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Old 09-12-05, 09:06 PM   #1
Skip Magnuson
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Italvega - "On the road again"

I bought an Italvega road bike in 1971 or 72 from Desimone's Cycle in San Jose, CA and rode it to work for 12 or 15 years, then retired and the bike has been stored for the last 15 years. I got it out and am now doing pleasure riding. I didn't get a top-of-the line bike when I bought it but have lately wondered which model it is called. I see the following Italvega models mentioned: Gran Rally, Super Light, Super Record, Super Speciale, and Nuovo Sport but I'm not sure they are all Italvega models. Can anyone enlighten me on the models and their ranking from high-end to bottom-end? Thanks.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:51 PM   #2
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When the SuperLight came out around '74, it was the top model, and that then made the SuperSpeciale which had been the top model, # 2. I believe the SuperRecord was # 3 by around '74, then the NuovoSport, and the GranRally.... I may be off a bit here. Here's a '76ish catalog that may help:

http://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/ItalVega-'76/
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Old 09-13-05, 04:51 PM   #3
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In looking at my Iltavega, it seems to me that the frames (except for size) could all be the same and the model would be determined by what is put on the frame. Could this be correct?
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Old 09-15-05, 01:33 PM   #4
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Check the rear dropouts. If there derallieur hanger is not part of the drop out, it is one of the lower end models, which probably had columbus tubing for the main tubes. ping it with your finger to figure out if it is butted.
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Old 09-15-05, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Magnuson
I bought an Italvega road bike in 1971 or 72 from Desimone's Cycle in San Jose, CA and rode it to work for 12 or 15 years, then retired and the bike has been stored for the last 15 years. I got it out and am now doing pleasure riding. I didn't get a top-of-the line bike when I bought it but have lately wondered which model it is called. I see the following Italvega models mentioned: Gran Rally, Super Light, Super Record, Super Speciale, and Nuovo Sport but I'm not sure they are all Italvega models. Can anyone enlighten me on the models and their ranking from high-end to bottom-end? Thanks.
Skip Magnuson, Spokane, WA
Skip,
I was born and raised in Santa Clara/San Jose and bought my first bike at Desimone's Cycles. In fact, I just got my hands on an old Nishiki that came from Brightside Bicycle shop that also was in San Jose. What a flashback to the early days! Good luck with that bike.
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Old 09-15-05, 03:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Magnuson
In looking at my Iltavega, it seems to me that the frames (except for size) could all be the same and the model would be determined by what is put on the frame. Could this be correct?
Skip Magnuson
Most had different frames. An exception was the SuperLight/SuperSpeciale from about '74-'77 or thereabouts; same frame. BTW- now that I think about it, I believe the "Gran Rally" was a Univega.... I don't remember an ItalVega by that name.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocjerry
Check the rear dropouts. If there derallieur hanger is not part of the drop out, it is one of the lower end models, which probably had columbus tubing for the main tubes. ping it with your finger to figure out if it is butted.
Hi Jerry,
Thanks for the reply - please help me out a little if you can. My Iltavega is probably one of the lower (middle) end models. It does have Columbus tubing (triangular decal), Campagnolo Grand Turismo deraillieur, Nervar crank, Universal Mod 61 brakes, III stem, NISI aluminum wheels, chrome frame (green paint).
Would you please describe what to look for in the derallieur hangers and identifying the drop out. I guess the pinging is to see if the frame entends into the hangers?
Thanks.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Magnuson
I bought an Italvega road bike in 1971 or 72 from Desimone's Cycle in San Jose, CA and rode it to work for 12 or 15 years, then retired and the bike has been stored for the last 15 years. I got it out and am now doing pleasure riding. I didn't get a top-of-the line bike when I bought it but have lately wondered which model it is called. I see the following Italvega models mentioned: Gran Rally, Super Light, Super Record, Super Speciale, and Nuovo Sport but I'm not sure they are all Italvega models. Can anyone enlighten me on the models and their ranking from high-end to bottom-end? Thanks.
Skip Magnuson, Spokane, WA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhendricks
Skip,
I was born and raised in Santa Clara/San Jose and bought my first bike at Desimone's Cycles. In fact, I just got my hands on an old Nishiki that came from Brightside Bicycle shop that also was in San Jose. What a flashback to the early days! Good luck with that bike.
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but the first bike I bought with my own money was the Motobecane Grand Touring I bought from Desimone's in June of 1977. A satisfied customer to this day. I wish I could thank them for selling me that bike.
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Old 02-25-06, 11:46 AM   #9
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I own an Italvega which I believe to be a Superspeciale. Got it about 30 years ago. It is definitely the most beautiful road bike that I own. It is all drilled out Campy Record parts-brake levers, brake calipers, slotted crank arms, drilled out chainrings, fluted seat post. The frame has beautiful sculpted lugs and the bottom bracket has slotted cut outs. The original wheels were tubulars with the spokes tied and soldered. I replaced them with clinchers. It is a superlight and gorgeous bike. I only know of one other person that has an Italvega-never saw many of these bikes on the East Coast.
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Old 02-25-06, 12:58 PM   #10
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I own an Italvega which I believe to be a Superspeciale. ...It is all drilled out Campy Record parts-brake levers, brake calipers, slotted crank arms, drilled out chainrings, fluted seat post....
PICTURES? Sounds like a SuperLight model with the slotted crank arms & drilled rings, etc. The SuperSpeciale had the same frame (different color & decal), but with regular Record bits. Either was a sweet bike, and they're actually quite rare.
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Old 02-25-06, 02:05 PM   #11
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I just read your letter on italavega. I have a 1970 Italavega since day one. Ridden it many miles, It most likely is high end do too, the color is Yellow, all campagnolo gearing, 421 alum. Bonded frame, Small black tool kit on back of seat, rat Traps ( toe holders), air pump, crank by Nervar, universal brakes, Guntti quick realse hubs, water bottle with signature, and the orginal recipit from a bike shop in Palo Alto, CA Turn the bike upstide down and there should be 4 digets stamped into frame. then also a single number, near middle of crank.Mine is #1866 (3) . for futher information we would have too find the orginal designer, and seek his help, unless someone else knows
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Old 02-25-06, 08:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Magnuson
... My Iltavega is probably one of the lower (middle) end models. It does have Columbus tubing (triangular decal), Campagnolo Grand Turismo deraillieur, Nervar crank, Universal Mod 61 brakes, III stem, NISI aluminum wheels, chrome frame (green paint). ... Skip
Skip, I remember that model well. It came out in 1970, when I was in the market for a new bike, and cost around $125. It was ItalVega's answer to the Raleigh SuperCourse, a step above the Peugeot UO-8. I ended up buying the $150 American Eagle Semi-Pro [Nishiki Competition], which had a double-butted Ishiwata CrMo main triangle and Campag. copy Sugino Mighty Compe aluminum cranks. The ItalVega had a much better finish than my Nishiki.
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Old 02-27-06, 05:26 PM   #13
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TOG wrote: "Sounds like a SuperLight model with the slotted crank arms & drilled rings, etc. The SuperSpeciale had the same frame (different color & decal), but with regular Record bits. Either was a sweet bike, and they're actually quite rare."

