Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bici d'Epoca - SCAPIN part 2

Larry's vintage SCAPIN is ready-to-go. You can read Part 1 by clicking HERE.

Some of the parts that came with this "Frankenbike" (via ebay) were re-used, including the headset, hubs and brakes. The rest of the stuff was sold-off and replaced.

Above you can see the NOS ITM bar/stem complete with factory installed leather wrapping. Larry always drooled over these and found one at a screamin' deal price, probably because the stem was long at 12 cm while the bars were narrow at just 40 cm. Larry's ridden with 40 cm bars and likes them just fine so these were a no-brainer for this project. The brake hoods are reproductions of the original (and fragile) gum hoods.

Hubs are from MICHE who, as you can see did a good job copying the venerable Campagnolo Nuovo Record hubs from the period. Rumor has it the cones and other parts are interchangeable, but these were good enough to rebuild, polish up and lace into some brand new Mavic Elite clincher rims covered with RUFFY-TUFFY tires. These ride well and let us bounce off most of the rocks on the unpaved roads.  We're big on making these things reliable and serviceable so no tubulars or dodgy rims/spokes. We see plenty of failures at the bici d'epoca events we enjoy. The chrome on the fork has some scratches but was in good enough shape to save. Same for the rear triangle.

Above you can see Larry's favorite downtube shift levers though these are branded "SPIDEL" but they're the same as the Simplex (and later, Mavic) branded ones. We want the bike to stay in gear up that steep hill! Someone modified the steerer tube on this bike, welding in a new section in the middle to get the bars up higher. The job looks secure enough that we'll try it out. Our friend "Chairman Bill" from Bikeraceinfo supplied an old set of GALLI (remember those?) pedals complete with red straps that just looked right.

Drivetrains are where we're happy to deviate from OEM or period-correct. These bikes are meant to to be ridden rather than admired in museums and we don't much enjoy pushing them up steep hills, so a vintage Campagnolo triple crankset and BB get the nod. The front derailleur's a modern IRD "triple" braze-on model as it lined up better with the bike's brazed-on mount. It's all polished alloy or chromed so it looks the part, no?

Seat post is a SR-Laprade replica with Larry's favorite flutes. He can't resist painting these in with a tricolore scheme. The rest of the pantographed details on this bike were kindly painted in contrasting white by our friends at The Color Factory, who also did a great job masking and preserving the chrome - GRAZIE! Saddle is a SMP done up in a vintage color to sort of match the handlebar covering.

There's a svelte quality to vintage steel bikes that's just not there with today's oversized, sculpted carbon-fiber machines. It's kind of odd that so much is made these days about "aero" with bikes made from blocky sections that aren't really even tubes. Certainly the exposed brake cables create some aero drag, but I wonder what the real drag numbers would be compared to modern bicycles?

Larry REALLY likes the seatstay treatment on this bike. He was happy The Color Factory guys liked it enough to put the effort into masking it just-right before painting.

There's an IRD seven-speed, thread-on freewheel out back, complete with 28 teeth on the big cog! Coming or going, this bike just looks RIGHT! It'll be ridden at EROICA CA in April and then it'll be FOR-SALE. 
50 cm X 52 cm (c to c) are the measurements in case you're interested!


  1. Nice bike Larry....I'll keep an eye open for you. Which route are you planning on doing?

  2. Grazie! We're signed up for the medium (100+ km) route but we reserve the right to decide once we're underway, as the shorter route might be enough in April! Heather's "Huffy" is going together now.