Frame arrived!

The ALAN frame arrived finally! It felt a little bit like Christmas Eve. A huge box had been delivered and I was a bit nervous how everything would look like.
Frame, fork and parts were all cleaned up very well, the shiny parts all polished, and the frame had the original decals. The overall appearance was splendid. Although new decals have already been ordered, these decals look so good, that I will seriously consider to leave these on and to keep the new (later version) decals for future purposes.
The Super Record seat post was shortened, so it is questionable if it really will be used. It's also not pantographed, but that's no big deal.
The Pista headset looks more like a Strada headset. It looks still okay, but somehow the cups overlap the cones too much. Too small ball retainers or something else? This has to be inspected.
The chain is a simple Sachs, so I can use it for a touring bike with an internally geared hub. Definitely not nice enough for this track bike.
In the evening I couldn't resist to assemble the bike with some random parts, just to feel the riding position, to check the seat post length and the handle stem size. And of course, I wanted to see the Alan as a complete bike. Very, very nice! The stem is going to be a 14cm, so I can sell the 12cm NOS Cinelli 1A again. The seat post could be just long enough, but by chance I may buy a new one.

Rolls saddle painted and polished

The Selle San Marco Rolls saddle was black once, but due to UV radiation and friction with my butt, the leather deck has turned brown.
I decided that it had to become black again, so instead of buying a new saddle I took the risk to paint the leather. First, the saddle was cleaned and degreased with acetone from the drugstore. After that I treated the saddle with 2 layers of black coloured "VG indringverf", some kind of penetrating dye from the local "Mr. Minit".
One layer didn't seem enough to me, so after one day waiting, I applied another layer. Then I polished the saddle with regular black shoe cream.
Now, I think I have the original black colour back. I hope that it will stay like this for a while and that it doens't become brownish again too soon. Some leather paints give an ugly crack or wrinkle effect, so let's hope that that is not the case here. Don't know what happens if I wear white shorts, but that's also not my intention.



Belgom Alu

This seems to be the ultimate stuff for polishing aluminium. In the past I've used "grandmothers" Pol, but I can't find it anymore (except some webshops for insane prices). Other people who work on aluminium parts on bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and cars are all lyrious abour Belgom. So, I've bought a 250 ml bottle and will try this soon on my rims, hub shells, frame lugs and fork crown. I hope to show pictures of positive results soon.

Click HERE for a Belgom flyer.


These are the wheels I bought via Marktplaats from a lad in Amsterdam for EUR 100.- excl. P&P. Campagnolo Record Pista hubs, high flange, 36 spokes per wheel, tied and soldered, Mavic silver rims, corked spoke holes. The wheels came pretty dirty and with tubulars mounted. I will remove the tubs, clean the wheels, re-grease the hubs, new balls if necessary, polish the hub shells and adjust the bearings. The rims and spokes will be polished, too, the wheels checked and straightened. New tubs and...ready.
That's how it will be done first. Later on I will decide if I will keep these rims and spokes or if I will replace them. I've got a new pair of Super Champion rims, 36 holes, and other vintage rims are not too difficult to get. In 1979, everybody rode polished silver coloured rims, but later that year (or in 1980), dark anodised rims became popular. Mavic SSC, Ambrosio Durex, and many others. All low profile, box type rims. Aero, high profile rims came several years later.

The wheels as I got them:

Campagnolo Record Pista crankset

One of the few track parts I still owned a year ago. All other track stuff (and loads of other Shimano, Campagnolo, Cinelli... etc ... items) I have given or just thrown away. Such a shame.
This set with crank length of 170mm and bolt circle diameter (BCD) of 144mm still works well and is compatible with lots of old and new stuff.
At the moment I only have a Super Record chain ring 53T for a 3/32" chain. This ring is perfect, but it's always good to have an additional ring with 50 or 52T, either 3/32" or 1/8". Campagnolo of course.
If there's a good occasion, I will buy a similar set with 165mm cranks. For steeper tracks and for the kids when they grow up.

Campagnolo bottom bracket set

Unfortunately I couldn't find an original Campagnolo bottom bracket set with Italian thread 36x24T and spindle 70-P-120 yet, but I've bought this set and it comes very close. The treading is Italian, of course, but the spindle is 70-SS, 110mm instead of 109mm needed. So, the length is almost what I need. Now I just have to test how the chain line will be. Perhaps I can get the right setup with a washer behind the RH cup or behind the sprocket. Otherwise I have to keep my eyes opened for the ideal set. I will do that anyway.


