Saturday, February 26, 2011

From Last Week's Ride

Here's a photo by California Triple Crown honcho Chuck Bramwell of the CampyOnlyGuy cresting a climb in Alison Viejo on the Camino Real Duble Century. Shortly after this photo was taken, I had my first flat of the day ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cool Campy Memorabilia

Great entry about Campy memorabilia over at the Cycle Italia blog:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today's Mod Bikes: Tommasini Time

Reader Terry A sent these photos and this report on his growing stable of Campy-equipped Tommasinis:

The Red Carbo Light (my 8th ever Tommasini) is 10 speed equipped but I’ve added a Super Record 11 rear derailleur (plus thin shims both sides of the pulleys due to the slightly wider chain. Shifts great and looked even better. This bike is my “everyday” hammerfest and race bike.

The black carbon Velocista (my 9th ever Tommasini) runs 2010 Super Record throughout. I am a bit more choosey as to where/when I ride this bike – it does get it’s share of competitive group rides but it’s not used (yet) for any all out pack racing situations.

#10 Tommasini is on order……custom geometry and it will be fitted with 2011 Super Record and Bora Twos……can’t wait.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, February 21, 2011

Photos from Saturday's Campy-Equipped Double Century

Photos from our Campy-equipped ride on Saturday (a wet and cold Camino Real Double Century) are now online. We shot a bunch of video--that's coming as soon we have the time to edit it.  Below, a photo of the CampyOnlyGuy by our friend, Lynn Katano.
CampyOnlyGuy photo by Lynn Katano

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rainy Campy Ride

We're here in Irvine for the start of what promises to be a wet and wild double century tomorrow. Check back for photos and a report ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things We're Using: Spark Mini Video Camera

Many readers who have watched our recent videos have asked what camera we've been using to record on-the-bike video.  Answer: the Spark mini camera from Bad Vision.
We've used a variety of video cameras on the bike, and the Spark is one of the best. It's certainly the smallest camera we've ever used. It takes decent video (see an example here), and it's very easy to use--push a button to start recording, push and hold the same button for two seconds to stop. It's easy to upload the videos to your computer, where you can use your favorite editing software to create your own videos.

The Spark is advertised to take up to three up to two hours of video. I haven't tried to take that much, so I can't vouch for that claim.

On the downside, the camera suffers from the same wind noise problems that have plagued every videocam we've ever used on a bike. The Spark offers a "windproof" cap that also makes the camera (according to Bad Vision) totally waterproof, but it muffles the sound too much.  In practice, I usually replace the loud windy noise in my raw video with music.

The camera also doesn't take HD video--it produces nice 30FPS video at 640x480. If you're looking for HD, try a Hero of Flip Mino HD camera (which is much larger).

Bad Vision's Mike Boester is a former bike shop manager and definitely knows customer service. I was having problems with the audio on my camera (problems that turned out to be specific to that camera), and he promptly sent me a new one. He's easily accessible by email if you have questions:

We'll continue testing the Spark in the coming months--our goal is to take video during the Paris-Brest-Paris randonee' in August.  Check back for updated results.

Full disclosure: We paid full retail price for our camera at a local bike shop here in our home town.

First Campy-Equipped Double Century of 2011

Our double century season starts this weekend with the Camino Real Double Century in Southern California (more on the ride here).  We've done this ride many times, including in 2005, when torrential rains turned the Butterfield Double (as it was known then) into the "Butterflood," an epic adventure that saw only about one-third of the registered riders finish (half of the riders didn't even show up for the start).
The CampyOnlyGuy at the Butterflood in 2005
Read more about the Butterflood here ... and watch this blog for photos and a report from this year's ride, which promises to be wet but not apocalyptic.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grease Your Stems!

Word to the wise for everyone out there using traditional quill stems on their Campy-equipped bikes: Take them out and grease them regularly! Update 2-15-11: See the Comments--turns out that anti-sieze is better than grease for both stems and seatposts. You can find anti-sieze at most hardware and auto parts stores.

