Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

It happens every so often.
More likely though, it doesn't, and it ends up being a what if, sometimes a great big what if.
Like a couple of months ago, I was perusing evil eBay, and what should come up but some lugged steel Italian bike with full Campy.
Nice size, nice price, wrong time.
So anyways, as a follow up to yesterdays semi cryptic post, if you read the clues, you know what's coming, here's the story.
The other day, I'm doing my hourly check of CL, and what should come up but a bike I wouldn't mind having, except there are no other details but the make and model.
Fat chance for me, being of the smaller stature but massive quads, most of these CL bikes are bigger than 52s.
Well no harm in checking this out I says to myself and I promptly send off an email requesting the size.
The next day, I have my answer: 52
Now if you've been following along at home, you know that I had a bike, a 52, and that it ended up being a display bike, mostly for me since all it did was sit in my living room, mocking me with it's lack of use.
The Allez just didn't sit well with me, being of smaller stature but massive quads, it stretched me out and was too uncomfortable on longer rides.
So off it went.
To CL no less.
So anyways, back to our present story, I ask the seller to send me a pic, an image of said 52cm bike, and the next day, there it is.
The picture I mean.
Worth a look I say to myself.
First though, a bit of research is in order.
Can't go off looking at a bike without knowing what you're looking at.

Looking at the different years and trying to match the paint scheme, I guess it's around a '98, and I take note of the group.
Wait! there's no 52!
I surmise that it is perhaps a 51.
Checking the top tube dimensions, I think it may work!
Insert yesterdays post here.
Now being on a budget, I think that if the bike fits, and is in pristine condition with all original parts, I may be able to step up a bit.
A little bit.
In this case, color was everything.
No, not black and nasty, something kinder and gentler.

Well when I get there, I see the bike and lo and behold! it's not a 52.
It's more likely a 49!
Now it gets interesting.
First some authentication.
Wait! wrong kine Campy!
Inspect derailleur.
Here we go.

Other discrepancies, carbon fork supposed to be steel, nine speed cassette supposed to be eight, not sure of the wheels with their plastic hubs.
Let's talk story.
I ask if the price is firm.
Seller obliges and reduces the amount.
Mixed group set, unsure of Campy Avanti.
Decision time.
I like the bike, but it's used, chips in paint and all that, and it's got that mixed group.
Still, color and size I believe qualifies for a premium and a step up for me.
It's also Italian.
So I step up.
I rode it back to my car.

I coughed up about a hundred more than I wanted to spend.
Still, it was celeste, and the size was almost perfect.
Okay, the size sold it.
If you are like me, of small stature but massive quads, then you know finding these smaller frames is like hunting for truffles.
Okay, I don't really know what hunting for truffles is like, but I guess it would be almost the same.
Point is, I found it so I dug deep and got it.
I'm assuming the Mirage group also came in nine speed for the controls are Mirage, but it shifts through all nine gears.
Original on the bike was eight speed Mirage.
I have no clue about the Avanti, a quick Googlio said it's the same range as Mirage, though it may be a step up.
The wheels appear to be Campy Protons, though again, I'm not sure with those plastic hubs.
Time for some research.
I need some wider bars with a shallow drop, I had FSAs on the display bike so I think I'll try another set of those.
If it stops raining, I'll get it out tomorrow and get some nicer pics up.
Overall I'm pretty stoked!
I thank the buyer for coming down a bit, well okay, more than a bit, and helping me get a bike I've been thinking about.
It has a nice new home.


Steve A said...

It even has a Celeste water bottle holder! And they make touch up paint.

John Romeo Alpha said...

"Persona corto con quadricipite enorme".

That's Italian for small stature with massive quadriceps.

Just trying to be helpful as you transition over.

Apertome said...

Beautiful! I love Bianchis. I have one, but it's not Celeste. Still, they have a certain mystique that's tough to ignore.

You should post some full photos. I'd love to get a better look!

limom said...

Steve A., I'm all over the touch up paint. I took off the bottle thingys, they were a bit too much.

JRA, I do believe I am turning into Dave from Breaking Away!
Then again, I was thinking petite homme avec enorme jambes.

Apertome, I'm beginning to get some celeste fever.
This will get worse before it gets better.
More pics on the way.