What a pity, ALAN doesn't have the old style decals any more. I've contacted the Dutch importer of Alan and they've forwarded my request to Italy immediately. The reply came very quickly, but was a little bit disappointing: nope!
That means that I have to order the decals from Cyclomondo, Australia.
Edit 29. May: when the frame arrived, the decals were looking that nice and good, that I may decide to leave the original ones on the frame. In that case, the new decals will be saved for future/spare.

Bike parts for sale

I'm selling the following goods.

RACEFACE SYSTEM handlebar stem threadless
EUR 15.-
Used, good condition
Silver shaft, black clamp and face plate
For 1-1/8" (28.6 mm) threadless ("Ahead") steerer tubes and 25.4 mm handlebars
Length/extension: 13 cm.

SHIMANO DEORE XT HP-M742 1-1/4" threaded headset - NEW IN BOX
EUR 40.- 
Selling in Europe only. 
Cartridge type, super oversized, for 1-1/4" threaded steerer tube.
Super easy to install, super durable, maintenance friendly. 
Insured shipping only. 
Price excl. postage.

SHIMANO DURA ACE BB-7700-Italian bottom bracket set - NEW
EUR 25.-
Octalink splined spindle 109mm, threading 36 x 24T.

SHIMANO BB-UN90-Italian bottom bracket set - NEW IN BOX
EUR 20.-
Several sets available
First class BB set, best set ever
Square taper spindle 107mm, threading 36 x 24T.
Originally made for XTR mountain bike crank sets, but also used by several Pro Teams for their road racing bikes with Dura Ace.
Fits vintage XTR, Deore LX, Deore XT gruppo's.
With the original Dura Ace BB-7410, 103mm axle, the chain line could be just a bit too small. So, this 107mm axle is used to create a bit more space between chain rings and chain stays.
Ideal for track and fixie to set up the correct chain line if 103, 109 and 110 mm don't work.

Absolutely new, never used, never assembled, for aero brake levers.
Just the rubber hoods, not the brake levers.

EUR xxx
Black cover, yellow trim, Manganese rails
Little use, good condition.

RACEFACE SYSTEM handlebar stem threadless - NEW
EUR 40.-
Silver shaft, black clamp and face plate
For 1-1/8" threadless steerer tubes and 25.4 mm handlebars
Length 11 cm.

EUR xxx
All silver colour
For 1" threaded steerer tube (shaft diameter 22.2 mm)
Length 120 mm.

Container 500g, unfortunately not 100% filled.
Still 530g, incl. weight of container.
Grease is still absolutely clean.

Rim for clincher, 36H., 1 piece
Note: shipping rims abroad is expensive.
Prefer to sell in The Netherlands.

SOLD: SHIMANO 600 ULTEGRA SP-6400-B seat post - NEW
Aero design, 26.8 mm shaft diameter.
New, unused, never assembled. Some minor scratches due to storage for years without original box.

Rim for clincher, 36H., 1 piece.

With tubular titanium rails

SOLD: Saddle FI'ZI:K PAVÉ High Performance - NEW
Very nice and comfortable saddle, titanium rails, leather upper in two tones blue, Team Navigators USA (some years ago).

Carbon aero seat post, diameter 27.2 mm., Nr. 3. length (see below).
Same as all aero seat posts: limited height adjustment range.
Length / range (specified by manufacturer), measured from saddle rails to top of seat tube / clamp:
Nr. 1 = 140 / 175mm
Nr. 2 = 170 / 205mm
Nr. 3 = 200 / 235mm
Nr. 4 = 230 / 265mm
Nr. 5 = 260 / 295mm
Nr. 6 = 290 / 325mm
Nr. 7 = 320 / 355mm.

SOLD: SHIMANO DURA ACE SP-7400-B seat post - NEW
Aero design, 25.0 mm shaft diameter for e.g. ALAN, TVT, Vitus frames.

SOLD: TEKTRO RX 4.0 aero brake levers - NEW
For time trial, triathlon, fixie, etc.
Bar end mounting.