My 1971 Italvega was the only Italvega at the recent Bicycle Expo in Seattle - I don't know if that makes it rare or not. I have been collecting serial numbers for Italvegas and now have 18. The early bikes (1970 to 1974) all seem to have a four digit number (I have 0037 to 5898 recorded). Sometime around 1974 the numbers went to six digit numbers with * before and after the number (sometimes). It could be the building site changed or something else. If anyone has an Italvega, I would appreciate a PM with the number. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:18 AM   #14
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Well Skip , you piqued my curiousity. My Italvega serial number is 3509, so I gather that it is pre-1974, which sounds about right to me. As I previously stated, my friend has a dark green Italvega with all Campy N. Record but I do not believe that any of his parts are drilled out like mine. I think that in all my years, besides mine and my friend's, I don;t think that I ever so 1 or 2 others. You might know more than me, but I think that they were only imported into the West Coast, which would explain why we never so any here on the East Coast.
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Old 07-11-11, 12:01 AM   #15
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6 years later,


I picked up an italvega at a garage sale yesterday. It's in pretty rough shape, non matching pedals and brake levers , it looks like someone stripped it down to a single speed. The crankset is pretty sweet, it's a shugino and there are only three arms instead of the standard 5. unfortunately the bolts are missing for attaching the crank gear to the crank ARM and they are a non standard size. I came across your post while looking for a solution to my crank problem...
It's metallic brown, unusual feature is that the rear forks come to points under the seat, seems like all thepictures of italvegas I've seen online they flatten out at the seat post. I'm trying to figure out an inexpensive solution for my crank problem, any input would be appreciated...

