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Old 12-29-07, 12:40 PM   #1
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Lygie, anyone?

My brother just called me from an L.A. thrift shop. He said he had a bike in hand, a Lygie, and wanted to know if I wanted him to buy it for me. For $10, I said sure.......

All I know right now is that it says Lygie on it, has a "Made in Italy" sticker somewhere, has quick release skewers fore and aft, has cottered cranks, and is equipped with Huret components. He says "it looks like it has been around".

As soon as he gets home, I'll try to get some pics sent for you guys to look at. In the meantime, I haven't been too successful Googling information about this brand - other than the older example over at Classic Rendezvous. Does anyone have any general or specific information on this brand that might help me further identify this bike?
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Old 12-29-07, 12:56 PM   #2
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This was a fairly big brand in LA, presumably cause it was imported by a local (West Hollywood) importer and was sold by Hans Ortt in his Beverly Hills shop. I had the Lygie lust for a short spell while in college in Santa Monica...but it passed before I could ever afford to buy one. A brand name that dates back to the early 1900's in Milan, it was bought out by Rizzato/Atala (in Padua, I think, 1930s) certainly by the time yours was built. Judging by the cottered cranks and Huret stuff, it might be a lowly gaspiper...but you might be luckier than that. Could have ornate chrome lugs, and should be equivalent to an Atala but slightly more "bling" for the buck.
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Old 12-29-07, 03:18 PM   #3
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Sheldon on Lygie

$10? I'm green with envy....
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Old 12-29-07, 04:39 PM   #4
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I almost bought a used Lygie in early 1971, when I was actively bike shopping. I ended up getting a new American Eagle Semi Pro (Nishiki Competition) instead, after rejecting the Peugeot UO-8 and stretching my budget beyond the Raleigh Super Course. In hindsight, the Nishiki double-butted CrMo frame was a disappointment, but the Sugino crankset and SunTour derailleurs were superior to the steel cranks and Huret or Simplex gear on the European bikes. The Lygie certainly looked sharp, and at 22 inches / 56 cm, it was closer to my size than the 23" / 58.5cm Nishiki.
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Old 01-01-08, 08:39 PM   #5
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Here are the photo's my brother sent me. Can anyone opine on what I have? How'd I do for $10?



















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Old 01-01-08, 08:51 PM   #6
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Certainly low end with some appeal thanks to the chrome. If you can clean all that rust off you should wind up having a "polished turd". If you intend to flip it im sure some chick will fancy it!
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Old 01-01-08, 09:15 PM   #7
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Hans would not touch those, Imported and sold by I. Martin Imports on 3rd or Beverly, Just East of LaCienega.

Now, there was a period in 1971, 1972 where you could buy a full campagnolo complete bike for less than the cost of an ensemble! So, folk bought one there, then bought a Bob Jackson frame set, and a new bottom bracket and were over $100. ahead the frame? give it away.

Some were better than that, but they did not have a great reputation for build quality, geometry was reasonable, but cooked tubes were common.
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Old 01-01-08, 09:22 PM   #8
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the rims would cost you way more than you have into the bike. Your brother cleverly edited the hubs out of every picture...what are they?
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Old 01-01-08, 09:22 PM   #9
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I love the chrome lugs and stays. Lose the dork disk and the chain guard, replace the brake hoods, cables, and pads, and give it a general clean-up. Low-end Italian frames ride surprisingly nicely (been there ... done that).
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Old 01-01-08, 09:30 PM   #10
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the rims would cost you way more than you have into the bike. Your brother cleverly edited the hubs out of every picture...what are they?

Good to hear! I'll ask about the hubs.

I'll eBay the rims, and then clean the frame, rebuild it with a decent group, and flip it. It is a small size, and will make a good campus bike for a lucky coed.
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Old 01-01-08, 10:23 PM   #11
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That's a low-end one but it would make a great fixed gear conversion since it has no braze-ons.

They did make a full Reynolds 531/Campy drop-out bike that was pretty nice. Here's an early 70's one I used to own.



It was pretty crudely built, but it did ride very well.
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Old 01-01-08, 10:26 PM   #12
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the rims would cost you way more than you have into the bike. Your brother cleverly edited the hubs out of every picture...what are they?
What's special about 27" alloy rims?
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Old 01-01-08, 10:42 PM   #13
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I want that saddle!!!

Shine that baby up and flip it. I think it looks great at $10.
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Old 01-02-08, 12:59 AM   #14
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I want that saddle!!!

Shine that baby up and flip it. I think it looks great at $10.
My brother says the saddle is marked San Marco.
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Old 01-02-08, 01:55 AM   #15
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damn i was just going to ask if i could buy the saddle off of you.
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Old 01-02-08, 03:36 AM   #16
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What's special about 27" alloy rims?


