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The Parallel Universe Look Equipe B. Hinault

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The Parallel Universe Look Equipe B. Hinault

Old 11-08-19, 08:12 PM
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jyl
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The Parallel Universe Look Equipe B. Hinault

I'm starting this build thread for my Look Equipe B. Hinault from the Parallel Universe.

For the backstory lovers, the Parallel Universe where this frame comes from is described in this thread.

Last edited by jyl; 11-08-19 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-08-19, 08:13 PM
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Starting with the frame, here it is. Just like almost all the bikes ridden in the Parallel Universe Tour de France 2019, it is lugged steel - Reynolds 753 in this case. The dropouts are "BREV CAMPAGNOLO". The seatpost binder bolt is "PATENT CAMPAGNOLO".


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Old 11-08-19, 08:17 PM
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Despite reading every post on BFCV having to do with these bikes, I'm still unclear whether the original graphics were paint or decals.

On my frame, the large color blocks are paint, and the letters and small details are decals with no clear coat.

See below, the head tube decal, the "LOOK" decal and color bands on the fork blades, and the "LOOK Bernard Hinault" downtube decal. Other decals are the small "EQUIPE" decal on the top tube, the small "LOOK" + color bands + Mondrian decal on the left chain stay by the dropout, and the "Reynolds 753" decal. I say "decals" but I cannot tell if they are true waterslide decals or vinyl decals. Either way, they are very thin, not the thick vinyl decals I associate with reproductions.




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Old 11-08-19, 08:28 PM
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The bottom black shell is Cinelli and stamped with "| 5 6 S 4 4 1" and "A 7". The fork steerer is stamped with "A 7 | 5 6 S 4 4 1". I presume this signifies a 56 cm frame, number 441 in some sequence. What "A 7" and "|" (vertical line, not numeral "1") mean is beyond me.

The seatstay caps are plain - they don't say "HINAULT" like the La Vie Claire team bikes' did (or one of them did, anyway - see next post). The seatstay bridge says "SILVA DEP".

Dimensionally, the seat tube is 56 cm CTC, the top tube is 55 cm CTC, and the rear dropout spacing is 130 mm. The seat tube ID is 27.2 mm at the post insertion end and OD where the derailleur clamp goes is 29 mm. With the bare fork crown contacting the head tube, there is 39 mm of fork steerer protruding above the head tube, and almost all of that is threaded.

As mentioned in the other thread, the frame weighs 1833 g and the fork weighs 673 g. This seems kind of porky for this size 753 frame. From the research I did when I was looking for a Raleigh SBDU Team Pro, I recall those 1970s-era 753 frames (no fork) in 56-58 cm usually weighed around 1650 g if Metric 753, maybe around 1800 g if Imperial 753. Yup, see here. I don't know if 753 frames built in the 1980s were heavier than the 1970s SBDU frames.



Last edited by jyl; 11-08-19 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 11-08-19, 08:50 PM
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Subscribed! The frame is exactly my size...I almost wish it wasn't!
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Old 11-08-19, 09:01 PM
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The frame is in nearly NOS / unridden condition. The dropouts are unmarred, paint unblemished (except one spot of "shelf wear" on the seat tube and a few small scratches on the right chainstay), the decals unblemished (although a couple are lifting off a bit at the very corners).

I was not the one who traveled to the Parallel Universe to get this frame. Sky of Velocult did the universe-traveling, and brought the bike back to display in Camelot. At some point he decided to sell the bike, and had one of his mechanics prepare it. The mechanic overtightened the right downtube shifter bolt, and popped the braze-on off the down tube. Sky was so upset, because he could no longer sell the bike as NOS - others might have, but Sky wouldn't. So he sold the components (all C-Record if I recall) separately and I bought the frame. He JB Welded the braze-on back to the downtube; we figured that would be strong enough to hold a cable housing stop, so the frame was still suitable for a retro-roadie build.

Now, my understanding of the urban lore around these Look Equipe KE75 B. Hinaults is that 1,000 were made over two years, 1986 and 87, with the actual builder(s) unknown although Cyfac appears to be the prime suspect according to @gaucho777.