LOOK Ergostem

Again, NOT a new component for my vintage track bike.
But during my search after nice vintage parts and other track stuff, I coincidentally see some other bargains. I've been after a LOOK Ergostem for a while, but only because it may be handy sometimes. Not because I really need it. I always had the idea when I could grab one for EUR 20.- or so, I would take it, but at auction sites, people easily pay EUR 80.- or 90.- for a used one. I do not remember exactly, but it must have been a lucky shot when I Googled and found an Ergostem on a website of a regular bike shop not too far away. Between "special offers", there was a brand new one for just EUR 20.-. Unbelievable, so I contacted the shop and ordered it online. For an additional EUR 8.50 I got it delivered 3 days later.

First, I wanted to use it for another project: my little son's first mountain bike, a Giant 24". The bike is still too big for him, but when he grows up, be can ride it for a few years. And that's when an adjustable stem becomes convenient. All other adjustable stems are not really adjustable, because the adjustment range is very small. But the LOOK Ergostem can be adjusted from 0 - 15 cm. reach. And it looks good! Lots of professional time trial bikes and track bikes (LOOK!) use Ergostems.
Because I had just bought a fixed quill type stem for the MTB (minimal offset, stainless steel shaft, alu head, as mostly used on cheaper Dutch touring bikes), assembled it on the Giant, and forgot about Ergostems. And then I suddenly got one.

There is a chance that the Ergostem WILL be used on the track bike. The adjustable stem is the ultimate tool to adjust the bike perfectly. So, before having the new track bike ready, I may test it on the track once. Just some regular stuff on it to have the bike rideable. With the Ergostem I can find out the best riding position, handlebars position and stem length. After that I will switch over to the corresponding Cinelli 1A stem length and height.

From the ALAN website

From the ALAN 2007 website:
ALAN is, at first sight, a bit of an odd name for an Italian framebuilder. When the founder of the company, Sig. Ludovic Falconi set the company up in 1972, he thought to use the first two letters of the christian names of each of his two children to form the company name ... so Alberto and his sister Anna contributed "Al" and "An".

Alberto has now largely taken over from his father, and Anna works with him in the company, so this is still very much a family affair, which has been in the business of building bicycle frames for a long time.

Unlike many producers, Alan do all of their own design and production in Europe, having accumulated great experience over the years - Ludovic established the company in 1972 by importing airframe bonding technology and airframe-grade aluminium alloys into the world of cycles with the then-futuristic looking Alan Record frames. These frames had polished, smooth lugs and anodised tubes, making them unlike any other frame on the market in both performance and looks.

In cyclo-cross and on the road, Alan frames won many important victories, especially at home in the mountains on the road, and in the rough world of cyclo-cross where the slightly more compliant ride of these early aluminium frames was appreciated by the riders, as was the light weight.

Not content to rest on this success, though, Ludovic launched the first commercially available carbon fibre frames on the world in 1976. Made using broadly similar processes to the alu frames, the Record Carbonio used Toray Carbon woven tubes, bonded with alloy lugs and a special process to prevent galvanic corrosion at the joint, which many producers even today omit, compromising the lifespan of their product.

20 World Cyclo Cross titles have been won on Alan frames, along with five World Track titles. Countless other races and titles have been won on bicycles and frames that incorporate parts made by the Alan factory for framebuilders the world over - Alan have unmatched experience, and many of the icons of cycle manufacture have, over the years, come to respect that experience and to call upon it.

As we go into 2007, Alan meets the new year with new designs, cutting-edge technology, and the assurance of quality that comes with "Made in Italy".

This is what the 2009 ALAN website says:
First in the world to make aluminium and carbon frames In 1972, ALAN was the first company to introduce an all aluminum frameset made from aerospace grade aluminum. Just a few years later in 1976, ALAN was again first in developing and manufacturing a production carbon frame made by bonding Torayca carbon fibre composite tubing to cast aluminium lugs, a process still widely used today by many manufacturers.

Over the years ALAN’s expertise in frame building, and it’s reputation for quality led to ALAN frames being ridden to 20 World Cyclo cross Championships, 5 World Track Title Championships, numerous classics wins, as well as stage wins in the Tour de France, Giro D’Italia, and Vuelta De Espana.

Maintaining the ability to design, build, and paint frames in-house allows ALAN to offer full customization to meet any fitting needs or material preferences a customer may desire, for a premium quality, exclusive, safe and reliable product.

So, ALAN does not mean Aluminium Anodised, as many people assume.

