Thursday, July 28, 2016


I'm responding on a forum about what I'll ride and wear in Gaiole this fall. Seems like the right time to upload these photos from 2014, when I failed to complete the long route on this "cancello" due to a dangerously out of adjustment front hub with a less-than-functional cup and cone assembly that prevented further attempts on the road to fix it! It's a 1919 Touring model made by Bianchi. Wood rims one usable gear, heavy, glorious!

To the point, I'll be riding this...

And wearing this...

This photo was actually the background image for the l'Eroica website for most of 2015!

Monday, July 25, 2016


It's finally done! My dream bike from my early days of pouring over Bicycling and Winning magazines back in the 80's. It took some vision, some time and a few bucks to turn this...

into this...

Paint expertly recreated by my friends at The Bicycle Stand in Long Beach. Original decals from the Joe Bell archive. Parts from all over the world via eBay. THIS was the dream bike, in THIS color, built just like THIS.

I already have a couple of metric centuries (possibly the only centuries I'm good for these days) and the ride is fantastic. The Campy Syncro II shifting leaves a little to be desired, as does the gearing. Other than that, I'm simply amazed at how well a somewhat heavy (22 lbs) but extremely well thought out and well built Italian steel bike rides. It just fits. You simply sit in and it feels like a proper bike should feel. You pour yourself into position because it puts you in the correct position.

A couple of points for the vintage crowd... Don't believe what most say about Delta brakes and SGR pedals. They both work very well if set up correctly. OK, they're heavy as it gets... but LOOK at them! Prettier components have never been designed for a bicycle. 

Here is the build:

Saddle:  Campagnolo Electa Pneumatic
Seatpost:  Campagnolo (not sure the flavor)
Rims:  Campagnolo Lambda Strada aero clincher
Hubs:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Water Bottle:  Campagnolo Biodynamic
Shift Levers:  Campagnolo Syncro II
Cables:  Campagnolo
Pedals:  Campagnolo SGR-1
Bottom Bracket:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Crank:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Chainrings:  Campagnolo, 53 x 39
Front Der:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Rear Der:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Chain:  Regina 50 SL hollow pins
Freewheel:  Regina Extra 7v
Brake Levers:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune
Brakes:  Campagnolo Croce d'Aune Delta
Headset:  Campagnolo Chorus
Handlebars:  Cinelli EXA, 44cm c-c
Stem:  Cinelli 101

Spokes are DT Swiss and tires are Clement Strada LGG 25's. Still working on alphabet icons for those!

I had fun with the build. Filling in the pantographing was fun, and the raised "Rossin" logo on the seat stay caps was another lesson in detail painting and a steady hand. Seat tube needed to have the overspray sanded out.

The headset proved to be the biggest issue. Many Ghibli's were sent to US customers built with Shimano groups. This one certainly did, as the fork threads were cut rather short. With a 10mm difference in headset stack heights between vintage Campy and Shimano, I was left with not even half of a thread's engagement! I first ordered a Tange Passage in order to use lower-stack races with the Campy Headset. That seemed logical, and was a good tip from a friend; however, the Tange uses smaller bearings so, no dice. The solution was quickly found at my grinder wheel. The Campy lock nut has a 1mm lip that fits over the locking spacer. Grind it down, file it flat, lose the spacer and add Loctite. It's that simple!

The final issue may actually be the culprit for my less-than-optimal shifting. This Ghibli's rear derailleur housing stop is unique and mine even more so, as it seems a bit "D" shaped and doesn't hold my step-down ferrule tightly.

Here are some more beauty shots, taken near Angel's stadium on the bike path. My apologies to the under-the-bridge crowd for the disturbance to your neighborhood. Hope I brought a little color to the area.

Hollow pin chain! And that odd housing stop!

Raised logo on the caps.

Great Pantographing.

ESI mtb grip caps with bubble-printed logos from Poland!

The famous Ghibli bb shell, and more pantographing.


Not-so-common Cinelli front end.

Even more uncommon Campagnolo saddle with air bladder!

Thursday, July 7, 2016


The project that restarted this blog at the beginning of the year with this post is almost complete. Some spectacular stuff coming, as soon as I can sort out a vintage headset problem... more on that later. It has also sparked my interest in the Rossin brand and especially the Ghibli as a flagship frame that set the standard in the late 1980's.

That research led me to a recent discovery. Other than the fact that Rossin catalog scans don't seem to be very common online like those of Bianchi, there seems to be quite a bit to discover about the Ghibli.

A recent eBay post led me to a conversation with Enrico about his listing for a beautiful (in an 80's way) Rossin "Super" Ghibli. I questioned where he got the "Super" from and his response included a scan previously ignored on my prior searches. It doesn't show in the 1988 catalog scan that seems to be out there, even though the layout and graphic seems very similar.

The Super Ghibli then, seems to be a Ghibli with a fork from a Prestige, which creates an even more striking combination. The Prestige fork is stunning and quite a departure from other microfusion lugs/crowns of the day. They also call out exclusive RC 40 dropouts. The dropout/hanger in the photos matches mine at the cable stop. Could mine be a Super without the Prestige fork crown?

Enrico's listing. Thank goodness it's not a 56 - I'm out of room in the paddock!

The Prestige crown mated to a Ghibli.

Stunning Ghibli paint job, the gorgeous BB shell... yep, it's a Ghibli!

Grezzo forks can be had on eBay... should I?

That ad. Other than the fork crown it boasts of exclusive RC 40 dropouts.

So I'm calling all Ghibli experts... William, any ideas?!?