If that Fiamme yellow label decal is original on the rim it would be rather uncommon. During the 1960s-70s I'd only seen that on their lightest weight tubular (sew-up) racing rims. Similar red label rims were used on the more common and less costly basic training rims. But, on a 27" clincher rim? - yeah, that's odd... maybe not very valuable, but different.

Fiamme did make more yellow label clincher rims during the 1980s which had simple square labels, but those rims also had eyelets and were actually pretty nice and quite strong. The one in the photo is odd because it appears to be a lower tier 27" clincher, has no eyelets, and is drilled for Schrader valves rather than Presta (but, I suppose the latter could have been a consumer modification, or simply made for the US market).

Oddly enough, the cockeyed, un-centered placement of the label actually DOES make sense. I've seen a lot of older Italian rims which had very odd placements of the labels. Most other manufacturers would tend to put the label directly opposite the valve hole. The label was often used to distract from a visible seam beneath it where the rim was either welded or pinned together. This was a handy because it helped you quickly locate the tire valve. However, on a lot of Fiamme and Ambrosio rims they seem to have simply tossed on a label rather carelessly and then later drilled the spoke and valve holes randomly with regard to the rim decal and seam - so, the label might wind up only be a couple spokes away from the valve. Just kind of sloppy in my opinion, but this might be seen as a "quaint" hand-made indicator by some.
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Old 01-02-08, 09:30 AM   #17
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Any guesses as to year of production for this bike?
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Old 01-02-08, 09:56 AM   #18
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My brother says the saddle is marked San Marco.
I'm not sure what it could be, but it looks pretty nice.
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Old 01-02-08, 10:12 AM   #19
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If you decide to part the bike out I would be interested in the saddle after seeing a couple more pics.
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Old 01-02-08, 12:21 PM   #20
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If you decide to part the bike out I would be interested in the saddle after seeing a couple more pics.
I was first!!!

But it appears that you did well for the bike even if just for the saddle. I'm guessing you'd get more than your 10 bucks worth just for the saddle itself, which means that I'm probably outbid already haha.

Edit: Any idea what size that smaller chainring is? It doesn't look like a 52/42 combo.
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Old 01-02-08, 12:30 PM   #21
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Edit: Any idea what size that smaller chainring is? It doesn't look like a 52/42 combo.

No idea. The bike is about 350 miles away from me at present. I won't get in-hand till I go down to visit dad again.

When I do get ahold of it, I'll make my determination then as to disposition. But, I can tell you I won't be keeping it. It, or parts of it, will be for sale - depending on what I see when I have it in front of me.
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Old 01-02-08, 03:54 PM   #22
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Your brother cleverly edited the hubs out of every picture...what are they?
Just got off the phone - He says they are Normandy, and appear to have a date code of 1974.

Like I said, I do not have the bike in hand and will not have it for at least a month. Pending assessment, I'll probably strip the bike, clean the frame, and build it up with a generic group for resale. Either that, or sell the frameset for FG conversion value.

If I do either one, most of the parts will be up for individual sale (if they have any value), with exception of the wheelset which is already promised to a friend - if they are salvageable.
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Old 01-02-08, 08:20 PM   #23
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If that Fiamme yellow label decal is original on the rim it would be rather uncommon. During the 1960s-70s I'd only seen that on their lightest weight tubular (sew-up) racing rims. Similar red label rims were used on the more common and less costly basic training rims. But, on a 27" clincher rim? - yeah, that's odd... maybe not very valuable, but different.

Fiamme did make more yellow label clincher rims during the 1980s which had simple square labels, but those rims also had eyelets and were actually pretty nice and quite strong. The one in the photo is odd because it appears to be a lower tier 27" clincher, has no eyelets, and is drilled for Schrader valves rather than Presta (but, I suppose the latter could have been a consumer modification, or simply made for the US market)...

.
yeah...more odd than rare, although I'd bet the collectors would follow the auction. I originally thought that the label was the yellow label; I still think they look cool. And I stand by my original statement; an auction doesn't have to go far to top $10...
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Old 01-02-08, 08:28 PM   #24
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....an auction doesn't have to go far to top $10...
Hell, the rack and saddle were worth the $10.
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Old 01-02-08, 08:31 PM   #25
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Hell, the rack and saddle were worth the $10.
Heck, just the rack was worth the 10 bucks! That's why you should just about give me the saddle!
A few of us have already shown our interest in that though (Read: me first!).

Let us know what you discover when you get the bike. That'd make a decent commuter or SSFG conversion for a city bike. I bet it'd look nice with a little brass wool scrubbing to get the surface rust off!
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