[CR] altenberger cinelli


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From: marie autrey <ridingrabbit@earthlink.net>
To: classicrendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 11:33:01 -0500
Subject: [CR] altenberger cinelli


After a couple of six week long out of town jobs, I finally got the Altenbe rger Cinelli on the road. Moreover, I raced it.

Overall, it had arrived complete and went together pretty well. The only n on-original parts are tires n' tubes. handlebar tape and plugs, front skewe r innards, clips and straps, and longer seatpost. Oh, and brake cables, si nce it came with derailleur cables jammed into the brake levers, which had caused some damage. I bought a complete A'berger brakeset off E-bay and tr aded out the relevant parts. Oh, and crank cotters, but reusing the old nu ts, chrome ones with a blue plastic cap with the letter 'C' on it. I belie ve these may be a Carlton item, since I've seen identical ones, except red with an 'R' on old Raleighs. Kept the plastic Freccio d'Oro saddle, in sp ite of its being named after something I buy at the bakery. I used white Finish Line Teflon grease, simply because I've got a gallon tub of it and i t works, date codes be damned. Bar tape is black cotton (actually dressmak ers herringbone tape, but identical to my favorite Cateye cotton, wrapped tip to stem, shellacked, \ tied off with twine and capped with corks. (it came with no tape whatsoever.)

So, how does it work? First off, I don't recomment getting up a 4 am to pu t together a new bike that needs to hit the starting line at 10. But since I've been out of town almost continually since the end of September, all m y bikes except the disassembled Cinelli and a rod-brake roadster were safe in the basement at my sister's house; there wasn't a lot of choice.

First, I remember why I quit using toe clips. Yeah, if it's good enough fo r Sean Kelly (not to mention Eddy, Fasuto, et al) it should be good enough for me. But my old Dettos that I bought in high school (and the only garme nt from that age that still fits) are so dried out that I was afraid they'd just explode. I laced on a pair of MTB shoes with the lugs worn slick and the cleat recessed, clown sized but not likely to fail. Unfortunately, th e toe straps from my junk box, plentiful but in varying states of decreptit ude, were so loose and floppy that they grabbed the rubber outsoles of my s hoes and wound up, if I didn't leave them so loose as to be effectively ab sent. But I don't have any Italian thread SPDs (does such a thing even exi st?) and figured I'd go full-retro anyway.

So, how does it ride? At a loss for conventional adjectives, I'd say it ri des narrow. The Q-factor, tread, whatever you choose to call it of the cra nks is so small that it feels as though your ankle bones are going to bang together. And the 36 cm bars make me feel like a sheet of plywood on edge, slicing into the wind. The plastic saddle, in spite of its cheapo appeara nce, is actually one of the more comfortable I've ever ridden, at least for a short distance. The pedals certainly want to spin, and I never felt und ergeared, even on downhills with the wind at my back. The chainstay mounte d derailleur handled all the chain wrap it had to, even allowing me to leav e the starting line in the big ring and slightly bigger than middle cog. T he plunger style FD doesn't accomplish anything fast, although with fidding and adjustment that may improve. I didn';t want to drop my chain and be o ne-footing along like a kid on a scooter. The rear shifting is quick enoug h and accurate, although the 18t cog is so worn that the chain won't stay o n it. On coasting, the freewheel roars with the sound of a C5A on takeoff. It's probably not original, being the only Shimano part on the bike, alth ough old enough to call vintage.

Until jusst a second ago, I assumed the wheels had been rerimmed and respok ed, but the tattered Fiamme labels are still present opposite the valve hol e. They have been respoked with Wheelsmith spokes, but not tensioned very tight at all. I cranked in half a turn all the way around before riding, a nd feel much safer because of it. The rims are 27" clinchers. I took the only 27" tires my LBS had, heavy and cheap, and riding fast felt like runni ng in work boots. Got to switch those out.

So, I seek your wisdom guys. For a 1962 Cinelli with a color-matched Alten berger group, what would be a correct, or at least approprate:

freewheel chain tires ( the rims are kind of wide) handlebar plugs (I'm using champagne corks now, which aren't correct but I saved a box of them from graduation season)

Oh, and the race? A 9.5 mile time trial, I got my butt handed to me. Cert ainly the slowest time I've ever posted, nearly 6 min off my unspectacular personal best (and usually raced on my '86 Ciocc, lugged Columbus SP but c lick-shifted Ultegra). It certainly has more to do with a lack of training (unless you count climbing ladders) than any shortcoming of equipment. Al l the guys in bodysuits and pointy helmets snickered, and the messenger typ es with Amish beards shouted "Cool bike."

take care,

marie autrey ridingrabbit@earthlink.net Decatur, Georgia (little country town enveloped by Atlanta) USA