E-mail to Mr. Alberto Falconi, ALAN about Alan Super Record frames

From the 1975 sales brochure:

The Alan Super Record Frame set

The Super Record represents the latest development of the Alan aluminum alloy frame from Italy. This frame utilizes a unique patented construction system of threaded tubing and lugs joined with epoxy adhesive. Thus it is not brazed or welded. The Super Record includes the following refinements:

1. The use of increased tubing wall thickness (2 mm) gives this frame a much stiffer ride and more efficient transmission of power than the standard Alan Competition model.

2. The redesigned fork with larger, beefier blades, new crown and ergal stabilizer adds to front end stiffness and makes the handling extremely positive.

3. The improved seat cluster has an integral stay connector for extra strength and appearance.

4. The frame is detailed with bottle cage fittings, shift level bosses, bottom bracket cable guides and dynamic cutouts in the lugs and fork crown.

San Marco Concor Junior Light saddle

No, this saddle will not be used for my track bike.
But if it comes to style and age, it could certainly fit. This saddle will be put on the first road bike of my little son or daughter. The San Marco Concor saddles were introduced in the early 1980's and I've also had a couple of these. There was a whole range of Concor saddles, like the Profil, Comfort, Light, Sprint and Junior. Good saddles for kid bikes are rare. Selle Italia Junior is one of the few, but San Marco's Concor Junior is a real racing saddle with perfect resemblance of the classic Concor. A number of these saddles was situated in a big rack with discount items in a local bike store and for more than a year I could resist the urge to buy one or even more. Until last week. In a copy of Wieler Magazine I read that Selle San Marco re-introduced the kid saddle and that it will cost approx. EUR 40.- A few days later I had to but some stuff in the bike shop mentioned before and this time I just had to pick one of the Junior saddles with the old price tag of EUR 22.50. I always hoped that the price was going further down, but I think that a further reduction is not realistic any longer. So, decided to buy one and I hope that the kids will enjoy it for several years.

Pro teams on Alan bikes

Year TeamCountry Bikes
1974Ha-RoDRowona (Alan)
1974MagniflexITorpado (Alan)
1975MagniflexITorpado (Alan)
1977Fiorella - MocassiniIGuerciotti (Alan)
1977Selle Royal - AlanIAlan
1978Novostil - HeliosEAlan
1978Selle Royal - InoxpranIAlan
1979Magniflex - FamcucineIGuerciotti (Alan)
1979Novostil - HeliosEAlan
1979San GiacomoIAlan
1980Peña Hermanas Manzaneque EAlan
1982Europ DecorBAlan
1983DromedarioIGuerciotti (Alan)
1984DromedarioIGuerciotti (Alan)
1985Dromedario - LaminoxIPaletti (Alan)
1985Fangio - EcoturboB Fangio (Alan)
1986Fangio - AD RentingBFangio (Alan)
1990Percy - BiltonGBAlan
1992Rudy ProjectCZAlan
1992Rudy ProjectNLAlan
1993CSM Persan - BicFAlan


ALAN Super Record Pista - II

Yes, the deal is closed!
It's going to be the ALAN Super Record Pista 57x57cm that I was after. I'll get it together with a Campagnolo seat post and a Campagnolo Pista headset. It's still at the current/former owner in Pordenone, Italy, but I hope to have it end of May.
Old decals have to be removed, parts checked, frame cleaned, lugs polished, new decals applied, etc.
Don't know when it was exactly made, but it was used during the 6 days of Milano in 1983, so it's at least 25 years old. It was used by Italian champion Pierangelo Zorzetto, team G.S. Caneva.

This is how it should look like with all the wrong stuff removed, frame polished, new decals, pantographed seatpost. Note: my frame will be bigger. This is another frame, photoshopped, with the correct style decals.

