Friday, December 30, 2005

Mavic 862 Derailleur

Just picked up a Mavic 862 front derailleur. The 862 is the braze on, and the 860 the clamp-on. These were made in the late 80's, until some time in the early-to-mid nineties.

Click for a larger picture

The Mavic stuff is really very very cool. The derailleur is held together entirely with allen head screws with bolts, and hinge pins with small split retaining rings. You can take it down to every one of its constituent parts, without having to drill or grind anything out. Which would have been very nice, if one could actually get replacement parts for any of it. At least you can take 2 (differently) broken ones and assemble a working one thats every bit as good as it originally was.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Evolution of Shimano RD-740x

The Shimano 7400 series derailleur went through, as far as I know, 3 revisions. The original was the 7400, 6 speeds.

Next was the 7401. Labeled for 6 or 7 speeds (in fact, the whole series will work up through 8 just fine). The cage has changed where the tension pulley attaches -- it has straightened.

Finally, the 7402. This was the 8 speed model. Similar cage to the 7401. The cage pivot, however, has changed, and is no longer exposed when the derailleur is mounted. It instead is accessed from the backside of the derailleur. The return spring is also more easily tuned, and a block to prevent the chain from jumping out of the derailleur has been added near the tension wheel. Prior models only had them near the jockey wheel. The marble hued name plate is also pretty snazzy.

Interesting note -- the cable anchor bolt on every one of the above pictures is not installed the way Shimano intended (or, at least, not on the 7402 and 7401. Its just an assumption with the 7400). The bolt portion should, in fact, be on the inside of the parallelogram, and the outside should instead merely have a flat, circular plate to hold the cable on. This is a little "cleaner" and perhaps more visually appealing -- it is, however, a pain in the neck to adjust when the derailleur is mounted, as the allen key must be maneuvered inside, while holding the cable tight. They work just as well as seen in the pictures, and are a whole lot easier to adjust IMO.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Saavedra Headset

Recently acquired a Saavedra headset. Saavedra was (is?) an Argentinian company that was probably best known for its Turbo rim -- extremely lightweight, and apparently not the longest lifespan. They also made components that were Campagnolo knockoffs. This headset is one of them -- albeit with an interesting twist.

As usual, click any picture for a larger version.

The headset looks like what would happen if a C-Record headset mated with a Stronglight Delta. The lock nut and part of the adjustable race look C-Record, but the entire bottom assembly, and the upper race look like a Delta.

And like a Delta, its a roller bearing design, with steel races. Quite nice, and cheap to boot. 43mm (give or take a mm) stack height. 115 grams -- so while its a tall headset, its also quite light compared to other comparable headsets.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Campagnolo Syncro II shifters

In 1987, Campagnolo came out with an indexed shifting system they called 'Syncro'. It didn't work very well, and was generally tempermental. In 1989, they came out with an updated 'Syncro 2' that changed the spring arrangement, and updated to a higher capacity -- a large rear shifter "drum" diameter meant more cable could be taken up, to shift 7 speeds -- and possibly 8 as well.

I recently acquired more than a reasonable number of sets of Syncro 2 shifters. For a couple of reasons. First, I find them mechanically interesting -- and I'll discuss how they work shortly, with pics. Second, they're attractive -- same lines and design as the C-Record/Chorus/Croce d'Aune shifter bodies. Third, they pull enough cable to run with 8 or 9 speed in friction. Which brings us to number 4: they can be run in friction mode, but can also be easily modified to be a pure friction shifter. At which point, they're just as good as any other friction shifter.

Click any of the pictures for an larger version.

The left/front shifter is a standard friction shifter. I tried to get all fancy with something that looked like a parts explosion diagram.

The right/back shifter is entirely different, but easy to understand if you have pics.

The above is the inside of the lever. Note there are 2 small holes. 2 springs go in these holes, and create tension against....

the toothed boss collar, show above. Yellow is for 6 speeds. Count the indentations on each side, and you'll see 6. Other colors exist for 7 speed, and apparently there are 8 speed collars from the indexed barend shifters. I can't confirm that.

In the notches around the center of the collar, there are 2 cutouts. The large round metal piece above, to the left, has 2 cutouts matching the positioning of these notches. It also has the shaft around which the lever pivots. You'll see this in later pics. The other piece contains the retaining screw, and a spring loaded, knurled collar. It also has 2 teeth that go through the cutouts of the other piece, and engage the indentations in the collar.

