[CR]Nobilette Project: Philosophical Help Needed

Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea

Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 11:41:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Thomas Adams <thomasthomasa@yahoo.com>
To: "classicrendezvous@bikelist.org" <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Nobilette Project: Philosophical Help Needed

Dear List:

The Nobilette (N020, so probably mid 70's) has just returned from the painters. The paint work was done by Matt Assenmacher's shop, who happily was able to recreate the decals. Color choice was a simple pearl white with crimson graphics, using the "hollow" 1st generation Nobilette typeface. Pics are at:


The help I need is deciding how to build up the frame. Or rather, help in resolving a specific philosphical/aesthetic issue. This is obviously a racing frame, and I have a set of NOS 1st generation Suntour Cyclone derailleurs lying around for just such a project. So far so good. I also grabbed a NOS set of Suntour Superbe sidepulls (the version with the red rubber bits) while the frame was at the painters. Also good, except the rear doesn't reach the rim. #*$&%^$!! Apparently Superbe short reach brakes are a few millimeters shorter than Campy short reach. Not to worry, I've got a drop bolt lying around here somewhere.

My staff is chasing down a set of Superbe gold label hubs, so wheels will be no problem. Posts, stems and cranks are less crucial to me, so I'm almost home (but if anyone has a Superbe 27.0 post (Campy NR clone), talk to me).

That leaves cranks, and that's where I need help. The obvious choice would be the 175mm Superbe badged Sugino made 144mm Campy clones. But just try to find a set!! So I have to decide what to use from what's in the big box-o-cranks. The nominees are:

1. Campy NR 172.5. NR style big ring, Salsa replacment inner. 8.5 out of ten for condition. Pros: classic good looks. Cons: "how cliche", and rings aren't 'correct'.

2. Dura Ace AX. 175mm, and has the correct monster spindle pedals, effectively making the frame about a half inch bigger thanks to the dropped pedal. Kudos to 1st Flight cycles for having replacement XL toe clips, making these functional. Appearance only 7 out of ten, due to scratching and anodizing wear through on the right arm. No gouges or structural issues, but not pristine looking. Pros: Helps make the marginally small frame (61.5 cm versus my prefered 63cm) a better fit. Also they're period correct, and have a high "what the heck is that?" factor. Cons: Shouldn't this be used with an AX group? Mxing Suntour with Shimano may get me excomunicated from the list.

3. Stronglight 93 with drilled Peugeot rings. 175 mm, appearance a solid 8.75 out of ten. Pros: classic good looks, and will handle a smaller inner ring if needed in the future. Cons: would be the only french part on the frame. Should I stick to a theme, or boldly go where no one has gone before?

4. Sugino Mighty Victory, 171mm, looks 8 out of ten. The version with the slotted spider arms. Pros: Most harmonious with time frame and style of the rest of the componentry on the bike. Cons: only 171 instead of the prefered 175s ( will have to stick the seat post out a ways to get bike to fit). Less of a "gee whiz, looka dat dere" factor as compared to other cranks.

5. Suntour Cyclones. 175 mm, arm profile similar to the 80's Superbe Pro aero style cranks. Kudo's to Nitro Bob for passing these on to me. Pros: Brand coordination would make this an almost all Suntour bike. One of the best looking crank arm profiles ever. Cons: Newer by at least 5 years than derailleurs and brakes. Aero parts may clash with old style parts.

There are several other cranks in the box (Mavic Starfish, TA Cyclotouriste, Shimano Deore) but there are the five leading contenders. I'd appreciate you're thoughts, philosophical essays or rants on which would be the "correct" cranks to use. Higest utility factor would be the Dura Ace AX. Nicest looking is probably the Campys or Stronglights. Whaddya think? Votes will be tabulated and results announced soon.

Tom Adams Shrewsbury NJ

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