[CR]Martano rim washers, or: Talk me out of it.

(Example: History:Ted Ernst)

From: "Morgan Fletcher" <morgan@hahaha.org>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 11:42:39 -0700
cc: Robert Schenker <ris@schenkerdesign.com>
cc: Robert Schenker
Subject: [CR]Martano rim washers, or: Talk me out of it.

I've got a '74 CA Masi at Left Coast Cyclery in Berkeley, CA. Tim Parker is building it for me. I've gotten him just about all the parts he needs. One of the items I delivered was a pair of used, unlaced Martano "bowtie" 36-hole rims. I have no washers for the rims. Tim tried to get some, but the ones he found with the right ID have an OD that's too large. Do any of you have a source for the washers, or the specs for me to search for them, or 74 of them you can sell me? I tried searching for "martano washers" at http://search.bikelist.org and got no results.

I've heard bad things about the Martanos. I feel kinda foolish for buying them (on ebay, used, from Germany) in the first place. I also have a couple NOS Nisi rims w/ no stickers, (and grooved braking surface I think) some NOS silver Mavic rims with just an old-style (?) Mavic sticker, and a pair of used wheels with old Fiamme red-label rims and the wrong hubs, which could be un-laced / re-laced with the right hubs for this project. And I have a pair of wheels with Fiamme newer-style (rectangular sticker, block letters) red-label rims, but they're too new I think.

I also have some brand-new Mavic Reflex anodized rims in 36h that would function perfectly, but would look absolutely wrong, even if I peeled off every last sticker. I have a beautiful 1980s Mavic SSC wheelset (Record LF hubs) that would just be the cat's meow, but again, would look ten years or so too new. (It's for my 1983 Molteni Merckx.) And I've got some NOS 36h anodized GP4 rims. Again, too new, would work great.

Should I continue with the Martanos? I am not making this a slavishly perfect bike, just want it to be roughly correct, please the eye of the cognoscenti (hi guys) as well as ride nicely and make any bike fan happy to see it. The funny thing is I'm compromising ride quality with the tires too. I have some NOS Clement Futurox tires to go on the Martanos - or whatever rims I go with. I know the Futurox tires will ride... just OK. But they'll look right and say "Clement". I also have a pair of new Veloflex Criterium tubulars tires that I planned to use on my modern race wheels next season. I don't want to waste $150 worth of tires on a wheelset that will get low mileage, and may not be very dirable. I'd be happy to "waste" those tires on a really nice 1974-appropriate wheelset, but I don't think the Martanos are worth it. I can always get another set of the Veloflex Criteriums. Would just mean more peanut butter sandwiches...

Sorry for the essay. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on Martano washers and/or rim choices.

Morgan -- Morgan Fletcher, morgan@hahaha.org Oakland, CA, USA