It is not at all unusual for a bicycle to be test ridden one year and then built up the next.  The first test ride is short and intended only to determine if the bicycle rides true.  This can be determined in less than a hundred yards of riding.

Developing an understanding of a bicycle's ride quality involves a good part of a riding season, not just a one time up and down the block effort to see how the bike tracks.  With that in mind and in  preparation for the riding season, the Maserati, once test ridden, went back into the work stand, for a complete mechanical refurbishment.

But there was one major difference with this restoration.  Everything was to remain, or be returned to as issued original.  The patina of age was, to say the least, noticeable but not objectionable, and would be left as found, for the most part.  To that, add that ridding the bicycle of that patina of age involved a good deal more than a coat of paint and some stick on vinyl art work.  Full restoration of the cosmetics would involve chrome plating parts of the frame set.

Chrome plating is expensive, at the time of this writing.  With that in mind, no effort would be made to restore cosmetics, unless failure to do so would further contribute to the bike's deterioration.  In other words, bare metal would not be allowed to rust.  Other than that cosmetic consideration, the only pretty it up items would be hoods and handle bar tape.

All the bearings, head set, bottom bracket and both wheel hubs, were opened up, inspected, refurbished as required and reassembled.  This would ensure two things.  First, the bearings will be in good condition right from the start and, second, they would stay that way in use.  Failure to address a set of bearings, that have been used and then allowed to sit for ten, twenty or more years, will likely result in rapid bearing failure.

With the bearings up to speed, the next concern had to be the wheel trueness and tire integrity.  The sew-up tires mounted were very old and certainly time challenged.  Though they were both holding 100psi, neither would inspire confidence on a long slow ride, nor a fast short one.  A blow out, and that is exactly how an old tire goes - kapow, would likely prove to be unpleasant!  That kapow will cause one to either be stranded, a long way from home, or possibly crashed, close by.  New tires were the order of the day.

The brakes on the Maserati sucked!  Though many sets of Universal brakes have found use on bicycles that have come and gone through The Old Shed, they have all worked reasonably well.  Not so with the Maserati.  The brakes were noisy, hard to pull, tended to stick and did a poor job of slowing the bicycle down.

The brake restoration would begin with a complete disassembly of the callipers, followed by a thorough cleaning.  Once cleaned, the parts would be inspected and measured, as required.  Those that did not measure up, figuratively speaking, would be replaced.  Everything that needed fresh lubrication would get it and then the callipers would go back together.

Calliper to rim alignment would then be checked and adjusted, as required, to ensure proper brake shoe toe-in.  Brakes that are not set up with toe contact first, tend to shudder and/or squeal when applied.  Their ability to slow the bicycle down is also negatively impacted.  Adjustment is easy to implement, provided one is cautious while doing so.

New cables, both inners and casings, would become item one on the brake system refurbishment list.  Item two, would be to check, service and/or replace the brake pads.  Chances are the original ones had lost their resiliency, hardened up and that would reduce the coefficient of friction.  Needless to say, the brakes would not work well in this condition.  They would, however, cause the alloy braking surfaces on the wheel  rims to wear rapidly.

The next thing that needed to be changed was the gearing.  The 52/44 ring set, pushing the 14-21 five cog freewheel was anything but knee friendly.  Fortunately, there was a 42 tooth Stronglight ring tucked away in the PX10 box and the bolt pattern was perfect.  Unfortunately, the 52/42 set was of newer design.  Though it would have fitted the earlier cranks, the decision to remain original meant keeping the slightly more worn and higher geared ring set.

The freewheel was going to prove to be a bit of a problem, but only because it would be nice to have an Regina, which would have been originally fitted.  Sadly, most of the Italian units on hand were straight block, or very close to it.  To that add, the 44 tooth small ring.  Perhaps it would be wise to go with a 14-26 cog set, assuming The Old Shed could cough one up.

The bike was to be ridden, and not at the expense of what little knee comfort remained.  With that in mind, a near perfect Suntour Perfect five cog unit, offering a 13-24 tooth spread, was the most appropriate unit on hand that would come close to the gearing preferred.

With the gear selection made and installed, all that was left was final assembly, setting control positions and the ready for the road tune-up.  The balance of the build was pretty much uneventful, offering little worth sharing at this point.

The Maserati was ready to ride and ride with a degree of confidence that was not present during the initial test riding.  The brakes were working, the tires were in great shape and the transmission shifted like every other Campy tranny tried to date.  Time to start riding the bicycle on a regular basis.