Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Making some progress and changing plans - Ritchey Project Part III

While I haven't made giant strides I have made progress on the Ritchey Road bike, as you can see its a bit more bare than last time.  I have to give Ritchey Kudos for responding to my query on their website for information on this bike but unfortunately even with a serial number they couldn't tell me more than I'd  already figured out from pouring over photos on the web - its a 1987-1991 model.  I didn't get any more specifics from the bike forums post either, but I got some good suggestions on seat post possibilities.

 On a visit to bike works I was able to dig through their box of seat posts and with the aid of my magnifying glass identify a 27.0 post.

A bit easier to see after the application of some elbow grease and a some 0000 steel-wool.

I like using LaPrade posts when I can find them; their alloy, integrated seat clamp, one bolt adjust, and have nice fluting on the post.  Not bad for $5 and tax.

And it appears to fit, I will give it more of a test once I have the bike assembled but since the 27.0 size was also what came on Ritchey Road bikes of the later 90s according to Sheldon's database, I think its a good bet this is correct.  I did notice something unusual about the seat tube collar.

Most binder bolts I have come across are two parts, but the Ritchey has a binder bolt that screws into the frame...

This is the other side - no corresponding nut, I triple checked that the bolt was screwing into something and yes it is.

In digging into the parts bin I came across this saddle I picked up for about $8 at an REI garage sale, I think the white stripes will compliment the frame decals, but mostly I just need a place holder and something on the bike to allow for test rides.

While I was at Bike Works searching for seat posts I saw this refurbished Schwinn Super Letour II out for sale and it gave me some ideas for a pricing benchmark for my future bike sales.

Now I am obviously a lover of vintage bikes but I sure do prefer the new wireless bike computers to everything you needed to get a wired computer to run back in the day.

I had originally thought that someone had used a hack to run the brake cables areo but I was wrong! These Campy levers, I am guessing late 80s, were made to be able to run the brake cables either non- aero or aero and if aero then out of either side of the back of the lever -front or back of the handlebar -depending on your preference.  Those clever Italians.

Since the hoods I have are set up as old school non-aero that is how we are running the brake cables.

Confirmed that the stem was neither stuck nor rusty.

I also removed the last of the grubby old bar tape off the handlebars.

And I discovered a bit of dirt under the bottle cages when I removed them lol, I am thinking of going with just a single bottle cage on the rebuild for a nice clean fast road bike look.

The front brake came off with no problems, its gonna need a bath, the rear however seems to have a rounded hex nut and so I have left it for now and I can always clean it up in place.

I got the wheels off and stripped them of their old rubber.

That gave me a chance to use this gizmo I had floating around, it helps keep the chain off the frame while the rear wheel is off the bike and it can be used as a guide if you use a chain scrubber to clean the chain.  Clean the chain Ryan? you say,...won't you just replace it?

You may recall from my last post on this bike I mentioned a slightly different approach for this project.  I have a couple reasons for not going the traditional tear down to the frame and build back up route; 1) my friend Pete is an entrepreneur who thinks in terms of return on investment and although he gave his approval of the first parts list I came up with I am sure he will be thinking on the return for the money spent and 2) this bike is outfitted with Campy parts and I don't feel like I have the expertise or tools to do the job I would like in getting them apart and refurbed.  It occurred to me on most bikes I work on if a part needs replacing or I mess up and break it I can get something else for $20 or less and based on my research most of the Campy parts would be easily double that.  My new plan is as follows:

  1. Get the bike cleaned up 
  2. Make it's safe and functional
  3. Return it to its Road bike roots - no Triathlon stuff - and make it look good.
  4. When we list it make it very clear that while rideable and safe the bike can use an overhaul  from a skilled Campagnolo wrench who knows their 8 speed stuff.
And from my research on CL in both Seattle and Portland I think in the above state without a complete overhaul its a better bike than almost anything I have seen in the $400 range based on the frame pedigree and the components.  

I found a great deal on a pair of Continental Ultra Sport II tires from Nashbar for $15 total- including delivery! The old bike had mismatched tires and one of them was badly dry rotted so these tires along with new tubes and rim strips will address safety, functionality and the looking good concerns.  I also have new cables, housing and bar tape in the parts bin.  Another reason to not go full rebuild on this bike is that if someone really desired this frame and wanted to bring it back to factory fresh it could use a repaint, in addition to the normal 30 years of use chips and marks, as you can see in the seat tube shots above, I noticed a few rough patches in the paint as well so in that case doing a complete overhaul and charging for it would be counter productive, don't get me wrong it will look great from 10 feet but from 10 inches you will see its "patina".

I was downtown recently and was puzzled by this structure at first, handlebar  moustache art? an ode to Cape Buffalo horns?  oh! its a bike rack...ok, very um minimalist.

Over the Memorial day weekend I went to Tankfest NW 2017  and saw something interesting in the back of a WWII era Jeep..  Not sure if can tell from the photo but its ..

a paratroopers bike which could be folded to make it compact enough to store in a glider or jump canister. Hope you all had a great 3 day weekend and as always Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. Hi Ryan. Regarding the minimalist bike rack - I believe that type is designed for people who prefer to lift their front wheel over the bar to lock both wheel and frame, using a u-lock.

    1. I can see that Annie but I have a tough time getting past the moustache thing lol. I was also thinking for a diamond shaped frame you could hang it near the seat tube cluster and ulock the Seat-tube and rear wheel to the rack