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  1. #1
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    Value of an early 80's Torpado w/Campy derraileurs

    Anyone have any sense what an early 80's Torpado, with Campagnolo derraileurs (980 I believe), Modolo corso brakes, Miche hubs and Ambrosio 19 rims would be worth? Is this a desireable bike?

  2. #2
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Well, it's in Boston, right? If it's a hot bike market, $350 might be the going rate. Personally, I probably wouldn't spend more than $200-$250 for the bike you describe if I planned to use it as my main ride. Less if I planned to flip it.

    It's possible the frame is better than the components, but if I were you, I wouldn't assume they are 980 yet. If the rear dropouts are Gipiemme or Suntour or something else, it's likely a mid-range model frame. If they are Campagnolo or Columbus, it's likely an upper end frame. Likewise with frame tubes. If it's one of the Columbus letter tubes (SL, SLX, TSX) it's high level. Reynolds 531, too (not sure Torpado would have built with that). If it's Aelle Tretubi (three main tubes only) or Cromor, it's mid level. It's possible it could be some other lesser known tubing as well such as Falck, Oria or others.

  3. #3
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Well, I tried emailing the seller to get better pics for you, but she tells me someone is coming to look at it tomorrow, so she'll send some if it's still available.

    Now if you try to negotiate down, she'll tell you her inbox is overflowing with messages from interested buyers!

  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If you really want it, you need to bump your offer up to jump line. Might work, might not work. But it is your best shot. Given values given by others on this bike, I would not bump the offer myself as you will be getting further and further over market in your price.

  5. #5
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Given the description, the tubing is Columbus Allele. Gipemme dropouts, if memory serves. The rear is a 980. If so, it's a mid level model, pretty nice, but not ridiculous. Here (Richmond VA), 250$ would be low-- I sold one four years ago for that much. $350 sound right in the Boston area, maybe a bit more. If it's the higher end model from this period-- which would have campy drops-- its worth more. I'd price it at 250 if I wanted to get rid of it quick.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  6. #6
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. And yes this is Boston, and JunkYardBike you pegged the one. The person the seller mentioned is going to look at it is me. I swapped some email with the her for more info, but this was her deceased husband's bike and she is clearly not a bike person. I figured I'd best just go see it.

    Does anyone have specific experience with Campy 980 out there, that could tell me what to pay particular attention to as I look it over? Do Campy 980 derrailleurs have a reputation for holding up well over time?

  7. #7
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Did you back out? I received a few pics from the seller, but they don't help much in identifying components. However, the front derailleur looks like a Nuovo Record, so the rear may be as well. The cranks look like Ofmega Mundial. Not sure about the other components, but they're are probably mid to entry level stuff. Shimano barcon shifters are an upgrade, in my opinion.

    The frame looks nice. I can't quite make out the tubing sticker. Doesn't really look like Columbus to me. The rear dropouts could be Campagnolo, or maybe imitations?








  8. #8
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    Yes, I did back out. I asked the seller if there was anything to indicate Columbus tubing which I assumed would be marked on an otherwise well maintained bike. None according to her. I linked this to the fact that an old catalogue spec sheet indicated Ambrosio 19 rims were only stock on their entry level bikes as well as that the color seemed to be close to 'Medium metalic blue' which was listed on the spec sheet of their 'Alpha' entry level model I decided to take a pass. Since I just picked up a beautiful 2001 Lemond Poprad just this week - with 2004 cassette and hubs, and almost new tires and chain - for the same price (300 bucks) I figured I'd leave good enough alone.

    So now I am still left wondering what the excitement about a classic Italian ride is all about....

  9. #9
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Where is this Torpado catalog? Online or you have hardcopy of one? Ambrosio Elite 19 rims are actually pretty decent, but the cranks and brakes on this particular model are definitely downmarket. The frame does look nice, but without more info on the tube decals and dropouts, hard to tell just how nice. I agree that if you've got other bikes, this isn't exactly a blazing deal, though it isn't particularly bad either if you're looking for a primary ride.

    If you want the genuine Italian experience, you might have to bump your budget up a bit, unless you get lucky.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    It wasn't a full catalogue, but just an 'early 80's' spec sheet on Classic Rendvous.

    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Ita...pado_specs.htm

    By the way - and excuse the ignorance - what is a dropout?

    ... still hoping to get lucky though - Italian style...

  11. #11
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Rear dropouts:



    Front dropouts or fork ends:


  12. #12
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    Got it. Much appreciated.

    By the way thanks for all your responses and info. These have been my first couple days on the forum and you've not been a great help but also have given me a great first impression of this venue. May your junk yard days ahead be full of Italian classics...

  13. #13
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpalong View Post
    Got it. Much appreciated.

    By the way thanks for all your responses and info. These have been my first couple days on the forum and you've not been a great help but also have given me a great first impression of this venue. May your junk yard days ahead be full of Italian classics...
    Hey, there are plenty here that will shatter that good first impression! In all sincerity, though, for the most part, you will find the C&V forum, at least, populated by friendly, helpful and encouraging members.

    So welcome, and enjoy the ride (when you finally find one!)

