Vitus 992 Ovoid

This beautiful aluminium Vitus 992 Ovoid frame set has nothing to do with track bikes, although there was a track version available once.
No, I already have a nice collection of classic track bikes and 2 classic cyclocross bikes, nearly bought 2 "vintage" mountainbikes, but still no classic road bike. The several retro rides I did were all on a cyclocross bikes with road wheels and road pedals and even the wheels were from my cyclocross bikes and I swapped tyres for the occasion.
992 frames were introduced in 1992 (this is the model naming of Vitus: the number represents the year of introduction) as a successor of the famous 979 Duralinox (intro 1979).
Vitus, Alan and a couple of other companies understood that aluminium was a very suitable material to build bicycle frames with (lightweight, corrosion resistant), but at that time it was still difficult to weld. Also, aluminium isn't as strong and stiff as steel, so you need more of it to reach the same strength and rigidity. And because of standardized bike component dimensions (as far as that exists) or just because of stupidity, they just increased the tube's wall thickness and left the diameters the same. The result was that aluminium frames were just slightly lighter than steel ones of the same strength, and quite a bit less rigid. So, aluminium frames were popular for lightweight riders with smaller frame sizes.
Vitus 992 was one of the first frames with oversized tubing: the tube diameters were increased and the wall thickness reduced. Vitus also ovalized the tubes, similar to Columbus Max (steel). Also due to the integrated Stronglight headset, a lightweight, less flexy and beautifully shaped frame was born.
For me, Vitus will always remain linked to Sean Kelly, who mainly rode 979 frames and a short period on 992 and even moved away from Vitus to continue with Concorde (Ciöcc frames for the PDM team) and Rossin (Festina).
Just to illustrate how stupidly a new bicycle project can start: this Vitus 992 will be a nice platform for my Reydel Pro saddle. Both French and both related to Kelly. A Mavic SSC group set would make a nice match, but I think I will go for Shimano Dura Ace 740x components for practical reasons.

Superia track ready

The Superia track bike is ready to ride now. Here's a full spec.

Frame and fork: Superia track, Ishiwata 022, 59 cm centre - top

Headset: Shimano Dura Ace track, UA-100 or HP-7500

Cranks: Shimano Dura Ace 10, FC-7000, 165 mm, 52 T / 49 T

Bottom Bracket set: Shimano Dura Ace track, BB-7500, BC thread, 107 mm axle length

Hubs: Shimano Dura Ace 10, HB-7020, 36 H

Rims: Alesa 913, clincher, silver, 36 H

Spokes: DT Swiss Competition, 2.0 - 1.8 mm, silver

Tyres: Veloflex Master 23 clincher foldable

Sprocket: Shimano Dura Ace 10, SS-7000, BC33 x 24 TPI threading for special Dura Ace 10 hub only, 16 T

Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 10, CN-7000

Pedals: MKS Sylvan Track, silver

Toe clips: MKS steel, chrome plated, size L

Toe straps: Alfredo Binda Prestige

Saddle: Arius Special Saddle Quilted

Seat Post: SR Sakae Ringyo New Royal Extra Super Light, NRY-ESL, 27.0 mm

Stem: SR Sakae Ringyo New Royal Super Light, NRY-130SL, 13 cm

Handlebars: SR Sakae Ringyo Road Custom, 42 cm centre - centre

Bar tape: Ambrosio Ribbon white

This bike on Velospace


Seat post SR Sakae Ringyo New Royal Extra Super Light

This SR seat post is not 100% the ideal match with the Super Light stem, but I will rate it as 9 out of 10.
This ESL post must be exactly the same type as I had on my old Batavus.
Back then, it was already a very, very nice seat post, although no Campagnolo and not Italian.
In the past experienced some bending problems with the lightweight (fragile) machined head and maybe even breakage at the end. This post is nearly new and unused and during the installation on my Superia track bike everything was still looking okay.
The assembly of the saddle is a bit a pain in the neck. The Campagnolo-like 2 bolt construction may be a safe one, but reaching and turning the bolts is fiddly, especially with a regular wrench. After so many years it's really to look out for a special Campagnolo wrench for this kind of job.
My Superia frame is made with Ishiwata 022 tubing and I measured an internal seat tube diameter of 27.2 mm, but a seat post of that size goes in quite difficult. So, during my hunt for a proper SR seat post, I didn't limit myself to a 27.2 mm size, but I felt free to go for a 27.0 mm size as well. Now I have that size and the seat post goes into the frame (too?) easily, but it still may be better than forcing a 27.2 mm post into the frame and damaging the post. It will work.

