Although my little mishap meant I’m unable to continue the prep work on the frame for now, I could get started on finding suitable components.
In theory, the decision process is easier than it was for the frame as the choice of country is already made – it has to be Italy in keeping with the frame.
To narrow it down further there is a slight hint on the top tube that it would be rude to ignore: Campagnolo it is. Additionally, given Vanni Losa’s association and the other hint on the BB shell, perhaps some input from Cinelli.
There are then the Eroica bike compliance guidelines to consider. These do have a degree of flexibility within certain boundaries for the components as long as generally in keeping with the period. This sometimes however, introduces unspecified additional restrictions e.g.
a) more recent bikes with gears and derailleurs, such as Simplex, Huret, Campagnolo, Zeus, Shimano, Suntour, etc. must have shift levers on the down tube of the frame; exceptions include pre-1980 non indexed bar-end gear shifters and rod/hand manual operated front derailleurs;
Seems straightforward, I need to use shifters on the down tube. BUT…
…this effectively means that you are restricted to max 8-speed gearing – I have seen some postings where people are successfully using 9/10 speed with friction levers, but very finicky and you are also crossing into the realms of Synchro shifting versus Friction shifting so a bit too much for me to chance it both in the actual shifting and in matching the geartrain components – not sure if more flexibility with Shimano, Suntour, etc (probably) but as above, it’s Campagnolo for this build.
For wheels, also seems fairly clear:
e) wheels must have at least 32 spokes laced to a low profile rim (20 mm depth or less…
especially as no restriction on whether you use tubular or clincher rims.
However, the available hub designs of the period introduce possible restrictions on the gearing you can use – see Sheldon Brown’s article on Freewheels/Cassettes.
If it is a screw-on hub you need to get a screw-on freewheel, which could restrict you to only 7 gears. There are 8-speed screw-on freewheels available but more scarce and also (from what I’ve read) more prone to axle problems – which I suspect is probably one of the reasons why it was around this time the change was made from freewheels to cassette/freehubs.
Note of course that, like Bottom Brackets, there are different “standard” threads for freewheel hubs – ISO, British, Italian & French being the main ones. You might get away with ISO/British/Italian Hub/Freewheel combinations, but the French don’t mix (not stereotyping, talking about component compatibility !!).
Freehubs also have different “standards”.
Apart from the obvious/normal Campagnolo vs Everyone Else, there are also differences within brand with Campag 8-speed cassettes being incompatible with 9/10 speed (and for Shimano, the initial Uniglide vs Hyperglide differences) – again Sheldon Brown has a useful article on this (and is the source of the picture above).
One final gotcha on wheels is that you get different hub widths – typically 120/126mm for older/screw on hubs vs 130mm for 8-speed and up hubs with cassette/freehub (this is still the standard spacing for most road wheels today).
Changing gear ratios is allowed (woohoo, granny gear here I come – you can judge, but I have no shame…)
Finally for now, brakes:
i) there are no particular rules on the type of brakes as long as they are in line with the construction period of the bicycle and that they are efficient for safety reasons
So, again reasonably flexible however the words at the end of that sentence “efficient for safety reasons” can sometimes conflict – the absolutely beautiful Campagnolo Delta brakes are gorgeous and from the correct period, but I don’t think efficient is a term that people ever tend to use to describe them!!
Given I have the opposite “problem” going downhill than that which drives my requirement for a granny gear going uphill, efficient brakes are definitely high on my requirements. For the masochists who prize beauty over function, there are a couple of good articles about the Deltas on the blogs at Retrogrouch and Campagnolo Delta Brakes (where the picture above came from).
So, ground rules established, where did I put those measurements?