Do you think the "4 4 1" stamped on my frame suggests it was built about midway through the run, possibly in 1986? Or does the "7" suggest it was built in "1987"? Do you have any idea what the "A" means?

Do you see any reason to suspect this frame is not a Look Equipe B. Hinault from 1986/87? Perhaps a later re-issue, or a "re-creation" using repro decals on some other 753 or even - considering the weight - 531 frameset? I've never heard of a "re-issue" Look Equipe, and the effort of painting alone would seem to make a "re-creation" not worth doing, but . . .

I got to see the actual Look Equipe that Greg LeMond rode in the 1986 Tour de France - or one of them anyway - in 2014. We talked about it in this thread, although sadly the online photos have been downrezzed. I have my original pics somewhere, but its not easy to lay my hands on them.

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Old 11-08-19, 09:35 PM
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That's all I have for now. This weekend I will go over to my friend's house, drop off the frameset, and look at his componentry inventory. Maybe he will permit me to photograph some of the component choices.

I am relieved to see the dropout spacing is 130 mm, so I don't have to worry about cold-setting.
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Old 11-08-19, 09:53 PM
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Oh, one other bit of info I just found on these Looks. This French thread discusses the build of what looks like an actual La Vie Claire team bike, based on the number hanger. Note the fastback stays (although Greg LeMond's bike had conventional stays with "Hinault" on the caps), un-chromed dropouts, and front derailleur mount. Someone says:

"Ce cadre ex La Vie Claire a été fait chez BACO .... ! J'ai eu la confirmation par Stéphane Guay via l'ancien mécano de l'équipe"

[the frames of La Vie Claire were made at BACO . . . ! I got confirmation via Stephane Guay from a former team mechanic]

And here is another thread from someone who feels he has one of Hinault's own bikes, complete with 1987 bill of sale and other documentation. The bike is Hinault's size, 53.5 cm. The remainder of the thread is the usual debate about provenance.

Last edited by jyl; 11-11-19 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 11-09-19, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
As mentioned in the other thread, the frame weighs 1833 g and the fork weighs 673 g. This seems kind of porky for this size 753 frame.
Well, there were several different types of Reynolds 753 available with wall thickness between 0,7/0,5/0,7mm up to 0,8/0,5/0,8 mm (iirc there was even a track version with 0,7/0,3/0,7mm available).
See also the Retrogrouch Blog on 753:

"Not all 753 was drawn to ultra-thin walled gauges. Even from the beginning there were a couple of different gauges available. The thinnest was more common in smaller frames, while larger frames would normally have slightly thicker gauge tubes."

Also a lot of the weight comes from the lugs! Your Look uses the heavy microfusion variant, comparable Peugeot models with stamped steel lugs weight around 150g less
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Old 11-09-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Vaang View Post
Well, there were several different types of Reynolds 753 available with wall thickness between 0,7/0,5/0,7mm up to 0,8/0,5/0,8 mm (iirc there was even a track version with 0,7/0,3/0,7mm available).
See also the Retrogrouch Blog on 753:

"Not all 753 was drawn to ultra-thin walled gauges. Even from the beginning there were a couple of different gauges available. The thinnest was more common in smaller frames, while larger frames would normally have slightly thicker gauge tubes."

Also a lot of the weight comes from the lugs! Your Look uses the heavy microfusion variant, comparable Peugeot models with stamped steel lugs weight around 150g less
I don't think 753 was ever really drawn out to 0.3mm. 0.5mm and 0.3mm are misnomers when it comes to Reynolds, as they're actually ~0.56mm and ~0.38mm as the metric labels were just nominal and the tubes were specified in SWG, until they went actual metric gauge. I know SBDU got special access, but in the 70s I believe for the most part there were basically two metric variants, 80s had the two R/T variants, and 90s looks like it got consolidated to one (all of these had thicker downtubes than top tubes). Decals look 80s style so if the tubeset is straight from catalog specs, it should have an R or a T. T is the metric only super lightweight stuff. R is the one similar to 531SL that could be imperial or metric.

Other examples of this frame seem to be 753R variant, and as noted fittings can make a bigger weight difference than the tubes, so it isn't surprising that it weighs similar to an imperial 753 frame which would also be 753R. If I recall correctly, 753 tube sets had a straight gauge 531 steerer, such that you could mount a quill stem in the bottom of the fork.

Last edited by Kuromori; 11-10-19 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 11-11-19, 09:55 AM
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I found this weight of a 56 cm Look Equipe frames: 2.6 kg. That is close to what mine is (2506 g).

The examples of serial numbers I've found are:
B45S45 - from the eBay listing above
B62S16 - a bike found in Japan
B57S194 - this is @gaucho777 bike

This makes me curious about the serial number of my frame, |56S441 and A7. If 441 signifies the 441th built, then it is later than the other frames listed above. It is curious that my frame has no "B" in the serial number, instead it has "|" (a vertical line).

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Old 11-11-19, 01:43 PM
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Parallel universe numbering scheme. You'll have to ask the other @T-Mar.
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Old 11-11-19, 01:47 PM
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Nice project and some thorough modern retro for today.

Only a few years ago I answered a C.L. ad for one. Its the only I had seen in years and badly wanted it. Few pics and poorly done at best. Priced attractively, cash in hand and went to buy. Dissapointed as the seat cluster was corroded deeply where the pinch bolt hole couldn't do much more. Didn't even want to test if the post was movable as I was afraid would ruin the rest of it right before the sellers eyes.

Told me he purchased it new and ended using it as his Winter outside rider in salted roads. Seller seemed to be an avid roadie and rides the latest modern CF bikes, the Look was just a beater. Sad.
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Old 11-11-19, 03:40 PM
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Thoughts about square taper vs Ultra-Torque? Looks like I have a choice between carbon Record 9/10 cranks w/ square taper, or carbon Chorus 9/10 w/ Ultra-Torque.

I'm slightly leaning toward the latter, since there aren't any sq taper cranks rolling around the Parallel Universe pro peloton in 2019. But if Ultra-Torque will make my C&V spirit disintegrate or require thousands of dollars in specialized tools . . .

Pic of the UT crank



Pic of the ST crank


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Old 11-11-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Parallel universe numbering scheme. You'll have to ask the other @T-Mar.
Are you saying the serial number could have gotten spliched in the transporter?

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Old 11-11-19, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Thoughts about square taper vs Ultra-Torque? Looks like I have a choice between carbon Record 9/10 cranks w/ square taper, or carbon Chorus 9/10 w/ Ultra-Torque.

I'm slightly leaning toward the latter, since there aren't any sq taper cranks rolling around the Parallel Universe pro peloton in 2019. But if Ultra-Torque will make my C&V spirit disintegrate or require thousands of dollars in specialized tools . . .
UT requires the BB shell to be properly faced and be 68mm +/-0.2mm according to spec. It's definitely touchier than a Hollowtech II crank, and may require shimming like other wave washer cranks. It also requires a bearing puller and a way to seat the driveside bearing when replacing the BB.

Last edited by Kuromori; 11-11-19 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-13-19, 02:21 AM
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@jyl, Looking forward to seeing this get built up! I see no reason to doubt it's authentic. All the build details are correct.

Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Despite reading every post on BFCV having to do with these bikes, I'm still unclear whether the original graphics were paint or decals...
I think I may have added to this confusion. My frame had a repair to the downtube. The repair was done well, and I had an extra set of water bottle bosses added at the time. However, the repaired but unpainted frame sat dormant for a long time. I carried around the frame with a naked downtube for years and years, before deciding to "restore" mine. I ended up taking good measurements of what paint was left, then I stripped and repainted the entire frame, downtube letters and all (a PITA to be sure). At the time, I was pretty sure the original downtube lettering was paint, but now I think I must have been mistaken.

As far as the builder, I do wish I knew for certain. There are a number of reasons Cyfac might make sense, but I've never come close to a confirmation. Not sure what to make of the version with the fastback stays and the comment about BACO as the builder. That's a new one to me.

Note the tubing on these should be 753r.
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Old 11-13-19, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
That's all I have for now. This weekend I will go over to my friend's house, drop off the frameset, and look at his componentry inventory. Maybe he will permit me to photograph some of the component choices.

