Everything comes to he who waits

My 54cm (c-c) Derosa Neo Primato is here!!! There’s something epic about Italian steel and this is my own little bit of all that romance and artistry. Yes I know I’m buying into an image, but it’s fun. So, I went over to ATA Cycles last Saturday and picked up the frame. I took a couple of Phil Wood bottom bracket tools along so that Andy could install the bottom bracket, he’d found that it’s impossible to do it will only one tool. I walked into the store and there was my Faema Neo Primato on a bike stand. Andy had the headset spacers installed and we quickly put the crankset on to check the chain line. Everything looked good so I gave him the go ahead to cut the steerer tube down and tighten everything up before I took it away.

At home I started the build by installing the Selle San Marco Regal saddle, Nitto Dynamic (this may become a Deluxe) stem and Noodle handlebars. Then I put on the Dura Ace hubs and Mavic Open pro wheels and stood back to eye the proportions. It looked good although it’s going to take me a while to get over my French fit/Rivendell prejudice against the lower handle bars of the Eddy fit that I’m going for with this build. Next on when the Sugino Alpina (48t-34t) crank, the Dura Ace rear derailleur and the IRD front derailleur. I positioned the derailleur at the bottom of it’s mounting bracket as I’m using a smaller than spec big ring, but it looks fine. Then I mounted the brake levers, the Dura Ace bar end shifters and threaded the SRAM chain through the derailleurs, and around the crank. Somehow I feel that a bike comes to life as soon as I feel the tension of the rear derailleur against the chain. Not long now, just the cabling to finish off and the handlebars to wrap and we’ll be all done.

And here’s the finished article.

President’s day gave me the opportunity to go on my first longish ride on the Neo Primato. The weather wasn’t ideal, cold and windy, but I couldn’t resist and the thought of tea and cake half way through the ride spurred me to wrap up warmly and get on the road. I noticed two things almost at once. The Neo Primato is far more responsive than my Rivendells, I can turn quicker and more sharply and the San Marco saddle is doing my butt in. After 20 miles it was pretty uncomfortable. I suppose I’m just accustomed to the give of a Brooks leather saddle so a Team Pro or Swift will have to be purchased.

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8 Responses to Everything comes to he who waits

  1. Sean O'Bryan says:

    Beautiful frameset, Stan. I have a very similar stable to your’s – Rambouillet, Surly LHT, and some nice Italian steel (Tommasini Sintesi). I hope you go for some nice downtube shifters on that De Rosa (as opposed to bar ends or brifters) and some white Cinelli cork. Love the tour diaries by the way. Makes me want to get out there and tour once my kids are a little older.

    Sean O’Bryan
    Austin, TX

  2. cstandley says:

    Thanks for the compliments. I’m going to disappoint you on the shifters as I’m installing Shimano barends, but the tape will be Fizik white so at least we agree on the colour.

  3. Sean O'Bryan says:

    Woops. I just read your previous post about the build specs (shifters and tape). That De Rosa is going to be a fantastic ride. I enjoy all the performance differences and ride qualities of the 3 main bikes I ride: LHT (grocery hauling, commuting, rough stuff), Rambouillet (all around, fast brevet riding, commuting, long rides carrying some gear), and the Tommasini (shorter, race-style riding, speed, minimalist outings). Love the account of your Woods Hole trip too (just read it!). Makes me yearn to be back in Mass (not during the winter though!).

    Sean O’Bryan
    (Masshole ’til death)
    Austin, TX

    • cstandley says:

      Thanks, I agree that MA is not great for riding in the Winter. I don’t mind a bit of snow, but the single digit F temps and all the salt on the roads are the big problems. I’m setting the De Rosa up with an “Eddy Fit” rather than the “French Fit” of my Rivendells and I’ll use it for fast weekend rides.

  4. william says:

    hey stan — I love your blog.

    quick question: how do you like the alpina crankset so far? what cassette are you using? I am interested in the alpina for my light touring build, but I am unsure of what cassette gearing to go with. Any suggestions?


    • cstandley says:

      Hey, I’m glad you like the blog!
      I like the Alpina. I wanted my Neo Primato to be a retro fast bike and the Alpina works well for that as it looks right and the 48-34 rings with a 12-25 Dura Ace cassette give me close ratios with enough low end for the hills. I probably wouldn’t choose it for a light tourer. I’d want something with smaller rings and a cassette with a 32 or 34 tooth biggest cog. But if you’re a strong rider I can see the Alpina working with a MTB cassette say 12-32 or 12-34 as you’d have a low gear of 27″.

  5. Jeff says:

    I’m interested in the Neo Primato from reading your blog. I saw the weight advertised on a distributors site and was surprised at the 1600g weight. That would make it a lot lighter than a typical club racer. I have a steel Marinoni Piuma made of Columbus Spirit tubing that has a claimed weight of 1625g. Now don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a weight weenie, but I won’t bock at a light steel frame either. Do you find the bike surprisingly light or is it the weight of an old SL/SLX frame?

    • cstandley says:

      I didn’t weigh the frame when I got it, but the bike is fantastic and very responsive. My build is more
      classical than weight conscious.

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