San Marco Rolls saddle

When I want to use a saddle that was used during my first years as a racer, I should definitely use a Cinelli Unicanitor with a black leather cover. In 1979, that was the ultimate racing saddle. The first saddle with a plastic shell, padding and a leather cover. I don't remember exactly, but in 1980 or '81, San Marco came with the revolutionary model "Concor". I think still nobody knows if it was named after the supersonic Concorde aeroplane Concorde or the beak of a condor, but for sure the shape was and still is remarkable. I bought one or two, I liked them, and it must have been for stupid fashion reasons that I never bought one again. Anyway, it's clear that fashion became important in bike business, and good evidence was the next San Marco saddle, Rolls. The "bling-bling" saddle with "gold" plated metal pieces in the back and on the nose was what everybody suddenly wanted. I remember well, the first Rolls I saw was on Erik Breukink's bike. I think it was in Wesepe, during the yearly race there. Although heavy (weight didn't seem to be a big issue in those days), Rolls was a popular saddle and certainly not because of the looks. The feel was very good, thanks to or despite the width. For several years, it was also the nr. 1 saddle for women.
It's because I still have 2 pieces and that I don't want to pay too much for a Unicanitor or Concor, initially I will put a Rolls on my classic track bike. My saddles are discoloured by the sun and by use, so they are brownish now. I will try to "paint" one saddle black with special leather paint. See how it comes out. When it's not a success, I can always try to buy a Concor or Unicanitor, but especially the last one costs a fortune, when it's in good condition. The picture below shows a Rolls before painting.

Cinelli 1A stem

Bought a NOS stem 12 cm via Dutch auction site Marktplaats. Most of what is written for the handlebars Cinelli Campione del Mondo No. 66, goes for the stem Cinelli 1A as well. This stem was the absolute standard during the 70's and 80's, until the threadless headset systems took over the leading position. The model 1A had a posh brother 1R, the more expensive version with a hidden clamp mechanism. I don't remember if I ever had a 1R, but I can imagine that the clamping of the handlebars was not always very secure, so I left my fingers from it. Later, Cinelli introduced the XA stem with normal bar clamping, but a semi-hidden bolt.
Cinelli 1A was more popular than the 3ttt stem. First, because it was a Cinelli. Second, because the bolt didn't have a hole for an Allen key in front if the stem. The 3ttt stem, same as e.g. SR, always had a bolt with a rusty Allen key hole. That certainly didn't look nice.
Next to the image and real quality thing, there was always something like: use handlebars and stem from the same brand. Clamping dimensions were (and are) not really standardised, even when an expression like "oversized" was not known yet. Asian steering parts used 25.4 mm, Italians either 25.8, 26.0 or 26.4 mm. And even when parts came from the same country, if they were not from the same brand, you could expect serious assembly and disassembly problems. Or difficulties securing the bars or snapping bolts, etc. Nothing uglier than a nice racing bike with big scratches on the bars near the clamp.
So, to Cinelli bars belonged a Cinelli stem, and the same for 3ttt and other brands.
Besides the Cinelli 1A stem, there are also dedicated track / sprinters stems, named 2A and 3A. 1A has an angle of 73°, the 2A has a sharper angle of 65°, 3A even more extreme, 58°. I think the 1a stem with 73° angle will do for me. A stem with 65° pulled out of the steerer tube looks silly, so I'll go for the "road" stem with 73° angle assembled properly for a comfortable riding position.
Besides the new 12 cm. stem, I also have 1 or 2 pieces 14 cm stems, but I guess that that is too long. Besides that, the looks are not very good anymore, because several scratches and other damages. But in case I need the length, I still have the possibility to use one.
Edit 18. June: I had the opportunity to sit on the new frame (assembled temporarily) and I've decided that I will ride it with a 14 cm. stem. That's just the perfect match with the 57 cm. top tube. The 12 cm. stem can be sold again.

Vittoria Corsa CX tubular tires

Yesterday I bought a new item of this classic road tubular tire via EBay. Maybe you cannot call this a vintage item, because it's still in production and still a top tubular. But it's a classic product, because it was already a standard item during the early 80's (and perhaps earlier). First, Clément Criterium was the nr. 1 tubular, but when Clément slowly faded away, Vittoria's reputation improved and the Corsa CX took over the leading position.
During the years, the tubular developed a bit, but even the old Corsa CX is still a top product.
Besides the CX, there were tubulars with different tread, like the CS (time trial, track) and CG (more severe weather conditions).
Officially no dedicated track tires, but the CX and CS are excellent products to use on the velodrome, as long as the cross section is 22 or 23 mm. The Cronometro versions are even lighter and more supple, but a bit too luxurious for training.
My latest "problem" is: where do a find a similar tubular, because I want same tires front and rear. Enough Corsa CX's around, but the original colour (black tread, tan walls) are not produced any longer.