Back in the early ’90s a neon yellow Pinarello ‘cross bike was my only offroad bike. It was set up with old, old school parts – Campy 980 derailleurs, Suntour friction barcons, and Mavic brakes. I got the urge to build a set of ultralight (for a 170# cross rider) wheels, which lead to Mavic GP4 rims laced onto Campy record hubs. I built them on a 28 spoke front hub, with 32 in the rear. A six speed Sachs freewheel was used.
While rebuilding the Pinarello (my Treviso – the ‘cross bike went away years ago) I dug out those wheels and decided, after finding that to this day they are absolutely true, to unretire them. The wonderful thing about the Mavic drivetrain is that you can simply reroute a cable and go from 7 to 6-speed indexing. Just like that.
I’ve got some decent old Vittorias to start with, and an okay enough to get me home Conti Sprinter for a spare. I’m leading a beginners’ ride in a couple of weeks, which might be the ideal occasion to test it out.