Alfredo Binda Prestige toe straps

When it comes to toe straps for platform pedals and toe clips, there's just one brand: Alfredo Binda.
This "Prestige" is a 2 ply leather version with a layer of nylon in between to reduce stretch and to increase the durability.
I don't know if it performs really better than the standard Binda's. I remember from a few decades ago, that one laminated in particular wasn't any better. I cannot remember if it was the same construction as this Prestige type though. Time will tell.
Additionally, the width of the leather near the buckle is also wider for more comfort.

I will put these straps on my Superia track bike, which as generally built up with Japanese parts, but since I don't trust other straps than Binda's, I will use these. Besides that, I will use some other European parts. Also, Superia and other 1970s and 1980s bike manufacturers mixed and matched all kinds of components, so why shouldn't I? Tyres from Veloflex, bar tape from Ambrosio / Bike Ribbon, saddle from Arius, rims from Alesa... But the full group set, the "triplette" (as the French call the combination of bars, stem and seat post), as well as the pedals and toe clips are from Japan.

Stem SR Sakae Ringyo New Royal Super Light

My first road bike was a second hand Batavus Professional: a former amateur team bike from 1978.
The frame was built with Reynolds 531 tubing and it was assembled with Shimano Dura Ace componentry. The bars, stem and seat post were from another Japanese company: Sakae Ringyo (SR). Not the generic low end OEM components, but good, high end stuff.
The stem was milled in the centre of the clamp to make it lightweight and the same was done to the head of the seat post. This was something that top Italian manufacturers (Cinelli, 3ttt, Campagnolo) didn't do in those days. But still, my bike components were Japanese and regarded as "less quality". In a certain way, it was correct, because the milled head of the seat post tended to bend a little, when the 2 saddle clamping bolts were tightened. I can't remember if something ever broke or not. Maybe I just switched over to Italian stuff because of the good image and because it was broadly available in the market.

When I bought my Superia track frame with the nearly complete Dura Ace 10 group set, I had the idea to build the bike with as much as possible Japanese parts. Of course not with the middle-of-the-road "Custom" series or a Laprade seat post, but if possible with more classy stuff, like I had on my old Batavus.
At that time, I didn't realize how rare these parts are nowadays and how difficult it would be to obtain it in the right specification.

The first part I obtained for the Superia is the handlebar stem.
I always need very long stems (13 or 14 cm) and it was very hard to find an SR of this length.
First I found a beautifully Superia-pantographed 3ttt stem in the States, but I played the poker game too much and I lost it. So, I nearly dropped the idea of going fully Japanese, but because of this loss, I was back on track again.
At nearly the same time I found a nice SR stem in England and this time I won.
It's not the same as the New Royal Extra Super Light (NRY-ESL) of the Batavus, but it's a New Royal Super Light (NRY-130SL). No milling in the clamp, but fluted at the sides and at the top. Still a very nice stem. And, of course, the right dimensions: 130 mm, 22.2 mm, 25.4 mm.

Gazelle Jeugd Race II

The Gazelle Jeugd Race 24" as it should look like.
Looks much better with a decent saddle, pedals, brake levers and bar tape.

49T and 52T chain rings Dura Ace 10 mm pitch

Due to my own dumbness and some bad luck, I lost my 10 mm pitch chain ring.
But thanks to the great support of Neil, my British friend in Tokyo, I got this 49T replacement. For a very attractive price, like new and with a bunch of lovely stamps.
Now, the group set is complete again.


EDIT (2013/Sept/04): Lucky me! The postman brought back the missing 52 teeth chain ring, so now I have two, one with 49 and one with 52 teeth.

