Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moser 2.0 - a Vintage Racing Bike with Modern Components

Francesco Moser 2.0
I have been riding my "new" Francesco Moser for a couple of weeks now and wanted to share my impressions. This is the same frame that I rode last year as a fixed gear conversion, then sold, then bought back and rebuilt as a geared roabike with modern components. Since the summer, I have been vigorously shopping around for a road/racing bike for 2012. The Moser resurrection is an experiment to determine whether it is feasible to refurbish a vintage steel racing frame for this purpose without putting myself at a disadvantage in comparison to cyclists riding modern bikes. 

Francesco Moser, Lugwork
The Italian frame was built in 1978 and raced in Austria throughout the 1980s. Through an interesting coincidence, I happen to know who the framebuilder was, but that is another story. The frame is lugged steel and allegedly Columbus tubing. Whether "tretubi" or something nicer I do not know; there are no decals. The lugs are pointy with elegant cutouts. Chromed fork crown, dropouts and seat stay caps. I have not been able to find this exact model in a Moser catalogue; something is always different. As I understand it, Moser frames were handmade in small batches and the framebuilders would sometimes get creative with individual frames. This could be one of those.  

Francesco Moser 2.0
The current incarnation of the bicycle includes an older Campagnolo Vento wheelset. Retired by the previous owner, the wheels have got quite a few miles on them, but are in good shape.  

Moser, Noodles, Campagnolo Record 9 Speed Levers
Campagnolo Record 9-speed drivertrain and shifters, circa 1999.  

Moser, 52/39t Crankset
The crankset is 52/39t with 175mm crankarms. Not ideal in the long run, but at least it will allow me to try the bike. MKS Stream pedals and Power Grips as usual. 

Moser, 11cm Stem, Nitto Noodles, Campagnolo Levers
From my spare parts, the bike is fitted with an 11cm Nitto Technomic Delux stem and 42cm Nitto Noodle handlebars. White Fizik tape. Cateye computer with a cadence reader. Just to be silly, I finished the handlebar tape with thin strips of multi-coloured electrical tape, to match the "champion" bands on the frame. 

Francesco Moser 2.0
I bought a set of Campagnolo Veloce brake calipers and used the 700Cx23mm Michelin Krylion tires that I had on another bike earlier. 

Testing a Selle Anatomica Titanico, New Version
The saddle is a new generation Selle Anatomica Titanico (with cro-moly rails), on loan from the manufacturer. I will be comparing my impressions of this model to those of the previous version

Francesco Moser 2.0
The bicycle is a 52cm frame with a 53cm top tube (closer to 52.5cm). Right now it is set up with an 11cm stem, handlebars 1cm below the saddle, and the saddle positioned to emulate the seat tube angle with no setback. The positioning feels great, but would probably feel even better with the handlebars a bit lower and the stem a bit shorter (the current stem cannot be lowered, because there is no more space inside the headtube). The weight of the bike as shown here is 21lb. 

One reason I decided to get this frame back instead of looking for a different one, is that I remembered it having no toe overlap. Later I began to doubt myself, as several framebuilders told me that it might be impossible to make a road/racing frame this compact with no TCO. However, now the Moser is back and I was right: no toe overlap, as in none/zilch/zero/not-even-close. How did they do it? I will try to bring this bike to a framebuilder with one of those magic machines that can measure frames precisely; hopefully that will provide some answers. 

Moser, Noodles, Campagnolo Record 9 Speed Levers
So, riding Moser 2.0 so far... I think I got exceptionally lucky with how well this frame suits me. I did not fully understand or appreciate what it was until now. With the long stem, the geared drivetrain, and the lightweight modern components, the bike feels as if it has been unshackled and allowed to soar. The small size feels just right, the forward positioning is exciting, and the lack of toe overlap eliminates my main source of anxiety with small frames. The bicycle feels lighter and easier to propel forward than other steel roadbikes I've tried, including modern ones. Judging by the numbers on the computer, my speed when cycling on my own is more or less identical to what it was when I was riding the Seven Axiom over the summer. I have not had a chance to go on a group ride yet, but will report on that once it happens. Acceleration feels effortless - that same "slingshot" feeling that, once experienced on a fast bike is hard to give up. The ride quality over bumps is better than I could have hoped for. 

