...are they ever really "done"?
Sorry for the wordy message but I'm really excited about my "new" ride!
I've uploaded some (well, quite a few actually!) photos of my recently
completed restoration of a 1981 Jim Redcay on http://www.wooljersey.com/
Based on photos I have from the early to mid 80's I've tried to keep the bike as close to original spec as possible - I think it looks the same as the day I brought her home. If only I could say the same about the rider! When I get my scanner hooked up I will scan and upload some of the old photos. Like I've said, I built it as close as possible to it's original specs using "period correct" components, feel free to point out anyplace where I've missed the mark and I'll do my best to correct it.
Tom Kellogg of http://www.spectrum-cycles.com did the frame restoration and refinishing. Tom was a protégé of Jim's back in the 70's. The color is nearly identical to the original Imron Dark Metallic Blue. He even installed OEM decals which are buried under the clear coat. I actually stumbled upon the original painter, Michael Johnson, who now owns a bike shop http://www.wheelfineimports.com in Lambertville, NJ. It would have been cool to have the original painter do the refinish, but alas, I found him too late. And no regrets on the job Tom did, it's outstanding.
The components are roughly 90% NOS - Campy Super Record, Regina, Alfredo Binda, Cinelli, Mavic, Sella Italia, etc. What I couldn't find NOS has been replaced with Excellent Condition used parts. I even found a pair of NOS Duegi shoes circa early 80's to wear when I ride it. Dusted off some old jerseys, too. Just need to find some wool shorts and I'll be all set!
A little history... The frame was custom built for me in June of 1981 when I was a 17 year old Junior on the US National Team. With the exception of a couple of college years I rode/raced it until about 1987 before I was given some team bikes to ride. I spent the summer of 1986 racing it in Belgium. It went through a few modifications over the years. A broken rear drop-out was replaced, a braze-on front derailleur hanger added, and more than one repaint. There were also some equipment "upgrades" like the addition of a C-Record Crank and Derailleurs, Dia-Compe aero brake levers, clincher aero rims and Chorus hubs, etc. When I moved to Colorado in 1989 I left the bike in my parents garage in NJ, taking my Vitus with me to Colorado. Whenever I visited my parents I would dust off the Redcay and ride it. I've since parted with the Vitus and my daily driver is (heresy, I know) a 1998 Merlin (Tom Kellogg geometry) with full Dura-Ace. In August of 2005 I was home visiting my parents and decided I couldn't bear to look at the Redcay in it's sad state anymore so I shipped it back to Colorado. The last 14 months have seen a lot of blood, sweat, and tears not to mention $$$. It was definitely a labor of love.
How does it ride? Like a dream! After years of aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber, I'd forgotten what a pleasure it is to ride a steel frame and the classic Italian components, not to mention racing sew-ups! The ride and feel is superb, I feel 17 again whenever I ride it! I've logged a couple of hundred miles on it, and it's pure joy. Although, after years of clipless pedals, the toe straps are a bit awkward - I'm terrified that I won't get my foot out and topple over scratching it! Now the snow is flying, so it's hanging on my wall, relaxing until the spring melt-off. I know it's as anxious as I am to get out for the next ride!
Now for the thank you's! I'll try to give credit to everyone and I apologize if I miss anyone. A big thanks goes out to http://www.classicrendezvous.com - to Dale for maintaining the site, and to everyone's great contributions on the e-mail list. What a great resource! Special thanks to John Barron of http://www.velostuf.com who had the patience and took the time to answer all of my questions and guided me on a few issues, and, of course, supplied me with some great NOS parts! Greg Parker at http://www.bicycleclassics.com also took the time to answer questions and supply some great parts. Nigel at http://www.campyoldy.com has a great supply of parts at fair prices and is easy to deal with, even from across the Atlantic. Tom Kellogg and Jeff Duser at Spectrum for doing such a great job on the frame. Dan Donnelly of Criterium USA for the Veloflex tires. Peter Weigle for his encouragement. And well, all the great people on eBay. I guess I feel lucky in that I only had one bad experience. Aside from that everyone else was a pleasure to deal with. And of course, my girlfriend for putting up with my obsession!
What's next? Well, both are too "new" for the CR list, but I've got a 1986 TT bike to start on, full Campy SR, bull horn handlebars, etc. And I've also got my 1986 Atala Track bike, Campy C-Record, which is in perfect condition - I ride it on the rollers in the winter. I'll post photos of those on http://www.wooljersey.com too... someday.
Snowmass Village, CO