MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

NORCO MAGNUM SE - INTRO

FINDING THE MAGNUM SE

BUILDING THE MAGNUM SE

RIDING THE MAGNUM SE

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

RIDING THE NORCO MAGNUM SE

I have been riding the Norco Magnum Special Edition for about four weeks, at the time of this writing.  I run most, if not all, of my errands on this old road bike.  However, this has not really allowed me enough time to make judgement calls on ride quality.  To that, add the issue of the transmission, that does not do its job nearly as well as it should.  That situation must be corrected, before I can properly evaluate the bike's ride qualities.  That said, I do like the feel of the bicycle and plan to spend a good deal more time in the saddle, this season.  By the end of the summer, my bet is that the Norco and I, will have begun a long lasting relationship.

The bicycle is very comfortable for me to ride.  This is a product component choices primarily.  The saddle that came with a Peugeot purchase is very suitable, both in comfort and appearance, for the bicycle.  The Nitto stem that was mounted "as found" offers the perfect reach for me, once again adding considerable to the comfort factor.  Thanks to these two component choices alone, I can ride for quite some time before I feel the need to adjust my riding position.

The Dia-Compe brake levers I decided to go with are, once again, a very good fit for me.  Not all brake levers fall into that category but the Dia-Compes are easy to reach and pull.  The hood choice, though certainly incorrect for the levers add to the comfort factor, in my mind.  Completing the comfort offered by the control center is the choice of handlebar tape.  This vintage looking cushioned tape offers a reasonable degree of comfort but it is not as good as the spongy rubber modern stuff that I have run on other vintage road bikes.  That said, since the saddle to bar reach is so good, I rarely have to put all that much weight on my hands to begin with.

Braking efficiency is surprisingly good on this old road bike.  Though the Dia-Compe stoppers have never really stood out as great brakes in my mind, the ones mounted on the Norco do their job really well.  I have no intention of changing the brakes out until I run across a set of Suntour "Cyclone" stoppers.  When that set comes along, the brakes presently mounted will be replaced.  Not because they do not work well, but simply because I hope one day to have the Norco fully equipped with a Suntour Cyclone grouppo.

The present wheels are nothing special and I know that, once I build up a really nice set for the bicycle, the ride quality will change.  I have experienced this several times, with other road bikes, that I have assembled just to try out for a season.  My 1971 Carlton Professional taught me how significantly a good wheel set will impact ride quality.  And, I expect that the Magnum Special Edition will offer a much improved ride, with a better wheel set installed.

I have no issue with the Selle Italia saddle that is now mounted on the Magnum.  The saddle is a perfect fit and sit.  Though I have not gone on any all day rides, with the bicycle yet, my bet is that the saddle will prove worthy, when I do so.  Until then, the jury is still out on this nice old saddle.  And, there is another reason that I hope to keep this saddle.  In addition to being an original Norco issue, how I came by the saddle is an interesting story, that I like to tell when showing the bicycle to others.  The saddle came from the same bicycles, a large frame Peugeot Course that I had acquired, five days before stumbling upon the Norco.

The overall ride feel is smooth and stable.  The bicycle can be ridden "hands off", without incident and, to me, this is a good sign of intact frame and fork set geometry.  Handling is, neither quick nor twitchy, but it is responsive.  Sweeping into a corner, while still pedalling, is a confidence inspiring experience and I enjoy doing it.  The bicycle stops as good, as any in my collection, with the exception of my Miele LTD, that is fitted with Campagnolo Super Record stoppers.  And, I can ride for at least two hours, with no noticeable discomfort.  All in all, the Norco Magnum Special Edition is well on its way, to becoming a permanent steed, in my slowing growing collection of high end, and special edition, vintage road bicycles.

 

 

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