Literspeed Tuscany refinements

Odette put a couple hundred miles on the Tuscany and said she liked it.  Then she had an accident and was off the bike all winter.  When she started riding again in the spring she said she wouldn’t get on the Tuscany until I raised the handlebars or for any ride that involved climbing.  (She managed to ride it on the trainer for a few months, though, so I took her pronouncement with a grain of salt.)

Tuscany CX

I ordered a Campagnolo 10-speed crankset with compact gearing and 170mm cranks.  I had been kind of doubtful about the 175 mm cranks I’d originally put on that bike, and I would have gone with compact gearing earlier if I’d been able to mount smaller chainrings.  The crankset I got was a cross setup with carbon cranks and it was new old-stock so I expected it to work with the rest of the groupset.  Here’s how the seller described it:

New Old Stock
Campagnolo CX 10 speed Carbon Crankset
– 170mm
– 9/16″ pedal threads
– 50/34 Chainrings
– stated weight of 629 grams
These cranks have a lot going for them. Super stiff carbon in traditional cyclocross gearing or compact road gearing at a price that you can even upgrade your commuter bike. All weather, the chainrings feature a coating applied to keep them cleaner in dirty, wet conditions. The inner  machining  of  the  chainrings  was  created  to  facilitate  the  up  shift  and  downshift  of  the  chain,  so  that  the  movements are fast and precise in all conditions. They require Power Torque bottom bracket cups (whichever your frame calls for) and those feature a double lip seal to keep contamination out. Cut the factory Campagnolo box seals to photograph these cranks. We have these for 10 or 11 speed drivetrains in 170, 172.5, 175mm lengths with options of 46/36 34/50 chainrings, they are listed separately in our store.  Visit My eBay Store: Vintage NOS Bicycle Parts for thousands of new old stock, vintage and modern bicycle parts.


CX 10

After reading more in the on-line forums I decided that with the new crankset I could get away with a cassette that had a bigger low-end and I got a 12-30.  The combination of the smaller chainring and the bigger bottom cog gave a ratio that was really close to the bottom end she had on her Rodriguez.

I also put on the stem extender I’d bought earlier, even though it looked dorky.   I had hesitated because I was worried about unwrapping the handlebars and redoing both brake and both shifter cables, but I used housing couplers and added exactly four inches of housing to each of the four front housing segments so that really it was just a matter of replacing the internal cables with longer ones.  I had trouble getting the front shifter cable to thread through into the housing so I ended up unwrapping that side of the handlebars anyway, but it was a surprisingly painless project overall and the cabling didn’t look too bad when I got done.  I had a long bolt that I could use with the stem cap, but it took me a while to figure out that I needed to have the spacers “stand proud” of the interior tubing both above and below the extension.

stem riser

The new crankset required a power-torque bottom bracket which I ordered.  I couldn’t tell from the descriptions whether I was getting a full BB or just cups, so I also ordered bearings which I ended up not needing.  I had trouble getting the square shank bottom bracket out of the shell, but Recycled Cycles helped me out.  The shifting was off when I got done and the chain jumped in the smallest cog.  I took it in and was informed that I really needed a long-cage derailleur and a narrower chain.  I know that people have been able to run 30-T cogs with a regular derailleur and I know that the chain on there worked for a couple hundred miles, but whatever.  After they got done it seemed to work fine and to shift really smoothly.

drive train

Once Odette decides whether she prefers Selle Anatomica or Giles Berthold saddles I’ll put a better one on the Tuscany.  In the meantime I think Odette is set to ride her summer bike.


Here are the revised specs:

Litespeed Tuscany
Bicycle Type: Road race & triathlon
Weight: 21 lbs (with pedals, pump & toolkit)
Size: 47cm

Frame & Fork
Frame Construction: welded titanium, tapered, butted
Frame Tubing Material: “symmetrically enhanced” 3Al/2.5V titanium
Fork Brand & Model: Look
Fork Material: Carbon fiber composite

Component Group: Campagnolo Record
Brakeset: Campagnolo Record
Shift Levers: Campagnolo Record 10-Speed Ultra
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10-speed
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus 10-speed (long cage)
Crankset: Campagnolo CX Carbon 34/50 teeth
Pedals: Speedplay Frog
Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo PowerTorque
BB Shell Width: 68mm English
Rear Cogs: Campagnolo 10-speed, 12-30 teeth
Chain: Campagnolo Record 10-speed ultra-narrow
Seatpost: Thomson, 27.2mm diameter
Saddle: Gilles Berthoud Marie Blanque, Stainless Steel Rails
Handlebar: Salsa Moto Ace Short ‘n’ Shallow
Handlebar Stem: 17 degree rise on 75mm Origin8 Extra-Lift Stem Riser
Headset: Cane Creek 1 1/8″ threadless

Hubs: Campagnolo Veloce
Rims: 650C Mavic CXP 14, 32-hole
Tires: Continental Grand Prix 4000s II
Spokes: Stainless steel straight gauge
Spoke Nipples: Brass nipples


cable housing couplers

here’s a gallery of photos 

here’s the original page