Yours truly was packing up the Campy Only Rivendell last night and ran into a roadblock in the form of a stem that wouldn't come out. I could budge it, but it would not come out of the steerer.

Long story short ... it took the great guys at Velo City bike shop in Winters, CA, more than an hour of soaking and tugging, but they got it out. Whew! Now I can continue packing and getting ready for the Camino Real Double Century in Southern California. Photo below, James of Velo City with the newly freed stem. Note the rust that showed up in a just a few months of riding.

James and the Recalcitrant Stem

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 13, 2011

200 Kilometers in 90 Seconds

The latest CampyOnlyGuy video:

Direct link here.  I used a bike-mounted "Spark" camera from Bad Vision to capture all of the video.

The Road to Paris Brest Paris Begins!

The CampyOnlyGuy's road to PBP began yesterday with the San Francisco Randonneurs' 200K brevet, a challenging course north from the Golden Gate Bridge to Valley Ford and back (about 6000 feet of climbing). We took a few photos, and some video as well, which we're working on assembling into a short film. For now, the photo of us below, with lots more here.

By the way, check out one of the last photos to see what happens when a classic high flange Record hub finally gives up the ghost. The rear wheel on our Benotto started self-destructing with about 15 miles to go, although thke wobbly wheel that remained was enough to finish the ride on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today's Bike: Record/Chorus Litespeed

Reader John P bought his Litespeed in 2000, and had it repainted by Joe Bell (a Campy Only sponsor). Mix of Chorus and Record parts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Photos from Today's Campy Equipped Ride

We rode classic Benotto steel, Campy equipped, on today's 73-mile hill climb ride ... and took a few photos (sorry to say, not everyone rode Campy).

Viva Benotto!

The CampyOnlyGuy owns and thoroughly enjoys a Benotto much like this Campy-equipped example ...

Friday, February 4, 2011

First Electronic Winner Likes ElectroGruppo

The first rider to win a major race using Campagnolo's prototype electronic gruppo likes it. Read the full report here.

He reports that a single battery charge lasts a month, with a six-hour reserve before the system goes dead.

Let us know in the Comments below whether you would consider riding electronic ... and why.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Campy-Equipped Bike? Girl? Which One?

Decisions, decisions ...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Today's Campagnolo Girl

From the web site comes Joanna and her pretty plated Campy-equipped Pinarello:

Campy Only at Paris-Brest 2007

We were checking out the official PBP web site and noticed that this photo of the CampyOnlyGuy sleeping inside a PBP poster in 2007 is featured prominently at their web site. This photo was taken at Carhaix on the return leg of the ride. I needed to sleep, and there was a draft coming in from a nearby door, so I grabbed a poster that had fallen off the wall and created a little tent/wrap to sleep in. See this and more photos here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Athena 11 Predicted to "Fly Off the Shelves"

The folks at published an article today on new equipment from Campagnolo, focusing on the only new item (other than Super Record) that they found of interest: Athena 11-speed in full alloy (no carbon fiber). They predict that riders looking for a more traditional appearance (a group that includes the CampyOnlyGuy) will buy alloy Athena in droves. More here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cool Italian Blog

It's in Italian, so you might need to run it through an online translator, but the "Pedalara verso il Cielo" blog is worth checking out. Blogger Claudio C does product tests and takes great photos of high-end Campy stuff. His road test photos include great cycling locations like this:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Not Campy (But Close)

Back in the Retro era, it was fairly common for bicycle manufacturers to offer their own "tweaked" versions of Campagnolo's products. One common item was a crankset modified for the builder--Colnago, for instance, would engrave their "spade" logo and name into the chainrings.

Shown below is a more unusual variation--in this case, Colnago created an entirely new, six-arm crank that was engraved with their logo and Ermesto Colnago's name. This crankset was perhaps offered as a stiffer alternative to the standard five-arm cranksets made by Campagnolo. Whatever the reason, the design didn't last, and six-arm cranks today are as scarce as ... six-fingered bike mechanics.

Thanks to reader Thomas B for sending in this photo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad