MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

CAMBIO RINO SP - INTRO

FINDING THE CR SP

BUILDING THE CR SP

RIDNIG THE CR SP

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

RIDING THE CAMBIO RINO SP

The SP was acquired fairly late in the riding season and saw minimal use the after being refurbished.  Time was spent selecting a saddle that would offer the kind of comfort I was used to but nothing seemed to jump out, demanding to be mounted on the bicycle.  Finally, partly out of exasperation, I opted for an old but near pristine mid-seventies Brooks Pro.  I had no intention of leaving the Pro on the Cambio Rino but it would do until its final recipient, a gorgeous 1975 CCM Tour du Canada was completed.  The CCM was under full restoration when the Cambio Rino was acquired.

The initial test ride of the SP proved to be pretty much uneventful, with everything working as expected.  The friction shift transmission was certainly adequate and took almost no time to get a feel for.  I had been very tempted to swap all of the components from the Cambio Rino 2000 over to the SP but decided against it.  After considerable thought, I decided to leave the bicycle exactly "as found" component wise with the single exception of the tubular wheels.  They were all but immediately changed out for an period and maker correct set.

The Modolo Flash brakes were, well Modolo brakes and worked all but perfectly.  I have never used a Modolo product that I did not like both the look and feel of when brakes are the issue.  And the Flash callipers and levers fitted to the SP were just about prefect.  The hoods, however, had cracked up a bit and would warrant replacement at some time in the bike's future.  In fact, a set waits patiently in the Hoods shoe box until I get around to changing the original hand pads out.

After fit adjusting quite a few vintage bicycles to best suit my comfort, it takes only a couple of passes to get zoned in these days.  That said, the Cambio Rino never did feel just right in the saddle department.  This is most likely a psychological thing since I do like the feel of a Brooks Pro but for some reason the "Pro" did not feel right.  Fortunately, a replacement that better suits the bicycle's vintage has been found and fitted for the upcoming riding season.

But saddle issues aside, the SP offered a ride pretty typical of high quality vintage road bicycles.  Good acceleration, quick response and effective braking.  But to be honest though, nothing really stands out as exceptional or noteworthy.  The bicycle accelerates well thanks probably to the combination of gearing and the relative stiffness of the Columbus SP frame set.  It flows into a corners offering gradual or sudden direction change without ever feeling off balance or out of control.  And, as already mentioned, the bicycle stops just fine.  But there is no magic with this bicycle.  Just a good quality ride that would most likely impress most people.  Sadly, or luckily, I am not most people and I am always comparing high end vintage road bicycles to each other.  And some rob all others of their virtues.

All that said, the Cambio Rino SP is very comfortable to ride.  It is one of the first 54cm bikes that came into my personal collection and helped to define a new standard in ride quality.  Virtually every bicycle I have acquired since then has sported a 54cm seat tube which I find more to my liking these days.  Though some of my bikes are 56cm and offer stunning rides, my guess is that if they were a touch smaller, the ride would be even better.

So, at the time of this writing, the Cambio Rino SP sits beside the computer having just been taken out of winter storage.  The bike will be fitted with a different saddle tomorrow morning and then it will begin its season test.  The bike will be one of my two rides for the next couple of months.  The other?  A mid to late eighties Proctor-Townsend fitted with sensible gears and a "user friendly" transmission.

 

 

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