned the headset cups and the fork crown race.  Pressed the cups in, one at a time, and turned the frame upside down in the stand.  Added grease and the appropriate number of bearing balls in the lower race, then installed the fork.  Next was grease and bearing balls in the upper race.  Keyed washer and the top nut completes the fork install.  It’s a little rough, the lower cup and the crown race might need to be replaced.  I’ll take it apart after a couple of rides and see how it looks on the inside.

Cleaned the bottom bracket bearing cups in preparation for installing the BB.  Cleaning up the axle I noticed a badly galled section on one side of the axle.  No point to install it, it won’t last long and would make ugly noises while riding.  I ordered a Campagnolo cartridge bearing BB to replace it, and I’ll keep my eye open for a replacement axle.  I would like to use the original BB if at all possible.

Cleaned the downtube shifter parts in the ultrasonic cleaner and installed them using a thin film of grease, not an excess.  No grease on the adjuster threads.  The tension adjustment works predictably, hopefully it will hold it’s position while riding.

Went to install the brake calipers, and realized a mistake on my part.  The replacement Nuovo Record calipers I purchased are nutted, and the original calipers used recessed nuts.  Fortunately, swapping the center bolts took only 10 minutes for both front and rear calipers, and they’re freshly lubed and installed.

I can’t do much more without the BB installed, so I’ll lateral over to filling the seatpost and stem pantographing with paint in the meantime.

Stay tuned for the next instalment…

Pinarello Turismo – the metamorphosis begins

The frame and fork are being painted by Duane at  Duane has worked his magic for me on other frames, and his work has been outstanding.  It will be Pinarello blue – or as close a match as he can find.  I have replica decals and he will apply them so they are under the clearcoat.  He will also fill the lug cutouts and seatstay panto in white.  I picked up the frame and fork on March 7th, and they look great.  White decals on the blue frame is a great look.  The rest is up to me since Duane has done his magic.

For the mechanical bits,  I have new headset bearing balls so that it can be properly serviced and reinstalled. I have new bottom bracket bearing balls so that it can be serviced and reinstalled as well and then it should be good for a few thousand miles at least.

The wheels will get a set of Vittoria Corsa G+ clinchers with latex tubes.

The new saddle, a Selle Anatomica X2 in white, is here.  So is the new bar tape, 2.5mm Lizardskins in white.

I picked up a Campagnolo Nuovo Record rear derailleur to use in place of the original Gran Sport, which seemed a little rough for this ground-up restoration.  I picked up a NOS set of white Gran Sport brake hoods to replace the ones that were on the bike.  These are clean and should look great with white bar tape.

I even found a length of stainless spiral wound housing to use on the rear derailleur loop.  These are non-aero brakes, so the housing exits the brake levers at the top.  I’ll use Campagnolo black housing for the brakes.  Since the shifters are on the downtube, the only housing needed for shifting is at the rear derailleur.

Stay tuned for photos as the build progresses.

Pinarello Turismo

Wow.  This bike just moves.  A full 2 mph faster average than the Merckx carbon on several different rides.  I don’t know exactly what it is that makes it faster, but there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve gone through the entire bike, cleaning, re-greasing, and adjusting it as well as I’m able.  I just rode it on a 62 mile ride in Paducah, Kentucky and there were no problems – aside from needing a better engine, but that’s a topic for a different discussion.

Fitwise, the stem is shorter than I would normally use, but I won’t change it out because I don’t want to lose the Pinarello panto’d on the stem.  Maybe not the best choice but I’ll adapt.

The 35 year old Campagnolo Gran Sport group rides and shifts very well.  The brakes are noisy, which isn’t a big surprise with old pads.  The braking isn’t horrible, but I’ve ordered some new pads that should improve braking and stop the squealing.

Later this year, I’m planning to strip the parts from the frame and fork, and have them painted blue, Pinarello blue to be specific.  The bike has already been partially repainted, so there’s no concern with destroying original paint.  I’ll replace the decals too, and the bike will look like new.

But it will continue to rack up the miles.  It’s too much fun to ride to let it waste away as a display bike.  Bikes are made to be ridden first, and admired as examples of fine craftsmanship second.  At least that’s my take on it.