Sunday, July 29, 2012

FOR SALE: Raul Mesa RDM Pista

All-chrome Raul Mesa RDM Pista frameset, made in Medellin, Columbia. Genuine track frame with track geometry. Seattube is 51cm CTC (53cm CTT); top tube is 54cm CTC. Fork and frame carry matching serial number #0034.

Chrome is in very good shape with only two marks that won't polish out (see photos).

Features Campagnolo rear track ends and "Mesa"-engraved seatstay caps.


  • Made for 700C's
  • Front fork is not drilled for a brake (though fork crown casting has centering mark for drilling)
  • Rear brake bridge is designed to accept a caliper.
  • Italian BB thrading
  • Italian threaded steerer tube
  • 120mm rear spacing
  • Requires a 26.8 seatpost
PM or email headbadgesales AT gmail DOT com


Saturday, July 28, 2012

FOR SALE: Campagnolo Pista, et. al

Prices include shipping to the United States via Priority Mail unless noted. Buyer must cover Paypal fees.

Interested? Email headbadgesales AT gmail DOT com.

Campagnolo Nuovo Record Pista crankset - 144bcd, 165mm arms, 48t "PATENT CAMPAGNOLO" ring, English pedal threads.

Includes English (68mm) Record Pista BB spindle, 109mm overall width; stamped with Campagnolo globe logo and "68-P-120." No cups.


Campagnolo Nuovo Record Pista hubset - 36/36h. Includes original <C> lockring and the cog shown. This set of hubs are laced to decidedly non-original Rigida tubular rims with black spokes, but I just don't feel right about de-lacing them. Hence, I'm throwing the rims, spokes and the very nice skinwall Hutchinson Tempo 1 tubular tires into the deal as an extra.


Cinelli 1E, 105mm. Baby brother to the 1A, very presentable. 22.2mm quill, 26.0mm clamp. Handlebar binder bolt and nut are not original, but work fine.


Campagnolo Record steel pedal axles w/cones and nuts. Used and not that beautiful on the exposed cosmetics, but the bearing races are in good shape.


Campagnolo Record STEEL pedal dustcaps (not the later plastic variants) - used, not perfect, but very presentable.


Campagnolo Triomphe/Victory aero seatpost. Obscure 26.2mm size. Used, some scratches, could do with a strip-and-polish (hence, one could turn it into a 26.0 if desired); presentable for a rider as-is. Clamp hardware is in very good condition.


Used, Italian-thread Shimano BB cups (no P/N stamped); nice unit with rubber seals. Raceways are in very good condition.

Includes adjustable and fixed cup, bearings, and dust cap. No lockring or spindle.


Interested? Email headbadgesales AT gmail DOT com.


All Chrome Pista (Raul Mesa RDM track)

Just picked this one up; built by Raul Mesa under the RDM name in Medellin, Columbia.

It's mostly a mix (hence, it'll be up for grabs as a frameset; the components will be available separately), but it has a partial Nuovo Record Pista group which shines beautifully.

Enjoy the photos.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Giosaleigh - prepping a worthy 531C survivor

Sometimes, a frame comes along that puts you through a few more paces than usual. The GIOS-rebadged 1984 Raleigh (UK) Competition 12 has been one of those bikes, though worthy enough to justify the effort and time.

One of the rear stays was bent in. No problem. But then the seat stays came to note.

The Raleigh "shot-in" seatstay design used on the Competition 12 (and all models in between up to the SBDU Team Replica 12) is a breathtakingly beautiful case of form over function. Unfortunately, Raleigh's framebuilders rarely filled these stays with enough brass, resulting in a design that was also crack-prone.

Upon close inspection, I realized that the left stay had already been repaired once due to insufficient brass penetration, and the right stay needed urgent attention. Very well; seeing that the frame was already poorly repainted with GIOS decals, the time was ideal to put a proper fillet of brass over both stays - ensuring that they will remain solidly attached - and strip off the old paint.

And here they are, filled in and filleted as they should have been since day #1.

One thing is for sure - filing and shaping the brass is hell to the fingers. My thumbs are still numb as of typing this post.

