Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cupertino Bike Shop

Stopped by the Cupertino Bike Shop (Cupertino, CA) today. A great old shop (founded 1953) that was once the entry point for Cinelli and many other classic bikes in the classic era. The showroom is dominated by high-end racing bikes today, but hanging from the ceiling and on the walls are some great old bikes, including a rod-shifting Bianchi and a set of three 1970s-ish Cinelli Speciali Corsas.

Located on De Anza Boulevard just a few miles from the headquarters of Apple, Inc., it's well worth a stop if you're in the area. More photos here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coming for 2011?

Coupla web pages to check out:

These pages suggest the following for 2011:

1. new type of UT crankset, the shaft is one piece now, and the left side bearing is placed in BB cup now 2. Athena has alloy lever 3. Centaur and Veloce RD ( 10S) shape looks like 11S RDs 4. Centaur brakeset looks like old style pre-skeleton type 5. Crankset for Cyclecross 6. red, white ergopower hood

No verfication from other sources yet. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Campy Only in China

We typed "Campagnolo" into the Google search engine used by millions of people in mainland China, and ... Campy Only pops up in third place, right behind the official Campagnolo site and their clothing site.

3rd out of almost 2.5 million Campagnolo sites. Not bad ...

Another Campy Tattoo

Peter C, of Boulder, CO, (aka the People's Republic of Boulder) proudly wears this one.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

300 Kilometers on Campy

Just the latest in this season's brevet series. Paris-Brest-Paris is less than 18 months away, and savvy randonneurs are getting brevet credit this year to get an earlier registration slot next year.

We rode this on our Campy-equipped Rivendell Road (shown in the photo). Nary a complaint from the drivetrain all day!

Proud Campy Driver

Bernie's car sports this actual Utah license plate. Very cool!

Phil Wood Passes

Legendary cycling innovator Phil Wood has died at the age of 83.

Campy Only's bike have no ShimaNO, but we've ridden thousands of miles on Phil hubs and with Phil cogs. They're not light, and they're not Campy, but they're great.

Join us in mourning the loss of someone who helped raise the bar in terms of quality, beauty, and longevity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ride with the CampyOnlyGuy

We'll be riding our Campy-equipped randonneuring bike tomorrow (March 20) in the 300-kilometer brevet hosted by the Davis Bike Club. If you're there, say hello!

More info on the ride is here.

Our photos from last year's 300k here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Bike: 1978 Sabatini

Brent's 1978 Sabatini is already in the Campy Only Retro Gallery, but here's a scan of a slide he took shortly after buying it new from his local bike shop in Calgary, Alberta. The bike today is virtually unchanged.

Readers: To see your bike here, email photos to enorris [at] campyonly [dot] com

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today's Bike: Campy 'Cross

Campy-equipped cyclocross bikes are a little uncommon, but here's a very nice example, sent in my John Z. His custom-made titanium Kish is very pretty, and equipped with a full 11-speed Athena gruppo (except for a set of Paul brakes and some non-Campy wheels). Makes you wonder how he can bear to get it dirty ...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Praise of the Avocet 50

We recently dusted off our retro-flavored Benotto to give it some time on the road, and decided at the same time to bring our venerable Avocet 50 computer out of retirement. Using the 50 again has reminded us what a great piece of equipment it was (and is). That's our 50 in the photo--look closely and you can see a few scuffs acquired over the years. The small port between the buttons and down goes to the barometric sensor.

The Avocet 50 was released about 20 years ago, and built on Avocet's very popular line of computers to include a barometric altimeter that counted up elevation gain while you were riding. (It also came in a very cool package that, as I recall, won some awards for originality. Unfortunately, the package ours came in is long gone.)

The 50's elevation measurements are still the gold standard for most cyclists--by comparison, both GPS units and online mapping programs tend to overstate elevation gain. The 50, which only starts counting when you increase altitude by 30 feet, gives a more reasonable "gross elevation gain" reading that most cyclists can relate to. If you're on a ride that everyone agrees has 5,000 feet of vertical gain, that figure was likely generated by a rider using an Avocet 50.

Using the Avocet 50 is dead simple. There are two buttons on the top that control everything, including setup (which took us about 5 minutes). A simple, two-line display with large-ish digits provides you with info.

