1988 Pinarello Asolo Rebuild
In 1988 at age 20, I shelled out almost $1800 for a Midnight Black Pinarello Treviso with Columbus SLX Tubing. Being an expensive Italian frame I chose to spend the extra money on a Campagnolo Chorus Groupset instead of Shimano.
I was an Apprentice Carpenter at the time and didn't have a lot of money which is why I didnt go for the top of the range 'Montello' used by Pedro Delgado to win the Tour de France that year.
This was my first proper Italian bike (pictured left) and it took pride of place in my bedroom after each ride, it was cleaned, serviced and polished meticulously and then 25yrs later for no apparent reason I sold it?
Within months of selling my old Pinarello I regretted it, All those race wins in A, B & C Grade at my local club, many Sydney to Gong rides and loads of fun riding with mates. That bike would have easily done over 100,000 km's but when I got my new Pinarello F8 Dogma it lost its appeal.
Fast forward 30 years to 2018, I'm now 50 years old, still riding, and still wishing I hadn't sold my old faithful steel Pinarello. Time to search the world for a similar era Pinarello to rebuild into a masterpiece.
The Search - February 2018
After months of searching the internet I had found many candidates, some exactly the same 'Treviso' model although finding a 53-54cm was tough as being 5"10 is common. Ironically, after searching Italy, Holland, England and Germany, I found a 1988 Pinarello 'Asolo' Cromor for sale in Brisbane, Australia, the right size and didnt look too bad although it was an ugly dark green colour.
The Paint Job - July 2018
After a few discussions with my mate Paul Hillbrick, I decided to give Geoff Scott (Gefsco) a call to see if he could paint this old frame I had bought. One of the issues pointed out by Paul was that the old frames were 126mm rear axle and the new bikes were now 130mm. I had to decide if I was going to use Old or New wheels, if so, Gefsco would need to heat up the rear end and stretch it 4-5mm.
Two weeks after dropping the frame off to Gefsco, I got a call to come and pick it up. Gefsco had rechromed the forks and also organised the new decals from Greg Softley at Cyclomondo.net - Geoff's wife Sue did all the intricate fine detailed painting (See pic top left below of the white Dove, this was hand painted by Sue... AMAZING!)
The original plan was to paint the frame in Midnight Black but I ended up going for Iridium Grey the colour of my new VW Wolfsburg Wagon, needless to say I was astounded at the finish on the paintwork. Gefsco has a long history of building some of Australia's finest racing frames for Olympians. His frames have won countless gold medals at both Commonwealth and Olympic games. To have this legend of Aussie Cycling paint my frame was an absolute honour and as such I asked Geoff to finish it off with a 'Painted By Gefsco' sticker.
Search for Bars and Stem - August 2018
One thing rebuilding this bike has taught me is this... It is really easy to be impatient and just buy the first parts you find, The most appealing part of this entire rebuild for me has been the continous hunt for the right components. What made this search easier is that I know exactly what I am searching for as I have already owned it 30 years prior.
Today is an exciting day as Mr. FED-EX has just knocked at my front door and handed me a box with 'CINELLI WINGED-STORE' written on it. Inside the box is an exact copy of the Handlebars and stem I had on my 1988 Pinarello. The bars are Cinelli Giro D'Italia 44's and a Cinelli 1" Quill Stem with 110mm reach... (So Excited!)
Search for a Saddle - August 2018
After a few Red Wines the night before I awoke at 2am one morning and couldn't get back to sleep. after about 30 minutes of trying I sat up in bed, grabbed my MacBook and began searching for a 'ROLLS' Selle San Marco original Saddle (like you do at 2am)...
Within minutes of searching on eBay International, I found a mint condition 1987 Saddle in Nevada, USA. a few clicks on Paypal and the saddle was mine... Hopefully it was as good in real life as it looked in the pics online. Two weeks later It turned up to my PO Box... I remember my original 'Rolls' saddle in 1988, I used to rub dubbin into it to keep the leather in good condition... I got home and opened the box and this is what I found.... it even had the original '87' stamped on the underside... 'MINT CONDITION'... Could possibly be my actual old saddle! LOL
Update: I ended up finding a brand new 2018 Rolls Saddle with Chrome finish which I believe suits the bike better, even though the Gold Rolls was the original that I used in the 80's, it didn't match the bike... Maybe David Bowie was right with his song... F-F-F-F-FASHION.... Its all about the Fashion...
Search for a Groupset - September 2018
I have been searching for a Groupset since February but in early September I get serious about my search for the Campagnolo Chorus Groupset like the one I used to own... I had kept my eye on all the usual haunts for a mint condition set and had found one at Steel Bikes in Germany although they wanted 1200 Euro's for it which I thought was a bit rich. Thankfully a few days later my patience paid off again as I found exactly what I was looking for on eBay. Located in Birmingham, UK I picked up this NOS (new old stock) Campy Chorus Groupset, it hasnt arrived yet but the pics are astounding...
Groupset Restore - October 2018
Mid way through October I decide to pack up all the Group set and post it to Chris Howard at Cyclo Retro in Victoria, Australia. After seeing some of Chris' work on his website I just had to have all my parts Pantographed and Polished... I think the title on his business card should read 'MAGICIAN' because what he can do with 30yr old bicycle parts is simply astounding... Chris has been texting me with regular updates... Here are a few pics so you can see what I mean... Click on the Cyclo Retro logo to checkout Chris' work.
BEFORE & AFTER
Bike Build - November 2018
Towards the end of November I call my mate Paul Hillbrick to help bring this masterpiece together, I am a Carpenter and pretty good with tools but this bike has had the best all the way and I'm not about to start cutting corners now. You would think that the excitement would be killing me at this point but the truth is, I've been doing this all of 2018 so a few more weeks aren't going to make a lot of difference.
I drop the frame, wheels and accessories off to Paul Hillbrick at Hillbrick Cycles (www.hillbrick.com.au) Pauls Master Mechanic 'Johnny B Good' is given the task of assembling this masterpiece. I make it very clear that I am in no hurry. Amongst the christmas rush of John assembling childrens bicycles he stops to work on this 30yr old rebuild.
Here are a few pics of the progress below, I will post Full bike pics when its finished but here is a small taste!
Almost finished... November 2018
Picked up the bike from Paul Hillbrick. As promised, Johnny B Good has done a superb job, genuine black Campagnolo cables, it really does look like a masterpiece. Just a few more additions now, White bar tape, attach the new White Retro LOOK Pedals I have, a bottle cage and decide what to do with the wheels (I am thinking of Mavic GP4 with Campagnolo Super Record Hubs although, my original bike had Campagnolo Omega Strada wheels.