Evolution of a Plan: Bianchi TSX

Evolution of a Plan: Bianchi TSX

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// The Bikes

  1. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    S’alright. To console myself, I’ve just scored a pair of Campy tubular rims on 105 hubs off trademe for my rain/winter race bike. But if you need the address, my house is the one between sheep # 3,455,320 and 3,455,321. Can’t miss it lovely pair of ewes across the creek and just down from the shearing sheds.

  2. @Oli Brooke-White
    Hey Oli: Yeah, YOU! Why don’t you change your name to “Dream Crusher”. Maybe Dario was fuckin’ hammered, did you ever think of THAT? Huh?

  3. @frank
    That stem looks like an Ibis stem, what a piece of art!
    Next Spring! Fantastic…

  4. frank:
    @Oli Brooke-White
    Hey Oli: Yeah, YOU! Why don’t you change your name to “Dream Crusher”. Maybe Dario was fuckin’ hammered, did you ever think of THAT? Huh?

    Oh dear! So sorry Frank, but you know me; I’m a bit of a stickler for the facts. Dario’s non-involvement though doesn’t take anything away from the fact that our TSX frames are a great ride. I’ve ridden and owned a lot of nice steel frames (Viner, Cinelli, Olmo, DeRosa, Colnago, Bosomworth, Mitchell, Raleigh and Guerciotti to name the ones off the top of my head) and the ride of the Bianchi hasn’t ever been beaten, even though it’s a lower end model than many of them. Kia kaha, as we say in Godzone.

  5. @frank that is me but I’ve cut off all my hair since that photo. I sometimes miss how it blew threateningly in the breeze behind me as I rode, warning those without the testicular fortitude to follow me to BACK THE FUCK OFF or be put deep, deep into the hurt-box.

  6. Frank – that should have read “also,” not always, but maybe you picked up on that.

    Sometimes I’m up for a build and really enjoy the process, but other times just want that final damn part so I can get the bicycle ready to ride already. Tough to be patient when you have a new steed nearly finished and the nice weather is coming.

    I do love the constant tinkering though with a beloved bicycle. It works fine, looks great but…I think I need a new _____.

    How come 10 sp Chorus is a challenge to find? I’m in the dark on this one, shed some light please.

    Lepidopterist – welcome! First post under your belt, nice. Ti can wait, but all Velominati should have at least one nice steel bicycle. If you need any further inspiration to go steel over Ti, at least for now, try searching Tommasini here. Maybe my story/bike will make your decision easy.

  7. @ZachOlson
    So, while we’re on this diversion – what’s the guitar? (I was also going to seek a ruling on Frank’s Gmaj assertion, as I thought it looked more like C#min. But C#min isn’t something that normally finds its way into anything with a blues harp in it, so I’ll let that one lie.)

    @Lepidopterist
    Welcome. Nice name. Don’t diss the Ti. Go for it. Those of us who are not so fortunate can then at least get to enjoy it vicariously…

  8. @G’phant
    It’s an Ovation. I haven’t played it in a while because it needs a new nut and I’m too lazy to take it in. The chord is definitely a G. I don’t have any harmonicas in a key that likes C#m.

  9. @G’phant
    Never question me. EVER.

  10. @G’phant, @ZachOlson
    OK..I was guessing. I got lucky. Question me a lot. Almost always.

  11. @Frank
    +1 for campy hubs and I’d go 32 hole mavic open pros – couple of thoughts. 1. open pro rims – if you go for the anodised charcoal grey you should try to find some with an alloy braking surface – the spare set I use when I go out in the hills on the Merckx are unpainted and the braking surface ano has worn away so it can look untidy after a while – the plain alloy ones don’t have that problem. 2. if you are looking for 10spd record alloy hubs (silver not black) they will cost a fortune as they are as rare as an Australian without a convict heritage – you may find you can score a deal on a second hand built up wheelset with those hubs on ebog – they last forever as the wrenches on the site will tell you and can easily be rebuilt – ie I think my nos (of hubs) set cost in the vicinity of $US600 a few years ago vs a full set of campy record mavic open pro training wheels that I saw on egay a few months later that were less than that.

    Love the bike – weight becomes irrelevant with these – I’d put the original fork back on and just ride it as it was meant to be – it will make you stronger.

  12. @Frank
    Oh, forgot to mention I too am building up a new cross bike (my old one is for sale btw – anyone want an original nos 1985 Belgian Diamant cross bike running 6spd campy for a good price?)- a lightweight alloy Ridley Crosswind with sram force and a set of cheapo carbon clinchers. My Toro skinsuit is ordered and our first race is happening here in early June. CAN’T FARKEN WAIT. Will post pics when done in a few weeks.
    Hope to see some pics of yours built up.

