Thursday, April 28, 2011

Velo Orange Grand Cru Crankset Update

Readers of our blog will recall that we recently updated our retro Benotto with a "Grand Cru" compact crankset from Velo Orange. Since that time, we've been very happy with the crankset--with the exception of a bent tooth on the big ring that we discovered a week or so ago. Here's the latest:

  • After being gently coaxed back into alignment, the bent tooth hasn't given us any more trouble.
  • Worried that the old Campy bottom bracket in the frame might give us problems in the French countryside later this year (Paris-Brest-Paris), we installed a new Velo Orange cartridge bottom bracket (photo below). The new unit (we selected the recommended 118mm width) installed easily, and the crankset runs truer and (perhaps) a little easier on the new bearings. We're very happy with it so far. (The Grand Cru crankset uses JIS standards for the square taper; Campagnolo uses ISO. The JIS tapers moved the arms a little farther out--perhaps 1.5mm on each side--but the crank seems to fit a bit better and run straighter.)

Note: The crank fixing bolts supplied with the bottom bracket aren't needed with the Grand Cru crankset, which comes with self-extracting nuts.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What? English Magazine Says ShimaNO's '97 Dura Ace was the Best-Looking Gruppo Ever

What are they smoking over there in England? This online article makes the case that the 1997 Dura Ace gruppo was the best-looking ever. Really? It may have been the best-looking ShimaNO group ever (their stuff has gotten uglier since--how about those ugly Allen screws holding their crank arms on?), but it certainly doesn't compare to a classic Record crankset ... or C-Record ... or the Pista crank. And don't get us started about those ugly levers with their exposed derailleur cables.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Today's Campy-Equipped Video

From yesterday's Campy-equipped ride to Napa on our classic Benotto:

Direct link to the video in HD:

Yesterday's Ride

On our Campy-equipped Benotto ...

Lady Campagnolo (NSFW)

From artist Vita Di Milano, the "Lady Campagnolo":

Classic Colnago Track Bike

Reader Wouter K, of the Netherlands, recently bought this classic 1980s Colnago track bike. Check out the full Campy Pista gruppo, including chrome-plated toeclips. More photos here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Retro Photo: Ride or Swim with the Babe?

We've posted this photo before, but not with the entire text of the ad that accompanied it. Those were the days--a complete Campy-equipped bike for $452. But this still doesn't answer the question: Did this guy choose the bike or the babe?

Tonight's Campy-Equipped Photo

Sunset sky as seen from the bike path in our hometown, Davis CA.

Today's Campagnolo Girl

Enjoy ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blast from the Past: Bar End Shifters

Now that Campagnolo is coming out with a TT gruppo that includes bar end-mounted levers, let's look back to the Golden Age, when Campy bar ends were fairly common. Many riders--including racers--used these shifters, which offered the rider the ability to shift while keeping both hands on the bars. These of course were friction only; indexed Campy bar ends had to wait another 20 years or so.

The blue covers added a little comfort to the somewhat small alloy levers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Today's Bike: Classic 1980s Colnago

Reader Ralf K. sent this photo from Germany of a classic Colnago that he originally purchased in 1989. Still looking great after all these years!

P.S. Nice kickstand!

Velo Orange Grand Cru Crankset Update

We've been testing the Velo Orange Grand Cru crankset for a few months now, with great results--until this past weekend, when a thorough cleaning and examination of the big ring turned up a bent tooth (photo below). We checked with Velo Orange, who confirmed that this is not normal (we thought perhaps it was a special tooth profile to assist in shifting) and suggested we bend it back. We did that--gently--and we'll report on how it works as time goes by. For the record, the bike has not hit anything that we know of that could have bent the tooth.

The bent tooth is visible in the center of this photo--it is canted a bit to the inside.

Full disclosure--we paid full retail price for this crankset.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Campagnolo: The Inside Story

The cycling magazine, Rouleur, gives top billing in their Issue 23 to the first of a multi-part article on Campagnolo.  From the Rouler web site:

The historic component manufacturer finally opens its factory gates in an exclusive and emotional interview with company director Valentino Campagnolo. Rohan Dubash has waited half his life for this opportunity.