It is impossible to make a direct comparison between the Moser and the Seven, because the latter was two sizes too big for me. But for someone of my ability, the bikes feel as if they are in the same ballpark, or at least from the same planet. The revamped Moser is the first roadbike I've tried aside from the Seven that I can see myself riding and being satisfied with.  

Francesco Moser 2.0
On a critical note, Moser 2.0 is a bit squirrely starting from a stop and at very slow speeds. My bike handling skills are good enough at this point to not consider that a problem, but I wouldn't have felt comfortable riding it set up this way last year. Also, the bottom bracket is so low that with the 175mm cranks there is pedal strike unless I am very careful to keep the inside pedal raised on turns. Can't decide whether this means that replacing the cranks is a priority (trade, anyone?), or whether it is an opportunity to improve my technique.

Aside from this, there is the question of whether it is a good idea to ride a well used, retired racing frame with well-used, retired 10-year-old components and wheels if I mean to ride strenuously and possibly competitively. While the Moser frame is photogenic from a distance, it is in rough shape: scrapes on the tubes, missing paint, rust on the chrome. There is also a slight bulge at the rear of the headtube that, as I understand it, happened during the manufacturing process (the frame has been checked for integrity and shows no structural problems). If I decide that I like the bike and don't need a new one, it might still be wise to replace the components with less worn ones and have the frame repainted. Or start from scratch and get a framebuilder to replicate the geometry and tubing. It's hard to say, and for now I am just  excited by how great Moser 2.0 feels compared to almost every single new bike I have considered buying so far. 

Knowing that some readers are interested in the outcome of this experiment, I want to note that I don't think it's as simple as buying any old vintage racing frame and putting modern components on it. But I do think I got lucky and ended up with something pretty cool that I would like to investigate further - with a big Thank You to all those who pushed me in this direction.

67 comments:

  1. Congratulations, this is a beauty. I quite enjoy the not-so-silly handle bar tape. And from your description, it sounds like it is a very fun ride.

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  2. "On a critical note, Moser 2.0 is a bit squirrely starting from a stop and at very slow speeds. My bike handling skills are good enough at this point to not consider that a problem, but I wouldn't have felt comfortable riding it set up this way last year. Also, the bottom bracket is so low that with the 175mm cranks there is pedal strike unless I am very careful to keep the inside pedal raised on turns. Can't decide whether this means that replacing the cranks is a priority (trade, anyone?), or whether it is an opportunity to improve my technique."

    Uh yeah, bad technique will catch up to you. That's a huge part of riding.

    Not sure why you'd replace these components if they're little used. As for replicating the f/f ride quality, not possible.

    You have your saddle more forward, could explain the squirelliness.

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  3. TOLD you so!
    ;)

    Only teasing. I agree 100% that a project like this only makes sense if you have reason to believe that the frame will work for you, as you did with the F Moser.

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  4. Jim - They're a lot used. 15,000 miles on the wheels.

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  5. I would consider a 175mm crank to be quite long for someone riding a 52cm frame, but it really comes down to your personal peddling style more than the possibility of pedal strike. you can always corner with the inside pedal up but you can't spin efficiently with a crank arm that is too long for you.

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  6. who ever that reader was that gave you the wheels and drivetrain, we all owe him one for saving you from a pos carbon fiber monstrosity and bringing back lugzz!!

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  7. Silly question -- did you have to cold set the frame in order to use the newer drive train?

    I have a 1985 frame I love, and I'm tempted to modernize the components so that I can ride in a group. But I'm afraid to try cold setting the frame in order to do that. It seems so final. But this is my only bike that would be appropriate for 'fast' riding.

