Novara Trionfo 48cm @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bicycle Update

While shopping a while back I purchased a bottle of what I assumed to be olive oil, based on the presence of those words on the label as well as a prominently displayed Italian flag. It was only when I got home that I discovered it had been blended with canola oil, reducing it from prime bread-dipping status to mere general-purpose frying duty.

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While the Made in Italy label does seem to gain the immediate attention and respect of the average American consumer, I hadn’t even seen that.  Just the flag.  Enough to buy the item.

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You won’t see an Italian flag on this Novara Trionfo, but maybe its Italian name is enough to lure you in.  And in that case you won’t feel duped as I did, because this is very nice, classic steel road bike–not some off-brand fry oil lurking in the back of your kitchen cabinet.

 

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Tange #1 steel tubing–lightweight & favorably comparable to higher-end Italian tubing, such as Columbus SL

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Handlebar wrapped with Celeste tape, matching lettering & paint accents

Also of note is the internal cable routing. As a mechanic, it’s sometimes hard to feed the brake or derailleur cable through these small holes.  The makers of this frame, a late-1980’s model, took the trouble to design this feature well.  The cable went through perfectly, and I didn’t even have to bother to slightly pre-bend the end of the cable to help it find the exit.

 

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New Shimano Tiagra-level brakes ready to clamp down

The Trionfo was stripped the the bare frame and fully rebuilt with more modern parts.  A size-appropriate 165mm crankset has been installed, as well as some narrower 38cm Soma Highway One handlebars.  It’s also got a nice set of 700 x 25 Gatorskin tires that should hold up well in our glass-strewned city.

Come check it out today! A good fit for someone right around 5′ tall.

$750

 

Univega 53cm Town-Style @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bicycle Update

Several weeks ago we had a customer come by the bike shop to donate an old Univega that dated back to her college days.  She hoped that we would make use of it, and we assured her as much.  It’s the objective of this post to show the process we go through to refurbish good-quality older bicycles here at Pedal Rev.

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The Univega as it looked when it arrived: old and definitely pretty tired.

To be a reliable and comfortable bicycle for the next rider, this Univega really needed everything.  This started with removing all components from the frame and determining which parts could be re-used.

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Though it might have stopped the bike well enough in the 1980’s, this old Dia-Compe brake caliper isn’t really up for tackling San Francisco hills.  Note extensive rust on spokes as well

 

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The new Tektro dual-pivot caliper.  New, much more powerful, and high-polish silver finish.

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The bottom bracket cups, complete with grease dating back to the Reagan/Thatcher years…

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The bottom bracket spindle, again gummed up with late Cold War-era grease…

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Amazing what some steel wool and a little buffing can achieve: under all that old grease the bearing races were still in very nice shape, so I repacked the cups with new 1/4″ ball bearings and fresh grease…

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The original Shimano 600 front derailleur, featuring the unique “Arabesque” font, after a good detailing…

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The fork crown and lower headset cup…a bit on the rusty side of things

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After being given a ‘lil Tri-Flow/steel wool love…

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Original sticker, which I left on.  Always interesting to consider the bike’s history.  This shop no longer seems to be in business, but it was originally founded by Czechoslovakian pro road racer Otto Rozvoda in the 1960’s.

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Our sticker, affixed to the downtube

 

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Ready to get built up with all the new/refurbished components

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The original stem/handlebar.  Not the most comfortable setup for riding around the city.

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Retro-style brake levers, modern indexed Shimano bar-end shifters, and cork bar tape finished off with some burgundy Newbaum’s.

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A new derailleur mated to a 9-speed wide-range cassette and original crankset.  Got some new MKS Sylvan Touring pedals on there too!

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The final product, featuring a new Shimano/Mavic wheelset, Panaracer Pasela 700 x 32 tires, Velo Orange stem/Soma Oxford Bar.  Ready for all the urban jungle has to throw at it!

She’ll be a good fit for somebody in the 5’3-5’7″ range.  Come take a test ride!

$700

SOLD!!!!

Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: Schwinn Sierra Drop Bar Mountain Tour Bike

Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: Schwinn Sierra Drop Bar Mountain Tour Bike

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It’s truly astounding the number of 80’s and 90’s vintage mountain bikes Pedal Revolution receives in donation (thank you generous benefactors). They are testament both to the number of these bikes sold during the original mountain bike boom and the quality of construction of these frames (FYI: their iron like strength, resilience, and durability is largely due to them being actually made of steel!).

