Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Building a Nuovo Tipo Wheelset

While collecting parts for my Vintage crossbike, I bought a pair of Nuovo Tipo 36 hole hubs.

From a Classic and Vintage forum "Tipo's were second tier, by 1982, paired with the Nuovo Gran Sport group. For a short time in the early 60's there was also a Sport hub from Campagnolo, not many of those around. Now, the cones on Tipos are close, but not the same as Record. But the cups pressed into the hubs are VERY different. Record gets the ground and heat treated units, Tipo does not. The outside diameter of the Record cup is larger than the Tipo. Long ago, I had the idea to "recordize" my Tipos, no go. The lock nut design and spacers are also different. Can't even exchange dust caps.

Many, but not all Campagnolo hub cones are date coded, if you take them apart to examine the mating surface. Tipo's can be as smooth as Record hubs in feel of the bearings, but for the very long term are not as durable. Tipo's are probably as good as most other competing brands top line wares long ago, with the exception of " Dura-Ace.

What is also great is these hubs are available in good-great condition for less than $50 @ set. I then needed a set of rims to go with the hubs. My initial idea was to use Sun M13II rims which have the old Mavic MA series box section rim look.

The problem with these rims is they are very common, so I continued to look. I eventually came across the Velo Orange PBP rim.
Velo Orange describes these rims as follows. For years cyclists have been lamenting the loss of the simple box section rim in a shiny silver polished finish. So Velo Orange has worked with one of the premier rim companies in Taiwan to find a replacement. We researched different widths, shapes, and materials, and what was being currently sold. It quickly became apparent that we needed to offer an alloy doublewall rim. Doublewall construction adds a bit of weight as compared to singlewall (or open box) rims, but we feel a classic doublewall box design is far superior in terms of overall strength, load capacity, and impact resistance, particularly with modern aluminum alloys.

The two rims are similar enough that some have suggested that the PBP is simply a re-branded M13II. This simply not the case; first the PBP is made in Taiwan and all Sun rims are made in China (hence the PBP is twice as expensive). Like many of the parts the PBP is also polished to a high gloss.

Once you get a hub and rim, you need to determine the spoke lengths you are going to use; this is usually accomplished with a spoke calculator. The one I use is very simple but accurate; If the hub and rim are in the data base, all the measurements have already been done. If not you need the to measure the rim and hub to figure spoke lengths. If not there are directions on the site on how to take the measurements. One measurements that is necessary is the rim Effective Rim Diameter or ERD. This is simply the interior diameter of the rim plus the additional length needed to thread a spoke through nipple on both sides; this usually adds 5-6mm to the ERD; The PBP rims have an ERD of 606mm.

To measure the hub, you need to know the flange spoke hole diameter (both sides as some are different); the measurement from the left and right flange to the center line and the spoke hole diameter. With front wheels and most track or single speed hubs the flange to center line will either be the same or close enough to not matter much. With hubs made for gear clusters, the spokes on the right will be shorter, as the wheel will be dished to accommodate the gear cluster. These are the measurements I used.

Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo (small flange), front

Hub Measurements

Left flange diameter 39.0 mm
Right flange diameter 39.0 mm
Centre to right flange 35.0 mm
Centre to left flange 35.0 mm
Spoke hole diameter 2.5 mm

Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo (small flange), rear

Hub measurements

Front hub
Left flange diameter 44.0 mm
Right flange diameter 44.0 mm
Centre to right flange 20.0 mm
Centre to left flange 37.0 mm
Spoke hole diameter 2.5 mm

Plugging this info into the calculator you get two lengths for each wheel. For the front wheel they are the same; 294.6 mm Since it is always best to round up I used 295 mm spokes.

For the rear there are two sizes, 293.7 mm for the left and 292.1 mm for the right; I rounded the left to 294 mm and right 292 mm.

Building a wheel is a post or book unto itself. So I say for now that I laced up the wheels and this is how they looked.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Building a Better Looking Vintage Super Record Derailleur

A good definition of form over function is the Vintage Super Record (1974-1987) Rear derailleur. The reason is the Super Record (SR) Rear Derailleur was nothing more than a tweaked Nuovo Record rear derailleur designed to utilize a 28T cog; over the Nuovo Record (NR) limit of 26t. This was done by re-working the outer cage. The top photo below is the outer cage of a NR and the lower the SR. The pulleys are the same distance apart, however the upper pivot has been moved closer to the pivot. This in affect lowers the pulleys so the guide pulley is in a lower position and can utilize a larger rear cog.

So if you don't count weight, the only performance advantage that this era SR rear derailleur is this the ability to utilize these two additional teeth. Other than that, the parallelogram is exactly the same except for the new top and bottom plates; but all the parts of a NR and SR are interchangeable, because except for the outer plate, that are the same. But that didn't stop Campagnolo from claiming the SR as a huge improvement over the NR. The new top plate was supposed to be some exotic material , not just aluminum and the black coating used on the parallelogram ends and background for the Camapgnolo script was something other than common anodizing anodized. The shifting was touted as being extrodinary, but in reality is was exactly the same as the NR. Of course it does have titanium pivot bolts, but besides knocking off a few grams, they do nothing to increase performance.

But that is not say that being able to use a bigger cog or Titanium bolts are not wanted, but I never got the the new top plate. It was supposed to be new age, but it did not fit the rest of the components that were still the 1966 design. When Campy finally did upgrade to the short lived C-Record, they looked nothing like the graphics on SR rear derailleur (nor did any of the other SR components, which still followed the NR looks and designs.

The first SR rear derailleur had a much more subdued look; pretty much a NR rear derailleur, only with the black parallelogram ends and instead of the "Campagnolo Nuovo Record" script on the top plate it said "Campagnolo Super Record".

My vintage Specialized Allez has a NR and I would like to mount this 1st generation SR rear derailleur except for two reasons. The first is they are quite rare and command top dollar and second it would not be period correct. All the other parts are 1984/85 NR and SR. So my plan was to combine the NR and SR rear derailleurs to make a defacto SR rear derailleur that looks like a NR rear derailleur. I have done this before with Nuovo Gran Sport rear derailleur with very positive results; again all the parts for all three of these derailleurs re interchangeable. To gather the parts I would need a SR inner cage and titanium pivot bolts. A while back I found a wrecked SR rear derailleur (see above) that had the lower titanium pivot bolt; it also had the inner cage, but that is being used on another derailleur on another bike right now. It was missing the upper pivot hanger bolt, which is not uncommon. These have a strange history as it was thought by many that the titanium hanger bolt was flexy and easily broken. There was probably little truth behind this, however it was common for racers to switch out the titanium hanger bolt for a NR steel bolt, which makes this bolt harder to find. I did however find one NOS at a web store and bought ot for much more than I should have. But then I had put this plan on hold until I found another SR inner cage. My patience paid off when I found someone selling the NOS SR inner cage on ebay; now I can finally put it all together.

What first needs to be done, is remove the cages off my NR rear derailleur. This is done by unscrewing the lower pivot.

Next I switch the pulleys from the NR outer cage to the SR outer cage; many refer to this as the inner cage or inner cage plate. However Campy situates parts starting from the frame, so the cage that holds the pulleys are referred to the inner cage and this cage, because it's farther away from the frame is the outer cage.

Next I attach the SR cage and pulleys

Next I load the spring, screw in the holding pin, and insert titanium upper pivot.

And viola! A stealthy SR rear derailleur that fits with the other components and is period correct. Not only that, I can now use a 28T freewheel if the mood takes me..

