Hi! A local bike friend recommended this forum for figuring out who made a vintage steel frame a friend gave me a couple of years ago. I need to decide whether to restore it, sell it, or junk it. It seems like it's good quality, maybe French, because it's very light (5lbs 4 oz for the frame alone), and the fork has Nervor stamped on it. But there are no other marks of quality on it (such as Campagnalo). I'll try to attach a zillion pictures now. Any surmises, guesses, posits, clues, infos would be appreciated.
I have seen that LA on a fork crown before, just cannot recall.
Drive side dropout appears to have been repaired and or is bent again.
Internal top tube cable routing is probably not original.
Prugnat lugset, Gargatte shell and Nervor steerer would tend to suggest/support idea of a French origin.
Looks as though a bottom bracket cable guide may have been removed. We need to be careful here not to place too much weight on current presence/absence of braze-ons since machine displays clear signs of having been "worked on."
Seat stay treatment may provide important clue to the right reader. This is of a type not oft seen on French cycles.
wrt the suggestion of Italianess - The combination of this Prugnat lug pattern with this seat stay treatment could suggest a Rizzato product. The serial number format and placement are consistent with a frame from this manufacturer. The first three characters being "74A___" would suggest an Atala machine of 1974.
Last edited by juvela; 07-18-16 at 03:27 PM.
The frame details look more Italian than French to me. What's the ID of the bottom bracket shell? French should be 35mm; Italian should be 36mm.
Thank you for your reply John D. Thompson. The stampings on the bottom bracket shell read 25 and 25 (in other words, 25 on the left bottom side of the bracket pipe, and then 25 again on the right bottom side of the bracket pipe). The inside diameter of the pipe that makes up the bottom bracket shell is 35mm.
Juvela - Wow! Thank you for such great information! You probably have saved me a week's worth of internet searching. This is so interesting...! I was thinking early 70's myself, but I had nothing to back that hunch up with.
The 25 marking in the shell is the frame size in inches, measuring c-t-t. Rizzato did this on their products at this time, at least the ones for export to the English speaking world.
Cesare changed from using an Agrati lugest to the Prugnat in ~1968. Frame's seat lug looks to be an Agrati pattern. AFAIK Prugnat did not offer Malaguti type seat lugs. Shell and bridges are likely Agrati products as well.
Here is an Atala models crosstable from 1973. Looks like your frame would either be a model #101 or a model #109:
Atala and Lygie brand bicycles tended to be the same in the metal, differing only in finish and transfers. Also a possibility machine may have been sold as some third marque as the company did a bit of contract building as well...
The letter "A" in the serial does not necessarily mean the machine is an Atala. Here is a chrome 1973 Lygie serial:
This 1972 Lygie appears identical in the metal to your frame:
Juvela - wow! I mean, WOW again! You have a singular talent for identifying frames! That pretty much nails it. Since I got this frame in NYC, I'm wondering if it was a survivor of the original American Youth Hostel herd! Very interesting how it could be a Lygie as well. I realize that without the original finish and transfers, we may never know. And the front fork may or may not have anything to do with the mystery. Perhaps I should send some images to Lonnie, regardless?
Thank you for the the vivid pic and the Atala cross table. Great reference, that.
Good to read information of assistance. If you explore those Atala & Lygie resource pages you will get to see what the bicycle's original fork may have looked like.
Readers often ask regarding headplate fastener holes on these mystery identifications. In this case it is somewhat moot as Rizzato did both metal headplates w/fasteners and adhesive transfer ones, both formats in the same era.
The firm had a third marque for their products which does not come into play here as it was employed only for an economy line. This was called Atlantica.
Will look forward to read what the experts have to say regarding the fork. The NERVOR steerer is strongly suggestive of a French origin although it could also be Belgian. Have you as yet checked its thread/dimension? One would expect an O.D. of 25.0mm and an I.D. of 22.0mm.
Here is a 1974 Atala Record Professional model frameset in original finish. Gives you an opportunity to see how fork may have appeared on your example. Note the serial number of 74A1185 is only a handful later than yours.
Here is a 1974 Atala Special Corsa bicycle. It is nearly identical in the metal to yours yet has less chrome than the model posted above. Also has an adhesive head emblem rather than a metal one affixed with fasteners. Its serial is about four hundreds later than that of your bike.
[Keep in mind we do not yet know if your frame was sold as Atala or as Lygie.]
The head lugs on your frame are Prugnat model 62/D.
The seat lug is Agrati "CORSA" series. Agrati offered their seat lugs with regular binder ears as seen on your frame or bare, for use with a seat binder collar. They also offered them malaguti style (with plugs for the seat stays) as seen on your frame or plain.
Here is an Agrati "ROMA" pattern lugset showing a malaguti style seat lug without binder ears:
The round hole seen in the underside of your frame's bottom bracket shell was made post manufacture. Likely for the fitment of an injection moulded snap-in gear cable guide. Hole a bit too large for the screw-in type.