Last evening, I received notification that I have been accepted into a slot at The United Bicycle Institute's chromoly brazing class, for which I have been on the waiting list for a number of months. In just three short week s, I'll be on my way to Ashland, Oregon to try my hand at framebuilding. My original plan was to attend a class session at UBI this July, but I felt that given my recent 30th birthday and the coming of a new season, this w as a fortuitous turn of events and I ought to strike while the iron is hot (or the torch warm). Because of my birthday, I have been thinking about the year 1978 a lot late ly. This helped me to sharpen my focus and create a bit of a direction for my first framebuilding project: I call it the "Matthew Bowne Thirtieth Anniversary Commemorative Bicycle". Just for fun, I want to build THE quintessential 1978 bike. My first instinct was a Super Record-equipped road racing bike... but I alr eady have a couple in the steed. A track bike crossed my mind too, but I want to milk UBI for all it's worth . I want bells and whistles. I want braze-ons. I want challenges. The way I see it, the more stuff I get to do to a frame, the more questions I'll get to ask and the more I'll learn. Gimme cable guides. Gimme bottle braze-ons. Gimme fender eyelets. Gimme THE 1978 rando/touring machine. The problem is, I don't remember 1978. And that's where you guys come in. I'd love to get feedback from the list as to what defined the rando/touring bikes of that era. While I realize that perhaps some of these questions belong on the framebui lder's list, I'd love to hear input from The List about specific details of framebuilding (tube selection, geometry, etc.) that you recall from the pe riod. But I figure that you don't need to be a builder to share with me some of t he frame details would you expect to find on a bike typical of that time. F or instance, what would be appropriate cable routing? What would be brazed- on and what would be clamped on? What components would be "correct"? A Nuov o Record triple and rally long cage derailleur? Suntour Bar-Cons? Center-pu lls or side-pulls? Can I get away with a 700c wheelset? Or was 27" the stan dard? Given that I have just three weeks to "get my ducks in a row", my tubeset a nd lugs will likely be dictated by what's available at UBI...But I'd like t o do my best to get it "right" and get my hands on at least some of the rig ht stuff. Would Campy 1010/A dropouts with eyelets be appropriate? If so, do you have a set you can (quickly) sell me? I'm looking forward to getting your feedback.
Chomping at the bit in
Brooklyn, New York