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Making New Components Work as Vintage

I really like vintage Campy components. I scour the ebay and other sources (craigslist is a non-sequitur in this area). Saying that, there are some components that are either too scarce and/or expensive to use on a regular basis. One of these are chainrings for my Nuovo Gran Sport (NGS) crankset; NGS chainrings in 144BCD often cost more than Nuovo Record. While I have some OEM chainrings,

I ride the bike a lot and don't want to wear them out. Origin8 have some since retro rings that come in 42T and 52T (they have a much larger selection of retro track (1/8) rings, but only these two in 3/32). I like the dull finish that is similar to NGS, the 42T is a standard 10 hole, but the 52T is also a 10 hole, which looks awful.

So I bought a set and went to work with a Dremel tool to turn the 10 hole into a 5 hole. Below is my new set with a Origin8 52T converted to a 5 hole.

Restoring a Bike to its Old Glory

I have been spending so much time talking about Campagnolo components I am tempted to start another blog in that name; this is another one. A while back I identified all the Campagnolo components on my Specialized Allez. All the components were Nuovo Record, except the shifters and derailleurs that had been "upgraded" to the C-Record shifters and C-Record era Chorus Derailleurs below.

While these are very nice components, I just felt they did not belong with the Nuovo Record parts so I endeavored to restore the old style drivetrain components to their old glory.

Here is the new side view.

The classic Nuovo Record Shifters

The front Derailleur with the very classy clamp.

And the pièce de résistance, the Nuovo Record rear derailleur.

This little gem was lasted almost unchanged for 16 years as the must have racing derailleur. There were some incremental changes however, each getting it's own yearly patent number. I looked to find a late model; this being a Pat 84. There are simply a jillion of these derailleurs out there but they are still quite pricey. I actually found this one in Poland. Turns out the pulley back plate was bent (a very easy fix) and the pulleys are Shimano. The OEM pulleys for these are quite pricey and hard to find, but there are some high quality replicas for about $30, which I will be purchasing in the near future. The NR derailleur was rated for 6 speed, but handle pretty much any tooth count about up to 8 speed. I have retained the 7 speed 13-23 freewheel for now, but I have a 5 speed in reserve. My reasoning for the 5 speed instead of the 6 speed, is because there is something still classic about a 10 speed race bike.

I have the Regina Extra chain that came with the other components but it is a couple of links too short. I have still run the chain through the derailleurs and it works great. I threw on a SRAM 8 speed chain and while it functioned properly, it was not as smooth as the Regina. I posted a request for some matching links on the Roadbike Review Vintage forum, and a gentleman that goes by "sewup dude" is sending be 4 links in the mail gratis; vintage cyclers are good people.

Assembling A Nuovo Gran Sport Rear Derailleur

This may seem to be a strange thing for my blog, but I have recently sold a Nuovo Gran Sport rear derailleur to a fellow in France. To save postage I have removed the cages so it would lay flat in a padded envelope. This blog is for the buyer to re-assemble the rear derailleur.

Scroll to the end to see a video of re-assembling this derailleur.

When you unpack the derailleur it will be in two parts; the body and cages.

In order to re-assemble the derailleur you will need a small flat head screw driver and a 15mm or small adjustable wrench. The first thing you will need to do is remove the slotted pin on the side of the lower spring housing cover as shown below.

Now turn the body over and you will see the nut for a presta stem screwed onto a threaded stud. This nut is not part of the derailleur, it is just being used to keep it together.

The threaded stud is the lower part of the lower pivot bolt that passes through the lower spring housing. Take a look below at how it goes together at the top, so if you push it out, you can push it back in again. There is a slot on the side of the housing. First see the tip of the lower spring resting at the base of the slot. The top of the spring it bent at a 90 deg angle and held in place by a black bushing that has a vertical lip that fits into the slot. Make sure if you push out the pivot bolt and bushing you re-install it with the lip in the slot, or the bushing will not seat properly.