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  8. Don - The Seven Axiom I rode over the summer had 175mm cranks as well and I had no problem spinning them, in fact I liked it. My only worry is excessive pedal strike. The Seven had a low BB as well, but not this low.

    Anon - I had no plans of buying a carbon fiber bike at any point. Not that there is anything wrong with them as far as racing bikes go; I just don't care for the ride quality of the few I tried.

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  9. 15k miles is not that many -- even for "stylish" oddly spoked wheels like those. You're not huge, and if the wheels are true and tight and the rim sidewalls are not almost worn through from braking (they look fine in the photos) they'll likely last another 15k+ miles.

    If you were a Clydesdale using these to ride over curbs and cobbles it might be a concern, but you are not and are not, so just ride and enjoy!

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  10. I wouldn't worry about the Integrity of a steel frame, it is the only material that you can get away with cold setting. It is strong w/plasticity as I'm sure you already know. If the components work well I wouldn't worry about them. They will wear out eventually but they should be checked for wear and potential failure when the bike is tuned up. If you would like shorter cranks to lessen the possibility of scraping on turns go for it. Technique is important but sh-- happens too. You won't get a whole lot more clearance though, lets say you change to a 165 mm crank that's only 1 cm difference,less than an inch. If the chain rings sizing isn't really what you want you may as well change the whole crankset.

    How about those old wheels? You could probably get a lot of improvement (lighter) from a set of new wheels/hubs. I also like the world champion tape pattern you finished your bar tape with :)

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  11. If the wheels are in no danger of failure then I'd rather keep them than upgrade: they feel great. The ride quality, which was already good to begin with, has improved with these from the bike's previous build.

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  12. The absence of TCO is confounding. I'm sitting next to a 50 by 52 frame with 74 seat, 72 head. Angles measured first by IPhone and then miraculously confirmed by the builder(from 1975). Went to considerable trouble to have a new fork built with 70mm rake - a spec several builders turned down cold. It still has about 18mm overlap.(As opposed to 40mm original.) Christophe short clips, 170 crank.

    To reduce overlap, if I'm thinking straight, either the spread between the angles increases or the fork gets raked a lot. Photo of the Moser doesn't show either that I can see. Could a low bottom bracket make that much difference? Perhaps we are all belaboring the point a bit, still, it's curious.

    I've recently parted out and disposed of two modern race bikes. No loss. Replaced by a very vintage bike that just feels right. Going faster now on an almost 50 year old bike than I have in years. If the Moser makes you want to go fast, you're done experimenting. Working on them and rebuilding them is fun, riding them is better. You'll have a lot of good rides on this bike.

    Nitto stems have extra tall quills. That build is just begging for an Italian stem.

    Until you get the shorter crank just scrape pavement. It doesn't hurt anything. Your competitors will think you're fearless.

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  13. Was the builder Dario?
    TCO - a lot of modern eff builders rely on software too much, I think.

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  14. "The absence of TCO is confounding... either the spread between the angles increases or the fork gets raked a lot. Photo of the Moser doesn't show either that I can see. Could a low bottom bracket make that much difference?"

    Low bottom bracket's role in lack of TCO... I have no intuitive spatial rotation skills, but let me try to wrap my mind around that; had not thought of it.

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  15. V

    Please don't worry about the wheels. I met my old Shamals last week. The new owner is claiming she's done 20,000 on them. I did 20,000. They're still going.

    Your braking surfaces saw only antique side and center pull calipers. They do not abrade rims the way dual pivots calipers will. The rims are as good as they look.

    Ancient flat section rims that actually deformed at the bottom as they rolled down the road used to finally die of fatigue failure. Modern wheels just don't do that.

    The types of failure those wheels might meet apply to any wheel, without regard to age. And I could name a long list of new production wheels I don't think are safe enough to ride around the block. That no one expects to last a full season.

    I have a box here with a selection of stems at 10cm, 10.5cm, 4 inches. You can't have them. I may take my chances on some of them some day. I would never let anyone else test their luck with them.

