[CR] belated intro and Gipiemme questions

(Example: Framebuilding:Restoration)

From: "Derek Vandeberg" <derek@frameref.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 09:22:41 -0700
Thread-Index: Acp/NSgQMc/7rC2pRFqHtpy1rVgGAw==
Subject: [CR] belated intro and Gipiemme questions

Good morning -

Rejoined the list a couple of months ago after being away for a few years and threw up a few posts; just now recognizing I wasn't polite enough to introduce myself. I'm 41, and began my love for classic steel under the tutelage of Sam Braxton in Missoula, Montana. Sam and my dad were close friends and railroaders together, and this landed me a "job" as a kid in the early '80s, sweeping up the shop and helping with the annual Spring Sale. Started changing flats in '83, and began working as a mechanic in '84. By '86 I was working full time, assembling most of Sam's customs, building wheels, and to my delight, beginning an apprenticeship - albeit very brief - with Sam in the frame shop. I'd only filed a few lugs when he was diagnosed with cancer and his output basically ceased; I left the shop in '89, several months after his death. Managed shops in Madison, WI and Minneapolis before returning to Montana; I'm now in Bigfork, where I've owned a contemporary art gallery and custom picture framing business since '98.

A dyed-in-the-wool Montanan, my current stable includes two Carl Strongs and three Braxtons, one of which is the reason for this post. It wasn't built for me - an ebay find from a few years ago that I greedily snatched up. It's a very traditional 531SL racing bike in exactly my size, and is simple to the point of being almost utilitarian. I built it and rode it for a couple of seasons with C-Record and Deltas, but I am planning on a repaint and I'm looking for components that are a little more suitable to its origin. Sam wasn't a huge Campy fan, and tended to build bikes with less "mainstream" components - Galli was his favorite, followed by Gipiemme and mixed Euro groups like Stronglight/Simplex/Edco/Modolo and the like. The frame is from '83, give or take.

Would like some info about Gipiemme, as my memory is sketchy. I know their framebuilding parts found their way onto many Italian marques of various qualities, and components were used by Moser, Bianchi and others, particularly for the non-US market. Most of the derailleurs were clearly rebadged Simplex, and many of the brakes were sourced from Modolo - how much, if any, of the other stuff did Gipiemme actually make? Was the quality what I remember, or were these less popular in the US for some reason beyond advertising? Catalog scans from Robert Broderick's Velo Pages - http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g2_itemId=65 - show an '82 catalog that threw me for a curve - the derailleurs in particular don't look like Simplex, more like crude versions of Ofmega or even Suntour. Finally, though off topic, the '84 Los Angeles Olympics commemorative components are particularly interesting to me, as that's when I started wrenching. Was this a whole gruppo, or just a few select pieces? I don't see much of the Crono Special or Special stuff around - was production limited, or am I looking in the wrong places? Any information you have would be welcome.

Thanks for indulging me.

Derek Vandeberg

Bigfork, Montana