Gazelle Jeugd Race

I've just picked up a gorgeous 1980 Gazelle Jeugd Race bike. This 46 cm framed road bike with 24" tubular wheels is in a nice condition and will make a beautiful retro racer for one of my kids. The problems are: they don't ride that much and there are already several nice (retro and newer, road and MTB) kid bikes in my garage. On top of that: my son, who rides with my every now and then, is slowly getting too large for a road bike with 24" wheel size. But if I get the opportunity to buy such a lovely bike, I cannot resist. I will clean and restore it and see if the kids will ride it. Otherwise, someone else can do his junior a big favour.

Frame and fork: Full Reynolds 531c.
Hubs: Pelissier 36H.
Rims: Nisi tubular 36H.
Tubulars: Vittoria Junior 24"
Bars: 3ttt Tour de France, 38 cm o - o
Stem: SR (?) 6.5 cm.
Seat post: aluminium 27.2 mm.
Cranks: Ofmega 150 mm. w. steel ring 48T.
Pedals: Lyotard
BB-set: Sugino cups, Shimano axle 116 mm.

Wheels Dura Ace 10 track hubs to Alesa 913 clincher rims

Cut the rusty spokes of the old tubular wheels to separate the hubs from the Nisi rims. Disassembled and cleaned the hubs. Now I've got to polish all parts and put it together again with some new grease. Ball races and balls look excellent.

I've found a pair of clincher rims: Alesa 913 from Belgium, so that goes well together with the Superia frame kit.
The rims are NOS (new old stock) shiny silver colour aluminium, 36 holes. The only thing that worries me a little bit is, that these rims are a bit too new for the bike. I think the rims are from the late 1980, but that makes that everything is still within a time bracket of 10 years, which is acceptable. Alesa 913 rims are a little bit higher/deeper than flat, box section rims. I think I've used these rims in the late 1980s when our road team was sponsored by Vredestein and Alesa. The aero-ish rims without eyelets were absolutely terrible, but the more box section like rims with double eyelets were much better. We used them in road races and it was the hard anodised black/grey version. This silver version matches a lot better with the Superia frame with Dura Ace 10 series components.
It's very hard to find a pair of 36 hole clincher rims with unworn side walls from the late 1970. Most rims have been used on road biked, so brake signs are visible. Nearly all track wheels from that era have tubular rims, but for practical reasons I want clincher rims.

Spoke length calculators tell me that I need spokes of 288 mm. I've tried 290 mm, but that's far too long.
I'm going to order 286 mm and I'm pretty sure that thas is correct. (Edit: 286 mm wasn't available. I've ordered 285 mm and 287 mm. 285 mm was a bit too short and 287 was correct.
No idea if I will tie and solder the spokes. I'm already done that a couple of times. There's no real benefit, when you decide to do it, it mainly because of emotional and unlogical reasons. I will see.

Dura Ace 10 mm pitch track chain

Finally, I succeeded to get a Shimano Dura Ace 10 mm pitch chain. Or two chains, actually.
One chain is slightly used and I bought it for a fair price via Marktplaats.nl. Unfortunately, this chain is a bit too short for the gear combination I'm planning (and the parts I have), but I got a few spare links from a nice chap in U.K.
The second chain is brand new and in the original box. I obtained it straight from Shimano's bike museum in Sakai, Japan.
The chain is the heart of the unique Dura Ace 10 mm pitch track series. Regular bike chains have a 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) pitch: the distance from pin to pin. The 10 mm pitch chain has a 10 mm pitch, of course.
The pictures below show the difference between a 10 mm pitch chain (top) and a regular 1/2" pitch chain (bottom).
Due to this special 10 mm pitch chain, all parts involved, as well as the tools, are different.
The distance from tooth to tooth of the chain rings and sprockets is also reduced from 12.7 to 10 mm and als the overall diameters have decreased. This requires crank arms with a smaller BCD (bolt circle diameter) and a rear hub with a smaller thread size.

Show of classic track bikes during european championships

On Sunday 20. October 2013 an exhibition of classic track racing bikes will take place in the Omnisport Centre in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. This show will be a side event of the European Championships Track Cycling (18 - 20. October).
Owners, riders and other fans of track bikes produced before 1990 (roughly) are invited to join this event and to show their bikes to the audience. The bikes will be exhibited, knowledge and experience will be shared and, of course, there will be plenty time to enjoy the championships races.