Skip...I saw that you are collecting serial numbers for the italvega bikes. mine is
x211217
I'll be happy to answer any questions. I don't know bike speak, I was the family mechanic as a kid, but that never went much beyond tightening brake cables and adjusting gears...

MIKE
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Old 08-02-12, 09:00 AM   #16
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Skip,

Just bought an Italvega, with SN 8078, so I guess that puts it pre-1974?

I posted a thread yesterday, here: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-help-identify
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Old 08-02-12, 10:39 AM   #17
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I have a 1970 Italavega since day one. Ridden it many miles, It most likely is high end do too, the color is Yellow, all campagnolo gearing, 421 alum. Bonded frame...
Wow, I had no idea Italvega ever got involved with bonded aluminum frames. Very interesting. The things you learn hanging around here!

Now common guy's, this thread needs some pictures!
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Old 09-06-12, 11:36 PM   #18
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Just picked up this thread. The S/N of my Super Speciale is 1455 -- bought new in 1972. Fully repainted. Here are some pics.
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Old 09-07-12, 12:45 PM   #19
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Just picked up this thread. The S/N of my Super Speciale is 1455 -- bought new in 1972. Fully repainted. Here are some pics.
very nice, but I assume those are re-pop decals that Cyclart supplied? They misspelled the name on the chainstay: AFAIK that's always been Torresini with a "T", not a "C".
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Old 01-13-13, 11:21 PM   #20
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Skip, I know this is an old post but I,m about to get an early Italavega with full Campagnolo eguipment. It had sew-ups. Do you have any new sources for info?
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Old 01-14-13, 01:47 AM   #21
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Skip was eaten by zombies in 2009.
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Old 01-14-13, 02:20 AM   #22
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Welcome to the forum, as Gaucho777 suggests, we haven't heard much from Skip in several years, but there are a few around with some information on these odd ball Italian bikes. Post your pictures, so we can help you out. Mine is a bit of an orphan as it was repainted and update by a PO. Here it is as I received it.

My research and information from a previous owner suggests mid seventies SuperSpecial.
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Old 01-14-13, 12:42 PM   #23
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Welcome to the forum, as Gaucho777 suggests, we haven't heard much from Skip in several years, but there are a few around with some information on these odd ball Italian bikes. Post your pictures, so we can help you out. Mine is a bit of an orphan as it was repainted and update by a PO. Here it is as I received it.

My research and information from a previous owner suggests mid seventies SuperSpecial.
Thanks for the info on Skip. Hope he is ok as I knew a Skip or Keith Magnuson in SoCal many years ago. The reason I am here is I have an increadable "friend" find (that's like a barn find but...) It is a very early Italvega Super Light or Super Speciale. Full Campanolo groupo and sew-ups, from the original owner! I was looking for a full restoration project, asked him if he would part with it. Guess it was time to give it a new home! I'll have photos and more info soon.
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Old 05-11-13, 08:43 PM   #24
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It has been a long time since I posted due to weather and convience issues. I will have the SS on May 14th. After much research on line I have only a little info regarding the Italvega models. The '76 catalogue shows it without a head badge (decal only), no chrome lugs, clamp-on derailleur cable stops and brake cable guides. also the color is a silver green. My SS matches that info. I'll know the serial number when I get it & will let you know. The tubular wheelset was swapped for clinchers at POS but all of the original equipment was kept either in boxes or used on the bike. This is going to be a complete restoration with some upgrades to the drive train. Let you know more as the project moves on.

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Old 05-18-13, 07:44 PM   #25
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Just finished tearing the bike down to the bone. The serial number is 404032, which sort of confirms it's' a 75 or 76. The drop outs are Campy and chrome faced and drilled. Unless someone has a serial number data base, I'll assume it is a 1976. All the components match the '76 brochure.

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