These days, and thanks to my first Olmo Grand Prix, I almost always give a bicycle a very thorough inspection, before riding it and I did so with the Cambio.  However, I acquired the Cambio, long before the Olmo taught me to exercise caution, before swinging a leg over the top bar and heading off into the sunset.  Anyway...

The Cambio Rino was in great condition, mechanically, and everything was working properly.  Neither wheel fell off.  Both brakes slowed the bicycle down, quite effectively.  Even the derailleurs were still shifting up and down flawlessly.  The tires looked to be old, but not rotten.  I decided to give them a try and away I went with my new rust covered Cambio Rino 2000.

I knew the Cambio was a special bicycle, within a few hundred yards of riding it.  The bicycle had that "just right" feel, which is hard to explain, but easy to recognize, when it comes along.  I spent the rest of that season riding the Cambio, not as a regular ride, but as something for special outings.  I guess that I might have put five hundred miles on the bicycle, that first summer, as I pedaled my rust covered steed around North-western Ontario.

With the end of the season, I put the Cambio away, for a few months, intending to restore it with the return of warmer weather.  The following early spring saw me hard at work, striping the Cambio Rino of all paint, in an effort to ensure that I removed all the surface rust that had formed.  Fortunately, the cosmetics were not as bad as they looked and there was little rust damage.  I must admit, as I look back at the exercise, if I should have repainted the bicycle.  Though the paint was really awful, in some areas, it is quite likely that I could have salvaged what was there.  And, in so doing, I would have been able to preserve the original art work.  But that is now a moot issue.

Though I am sure that it will make many a vintage bicycle restorer shudder, I painted the Cambio with a paint brush and a couple of cans of over the counter plastic based paint.  I used to restore antique motorcycles and have used this painting technique before.  Part of the reason that I choose to use a brush, is to paint with little or no mess.  I cannot spray paint in the kitchen but I can use a paint brush with little negative impact on my surroundings.  There is no overspray to contend with.  No release of Freon into the atmosphere.  And no angry wife!

The paint and home made art work turned out pretty good but certainly not perfect.  I still have a bit to learn about making decals and I look forward to the challenge on my 1975 CCM Tour du Canada which is the next bicycle that I intend to give a full restoration treatment to.

Two years have passed since I painted and decaled the Cambio Rino.  The paint and decals have held up well and show no signs of fading yet.  The art work did run ever so slightly when I applied a clear top coat but the effect is really quite pleasing.  All in all, a twenty dollar paint job that is not all that hard to look at.  And I still have plenty of paint left over in the event that I ever need to do a bit of touching up.

The Cambio's component grouppo cleaned up really well with two exceptions.  The rear derailleur, though mechanically perfect, had some nasty scratches on it.  And the front derailleur was a Simplex model and definitely did not belong on this bicycle.  Not only that, but I do not trust the Old School Simplex front derailleurs.  Many have found their way into the Old Shed as broken units.  The Delin plastic had failed to stand up to the pressures of use and or abuse.

Part of restoring a vintage road bicycle is finding the correct or even wanted components for it.  I assumed that items like pantographed Cambio Rino components were, more than likely, pretty hard to come by.  However, as luck would have it right in the middle of the rebuild a complete Cambio Rino pantographed grouppo came up for auction on Ebay.  I couldn't believe my good fortune and I purchased the complete grouppo, which was almost identical to the original grouppo on the bicycle.  Selling price - just over eighty dollars plus shipping.  I still have most of that NOS grouppo still in their respective and original boxes.  The front and rear derailleur, however did find their way onto the bicycle during its restoration.

The Cambio came fitted with Modolo Speedy brakes.  Though the callipers were dirty and the lever hoods rotted, the set was mechanically and cosmetically sound.  All the set needed was a thorough cleaning prior to being reinstalled on the bicycle.  I do like the Modolo offering when it comes to brake set.  Both the levers and the callipers are nicely pantographed.  The levers are easy for my Carpal Tunnel ridden hands to use and the original Modolo hoods are about the most comfortable Old School hood I have come across.

When I built the Cambio I was just beginning to experiment with brighter colors on bicycles.  Prior to the Cambio build, my color choice for handlebar tape was simple - black.  However,  I felt that I already had enough black on the bicycle so I opted for a nice pastel blue cushion tape.  In my opinion, the light blue cork impregnated ribbon looked just great, offering perfect contrast to the rest of the bicycle and adding a little something extra in the cosmetics department.  Today that light blue bar tape does show use, having developed its own patina of age (means its getting dirty).

The original saddle was a suede covered Munditalia unit that I never did like all that much.  I happened to be at a local bike shop picking up something or other one day and noticed a beautiful Brooks B17-Special, honey coloured and all, hanging on the wall.  A few minutes later and after being offered a pretty good deal, the Brooks and I want home.  I broke the B17-Special in on the Cambio Rino.  However, a proper saddle has since been found for the bicycle and the Brooks is mounted no more.  In its place is an original suede saddle bearing the Rino title.

The Cambio Rino 2000 has changed a bit since the first restoration.  As found the Cambio had a set of Miche "Competition" hubs laced to Ambrosia 19 Extra rims.  The hubs were pitted and I decided to set the bicycle up with Campagnolo low flange Record hubs.  Since that time I have run across a near mint set of Rino hubs laced to the Ambrosia rims.  Lady luck was on my side again.  Today the Cambio sports an original wheel set to go with the original and near mint Rino saddle.  Indeed, waiting for that last elusive component to surface is part of the fun of owning and restoring a vintage road bicycle.