    Don't stress. Life is too short. Bikes are too fun

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  16. Just wanted to add that I have no reason to believe that these particular components will fail on me; I am just generally paranoid about vintage bikes and used parts. Pretty much every used/vintage bike I've owned or ridden for an extended period of time has in fact had some sort of failure, and I would hate for that to happen at 30mph is all.

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  17. nice to see the Moser is again back in your bicycle stable ,it looks good and is tastefully
    ´modernized´. I would not worry too much about the age of the parts on the bike,apart from stems and seatposts that will have to be checked for cracks before use, most parts can be used for 1000´s of miles without problem.
    Your Moser frame will last you a lifetime with proper care and maintanance.I have a similar Moser as yours,(late 70´s,early 80`s) and it´s a perfect mix between comfort and speed.
    I also love your handlebar tape solution. Finally..knowing you rate esthetics as high as comfort on your bikes..maybe its worth considering fresh paint to hide/replace the scratches and rusty spots?

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  18. I think it looks awesome in person. I dont see a reason for new paint but I happen to enjoy this red. Components seemed okay to me particularly wheels true.

    Lowe BB means your foot attempts to touch the wheel at a lower point where it's further away but that alone doesn't describe this magical frame.

    Perhaps it needs a 50 34 crank? Carbon with hollow BB to hit 20 lbs? :)

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  19. Ok about the builder.

    If you really want it to go faster invest in wheels.

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  20. I don't like the color of the bike, despite red being faster and all. Plus there is rust all over it. So it makes sense to powdercoat it. I only hesitate because I wonder about that headtube kink. Is it worth it repaint a frame with that sort of defect?

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  21. Jim missed your comment. No is not DP.

    MDI yes, if I get a new crankset smaller rings would be ideal. Like the 50/34t on the Seven.

    Oh and I am serious if anybody wants to trade. Ring size less important thank crank size.

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  22. Down tube shift levers don't frighten me. I like them.

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  23. Would love to undertake a project like this on my 82' miyata 912, though it would probably be easier/more affordable to pick up a used road bike with all these nice modern components... but to sacrifice the style... Oy vey -_-'

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  24. I see you have left hand shifter working rear instead of front brake.
    Is left shifter also controlling rear instead of front derailleur?
    (It looks set up so that cable from left shifter goes to right position on downtube, which would normally feed rear derailleur). I know many people prefer running front brake with their dominant right hand, but I've rarely seen this kind of routing for the derailleur cables instead of the brake cables.

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  25. She's beautiful! Fantastic work! :)

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  26. I like that you are trying to reuse an old "friend" as opposed to buying a new bike.

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  27. She looks great,and I wouldn't worry about those scuffs on her,adds character! Bike projects are ALWAYS cool to do and watch,and just think of the confidence boost she'll give when you find yourself outracing newer bikes. Good job,my friend,I hope to see many more posts on your experiences with her.

    Disabled Cyclist

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  28. @Anon 6.00PM- You and I know pedal strike to be fearlessness, but some clubs have race rules where pedal strike is a disqualification, and others where even pedalling around corners is verboten. Sorry to drift... (hehe! drifting on a bike: now that's fearless!)
    Vel - the bike looks as good as its story. Love the modern high flange hubs. b

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  29. One way to improve the performance and comfort of the bike would be new tires. From the pictures it looks like you should be able to fit 25mm tires. I'd go for a set of 25-622 Conti GP 4000S -- in my opinion they're quite a bit nicer than the Krylions (which are not bad): better traction, slightly lower weight even in 25mm and presumably better rolling resistance.

    About the crankset: I'm not a big fan of the 50/34 compacts. The 16 tooth jump usually necessitates two countershifts in the back which I find rather annoying. You could go for something like 48/36 as an alternative if you don't need the 50.

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  30. I agree about the wheels -- that is the single best thing you can do to improve your speed (except of course for going clipless, which I know you are trying but have a problem with).
    Were I you, however, I would have bought a titanium Motobecane frame from Bike Island for $1000 and built it out to have a racing bike with no compromises but not too much expense, either.

