|About the Bonavia track bike ...
By the owner, David Jacobs, Brisbane,
I have been racing on and off since 1974, I started track racing in
1977. I was living in West London untill 1994 when I moved out to
Brisbane QLD Australia.
And so to the specs. The frame is a mixture of Reynolds below and
Columbus PS above. The downtube and seatstays and head tube are Reynolds
531 , the rest of the tubing is from Columbus PS, The fork crown and
most of the lugs are Cinelli, the drop outs are Campag.
As it it quite large for a track frame
(Seat tube 57cm CC Top tube 57.5 CC), we made some innovative decisions
on the design. The main one was to make the bottom bracket height lower
in order to reduce the length of the chainstays. Nowadays a similar
effect is created using curved a curved seat tube. The rear chainstay
bridge is ovalised for minimum clearance- we almost did not fit one but
after running some calculations decided the stress without it on the
bottom bracket would be too great. The angles are pretty steep by
today's standards around 74 for both head and seat.
The orginal 1982 specs are as follows:
Chainset Campagnolo Pista with 167.5mm
Cranks (this was with a lower BB height, they were cheap!)
Bottom Bracket Royce Titanium, with sealed bearings (one of the first to
be delivered, still being made)
Headset Campagnolo Pista Steel (lower profile than the strada, did not
want to risk alloy)
Pedals Campagnolo Pista (Chrome Steel) with Christophe steel toeclips
and Binda toestraps (Used Alloy pedals for a while- but went back to the
larger bearing steel ones)
Seatpin Campag Record (First one with single bolt- think may have had a
two bolt to start with changed to the single bolt around 1986)
Campag Chrome Seat Binder bolt
Saddle Cinelli/Unica with Y Alloy rails (straight from a bike show,
first one in the UK)
Stem Cinelli Pista Steel 120mm ,Later 3TTT Alloy Pista 130mm .
Bars Cinelli 67 "Pista" 38 mm wide (centre to centre)
Wheels Campagnolo Large Flange Pista 36 with Mavic GP4 rims.
"Racing" wheels (bought around 1984) Mavic Pista small flange
hubs 32H (first ever seen in the UK. There was problem the first time I
went to use them as there were no nuts on them- so they were not deemed
"track legal"!) with Mavic CX 19 rims (Tubular) I am using
these on the 2005 racing photo.
Last year (2004) I started track racing after an 8 year abscence. After
much discussion with various peers, I decided to "modify" my
position, this meant changing the saddle to allow me sit further back
and the bars and stem to give me a more upright position. The first to
go was the narrow 38cm CC Cinelli 67 bars in favour of wider more stable
40cm 65's and a straighter Cinelli 1A stem to replace the "track
I also decided to change the pedal setup after hitting my pedals on the
banking during a very slow moment in a match sprint, at the QLD State
Masters in 2004.
The last change was to mount an ahead adaptor and ahead stem to
replace the Cinelli 1A.
So the changes and current spec to the
bike are ;
Pedals Keywin Cromo with track pins!
Stem Ahead adaptor and 10 degree rise stem with Cinelli 65 40cm CC bars
Saddle Serfas SLR, it goes back so far I have effectivley reduced the
seat angle by 1 degree putting me further over the rear wheel.
About eight years ago I put clincher rims onto my Campag Pista hubs, I
am currently running 165gm Veloflex blacks on them, and on the Mavic
wheels running Continental Podium 19mm Tubs, they are exactly the same
diameter. The tubs do roll a bit better.
I had the oppuunity to try out a brand new, very expensive state of the
art carbon track bike, the verdict? The only real advantage was that I
was sitting more over the back wheel, it was a fair bit lighter too, but
it was no stiffer-and weight on a track bike does not mean much- I did
decide then to put the Ahead adaptor on - but I will be sticking with my
Bonavia for a while yet!
A note about Clive the frame builder, he was/is actually a wood
joiner, and made frames as a hobby. Back in the Early 80's Reynolds
bought out 753 tubing, if you wanted any to make a frame you first had
to get a couple of tubes and a lug "kit" silver solder or
braze it together, then send it back for testing. Clive got the kit put
the bits together- few days later got a letter asking if he wanted a job
making frames for the Raliegh Special Projects unit. Clive was also an
inovator for the original Triathlon bikes, a guy came to him wanting a
frame with a very steep 80 degree seat tube! he built it and got
other orders for several more from the new sport of ironmen and
All of Clive's frames were silver
soldered and not brazed, this meant far less heat needed to be applied
to the tubes, but it could only be done if the mistres between the tubes
were perfect I will need to check but I am pretty sure this was the only
track frame he ever built- like I mentioned earlier I spend a whole
winter designing it on a drawing board- the one small thing a regret is
maybe having not quite enough fork rake. I have lost touch with Clive,
but I know he carried on making frames as a hobby while running a very
successful joinery business.
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