MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

FRANCESCO MOSER - INTRO

FINDING THE MOSER

BUILDING THE MOSER

MOSER BUILDING MISTAKES

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

  

BUILDING THE FRANCESCO MOSER

Needless to say, there wasn't much cleaning to do on the NOS Moser frame set.  I did take the frame to the local bike shop, to show Thunder Bay's resident vintage road bicycle Guru what I had found.  Farzam, our local Guru, did not appear to be overly impressed with the Moser.  His opinion about anything in the vintage road bicycle field is important to me.  He does know his vintage road bicycles!  Many is the time that he has shared information with me that has helped me do the right thing when it comes to preparing a vintage bike.  And the Moser was being prepared early in my vintage road bicycle collecting and riding career if that's what this was all becoming.

My Guru buddy was quick to point out that he just happened to have a complete Campagnolo Super Record grouppo from the mid eighties.  He went on to suggest that the group would be just perfect for the Moser.  Though I was unaware at the time, the complete Super Record grouppo was in fact a bit of a mismatched set of Campagnolo components.  Not everything was Super Record, but I didn't know the difference back then.  He also suggested that since the Moser frame set was brand new, it would be wise to face the bottom bracket housing ends, just to ensure that the faces were parallel.

Before leaving the bike shop that day, I had dropped a hundred dollars to have the Moser's bottom bracket housing faced and the threads chased.  I must admit that the facing of the housing was indeed a good idea.  As the Guru did the work, I could see how uneven the bottom bracket housing faces were.  I was a bit taken aback, quite frankly.  This was supposed to be a high end frame set.  Why were these important faces out of parallel?  It didn't make sense to me at the time.  Three hundred bicycle builds later, I understand fully.

Just because a bicycle is reputed to be high end or top of the line quality does not mean that it was built properly!  It is not uncommon for the bottom bracket housing faces to be out of square with one another.  That's why there are bottom bracket facing tools offered by many different bicycle tool manufacturers.  And while on this subject, be forewarned, that craftsmanship must always be considered, when evaluating a bicycle's frame set.  Not all top of the line frames are equal!

To the hundred dollars, for the work on the frame set, I added another four hundred bucks for the Campagnolo grouppo.  Before leaving the bike shop, I had over five hundred dollars invested in a bicycle, that I pretty much got for nothing.  This was not the direction I had intended to go in and later prove to be a great learning experience for me.  And my bet is that just this sort of thing happens to a lot of people who are new to building up a nice old vintage road bike.  It is easy to get all caught up in the excitement and loose track of the initial intention.

Once I had finished buying everything in sight, the building of the Moser was a pretty straight forward event, with the exception of setting up a pair of wheels.

Since I was already into the bicycle for a pretty good dollar, I threw what ever was left of caution to the wind and went for a new set of Ambrosia Evolution rims.  To that, I added a new set of double butted stainless steel spokes, which would connect the nice new rims to the Campy Super Record hub set, that I had purchased with the grouppo.  The Moser's value just shot up again.

In all fairness to me, the choice of rims was cost driven.  The Ambrosia hoops were about half of the cost of Mavic rims and perfectly serviceable for a rider like myself.  Though I never did ride the rims on the Moser, I later installed an identical set on my Miele LTD.  The Miele's rims and I have seen a lot of miles together and the rims have proved to be just about all that I could ask for.  Easy to build and true, coupled with near bullet proof service - so far.

To complete the wheels, I picked up a set of tires that I felt would ride well and compliment the appearance of the bicycle.  Vittoria Ribino seemed to be a good choice because they were blue. Actually, a new bicycle shop had opened in our town and it was there that I came upon the Rubinos.  They seemed to be a good brand and were recommended by the fellow who owned the shop.  Why not, they were blue and a pretty good match to the Moser's blue, at that.

Of course, while I was in the local bike shop purchasing the rims, spokes,  and tires, guess what?  There, hanging on the wall was a brand new Brooks B17 leather saddle.  Why not?  After all, the cost of the bicycle would be far less than the cost of the divorce.  The Brooks joined the ever growing assortment of nice new shiny stuff hanging off of the bicycle.  All build logic and reason was gone by the time the saddle emptied my wallet.

The Brooks was installed minutes after arriving home the day I bought it.  Not permanently, of course, just temporarily since I wanted to see how it would look on the bicycle.  It looked very good and I knew that it would feel just fine once broken in - or so I was told.  This was to be my first new leather saddle and I looked forward to testing the depth of the leather saddle lore to its fullest.

To add fuel to the fire consuming what little was left of said logic and reason, I spent another wad of cash on a TTT Record steering stem, which I purchased on Ebay.  When I purchase the stem, the price for such an item was high.  Today these stems go for considerably less.  But their value will climb again.  Of that, I am pretty sure.  And since the stem as TTT, so too must be the bars.  A few more dollars flew out the door.

And that just about completed the Moser build.  A build which I never did finish.  The bicycle was truly beautiful.  But building the Francesco Moser cost way too much!  I admit that I did recoup all of my investment when I sold the bicycle but I still regret spending so much to begin with.  Since then, I have spent considerable sums on other bicycles, such as my previously mentioned Miele LTD.  But I have not thrown caution to the wind, since the Moser build.  Today, I will make do with a lesser component until the right one comes along and at a good price.  And I will have fun waiting for that "just right part" to finally reveal itself.

As I recall, and this is a few years ago, the Moser went to a fellow in New York City or was it Chicago.  The price it sold for allowed me to break just about even on what I had spent.  I was happy to recoup my investment and sad that I had spent so much to begin with.

All that said, if you want to have a top of the line bicycle with really nice components installed, be prepared to spend a good chunk of change.  However, by following the My "Ten Speeds" bicycle hunting procedures, you just might end up with a gorgeous Bianchi 841d for the price of a fast food meal and an evening at the movies - or less!

NEXT - BUILDING MISTAKES & THE MOSER

 

 

 

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