Classic bike rebuild, input wanted

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#1
Okay so I bought this frame a few years ago.

it's a 1976 Gazelle Chamion Mondial AA frame. Very straight with just a few decals suffering the effects of the years. I want to make up a 10 speed bike. at present it has a hotch potch of parts mostly cheap Suntour but the wheels are tubular Mavic rims laced to very smooth Dura Ace 5 speed hubs with Campy downtube shifters. What I want are your ideas on whether to go with vintage Japanese or try and source something else. I am not trying for a full restoration but rather something that looks about right. Any ideas. Tim you don't happen to have a period drivetrain lying around do you?
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#2
Nice - well as its already been in the shed a few years waiting attention would certainly take my time building this up with the right parts, from the same era.
 
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fredstaple

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Nov 1, 2009
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#3
You are building a classic steel frame. There is only one choice, Campy. You already got a head start with the downtube shifters. Step back in time to the 70s, think about what components you would have wanted then, would you have wanted Suntour? Not really, you would have only settled for those. Would you have really wanted a Stronglight crank? No, compromise again. You would want polished, shinny Campagnolo. Campy was de man. It is a matter of pride, honour, and respect for the traditions.
 
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FarEast

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#5
Try Bike Run in Yokohama and Sagami Cycles in Mitskiyo. Bike run has an odds and sods box that often has lots of old kit, Sagami Cysle has stuff that is still brand new and boxed! :eek:
 

FarEast

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#7
Erm 30,000 JPY for a 1980's stronglite crank? 15,000 JPY for a Mavic rear derailieur????? Mate the prices are amazing!
 

GSAstuto

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#8
You can check here for the 'correct' build out - http://jvs.webklik.nl/page/gazelle Your frame looks like racing model (sans eyelets) so - you'd be best in building it as a Campy Nuovo Record. I'd just scrounge on eBay. Campy parts in Japan are ludicrously priced due the , ahem, collectors choose only boxed parts and then sell for stupid , coffee shelf memento prices. Eric was able to get a full NR Gruppo for about the same as brakes only would cost in Japan. Also - check your brake mount distance - many Gazelles and Raleigh (same bike) of the era were built for 27 1/4" wheels and NOT 700C ! Campy did make both long reach and short reach brakes at the time. And they also made a special brake drop bolt to accommodate these on relative frames. (I re-created some in Ti as well). BTW - I still have most of the frame tools here in Japan, so if you need a hand with headset reaming, BB facing, etc, I have the correct Campy toolset - and it's definitely NOT sitting on my glass covered coffee table!

You could also do a bastard build, which was quite common at the time - especially in the northern regions. Mainly Stronglight Crank, Simplex / Huret Deraillers, Universal Brakes, Maillard Freewheel. Shimano or Suntour was really rare on those - I know, I worked in Holland in the early 80's and had a very difficult time getting parts for my, then emerging brand, Nishiki w/ Suntour... (another story)
 
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kiwisimon

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#9
Damn Tim you do know your stuff. Brake clearance was something I almost forgot about and yes it takes long each type.
 

microcord

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#10
You could also do a bastard build, which was quite common at the time - especially in the northern regions. Mainly Stronglight Crank, Simplex / Huret Deraillers, Universal Brakes, Maillard Freewheel. Shimano or Suntour was really rare on those - I know, I worked in Holland in the early 80's and had a very difficult time getting parts for my, then emerging brand, Nishiki w/ Suntour... (another story)
My Simplex RD was pretty vile even when new. The Suntour RD on my circa 26-year-old Miyata is excellent even now. The idea of trashing the latter and replacing it with some horror from Simplex is grotesque, though for all I know there might have been a decent Simplex somewhere. If you're wary of spending time on the Suntour, at least look it up before tossing it.
 

GSAstuto

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#11
James - I definitely want to check out some of Sagami's stuff! Now I'm closer - just need a little time to kill over there. microcord, indeed! I don't think vile begins to describe the feeling of countless dropped chains, banged shins, lockups and crashes attributed solely to this company's products. Surprisingly on this year's Japanese l'eroica , the organizers had 'loaned' a Beneto equipped with Maillard / Simplex to il Duce himself! I was pretty much aghast - WHAT!!? They gave you WHAT?? Between slipping, missing every other shift, banging his cleats around to get centered, the poor guy was getting hammered from all directions! I heard more Italian plaintives to 'saints' I didn't know existed in 4hrs than perhaps my whole life! Including some plants and animals thrown in for good measure.
 

jdd

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#12
Simplex--I bought a Peugeot in Paris in '76 and thought I was going to ride to Spain. Didn't make it, but I rode that bike for many years, maybe thru about '90-'92 when I finally trashed it.