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  31. Anon @ 9:39pm: no, the inner cables are crossed under the downtube, a common tactic to get better cable routing up front.

    GR Jim: the only way to go faster with these wheels is to install motor hubs. :) These things are pretty neat.

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  32. "some clubs have race rules where pedal strike is a disqualification, and others where even pedalling around corners is verboten"

    I have not been to a training ride yet where they "taught" corners, and don't quite understand what happens. Does everyone start to coast at the same time intuitively?

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  33. Peppy (the aero cat)November 30, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Probably at the same point, which they can see as their turn to coast approaches.

    At that point they also stick their tail out to the side to get more downforce.

    I don't really know what they do because by that time I am usually so far ahead with the cat peloton struggling to catch up.

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  34. I had a similar experience with my Peugeot PX-10 as far as the speed and ride quality go. PX-10s are a known quantity and come up on eBay every so often (and they're light enough to really ship).
    The "racing stripes" on the handlebars are a great design touch; easy and inexpensive to duplicate. Thanks!

    Affordable Luxury

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  35. Nanseikan

    A club with a pedal strike rule is something I've never heard of and really can't imagine. Do they do a tech inspection and give out demerits to those with fresh gouges? And really, on most current kit with high BB and diminutive pedals it takes some aggressive riding to manage pedal strike. A club with such a rule ain't riding that hard anyway.

    I used to grind up the 1037s like everyone else and with a single exception never felt it, never noticed it.

    There is always the Stan Szozda method to get around the problem. Szozda could pedal full throttle around any corner, any speed. As the inboard pedal neared the ground he lifted the bike upright. Resumed banking and 1/2 second later lifted the bike again. Yes, he oscillated up and down while cornering at speed. If the pack let Szozda near the front going into the final corner he'd come out of that corner 3,4,5 lengths in the lead and the race for second commenced.

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  36. Do you ride hills much? See how the Moser does on a sustained uphill compared to the Seven or a carbon bike. That's where a heavy steel bike is at its greatest disadvantage.

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  37. Anon 12:05 - You think 21lb as shown is heavy? I could probably get it down to 18lb by using lighter weight components, but what kind of difference are we talking about here?

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  38. Campag wheels are cool, they don't mess around building something half-assed. Durable. Wheels are complicated, depends on the rider and terrain. Never mind what I said - just ride it and enjoy.

    Inside pedal up - that's one of those skills people assume you have and are more often learned in a skills clinic for new adult riders.


    At least have the pedals even, but inside pedal up is better at first to transfer weight to the outside pedal on a turn.

    I like the club rule - the safety of all riders in paramount and the members are only as strong as its weakest link.

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  39. Great to see that lovely Steel beauty reborn in geared form. The world champ bands tape job is super sharp by the way. I am sure somewhere in Italy Francesco is smiling. Bellissimo!

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  40. May I ask how much you ended up spending on the bike out of pocket, if at all? I am in a similar situation to you and have a box of 10yo Campy parts given to me by a generous neighbor. However I have a feeling that once the project gets going I will still end up spending major $!

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  41. Anon 2:48 - The drivetrain, levers and wheelset were given to me. The headset, stem, bars, seatpost, tires, pedals and computer are mine (leftovers from previous projects/trades). The items I bought specifically for this bike were the bottom bracket, brake calipers, bartape, inner tubes, cables and housing. I also paid Harris Cyclery for labor. I think the total was close to $300. And yes, that is still a lot.

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  42. "skills clinic for new adult riders..."

    Oh boy, skill clinic. Strikes fear into my heart, but I am told it has to be done : ((

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  43. What are your impressions of the Fizik tape? I'm looking for some white classic looking tape that's easy to clean.