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By the standards of today, bikes like this Schwinn Sierra are terrible bikes for serious single-track mountain biking (ps. the flip side is also true that the super fun trail riding bikes of today are the absolute worst transportation bikes due to technological suspension overkill and lack of utilitarian features).  However, with some parts changes and updates these original off road specialty machines can be transformed into excellent city and transportation steeds.

The rear mounts for both fenders and rack are not something you will find on a 21st Century MTB

Just to mix things up from the rote Pedal Revolution older mountain bike becomes city bike genesis (street slicks replace knobby tires, new drive train parts, etc), a drop bar was added to this bike to give it some long ride and bike tour potential.

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The orange bar wrap gives the bike some seasonal fall flair.  Front and rear fork eyelets add more easy fender and rack options.

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Suntour Bar end shifters are just fantastic.  They were on some very cheap back in the day bikes (the Schwinn Sierra was not originally cheap or equipped with these).  Every micro friction shift with these units is an utter delight.  They are what I (Joel) use on my own touring bike!

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This is a great all-purpose bike for someone about 6′ tall.  The large tires and strong frame with plenty of accessory mounts make a great bike for carrying large loads on bike trips around the city or across the country!

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Schwinn Sierra 23″ : $550

 

Pedal Revolution Used Bicycle Update: Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed

Pedal Revolution Used Bicycle Update: Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed

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Another Pedal Revolution original here.  This bike was donated with long obsolete 27″ wheels, a conventional derailleur drivetrain, a low long deep drop handlebar (i.e. uncomfortable) and a bric a brac of low-endish 80s parts.

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The bike was reconstituted with a more upright Velo Orange Milan bar and svelte Tektro neo-retro levers (they look like a lot of levers on older bikes but benefit from stiffer cold forge construction and return springs for smoothness and greater cable life).

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New 700c wheels with a Sturmey Archer 3-Speed internal gear hub replace the clunky and complex original drivetrain.  Soma Xpress terra cotta tires make another appearance here.  These are essentially a slightly more beefed up version of the Panaracer Pasela tires that get are often spotlighted on this blog.

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The gold housing just looks really great. It jives well with the painted on logo but neither enhances or undermines the brake function.

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The cork grips were heavily layered with shellac for good looks but they also don’t feel too bad.

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The demi-mixte frame construction is totally wild.  Just prior to Pedal Revolution being donated this bike, I (Joel), had seen another one of these frames in the shop for the first time and it blew my mind.  So strange to have another one given to us so soon after that.  The unconventional frame construction and 3-Speed rebuild make this a super unique bike.

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Burgundy (in New Orleans, they would call the color “Ber-gun-day”) Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed:

$500 – A Good Ride for someone about 5’4″?

SOLD

Omino Small Japanese Racing Bike @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update

Konnichiwa!

Konnichiwa!

After laboring to google “Omino Impact Attack” I (Joel) was unable to come up with much information on this awesome little lightweight bike. There was one website that, based on the photos, seems to be affiliated with the brand but the website is 99.9% in Japanese.  Perhaps someone reading this can help translate (the google could not).

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What is for sure is that this is very attractive and unique bicycle.  The frame is aluminum but has smooth looking welds that look like fillet brazes but I am not sure it is possible to fillet braze aluminum.  Maybe there is a welder or metal guru in our audience that can help sort this out???

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Also not exactly sure if this bike is an “Attack Impact” or “Impact Attack”

This bike was fitted with very fancy Shimano Ultegra triple cranks and a 9 Speed 105 drivetrain and brakes.  The bike is equipped with 650C (E.R.T.O./I.S.O. 571mm) wheels to maintain a short racy wheelbase while eliminating the toe-overlap that can plague smaller race bikes with 700c wheels (I.S.O. 622mm) that don’t extreme angle out (think of riding a chopper motorcycle) the fork and degrade the bike handling.

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Smaller Bikes are Better with Smaller Wheels

A tallish Nitto Technomic Stem Stem, ESI silicone bar wrap, and narrow Soma Highway One Bar were added for comfort and killer looks.

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Nitto Stem and Soma Bar

This is a great bike for someone around 5′ 2″ tall!!!

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EXPERIENCE THE POTENTIAL!

50cm Omino Attack Impact (or is it Impact Attack?) $850 SOLD!!

