Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super: the clean up

Past three weeks I have been trying to sqeeze in as much work as I could on the components. Breaking them down has been interesting and some kind of fun. If you know me well I usually stick to tasks that I am good at.

When I was a competitive cyclist and racing I kept my hands off the bike mechanically. I raced a whole heck of a lot better than turning wrenches. Swapping out a cassett or changing tires was about all I felt comfortable with. Anything else, the bike was in the hands of Scott Mackey.

But I was up to the challange of breaking this bike down and learning as much as I can. Then cleaning every speck of grime and grease off of everything. Have to say this has been the most enjoyable part so far, besides getting the bike.  Now I have a huge appreciation for vintage parts. In a sense they are timeless, functional and bullet proof. What I am trying to say is the simple design is sometimes the most functional. 

So how did I clean all the parts? After doing my homework online and consulting with a few people I concluded the best approach was simply mineral spirits. A good long soak, a dish brush, paintbrush to get into all the hard spots and good rinse with water got everything brand new!
Now I'm putting things back together.... But that is another post!





Saturday, March 12, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super: Shipped for paint

This past week I finally shipped the bike to Jack Trumbull over in Ohio. I did go though the process of elimination with different paint companies. I was shocked at the lack of interest from CycleArt. After two phone calls and unanswered emails regarding my quote I felt the lack of personal representation they were not the company for me. Mr. Jack was finishing my sentences once I told him of the color I wanted for the frame. He was familiar with the decals and all the specifications I was looking for. Not to mention he took my call on a Saturday evening. Again, I have to thank all my friends at classic rendezvous for the suggestion. After printing out some pictures of what I wanted and drawing some final details on paper the bike is off to paint! 5-6 week turnaround time.

Last pictures before shipping:




Again, some purest have been expressed their concerns about painting a well kept vintage bike. But the plan all along has been to paint it the same color as my dads.

Here are some photoshop renderings i did in order to recreate the bike. My brother, Carlos helped me recollect some of the details.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super: Ready For Paint

Today I was able to head over to PedalPlay Bikes and help Scott finish breaking down the rest of the frame. Of course he had the Campagnolo tools to do this.
For the most part the cranks and the rest of the headset were easy to take off.

The right side of the bottom bracket did take some muscling to get loose.

Finally we were able to get a good look inside of the frame and we were happy to see very little corrosion and overall in great shape.

Next major milestone is sending the frame off to Jack Trumbull Franklin Frames to get painted with dad's original metallic gray color scheme.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super: The Break Down

Last week had the opportunity to break down the bike. With my very limited mechanic skills and zero campagnolo tools I was able to get 98% done. The top and bottom head  tube headset parts and the cranks were the only pieces on the fame.

The following day I took the frame to Scott Mackey so he can finish the breakdown. Of course he has the 50 year old tool to breakdown the cranks!

Fingers crossed, bike will go to Jack Trumball for paint next week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super: Yesterday was the day

Finally the bike came in. To my surprise one day early. Fortunately for me I was able to unpack it and feel like a young child at Christmas again. But unfortunately for my brother in law, Jason and his UPS Store it looked like a tornado passed through leaving newspaper, bubble wrap and cardboard in wake. Everyone going into the store at the time must of thought I hit gold! In my opinion I did. 

After the unpacking extravaganza I drove straight to Scott Mackey with Pedal Play Bikes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Scott has been my confidant in this sport. And will be pivotal in this restoration. He also houses all of my fathers memorabilia in his store. My first Colnago Frame C-50 was Scott's personal inventory. Not only is Scott well versed in cycling history but we as share love for Colnago's and he is one hell of a mechanic.
So where do I go from here? Top on the list... going for one long ride to get a feel for steel. After this ride, I will not ride it again until this project is completed. 

Second on the list: Is getting every part dated and identified. For this I will reach out to a few groups on line. That is where I can find years of experience and treasure chest of info.

Classic Rendezvous has thus far been the MOST WELCOMING group I have encountered on line. Thank you Mr. Felix Chiu for for the introduction. And by the way this man has one fine collection. You have set the bar for me!

Third on the list: breaking this down into pieces. 

For now here is my working list and pictures with my limited knowledge and research for this era. Comments welcome. 

Colnago Era Identification.

Frame & Fork
Colnago Super 1977 / Fork Colnago Year Accurate?
Front Derailleur
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Rear Derailleur
Campagnolo Record 1972?
Rear Cassette
Dura Ace
Brev Campagnolo Record Road Ensemble?
Campagnolo Nuovo Record 170mm
Bottom Bracket
Campagnolo Nuovo Reocrd (TBD but pretty sure)
Cinelli (how to identify spec?)
Stem Bar
Cinelli (how to identify spec?)
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Brake Levers
Campagnolo Record (need to get Nuovo)
Brake Hoods
Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Campagnolo Record Crono (1990's non-Era)
Vittoria tubulars
Seat Post
Campagnolo Record
Handlebar Tape
not included

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Restoring 1977 Colnago Super

My father was an amazing man.... business, athletics, love for fellow man, love for my mom and family. He had all the marks. Above all what we shared the most in common was the love for riding and ultimately the bike brand that is close to my heart and what he introduced into my life.


Jario Alvarez, Dad, this bike restoration project if for you!

My father and I during the 2006 LAMBRA Time Trial Championships

So here it is... after a few months of searching I have found the bike! Parameters: 1977 Colnago Super. Why? To restore into my late fathers Colnago Super from the same year. Size: true 57cm so it would be ride-able.

After a long search... I mean really long. The bike showed up on Ebay in great conditions. Most of the bikes and frames were 1. not my size 2. very very bad shape 3. just the frame 4. super ridiculously expensive.

Daniel from Beverly Hills had the bike in hopes to restore the bike but family priorities were first so he remodeled  his house instead.

Bike cost: 1100.00 and 135.00 to ship. Goal.... completed. This was step one.

This below will be the endgame. From the original catalog which happens to be same color of my fathers frame in 1977. 

The story starts here....