17 January 2012

Lilac Angel for Larissa

Over the last three weeks I assembled this bike for the girlfriend of a cycling buddy in Bremen. He wanted his girlfriend to start riding and she asked for something that looks good and suits her personal taste.

Tobi (the guy) was able to buy an old OLMO Speedy Gonzales dated from 1990 or 91 with a complete Shimano 105 7-speed setup for less than 20.000 Yen. It took me two weeks to deassemble the whole bike, grease all parts, spot-repair some rusty patches and scratches, grease, lubricate and adjust headset and bottom bracket as part 1 of this project.

Larissa wanted to have some combination with black and lilac as the dominant colors and chrome and white in the back. As they are still young and work in poorly paid jobs (hospital, kindergarten) they didn't wanted to spend too much money. As opposed to professors working in poorly regarded academic institutions that regularly poor thousands of Euros into the garage equivalent of Greece.

We decided on the main components and technical specs and we purchased the necessary spare parts such as chain, cabling, handle bar tape, brake pads, new saddle, Look pedals and new Schwalbe Ultremo tires. In the end we spend less than 35.000 Yen in total on this bike which was somewhat within the budget.

I think the result is a good looking, feminine bike with a sensible design. The main color is black with lilac cables, saddle and tires outlining the contours of the bike. White is the second colour within the triangle of the upper, lower and saddle tube. Design wise everything fits together.

From a technical point of view the bike is now in good shape and the Shimano 105 components work very well. Shifting is smooth and the braking is now super-aggressive. During the project I found out that the outer chain ring had to be exchanged but I was able to buy a NOS Shimano one from the Eighties as replacement.

As the original components were used there were hardly any compatibility issues. Only the truing of the rear wheel took quite along time in order to get the right mix of tension, torsion and trueness in both directions.
If there is one thing I love and hat it is the glossy black handlebar. It looks very good and very sexy - the combination with black leather would be perfect. However it is a pain to wrap the handle bar with this tape from Fizik and I would recommend to use it only with "pure" handlebars, in other words, don't try to wrap brake or shift cables with it.

Larissa was happy when she picked it up on Sunday and so was her boyfriend. I had fun doing the consulting and assembly. Having done previously the Pescarolo and the Kotter, this has been the third bike I assembled for someone else. This will never become a work to earn a living, however the combination of doing something with my hands and making people happy is a quite satisfying one.

More pics are here.

3 comments:

TOM said...

Very tasteful and as you wrote very feminine too. I love the spandexy looks of the bartape. The Speedy Gonzales sub-logo is a nice one too (used to be my HS nickname :D) !

David L. said...

MOB: Looks great. Everyone deserves a bicycle that fits their personal style. I think I'll stay away from the shiny black leather bartape, but it looks great on the Olmo for this build.

Could you add a photo of the proud owner with her bicycle, to complete the picture.

Let's see. Yen 35,000. How many Euros is that? Hope it can stay within 5% of a E1:JPY100 ratio for at least a few more weeks, or at least a few days, since it makes the short-hand calculation easy. I remember fondly the days when one could use such a shorthand for yen/dollars.

Wouter said...

Hi, this Olmo looks very similar to mine, but the decals on mine have faded. Is there any chance you could take a look at my pictures and confirm if this could also be a Speedy Gonzales? I’ve been searching for decent information on my bike, but can’t really find it. Thanks! Wouter – Belgium http://s1057.photobucket.com/user/wouter13woutersel/library/OLMO