Tying and soldering spokes

The rear wheel has new spokes, tensioned, centred and trued.
As a finishing touch, I've tied and soldered the spokes.
The opinions about this piece of craftsmanship are divers. Especially on track bikes, it's an old habit to tie and solder the spokes, but also on road bikes (Paris - Roubaix). Possible reasons are: increased strength, increased rigidity, no problems with loose spokes once they're broken. Various tests have shown that there is no measurable difference.
But, since my new bike is full of tradition and emotion (more than quality and technology), it's clear that the spokes have to be tied and soldered.'
I've done it only once and it's already a long time ago.
First, I had to find silver wire. I was not sure if this had to be silver plated copper or steel wire or massive silver. Since silver plated copper wire made most sense, is affordable, easy to get and possibly much stronger than pure silver, I decided to buy this. On the internet, there are many sellers of hobby stuff (especially jewellery and beads), that offer silver plated copper wire in various thicknesses. I bought 3 bags with 20m of 0.4mm (26 gauge) wire. Far cheaper than tin plated steel wire from DT Swiss. For 1 wheel (36 spokes) 1 roll or 20m was more than enough. Click here.

First, all 18 farthest spoke crossings had to be wrapped. At each crossing I made around 10 wraps, but maybe I should have done just 7 or 8 to make a less bulky. Each time I cut approx. 10cm of wire from the spool and tried to wrap it neatly. Every time I tried to end with a small knot and tried to feed the end through the coil again. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I didn't. I'm not sure if it makes a big difference after the soldering.

Finally, the coils had to be soldered. I used a 100W soldering iron and tin solder. Not sure if I used the right solder, because I used tin older with lead and resin core. Didn't use any flux (S39).
After soldering all the coils, I was done. Perhaps not all joint are so nice, but at least, they are soldered well and will not come loose. Next time I would go for less wraps. Perhaps a better soldering iron would have heated the wraps better and made the soldering nicer, using less solder. Also, lead free and resin free solder probably would have resulted in a neater joint. But that's for the next time. Perhaps I have to redo the front wheel.


Chain SRAM PC 870

It's hard to find an Italian chain that maches well with this bike. First, I know only two Italian bicycle chain brand that was already making chains during the late 1970's and early 1980's: Regina and Everest. It seems that these companies don't produce bike chains anymore. Most probably due to the introduction of complex indexed shifting systems. And Regina and Everest chains are very rare on Ebay. I've seen nice "gold" plated chains, but the colour doesn't match with the rest of the bike.
The best chain for this bike would be a Sedisport chain. I used "tons" of these chains: cheap (DFL 10.-) and good quality. Or, even better, the silver colour Sedis Pro. I have one, but unfortunately it's too short. Such a shame.
I have to be satisfied with the SRAM PC 870. SRAM took over Sachs, that acquired Sedis. I picked the PC 870 just because of the silver colour (nickel silver outer plates, grey inner plates). The PC 890 would have been better because of the nickel silver inner and outer plates, but the price was too high.
Because the Campagnolo Super Record chain ring is narrow (3/32" or 2mm), I had to select a narrow chain also. So, a 3/32" derailleur chain, but not for 9, 10 or 11 speed. This, in combination with low price and nice finish, doesn't leave much to choose from.

Mavic Pista rims

These rims were in the second hand wheel set I bought via Marktplaats. First, I didn't know exactly which rims I had (the decals just say "Mavic"), but this old catalogue made clear to me that the name is Mavic Pista. How simple can it be?


A longitudinal groove permits seating of the tubular tire seam. Embossed profile makes the glue hold better.

Denomination: Piste
Dimensions: 700 c
Drilling: 24-28-32-36-40
Weight: 370
Eyelet: single

Status 20. August 2009

Frame: ALAN Super Record Pista 57x57cm, from Pordenone, Italy

ALAN Super Record Pista, from Pordenone, Italy

Campagnolo Record Pista 36H hubs, Mavic Pista silver 36H rims for tubular tyres, corked, tied and soldered spokes, from Amsterdam via Marktplaats

Campagnolo Record Strada, came with frame

Campagnolo Record Pista 170mm BCD 144mm, chain ring Campagnolo Super Record Pista 53T BCD 144mm 3/32"

