MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

PINARELLO TREVISIO - INTRO

FINDING THE PINARELLO

BUILDING THE TREVISIO

RIDING THE PINARELLO

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

RIDING THE PINARELLO TREVISIO

From the beginning of the first test ride, I knew that this Pinarello was special.  I say this Pinarello, because I have owned one other Trevisio, a lesser bicycle in my opinion, that was not nearly as nice to ride as one presented here.

Though I did eventually completely rebuild the bicycle, I only gave it a thorough inspection and tuning, before riding the bicycle for its test outing.  With the inspection and tune-up out of the way, I fitted my pedals, stuffed my test ride tools into the back pocket of my jeans, and headed off on my new/old Pinarello.

The test ride tools, incidentally, are those needed to fine tune the bicycle, to best fit me.  The test ride tools include the things I need, to adjust saddle height and position.  I also carry a small screwdriver, just in case I need to fine tune the transmission.  With all of these preparations set, I stepped into my riding shoes, slipped on my half gloves, donned my helmet, mounted the Pinarello and headed out.

I had not even reached the end of the street and I knew there were, indeed, chain or at least transmission issues.  The bicycle did not shift well.  Missed shifts were common and frustrating.  I recall what my friend, in Regina, had said about the bicycle having chain issues, but that did not check out during the rebuild.  Though a bit worn, the crank sprockets, free hub cogs and chain, all appeared to be quite serviceable.  What could be wrong?  Fiddling with rear derailleur adjustments were a waste of time, having no positive effect on the shifting what-so-ever.

By the end of the first season, I realized that there was nothing wrong with the transmission and the way it shifted.  I was the problem.

I get to build and ride a lot of different bicycles, each year.  I get to compare, this against that, on each one and to all others  And, one thing that I have learned, but forgot about in the Pinarello's case, is that you have to get used to each transmission.  Some transmissions present no get used to issues at all.  Others are, indeed, different and conscious effort must be invested, to come to understand the transmission's characteristics.  With this effort, coupled with practice, shifting will improve and that is exactly what happened with the Trevisio.  I took the time to get to know the Ergo shifters, and how to use them.  Things went well, once that task had been addressed.

I am used to down tube friction shifting.  I do have one vintage road bicycle in my collection that has indexed shifting and, of course, I have ridden many others.  However, when I started using the Pinarello's Ergo shifters, I was not throwing the shift lever far enough, to effect a good shift.  Once I learned to properly use the shifters, the Pinarello's shifting became much better.  I should add, that I experienced exactly the same problem with my nineties something Bianchi Trofeo.  It too had Ergo shifters and I hated them.  I got rid of that bike because of the shifting problem.  Perhaps, I was the cause of the poor shifting Bianchi also.  Of course, I will never know.

The "chain issues" I had been warned of were non-existent.  The head set, bottom bracket and wheel hub bearings were all just fine.  The wheels, Mavic Ceramic rims laced to Campy hubs with stainless spokes, were quite true "as found".  Wheels, as I mentioned earlier, are an extremely important part of a bicycle's character and performance.  With that in mind, I set them up in the truing stand, and trued them to a pretty tight tolerance.  As it turned out the wheel set was one of the nicest I have been lucky enough to use, holding their trueness and rarely needing any tuning, during the course of the season.

Of course, getting there is of little importance, if you can't stop, when you arrive.  The Pinarello's brakes did an excellent job of slowing the bicycle down.  The first time I was lucky enough to use a similar set of these brakes was on my Miele LTD "as found".  I was thoroughly impressed, with how well those brakes responded to so little lever pressure, and the Pinarello's brakes performed equally well.

Since brakes are the topic of discussion presently, let's return our attention to the second function the Ergo levers offer - shifting.  I really liked the idea of keeping my hands on the bars, when changing gears.  Most of the vintage road bicycles, I have owned, were of down tube shifter design.  A few had shifters mounted on the steering stem, and I really dislike that set-up.  A couple of my bikes had, and still have, Barcon shifting systems.  Though the Barcons work great, I am not all that fussy about their appearance (too many cables visible).  However, none of these shifting systems are even remotely similar, to that offered on the Pinarello.

The Ergo shifters would be my shifter of choice, except for one thing...

I have to admit that it bothers me to reach for the down tube shifter, to implement a shift.  Removing your hands from the handlebar, negatively impacts control of the bicycle, in my opinion.  This is unsafe, at any time, and more-so when today's busy traffic conditions are taken into consideration.  Though one might think this problem would be corrected ,with the steering stem shift system, the safety factor diminishes even more.  With the stem shifters, you still have to take your hand off of the handlebar, however; you must raise your center of gravity in doing so.  Stability and handlebar control are both negatively impacted.  Once again, not a very safe way to ride through downtown anywhere, in my opinion.

Now, the Barcon system eliminates the center of gravity issues, created with the stem shifters.  The ride's hands do remain on the bars, most of the time, and never very far away, at any time.  But the hands might  still leave the bars, to implement the shift.  The Ergo shifter eliminates the need to take your hands off of the handlebars, for either braking, or shifting chores.  This is a vast improvement in user friendliness!  But for me, the system just doesn't work all that well.

I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, in both wrists.  The exaggerated wrist movement, required to complete a shift, bothered me, from time to time.  In fact, this is one of the reasons I decided to let the Pinarello go.  This should not be taken as a criticism of the brakes/shifters - Brifters.  They are among the nicest I have used.  However, the shifting constantly drew my attention away from the ride, and I don't like to be bothered by my bicycle, or its components, when riding.

For the first season the crank rings that came with the bicycle were run, and worked well enough.  I did have a NOS set of rings, in The Old Shed, and installed those, during the complete winter rebuild.  The result was a much quieter drive and smoother shifting front derailleur.

The cranks, used on the Pinarello, were part of a matched Campagnolo grouppo that really complimented the bicycle, were nice enough.  However, I can't help but wonder why Campagnolo would compromise their quality code, with Laser Etching, instead of the beautiful pantographing used previously?  How many Campy crank sets, costly items when purchased new, look scruffy because the laser etch has been rubbed off?  Give me the Old School look any day - but that is just me.

The Pinarello came "as found" with an older Unicanitor leather saddle that, believe it or not, was pretty comfortable.  However, the saddle's cosmetic condition was not all that great, with several corner scuffs.  The original saddle was completely worn through in places, exposing the thin padding and plastic base beneath.  Fortunately, I had picked identical saddle up, at a Yard Sale previously, and that saddle was in nice shape.  Not perfect but certainly good enough for a street restoration.  The Yard Sale Unicanitor saddle had found a new, and apparently, proper home.  And, interestingly enough, that old "bought for two dollars" Unicanitor saddle, proved to be very comfortable.  Not a Brooks, suspended leather comfortable, but comfortable enough, to say the least.

I have owned, and ridden extensively, quite a few really nice vintage road bicycles, many of which were top of the line offerings.  There are three or four, that I do regret selling, and the Pinarello Trevisio is one of them.  The bicycle was worth far more, than I like to have invested in a bike, and that is for sure.  But it was so nice to ride.  Perhaps I will give all that new tickety-boo shifting stuff another try one day.

I also liked the Pinarello because it was built with such apparent care.  Great attention to detailing the frame set, suggests that these bicycles were built to be special.  Few bikes demonstrate the excellence that these old Pinarellos do.  They are mechanical art in motion - sometimes...

 

 

 

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