Dario Pegoretti recounts his first bike: “I sold it in maybe 1977 and now it has come back to me. I had to buy it back, it was part of my life.” Which pretty much sums up whats going on here.
This bike previously owned by me nearly 30 or so years ago, is now getting a new lease of life. The Rossin Record frame of early/mid 80’s vintage was originally supplied in blue or red finish. The blue was fitted with a Record groupset, the red with Super Record.
The objective was to build a bike to be ridden a lot which meant the old drivetrain had to go. It seems at some point I had replaced the Campagnolo rear mech and friction shifters with an SIS Shimano setup, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. The finished article blends old and new, maintaining the original aesthetic but with the benefits of a modern drivetrain and wheels. And for this reason, some parts have been retained along with the existing patina, rather than completely restoring the finish.
A polished alloy Campagnolo Potenza groupset acknowledges the heritage of the bike, 32 spoke Campagnolo Record hubs with TB14 polished box section rims contribute to the retro look. I’ve sourced a new Selle Italia Turbo seat and a very nice vintage Campagnolo seat post. White bar tape and cables on the period correct handlebars, and this bike should look much as it did back in the day, but with all the benefits of modern technology. Handling of these bikes was legendary, is even better on the wider rims and modern rubber.
This machine sparkles and gleams as it goes down the road and attracts its fair share of compliments which is a nice bonus, earning the name “Bling” as a result.
Following frame restoration and drivetrain updates, the Rossin reborn as a comfortable, confident and great looking ride, and ready for the next few decades of service. The engine is unlikely to extract the last drop of performance from it these days, but it is a lovely thing for a long ride once again.
The craftsmen entrusted with the restoration have both done exceptional work and been fantastic to work with. If you are in the area and have something in mind for your ride, definitely have a chat.
Everything has settled in nicely and this bike is the number one choice for anything other than a very long day out in the country. The Vittorio tires look fantastic, ride and handle well, but proved too fragile for back roads. Instead the bike is now wearing Vredestein Fortezzo Sensos, a rugged tire that also rides and handles nicely, and feels confident on backroads – another step closer to the build objectives. The wheels have proven to be awesome, on a downhill the bike rolls past everything and keeps on rolling. Super happy with how its worked out.
Of Campagnolo drivetrains it is said they wear in rather than wear out and this is proving to be the case. Changes have always been smooth but the effort at the levers is becoming less. It’s not Shimano levels of effort yet, however I can imagine that with more kilometres, it will continue to improve. The tires continue to impress and still seem to be fast, grippy and puncture resistant. I have them on the Defy as well now.
The Rossin is definitely the pick of the fleet for anything other than a very long day out in the hills, however as I get fitter I can see that might change as well. It weighs 10 kilos all dressed, not especially heavy by modern standards. Nonetheless while a little more effort is required to propel it up a hill, the ride down the other side is very much worth it.
- A brief history of time.
- Rossin Catalog.
- Rossin SL Record link
- Classic lightweights
- Vintage Record
- Vintage Rossin Archive
- 83 Rossin Record
- Rossin Super Record with 50th Anniversary groupset
- Campagnolo catalog 1984
- Vale Mario Rossin – 11/11/2018
- Kuiper and Aernoudt
- Potenza Groupset
Historic footnote – Paris-Roubaix 1983.
Former pro cyclist Hennie Kuiper is at the end of a long day aboard his Rossin Record.
He has a slight gap on a small bunch including Moser, Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, Marc Madiot and Ronan De Meyer and is heading towards victory at Roubaix. He managed 247km at over 40km/h for the win including two crashes and a stop for a mechanical issue. At this point he is giving it all the beans.
While not the fastest rider in his day, he had a good tactical sensibility, creating a break inside the last 16km. No one in the bunch wanted to lead a chase and he was able to maintain his lead to the finish despite a flat tire. This is an excellent example of if you don’t have the biggest hammer, be the sharpest nail, and the sort of thing that Kuiper did well enough to pull off some big wins over the years. Chapeau.
Kuiper famously rode Rossins throughout his career which corresponds to the golden age of the venerable Record and probably the Rossin company itself.