The boss collar, with springs, inside of the lever.

The round metal piece, over the collar and springs, inside the lever.

Ok, so here's how the whole thing works. In the above picture, imagine the whole thing screwed together, with the notches, cutouts and teeth aligned as in the picture. The metal piece mates to the shift boss, and is held in a single position. The teeth of the knurled retention device are held in to place by this metal piece. The teeth hold the boss collar in one place as well. The shifter lever, and the 2 springs inside, are free to move. The springs have a shape that creates a sort of "pin" that rides in the grooves of the boss collar. Moving the lever moves the spring pins from one notch to the next.

By pulling the knurled portion of the retention thingy out, and aligning the teeth the way show above, the boss collar is released. Its spring loaded, so you can easily pull outward, and rotate it 90 degrees. The spring pins hold the collar in one place, and they pivot freely, as the teeth from the knurled part no longer keep it in place.

Sounds complex, but its pretty simple. Now, you can pull the knurled portion and use it as a combo index/friction system. That'd work, though indexing is tempermental. To convert them to pure friction, you can actually just remove the springs and optionally the boss collar -- the springs are all that is required to move. Removing the boss collar may create a little slop in the levers -- something I'd just as soon avoid. They're light enough that anyone who would consider running them would be hard pressed to justify caring. Anyhow, after conversion, they make nice large capacity friction shifters that don't need to be pulled obscenely far to take up 8 and more rear freewheel/cassette speeds.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Latter day Super Record

Just picked up a Campagnolo Super Record rear derailleur. Fantastic condition, its hard to believe this was used much. Bits of caked on grime, but it should clean up nicely. Then I'll get it all dirty myself.

The Super Record rear was redesigned in 1979, with a new parallelogram design, titanium upper and cage pivot bolts, and some other things that were probably deemed necessary if they wanted to even attempt to compete with the cheaper, better performing Japanese components coming out. This is a PAT. 84 (1984) so it's towards the end of days for the whole Super Record gruppo.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Eddy Merckx frame dating ephemera

At least, things of passing interest for some.

The gold name box for Merckx frames wasn't present originally. As far as I've been able to determine, they first appear in the 1987 catalog. Advertising materials first show it in 1989. So I think we can assume that while it appeared in '87, it was inconsistently applied. The center spread of the 1987 catalog shows most of the frames are carrying it, except for the unnamed Grand Prix, and one of the Corsa Extra's, which sports an older name label in red.

The top tube may have a decal with a model name on it. Possibly only on the drive side. Gold label, around 1987. Red label, pre-87, and the earliest probably don't have a name at all on them.

The crown and seat stay caps also might be helpful here. The earlier frames have seat stays capped with a signature cap. The (I think) 1985 catalog shows seat stays capped with the current logo. The sloping fork also has the current logo caps, and the flat capped fork has a block-style Eddy Merckx name on them. Fastback seat stays don't seem to appear in the first catalog, but its hard to say if they were introduced later, or just not seen in the catalog.

I'll work on expanding this and narrowing it down. But I think with this info, its possible to narrow frames down to early, mid and late 80's.
Seat and head tube logos are pretty consistent through the 80's. Bikes with seat tube "points" may lack the upper Italy/France band. Frames with a panel on the seat tube may also lack the traditional upper band, and instead have a 'Made In Belgium' band. The pointed livery seems to have appears in the mid 80's.

The downtube decals are a little tougher. The first frames consistently had the right leaning, block Eddy Merckx, with underlining. Mid 80's sees that logo, along with the introduction of a thin and a thick bubble font. Without a comparison subject, the easiest way to tell them apart is the thin font has an open bottom D.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Lazzaretti -- A work in progress

Just picked up this bike recently

Its a Lazzaretti. The frame is (supposedly) 531db. The fork is definitely Columbus, and the paint has faded slightly, leaving a darker patch that matches up in size with a Columbus decal. No helical ridges in the seat tube, so its not SLX. My gut tells me its an SL frame. Eventually I'll get off my ass and mail Cicli Lazzaretti, and see what I can find out. Cicli Lazzaretti, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is a bike shop in Rome.