The Avocet 50 was also unusual in allowing you to reset maximum or average speed during a ride without losing other measurements. For instance, you could reset max speed after a big downhill to get a new max reading on the next big descent. We have never seen another computer that lets you do this--to this day, every other computer we've used resets everything at once.

The main unit is waterproof and temperature compensated (to keep the altimeter accurate when the temperature changes). It has a wired sensor that attaches to the front fork dropout (a rear wheel sensor was also available). A pair of watch batteries would power the 50 for more than a year.

The 50 did have some issues. Some early units ran through batteries quickly, and the twin battery covers on the bottom had a tendency to break. You could get replacements back in the day, but Avocet's web site today lists almost everything to do with the 50 as "out of stock."

But those were minor concerns. For ease of use, large display, and accurate elevation gain measurement, the 50 has never been beaten.

Just Wondering ... How Many CampyOnlyGuys Are There?

It's amazing how many times I (your host, the CampyOnlyGuy) will go to a web site and start the registration process only to find that my favorite user name, "CampyOnlyGuy," has been taken already. Really, how many people are there out there who have maintained an online presence as the host of Campy Only for some 15 years? Don't those CampyOnlyGuy doppelgangers know that they're not the real CampyOnlyGuy?

Just wondering. Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today's Bike: Darin's Colnago

Darin has been riding for ten years, and just switched to Campagnolo (welcome to the club, Darin!). He's justifiably proud of his new machine, a 15-pound Colnago C50 built up with Athena 11-speed.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Blast from the Past

The Graftek/Exxon G-1 was one of the first carbon fiber bikes when it was introduced in the late 1970s. Light and fast, it set the stage for the explosion of carbon bikes in the 1980s. Sadly, the tubes had a tendency to separate from the lugs.

This ad, from 1979, shows a Graftek built up with a nice Nuovo Record gruppo.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Classic Mags for Sale

We've extracted the Campy content, now this collection of classic Bicycling magazines is offered for sale on eBay:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Campagnolo Looking for 11-Speed Test Pilots

Bicycle Retailer (online) today reports on Campagnolo's 11-speed test bike program, under which local brick-and-mortar dealers get a reduced price on 11S gruppos if they put them on three test bikes for at least five months. The idea is that local riders can try out 11S (and, Campagnolo hopes, buy it). The shops get to sell the bikes when the 5-month test ride program is done.

Monday, March 1, 2010

NAHBS News: The Best Bikes Were Campy Equipped

Coupla items from the latest edition of the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show:

  • The winning "Best of Show" bike, made by Ellis Cycles of polished 953 steel, was Campy-equipped
  • Ditto for Best Carbon Fiber (Crumpton
  • Ditto for Best Tandem (Calfee)
  • Campy Only sponsor Richard Sachs won "Best Track Frame" honors for a frame he built for a customer and later bought back for himself(!) It's also Campy equipped.
The show itself, FWIW, was sponsored by ShimaNO ...

Centaur, the "Cheeky Gruppo"

Yes, "cheeky," at least according to the folks at

Read their review of a Centaur-equipped bike here.

So ... would Record be "haughty"? Chorus be "polite"? Send us your ideas: enorris [at] campyonly [dot] com

Khamsin Test Continues

In case you're wondering, our ongoing road test of Campagnolo's budget-priced Khamsin wheelset is continuing. The wheels are on our Richard Sachs bicycle, which is suited to the (hopefully) dryer weather that should be coming to Northern California.

With a few hundred miles on the wheels so far, we've had no problems and give the wheels high marks (especially considering their reasonable price). Check back for more detailed long-term results.

The Road to Paris Begins!

We'll be kicking off the 2010 brevet season this coming weekend with a 200-kilometer ride organized by the Davis Bike Club. The next ride, a 300K brevet, is two weeks later.

The next Paris-Brest-Paris 1200K is not until August 2011, but completing longer brevets this year will let us apply earlier for the ride next year, so away we go!

Photo: The CampyOnlyGuy's fixed gear Quickbeam, 2007 PBP. Next year, we're bringing a Campy-equipped geared bike.