MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

THE GRAN PREMIO - INTRO

FINDING THE GRAN PREMIO

BUILDING THE GRAN PREMIO

RIDING THE GRAN PREMIO

GRAN PREMIO COMPETITIONS

GRAN PREMIO CRANK ?

GRAN PREMIO SHIFTING?

GRAN PREMIO CONTROLS

GRAN PREMIO - PAINT & ART

GRAN PREMIO BUILT 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

LEGNANO GRAN PREMIO FINAL BUILD

There is a good chance that the Legnano will have to come apart once more, to add any art that was missed for explained reasons.  If that comes to pass, the next chapter in what must now almost qualify as a Saga, then there will be a Final Build II chapter.  If it works for Hollywood, why not the Legnano?

Building the Legnano was more than just taking the bike apart, replaced what needed replacing with identical items and them put it all back together again.  This build involved an element of creativity.  How to do it for little or no cash outlay.  What can it look like as opposed to what should it look like.  Street restored, customized or Single Speed converted.  Freed of the requirement keep it as original as possible, my imagination and creativity were allowed a bit more free reign.  And that felt good.

With the paint and art completed, or close to it, the time to assembly the Legnano was upon me.  Normally, it takes about three hours to completely assemble a bicycle - if everything fits as it should.  Filled with optimism, I fitted the freshly painted frame set into the work stand, being very careful to protect delicate paint with a soft cloth, and prepared to assemble the bike.  Everything did not fit on the Legnano.  There was still a bit of fine tuning to be done...

The first issue was the fork set and steering stem length.  Being a replacement fork (taken from an eighties Bianchi), the stem was a bit shorter than the original.  The short stem would not allow for the top head set nut to be installed properly.  Only a few threads of the headset top nut were catching.  This situation was remedied by simply replacing the brake callipers.  The original Universal center pull callipers were replaced with a side pull set.  Doing this eliminated the brake cable guide and a couple of stack spacers..  That extra 3/16th inch was all that was needed to allow for proper installation of the new fork.

However, the first set of side pulls installed were way too long in the reach department.  Universal Extra callipers are things of vintage beauty, in my humble opinion and I had been looking for a good place to install them.  What better place than the Legnano.  However, disaster struck but I did not notice the issue until actual final build time.  The reach on the Extra callipers was way too long.  In the full up position, they would not allow for the pads to properly line-up with the wheel rims.  What to do?

Fortunately, I had a set of Universal 68 callipers tucked away.  Replacing the Extras with those was all but a non-issue.  The 68's still sport great vintage appeal, in my mind and they work just fine to boot.  I did, however, decide to use the after market brake pads that were fitted to the Extra callipers.  The red pads were in great shape and sort of added to the cosmetics and color scheme.  My opinion, of course.

The controls presented other issues, most of which have been explained already.  The Legnano was to be used primarily as a City Bike and I wanted a more upright sitting position.  With that in mind, a set of moustache bars were chosen for the build. I wanted, also, to be able to keep my hands on the handlebars.  Hence no down tube shifters allowed.  That left the choice between thumb shifters (ugg!) and Barcons.  Needless to say, I went with Barcons.  Finally, I had to figure out how to integrate the assembly of mismatched components and that was not as easy as it appeared to be.  The big concern was how to route the Barcons shifter cables?

As it turned out, I had to file the Barcon barrels to fit inside the moustache bars.  Next, I had to modify the brake levers, allowing for the shifter cables to run underneath them and without interfering with the lever action.  And, last but not least, how would I get a set of fairly hard vintage handlebar grips to mesh with everything else.  As it turned out, it was all pretty easy to do.  The results, a neat looking set of controls that emphasized the vintage appearance and would, hopefully, prove to be quite "user friendly".

One of the few original components retained from the "as found" Legnano was the steering stem.  Though a longer reach than I would normally use, the moustache style bars would probably cancel out for increased length.  Why would I go with a longer stem?  Because it bears the Legnano pantograph.  If, however, the reach proves to be an issue, I intend to install a polished Carnelli in all its ornate beauty.  But first I will have to polish it.

Final wheel choice is still up in the air.  Though the set of wheels installed originally were reasonably good, tubulars tires are hardly a good choice for a daily rider in around town condition.  That said, considering the bicycle's vintage, I would like to spend a bit of time riding it with tubulars fitted.  However, the first flat tire will signal the end of the Legnano's sew-up tires.

The Legnano was just about ready to ride.  Even though I had built the bicycle myself, I still take the time to double check everything one last time just before test riding a bicycle.  And the Legnano was no exception.  Everything checked out and this wonderful old Italian road bicycle was, once again, ready for the road.

   

 

 

 

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