Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bottecchia rebuild, part 3: last of the cleaning and a query...

Finished cleaning the last of the Bottecchia's components, those that I intend to keep (at least for the time being). Crank arms, chainrings and bolts, and the bottom bracket (not shown) cups, bearings and the spindle, and finally, the fork and crown, with stickers from King's Bike Shop (Long Beach).

And now the query; does anyone know anything about DEA 'Super Chrome' rims. These are what came with the bike. I know they were made in France, and came in either steel or alloy, the alloy ones being a step up, though I am doubtful they were used on racing frames. These are 27 x 1.25", have a dimpled braking surface, and were built with Normandy high flange hubs (as noted earlier). These rims seem to have been quite common on mid-range and maybe lower models during the 1970s; Peugeot and Motobecane used them on some of their models. Anyway, if you know anything about this manufacturer and would like to share it would be appreciated. Any little bit of information, however insignificant it might seem, adds to the greater knowledge.


One of the many attractions of the bicycle, I believe, is the simplicity of the machine. Entirely powered by the human body, there are only so many parts to make it go (the bike, not the body), and thus only so many things that could go wrong. If there was a mantra of bicycle repair I would make it a simple three-parter, as such, "lube it, tighten it, or replace it". The first two will suffice to address almost all problems that might be encountered and are the mainstays of any regular maintenance routine. The third, replace it, only comes into play when something cracks or breaks as a result of material imperfections, regular wear and tear, or (gasp) improper maintenance, or a replacement due to upgrade. There may be some science involved in keeping a bike running smoothly, but none of it is of the rocket variety, and is therefore well within the grasp of most riders. The garage has become a favorite room lately - a fold-up camping chair, a cold drink, some music, surrounded by the household's bikes and I am set for the duration. There is a certain satisfaction to be achieved by doing it yourself; self-sufficiency is a diminishing art form, but one well suited to the world of cycling. Give it a try; questions, just let me know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bottecchia rebuild, part 2: More cleaning, a minor surprise, and a curiosity...

Have removed the rust from most of the parts now, just the crank arms to go. The lugs look nice and shiny, but have a black discoloration in areas. Maybe I need to find a polish to take care of it. The Zeus cable guide turned out really well, as did the rear brake housing clips along the top tube. Two of these are Giorgia, while the third is DiaComp. Two wow's and one meh. Not sure what the symbol is on the Giorgia two, a dragon or horse flying a banner would be my guess. I am a bit curious as to why they are even on the bike, since the underside of the top tube does have what I assume are braze on cable guides, located both front and back. The more I look at the frame all cleaned up now, the more consideration I give to repainting it, but am hesitant over the extra cost.

Ride to Baldy Notch...

Still on vacation for most of the week and the mountains are still strong in my blood so I rolled out the Felt this morning. Manker Flat to Baldy Notch is not much of a ride distance-wise, but it makes up for it in the climb. Could not have asked for a better day, the valley below was fogged in during the morning hours, but Baldy is up above all that, and the sky was just an amazing blue, and the Notch was cooled by a gentle breeze.
San Antonio Falls. Can you spot the three-tiered drop?

Looking back down the canyon.

Getting there. The lodge at the Notch.



and more cones, everywhere you look.

Resting at Desert View.

Road down the north side of Baldy to Stockton Flat. Follow the link for a description from a ride there.

The lodge at Baldy Notch; the gray peak in the back (mostly obscured) is Baldy, highest peak in the San Gabriels.

Similar to, but not quite Matilija Poppies. Don't know what they are.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bottecchia rebuild, part 1...

Now back from my week out of town and I could not wait to get on with the rebuild. Step one, disassembling, came easily enough. I removed all components in order to make attacking the rust on the frame easier, as well as cleaning up any of the components I intend to keep. Might as well start at the front and work my way back, as good a plan as any I suppose, so off came the fork and headset. These had a ton of old lube on them which had become sticky with age. A little citrus degreaser took care of the problem, and shined the headset up like new. There are no identifying marks on the headset so I do not know who the manufacturer is, but since it cleaned up so well and there are no pits in the races I might as well keep it for the time being. It has been more than a few years since I last had to deal with loose bearings and their cages; one bearing got away from me and I had to spend several frantic minutes on hands and knees searching the garage floor for it. All's well that ends well, and here are a few pics as proof:

Next step, remove rust from the lugs around the headtube.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Camping in Kings Canyon...

Well, thanks for the week off. It was much appreciated, though sometimes I do not know why I come back from these trips to the Sierra's. Don't be surprised if one of these times I don't. I think when I am in my 60s and 70s I will just spend most of the year up there traipsing around like Norman Clyde or one of those early mountaineers. Anyway King's Canyon was as spectacular as ever.

Got to do plenty of hiking with the bears, and let my hot tired dogs cool off in the river after hiking with the bears, a lot of plain old relaxing, even got in a little riding, some on two wheels, some on four legs.

I did not see a single person who did not arrive motor assisted, but once into camp it was difficult to tell which was the more popular form of transportation, foot or bike. I could have spent all day sitting in camp, taking photos of people riding by, some riding around just for fun, others making an ice run to the store, or heading over to the showers.

The National Park Service has laid down a nice new bike path linking all the campgrounds with the store/lodge. That means it is short, but it does allow people to leave their cars at the campsite. If you are like me, and that is just not enough, the roads are adequate. I wasn't the only rider out on them in the early morning cool, when traffic was non-existent. Thing about King's Canyon is, it does not get the crowds and heavy traffic that Sequoia does which makes it a more attractive place to ride. Bike parking, on the other hand is not as creative as I believe it could be.

The Monarch Divide high country, Lewis Creek drainage, from the Hotel Creek Trail

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New/old Bottecchia...

So, this weekend I decided to branch out, expand my world so to speak, and delve into the realm of vintage. This Bottecchia is now my most recently purchases bike, as well as oldest by date of manufacture. It is probably an early 1970's frame. While not a top of the line Bottecchia, it is still nice and will be a good project.

It has the usual "Campione del Mondo 1966" sticker on it that Bottecchia's of the era had. Unfortunately dating it is not so easy as simply reading the sticker. The wheelset that came with it includes a pair of Normandy hubs which, according to Sheldon Brown, were pretty standard fare of 1970's imports. The rims are not the same standard; too bad, but they can be rebuilt. The Nervor Sport cranks come with 50-46 chainrings. The remainder of the components are nothing special, Dia Compe mostly, and won't make the cut during the rebuild process. It is in pretty good shape, the rust is all on the surface and will clean up with a little elbow grease. And check out the head tube angle and rake of the fork, they make the same on my Basso, which was built almost 20 years later, look almost vertical and straight. I will be posting up changes as they take place. And if anyone has information on what model this might be, or knows a good source for 1970's Campy, or Simplex, or? let me know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Rode by the Velo after work to check out this weeks vintage picks:
The is an Allegro, a Swiss made bike, 1950's model? Needs some special care, but the vintage components...

Allegro head badge

Campagnolo push pin front derailleur

Gran Sport rear d.

Velo owner showing a 1970s Bottecchia. Not a high end model Bottecchia, but a beauty anyway.

Peugeot PX 10 from the early 1970s. It has cleaned up nicely from when I first saw it.

and finally a Specialized Langster, not a classic, but nice. Notice how the sky got progressively darker in the photos? The summer monsoons have started spilling over the mountains. August's humid dog days have arrived a bit early.

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