  13. @ZachOlson
    I have more guitars than bikes, but a couple are in need of repair – in one case to undo the “repairs” that I inflicted on it when we were camping for two weeks and the bridge separated from the body and all I had to work with was some rudimentary vices and glue from a hardware store. I was bummed – it is an old Daion I got dirt cheap second hand and then, once I’d dropped a thinline pickup into it, proceeded to thrash for many years until I acquired my Maton cutaway and the Daion became guitar #2 (i.e. the party guitar, which lead to even more thrashing). The silver lining in the cloud, though, was that the local bike store (“local” being 40 minutes away over a dusty steep dirt road – but a lot closer thaan the nearest music store which was several hours away) turned out to be owned by a sometime muso who sold the occasional guitar. He had a very nice Taylor which was not for sale (which was sad, other than from a financial perspective), but I did manage to acquire another OK guitar which became party guitar #2 (demoting the previous #2 to #3, from whence it has subsequently been further demoted to “kid’s guitar”). When I win the lottery, I am going to buy a Moots, acquire a Martin and a Taylor, build myself a stoop, order a fuckton of Chimay and another fuckton of Duvel, and spend my days alternately riding my Moots and sitting on the stoop recovering from the ride with my Duvel / Chimay and my Martin / Taylor. A kind of richer, whiter Curtis Loew.

  14. @G’phant
    @Frank
    I love the TSX! Your beautiful example, along with another guy who I met with a restored and updated Tomaso has inspired me to do this (slowly, as funds permit) to an 80’s Simoncini I own. I agree that forks should be updated with something that rides better, and mine has really twitchy steering, too. Luckily, most of it still has campy components and wheels.

  15. realy like this; insires me to rebuild my coppi in a similar manner. what forks are they? already started looking but am struggling to find some forks that will look good as well as fit.

  16. @G’phant
    I have a ’75 Martin D-18 I bought new when I was 16. Don’t play anymore.
    I’ll trade it for a stoop. (or a Moots on spec).

  17. @frank
    Great looking Bianchi, can even forgive the paint colour & actually like the black forks, the chrome fork would make it look too retro for the gruppo & wheels. But how the heck tall are you to have the saddle so high on such a big frame? Last time I saw a saddle that high the bike was a gate like creation ridden by a 6’6″ German called Remig Stumpf from the 89 Toshiba team, or like the bikes Swiss rider Urs Freuler used with the head tube of his frames about 40 – 60mm higher than the top of the cross bar so the stem didn’t snap off! Surely the stem in the photo is a Cinelli Titano?
    I’m not diagnosed as OCD, but reading this post ;}

  18. @G’phant
    Live the dream, brother.

  19. @G’phant

    @ZachOlson
    Yup. It’s all good.

  20. @xyxax
    Play that thing! It wants to be loved.

  21. Great build. It’s got me excited for the Volpe frame I have in the basement. While no Italian built legend, it represents the first bike I’m taking from concept in my head to fully custom built “dream bike”. Like most of you I’m slowly cobbling parts together as opportunity and money allows for it. Won’t be long before I have enough parts cobbled together to ride it, but its far from what I want. I’m still trying to figure out a good source of chrome steel parts (seatpost, bars, threadless stem). I looked at Nitto, but Japanese parts on an Italian bike, seems wrong.

  22. @all
    Thanks for the kinds words on the bike and suggestions on the wheels. Its done nothing to help me come to a conclusion, though.

    @roche kelly

    But how the heck tall are you to have the saddle so high on such a big frame? Last time I saw a saddle that high the bike was a gate like creation ridden by a 6’6″³ German called Remig Stumpf from the 89 Toshiba team, or like the bikes Swiss rider Urs Freuler used with the head tube of his frames about 40 – 60mm higher than the top of the cross bar so the stem didn’t snap off! Surely the stem in the photo is a Cinelli Titano?

    6’4 or so, but lots of inseam. I’ve been meaning to get around to those old frame designs…such an interesting deviation from today’s slammed down positions everyone is riding.

    I’ve also been lamenting the lack of tall riders in the bunch these days…where are the likes of Urs, Big Mig, Ullrich…10 or 15 years ago there seemed to be a lot more tall riders than there are now…

  23. @atothep

    What forks are they? already started looking but am struggling to find some forks that will look good as well as fit.

    Yeah…and obviously the rake will affect the ride etc…I took the fork out of the EV2, so it’s a Bianch-branded carbon fork with a carbon steerer. Not sure of who really made it…The EV2 got a fork with a little more rake and alu steerer which Jim gave me in exchange for a helmet.

  24. @frank
    …Kaiser Soze

  25. @frank
    We’re a helpful crew.

