|"VINTAGE LIFE CYCLES"
CANADIAN & VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE
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|MADE IN ITALY|
|A CCM (Canadian Cycle and Motorcar Company) Official "Boy Scout" bicycle was traded straight across for a mid eighties new old stock Francesco Moser frame and fork set.|
|1937 CCM "Boy Scout"|
|Ownership of the Moser bicycle goes beyond the general philosophy offered in these web pages. The Moser will cost money to complete. Even though the frame and fork assembly was picked up fairly cheaply, the finished bicycle will probably end up costing several hundred dollars. A Campagnolo "Super Record" group will be installed on the bike and the Campy group did cost a few bucks.
To add expensive injury to insult, several components still need to be located. A 27.2mm seat post, a braze on Campagnolo "Super Record" front derailleur, wheel rims and double butted stainless steel spokes, just to name the more important component defeciencies. Of course, the bottom bracket that came with the "Super Record" grouppo is for english thread. The Moser requires Italian threading. Little situations such as these just mentioned will drive the cost up.
The Moser will not cost nearly as much as some of the newer bicycles offered at the local bike shop but, then again, it will most likely not perform as well, either. Experience has proved that there is little substitute for cutting edge technology with one exception - the frame. All modern advances aside, the old steel lugged frames can and do still hold their own in this aluminum, titanium and carbon fibre based world today's bicycle.
|FINDING THE MOSER
THE BEST QUEST YET!
|The first bicycle included in the collection was found at the local landfill site, one cold and windy Saturday afternoon. Since that time, many other methods of finding old bicycles have been tried but the story of the locating and acquiring the Moser is unique.
Old Roads, a vintage bicycle web site, hosts several bicycle related forums, one of which focused on vintage lightweight bikes. Through this incredible site, a friendship was struck up with a fellow rider/collector in Winnipeg, Manitoba. With children and grandchildren living in the Peg(Canadian for Winnipeg), my wife and I make several visits to the city each year. It was on one of these visits that I met Tom, a collector of vintage roadsters and balloon tire bicycles.
After exchanging e-mails, Tom and I agreed to get together on one of my visits to his city. When he learned that I had a couple of old roadsters in my collection, he expressed interest in viewing them. With this in mind, I took two bicycles, a CCM Redbird and an official CCM �Boy Scout�, along to show to Tom.
Both bicycles impressed Tom but his attention focused on the �Boy Scout�. After careful examination, he indicated that he would like to trade for something in his collection that I might be interested in. Unfortunately, nothing caught my eye except for a mid-thirties racer, which, Tom informed me, was not available for trade. Can�t say that I blame him, however; Tom did offer an introduction to a fellow in Saskatchewan(that�s Canadian for Saskatchewan) who has owned his own bicycle shop for forty years.
Fred, the bicycle shop owner was indeed interested in trading something that he had for the CCM �Boy Scout�. His offer, simply put, was a new old stock Francesco Moser chrome-moly frame and fork set in my size.
A week of e-mailing one another back and forth concluded with the trade. I put the CCM on the bus and sent the bicycle off to Fred in Regina. In return, Fred sent me the beautiful bicycle frame and fork combination seen here. One of the best quests to date.
|THE QUEST CONTINUES!|
|One of the nice things about finding and restoring vintage lightweights lies in the fact that the search does not necessarily end once the bicycle is acquired. Few things could be further from the truth. In fact, rarely is a bicycle found or purchased that does not need something to make it complete and original.
Of course, when one starts with only a frame and fork set to start with, it is immediately obvious that the quest is not over. Everything else that make a bicycle a bicycle is still out there waiting to be found.
Some of the required components were located and set aside with the hope that, perhaps, something special would join the collection. However, many of the needed items are still at large. Not only are they not yet found but they are, for the most part, quite specific in nature. More simple put - not just any stem and handlebar combination will do. Needing special components suggests that the search will be more difficult, and that is what the next phase in the Moser's birth is all about. Finding all of what is needed to get the bicycle properly up and running.
|MADE IN ITALY|
|Picked up months before the Moser was acquired, the Campagnolo "Super Record" grouppo will find a home on the Moser. Even though the group is complete a front derailleur for braze-on mounting needs to be found. Additionally, the bottom bracket in the group is for English, rather than Italian fit.|
|In addition to the needed front derailleur and bottom bracket, other components must also be located before the bicycle can be built up. Super Record 36 hole hubs are part of the grouppo, but wheel rims and spokes are not.
