Another refurbished classic bike hit the road today with a short 5 miler (intended to see if I got all the parts firmly screwed on, and to tinker with the rider position).
The newest cousin of the CR extended family is a 63cm Italvega Super Speciale Corsa, acquired by Team Adams through the good offices of Brian Blum and Mike Carney. It's good to have an Italian machine back in the fold, and this time one that looks good with touring gears! The bike is in excellent condition considering its age and use. The paint is about 85 to 90 % intact, with the normal scratches, but no rust. Several decals have gone missing, including the downtube brand name and any seat tube signage absent the Columbus sticker. (Anyone with a source for stick on replacements?) The Columbus sticker itself is an oddity; it's the older gold foil style, but it's in English! Double Butted Tubes, Warranted (?), and a few words I can't decipher. Did anyone else ever use the old foil Columbus sticker in any language other than Italian? The Italvega on the CR site seems to have a FRENCH(!) Columbus sticker. My 10 year more modern Marinionni, one of hundreds made in French Canada, uses the Italian stickers.
The bike itself is lovely, painted a light beige with hints of minty green. The dropouts are Campy 1010 longs with the faces drilled. The only braze ons are a set of bottle bosses and BB cable guides. Cut outs in lugs and fork crown are diamonds, and the fork crown is a semi sloping style, presumably cast. Sarah Gibson at Old Town has another Italvega, but her's was fully chromed prior to being painted root beer brown (like the one on the CR site), whereas mine is practically chrome free. Any info as to which is the older frame? I'd date mine at mid 1970's, say 1974, given the replacement of the Italvega brand with Univega in 1976 or thereabouts. Mitering in the bottom bracket is quite good, and the lug finishing is solid without being flashy or super thin.
Parts are the usual garage box mix, with one distinguishing fact; there's not one piece of Campy Record on her (if we don't count drop outs). The first two or three pieces assigned to this project weren't, and then it became a game to finish the bike without any Record stuff. The parts list is at the end. The ride is on the quick side, understandable as the bike was intended to be a racer, given the lack of fender eyelets, but it's by no means harsh. The gale force winds today precluded testing the no hands stability, but the frame alignment seems fine.
So thanks to Brian and Mike, Mike Cone (saddle & bottom bracket, the last hurrah for the old Bike Classics for me), Grant Peterson (bottle cage & rims), Sarah Gibson (bar & stem) Jeremy Haynes (misc. ace wrenching and chain rings) and some other list members I've doubtless forgotten. Like all my bikes, this one is a collective effort from all of us. See you on the road.
(By the way, the home fleet o' classics now has bikes from England (2), France, Etats Unis (deux), Canada, Switzerland (spouse's) and Italy. Next on the list: Japan! Anyone with a 25 inch Fuji America to sell?)
Parts List: (feel free to delete now if anyone is still reading this!)
Frame: Italvega Super Speciale Corsa, 63 cm seat (c-t), 59 cm top, 42 cm chainstays, 102cm wheel base.
Wheels: Campy Tipo 36 hole high flange hubs, Tipo straight qr's, Sun CR 18 rims (modern, but at least a classic polished silver finish), Wheelsmith 14 g spokes, Continental 28 mm 1000 tires.
Drivetrain: TA Cylcotouriste (Vive le France!) cranks and triple bottom bracket, 175mm arms (an eBay treasure, found in a box of misc. parts), 50-45-26 rings, Shimano 14-28 5 speed freewheel (yes, true 1/2 step + granny), Shimano Titleist front and Crane GS rear derailers, Dura Ace down tube friction shifters, Sedis chain. Shimano SPD (Gasp!) pedals.
Stoppers: Dura Ace center pulls with Dura Ace levers. (Were there dedicated levers for the Dura Ace center pulls? Levers with quick releases built in would be nice.)
Miscellany: Brooks Pro small rivet saddle, ALE steel bottle cage, Cinelli new logo Giro bar & 1-A stem, Trek brand seat post, Ritchey headset, Tressostar black cotton tape, Velox plugs. Entire bike weighs only 23.5 lbs, even with the leather saddle, stout wheels and boat anchor pedals.
Tom Adams, praying for good weather on my next day off in Kansas City.