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  44. Sounds like a great bike, wouldn't worry about the weight, 1 kg up or down isn't going to make much difference unless you are competing with lots of accelerations or climbs. Much more important are air resistance and rolling resistance in most cases.
    If you decide you want a new crankset with shorter cranks (say 170mm, no idea what inseam you have) I am pretty sure you could trade a record crank for a compact, not so fancy product line, crank (or just buy a new one, say Veloce or similar). If you ride long hills the 34 can be nice but you could replace it with a 38 if you think the difference between the 50 and the 34 is too large. The thing to look out for if you do a swap and you have to change bb as well is whether your frame is threaded for English or Italian bb. Some cranks are a pain to change without proper tools as well so probably back to the bikeshop. If you need pointers on cornering pretty much any club rider you know could give you those.
    If you decide to practice taking corners at as high speed as possible I'd wear a helmet and long legged tights or leggwarmers, and long sleeves to help protect the legs and arms from getting flayed if you loose traction (mostly happens because of sand, gravel, water or salt on the road).

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  45. Very nice build, classic yet racy. I don't see any reason not to powdercoat the frame if it's been inspected by someone knowledgable for rust/damage. Likewise on the wheels. If someone who knows what they're doing checked them out carefully, they should be reliable enough (despite that abominable spoke pattern!)

    Where I would worry about older components is stem and bars. These can fatigue, especially under higher stress usage like racing/training, and failure is not pretty. But I don't know how much history these parts have on them. Also, of course, new brake cables and housing. There are no "vintage" cables, only old ones. Well done.

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  46. The stem and bars are ours and very lightly used, so that is not a concern. I may later replace them with a lower stem and compact bars, but that's a separate issue.

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  47. Who wants to be crashed out by a Frederica?

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  48. @Anon 11.50am - for reference:
    Example one:
    http://www.carnegiecycling.com.au/racing/rules/
    Apparently the national club champions last two years running. Scroll down to "Criterium Rules/Safety Focus/rule 4. Penalties applied by Chief Commissaire.
    Example two:
    http://tinyurl.com/7zvpaxl
    scroll down to Offences/R17
    Penalities as above.
    These guys used to have a rule against pedalling (around corners) but they have changed it since I first looked up their site about a year ago. One of the biggest inner-city clubs in my hometown.

    These two clubs make up the "mainstream" of cycle racing in my town. IOW if they both have this rule, I reckon probably every other club in the country will have it. Maybe the US or Europe is different? b

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  49. Wow, very nice! Did something similar once with a '73 Elvish Fontan road frame and it became a favorite despite its smattering of cosmetic imperfections. It was white with a chromed fork. Recently found one just like it for free, but its a hideous irridescent green. Not that that will stop me.

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  50. Anthony M - I do like the Fizik tape and we have it on most of our bikes now. Here is a review.

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  51. Nanseikan-

    Yes it is different here. Looking at rule 3 in your first link, the rule about not improving position while cornering, it sounds like you can't race when you race. The rule about being "well clear" before deviating from your line also sounds like no racing when you race. The no pedal scrape rule just sounds impossible to enforce. Referees can't see it on any regular or reliable basis. If the ref didn't see it there's no infraction. If it's enforced by snitching who would want to race.

    And like I said before, I've ground a few pedals to the bearings and never even known when the pedal touched. Can't stop doing what can't be perceived.

    Putting your pedal into the wheel of the rider next to you is frowned on here but the ref seldom makes a call on it. Do it twice in one track meet the usual penalty is just you don't start again tonight. In a road race, nothing but a bad reputation.

    I've gone in and out of a corner in a group so tightly bunched my wheels were off the ground. We race when we race.

    Cycle sport anywhere is a rough sport. It's not a straightforward aerobic fitness test like running or rowing. It's something like hockey and a lot like boxing. Lots of riders try racing and let it go when they realize it's a contact sport. If you don't like contact at 40mph you can do TTs or randonnees but you can't really race.

    Competitors who foolishly or needlessly increase the level of danger are not popular in the pack. Riders who display courtesy and sportsmanship are also noted. And it's up to the riders. No referee can mandate some specific notion of decorum.