Presently, the search for 36 hole rims has proved to be unfruitful, however; an interesting set of NOS Ambrosia rims are up for auction on Ebay. A local bike shop will gladly sell me all the NOS rims they have for twenty dollars a piece and this would be a good deal if there were any rims that would fit. As it stands, there is only one 36 hole clincher rim left that is anywhere near period correct.
Of course, once a set of rims are acquired, spokes need to be purchased. Even though used spokes are readily available, two new sets of double butted stainless steel spokes and nipples will be bought. As will new tubes and tires. All in all, the running gear alone will cost between one and two hundred dollars, assuming that good purchase opportunities present themselves. Even though spending this kind of money seems to contradict the philosophy that powers this web site there is this to consider... To purchase such a bicycle new would cost thousands of dollars and begin to depreciate in value the minute it left the bike shop. The Moser, properly looked after, will never loose its value. In fact, there is every reason to believe that the bicycle's value will increase with the years. However...
There is one more thing to consider before attempting to build a bicycle from the frame up. If Ebay is any example at all, the unfortunate truth of the matter is this. The sum of the components does not necessarily equal or exceed the value of the whole! It seems that bicycles are worth more parted out(taken apart and sold piece by piece). So, all your expense and time invested might not prove to be worth it, from a financial point of view at any rate.
Start adding up the cost of components such as a Super Record bottom bracket and seat post and it quickly becomes apparent that building a bike up to be special is not an inexpensive venture. Before getting into this situation be forewarned.
Then there are the standard items that must be included in any cost estimating. Items like handlebar tape, cables and cable casings all cost money and it is items such as these that are usually shot and absolutely need to be replaced. Of course, assuming that yur project parallels that of the Moser, you will not want to run bargain basement stuff. You will most likely opt for better materials and components for the special bike. Once again, the cost soars.
With rising costs becoming a concern it is time for a reality check. Does everything have to be pristine for a bike that is to be ridden - lots? The answer is probably not. The rational here lies in th efact that there is no advantage to using NOS stuff if the stuff is to be used regularily. With this in mind and knowing how much a set of nice Campagnolo Super Record pedals would cost it seems prudent to used a used set, even though they are cosmetically challenged.
|If money is no object, then go ahead and drop between sixty and a hundred bucks US for a set of pedals, keeping in mind that the first low corner will most likely result in damage. The Campy pedals, pictured here, will be mounted on the Moser to begin with, however, chances are they will be replaced with clip in pedals at a later date. The two pedals pictured are really just one pedal that has been slightly cleaned up in an effort to demonstrate how effectively aluminum foil can clean chrome.|
|MOSER UPDATE DECEMBER 31, 2003|
|Much thought went into deciding to build the Moser, however; once the decision was made, assembly went quickly - for a while. What prompted the decision to build a bike that would far exceed the cost of any other in the collection? Perhaps this is the Holy Grail that keeps calling the collector back to the landfill site. That elusive treasure that puts all others to shame. Will building the Moser put an end to the search? Nope!|
|PREPARING THE FRAME!|
|Even though this bicycle was passed on as new old stock, there is evidence of storage damage. A new decal was acquired to replace the damaged tubing decal. The big surprise came when it was time to install the Campagnolo Head Set and Bottom Bracket. Both the bottom bracket and head tube housings had to be machined. The BB housing was one and a half millimeters too long and the threads were not perfectly cut. Similar attention was paid to the fitting of the head set. Now everything is the way good old Francesco Moser intended it to be.|
|TIME FOR A RANT!|
|This Francesco Moser frame is supposed to be a hand made, silver soldered high quality product! Is it hand made? Is it silver soldered? Is it high quality? The jury is still out on questions one and two but as for the high quality characteristic, it would appear that Mr. Moser missed the target! Why should the consumer have to go to the trouble and expense of correcting machining faults in a bicycle frame such as this one? One long time local bicycle shop owner suggests that this is so common a problem, even with these high end works of art, that he automatically chases threads and squares faces on every high end bicycle he assembles. One cannot but wonder if Lance has to go through this nonsense before he rides.|
|One of the problems that crops up when one gets into a fancy rebuilt/restoration it that certain components must be acquired to help maintain the quality level of the exercise. This cost money and the TTT Record Stem and Handlebars pictured are products of that philosophy. The stem needs a good cleaning but the bars are almost perfect. Acquiring this set was easy. Watch eBay closely for a few days until what you want surfaces and then bid away. Following this process makes it incredibly easy to collect just about anything that you need to complete a project. And it's fun to do!|
|THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED AS THE MOSER COMES TOGETHER.|
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