During the break(s), experienced riders will be given the opportunity to ride some laps on the velodrome and to participate in a few races.

In the Omnisport Centre there are several restaurants, bars and counters to obtain all the food and drinks you'll need for the day.

Registration and information via
Facebook event page
e-mail: hofstedeharrie@gmail.com
Twitter: @hahofstede

More about this event on my special blog
or on Facebook

Shimano about Dura Ace 10

From Shimano’s 1981 catalogue:
The pitch revolution that has changed the world of racing ….. 10mm. Pitch Series.
Shimano's new Dura-Ace 10 Track System is the new standard among competitive bicycle components.
Dura-Ace 10 is the first major deviation from a standard that has existed in the bicycle industry since mass-production of bikes began some 100 years ago.
It was so simple: Shimano reduced the distance between the sprocket teeth from the old 1/2” to the new 10mm. dimension.
Ten millimeter pitch allows the front chainwheel and the rear sprockets to be made smaller and the chain shorter. The smaller size means less weight and more rigidity and when rotating parts are lightened acceleration is increased.
Now competitors on Dura-Ace 10 can jump out of corners more quickly and get the lead in the sprint.
Dura-Ace 1 0 track components are already the choice of the best racers in the world. John Nicholson, twice world professional sprint champion, rode to his titles on Dura-Ace 10. More and more racers are changing to the obvious advantages of using the lightest components in track racing - Dura-Ace 10.

Shimano Dura Ace 10 mm pitch series

When I bought my Superia track frame kit, I all of a sudden became the owner of a super rare Shimano Dura Ace 10 mm pitch components group. Yes, I know that the chain set was assembled and that there was even a Dura Ace headset installed. But when I was asked if I was also interested in having the rear sprocket, I got the whole wheel set. So, besides the frame and fork, I had the chain set, bottom bracket set, headset, sprocket and front and rear hub! My original intention was to sell the chain set, but when I realized, that I had nearly the full group set, I decided to keep it, because I would never get this opportunity again. All that was missing, was a matching 10 mm pitch chain. It seems that the chain is the most sought-after part, but since I got the rest of the parts so easily, it was worth trying to make the set complete. I do not worry that much about the missing chain pinch or chain whip. Working on a 10 mm pitch chain must also be possible with standard (modified?) chain tools or home-made tools.

What is so special about 10 mm pitch parts?
Well, all bike (drive) parts in the world are designed around a 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) pitch chain. That is the centre to centre distance of the chain pins. A very long time ago, chain pitch was 1", but that was a different chain design. Somewhere in the 1970s, Shimano people got the great idea to reduce the chain pitch to 10 mm. The chain rings and the sprockets became smaller and the chain shorter, resulting in less weight. As always, you may ask what Shimano's real idea was: to design and make better components or to make something different, unique and incompatible?
Dura Ace 10 mm pitch series were introduced in 1976.
Somehow, the 10 mm pitch series never convinced the cycling world and the parts weren't a big success, despite the world championship match sprint (1976) of John Nicholson from Australia with these components. There is a story, that the Keirin federation banned these parts, because the riders would have an unfair advantage. But that could also be just a nice bla bla story. Somewhere in the 1980, the 10 mm pitch series were discontinued.
Not only the chain is unique. Of course, chain rings and sprockets have to match the smaller pitch and are different, too. And because the chain rings and sprockets have a smaller pitch, but the same number of teeth as regular components, the diameter is smaller. That makes it necessary to make the bolt circle diameter of the cranks smaller, as well as the diameter of the threads on the rear hub.
Head set and bottom bracket set are the same as the normal 1/2" pitch Dura Ace track series.

SOLD: Saronni Tipo Giro d'Italia (by Colnago) frame kit for sale

SOLD: ARONNI TIPO GIRO D'ITALIA (by Colnago) FRAME AND FORK
EUR $$$$

Seat  tube length (centre - top) = 57 cm
Top tube length (centre - centre) = 555 mm
Price excl. postage.