BB set:
Campagnolo, Italian thread, 110mm axle (70-SS), from Berlin via Ebay

Cinelli 66-44, was already in my garage

Handlebar stem:
Cinelli 1A 14cm, an old one that I've used on my road bike in the past

Campagnolo Record Pista from Northern Ireland via www.londonfgss.com

Campagnolo Record Medium (steel) from my own NOS

Alfredo Binda, leather, white, from Neerkant via Marktplaats

San Marco Rolls, black. From my own stock

Seat post:
Campagnolo Super Record 25.0mm, came with frame, from Pordenone, Italy

Shimano Dura Ace 16T 3/32", new, from my own stock

SRAM PC870 3/32", from www.rose.de

Handlebar tape:
Cloth, black, from www.rose.de

DT Swiss Competition silver, from www.rose.de OTHERS:

Vittoria, size 43, from Berlin, Germany via forum Tour magazine

Shoe cleats:
T.A. Criterium, bought from Mr. H. Stone, Bristol STILL SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENTS/CHANGES

Seat post:
Campagnolo (Super), 25.0mm. The current seat post is shortened, so another one would be perfect

San Marco Concor

Cinelli 65-42 or 65-44

Campagnolo Record Strada, came with frame

Campagnolo Record Pista 165mm BCD 144mm

Chain ring:
Campagnolo Super Record Pista 52T BCD 144mm 1/8"

Regina or another Italian, 1/8"

Campagnolo, 16T 1/8"

Acrylic, wool

Acrylic, wool

Full leather or crotchet back with leather palm

Not completely ready. Currently I'm replacing the rusty spokes of the rear wheel (DT Swiss Competition) and I will have to tie and solder them again (not a must but I will do it). Tubulars have to be glued. Perhaps I will apply some layers of shellac (blond) to the bar tape. I will ride it on the track in 2 weeks. 

Vittoria Corsa CX tubular tire - II

During our holidays in France, we had some bad luck with a defect car tyre, but we found a garage where it was repaired immediately. By "co-incidence" it was a garage/bike shop and guess what? Finally I had the opportunity to browse through a French bike shop to look for some nice vintage bike goodies.
Somewhere in the shop, there was a brand new Vittoria Corsa CX hanging below the stairs. Just what I was looking for! The right size, colour, etc. When I asked the shop owner, how much I had to pay for the tubular, he replied that he didn't know that he had it. When I showed him the tyre, he pointed at the cheap training tubulars (Vittoria Rally?) and he said that the CX would be the same price. So, I got it for EUR 20.- and I had problems not to laugh loudly. Thanks Mr. Bouchonneau (Aubres, France). It was not the only nice object in the (for the rest small and messy as you could expect in the French countryside) bike shop. Pretty well hidden on the loft, I found 3 bikes.
The first one was a special edition Colnago that I do remember from the early 1980's. Gold/copper plated steel Columbus frame with Campagnolo parts. Is it called a Colnago 2000? Not so nice was that this bike was equipped with cheap flat handlebars and even cheaper brake levers for touring purposes.
The second bike looked like a Gitane pro time trial bike, like the one used by Thierry Marie in the 1986 Tour de France prologue, including the weird Selle Italia shark tail saddle.
The 3rd bike was most interesting: a Gitane track bike, probably also a former team bike. Fully equipped with Dura Ace 10 (10mm pitch chain) and other nice stuff. A bit small, but maybe it was just large enough for me to ride on. I asked Mr. Bouchonneau if this track bike was for sale, but he denied. No, this bike was not for sale. He called it some kind of souvenir and wanted to keep it. I thought he was still riding it at the velodrome. Such a shame. Later I realised that I should have offered him EUR 500 or 600. In that case, perhaps he would have changed his mind. A missed opportunity...

More about the tyre, click here.

Now it looks like a bike

I've just returned from my holidays, the chain and bar tape has arrived and put on the bike. Perhaps I will cover the tape with some layers of blond shellac to make it more durable. But first I have to find out where I can get it and the alcohol. Then I will try to put the shellac on. It will be my first time to use this stuff.

I will replace the spokes of the rear wheel (new DT Swiss Competition) and tie and solder them.
After I've glued the tubulars (I bought the second one during our holidays in France, see here), the ALAN is ready to ride.