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Old 12-11-07, 09:22 PM   #1
leisure
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Torpado Luxe ?

First off I'm not that experienced with bikes, but I'm getting strong armed by friends to start riding with them in the Spring. I was looking for a new hobbie, and I like to stay fit, so I figured it wasn't a bad idea at all. I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and started looking for parts and I'm looking to start putting together a fixie with the help of me friends.

So first things first I was looking at a frame and I stumbled upon a 56cm frameset with horizontal dropouts. He's asking for $110.

Steel frame and fork.
Chrome head lugs.
Horizontal dropouts
Comes with headset.

The paint is pretty choppy, but I planned on repainting it.



I asked someone else and this is what they suggested.

Quote:
"I've never heard of the brand before, although I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be "Tornado". The head lugs are really cool, but you should know that you're going to have a ***** of a time masking the lugs to keep the chrome accents if you actually try to repaint it. Also, it's probably heavy as hell. Also, that tab on the headset is a cable stop for a center-pull front brake, which means the fork isn't drilled for a recessed-bolt front brake, which means either (1) find an older brake or (2) drill your fork. Which can be done, it's just a hassle. Offer him $75, then go to bikeforums.net and ask about the brand in the Classic & Vintage subforum."
And thats just what I did, I came here.


I'm really concerned about the weight. I would want a light ride, but if anyone has experience with the model could lend me some advice on it I'd really appreciate it.

Last edited by leisure; 12-11-07 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:29 PM   #2
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If your worried about weight you might want to go with aluminum, unless your actually looking for vintage steel then Im sure this will work for you
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Old 12-11-07, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
If your worried about weight you might want to go with aluminum, unless your actually looking for vintage steel then Im sure this will work for you
Weight isn't the biggest of my concern, I just wouldn't know how heavy it would be in comparison. I want something that will look nice, but since I would plan on painting over it I guess that would take everything away from it being vintage? Yes, no? I'm not sure.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by leisure View Post
Weight isn't the biggest of my concern, I just wouldn't know how heavy it would be in comparison. I want something that will look nice, but since I would plan on painting over it I guess that would take everything away from it being vintage? Yes, no? I'm not sure.
In comparison to aluminum most steel bikes will be heavy, take any steel frame and any aluminum frame and build them up with the same components and Im sure 99% of the time the aluminum one will be lighter and your right, an orig vintage bike is only orig once if you paint it over whats the use unless it has REALLY crappy paint but a vintage bike with a half decent paint job looks better than a new aluminum frame any day of the week.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:02 AM   #5
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This is not a particularly "top of the line" bike nor particularly lightweight, in all probability. One of the giveaways is the non-forged dropouts in rear with no integral derailler hanger. However, for fixie purposes, the derailler hanger would be un-needed anyway. I can't see what the seat tube decals say on my monitor, but they may give you a clue as to the type of steel used (such as, in this case, hopefully Columbus). Anyway, the brand, Torpado, is a fairly nice Italian company that generally made good decent bikes. I am not familiar with this particular model of Torpado, however, and would guess it dates from the 60's or early 70's. There is more info at the following link:

http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Ita...rpado_main.htm
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Old 12-12-07, 08:43 AM   #6
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Torpado were a very nice marque, ran a bit under the radar.
I'm not sure that the rear dropouts are non forged, they look like campy
1010b to my eye (possibly with someone hacking off the derailleur hanger).
there are a few good resources on CR list, one of which who is into
"anything" torpado.
Maybe a bike boom era entry model?

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Old 12-12-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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+1 with Evwxxx's assessment. I saw lots of these in my youth. This an entry level model with hi-tensile steel frame. Original equipment consisted of a steel cottered crankset, Simplex Prestige derailleurs, Balilla or Universal centre-pull brakes and Gnutti hubs laced to steel rims. The frame is eye candy, but it's still only a boom era, entry level, Italian model. With original equipment, it will build up in the 28-30 lb range. It's definitely not worth $100! By the time you built this up it would cost you far more than the original value.

The one positive note is that the frame is almost certainly fully chromed under that paint. Most Torpado of this era were and came with transluscent paint. So you could chemically strip it and not bother to repaint it, which would solve the lug masking problem. Personally, I wouldn't be offering over $20.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:10 PM   #8
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torpado

i have one of those frames in the back of my shed, i took it out and took a look , no sticker left re: tubing but the frame with fork, and crankset weighs 12lbs 2 oz! it ain't columbus. fully chromed, under green translucent paint, drop outs are forged but no name on them. lovely looking lugs but if one is a weight weenie this bike isn't the ticket.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:34 PM   #9
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One other piece of info on Torpado: they built all Italvega frames on contract, which were imported into the US, built up and sold under that brand. Italvega became Univega after production moved to Taiwan, in the very late 70's. Torpado was a big company, with a full line from entry level boat anchors to high-end Columbus/NR race bikes. This ones very much on the low end; +1 on T-Mar's comments.
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Old 12-12-07, 02:11 PM   #10
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I'll give you some advice you can take or leave: DON'T REPAINT IT! The graphics are really cool, and so are the lugs. If you leave it the way it is and you ride it as either a singlespeed or a fixie, you'll have a neat, vintage looking bike with cool old graphics. If you spraypaint it it's just going to look like any other painted frame AND it will be heavy. To me the decals are the best thing about it. I have messed around with vintage bikes before, and honestly I regret it. Now I focus on just trying to gently restore them. If you like it, give it some tlc and turn it into a cool bike with personality. However, If you're looking for something light and modern, you should probably look elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.

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