Classic & Vintage - My Olmo pics
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04-27-12, 05:42 PM
We were told when we took it for a crankset a long time ago that it was a Paramount. I have found a head bearing nut stamped Olmo, and the frame gussets look more Italian than Schwinn. The story the bike mechanic told us when he told us it was a Paramount is that it was handmade in the '50s for the Tour 'de France. I know it was old when I picked it up in '74.I have no idea why he thought that. This was in the late '70s or early '80s. He did offer us $450.00 for the frame. All components have been replaced, I think only the frame is original.
It might just be a frankenbike, but it is fast and smooth. The shifters are friction. I think dad installed them or had a bike shop do it sometime in the early '80s. He was only 5'9" and this bike is too tall for me at 6'.
I have details of the parts in another post. I just wanted to upload pics while I can- honey-dos are waiting.
04-28-12, 08:16 AM
Looks 1950's to me, most likely Falck frame tubing. The Campagnolo script on the rear dropout looks like the "open C" version. Classic Italian frames with chrome lugs are very attractive, but I think your paint job detracts from the frame. I would also suggest properly placing the shift and brake levers, and relieving the painful cross chain condition before shooting pics. If you are going to lavish any attention on this one, look for a more appropriate seat post collar. Also, be careful with the stem height, I think yours is near the limit. A true frankenbike, but I'm sure it is a nice ride. I would be interested to know what the serial number is, it is just below the seat post collar on the rear of the seat lug.
All chrome Olmo. Sweet frame. I'd strip the paint and leave it chrome. Then again, the paint may be hiding some sins.
Also, in my opinion, that seat post clamp is the fugliest thing I have seen in a long while. On a BMX, maybe. On your frame? No.
04-28-12, 08:32 AM
The serial number is A 327.
The seat collar is one dad came up with. i will try to find a better replacement.
Dad had it painted back in the '80s by a guy who did the custom paint jobs on motorcycles for his shop. I don't like it either.
Where should the shift and brake levers be?
What is a cross chain condition?
04-28-12, 09:26 AM
The serial number is A 327.
The seat collar is one dad came up with. i will try to find a better replacement. Is that hiding a broken frame? Maybe the original binder ears came off?
Dad had it painted back in the '80s by a guy who did the custom paint jobs on motorcycles for his shop. I don't like it either. Was the frame originally chrome? or was it stripped of paint to repainted like this?
Where should the shift and brake levers be? The bars should be positioned in such a way as the flat portion of the 'drops' are horizontal to the top tube of the bike or angled slightly down toward sort of pointing toward the rear axle.
The shifter just look too far down on the DownTube and should normall be about 4 inches from downtube/headtube lug. Is there a small tab or something brazed onto the underside of the downtube? the shifters should be just above that so the clamp does not slide.
What is a cross chain condition? Cross chaining refers to the chain being on both the large cog in the rear and the lager chainring in the front. you should never rid in big and big or small and small combos and it looks bad in pics.
See the angle of my bars and the relations of the bottom of the brake lever to the bottom of the bar?
Also my shifters have a brazed on mounting rather than a clamp but you can see how they should be positioned higher on the tube.
The more I look at this bike/post the more questions I have. what mechainics worked on it? Why is a solid cable housing running to the rear brake when the frame appears to have housing stops on the underside of the toptube? did the mechanic simple take the cable out of the box with the caliper and not realize he had to cut it? Is a similar story what happened witht he shifters? Were the cables too short so he just put them where they would fit rather than where they belong? The shifters and rear derailleur are actually from the late '80s and are very good quality items. are the adjuster screws in the rear dropouts broken off or just missing?
pepperbelly, There's been some well intentioned, but not quite right work performed on your bike. By coincedence I'll have my son's Olmo to overhaul in a couple of weeks.
04-28-12, 01:27 PM
My dad did the work on it trying to get it to where we could ride it.
He was one of the best Honda motorcycle mechanics in Texas, but I guess not so much on bicycles. On the plus side it does ride pretty well.
About the cross chain condition in the pics= the front derailleur is stuck, or the cable is bound up. I couldn't shift the front set of gears. I just rode it a little with it in that gear range.
The seat collar is what he used when the original broke, if I remember correctly.
He was a very very good mechanic and machinist, but I guess he wasn't aware how that bike was supposed to be set-up. Or he didn't care and just made it work. I know the brake cables held to the frame with zip ties must be making someone here really cringe. I don't like them either.
Since I do have a couple of Raleighs in good condition to ride I might make this a project to restore.
04-28-12, 03:17 PM
I expect the frame would sell well on ebay with seat post, headset and bottom bracket.
To restore there's much work (+$) to be done to get it back to an 1950's Italian tour de france machine.
Stripping paint, seat clamp?, repaint and then finding more period correct italian parts
04-28-12, 06:52 PM
Restoration was just a thought. The biggest problem with that is that it is too tall for me to be comfortable on it. I think it was built for someone about 6'2" or 6'3". I am just at 6'.
What is the significance to the serial number? I tried finding info on it and that didn't seem to fit anything I found on Olmo bikes.
04-28-12, 10:00 PM
Regarding the serial number, I have an intact original bicycle similar to this frame (D144), and I was just curious how close the numbers were.
04-28-12, 10:31 PM
That bike shouldn't be too tall for you at 6'. If anything it should be small. Looks 56-58cm or so to me. If it was set up right with the levers in the right spot you might find you can make it fit. Are you familiar with road bike fit?
04-28-12, 10:48 PM
I think it doesn't look like that much work to get back together in very nice riding condition and looking good. Maybe strip the paint, adjust the levers - you can place a ruler along the bottom of the drop so the ruler is sticking out towards the front and place the end of the brake lever so that it touches the edge of the ruler. You may even like the lever a little higher and that is OK, but this method would put the levers where they should be as you can see in Bianchigirll's photo. Put new cables on the bike and install them properly with the shifter levers moved up and I think that bike would be sweet! It should also fit you fine. I am 5'9" and I think it would fit me. After doing these things, you could slowly replace whatever parts you wanted to, if you really wanted to.
04-28-12, 10:48 PM
Holiday, I am just barely familiar with it. I have found a chart online and have, of course, straddled the bike. It is just a little too tall. I will measure it sometime. Do I just measure from the ground to the top of the frame crossbar?
04-28-12, 11:19 PM
Even if you cannot stand over it, it could still fit you well. The length of the top tube usually has a greater effect on comfort. You may have to tip to the side to stand still with the bike, but when you are on it riding, it could feel great. in this case, it sounds like it would. How does it feel when you are on it? Too stretched out, handlebars feel to close, or does it feel about right? Is the seat at a height that allows you to extend your leg and place your heel on the pedal with it at the bottom with you having to rock from side to side to do it with each leg? That is not necessarily the perfect adjustment for you, but it is a good place to start.
04-28-12, 11:54 PM
It actually fits well when riding. I have the seat adjusted right for my leg length. I don't really feel stretched out so the handlebars are about right.
I can straddle it, but it is a snug fit.
I need to figure out why the front derailleur isn't shifting. I might just be a stuck cable.
I agree that I need to strip that paint. I will also need new tires before I go further than around the block. They are really starting to show their age.
This is a fast bike. Is that just a function of the gears?
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