  26. frank :
    I’ve also been lamenting the lack of tall riders in the bunch these days…where are the likes of Urs, Big Mig, Ullrich…10 or 15 years ago there seemed to be a lot more tall riders than there are now…

    Lennard Zinn had a peice about this some time ago when Magnus Backsteadt retired. I think he was about the last of the Big Men. At 2m or so, the UCI dimension rules really put a cramp(!) in the ability for uber-large men to get maximum power out of the machine. I’ll bet Graem O’Bree could come up with something, but sure the UCI would can it as “ugly.” One suggestion was to make larger wheels – 740’s or larger – but the realities of neutral support limit this.

    Cycling is a sport for the eggtimer sized guys.

  27. Frank – What pedal are those? Can’t make them out.

    General question here: I sometimes use Shimano spd mtn. pedals on my rain/around town bike. Like the ease of double sided on wet roads and winter road. But, the only shoes I have for those pedals are some older Shimano mtn. shoes with kind of cleated soles. Makes it very hard to get my cold/rain booties over them.

    Do they make mtn. shoe booties? Or do mtn. riders not use overshoes. I can pull my neoprene winter booties over them, but the bottom cleats make it hard (not just the pedal cleat, they are like walking/hiking shoes) Enjoy riding in the rain, but wet cold feet gets annoying.

  28. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    30 years of love and then we grew apart. But we’re staying together for the kids.

  29. @Ron
    Time Impacts. Compatible with the Cafe Cleats for the Impacts I use on all my other bikes. Actually, the Impacts are nicer than the RSXes…they are a little more positive and I like the feel of metal under my foot. But they’re basically the same. Got these for ti Impacts for $5 out of a bin at Recycled Cycles…the girl checking me out didn’t know what they were and there was no price on them, so she just said, “How does $5 sound?” “Sounds great, actually.”

    As for your MTN shoe cover question. This question can be circumvented by asking whether Sven Nijs uses overshoes or not when he’s layin’ it down during the ‘Cross season. Since the answer is “none”, the question is neutralized.

  30. frank :
    @allThanks for the kinds words on the bike and suggestions on the wheels. Its done nothing to help me come to a conclusion, though.
    @roche kelly

    But how the heck tall are you to have the saddle so high on such a big frame? Last time I saw a saddle that high the bike was a gate like creation ridden by a 6’6″³ German called Remig Stumpf from the 89 Toshiba team, or like the bikes Swiss rider Urs Freuler used with the head tube of his frames about 40 – 60mm higher than the top of the cross bar so the stem didn’t snap off! Surely the stem in the photo is a Cinelli Titano?

    6’4 or so, but lots of inseam. I’ve been meaning to get around to those old frame designs…such an interesting deviation from today’s slammed down positions everyone is riding.
    I’ve also been lamenting the lack of tall riders in the bunch these days…where are the likes of Urs, Big Mig, Ullrich…10 or 15 years ago there seemed to be a lot more tall riders than there are now…

    Good point Frank & yeah you are pretty tall @ 6’4! With steel being out these days and the moulded standard carbon frames the teams are riding now in the ProTour, how do you work with a tall(er)riders, and how much energy is being lost due to the frame? The seat post would be almost dangerous sitting out so high on these bikes. This does show the limitations of these compact frames for anyone at the short or tall end of ‘normal’ & highlights the stupidty of what the UCI is doing by stopping one offs and innovation.
    Back before everyone was the size of Andy Schleck or Contadoper there seemed to be more taller & bigger riders in the teams. Personally I prefer to see a rider with the build & size of a Thor, Hayden Roulston, Phil Anderson, Sean Yates or Hendrik Redant riding as they look so physical & strong. Not like some wimpy Spanish steak eating greyhound, or anyone from BeNeLux that is so dainty that they can’t change gears properly. On Sunday BMC had a really tall kid riding for them in Flanders, so perhaps there is still hope for us taller guys. BMC also have Hincapie who must be 6′ 2″ or more, so obviously their frames are suitable. Look forward to having Frank posting on the larger frames/ riders in the future, especially the Colnago & Pinarello frames for taller riders like Big Mig, Eddy Bosberg et al.

  31. Fort Awesome! That is some funny stuff right there.
    The Bianchi gives me considerable carbone, it is so money. You are a mad genius and those durty shimano 105 levers were an abomination unto da baby jesus. Yes, a different headset, but still, what a nice bike and it rides like buttah. Speaking of money, those mavic tubular rims I gave you are fucking money laddie. Sure, a wee bit-o-rust on the eyelets but the anodized rims should be fine. Use ’em up. If not you, who? I’ve given up on tubular wheels. I’m switching to 25mm michelin pro 3 clincher tires and rather excited about it.

  32. @G’rilla

    We all revere Frank as the founder of this site, but I’m increasingly convinced that Jim is the Keyser Soze of this whole operation.

    * He rarely appears, yet seems to be the kingpin of all the relationships between the Keepers.
    * While we’re chatting away on our computers, who is out there putting rubber to pavement? Jim is.
    * When Jim posts, people don’t recognize that he’s a Keeper. “The smartest thing the devil ever did was to convince people he didn’t exist.”

    You are wise and very perceptive. Jim is Keyser Soze with a bad attitude.

  33. @Gianni
    if they are safe still, they will be used. Trust me. Just don’t want them pulling out under my immense weight. I came within $2 of winning a set of Record hubs today. I shed a tear. And was also relieved that I didn’t have any explainin’ to do as to why I suddenly was the new owner of a set of hubs I promised I would not rush into buying.

  34. @Gianni

    Jim is Keyser Soze with a bad attitude.

    +1

  35. Fuck!

    Frank, I knew that was coming. I’d had the question in my head for a long time, but realized I should let it be.

    I ask, and I get the simplest reply possible: a photographic reminder of The V.

    Gotta keep the Followers in line.

  36. And, I really enjoy that I’m not the only one who sets a limit on bicycle spending.

    To the VMH: “I’m going to bid $175 on these hubs…but that’s my limit.”

    “That’s your limit?!”

    “It’s a steal!”

    I think setting a limit is, in a way part, of La Vie Velominati. Sure, you can buy that most expensive part you want and still not have to sell the house. But, the bike you pieced together, angling your bids, being sly, and kept below your mental build project price point, now those are the bicycles you have just a bit more of a connection with.

  37. So effectively its quite a long process getting forks of a similar rake/length etc; unless you are lucky enough to drop on a pair?!? Have to keep looking then I’m in no major rush as I would rather do it right then just do it.

  38. @atothep
    Exactly. These are very long processes, and it’s almost a letdown when you’re done…kind of like the day after Christmas.

    @all
    Brought some burgers down to Jim’s place tonight as we were both sans our VMH’s. Jim, of course was chillin’ with their 2 year old son. I didn’t feel like driving to Red Mill, so I jumped on the bike most handy – which happened to be the TSX as she’s still got a front-row seat in the living room. I got the grub and tucked the bike on the front porch before letting myself in.

    We ate and afterward Jim brought Graham over to the bike, sat him down, and starting taking him through all the bits.

    This is the top tube. Can you say “Top tube”?

    This is the down tube. Can you say “Down tube”?

    This is Campagnolo. “Can you say Cam-PAH-ngolo”.

    This is the little ring, and since Uncle Frank’s chain is on it, can you say “You’re a big Dutch pussy?”

  39. @frank
    Jim: A+1

  40. @G’phant
    Exactly.

  41. @xyxax
    You should work things out. Love never completely dies. It would be a Cosmic Shame.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2MmqbAaoZA&feature=related

  42. frank :

    This is the top tube. Can you say “Top tube”?
    This is the down tube. Can you say “Down tube”?
    This is Campagnolo. “Can you say Cam-PAH-ngolo”.
    This is the little ring, and since Uncle Frank’s chain is on it, can you say “You’re a big Dutch pussy?”

    hilarious

  43. Nate:
    @frank
    A lovely tale. Ambrosios, obviously.

    +2

    pls. URGENTLY remove these horrific Mavic “wheels”

  44. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    An inspiration.

    As an aside, JB doesn’t play a note but has the balls of a performer which can take one a long way even on meager talent (pop music is rife with examples). And that is something that is never true in cycling.

  45. Woops. Just picked up a pair of Record Open Pros. Now I have to explain this to my VMH. I was going to take my time, but this was a deal too good to pass up. Thank Merckx she was asleep in Vietnam and I can’t possibly have asked her.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130504815722

    Gonna tear off the rims and build up Gianni’s MP4 tubs around ’em. Then I’ll chuck the Open Pros on a set of wheels I’ve got on another bike that really needs new rims. Win-Win, with the only loser being my wallet.

  46. @frank
    A worthy alternative to the Ambrosios.

  47. Very nice. Regretfully my celeste and chrome EL/OS did not survive past 8spd gruppos.

  48. For some reason all the pictures in these older articles have gotten messed up.

  49. @Oli Brooke-White

    To clarify, I wouldn’t have Dario on the pedestal I and thousands of his other converts have him on if my TSX was an example of his workmanship. And I fucking LOVE my TSX.

    I was just looking at my old cracked TSX frame and having a wry chuckle about how the chainstay bridge isn’t on the same plane as the bottom bracket and how the front derailleur mount is also crooked. You don’t get that sort of crap on a Pegoretti.

  50. Damn, that would have been better with the photo it was meant to come with…

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