I love these easter eggs - finding a "REYNOLDS 531 BUTTED" stamp. Notice the interesting layering of the paint - Raleigh's bright red primer, followed by a medium teal basecoat under the final "Iridescent Green" topcoat of the Competition 12 (and the lousy lavender repaint on top of that).

A quick primer has everything looking much nicer now, doesn't it?

Even the rear stays are partially chromed, though only the axle contact areas on the dropouts are left exposed.

Now that's how these "shot-in" stays should have looked to begin with.

So it looks like I'm out of the woods now, eh? Not so. I'd been concentrating so much on the back end, I forgot to look at the front. The headtube is completely off alignment with the rest of the frame, necessitating a quick trip to the frame table.

It never ends, does it?


Friday, July 13, 2012

FOR SALE: More bits and bobs

Prices include shipping to the United States via Priority Mail unless noted. Buyer must cover Paypal fees.

EDIT: All items sold.

RINO suede saddle, some scuffing and a mark at the top center.


Matrix (Trek) Titan II 700C clincher wheelset, dark anodized rims (Schrader drilling), stainless spokes, "KK" aluminum hubs. 126mm rear spacing. Includes tubes and a pair of older tires for test purposes only; they're too old for riding.


Gipiemme bottom bracket spindles (no cups). Both have unique Gipiemme-specific tapers.

One 68mm (English/French/Swiss), 113mm wide
One 70mm (Italian), 114mm wide.


Shimano RX-100 RD + shifter grablot. Two shifters rough + one in good shape. Hardware for one set included.


Suntour New Winner 7-speed corncob freewheel, English thread, 13-19


Sakae 100mm stem, needs polishing. 25.4mm clamp, 22.2mm quill.



When a GIOS is a Raleigh...

A real GIOS this isn't (neither is it one of the oft-mentioned, fake GIOS ripoffs sold new in the 1980's), but it so happens to be a real Raleigh - a 1984 Raleigh Gran Course/Competition 12 (both models shared the same frameset), a model unique to the U.K. lineup, and not sold in the United States.

Sometimes it pays to look at the fakes - what's underneath can be far more interesting.

The Gran Course and Competition 12 framesets were essentially Nottingham-built versions of the SBDU (Ilkston-built) Road Ace 12 (which in itself was a 531C version of the Team Replica 12; Raleigh's 753 replica of the Panasonic team frames). The Gran Course was available only as a frameset, while the Competition 12 was the same thing (in a different color) sold as a complete bike.

If nothing else, this 1984 Gran Course tells an interesting tale just through its paint scheme and location. Besides bouncing its way over to the colonial side of the pond in its travels, at least one of its previous owners wasn't content that they weren't riding the latest in Italian snob appeal. Enter one lavender paint job and a set of GIOS Super Record decals.

Nevertheless, the bottom bracket shell still speaks the truth, bearing one Nottingham serial number (Worksop "W" serials continued to be used as an acronym for Nottingham production after the Worksop factory closure in 1982), with typical obscure stamping:

The original "RALEIGH" cable guide is still in place as well. Granted, not that hard a mystery to solve.

Short Gipiemme horizontal dropouts, a feature unique to the Gran Course and Competition 12 - when paired with the fastback seat stays - highlight the rear end of the frame. This detail wasn't common on U.S. Raleighs, but was reasonably common on the U.K. lineup after 1982.

Being essentially an evolutionary model of the 1970's Raleigh Professional, the Gran Course wears a beautiful sloping fork crown. This was very much a return to traditionalism, as the 1977-1982 Professional Mk.V's briefly did away with the the sloping design in favor of a flat-crown (seen at right on a 1978 Pro Mk.V).

Though the Gioaleigh shows some evidence of having been treated with an undue lack of respect - one seat stay required careful cold-setting to return it back to an original state - it is a worthy survivor.

I plan to put it up for sale shortly, but - given that the repaint will probably be stripped by the new owner to begin with - I intend to have framebuilder Mike Terraferma add a bit of extra brass to the bottom of the fastback seatstay clusters. Many of these seatstays have been known to crack due to poor brass penetration from factory, and this seems the perfect opportunity to rectify the possibility of that ever happening in the future.