I am relieved to see the dropout spacing is 130 mm, so I don't have to worry about cold-setting.
The 130mm rear spacing would give me pause. It was my understanding they were 126mm. Additionally, the 753 tubing was not recommended to be coldset. So how it got to 130mm would be something I'd want to know.
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Old 11-13-19, 07:32 AM
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This would be a grail build for me.. Very envious! The decals always remind me of The Partridge Family (dating myself here).

Like you, I would have expected the weight to be a little less. My lightest frame is a 58cm Peugeot with Super Vitus tubes that I measure at 1791g. That said, I don’t get worked up over what amounts to be a few ounces. I figure there is that much variability in scales, frame sizes and frame setups (i.e. with or without dropout screws, binder bolt, cable guides, etc.)

Looking forward to the final result.
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Old 11-13-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
The 130mm rear spacing would give me pause. It was my understanding they were 126mm. Additionally, the 753 tubing was not recommended to be coldset. So how it got to 130mm would be something I'd want to know.
Is a mystery to me as well. I've seen an eBay ad for one of these frames that stated 130 mm spacing. Maybe some of them got coldset, whether recommended or not. This is one of the details that makes me wonder if there was a second run of these frames later; the other detail is the serial number.

@gaucho777, the frame with fastback stays and number hanger was supposedly an actual team bike, thus possibly different in detail and origin from the production frames.

One of these days I will register on that French website and ask for information from the "locals".
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Old 11-14-19, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Is a mystery to me as well. I've seen an eBay ad for one of these frames that stated 130 mm spacing. Maybe some of them got coldset, whether recommended or not. This is one of the details that makes me wonder if there was a second run of these frames later; the other detail is the serial number.

@gaucho777, the frame with fastback stays and number hanger was supposedly an actual team bike, thus possibly different in detail and origin from the production frames.
The other team bikes I've seen do not have the fastback treatment. It's possible that a La Vie Claire rider had a personal/custom bike that was repainted in the team livery, but I rather doubt cut from the same cloth as the other team bikes. Here for example is Greg Lemond's original La Vie Claire team bike (not how "LOOK - Bernard Hinault" has been removed from the downtube - no bad blood there). Team issue La Vie Claire bikes do not have fastback treatment, though they differ from other production models in that the ds chainstay is chromed.

https://www.roadbikereview.com/revie...cycle-club-nyc

Hard to see, but here is Andy Hampsten on another team bike without fastback stays, also chromed ds chainstay.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/346636502542756706/

Same thing on Steve Bauer's team LOOK:
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/346636502542743312/

Same with Hinault's bike:
https://www.velocyclo.fr/forum/de-19...la-vie-claire/

That fastback version also has different (short, non-horizontal), painted dropouts. I think it's a bit of an anomaly. I'm not convinced it's a La Vie Claire LOOK. More likely another brand painted in the team livery.
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Old 11-14-19, 08:38 PM
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I went over to my friend's basement shop and we picked out some components:



Record rear derailleur. We decided to go 9 speed to avoid the special chain tools etc needed for 10 speed. He has all those tools but I don't, and even if I did, I won't be carrying them on the road. To my eyes anyway, 9 looks just like 10. His inventory does not include 11, 12, or EPS.



His and her (his wife's) bikes. That's her Pinarello, his Landshark, the Pinarello he ordered new and has put 30,000 miles on, his and her Lynskeys, and in the foreground with only a bit of tube showing is a Serrota. Her Landshark is on another wall.





Some of the Campagnolo "inventory" available. I am trying to pick from his used stuff rather than from his NOS stuff, because this is gonna be a rider.



This crank and these levers will be used. The bike has an Italian bottom bracket which surprised us. But that's handy as he has Italian thread Ultratorque cups as well as all the shims and tools. (He's an engineer . . . )



The Look now lives in my friend's basement. He'll start installing the components we have, at his leisure, while I trawl eBay for the remaining bits.

