Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Corvallis, Oregon
When I think of my most cherished bicycles, my 1985 Pinarello Record quickly comes to the forefront of my mind.
I wish I could say that I was behind the full-on, tear down restoration of this beauty, but I am not. This was purchased restored and complete before I started down the path of revitalizing bicycles. However, even if it is not mine, the work that was put into this bicycle is worth showcasing, as time seems to have a way of forgetting what, exactly, went on unless it is documented.
Before this purchase, I owned a handful of decent bicycles. However, I had fallen deeply in love with the craftsmanship of Italian frames and felt a solid collection needed a capstone piece. When I saw the ad for a “Pristine Pinarello road bike,” I knew this was what I was seeking.
The ad read:
This is a pristine bike that has had meticulous care and maintenance. It has never been crashed or otherwise abused. I had this bike completely stripped and repainted to Pinarello factory specs by Dave Wilburn of Southern California. He also applied an original factory decal kit and then covered everything with a final clear coat for beauty and durability. The paint is almost perfect and the chrome has no rust. The decals are flawless. The front Pinarello head tube badge has some light scratching.
I contacted Gita Bike, the Pinarello importer, to research the year of this bike. Their closest estimate, based on the serial number, was the late ’80s.
The bike not only has some elements (both good and bad) to highlight, it also has a rather muddy past when it comes to the model identification. The seller had the serial number but could not track down much info about it, even after contacting the importer. It doesn’t surprise me. So many of these Italian bicycles, of all different builders, may have serial numbers but information about them is somehow lost once they leave the care of the craftsman’s hands.
The seller sold this as a Pinarello Traviso, but the mid-’80s Travisos had only the right chain stay chromed, the Record had both. To further confuse, the Pinarello signature on the top tube didn’t arrive until 1986/7, plus Columbus SLX tubing was not yet being incorporated. All of this points to a Pinarello Record in Traviso’s clothing. Meaning, the wrong decals were applied during the restoration.
When I acquired the bike, a few elements were changed right away. Those being mainly aesthetic items like the saddle and seat post. Both of which didn’t match in the least. Also, added were Shimano pedals. The jury is still out on the pedals and saddle. There is also work yet to be done, mainly in the cockpit area. The Easton ergo bars are comfortable and, although they seem to clash a bit with the bike compared with traditional drops, I do like them. However, the Profile Design stem is what I could only describe as godawful and my search for a more period-appropriate pantographed Pinarello stem is in full swing.
Of course, to me, these are only minor flaws and parts are easily swapped out. Plus, there are so many other characteristics of this bicycle that have me swooning. The paint, for instance, is a screaming, “notice me” Ferrari red. This is not really my personality type to have such a loud color, but I can’t help but love the attention it occasionally brings. Also sublime are the decals. This is something you typically do not see with ’80s Pinarellos that still sport their original paint and decals. The decals of that decade are known for their delicacy and typically started degrading quickly.
Although the restoration touched every part of this bike, there was one, single element that was left original and intact. That was the head badge and this is a detail which I fully appreciate the original owner leaving as a nod to its history.
The Pinarello is one that I don’t take out much. It’s hanging on its own uncluttered spot, locked up (just in case) with a painters drop cloth over it. It hasn’t seen a trickle of rain on my watch, nor does it ever get taken through the stop-and-go and potholes of the city. I am certain I do a good job painting a picture of a garage queen or wall art but don’t be too quick to assume. I know better. I wouldn’t do such a thing. A bicycle needs to be ridden and this one is no exception. Her specialty is fast, pedal-mashing, quad-busting training rides on already warm summer mornings. Or on very late afternoons, after work, when the heat is dying back and I need a spin session of an hour in the saddle and 20 miles on the open road.
The way I see it is at the time, this was the upper echelon of serious, pro-quality cycling technology, so I don’t ever have any reluctance in holding back when she is out. I know the frame can handle anything I can throw at it. The same goes for the drivetrain, wheels, brakes, and other moving components.
So, I attack the ride as hard as it will allow me to and return home weak and utterly punished.
That is exactly what this bike is meant for.
Color: Team Red
Frame Size: 57cm (C-T) seat post & 56cm (C-C) top tube
Frame/Drop-outs: Columbus SL
Fork: Columbus SL
Headset: Chris King
Handlebars: Easton EC70 Ergo Carbon; White Cinelli cork bar tape
Stem: Profile Design H2O
Saddle: Fizik Arione
Seat Post: Campagnolo C-Record (Aero type)
Crankset: Campagnolo Centaur; 53/39, 170mm
Cassette: 10-Speed Campagnolo Centaur (13/26)
Hubs: Campagnolo Neutron (32 hole; Campagnolo skewers)
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Centaur
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Centaur
Shifting/Brake Levers: Campagnolo Centaur (Campagnolo housing/cables)
Brakes: Campagnolo Daytona; Campagnolo pads
Rims: Campagnolo Nucleon (Clincher)
Tires: Continental Grand Prix 4000; 700c x 23″
Pedals: Shimano PD-R540
Special Features: Gorgeous Italian lug work and pantographing; Campagnolo dropouts; Chromed rear chain/seat stays
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Very, very niiiiiiiiiiiiiice!