It'll be available soon.

Email headbadgesales AT gmail DOT com if interested.


Just in at The Headbadge Sales

No pictures yet, but an interesting load of bits just arrived which will soon be for sale:
  • 60/61cm fake Gios Torino in lavender. Even though it's not a genuine Gios, it is a gorgeous frame with a sloping fork crown, fastback seatstay cluster, and Bocama Competition window lugs. (EDIT: It turns out to be a 1984 Raleigh (UK) Competition 12 with full 531C - see: When a Gios is a Raleigh)
  • Matrix (Trek) 700C dark-anodized wheelset with stainless spokes
  • Shimano RX100 RD + downtube shifter combo
  • Dia-Compe sidepulls
  • Rino saddle
  • 110mm SR quill stem
  • 7-speed Suntour New Winner freewheel
I'll have everything photographed and posted by the weekend.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shimano: Complicating everything since 1921...

...or at least since they entered the American market.

Shimano's early Dura-Ace brake calipers are a brilliant case in point; beginning with the first-generation B-210 / BA-100 example:

Granted, these could be serviced like any other normal sidepull of the era, but Shimano succeeded in throwing at least wrinkle into the design to ensure that bicycle mechanics would have one more compatibility issue to deal with: A non-standard, 6.5mm shaft diameter - exclusively for the caliper arm pivot - on the mounting bolt:

With exception to Modolo, everybody else at the time was using 6mm, including Campagnolo's incomparably effective Nuovo Record calipers. Presto - a unique bolt that is incompatible with everything else.

Even Scott Corporation - who was manufacturing an aftermarket drop bolt at the time - had to produce a variant of said drop bolt with a 6.5mm shaft, specifically for the B-210 / BA-100.

At least Shimano had the good sense to leave the threading to the 6mm standard.

But what did any of this prove? It obviously didn't provide any significant improvement in power transfer or vertical thrust resistance, for Shimano finally reverted to the 6.0mm standard with their BR-1050, BR-6400 and BR-7400 series calipers in the mid-1980's.

Near as I can figure it, Shimano proved nothing - except to make spare parts difficult to come by 30 years later.

Or not. I recently happened across quite a few NOS replacement bolts at a local shop; undoubtedly rendered quite useless  to anything but a first-gen DA caliper with a bent bolt. Not your common bike shop repair in this day and age. I bought the entire lot, but being a Campagnolo enthusiast, I often ask myself why I did so.

The 6.5mm standard wasn't enough for Shimano though. Bring in the year 1978 and the replacement for the B-210 / BA-100; the Dura-Ace 7100/7200 EX brake caliper:

These were a beautiful piece of bicycle jewelry that would have put the sidepull brake caliper back 20 years, had their engineering became a de-facto standard. In fact, the spare Dura-Ace brake blocks in the photo are completely incompatible with the nearly identical examples installed in the calipers, but that's another story.

As if the B-210 / BA-100 hadn't complicated the world enough, Shimano's engineering team came up with this disaster for the 7100:

If the above photo makes no sense, this is the order in which the parts fit together:

It looks innocuous enough once you realize how the parts go together, then you realize that the caliper arm thrust adjustment is not adjustable without taking the caliper off the bicycle for servicing. Instead of having a pair of hex nuts at the front of the caliper, the spring centering nut and the star-shaped nut thread on from the back and tighten against each other, providing the same function.

It sounds easy enough in writing, until you realize that you probably don't own the special star-shaped Shimano wrench to tighten the star locknut*, and neither can you perform the adjustment without removing the caliper off the frame entirely.

Just the thing to make a mechanic's day. Shimano, the bicycle man's Apple.

*On a positive note, a Brooks saddle nose wrench can be used on that star nut to moderate success, though the fit is loose enough that one must be careful while doing so.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proper tools for proper freewheels.

A proper vintage road bike should sound vintage - and that sound is a Regina Oro freewheel whirring away on a white-knuckled descent.