    Aussies I've known are tough hard riders. They learned it somewhere before they got here.

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  52. Hey Anon 10:02PM, maybe nobody pays attention to these rules in practice, I don't know, I don't race. If I did I'd want to race with your mob, they sound way more fun. b

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  53. I just read anon 10:02s comments and think I can hear the ring of truth.

    I also want to ask why you are so worried about the well used 10 year old components on this bike? They are built to wear out, not time out and if they are functioning well then you can be assured they aren't worn out yet. The Campy 9-speed on my roadbike works as well as the day it was installed in 99. It's a mix of Daytona, Veloce and Chorus. I've worn out all 3 chainrings twice and I think the middle rings been changed 3 times and I have no idea how many chains it's had(I've got more than a few worn out cogs under the bench from the cassette too). It had the same cable on the rear till I replaced it last winter but I wouldn't have had to just then. The rear derailleur does seem to have some slop in it finally but it still bangs out crisp shifts as fast as I push the lever. It might be nice to have some new stuff again but it all works as advertised.

    The brakes have had to have the pads replaced about every year or so and the levers(alloy Veloce) still work as well as ever and the calipers have only the slightest amount of play(about as much as the vintage Nuevo Record and Super Record stuff I used to use had when I bought them brand newish).

    I'm not as fast as I used to be, and never was if you know what I mean, but it's not like I'm helpless out there and the stuff is still working. As long as the hubs still hold bearings and they still make BBs I'll still probably have it on some bike. Tullio would want it that way, Right?(actually, Tullio would probably tell me to stop being cheap and give him some more money...)

    Spindizzy

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  54. Spindizzy - see my earlier comment (granted, buried among others):

    "Just wanted to add that I have no reason to believe that these particular components will fail on me; I am just generally paranoid about vintage bikes and used parts. Pretty much every used/vintage bike I've owned or ridden for an extended period of time has in fact had some sort of failure, and I would hate for that to happen at 30mph is all."

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  55. Also, the discussion about racing & technique is fascinating, thanks everyone. I have not found a good, consistent resource where I can read up on this stuff; I get all my information in snippets. Even those who actually race on the local "scene" are not really very descriptive or forthcoming and it's been a little frustrating.

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  56. V

    You have not found that single source because it does not exist. Collecting snippets is part of what's called experience.

    I'll give you a very simple skills drill. There is a large peleton of attorneys and actuaries on the horizon ready to declare this one inappropriate for any class or club. So you find a friend or conceivably two and practice. Choose your friends carefully.

    Put your arm around the shoulder of the rider next to you. Let him/her do the same. If this is way too advanced/scary just reach across with fingertips. From there you advance to elbow bumps, hip bumps, shoulder bumps. No handlebar bumps. That does not end well. In fact one thing you're doing is learning how to protect your 'bars while close and relaxed.

    The final is madisons and handslings. I've seen those taught as the first step. Just because those are seen as functional and impersonal. Well, it's a contact sport. You should learn that contact is pleasant and normal and safe and OK. End lesson.

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  57. Sorry, I guess I did miss that bit in my eagerness to get up a good rant. I do so love a good rant...

    Spindizzy

    PS. I think part of it is just envy/lust for your crabon controls.

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  58. Ground Round Jim said...
    "At least have the pedals even"


    Thanks, that had not occurred to me (see what I mean about lack of technical intuition?). Tried it today and it feels easier to quickly implement when in doubt than pedal up, because I don't need to think about which is the inside pedal.

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  59. Whoa. You're scaring me.
    Might want to try visualizing stuff on the trainer, probably no chance of injury.

    In the do as I say not as I do department, caught a pedal yesterday but good.

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  60. Um... but on the trainer the bike doesn't lean!

    Anyhow, no worries. Went on a group ride on the Moser today and it was great! No pedalstrike either.

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  61. Peppy (the too far ahead to be seen cycling cat)December 1, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Oooh, time to take those training wheels off.

