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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's been a long trip, starting in January 2008 when I got fitted in Tokyo by Akio Tanabe. The idea, like many who post here, was to get a classic, lugged, steel road frame but with a custom build. I'm in Asia, Shanghai when I got fitted. When I was in London I had two custom steel machines made, a TIG Corrado and a fillet brazed single speed from Chas Roberts. Kalavinka seemed to work as they were easy to deal with, had a good reputation and were near our office in Tokyo.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Of course, then the wait

My company was a big sponsor for the 2008 Beijing Olympics so the wait wasn't that long. In fact it wasn't until they asked for final payment that I realised it was done...just before the Olympics started. Of course some teaser pics showed up....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Components

The endless trauling for parts....here's the build list

BB- Campag Record 10
Cranks- Campag Record 10
Outside Ring- TA 50th
Derailleurs- Campag Chorus 10
Shifters- Campag Chorus 10
Hubs- 2005 Centaur 10
FD Clamp-Parlee
Bars- Cinelli 64-42 NOS
Stem- Shimano Dura Ace 120mm NOS
Seatpost- Shimano Dura ace
Saddle- Fizik Aliante
Pedals- Time Rxs
Wheels- Campag hubs, Mavic Open Pros, 32/3x with DT db, which I built a year ago
Tires- Veloflex as natural sidewalls look best
Bottle Cages- Nitto (not mounted yet)

The post as Dave Hickey knows, took forever to find at a reasonable price.

The 50th, well I'm old and it's a rare day when I can spin out the 50/13 on the flat, even in group rides but I find it usable with the 15-19 single tooth difference in the 13/26 cassette.

Bar tape is Easton and it's a lousy job. I'm going back to Cinelli or Fizik for the next wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ready to ride

Well, it's all together. I've had it out a couple of times just to get the positioning of bars, stem, saddle, set back and shifters right. The ride is pretty nice and it has a fair amount of trail. I haven't really done any fast riding or cornering yet. My cardinal rule is never take a new bike/wheels, etc. and go full gas the first time out. I unfortunately tend to ignore the rule and have paid the price but this time. easy as you go. May not get a nice, long and fast ride for a week or so as I'm off the Seoul for a long weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Some small things

Well, I didn't clean it up and there's still assembly grease and some parts. The QR's are going to be replaced with Chorus one's. Originally it was fitted and built for a 100mm stem. I've been doing a lot of pilates the past two years and my position has gotten more stretched out and better hingeing at the hips. I had a 100 Dura Ace stem but it was way too short and currently the one mounted is a 120 NOS which as usual, took forever to find.

Okay, the bike, paint, components, etc. may not work for everyone but after all these years, it's about as good as it's going to get for me in lugged steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

But aren't you in process too of getting a frame made?

Dajianshan said:
Gorgeous! That is a frame I'd like to have.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Very very nice.

A well thought out and executed build....I wouldn't change a thing.

Congrats and great riding.

Len
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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Totally beautiful. Outstanding workmanship. Graceful form and presentation.
 

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You Phillip mah census
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Enjoy every minute of it. The detail on the head tube lugs is outstanding.One thing I love about bike shops in Japan is the attention to detail and giving the customer what he/she wants. I had a shop owner insist on straightening out my derailleur hanger for me and not even think of asking for money. I love my Makino for the same reasons. BTW there's a shop called Ota Cycles in Koiwa, Tokyo (he's across the street from renowned keirin frame builder Kiyo Miyazawa) who has a veritable museum of NOS Durace and Campag stuff in display cabinets. I have fun trying to guess which parts are on sale and which just there for show. I go in there to salivate every so often.
 

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Beautifully built bike. Interesting and unusual combination of Campagnolo drivetrain and Shimano cockpit.

I envy you, I would love to go to Japan and get fitted by one of the builders there! The store window is bike porn in itself, Moser funnybike? Wow.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some more information

I knew that if I did not do this given my frequent visits to Japan, that I would regret it later. I was in Milano, Italy at the Vigorelli Velodrome talking to Alberto Masi in 2001. There were still licensing issues related to the Masi Gran Criterium name which his brother sold. Regardless, Alberto agreed to build one for me including the original decals and lugs provided it only be shipped to London where I lived at that time. A few months later I was back in town for business but couldn't get over there for a fitting. I totally blew that one. I managed to get two customs made in the UK but still kick myself about the Masi.

Living in different parts of the world has some advantages and they still build some really nice steel frames in Japan. The headtube badge is handpainted by Tanabe-san's wife and it's a work of art by itself.

The lugs, fork crown and BB shell are all investment cast. Selecting those was fun. I originally thought of a fastback seat stay arrangement but they I would not have had the Kalavinka plates at the top of the seat stays.

Some of the frame build is based on the detail work I liked on my 3Rensho Katana but with a more modern tubeset and 130mm spacing. I let Tanabe-san sort out the geometry based on the fitting.

The Shimano cockpit? Well IMHO those particular Dura Ace parts, stem and post, were/are some of the most beautiful forgings ever made. The stem is actually made by Nitto and I'm guessing that the post is as well. The post uses the set screw at the front to set the tilt and was also used on the 600/Ultegra post of that era. The stem also has the unique feature of the bar mount and stem cone bolts being hidden under the cap. The Cinelli 64 with 26.0 fitting and double cable grooves was only in production for a short period of time. Finding a silver bar in a traditional, shallow drop bend with ergo grooves gives limited options.

I've been running Campag 10 for almost 10 years now. I had a Shimano DA 9 setup up through 2005 but all that stuff is in storage. I also have a large stock of Campag 10 spares including cassettes in Singapore where I currently live and have found that the 13/26 Campag 10 cassette works for most terrains I've ridden over the past 10 years and not just flat lands. Also, I can fix/maintain the stuff with some competence.

Posting on RBR over the years I love seeing the stuff being made by handbuilders in the States, Europe and Asia. The pics and stories around the process and build are always great to read. It's a long haul out here but if you're in Japan, looking for a frame is one more thing to do. I see that the regulars including those in Tokyo and Taiwan have chimed in so thanks for all the comments.
 

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That is a very nice bike. I too am a big fan of the Dura Ace components. You did a great job, the bike looks awesome. Its nice to see that there are others who appreciate bikes like this and the stories etc behind them. Good job.
 

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Great build. I really like those chorus components with a classic look. I am rebuilding an old alan CX bike with current veloce 10sp shifters in silver.

What I don't like is your choice of wheels. Those open sup doesn't look good with this bike. I see you put veloflex clincher on them, I would have rather made a wheelset out of ambrosio/campagnolo/nisi/araya/mavic low profile tubular rims to match the classic look of the frame.
 
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