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  1. #1
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    Dating a Bottecchia! Please help a budding bike restorer;)

    Iv'e been reading these forums for a while but thus is my first post. I recently picked up an old Bottecchia off CL, she said it was from the 80's but it looks a lot older. I've done a bit of research. I saw someone who posted that this headtube is from the 40's but I saw on a bike restoring site who's posted a bike with the same headtube and he listed there as a 196? Bott. Special. If anyone can help I would really appreciate it. G-d Bless!

    Link1
    Link 2

    Heres some pics that I took of the bikes

  2. #2
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Link 1 is to one of the bicycles that I have owned. That bike is of 1973 vintage and sports a very unusual set of head tube lugs. If your bike has Campagnolo wheels, remove the rear wheel and one of the hub lock nuts. It will most likely have a two digit date code such as 73. If that does not help, have a look at How Old Is My Bicycle? and apply what you learn there. Best of luck with your project.
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

  3. #3
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Derailleurs are 1950s/60s Campagnolo, go to Velobase and look up "Gran Sport" and the earliest "Record" derailleurs. See if hubs have oil ports or Campagnolo logo. Bike is clearly not 1980s. Cottered steel crank wouldn't typically be seen on a high end 1970s bike. I think 1960s and probably earlier 60s. Could maybe be 1950s but that is beyond my experience. Stem is raised dangerously high. Brake levers are later. Nice project. Chrome looks okay everywhere that it is meant to be exposed, that whole frame is chromed then painted over leaving areas of exposed chrome. Needs complete teardown and all bearings overhauled.
    Last edited by jyl; 11-13-14 at 11:17 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Derailleurs are 1950s/60s Campagnolo, go to Velobase and look up "Gran Sport" and the earliest "Record" derailleurs. See if hubs have oil ports or Campagnolo logo. Bike is clearly not 1980s. Cottered steel crank wouldn't typically be seen on a high end 1970s bike. I think 1960s and probably earlier 60s. Could maybe be 1950s but that is beyond my experience. Stem is raised dangerously high. Brake levers are later. Nice project. Chrome looks okay everywhere that it is meant to be exposed, that whole frame is chromed then painted over leaving areas of exposed chrome. Needs complete teardown and all bearings overhauled.
    Should I repaint it? And if yes how, should I send it to a shop?

  5. #5
    Senior Member exxongraftek's Avatar
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    Frame would be really pretty if professionally repainted (but you'll spend some $ to do that).

  6. #6
    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Derailleurs are 1950s/60s Campagnolo, go to Velobase and look up "Gran Sport" and the earliest "Record" derailleurs. See if hubs have oil ports or Campagnolo logo. Bike is clearly not 1980s. Cottered steel crank wouldn't typically be seen on a high end 1970s bike. I think 1960s and probably earlier 60s. Could maybe be 1950s but that is beyond my experience. Stem is raised dangerously high. Brake levers are later. Nice project. Chrome looks okay everywhere that it is meant to be exposed, that whole frame is chromed then painted over leaving areas of exposed chrome. Needs complete teardown and all bearings overhauled.
    OP's bike is not all chrome underneath, not if it is the one with the link to multiple pics with the paint worn away. Way past patina and yes, should be repainted. By you or a pro depends upon your budget largely. Are you keeping it? If you think you can have it fully restored and make some bucks, think again.

    I love the lugs, chrome, interesting design and windows, lots to love there. Not especially in love with cotters though. Have you tried removing the cranks to get at the BB? Depending on the bike, they can be a huge pain to remove. Might have to take it to an experienced shop that has the proper tools and aptitude to deal with it.

  7. #7
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    If the chrome that will be left exposed is in good shape, then I think a repaint would be very nice. There isn't enough original paint left to preserve, in my opinion.

    I was looking at the price list for a local bike paint shop. Basic one color $285, masking for chrome details $5/each area, decal application $8/each decal, etc. Painting and restoration services
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  8. #8
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TugaDude View Post
    OP's bike is not all chrome underneath
    It sure looks like it to me. Look at top tube, down tube, seat stays. Paint is all gone and what is exposed is not all rusty as it would be if it were unchromed steel. The exposed areas look like chrome that is not highly polished, which is how it would be if meant to be painted over. I have an all chromed 1961 Bianchi which looks very similar, where the paint is gone.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member TugaDude's Avatar
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    Doesn't look like unfinished chrome to me. But not interested in arguing. The OP is in possession of the bike and can confirm.

  10. #10
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    Should I Repaint My Bicycle? is a question that can be answered easily, with a yes or no, however; yes WILL cost money, to say the least.

    A home paint job, done with either a spray can(s)...



    or painted with a brush...



    Either method will set you back close to a hundred dollars, if you purchase a set of decals. If no decals, expect to pay fifty bucks at least. If you don't know how to paint a bicycle, the results might not be all that appealing. And...

    Once painted, will the chrome areas match the new paint? Will the component condition match? The point is, new paint, often times demands new chrome (really expensive) and even shiny components. This will set you back plenty. The question now becomes - is it worth it? Let's say no for the time being. Instead...

    Start by cleaning and building the bicycle completely, paying no attention to cosmetics. Don't spend a cent on "pretty" until "works" is addressed. Put another way, build the bike and ride it a bit to ensure that it is a good fit and that it handles correctly (not bent and pulling to one side or the other).

    Ride the bike for a while, getting used to it and then decide if you want "pretty" or patina (patina is the cosmetics that a bike earns during use and storage, over the years and there is nothing wrong with patina). Once you are satisfied that all is well with the bike and you, then consider the question Should I Paint My Bike?
    Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"

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