[CR]Parts help and advice: TA pedals, Allegro build coming up

(Example: Framebuilding:Paint)

To: Dale Brown <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: "Jon Spangler" <hudsonspangler@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 23:05:48 -0700
Subject: [CR]Parts help and advice: TA pedals, Allegro build coming up

Dear listers,

I have purchased and will soon pick up and build up my long-awaited mid-1970s Allegro (Swiss) road frame (52 c-c seat x 55 TT), thanks to Craig Griffith. It is a sizing experiment, and, if I keep it, it will be a rider, not a show or "restoration" bike. (I plan on using used parts, which are fine if they work decently. I am on a budget, so NOS parts may be too expensive.) Here are some questions I have so far. Any and all assistance is deeply appreciated.

1) Are there any Stronglight A-9 needle-bearing headsets out there in FR threading any more, or is this a futile search?

2) I once had a complete set of TA racing pedals like the ones Hilary Stone just had for sale, but (don't ask why) I need just the right pedal body for these iconic 1970s-80s road pedals. (Everything else is fine.) Is finding just a pedal body going to be possible?

3) I have both my 1973-4 Campi NR sidepulls and 2 sets of Mafac Racer centerpulls in my parts collection. All of them would need new gum hoods. I am curious: which NOS or reproduction hoods work better, in your opinion(s)? Fit and durability are really the only issues here: I like the look of "natural" gum rubber hoods, but want to know which type(s) are of better quality or are more durable, if there is a difference.

This also leads me to ask: which brakes will really stop better? Both Mafac and Campi are period-correct and appeared on Allegros at the time. I want to optimize (dare I say "modernize"?) and update their performance with more modern brake blocks, but the once-available Mathauser pads for the NR brakes seem to have disappeared. Has anyone in CR land had good luck using the currently-available more modern pads on either of these brakes?

4) I have my wife's Stronglight 99 crank set (formerly a 30-44-52 triple), which I plan to set up as a compact double on a Phil Wood #3 BB. (I have a new and fine 52t outer ring, so I'm looking for a 38 or 40T ring for an inner. I'd like to hear from anyone who has done this. (I have set up Stronglight 93 and Campi NR 144 double cranks, as well as Campi 9-spd racing Triples, but never a 99 as a compact double.) Any and all advice/suggestions welcomed regarding gearing, assembly, etc.

5) How well do the Simplex top-of-BB-shell Delrin cable guides work for folks? (I have a full Super LJ derailleur and DT shifter set ready to install.)

Please email me off-list if you have any suggestions, unless the knowledge is new to and belongs in the communal sphere.

Thanks very much,

Jon Spangler
Alameda, CA USA