Anyhow, its a pretty enourmous mutt at the moment. Gran Sport calipers, levers, cranks, pedals and hubs. Nuovo Record rear derailleur, Record front derailleur and shift levers.

Lots of filled in lug work and pantographing on the frame.

Rumored date on this one is 1980. I'm not sure I agree. Both brake mounts are for recessed mounting, and the derailleur cables are routed under the bottom bracket. I'm not sure of an exact date for recessed brakes -- I know that Campy was selling recessed bolt brakes in 1982. I'm guessing the under bottom bracket routing also took over around then. Who knows. When I pop the bottom bracket, that will give me the best information, as I'm guessing its original to the frame.

More pics here.

My Merckx

Eddy Merckx Grand Prix. This one, according to Gitabike, the importer, is an '88/89. It was probably sold as a frameset originally. Its my rider, so its set up with modern(ish) components.

  • Ultegra 600 calipers
  • Ultegra hubs + cassette
  • Dura Ace downtube shifters and brake levers
  • Mavic 631 Cranks
  • Mavic 862 front derailleur, 840 rear derailleur
  • Cinelli Campione Del Mondo Bars
  • Cinelli 1A stem
  • Look 356 Pedals
  • Mavic Open Pro rims
  • Tufo CS33 tubular clinchers
  • Campagnolo Croce d'Aune seatpost.

Yeah. Thats pretty much what its made of.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Early Dura Ace front derailleur. Its the same design as the first generation ones, but I think the first releases had black anodized clamps/upper assemblies. Regardless, the original design for the DA front derailleur. Light, simple. A little ugly, but cool nonetheless.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Cool Article

Link I don't approve per se of living like this, but there's a certain appealing element to just biking around all day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Drillium Drops

Here's a pic of the dropouts of a bike I picked up recently

It's a Lazzaretti. Lazzaretti is a shop in Rome. This frame is supposedly a 1980, but I suspect its slightly later. The fork takes a recessed brake (even though its built with nutted brakes). The fork has Lazzaretti pantographing on the crown, so its likely original. The fork is Columbus, but I'm told the frame is Reynolds 531. I'll pop the bottom bracket shortly to see if the seat tube has reinforcement ridges.

Anyhow, I dig the drilled + painted dropouts.

Here's a pic of the inside of the dropout. Seems some people can't tell the difference between Sport dropouts and Portacatena dropouts. These are the latter. I doubt a 1010B was ever made in a sport version. A Portacatena 1010 might have existed -- I'm really not sure.

Note the 2 holes that the Portacatena bolted to. Sport dropouts have one hole, which looks different anyhow.

Drillium Info

Some article scans posted to the Classic Rendezvous mailing list on drillium parts.

    May 1974 Bike World - "Drilling Do's, Don't's and How-To's"
  • Part 1
  • Part 2

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Dura Ace 7400

Over the last couple of months I've sold a pretty complete Shimano Dura Ace 7400 gruppo. I'm getting the feeling that some of the middle-aged DA stuff is starting to grow in value -- whether this is because of nostalgia, respect for the durability and quality of it, or because there are a ton of people stuck with it, and unwilling to swap out for modern components...well, I have no idea. The stuff isn't compatible with either contemporary nor modern Shimano components, so my guess is the latter. They are pretty nice, however.

BR-7402 Sidepull Brakes. These are insanely popular. And yeah, they're about as good as a single pivot gets. But they don't have dual pivot stopping power. They are, however, pretty light.

Dura Ace EX cranks. These actually aren't 7400 pieces. These were from 1979. These had the big-ass pedal spindles found in very early Deore and DA AX cranks. The EX/AX stuff was pretty interesting. This set had the elusive, or at least expensive, 9/16" pedal adapters installed. Too bad there are no clipless for the actual AX mount, or maybe I would have kept these.

RD-7400 rear derailleur. I also sold a RD-7402 around the same time. These are actually nice derailleurs. The pulleys ran on some seriously smoooooth bearings. Pretty too. Incompatible with any indexing system, save pre-97 or so DA.

EX Seatpost. Shaped for supposed aerodynamic advantage. I dunno about that, but cool nonetheless.

FD-7410 front derailleur. For some reason, these don't seem to be as popular. Maybe because this one was clamp on. If it wasn't, I definitely would have kept this -- can't ever have too many derailleurs.

Some cool barends

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