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  62. Please reconsider powder coating the frame - it deserves wet paint! Powder coating is fine for deck chairs and fixies, the Moser deserves better!

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  63. Very nice bike, once I had one very similar, rode very well.
    The only thing that you need to change is the crankset, a 170 or even a 165, would be the right mesure for you, and on a classical italian bike like this a compact is not an option... :-)

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  64. I followed your lovely blog a bit but never left a comment before. Perhaps it's ironic that the first comment the transport bike guy (I founded Workcycles) leaves is about your old racing bike...

    Anyhow, you really needn't worry a bit about the longevity and safety of that bike. I currently have two road race bikes, one of them remarkably similar to your Moser:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/henryinamsterdam/4665671849/in/set-72157624070820499/

    I've been riding the piss out of that bike for much of the last 30 years; on road, off-road, as a strong road sprinter in my racing days. It's been ridden tens of thousands of kilometers. It's hit the ground many times and been mishandled by many an airline. Frame repairs to date include one replaced chainstay and fresh paint a few years ago. DeRosa's dumb diamond shaped tubes were notorious for breaking. Of course most of the parts have been replaced several times over.

    I wrote about modern vs. old road bikes (amongst other things) in my last Eurobike report. Y'all might enjoy:
    http://www.bakfiets-en-meer.nl/2011/10/05/eurobike-2011-lighter-new-decals-screw-bikes-for-normal-folks/

    Happy cycling and keep up the good work!

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  65. I had a pedal strike issue with my '78 Raleigh Pro converted to 650B. I was aware of it and kept the inside pedal up... when I remembered to. The first few strikes were annoying, but the last one knocked me off of my saddle and I landed on the nose of it in a very painful way.

    That did it. I bit the bullet and bought a set of 165mm cranks with narrow tread (TA Pro Vis 5), installed pedals with more clearance and solved the problem.

    I read somewhere (Grant Petersen?) that you should be able to lean your bike over 25 degrees off of vertical before the pedal hits. I can do that now. Personally, I consider pedal strike to be a more serious problem than toe overlap, since the latter, in my experience, only happens at very slow speeds.

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  66. Hey great article. I am new to cycling, and only recently discovered that the second hand bike I bought 4 months ago is a Moser. Judging by the pictures you put up, my frame is identical to yours. The bike cost me €30(45 dollars I guess), not a bad price, guess the previous owner did not know he had a Moser. It is a brilliant bike to ride, and I enjoy every single moment on it, be it going to my uni lectures or on a weekend cycle to the countryside. I am now preparing to refurbish the whole bike, and add new modern components to it. Do you have any idea what the frame is called?

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  67. Ah, what a beauty! I had a Raleigh Pursuit from 1990, which I bought from a colleague around 1998/99. Although nothing special, it was always fun to ride. Some years ago I decided to upgrade the components (6-speed Sachs Huret shifter without indexing and Weinmann brakes) with 8-speed gearing and STIs. What can I say? I LOVED IT!

    Well, unfortunately our ways parted some weeks ago due a crack in the head tube. Sounds bad and might add to your concerns, but I must say (as some readers already pointed out), things like that don't happen out of the blue and without warning. I had a clear sense that there was a problem after replacement of the worn-out headset and before the crack was clearly visible. So nobody got hurt. And at the end of the day I'd still say it was worth it.

    In the meantime I bought a "Velo de Mercier" from around 1984 which is a lot of fun to ride, although I had to make some adjustments (a shorter stem to compensate the longer top-tube for instance).

    http://mark793.blogger.de/static/antville/mark793/images/01010811.jpg

    The frame won't need any widening to cope with the 8-speed-hub, and in the next days I am going to replace the downtube shifters with Shimano 600 STIs which had worked perfectly fine on my previous steel bike.

    And for campa-aficionados here's another nice example of old bike meets new gearing:

    http://fstatic1.rennrad-news.de/img/photos/2/7/0/1/1/_/large/VelodeMercier001.jpg

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