Your site inspired me to resurrect a trashed Bianchi Strada LX (64 cm of Japanese steel) that was rusting away like a misfit toy. Thanks to the great advice in the forums, I stripped it down, hacksawed off the braze-on's and derailleur hanger, then blasted away with primer and some rattle-can black spraypaint. Put on some Bianchi decals, decided to lock them down with clear coat, but in horror, watched the black paint smear all over them.
It isn't pretty, drips and all, but this a beater for riding around Cape Cod in the winter. Ugly is part of the aesthetic. Still I wanted an old school look. This how I built it up:
Old Campy Nuovo Record headset with red cloth bar tape over a cork underwrap.
New Nitto Bullhorns from Business Cycle in Miami
New Nitto quill from Rivendell
Old Sora front brake and Sora brake lever from the original POS Bianchi
New honey Brooks Team Professional from Wallingford
Old seat post
Wheelset courtesy of the fine folks at Harris Cyclery -- MA3s with 28 panaracers -- 36-spokes as I am clydesdalesque
Shimano 105 crankset with a 42-tooth chainwheel from Harris
Low-end Look clip-in pedals
Basic Suzue flip-flop with a 17-tooth EAI sprocket fixed with a
Shimano lockring and a 17-tooth freewheel on the other side.
I took it for its maiden voyage this morning. 25-degrees. Drove it in the trunk of the Saab to the baseball field and crunched through the frozen grass and around the base lines for half-an-hour, wearing running shoes on the flipside of the pedals. Tried a trackstand, fell down. No one was looking. Played with the Allen wrench, adjusted the seat, the stem, the bar angles, put on the Sidi shoes, clipped in, and again circled the ballpark.
Time for the road. Took off, remembering never, ever, to stop pedalling. Rode around the village for an hour until frostbite threatened. Achieved transcedental fixie nirvana within minutes. High point of the first ride was when I tried to expel some boogers with the old finger-on-the-nostril snotrocket move, one I guess I usually do while coasting on my regular bike. Oops. Trying to coast is a bad move. Almost ate asphalt. Memo to self, all former coasting activities must be relearned. Drinking. Avoiding potholes. Scratching self.
Therefore, I dub thee, "Snotrocket" for the frozen days ahead.
Thanks for this wonderful site. Cape Cod Dave