I guess I lived with it and didn't know what I was missing.
 

GSAstuto

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#14
Considering the job of a derailer is simply to force a chain from one cog to the next, just about anything will work. Doing it smoothly, quietly and precisely is another story. And then maintaining the factory fresh feeling over many thousands of km is another. Using a Simplex (or any other of the strangely engineered derailers of the time) with a decent freewheel - or at least one with straight teeth, resulted in fairly predictable results. As long as you had the limiter screws set, frictions tight and your frame somewhat in the South County of alignment - they'd shift. Noisy, yes, slushy, yes, but they'd shift. But toss that derailler in bed with a Maillard freewheel and you have a menage a trois that is bound to end up badly - or possibly the best night of your life.

The reason everyone chose Campy NR as the preferred gruppo was that it was dead consistent, history of reliability, easy to get parts, few model changes and very rugged. After more than 30yrs, my Super Record group still shifts exactly the same as the day I installed it . And its super quiet - I was surprised, yet again, when riding with modern rigs how noisy they were. Brian's SRAM RED w/Osymetric sounded waaay too much like a Maillard / Simplex to make me happy - or , back in the day, that SOUND would have made me VERY HAPPY, because I'd know the rider was about to embark on a journey of meshed madness that would leave them dropped like a pigeon's poo on the Notre Dame.
 

jdd

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#15
jdd -- To do justice to Simplex, whichever the (late 60s?) model I had, it would have been a cheaper one. This page starts to explain the complexity of Simplex.
I paged thru there and the first, the Prestige LJ (LJ4000) looks closest to the RD I had--but I remember it as all silver (except for the yellow behind the name), rather than the black bottom in the pic. Same label/look as this only silver:
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It had large flange hubs with tied spokes, I never had a single issue with the wheels. It was a PY-10 (PX-10 had sew-ups), one of the first bikes in the midwest with clinchers, I had to mail order the tires.
 

microcord

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#16
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That is indeed handsome. My own was moderately good looking too . . . just not all that good.

As I very hazily remember, the simple reason not to get Campagnolo was that it cost an arm and a leg (in terms of schoolboy pocket money, anyway). I'm not saying it wasn't worth the expense. (Though indeed it wasn't always worth it.)
 

microcord

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#18
Sorry for the earlier digression. We're discussing a frame in Tokyo in 2013. The bike should be done up in the spirit of 1976. Well then, all you need do is visit a shop in 1976. Got one for you (though certain aspects seem closer to 1966): Hasegawa Jitensha Shōkai (長谷川自転車商会). Simply, it's in Setagaya, Setagaya (map), open regular hours but closed Mondays and Thursdays (more details).

It's in an area with a fair number of bike shops, of greater or lesser apparent interestingness; but you can hardly mistake this shop because it's likely to be the only one with a large SunTour flag behind the show-window and SunTour stickers on the door.

I was looking for a bag and possibly other odds and sods, and while gazing in the window saw bags by Berthoud at alarming prices (I was mentally practising ways of politely declining any of these) but also basketfuls of Weinmann brakes and other improbables. After a little time I walked in, to find the proprietor and his wife in discussion with a customer. I looked through books (e.g. a huge one about Herse). The conversation died down and the proprietor said (apparently to himself) "What's that bicycle?" and walked out to examine my bike. It won mild approval. He was intrigued by the gear shifters (much newer than the frame), and moved one of the pair through 60°, which made me wince. He was intrigued by the problem of matching (A) a securely attached but easily removable handlebar bag with (B) a Minoura bar extension -- "Our customers don't have this electronic stuff. The light goes down here!" -- and eventually it was his wife who came up with a good combination of bag and frame (both new).

Well, what might people be after? Used Tōei frames, new 27 inch rims, SunTour hubs, Mafac brake levers -- he might not have quite what you want, but he has enough to let you recreate 1976. Or maybe earlier: hearing that my frame was British, he said "You must see this", and fished out a Lucas acetylene lamp (distinctly used, and unlike almost everything else I think not for sale). All in all it was quite an experience. (I even received tea and wagashi.)
 

jdd

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#19
Sorry for the continuing digression, but the bike is from '76, pics are from '88 (noto-jima). I don't remember when or for what the center-pull Mafacs were replaced, but they were. The headset (black) is also newer.

I think for riding a classic rebuild, you'd also need some cotton mesh backed gloves like that.

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And boy, I had lots of hair then, apparently none of it grey!

Also, that's a period "jersey"--basically a t-shirt with a few cyclist's pockets added on the back.