MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

GARDIN 400 - INTRO

FINDING THE GARDIN 400

BUILDING THE GARDIN 400

RIDNIG THE GARDIN 400

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

BUILDING THE GARDIN 400

"As found", the Gardin 400 was a stunning bicycle.  Not because it was high end but because it was so well preserved.  I cleaned the bicycle more carefully, taking time to note details and marvel at the time bubble like state of preservation presented.  The bicycle was not mint after all.  There were a couple of very minor blemishes probably caused the day the bike was taken out of storage and put on display at the Yard Sale.

I toyed with the idea of keeping the bicycle "as found" and with every intention of keeping it as well preserved as it was.  Of course, that would mean not riding the bicycle, which would be against my own policy about my bicycles.  If I can't ride it or don't like to ride it, I pass it on to someone who will appreciate the virtues of the bicycle.  But the bike was soooo clean...

So clean, in fact, that I decided to make it my City Bike for that season.  Normally, I build myself a City Bike during the winter but the winter's effort had already been sold.  With that in mind, I decided to have a go at making this gorgeous old Gardin 400 into a more "user friendly" mount.

Actually, there was another reason that prompted the decision to customize the bicycle.  I wanted the brake levers, Cambio Rino pantographed, for one of my other bicycles, a gorgeous Cambio Rino 2000.  The "as found" levers, like the rest of the bicycle, were in near mint condition.  Even the original Cambio Rino hoods had not suffered the ravages of time.  They were still supple and unstained.  Back to the build...

Though I really like my vintage road bicycles, I like to ride them on the secondary highways that dissect North Western Ontario's Canadian Shield.  The antiquated down tube shifters and, often times, less than effective vintage brakes make the bikes a safety hazard, in today's busy traffic.  Finally, a bicycle competing with traffic will not be doing so at high speed.  Little or no time will be spent in the handlebar drops.  With concerns, such as those, in mind, I decided to customize the 400.

As luck would have it, I happened to have a complete Shimano 105 grouppo tucked away in The Old Shed.  The group featured light action brakes and an indexed transmission.  Perfect for around town use.  Well, at least better for around town use.  Today my around town bike is either a Single Speed (no need to shift) of my Brifters equipped Proctor Townsend.

It took only a few hours to strip the Gardin of its unwanted components, replacing them with the matched 105 parts.  Though the old tires looked pretty good, they were old and certainly not to be trusted for heavy use.  They too would be replaced.  The saddle of choice would, of course, be a Turbo since I happened to have a near perfect example set aside for just such a bicycle.  That left the handlebar choice up in the air.

I had stumbled across a set of Bull Horns some time earlier and decided to give them a try.  The Shimano 105 Aero levers could be made to work well with the set-up and they might even look OK too.  I should add that up until this bicycle, I had never tried a set of Bull Horn handlebars.  I wondered what kind of treat I would be in for.  Since the bicycle was pretty much built by this time, I was just about to find out...

NEXT - RIDING THE GARDIN BULL

 

 

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