I'm selling what has been the frame set of my dreams since decades.
Unfortunately, it's a bit too small for me, otherwise I would have renovated it myself and assembled it with Campagnolo Nuovo Record.
This Colnago sub-brand was used by the famous Jan van Erp tegels amateur squad in 1980.
This frame and fork are covered with scratches, paint chips and corroded edges and spots, because it has been used, raced, stored for about 30 years. But it's technically okay and safe. No dents, dings or cracks.
Underneath the worn but original paint, chrome and decals is a beautiful Saronni/Colnago with lots of unique logos and engraved details.
According to the old Colnago catalogue, this Saronni frame has been built with Columbus SL tubing. That corresponds with the seat post diameter: 27.2 mm.
Restore this unique frame kit or leave it original as it is, whatever you think is the best. But please do it justice!
A must have for every fan of Colnago, Saronni and steel vintage bikes.

Go to this Flickr set to see more pictures

Superia track

This is my new Superia track frame kit. Actually it's a bit more than just a frame and fork, because it came with headset, bottom bracket and chain set and a pair of wheels, too!
The frame is, very Superia-like, built with Ishiwata 022 tubing and measures 59 cm centre to top.
Based on the colour of the frame, the decals and the components used (Dura Ace 10 mm Pitch series!) I think that this bike comes from the late 1970s. It may have been the frame of an ex pro rider, possibly riding for the 1978 or 1979 team of Marc Zeepcentrale. In those days, the Marc team was equipped with Superia bikes and hires several track specific riders and some road racers, who rode on the track as well.
Some names: Patrick Sercu, Gary Wiggins, Ferdi van den Haute, Herman van Springel.
Unfortunately, there is no frame number or initials on the frame, that may lead to the correct date or name of the rider.
Judging by the frame details, it's built quite well and it's not cheap or mass manufactured stuff. The frame is not finished like an Italian piece of art, but at least the frame builder made some effort. Lugs and tips of the blades and stays are a bit rough, but still in a nice style.
I assume that everything is still original, but that also means that there are the usual wear marks and rust. Usually, I prefer to keeps things as they are, but sometimes it may be nice to restore. So, I'm not sure yet what will happen with this Superia. In case it will be restored, it will be repainted in the original light blue Superia colour and it will be done with wet paint, not powder coated. On top of that, I have to make replicas of the original decals. That will be a challenge, because I don't think that original decals still exist and replicas are also still not available. So, right now I'm busy with collecting additional information about the Superia company as well as the products. That may lead me to some additional materials to create logos, letters, artwork, decals.

Perforated saddles in cyclocross according to Stammie

I've been asked by several people, why these cyclocross saddles were perforated. Was it for weight saving reasons, to shed mud and water, or maybe something else?
Since these saddles are from the period before I started a racing career or got jobs in the bike business and because the concept phased out and never actually came back, I cannot speak from own experience of knowledge.
So, what else could I do than asking one of the people who played an important role in the cyclocross scene in the 1970s and 1980, ex pro and ex world champion cyclocross Hennie Stamsnijder?
I've asked him if he knew what the idea behind the perforated saddles was and why these saddles were not popular and discontinued so quickly.
Hennie was so kind to share his opinion and experience with me:

Quote:
"The first thing we did was pulling the saddle cover and foam padding off from the hard shell and then drill holes into the hard shell ourselves.
The bonding was not as good as nowadays and when you rode longer time in rain and bad weather, the glue dissolved and cover and padding were coming loose.
We were still riding in our fabulous woollen racing shorts with natural chamois reason and always had to make smooth with chamois grease. Because of that, the shorts and saddles were so slippery that you could sit well on the hard shell. Hence the solution with the holes to get a more rough surface. Besides that, a drilled hard shell saddle was much lighter than a saddle with a wet leather cover with wet foam padding."


So, a clear answer from the master, why they used perforated saddles. To get a better grip and to avoid a serious weight increase in wet conditions.
It's no immediate answer why the saddle manufacturers made perforated saddles with leather cover and foam padding, but it seems that they didn't understand exactly what the racers' problems were and came up with the wrong product. They may have tried to keep the comfort of a padded saddle and to shed water, grease and dirt via the perforations. Unfortunately, the saddles were still heavy and because of the additional (approx.) 50 entry ports, were getting even heavier in the wet. Besides that, the bonding technique was still shitty.
The problem of heavy and slippery saddles was solved in the 1980s thanks to lycra skin suits, synthetic chamois and lighter, skinnier saddles with better bonding. And by the different race courses. Wet and muddy races like Saccolongo, Hägendorf and Lembeek don't happen that often anymore.

