17 September 2011

Olmo Evolution One

Well, today is my birthday. Thank you David & Ludwig for your good wishes. I took half a day off from work and my new white Olmo out on a longer ride in splendid autumn weather as a kind of birthday present to myself.

After fiddling and tweaking for weeks on the white Olmo I feel now very good with the (almost) final result. The original idea was to built up a Eighties aerodynamic craze bike (a good example is here) with "aero dynamic brakes", slim seat post, shifters on top of the down tube, internal cable routing, Recessed spoke holes on the hub and a complete Shimano 600 AX group.
Although I am now the owner of a complete 600 AX group set, I encountered some problems: First, the Olmo frame doesn't provide for shift cable routing on top of the chain stays. This used to be the standard for older frames, but this Olmo frame is just too new.

And second, the Shimano 600 AX crank set with 1'' pedal connectors isn' really a thing of great beauty. I gave up on this idea and as I had already bought Campagnolo Super Record brake levers with Olmo pantographs I thought it would be nice to buy some Campa parts for the drive train as well.
The Olmo is now equipped with a Super Record front derailleur and a Gran Sport rear derailleur as well as a Gran Sport crank set. Gears are shifted by Shimano 600EX Arabesque frame shifters, friction type which I believe are the most beautiful baroque shifters ever made.
One problem I always encounter with friction shifters is, that the threads in the braze-on adaptors are worn out so that the screws to connect the shifters to cannot be tighten hard enough. Friction shifters work with ... friction .... so the tighter they are screwed on, the more friction can be provided. If there isn't enough friction available, they tend to slip and this results in unintended gear shifting. The original M5 screws from Shimano are not long enough so that they interact only with a few convolutions. I bought some cheaper screws which do not look as fancy but do the job. But I wonder if there is any better solution?

There are a few things left to be done: I will give up on the aerodynamic idea in terms of bottle holder and buy a nice, old looking bottle holder for standard bottles. I also need to think about the cable routing for the rear derailleur again. And finally I would like to have rubber hoods for the Super Record brake levers. But as vintage spare parts they sell at 40$ a piece if at all.

The Olmo rides beautiful. It is fast and accelerates well. I had no problems to keep up with modern racing bikes on the Wümme trail. I had to get used to ride on the lower part of the handle bar only. With the track style handle bar it's almost impossible to have the hands on the upper part. It is certainly not possible to brake with the hands on the upper part. At first I had some pain in my back but now I got used to it. It is also new again to get used to clip pedals but now I can fairly quickly get in and out of the clip pedals. The braking performance isn't good at all but it is enough for standard situations.




This is a nice bike to ride distances of 50 - 100 km. More than that will be painful. I can also use It for commuting to work.

Having spend all this words of praise or my new white Olmo I need to add that I am currently working on two new bikes:

This is the basis for the first Fixie bicycle I am going to built:
And a good friend from Japan-days asked my to built up an old Cinelli bike for him. This will keep me busy during the long winter months in Bremen.

3 comments:

David L. said...

... another work of art ... though I'm not sure I would make it 50-100 kms with that style of handlebar, unless the reach were short enough to make it quite comfortable in the drops.

mob said...

Interesting. Of all things, the handlebar ist getting the most attention. But I can assure you that it is quite comfortable for shorter rides.

The real problem is the combination of the beauty of the biek and the weather in Bremen that doesn't allow for many trips.

TOM said...

I really like the backgrounds in the photos - well chosen! The handlebar is intriguing and make me wonder if there exists a type where the drops are curving inwards at the lower end instead of outwards...