Sunday, October 11, 2009

McLean Build Report





(Apologies for the full photo. House layout forces me to shoot at a downward angle, which distorts bars, seat, etc - looks top heavy.)
Progress so far:
1. Cannibalized Heron for brake calipers, Phil Wood bottom bracket, Chris King headset (without modern logo-not yet installed), Campagnolo SR rear derailleur, etc.
2. Purchased proper vintage Cinelli bars and stem, Campagnolo front derailleur, and Simplex retrofriction shifters on EBay
3. Got the vintage wheelset from Chris Kulczycki for a song - vintage Phil Wood hubs laced to Super Champions. The spokes are very heavy and someday I'll probably replace all but the rear drive-side.
4. Bought a vintage Special Oro Everest chain from Scott Davis. In the process of cleaning off the old hardened shipping grease, the gold came off too, so now it's polished nickel. This is a Duh Moment, I've done it before. Doh!
5. Played musical chairs with existing saddles, pedals and toe clips.
Next:
I need to have the pump (which I have) painted to match and think about paint quality. Wraps, brake levers, straps, etc.
Addendum: The bottle cage will be replaced by a proper vintage, Italian made REG.

22 comments:

Jonny Hamachi said...

Levers ship tomorrow.

Jonny Hamachi said...

It's a beaut.

E said...

Stunning, just stunning.

Anonymous said...

what levers will they be? It's a really nice bike. . . outfitted much the same as we'd have ridden them then. Seems like it'll all work beautifully togther . . . the only thing that really stands out for me, when I ride my retro Campy bike, is that everything works quite well except for the brakes.
best,
michael white

Gunnar Berg said...

Michael,
The brakes are older Modolo Pros (cuz Campys suck). The Modolos had rubber pads, so I cheated a little and upgraded to the newer sinstered Modolo pads. The levers will be the Modolo levers which have been on sabbatical with Jonny H. In general, it's Campagnolo unless there's something better (i.e. Phil Wood, etc).

Anonymous said...

ha: "unless there's something better" --very slippery slope.

mw

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

I love it! The bike looks elegant and understated, yet fast and efficient at the same time. McLean really left us to soon!

You're right about the Campy brakes. What most people don't realize is that the brakes were designed to decelerate, not to stop. I learned this back in the day, when I attended a Campy seminar/workshop. The reason for this is that in the peloton, riders don't want brakes that will stop them on a dime because that would cause a pile-up.

Anyway...I thank you for the good wishes you've sent my way!

Doug said...

Looking good!

Anonymous said...

absolutely beautiful!
However, I must tell you--and I mean this with no disrespect--although the bottle cage is very nice, it is somewhat out of place on this build, in my opinion.

Allan

Anonymous said...

Justine: did campagnolo really actually say that about their brakes?! It's not a bug, it's a feature....
Campy: "no, the brakes aren't actually meant to bring the bike to a stop"....
Reply: "what if I WANT to stop?"

That's one of the best pieces of marketing BS I've ever heard.

Allan

Gunnar Berg said...

Allan,
Good point. I agree. S/B a TA with the plastic end retainer.

Lovely Bicycle! said...

This is not the right post for this question, but what bicycle is that in the photos on the left frame, and what handlebar bag?... You can't taunt visitors with such images and not link them!

Anonymous said...

Gunnar:
yep, that would fit the look and period nicely.

I'm looking forward to see the end result of the build and to read a ride report!

Cheers,
Allan Pollock

Gunnar Berg said...

Allan,
You spurred me. I am bidding on a REG bottle cage. Very similar to the T.A., except Italian, which is more in keeping with the rest of the shiny bits.

Anonymous said...

Hah! What a fun hobby, eh?

I'm envious. You are in the middle of the best part of the process--bringing all of the pieces of the machine together. So much more fun than cleaning and polishing.

I'm at the point where I would have to sell a bike in order to make space if I wanted to build another one. Nothing nice enough has come along in the past few months to make me want to do such a thing. However, a McLean in my size and price would certainly fit the bill!

Allan

Justine Nicholas Valinotti said...

Allan: A Campagnolo rep from Italy actually said that. That was around 1983 or so.

As I said, it actually makes sense in a weird way. Nonetheless, I agree with you: I want brakes that stop!

Jonny Hamachi said...

And So It Goes...

Anonymous said...

I believe the campy reps explanation. I remember when dual pivot Dura Ace brakes came out in the late eighties/early nineties. I was a racer, and the number of pile-ups caused by over-braking did seem to increase! (usually on straight sections of the course where it made no sense!)
I love the Modolo Pro calipers.
Beautiful bicycle!
-Tony

Gunnar Berg said...

I imagine there were pileups. All the racers of the time were selected by evolution to have "The Grip of Death". Give them real brakes after the Campagnolos and they probably had issues. I think it was a real stretch for Campy marketing people to claim it was intentional design. Yeah, it was a feature alright - speed modulators.

Anonymous said...

The reason the old flat forged Campy design didn't work very well is because it was a very old flat forged design which didn't work very well, period. There was little competition, and therefore little evolution. When the Japanese began making brakes that worked well, Campy did make some statements about modulation, etc, which were patently silly. Of course, Campy developed their own dual pivot brakes in due course, which were an excellent copy of Shimano. The idea that any racer should prefer a brake which was inherently weak and flexible, like the old Campys, is and always was preposterous. This doesn't stop me from riding them to this day.

michael white

Gunnar Berg said...

MW,
Do you upgrade the pads?

Anonymous said...

Gunnar,

yes, when they wear out.

best,
mw