MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

TEAM COMP - INTRO

FINDING THE TEAM COMP

BUILDING THE TEAM COMP

RIDING THE TEAM COMP

 

BICYCLES OF USA

 

 

FINDING THE CANNONDALE TEAM COMP

The Paper Mill, where I used to work, is a big place, employing between one and two thousand people.  As an Industrial Mechanic, I was afforded the opportunity to work anywhere in the Mill and at any time.  I got around the complex a great deal and in my work related travels, I met a lot of people.  And, I made a point out of letting virtually every person met know that I collect vintage "Ten Speeds".  This form of advertising is referred to as word of mouth and it is a very effective way to find just about anything that you are interested in.

The first bicycle I acquired through work was a 1974 Raleigh Superbe and it was in very nice condition.  I should add that the Raleigh was not a "word of mouth" acquisition.  I found the Raleigh by posting a bicycle wanted advertisement on one of the many bulletin boards that are set up throughout the complex.  Several other bicycles came my way through fellow employees, and three of them were picked up the same day I purchased the Team Comp.

One of the other Industrial Mechanics, or Millwright as we preferred to be called, informed me that he did have three old "Ten Speeds".  An address, complete with a hand drawn map, allowed me to find the fellow's house in the country.  The three bicycles he had to offer were all in very good condition, all fairly high end and all three could be had for a very good price.

The best bicycle of the three, purchased that day, was a gorgeous top of the line Nishiki that was too big for me.  The other two, the Cannondale and a very clean Velo Sport Miche were perfect, in the size department.  The Nishiki had been my fellow worker's ride while the other two were his wife's and daughter's, respectfully.  Sadly and I kick myself for this oversight, I never did take any pictures of the Nishiki.  It was quickly purchased from me by my Shift Superintendent with instructions to fully rebuild the bicycle for him.  A task and product for which he paid me well,  I might add.

The Cannondale felt like a pretty light bicycle, when compared to many of the steel ones that I had at the time.  It was in great shape, sporting only a very few paint chips and scratches.  The workmanship on the frame, though not flawless, was certainly professional in appearance and I suspect that the Cannondale was a very good bike, right from the word go.

The entire component grouppo was a matched Shimano Exage Sport with an indexed transmission and this was one of the reasons that I decided to turn the Dale into my daily ride.  I have used the Exage stuff before and I like the user friendly feel of the components.  The Aero brake levers fit my hands well, both in reach and curve of levers.  The light action brake callipers work beautifully, slowing the bicycle down nicely with very little minimal lever pressure.

In keeping with the user friendly theme, the Exage transmission is a joy to use.  Though not particularly sophisticated in design, it is all but perfect in function.  The transmission is cleanly designed, easy to adjust and shifts very nicely every time, either as a friction or indexed unit.

One thing stood out as strange with the transmission that neither I nor the original owner could explain was the presence of the Suntour Cyclone front derailleur.  He assured me that he had never changed out the component and it seems unlikely that Cannondale would have fitted a complete Exage grouppo, only to change direction when it came time to install the front derailleur.  None-the-less, the front gear changer worked just as well as the rest of the transmission, moving the chain from the 42 tooth small ring to the ever popular 52 of the big ring.

The cranks set, also Shimano Exage Sport, showed considerable tooth wear, suggesting that my fellow worker's wife had spent quite a bit of time with her bicycle.  The Biopace ring set (oval shaped crank rings) delivered power to the six speed (14-24) cog set, offering me all the range I need for just about any ride in Thunder Bay and surrounding area.

The saddle on the bicycle was a fairly wide one, best suited to the lady who owned the bicycle before me.  The saddle wore a "gel" cover that looked to be about as uncomfortable as it was ugly.  It was, however, mounted on an SR Indexed seat post.  An Indexed seat post is a must for any bicycle that I choose to ride a lot.  The older post and clamp systems are just not positive enough for a guy my size.

The Shimano theme, though interrupted with a single Suntour component, was carried through to the wheel hubs.  Alloy low flange sealed units that rolled smoothly and needed no rebuild what so ever.  These nice old hubs were laced, with stainless steel spokes, to a set of Ambrosia Miele alloy rims with load spreading eyelets.  Good rims that had never let me down before.  I might add that the wheel set needed very little truing attention to get them just right.

I never did take many pictures of the Cannondale Team Comp.  It was never a bicycle that I had lusted for and I was not particularly interested in anything made of aluminum at the time.  I did, however, want to try and understand what all the "Steel is Real" hype was all about.  And with that in mind, I decided to go through the Cannondale, building it from the ground up and give it a fair chance to prove itself, in my book of ride qualities.

NEXT - BUILDING THE TEAM COMP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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