Yup, my beloved old Europa has undergone yet another metamorphosis.
I bought this old bike in the mid-eighties and used her on and off for years. Typically, I'd start riding her during the TdF and some years, would stop a few months later while other years, I'd still be riding when the next TdF came around. In the late nineties, the front dr broke and I stopped riding. Six years ago, I repaired things and got back into riding. She served as a stripped down version of her earlier existence and then, when I bought newer bikes, rather than have her languish in the shed, she was converted to fixed gear - initially with a very basic suicide hub but over three or four years, I added wheels, brakes, cranks, etc. Last August, I parked the geared bikes and began to ride fixed gear exclusively (ie, the old Europa) and soon after, began to plan the Hillbrick.
Recently, I started using gears again for some rides (blame that sodding Expressway Hill - I can't climb that every day restricted to 48x18 gearing) and decided I was fed up with the Jamis. Although the Europa had been set up as my wet weather bike, it was basically just sitting there sooooo ...
I decided to take the bits off the Jamis and fit them to the Europa.
And here she is after her first shakedown ride (better piccies will be taken)
Frame - eighties chro-molly of some sort, possibly out of Japan.
Bars - some Italian brand from the eighties
Wheels - Ultegra hubs laced to Velocity Deep V rims - 36 spoke
Shifters - Ultegra 9 speed
Cranks - Ultegra 52-39-30
Cassette - 11-25
Front DR - 105
Rear DR - Deore LX (I used to use a very large rear cassette and a very low granny front)
Brakes - Tektro R-365 (700c wheels on a frame built for 27" wheels with room for mudguards - I need the reach)
Saddle - Brooks B17 with lots and lots of happy kms on her now.
To get around the 'orrid shape of the old Shimano shifters, I wrapped bar tape around the bars and the base of the shifters, basically to full up that hole and to give extra padding along the bars, then wrapped the whole bars in the normal manner. The result feels like oversized bars and is very comfy (over half an hour).
The shakedown ride was along the Sturt River with my wee daughter so it wasn't too fast, but I gave her a bit of a work out. Everything worked smoothly and cleanly. I was immediately comfortable and reminded of why I love this old bike ... and why I prefer fixed gear (much better speed control at the sort of speeds a ten year old maintains)
Another Europa era begins. She'll be sharing the work with the Hillbrick, thus giving me two working bikes - any others are just peripheral interest.
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