[CR] was seat height, now Tom Dalton intro

Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 15:14:55 -0800 (PST)
From: Tom Dalton <tom_s_dalton@yahoo.com>
Subject: [CR] was seat height, now Tom Dalton intro
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 15:08:40 -0800 (PST) From: Tom Dalton <tom_s_dalton@yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [CR] was frame size/saddle-height/handlebar height - now Dalton Intro

To: Jerry Moos <moos@penn.com> CC: classirendezvous@bikelist.org


You are absolutely right about the versatility of classic components. I have to admit that I've been looking at things exclusively from my own perspective. Since I have not yet provided a formal introduction to the CR list, and given that such an introduction might explain some of my earlier comments, let me do that now.

My name is Tom and I'm a bikeaholic. I was born in 1967 and bought my first derailleur-equipped bike in 1979 (an all-steel Nishiki Sport.) I began racing on that bike about a year later. My racing career was hardly glorious, but I consider myself to be an experienced cyclist at this point and I can ride with racer types when I'm in good shape. Not that I am always in good shape. Some years I ride a lot, others, hardly at all. Throughout it all though, my love of the bike itself has been constant. I sometimes feel a little silly putting the cart before the horse this way, but I yam what I yam.

My knowledge of things cycling has been enhanced by the four years I spent working as a shop service manager as well as the many summers prior to that spent working as a mechanic. Much of my shop experience (as well as my riding) was in the D.C. area, though I spent five years in Madison, Wisconsin and have been living in Emmaus, PA for the last six years. I am no longer "in the industry."

I like "top-of-the-line" racing bikes like those used by elite and professional racers, and I am particularly interested in equipment from the period during which I have been riding. I currently own 4 bikes (3 race, 1 MTB) and a big pile of parts. One of these bikes constitues my "collection," while the others are either on active duty, or, in the case of the MTB, are just a dirty little secret that I should sell off. The "collection" bike is a Trek 770, repainted a non-origonal bright yellow. I have equipped it with a SR (reduced) group, Cinelli, Vittoria CX/CG, etc. to reflect what I consider to be the best stuff available in 1985, the model year of the frame. What I most enjoy about the restoration process is determining which variation of each part is correct for the date, and then tracking that part down however I can. Not that I'm totally rigorous, I have put some slightly older parts on that bike (1983 cranks). I figure if anyone was bolting a bike together in 1985, it would likely have had some parts that were sitting on the shelf for a while. I won't budge in the other direction however, since a newer part would have been unavailable at the "target date." Oh yeah, the Trek was my race bike until about 1991.

I'm still at a point in my riding "career" that racing equipment is what works best for me. My current rider is a circa 1991/92 Masi Nuova Strada with full C-record, screw-on hubs and 7-speed indexing (The casette would be "correct" for this vintage, but I never took the eight speed plunge and it's a bit late now).

Whatever bike I ride does not have to be the latest available, but I like the whole package to be of a particular vintage and feature a complete grouppo. Which is where I start to have a problem with riding the old stuff. To maintain the standard of having date-specific top-end Campy stuff in good condition costs a lot of money. I'm getting to the point with the Masi that I would like to put it in the collection and get something newer for routine use. If I were to do that I would try to buy what I consider to be the best stuff currently made. This would probably mean and oversize steel frame with Dura Ace 9-speed, if I can afford it. I figure for the five years or so that I would use this bike, spare parts should be fairly easy to get. Once the bike started to show some age and as parts were getting scarce, I would like to retire it to the collection and buy something new again. This is my plan for building a collection of interesting date-correct racing bikes that have personal relevance to me (as bikes that I have ridden or raced).

I am considering a couple of exceptions to my policy of collecting bikes I've ridden. As a youngster, I didn't have access to good equipment but I admired everyone else's. I would like to build a late 70's early 80's race bike. I actually have a reasonably accurate bunch of parts and a Benotto frame should be on it's way from Renaissance any day. I am also considering setting up a late 80's C-record bike, since I have most of the group. I wanted a new bike back then but couldn't make it happen when I was in college. There are a couple frames used during the 1985 season by pro teams (Panasonic, Lotto, Gis)that would inspire me to switch the parts off the Trek and use it as the C-record bike.

So, that's my brief intro.

Tom Dalton