Problem is, few folks understand the fact that Regina's fragile two-prong remover system is not the same as the very similar two-prong system designed by Suntour. The result? A lot of buggered-up freewheels and a lot of mechanics who've learned a painful lesson.

At least, we hope they've learned it.

Finding the proper Regina removers can be tricky though. As common as the two-pronged Regina design is on older roadbikes, Park does not make a removal tool available on the market for the job - requiring purchase of a used or NOS tool if you want to do the job right.

A few variants of the tool exist, one of the best being the Bicycle Research CT-1. Not only does it fit onto the prongs correctly, all but the early production CT-1's are designed with a thin enough centering ring that the tool will clear the small 13t cogs on aluminum Everest freewheels and other odd, late-model two-prong designs.

Shimano's early Dura-Ace freewheels were also made to the two-prong pattern, and Shimano released a similar tool - the TL-FW10 - which is also compatible with the Reginas.

Unfortunately, the Dura-Ace tool isn't small enough to slide through the smaller 13t cogs, but the relative rarity of freewheels with such cogs renders this one small feature of functionality mostly moot.


Raleigh's DL-1 Export Models

Raleigh's DL-1 model is perhaps best known in the States in the form shown at right; a tall, 24" (and occasionally 22") frame, 28"-wheeled behemoth; fitted with fragile wire fender stays, slightly curved handlebars, and an open chainguard (as opposed to the enclosed chaincase often associated with these bikes).   

Such is the American version of the late-model Raleigh DL-1, which doesn't differ much from the English version, save for the chaincase. Nevertheless, while both England and America were receiving cookie-cutter DL-1's like these in the 1970's, very interesting variants were being produced for export, even into the mid-1980's.

The late-model DL-1 export:

To begin with, the 1970's-1980's export DL-1s were very much a continuation of the traditional DL-1 as it was known in the 1940's and 1950s. Equipment included beefy fender stays with adjustable ends, narrow handlebars, and full chaincases - all the traditional details that you would otherwise have expected on a DL-1 had Raleigh's quality standards remained the same throughout the decades.

Some of these export models were produced with singlespeed hubs in lieu of Sturmey-Archer AW's, and others were built with all the trimmings; depending on the market. Others were built with the rod brake system deleted in favor of oversized 26" balloon tires. Arguably the best known of these variants are a series of all-chrome examples produced in 1979/1980 (presumably dealer promotionals made for the American market), of which most are stereotypical examples of fully-equipped export models.

Following are photos of an all-chrome 1980 U.S.-spec example and the author's 1979 Rudge DL-1 Export, which - save for the locking fork and Rudge transfers - is otherwise identical in specifications:

Many thanks to Public Bikes for the use of their chrome 1980 DL-1 images.

Note the inclusion of the slogans and small darts surrounding the slogan text in the chaincase logos. This is one of the quickest identifiers of a late-model DL-1, and also a possible indicator of an export model.

At least one all-chrome example is known to have been built for 26" wheels, with a rod-brake delete option in favor of a singlespeed coasterbrake. With exception to the chrome finish, this configuration is very common on DL-1s and DL-1 knockoffs built for third-word countries, wherein simplicity and large tires for rough terrain takes precedence. The bike that I speak of was once shown on the forums (since closed), and I have yet to locate the owner or photos since.

Export/Caribbean Raleigh DL-1s not built in Nottingham:

In addition to "normal" Nottingham DL-1s, some oddballs do exist, such as this 1978 example owned by Spencer Howell, with a "KS8..." serial number. Unfortunately, Raleigh's documentation fails to indicate which production facility the letter "K" stood for, so until that bit of information is located, the origins of this DL-1 remain a mystery - other than the fact that it was sold in the Bahamas; specifically, Nassau.

Nevertheless, unlike other subcontracted Raleighs (such as the Gazelle Grand Prix), this example comes from notably different tooling. Most of the small hardware on this example differs from a Nottingham DL-1, and the fittings are stamped differently (most notably, the crankset - which is marked with a large Sir Walter Raleigh logo at the pedal end of the crankarm).