Below is the bottom of the spring housing with the presta nut removed (don't do this yet, it is just instructional). You will notice I am pinching the bottom of the housing and the top of the pivot bolt together, this is the best way to remove the presta nut. You will also notice there are two holes in the bottom of the housing; the bottom of the lower pivot spring extends out one of these holes and I marked the one I usually use.

Now take a look at the cages above. You will see that the cage has a circular raised area on one side with a threaded hole and 4 smaller holes around the threaded hole ; one of the holes is marked with white.

The way this derailleur goes together is the part of the spring that extends out of the spring housing cover, also goes into the marked hole of the cages. Then the two are held together by the pivot bolt screwed into the center threaded hole. When you are ready to assemble the two parts have the 15mm or adjustable wrench handy.

Now remove the presta nut by pinching the housing cover and the top of the pivot bolt together as below while unscrewing the presta nut. Once this has been done pick up the cages and insert the extended portion of the spring into the marked hole in the cages, laying the cages flat against the end of the housing cover while keeping pressure on the top of the pivot bolt and the back of the cages.

Once your holding it together, slide a wrench over the top of the pivot bolt, center the threaded stud over the threaded hole in the cages try and screw the bolt into the threaded hole of the cage. If for some reason, the pivot bolt gets pushed out or the housing pops off, don't fret, there is a learning curve to this. Just push the pivot bolt back in, re-position the housing cover and try again.

Once the pivot bolt's threads get started, screw the bolt in until it stops and give it enough torque that it shouldn't come apart. Now that the derailleur is together, turn the cage counter clockwise about 90 deg and make sure it is not binding. If you put it together properly, the hole for the stop pin should be facing in the direction of the lower pulley (see upper photo). If there is no binding and the stop hole is in the right place, hold the body stationary and turn the cage 180 deg counter clockwise, until the stop pin hole is on the right side of the body.

Once the cage has been rotated 180 deg and the stop pin hole is on the right side, screw in the pin.

Once the pin has been installed, your done!

I also made a short video showing the derailleur being re-assembled.

Campagnolo Nuovo Gran Sport Derailleur w/ 28T cog

After writing Vintage Cyclross Bike (VCB) VCB 1.0 and VCB 2.0 , I need to craete a VCB 1.5. Though I'm keeping the seat and brakes, I reverting back to the Gran Sport rear derailleur. Below you will see how I managed to tweak a Gran Sport derailleur (rated at 26T cog)to work flawlessly with a 28T cog.

One of the most frustrating thing about the Nuovo Record era was the 26T limit of the Nuovo Record and Gran Sport rear derailleurs. There were even attempts of varying success at grafting on a larger cage to facilitate using larger cogs. This not to say there were not other work arounds; shortening the chain and moving the wheel forward in the dropouts met with varying levels of success. This is the result of a standard Nuovo Gran Sport on a 28T cassette with out attempting any mitigating factors. You will see it will shift, but not so one would trust it would work. In the follow-up video "Camapgnolo Nuovo Gran Sport w/ 28T cog" Part 2 we will find a more elegant solution.

In Camapgnolo Nuovo Gran Sport w/ 28T cog Part 1, we saw that a Nuovo Gran Sport rear derailleur does not handle a 28T very well; this is not a surprise as they along with the Nuovo Record are only rated at 26T. In this video I have grafted a Super Record backplate (also called the outside plate)on my Gran Sport derailleur. The Super Record rear derailleur of the Nuovo record era, was nothing more than Nuovo Record derailleur with some visual changes and titanium pivot bolts. However, the change to a 28T cog was accomplished by simply raising the lower pivot on the back plate, thus lowering the jockey pulley. As you can see this new arrangement not only works well with a 28T, but could probably accommodate an even larger cog.