    P.S. $300 for that Poprad was a pretty good deal. You'll be hard pressed to find a high end vintage Italian ride for that price. I think the current deals are in 90s bikes: too old for the 'latest and greatest' crew, and too modern for the 'classic and vintage' snobs.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    I had to laugh. Just read my earnest note there and noticed the typo (should have been "... you've not only been a great help..."). Anyhow, glad you got the spirit of it.

    Good to hear about the Poprad. The bike seems to fit me very nicely and has an overall really comfortable smooth ride quality to it. I took it out for a 10 mile spin this morning and was definately feeling the magic of a New England fall ride. I had read some negative reviews of the Shimano 105 grupo, but so far I can't find anything not to like. It is certainly the nicest 'modern' bike I've ever had.

    I'm curious about what you look for among the 90's bikes. I've come to learn that I am a steel frame kind of guy, so that might rule out a fair bit. I purchased a Vitus 979 (aluminium) six months ago with Shimano 600 and a nice Mavic wheel set, which while very light and quick, seems a little nervy to me. Fortunately I only paid $75 for it, which at the time I didn't think much of, but since have come to think was pretty lucky. At the very least I could repurpose the wheels and components onto my 73 Raleigh Gran Sport which is currently all original (except I had to add a new Brooks B19) if I get tired of the dated setup. I have also borrowed a couple carbon bikes - granted none were high end - but there is a sort of cardboard-like quality to them that just doesn't work for me. I kept worrying I was going to break them. So anyhow, assuming for one that I would still like to find that classic Italian experience (but don't want to limit myself to that), I'm curious what some of the things you particularly look for are (tubing, components, brands, years, etc)?

  15. #15
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    JunkYardBike (or an admin or moderator who may be out there) - It just occurred to me that my last couple submissions have moved this thread out of the scope of discussion for this sub forum. If I should move or terminate the thread I'd be happy to do so.

  16. #16
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpalong View Post
    JunkYardBike (or an admin or moderator who may be out there) - It just occurred to me that my last couple submissions have moved this thread out of the scope of discussion for this sub forum. If I should move or terminate the thread I'd be happy to do so.
    I don't have that kind of power, but even if I did I don't think the direction of your questioning is inappropriate necessarily. It is a million dollar question though! To be honest, I'm still learning as I go, but I suppose there are some general things to look for in a vintage Italian bike. There are always exceptions of course, but the tubing you'd be looking for is probably Columbus (SL, SLX, TSX, et al). Look for the decal both on the frame and the forks. If the Columbus decal indicates Tretubi, then it means only the 3 main tubes of the frame are built with that level of tubing. That doesn't mean the frame won't ride nicely, just that it's probably an entry or mid-level offering. Campagnolo and Columbus dropouts are also often an indication of high end quality. Component groups to look for are Super Record, Record and Nuovo Record, and later in the mid 80s, C-Record and Chorus. Trouble is, many of these components are not labeled as such, so you have to research them or learn to identify them before you go looking for a bike. I'm no expert, but I can identify a lot of the stuff, but it's taken me several years to learn what I know.

    That being said, ride quality doesn't necessarily depend on a bike being 'high end'. It's quite possible you can find a 'lower' level offering, maybe like that Torpado, that delivers an excellent ride. And the same bike may not suite the preferences of two different riders. In addition, the quality of the wheels and tires makes a huge difference in ride quality, so it's possible to achieve a superior ride quality with good wheels on a 'low end' frame than with subpar wheels on a 'high end' frame.

    Basically, there are no easy formulas here, but the bright side is that lots of vintage stuff is affordable enough (compared to new stuff) that you can buy, sell, and reconfigure to your heart's content. Take some time and read the threads in the main forum. Browse through the 'Classic Rides' thread to see what bikes people have and what they think about them. There are plenty of nice frames that fly under the radar, such as Rossin, Basso, and Bertoni, that can probably be had for less than a Colnago, Bianchi or Cinelli. There are many more like that, but it will take some time to learn about them. Enjoy the journey!

  17. #17
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    So I thought I'd add a happy epilogue to this thread (at least I'm feeling happy...). Today I brought home an 82 Bianchi Nuovo Racing, almost all original with Campy Nuovo Record, 3ttt stem, Mavic open pro wheels (upgrade), Universal brakes, campy seat post, and the original leather saddle (can't remember what it is - and too lazy to go to the garage to see), 57cm - exactly my size, in celeste... Hardly a spot of rust... just beautiful. $220 in the Boston area. Original owner, hadn't used the bike in 20 years and just bought a new Specialized and was suprised I was even interested in it. Whether or not a good deal I'm psyched. I took it for a 10 minute spin today in the rain and came home feeling happy as a clam. The classic Italian ride is in the house! I'm getting up tomorrow at 5AM to get out for a solid ride along the Charles river before work to properly make my acquaintance. Woo hoo. (and sorry Torpado - it didn't work out...)

  18. #18
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    Well, that's anticlimactic. What happened to the epic journey part?

    Congrats on the find. You did good! The Celeste frameset alone is probably worth near that amount in a metropolitan market...or ebay.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bumpalong's Avatar
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    For now call it a case of 'love the one you're with... '

    ... But at the risk of being called promiscuous ... the journey is not over ...

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