Soffatti Professionale perforated saddle

Okay, I'll be honest with you. Until 2 weeks ago, I'd never heard about Soffatti saddles. The brand name was used by one of the larger dealers / wholesalers in our area for frames, helmets, clothing and maybe some other stuff. I thought it was another private label.
Then I saw this perforated saddle on Ebay and I started searching.
It is pretty sure, that Soffatti saddles were made by Arius, the Spanish saddle manufacturer.
These Soffatti saddles were distributed with Zeus group sets, either under Soffatti or Zeus label.
I was aware of perforated saddles (for cyclocross) by Arius and Assos from the 1970s and early 1980s. Now Soffatti as added to that short list. But it is almost sure that all these saddles came from Arius and that just the labels were different. The hole patterns are exactly or nearly the same and also the plastic shells (look at the bottom of the saddle) have the same typical shape as the Arius Special Gran Carrera saddles.
The saddle says "Soffatti Professionale" on the sides and "Prestige" on the back. So, I can't say what the official model name is.

As I wrote a couple of months ago, I didn't succeed to drill my own Arius saddle. But I found this Soffatti saddle on Ebay and I managed to buy it.
In the meantime, I dyed the leather black again and it became nice and shiny with some shoe cream.
For sure, it will look nice on my Alan cyclocross bike.
Mission accomplished.

I can't tell why people ever made these perforated saddles for cyclocross. Since the saddles are very race, it must not have been an enormous success. Even in more recent years, saddle manufacturers haven't come up with perforated saddles.
Perhaps the basic idea was to get rid of water, mud and other dirt that got in and on to the riders shorts. Water and dirt could escape better and faster via the small holes in the saddle.

EDIT 25. April 2013: click here fo a comment from Hennie Stamsnijder, cyclocross ace.

Iscaselle Tornado saddle

Another legendary saddle added to my collection: Iscaselle Tornado. Nice? Oh yes, I think so. Good, comfortable? No idea. I've never had such a saddle before and never heard anyone's opinion about it.
Then, what's so legendary about it? Well, simple. Peter Post's famous pro teams used it! As far as I could trace it back, the T.I. Raleigh - Campagnolo squad used Isca saddle in 1982 and 1983 and Panasonic - Raleigh in 1984 and maybe in 1985.
Despite the good results of the riders, the saddle company Iscaselle got very little publicity and even less extra sales. I never saw a Tornado saddle in a bike shop and also never in the peloton. Today you can notice that, because Iscaselle saddles from that age are quite rare. On Ebay you may see some Giro d'Italia's or newer production Tornados (not that typical Tornado standing out on the backside); this saddle I found at the recent "Stalen Ros" bike show and jumble in Neerkant.
So, you can say that Iscaselle made a big marketing, sales or distribution blooper: sponsoring a pro team for at least 4 years and hardly any presence in the market. How different was the situation for Selle San Marco (Concor) and Selle Italia (Turbo), but they supplied saddles to a multitude of teams. Very well possible, that the Tornado is a much better saddle that the two others, but I have to find out.

Superia Gemini Cross ready

It's done! The bike is completely ready, even the second pair of wheels.
Absolutely ready? No, not really. There is something to be done, but that may take another year. Maybe even two.
The handlebars and the stem are not completely "period correct". But they fit and that's the most important.
When I've replaced these 2 parts, I will also drill the stem to guide front brake cable and to act as an outer cable stop. It's a waste to do that with good components (especially if these are brand new) that certainly will be replaced.
Besides the bars and the stem, also another multiple freewheel may be assembled. I've found a 7 speed Maillard 14-28 T, but it's a bit too wide, so I have to look for a 6 speed.

Frame and fork: Superia Gemini Cross, Ishiwata 022, 57 cm centre - top.

Head set: Tange Falcon

Cranks: Ofmega Competizione Cyclocross, 170 mm, 46 T.