There is still work to be done but, like Mick said, time is on my side.
I own the same frame. It was purchased by me in Brooklyn in December, 1984. The fork was replaced after a roof rack accident 10 years ago, but matched yours. Currently, it is outfitted as a fixed gear bike. See my blog at: http://www.jwanermanbikeblog.blogspot.com to see it. Happy riding.
We certainly do share a very similar Pinarello frame. Yours looks great! Has yours seen any type of repaint or is it still stock? If it is stock, have the decals suffered any peeling? I know that was a typical issue on the Pinarello’s from the 80’s, mine included before the respray.
Also, I do see that you have a few other very fine bicycles including a Jamis and a wonderful LOOK. Also noticed was your Pinarello Traviso jersey. Splendid jersey. Where did you find it!?
The paint is original with touch ups over the past 29 years. Most of the original decals flaked off, and I was able to purchase a replacement decal set from Gita about 12 years ago. Just did 30 miles yesterday afternoon. This bike has evolved into my fixed gear century machime. Jeff
Also, Pinarello jersey was from an English Ebay dealer. Guess I got lucky.
This bike reminds me of an early 90’s Pinarello Monviso i picked up off craigslist this year. Same color and in pristine condition with a full Athena 8 speed group……and a Profile Design stem! I described the stem to my friends as godawful (hideous too) and It’s good to see I’m not the only one who feels this way. I just can’t believe anyone ever thought it was a good idea to put such an ugly stem on such a beautiful bike.
I’ve been looking for a suitable pantographed stem as well, but I can’t seem to find one shorter than 120mm for under $250.
Anyways, you’ve got a nice looking bike there. I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading a lot of the old entries. Cheers.
Thanks for the kind words! I’m also shocked yet thrilled someone else has the same elephant in the room problem as I do with my Pinarello. I remember when I first saw the bike, my eyes glossed over the stem and shot directly to the deep, rich red paint, collegiate “PINARELLO” lettering and shiny chrome Campagnolo bits littering the frame. As I became woozy with delight, the stem started to fade into the foreground. Then, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Now, it’s the first thing I see and like you, I still have yet to replace it.
I think a major reason I haven’t replaced the current stem is sheer laziness. I would rather not have to go through all of the work to remove an entire side of perfectly good bar wrap then the brake lever. Although I have considered a 3ttt Evol which would allow me to remove the stem faceplate (like the Profile Design has) for easy bar installation and still maintain a high-quality stem along with being period appropriate.
But, possibly even more importantly is that I haven’t dropped the cash for the stem. Like you, I am not interested in a 120mm but that and 110mm are about all I find. Where’s the 90mm stems at any more!? We are both looking for a hens tooth and although rare, I am certain eventually we will bring our Pinarello’s back to being “blemish free”. Good luck on your hunt!
It took me forever to replace it but rest assured, it has ceased to be (I mean I’ve got a reputation to uphold hahaha). I procrastinated for many months due to the same reasons you outlined, but I couldn’t take it any longer. I would lie awake at night, my dreams haunted by the giant ovalized stem. Even after polishing all of the garish logos off, the stem still remained the albatross around the Pinarellos neck, and in this case the albatross WAS the Pinarello’s goose neck (I hate that term but felt I should stick with the avian theme).
I swapped it with a really nice Cinelli 1E 90mm stem with a laser etched “flying C” logo that I had in my shop. It came from a 1989 Schwinn Circuit. The Cinelli bars from that bike made their way onto the Pinarello as well because the profile design bars were the only black component on the bike, which was obviously unacceptable 🙂
I look forward to engaging in a bidding war with you when a 90mm pantographed stem surfaces from the depths of a retired italian racer’s parts bin.
I don’t think I can come up with anything that will top those comments. But I am happy to hear that we are chummy at this point yet both ruthless, sniping, backstabbing scoundrels when it comes to a long-desired, Pinarello branded 90mm stem. Classic and vintage. The bikes certainly bring people together!
Just stumbled across this old post—very nice. Better late than never. Sounds like you and I wouldn’t have rushed out and spec’d out a red bike given our druthers, but we each nevertheless ended up with one, as these things tend to go. I have learned to embrace it but will admit that I do sometimes look at mine and wonder what it would be like to strip it and repaint it in a color that’s more of my choosing.
This is quite an old post and over the last few years, I have updated this bicycle to make it more visually appealing, functionally sound and less alarming in terms of the parts originally sourced by the previous owner. I have one last piece of the puzzle to adjust but once I do, I will be photographing this one again and updating the post.
As for the paint, I have come to terms with it. I like to think that red makes it go just a little bit faster!
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