Okay, this may make little sense as it is probably easier to get a Super Record derailleur than to find just the backplate. However, you may not want to use a Super Record on a particular build, but want a better working Gran Sport derailleur. The Super Record backplate also solves the Achilles heal of the Gran Sport rear derailleur. Both the Nuovo Record and Super Record have a 1/4" thick aluminum back plate; the Gran Sport has a ridiculously thin steel back plate. The aluminum back plate is certainly stronger also about 2 to 3 times as stiff. The result is the Gran Sport back plate can bend with just a moderate amount of pressure, say leaning it against something. This leads to the fact that I have 1) never seen a Gran Sport rear derailleur that does not have a back plate that needs some truing and 2) It is very common for Gran Sport rear derailleurs to get bent so badly that they get sucked into the rear wheel. I learned this with the first Gran Sport derailleur I bought; yes it got sucked. I also found another at an LBS that was all bent up in the same manner.

Reloading a Vintage Campagnolo Brake Carrier

Currently I have a set of Campy Gran Sport brakes. I bought them for a bike project and it turned out 1) the reach was too short for the rear and 2) they had recessed pivot bolts and my frame needed standard pivot bolts. The recessed pivot bolt problem could have been dealt with, but the reach issue was a deal breaker; I needed another brake-set with longer arms. I am now left with a brake-set I can not use, which is prime ebay material.

The brakes-set sat on ebay for 2 weeks and nothing, not even a question. The brake-set was in very good condition with one glaring exception; the pads were shot. A set (4) of Campy pads cost about $35, which will eat away a good part of my profit (actually increase my loss), but it appeared it will be necessary to sell the brakes. Old style Campy pads are usually pretty easy to replace. First you need to pull out the old pads, this can usually be accomplished with a pair of pliers.

Once the pad is out, you simply slip the new brakes in from the open side (Campy carries hold on the pads from three sides or retainer walls. The rear is left open, which is not an issue as long as the open part of the carrier faces the rear or opposite tire rotation, so the rotation of the tire doesn't pull the pad out.

As I'm sure you noticed, I said "Old style Campy pads are usually pretty easy to replace." This is not true for Gran Sport carriers. The reason is, at the time Gran Sport was bottom of the line race components. Campy reduced the manufacturing costs of the Gran Sport brakes by less polish, a linkage vs cam brake release, the carriers are galvanized steel (not chromed), the lack of a wheel guide, and the retainer walls are on all four sides, meaning the pads are not meant to be removed and re-installed. Perhaps this was not a big deal from 1974 to 1984, but today these filled carriers are no where to be found. But even back in the old days, the less expensive option of replacing just the pads led to bending the rear pad retainer so a new pad could be inserted. Due to the poor grade of metal used to make the Gran Sport carriers, this retainer wall usually broke off when you tried to bend it back into place. Since the Nuovo Record brakes were already make without a rear retainer, it simply made sense to cut/grind it off.

I decided to grind the rear retainer off prior to removing the old pads; this gave me additional access to the pad when removing it. I pulled out the pads, primarily with pliers, but in a few cases the pad split is half, or started to, so I used a screwdriver to help remove the pad. Once the pad was out I was able to clean up the area where I cut/ground off the the rear retainer wall.After that it was an easy job to rub the pads with alcohol and slide them in; if you are doing this, make sure you remember to reinstall the brake retainer bolt before sliding in the pad. Also, some pads have different wiring on the them. The older pads have "CAMPAGNOLO"" on one side and "BREV. INTER." The pads brakes are usually positioned so CAMPGNOLO is on the top, meaning the pads will have to be installed, 2 with the open end facing forward and two facing back. If you need to remove a pad that you plan on reusing, best to pry it out with a screwdriver than pull it out with pliers. While a newly installed pad will usually pull right put, the pliers will leave jaw marks and their always the possibility that you may unknowingly split part of the pad, causing it to tear off at a later time.

After that I simply reinstalled the brake retainers and put them up on ebay for another try. Since there's really nothing else I can do, the brakes will now remain on ebay until they sell.

Edit: Well they finally sold a short time afterwards and I lost about $35 on the deal; but it was still money in my pocket vs nothing.