At present, we have picked out

Crank: Campagnolo Chorus 10 UT
BB: Campagnolo UT
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Record 9
Brifters: Campagnolo Record 9
Cables: Campagnolo
Headset: innicycle 1" threaded to 1 1/8" threadless

The possible shopping list is:

Front Derailleur: presumably a Campagnolo 9/10
Brakes: either Campagnolo (from the "inventory") or Camillo Zero Gravity (I've always thought these were cool)
Stem: undecided - I keep flip-flopping between integrated carbon bar-stem, and separate stem/alloy bar
Bar: undecided - see above, I do want traditional deep drops, which makes the integrated route harder
Tape: undecided - probably going to do a multicolor wrap
Post: either Look Ergopost or Campagnolo Record carbon
Saddle: either a Fizik from my pile, or a Selle Italia Turbo Bernard Hinault
Pedals: he has some carbon Look road pedals - hmm, all my other bike have SPDs, do I really want to buy new shoes too?
Wheels: undecided - I have a lot to learn about carbon rims. The wheels are the biggest remaining question mark.

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Old 11-15-19, 08:41 PM
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Okay, BFCV, I need some advice on wheels.

They have to be carbon aero rims (because of the concept of this Parallel Universe build) and have to be used (because I cannot splash out $2,000 for a new carbon wheelset, and am not willing to roll the dice with no-name Chinese rims). I am leaning toward tubulars (partly because they are much cheaper on the used market, and because the pros in the Parallel Universe are mostly riding tubulars). The medium depth wheels (like 40-50mm) seem like a good all-around compromise.

It looks like the pro tour is using a wide range of brands, based on 2018 and 2019. Bora, Bontrager, Zipp, Mavic, Vision, Enve, etc etc.

Given all this, does anyone have advice on buying used carbon wheels and what brands and models I might start hunting for?

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Old 11-16-19, 03:21 PM
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One difficulty with converting this '80s steel warrior into a modern racebike for the present day Parallel Universe is tire clearance.

In the modern peleton, a 25 mm tire is narrow, 28 mm is common, even wider on pave. Today's carbon frames have the tire clearance for those widths.

For this frame, test fitting a 25mm (outside width) rim w/ 25mm tire (clincher) has 4mm clearance in front but only 3mm clearance w/ rear chain stays. See below. I'm likely going with tubulars, but even so I don’t think 28s will safely fit.

In theory, as I understand it, for best aero the rim max width should be at least 1.05 X the tire width. So if I'm going to run 25 mm tires, I'll be looking for rims at least 26-27mm wide just inboard of the brake tracks.
Rear about 3 mm clearance with 25 mm clincher on 25 mm rim


Front about 4 mm

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Old 11-17-19, 07:15 PM
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For wheels, I trawled ebay for a while looking for a good deal on some reasonably deep (50-60mm) wheels that were at least 10 speed compatible for use on my early 2000s Litespeed Tachyon. I wound up purchasing locally through Craigslist where I found someone selling a pair of Zipp 60mm deep wheels with near new 23mm Vittoria Corsa G+ tubulars. I paid roughly what the tires alone would have cost, with the sole caveat being some damage on the rear rim at the brake track (still need to repair that, but haven't really been using the bike). The 23mm width matches the rim width nicely and leaves me with plenty of clearance.

On ebay similar wheels seemed to be in the $400+ asking range plus shipping, a price I wasn't willing to pay. I'm not sure if I just got lucky or what but look locally would be my first piece of advice.

Second piece of advice, decide whether you are willing to accept carbon fiber brake tracks or not. Does the bike get used in the rain, where CF brake track performance is typically abysmal? Will you ever plan to swap wheels for a set with aluminum rims, requiring a pad swap to avoid contaminating your CF-specific brake pads with aluminum bits? You are going tubular so some of the other drawbacks of CF rims don't apply (sidewall blowouts from weakened, overheated brake tracks).

Third piece of advice, if your budget is ~$700, you can get some very nice pre-built wheels from the likes of Farsports or Light Bicycle, both overseas vendors but with a long list of satisfied customers. Don't discount them just because they are willing to use very subdued or no graphics on your wheels.

On the graphics side, for a vintage bike like yours, even with the parallel universe slant, I'd go with subdued or no graphics on the rims. I think they'll compete too heavily with the frame and draw attention away from the rest of the bike. Plenty of newer (read: pricey) big name wheels are done this way but older stuff (read: in your price range) tends to have louder graphics. My Zipp wheels sure do.

Final note: don't be shy if you have questions about the innicycle headset. I'm more than happy for you to offer me the opportunity to improve my advice-giving. Your fork steerer length numbers are perfect; no trimming needed there.
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