Bottom Bracket set: Ofmega Axec, Italian thread, 119 mm axle length

Rear derailleur: Sun Tour Vx GT

Shifting lever: Sun Tour Power Ratchet bar end shifter

Brakes: Dia Compe 960 cantilever

Hubs: Mavic 500, 36 H, for scew-on freewheel

Rims: Wolber Super Champion Arc-en-ciel, 36 H

Tubulars: Wolber Wolber Cross 28 Extra

Sprockets: Shimano MF-xxxx  14-28 T

Chain: KMC Z8S

Pedals: Lyotard 460D

Toe clips: Christophe double, size L

Toe straps: no name

Saddle: Arius Special Gran Carrera

Seat Post: SR Sakae, 26.6 mm

Stem: 3ttt Record 84, 14 cm

Handlebars: 3ttt Super Competizione 46 cm outside - outside

Brake levers: Dia Compe SVX

Bar tape: Bike Ribbon BTGR Grip tape

Spare wheels:
Hubs: Shimano 600 (HB-6207, FH-6207, converted with 7 speed HG freewheelbody)
Rims: Wolber Super Champion Gentleman (front: 81; rear: GTA), 36 H
Tyres: Challenge Grifo Open 32 mm (clincher)
Sprockets: Shimano 13 - 15 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 24 - 28 T.

This bike on Velospace


T.A. Ref. 41 cleats on Adidas cyclocross shoes

Although cyclocross shoes have a treaded outsole, for cycling performance it's the best to have some cleats attached to the shoes. Even when (or should I say especially because?) the toe straps all almost never pulled tight. Maybe only for a final sprint.
Cyclocrossers tend to shape, modify and tune everything they can and so they do with shoe cleats. The goal is to get the best entry into the pedals and clips as possible and to shed mud and other dirt.
I've cut of the front part of the cleat, so I could leave as much as possible from the original shoe tread. Only at the sides I had to cut away something with a utility knife. I've removed the centre parts (a bit over 1 cm, a bit more than the width of a metal file) with a hack saw and a file. This way, the cleats become lighter and mud has less chance to clog up in the cleat's grooves. Now, pedal entry is more or less ensured.
I've shortened the nails than come in the thinnest parts of the cleats and soles (centre), to avoid that these would go completely through the sole.
Then I've nailed the cleats to the soles (after I've determined, checked and double checked the exact location and angle) and secured with superglue (Loctite, Pattex or similar).

Adidas cyclocross shoes

I've restored 2 retro cyclocross bikes, so I was in the need for a pair of classic 'cross shoes. I've got a truckload of SPD compatible shoes post 1990, but I've dumped my vintage shoes. So, during the Stalen Ros bike jumble in Neerkant last Sunday, I kept my eyes open for a pair that would fit and yes, I was extremely lucky. I found a pair Adidas cyclocross shoes, new in a box and, although a bit tight, they fit! Exactly the same shoes as I bought new in 1989, when I drove over to the Adidas wholesaler in Belgium.
At that time, these Adidas shoes were just new on the market and considered to be the best of its kind. Nice leather upper, treaded sole with a flat spot for cleats, walking comfort, closure with shoe laces, leather flaps (covering the laces) that are closed with velcro and press-studs. Maybe its predecessor in shiny black leather was a bit better and nicer though, a proof that new isn't always better...
One I joined the Shimano company in 1990, I got the 1st series of PD-M737 off-road SPD pedals and matching SH-M100 shoes. I've tried to drill the soles of the Adidas shoes and fit a pair of SPD shoe cleats. The result was a disaster, because the cleats were not properly sunken in the shoe treads and the soles were too flexible to ride well with the small cleats and pedals. SPD systems require stiff soles. The Adidas shoes were ruined and I think I've dumped them soon after. At that time no real problem, because I got all the shoes and pedals I needed.
Nowadays, when you want a pair of classic 'cross shoes, you have a problem, because they are so damn rare. And modern MTB shoes are a bad combination with cage pedals, toe clips and straps. Because almost all shoes are closed with one or more velcro straps, it's nearly impossible to get into the clips quickly. You either have to look for a pair of (cheaper) shoes with shoe laces only or one higher placed velcro strap, that doesn't interfere with the clips and straps. But the best solution is to look for a set of high end classic 'cross shoes from Adidas, Sidi or an equivalent. Or go clipless with a click-in retention system, but that may be not retro enough for your taste.