Building a Bike for Eroica Part 2 Posted on 22 Jan 20:59 , 0 comments

The wheels are now built. The hubs are Campagnolo Record High Flange. They came from a bereavement sale as a complete set of wheels with (rusty) chrome-plated spokes, tied and soldered and sprint rims fitted with reasonably good tubular tyres. I didn't want the rims/tyres so I put them on eBay. The tyres went for a reasonable price, but the rims went for 99p - the buyer didn't want to pay for postage, so he collected them, when I was out. He put exactly 99p in loose change through the letterbox in a used paper bag!

I had originally built them with Rigida Chrina rims, but I wanted period-looking shiny alloy rims, so they had to go. I am not putting the old rims on eBay though :-) Anyway the new wheels look lovely:

The bearings were super smooth. These hubs have the old-school oiling hole which the previous owner did not neglect. I stripped and cleaned the bearings and they were perfect. The tyres are the light, flexible and fast Grand Bois Cerf. Tyre selection for the event, will be discussed in a future post.

I mentioned gearing in the previous post. I wanted low enough gearing for the event and for use in the hilly district where I live. The Nuovo Record was designed for close ratio 5 or 6 speed freewheels and 52/42T chain rings. I have fitted a 14-24T N.O.S. 6 speed Regina freewheel, so I needed to work out what the chain rings could be. I determined by trial and error, that 24 teeth is the maximum practical range of the rear mech will cope with, so a 14 teeth difference at the front is allowable. A compromise is needed, between spinning-out on the flat and hill-climbing ability. I have no objection to freewheeling downhill - it is better than walking up hill! A 46 teeth large chain ring will give gearing of 88 inches. I have high natural cadence, so that should be high enough. A 30 teeth small ring would give a low gear of about 33 inches, which should cope with all but the steepest inclines. The question is whether the Nuovo Record front mech will cope with the 14 teeth difference and a 46 teeth large ring instead of a 52 teeth. I fitted a similar combination to a customer's bike last year and he was delighted. Anyway here is the result.

Not too tight in large/large and only a small amount of slack in small/small. As the small/small combination should never be used in practice, all should be well. The road test will be the proof of the pudding though! 

For now, I have used TA Cyclotouriste rings with Velo Orange 165mm 50.4BCD cranks. 

Choice of bottom bracket proved problematic. The suggested 118mm bottom bracket caused the large chain ring to rub on the chain on the small/small combination. A 122mm BB did not work either, so a 124mm was needed. Bottom brackets with old frames and chainsets can be a bit of a lottery, so I keep a selection in the workshop to try out, so I can get the best fit. I am guessing this was a problem with the previous build as spacers had been fitted to the bottom bracket.

Next step will to fit the shifters and sort out the brakes.

To Be Continued...