Robin Hood 3-Speed @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update

1969 Robin Hood 3-Speed Step-Through – $350 SOLD!

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1969 Robin Hood

In the year 2008, I (Joel) began my career as a bicycle mechanic.  7 years ago this month actually.  I worked at Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge, MA. This shop serviced many old British 3-Speed bikes.  It was actually kind of a specialty of the shop.  I was tasked with tuning up many of these bikes and let me tell you, at the time, they were the bane of my existence.  Compared with contemporary bikes, these bikes are unconventional and quirky as can be (internal gear hubs that are influenced by by their position in the frame, front hubs that are adjusted in the fork, use of metric and non-metric/imperial fasteners, “Raleigh”/26 TPI threading, brakes that are centered with a hammer and punch!…).

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A real fully equipped city bike!

At a certain indecipherable point (I suppose it has been a process, journey or evolution in my development as a mechanic and cyclist) I formed a real affection for these idiosyncratic machines best celebrated on the Sheldon Brown (fellow Broadway Bicycle School alumnus) website.  Please allow me to quote:

These Are Real Bikes!

oldeng24on’t sneer at old 3-speeds. They are serious bikes, built for serious use. They are meant for utilitarian cyclists, and they are still extremely appropriate for riders who don’t usually go more than a few miles at a time. They are particularly at home in stop-and-go traffic, because they can be shifted even while stopped. Their English heritage: full fenders, oil lubrication, and totally enclosed gear system makes them relatively impervious to wet conditions. They may be heavy, but that is not because they were built to be cheap, but because they were built to endure extremely rough usage and neglect. Properly cared for, they will outlast us all.
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Conventional Quill Stem Diameter with Unconventional/Raleigh Size Bar Clamp Size

As evidenced by the date stamped on this Robin Hood’s Sturmey Archer hub, this bicycle was manufactured in 1969.

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1969 Sturmey Archer AW (“Always Works”) Hub

In 1969, the guts of the Sturmey Archer AW hub were much the same as  in 1902, having survived two world wars, the great depression, the baby boom and several high-profile assassinations fully intact. However, 1969 was a pivotal year of change in the history of Rock N Roll.  Anyone in the Bay Area today who happens to catch audio glimpses of traffic reports referencing Altamont must surely be reminded of the ugly events that occurred at the free concert there in December 1969, the edge of the 1970s.  As we now know, the Altamount Free Concert was the event that signaled the end of the day glow tie dye days of peace and love.  What followed was a decade of earth tones, religious cultism, political assassination, heavy narcotic use, domestic terrorism, disco, escalating imperial war atrocities, and the emergence of punk rock. Around the time I was birthed, The Clash succinctly penned the perfect counter point to the peace and love espoused by the flowerer children of the 60’s, Hate and War (“the only things we got today”).  A real theme song for the 1970s.

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Robin Hood, a Raleigh sub-brand.  Same factory, same threading…

A more positive association one can make with this bike and The Clash is their invocation of Robin Hood in the excellent song White Man in Hammersmith Palais.  Perhaps the first of example of White musicians properly doing what Bob Marley would affectionately call the “punky reggae”.

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Short (165mm) Sugino Cranks

As mentioned in the above quote from the Sheldon Brown website, although these are real bikes, they were geared for the flat streets of Nottingham or Manchester (see the below video) England rather than hilly San Francisco.  Thusly, the original cottered cranks were replaced with a Velo Orange threadless bottom bracket (mooting the Raleigh threaded bottom bracket shell) and a beautiful Sugino crank fitted with a 42 tooth chainring.  This crank is mated to a 23 tooth rear cog and provides excellent gearing for our vertiginous local terrain.

 

 

Schwinn Breeze @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update

Schwinn choice

Gee whiz, there have been a lot of cool winds whipping down 21st street this week but none quite like this Schwinn Breeze step-through three-speed with kickstand (it’s built right into the frame)!

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A ordinary cruiser for the common people.

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The component highlight on this British inspired Yankee manufactured three-speed is the  Pedal Revolution staff Joel and Todd favorite Sturmey Archer AW hub (disambiguation: Always Works and not to be confused with the vastly inferior TCW model, aka The Crappy Won).

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 Imagine riding this bike headstrong into the haze of another foggy San Francisco sunset.

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The ideal owner of this bike will be of shorter stature and enjoy taking in the view more than speeding along, not be unnerved by some of the slight elevation changes that can occur on some of San Francisco’s flatter cycling routes, and be experiencing a pecuniary pinch.

$275 – Schwinn Breeze Step-Thru 3-Speed