Friday, February 13, 2009
Basso Loto--An Italian Lugged Steel Delight
This bike was a Craigslist score: $160 for the frame, fork and complete Shimano 600/Dura Ace gruppo. The parts were in a box, but it was the complete gruppo, Dura Ace hubs laced to Campagnolo Omega ceramic rims included.
As I am Campy rider, I sold most of the Shimano stuff on eBay, recouping my investment and even turning a modest profit. I kept the Turbomatic Saddle, ControlTech seatpost, Shimano 600 brakes and 600 front derailleur. I have found that Shimano 600 brakes from the 8 speed era are far more effective than the Campagnolo brakes of that vintage. In fact, the 600 brakes are among the best brakes ever made.
This is one of the sharpest looking frames ever. It rides like a dream, inspiring confidence on descents and in sprints. I suspect that, like my beloved Moser frame, it has a lowered bottom bracket which adds stability to a bicycle's ride.
The Basso currently weighs exactly 23 pounds built with Campagnolo 8 speed (Record/Croce d'Aune/Chorus mix), mid level Shimano SPD Mtb pedals and clip-on fenders.
I am considering building this frame up with contemporary Campagnolo Centaur 10 Speed in the near future.