MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

MASERATI MT7 - INTRO

FINDING THE MASERATI

BUILDING THE MASERATI

RIDING THE MASERATI

THE RESTORED MASERATI

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

  

TEST BUILDING THE MASERATI MT-7

Many vintage road bicycles, as found, require little to make them road worthy.  The same was true for the Maserati, however, the term road worthy would have to be stretched and stretched a great deal before the bike could be ridden safely.

Once past the dented chain stay and flaking head lug chrome plating, the next thing to warrant investigation was the structural and geometric integrity of the frame set.  In other words, was the frame and/or fork set bent?  If either situation proved true, either repair would be needed, or the frame would be tossed.

But other things demanded attention also.  The wheels installed were twenty seven inchers, obviously wrong for the bicycle since the Universal brakes were intended to accommodate 700c units.  In fact, the brake pads could not be adjusted to properly meet the braking surface on the wheel rims.  New wheels would have to be found, or perhaps, shorter reach brake callipers.  Fortunately, The Old Shed had exactly what the doctor ordered - a very nice set of period correct, Campy high flange hub set laced to Super Campion tubular rims.

Next on the already replaced list would be the transmission.  The rear derailleur, a very nice pre-Dura Ace Crane GS, was obviously not original, having been installed to replace the original Campagnolo Gran Sport model, or perhaps Nouvo Gran Sport would be more accurate.  Sadly, The Old Shed failed the Maserati offering up no GS derailleur.  With that in mind, the transmission would be built up in Nouvo Record format.

One look at the freewheel and the reason for the rear derailleur change out becomes obvious - the freewheel has a huge spread, far too great for most Campagnolo derailleurs to accommodate.  Needless to say, the freewheel would have to go, along with the Shimano Crane (early Dura-Ace) rear derailleur.

With those items changed out, the bicycle could be made road worthy.  With that plan in mind, and nothing more, the task of measuring became the first exercise in building up the Maserati.

When checking for straight and true, start by looking.  Look dead on from each side to see how the forks look.  Do they look bent backwards, even a little bit?  If so, there is work to be done but the forks on the Maserati looked to be just fine - from the side.

Next, consider the front of the bicycle, once again looking at it straight on.  Does anything look to be out of line?  This will be a tough call since all of the components will tend to interfere with one's line of sight.  But one sure check for bent is to consider the front wheel's position in the forks.

Looking directly at the front of the bicycle, does the front wheel appear to split the space between the fork blades evenly?  If so, there is likely nothing to worry about.  If the wheel does not sit dead center, then there might be issues that warrant further investigation.

Next, drop the wheels and measure the distances between the drops, both front and back.  The rear measurement should be either 120mm or 125mm, or extremely close to it.  The front drop space will measure either 95mm or 100mm, and once again the measurements must be close to bang on.

Though the Maserati measured very close to bang on in the frame alignment department, the drop space, at 118mm, was cause for concern.  The next step would be to install the drop-out tools, used for checking to see if the drops were parallel to one another.  They weren't!

The front drops were pretty close, which supported the centered front wheel finding.  Though close, they were not perfect, showing a drop face to face measurement of 98mm and just slight misalignment.  None the less, a few minutes would be spent aligning the front drops.

The rear drop-outs were another story, to say the least.  Two to three millimetres too close together and miserably mis-aligned.  Was this how the bicycle was sold, or a product of improper packing?  The answer, needless to say, will never be known, but the results will have to be addressed.

Some of the components on the Maserati were anything but original issue.  The gigantic freewheel cog set, the Crane GS rear derailleur, the 27" wheels and the pedals would all have to go, each being replaced with a period correct unit that would have been quite at home on the bicycle back in the seventies.

With the frame issues recognized, understood and repaired, all that was left was the assembling and tuning of the bicycle.  And that process, of course, would be followed by the test ride - the moment of truth and one of the most rewarding experiences in vintage bicycle ownership.  Actually, the test ride can also be one of the most miserable of experiences on a bicycle, if one forgets to do this or that to something or other...

NEXT - RIDING THE MASERATI MT-7

 

 

 

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