Up the Wazoo!


I suffered an allergic reaction to advanced technology this morning and went out for a much-needed refresher course in the advantages of stone knives and bearskins.

My Voodoo Wazoo dates to 2005, but is largely a creature of the previous millennium:

• Reynolds 853 main tubes with a Tange Infinity fork.

• Shimano 600 crank with a single 38-tooth chainring and a Salsa Crossing Guard.

• Seven-speed Shimano 105 derailleur.

The Bloo Voodoo Wazoo (file photo).

• Seven-speed Shimano Hyperglide freewheel, 12-28T.

• Shimano Hyperglide Narrow chain.

• Seven-speed Shimano bar-con mounted on a Paul Components Thumbie.

• Shimano 600 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro clincher rims.

• Continental CrossRide tires, 700×42.

• Vetta saddle liberated from a Team Crest Pinarello Prologo TT.

• Control Tech seat post from God only knows where.

• Easton EA50 stem and Cannondale Fire flat bar with cork grips.

• Real brake levers (that was actually the name of the company: Real).

• Avid Tri-Align cantilever brake (front) with KoolStop pads.

• Dia-Compe 986 canti (rear) with Dia-Compe pads.

• Actual straddle-wire-and-yoke setup for both.

• Time ATAC pedals.

There was none of your fancy “10-speeds,” nor your high-draulical brakificationist grand-doo and foofaraw, nossiree. And we had tubes in our goldurned tires, and we liked it!

Oh, to be sure, it was a little strenuous climbing in the 38×28, and I nearly got centerpunched in a blind corner by a lively young rapscallion riding one of your whatchacallem, “mountaineering bikes,” but all in all it was a pleasant reminder that “old” doesn’t always mean “useless.”



8 Responses to “Up the Wazoo!”

  1. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I am impressed with the bike and your grit. 853 is the real deal. I, however, would have been all over the Jones like a cheap suit. Call me spoiled, soft, and older, than you anyway.

    I didn’t ride today, but I did play my guitar for a change.

    And to make the day sweeter, we got rain! And more tomorrow. I will do my best to send it your way.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Pat, it helps that the wee blue beastie weighs only 23.5 pounds. How refreshing after riding a 35-pounder with another 35 or so in loaded-touring gear.

      That said, I’ll confess that I’ve been thinking about hunting down a 110 BCD/square taper crank from somewhere so I can push a 34T chainring instead of that 38T.

      It sprinkled here for about 30 seconds yesterday and that was that. Didn’t even dampen the dust on the cacti. I expect the trails will be shut down directly.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    I’ve gotten pretty goddarn allergic to the idea that planned obsolescence has descended on bicycling bits. Shit, even my ten speed Campy crap is obsolete; finding parts for Shimano 9 speed is tougher than unearthing dinosaur fossils.

    Time to bring back friction shifting and the art of building cassettes and freewheels out of individual cogs. At least you knew you were not spit off the technological back.

  3. Keith Willy Says:

    Glad to know about the old and useful part. Going to have my wife read that section.

  4. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Just took our epoca bikes out for a spin today, figuring a test ride can’t hurt before La Mitica next Sunday. The silence of friction shifting is nice for a change but I’m glad we did the test ride as the wife’s (new for her via ebay) DeRosa needed some work on the left side shifter.
    Simplex retrofriction shifters are great but when the screw holding the whole works onto the boss is loose (and I didn’t bring the proper tool) they slip just like the old Campy ones did WITHOUT the wingnut to tighten them up! A screw swap and some thread-locker seems to have done the trick, but we’ll try ’em out again before Sunday’s event.
    Meanwhile, my old Bianchi works just fine.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ho, nice. I’ve been riding friction shifters myself lately, including today, when I dragged the Soma Saga Disc out ’cause I was expecting puddles and the beast wears fenders.

      You need some Campy bits? I have brake calipers, a seatpost and a crank on my old Pinarello Prologo TT. Vintage escapes me; it was a Team Crest bike from the late Eighties before I bought it from the Denver Spoke.

      The Soma Saga's Silver friction bar-cons

      Both Sagas and my Sam Hillborne use Silver friction bar-cons.

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