Rouleur is available for purchase online.

Just Released: The SFR 4000K Brevet Movie

Sorry for the delay ... enjoy this brief tour of the 400-kilometer brevet from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Hopland and back.  Click here for the full-sized video at YouTube.

Updated--new version with sound that YouTube won't block:

Need a Mechanic? In Spokane? Check Out This Shop

From the "Spokesman-Review" newspaper in Spokane, WA, comes this story of a mechanic who went the extra mile to help a Campy-equipped racer...

(Nice name for the newspaper, too ...)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

PBP-CampyOnlyGuy is Preregistered!

Pre-registration for riders who finished a 600-kilometer brevet last year opened today at midnight, Paris time, which meant 3 pm here on the West Coast. Your host, CampyOnlyGuy (aka Eric Norris) just preregistered for the 90-hour group start. That means we're in ... just one little 600K brevet this year to get through and we'll be confirmed.

Electronica Invades Flanders

Sorry we're a little late reporting this, but it's worth noting that the Movistar team brought a full complement of electronic-shifting bikes to the Tour of Flanders. Read more here

Friday, April 15, 2011

400K Video is Coming ... Soon

In case you're wondering where the video from last weekend's 400K brevet is--it is coming ... soon. The video has been stitched together, and all that needs to be done now is to work on a soundtrack and upload it. Check back--it should be good!

New C-O Blogging Tool

We're trying out a new blogging app for the Campy Only iPad--it's called Blogsy, and it promises to open up some new ways to post content here. We'll let you know how it's working as we put it to use.

Monday, April 11, 2011

400K Brevet Adventures

The CampyOnlyGuy and our Campy-equipped bike survived the San Francisco Randonneurs' 400-kilometer brevet this past weekend ... mostly. One of the non-Campy parts on our bike (a Crank Brothers "eggbeater" pedal) decided to separate from the bike at about midnight as we pedaled up a long hill in the middle of nowhere.

It was about midnight, and a friend and I were starting the climb out of Petaluma. A few miles out, I felt something wrong with my right pedal. I pulled over to uncleat, and ... my pedal came off. The body, anyway, which ended up laying on the ground next to the bike. The spindle was still fastened to the crank. About this time, my friend pulled up and asked what was wrong, and I answered, "My pedal came off!" "Oh," she replied, "That's not good."

So ... I'm sitting there with the pedal in my hand, thinking about having to abandon after riding for 17 hours already, and the logistics of getting back to town. Lacking any other feasible options, I shoved and twisted the pedal body back on, and it somehow worked. Not perfect, and a lot of side play, but it was rideable. In fact, it lasted all the way to the finish, although I played it safe and soft-pedaled up the rest of the hills. I felt like a true randonneur! (In fact, I was ready to ride the damn thing home with my foot on the spindle, although I'm glad it didn't come to that.)

Video (not including the pedal incident) coming soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

Friday, April 8, 2011

No Country for Old Wheels

From an email describing the road conditions on this weekend's 400-kilometer brevet:

"... a few more potholes ..." "Still a very rough road ..." "... recent flooding ..." "... rough descent and twisty enough ..." " ... more potholes have sprung up ..." "Landslide ..." " ... very bumpy ..." "... gravel washouts ..."

Randonneuring is not for wimpy wheels.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eddy Merckx

Way back before there was a Campy Only, the CampyOnlyGuy took these photos of Eddy Merckx visiting Bud's Bike Shop, a then-famous, now-defunct bike shop in Claremont, CA. Eddy was touring shops selling his signature bikes, and we were invited to be there to record the event.

Enjoy the photos:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2

Monday, April 4, 2011

Campy Only Race Cam

Ever wonder what it's like to be in fast-paced criterium? We strapped our video camera to a racer's bike at the Apple Pie Criterium in Santa Rosa, CA, yesterday, and got the following video. Enjoy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Next Up from Campagnolo: Super Duper Record

For your April 1 reading pleasure:

Since riders are facing more and better doping controls, here's the next step: Insert a motor into the bike to make it go faster.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad2