Thursday, April 26, 2012

Me Campy Road Bike Rolling Again

Triumph of the Swill

Brief History of Trek carbon screw and glue frames...

Trek introduces the adhesive-bonded, internally lugged Aluminum Model 2000, designed by Tim Issac. It was available through 1988 as a bike or frameset and in 1989 as a frameset only.  From this Trek produced the 1000 series of road bikes most notably the 1000, 1100, 1200 and 1400 among others.  A "20" in the number usually denoted a triple crank.  In 1986 Trek introduces the carbon fiber composite model 2500. It first appears in the 1987 catalog. The frames consisted of carbon tubes bonded to aluminum lugs in the same manner as the all aluminum 2000. This frame configuration later included Models 2300, 2200 and 2100.  The 2500 had 7 carbon tubes--3 in the main triangle (top tube, downtube and seat tube) + 2 chainstay and + 2 seatstay.  The 2300, 2200 and the 2100 have 3 cabon tubes.  OCLV came out in 1989 with the Model 5000, molded graphite composite frames.  1997 was the last year of the bonded aluminum frame 1000 series road bikes.  1998 was the last year of the carbon tubed 2300/2200, 2100 series.  They returned as aluminum framed bikes in later years.

In 1994 I was in the market (fancy phrase for lusting after a new road bike) for a new road bike.  I really loved the red Specialized carbons, Epics or Allaz I think.  But Trek's 2200 was equipted with Campagnola's new Veloce groupo and that is what hooked me.  Only two things I dislike about 1994 Veloce.  1, the front shifter is still as stiff as it was when I purchased it, way to stiff. 2, lack of a release on the brakes which makes changing wheels a bit more difficult.  But it's Campy.  It's Italian not Japanese.  "Brev Italia" stamped on it.  Veloce was aimed at the Shimano 105 market.  I have not had to replace any components from this groupo.  Too bad Trek only had the balls to offer a campy bike once.

Today's story begins...

Been a few years since I pushed the Ergo levers.  My Campagnola bike, a 1994 Trek 2200, 3 piece screw and glue carbon frame.  The only thing Shimano on it are the pedals and the cosmic ray deflector.  I almost forgot how to shift.  The bike had been in storage since the spring of 2009.  Chain issue.  One of the kids took the rear wheel off and the chain got tangled and not possessing the patience to de-tangle the now Rubric's Cube Campagnola chain I took the chain tool to it and proceeded to push the damn pin all the way out.  I had a spare road bike, a newer one for that matter.  So the former pride of the fleet went into the hangar to collect dust.

Instead of replacing the chain immediately I fixed up another old Trek.  This one was another decade older and perhaps one of the last "classic" Treks, Reynolds tubing, lugged and brazed with old school decals. 

Commuting picked up with Mary now a full time commuter so Mark Greiger's old Cannondale was refurbished.  Mark gave this bike to us, his old touring beast, on the promise that we would not tour it into a single speed fixie or some other bastard.  And a few winters added to the normal maintenance work for me.  Just keeping my commuter running is work enough.  So she sat, air slowly leaving those wonderful Continental Gatorskins.

Last year I purchased a chain with those convenient "quick link" connections.  Aired up the tires and brought her out into the daylight.  Put it on only to  discover  that my chain tool was busted.  The new chain was too long.  Back into storage.

But today I felt productive and ambitious.  I revived one bike this week, why not another!  Pumped up the tires again and rode to the Collective.  Had to soft pedal in big ring.  Slow.  The chain was too long but the bike worked.

The 2200 felt strange.  Back in the 90s bicycle manufacturers were more concerned about performance rather than comfort.  Hence, things we take for granted now did not exist back then.  The main difference between this bike and newer mid level racing bikes of today is the positioning.  The 1994 geometry is not upright.  I had to stretch forward to place my hands in the brake hoods.  The front end of the bike is much lower than my 07 LeMond Versailles or Mary's 08 1600.  Built for speed and aerodynamics not fat Americans as most road bikes seem to be.

Rolling down my street I felt the urge to downshift.  After all, I left it in big ring to take up slack in the chain.  It is a simple movement of flicking the right wrist or using two fingers.  But the shifter would not move.  Then I realized that this was a Campy Ergo shifter not Shimano STI .  The brake lever does not move.  The lever behind the brake lever moves to downshift the cassette.  There is a button on top that up shifts.  Just the opposite on the left or front derailleur.  On a Shimano STI bike, which I ride two, the entire brake lever moves.  No button on top except for those of the Sora groupo which I do not own.  Shimano copied that from Campy for Sora although the button is too small.  Took Shimano almost two decade to get the cables hidden like Ergo but only on the top 3 tier Japanese groups.

Sans wheels waiting to be loaded for her latest Ragbrai.  Two bottles, I think I only use one these days

Well, it shifts.  Just focus on riding.  Oh yes, rear wheel could use a true and new cones.  On the stand the wheel spun forever, typical of Italian bearing surfaces.  But the movement indicates that it is time for an overhaul.  Maybe next week.

Back to the ride.  Despite the lower and more forward positioning the bike feels a bit smaller than the Versailles.  I swapped the original bars for a set of Scott Drop-ins.  The drops turn inward for an extra position.  I can get down real low, stretch out my back and kiss the stem.  Great for downhill high speed work and head winds.  Unfortunately, they have been banned from racing but since I do not road race, no BFD.  At stops I noticed my knee hitting them.  weird, I do not recall this before.  It has been a long long time.  The bike feels smaller despite the longer reach.  Weird.  I think it is a 47 cm frame.  The LeMond is a 49.  Yes, I am short.

The other noticeable difference is the freehub.  The hub ratchets very, very loud compared to the average Shimano hub.  Extra pawls.  I can never sneak up on anyone while coasting.  Like a giant SST, ZZZZZZZZZZ.

Not the lightest bike in the world.  Could use a diet.  Stem, seat post, bars, wheels a start.  I think it weighs 19 lbs.  But if I really wanted a lighter bike I'd just lose weight on me not the bike. 

Way out dated by today's standards but a proud and noble steed.  She holds my single bike speed record.  OCLV was already established before the 2200 was built.  But the "classic" 2300, 2200 and 2100 series would soldier on for a few more years until Trek changed them into aluminum frames and saved the carbon for OCLV and Madones.  Now 16 lb road bikes are close to the norm instead of the 20 lbers of yesteryear.

The 2200 like its siblings was a fairly stiff frame in its day.  Compared to newer racing bikes it is not.  I can feel the difference between it and the Versailles.  But before the introduction of the 5000 series it was used for triathlons and racing.  It handles well and the unique frame construction absorbs the roughness of the road.  Its legacy is still around today as the carbon/aluminum partnership is used in the rear triangles of some bikes.

Santana makes a tandem that uses the same technology except for titanium replaces the aluminum lugs.  At $12K USD you can own own.  The one Mary and I saw on Ragbrai was a rental!

Theoretically this bike is faster than the bike I replaced it with.  A 53x11 beats a 50x11 any day, at least downhill.  The Lemond's racing triple will be nicer in the long run as I age, kinder on the knees and the granny, a 30T, is useful on the real steep stuff that the 39T of the 2200 would make unpleasant.  I think the cruising speed of the 50 is also good.  But I have many, many miles and challenges of high rpm sprints in the 39.  I cannot wait to have some more.  And a long steep downhill.  53 beats a 50 downhill, Always.

The drop-ins are visible here, below my thumb and the computer

1 comment:

  1. I saw a kid riding a Holdsworth with two other kids riding Huffys. I laughed, it seemed like he had grabbed his dads old bike out of the garage and has no idea. Looked like C record.