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Thread: Atala bicycles?

  1. #1
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    Atala bicycles?

    I know nothing about them but this one looks very pretty: http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/850696559.html

    Thinking about grabbing it as a sunday ride.

  2. #2
    Waiting for Summer ! soderbiker's Avatar
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    HI ,
    "Grab it" and then post pictures here .
    It sounds good ! campa 10 speed .a perfect cruiser .
    Cheers
    T
    1989 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1991 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra
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    1994 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra|1998 Eddy Merckx MX Leader
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    I wrote him about a test ride. We'll see if it's still available.

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    FalconLvr
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    This model was down near the bottom of the Atala line of bikes, the campy parts were bottom of the line, the frame was seamed "no name" tubing, and the one I had carried those horrendous Ballila boat anchor brake levers (made of steel, mind you). It did have some cool campy high flange Tipo hubs on it, about the only redeeming charactersitic. I sold the frame to someone for $25 plus shipping. That being said, it is an Atala, so has some coolness to it, and will ride pretty nice, but $225 seems a steep price to pay...

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    evw, that was the same conclusion I was coming to after doing some research online. I don't see it replacing my 531 trek touring bike or my miyata racing bike. It does look pretty though.

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    Actually, I'd say the Grand Prix was more of a mid range model. During the boom, it was typically 3rd in a lineup of 5 lightweights. The tubing, while hi-tensile, was seamless and one step above that used in the entry level models. The components are low end Campagnolo Valentino derailleurs and Tipo hubs, a far cry from Campagnolo's good stuff. For me, the redeeming feature and what moved it into the mid-range, were the aluminum rims. Weight should be about 27 lbs. Original price, circa 1975 was $155 US. While the asking price seems high, I understand that is a very expensive market and may not be unreasonable.

    Atala was Italy's largest manufacturer during the early 1970's bicycle boom. They produced a full range of bicycles from city bicycles to professional racers. Generally, their models from this period are well received. Certainly, they are very pretty with all the chrome. Unfortunately, due to the high demand during the boom, quality control lapses were common and finish varies widely both in terms of brazing and paint. Component substitutions were also common. Take a close look a what you are getting and ensure it is in good mechanical condition. If you have no experience in these matters, take along a knowledgeable friend.

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    I was looking at it, not from a 'flipping' perspective, but one that would make the purchase price an easy one to get out of. I'd like to replace my 24" touring bike with something smaller, but this doesn't really look like something that deserves being locked up outside in Manhattan during the day. But we'll see; maybe it'll win me over.

    T Mar, would you consider original rims to be a sticking point regarding buying?

    edited for ugh writing.
    Last edited by canonizer; 09-23-08 at 09:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canonizer View Post
    ...T Mar, would you consider original rims to be a sticking point regarding buying?

    That's really hard to say, given my lack of knowledge for that particular market. In my area, the seller would be lucky to get $100 for that bicycle. While I wouldn't care so much about the rims being original, I would expect aluminum rims and certainly be negotiating the price if the rims were steel. The same goes for the hubs. While the original spec, Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo hubs are not in the same league as their Record hubs, they were arguably the best in their price range. Anything less and I'd probably be lowering my offer.

    What makes it difficult are all the factory substitutions that went on during this period, due to component shortages. This bicycle could be all original, yet have lesser, non-spec parts. For instance, as evwxx mentioned, the Baliila brakes. It was not uncommon to see these, or Universal 68 or Weinmann 999. Similarly you might find lesser hubs such as Gnutti or rims other than the spec Fiamme Yellow Label. Obviously, you want to try to get the better, original spec components, but the parts, if period correct, may be original.

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    My first 10-speed

    Ah memories. My first "10-speed" was an Atala 104 Grand Prix. T-mar (as usual) has got it pretty well pegged.... mine had the Valentino derailleurs (all I cared is that they were Campagnolo ) and what I later learned was a pretty nice wheelset (Campy Tipo large flange hubs laced to Fiamme Yellow clincher rims). Mine had Universal centerpulls instead of Weinman; the levers had the gum hoods. The saddle was some rock-hard leather (Ideale??) that never really ever broke in. Neat chrome lugs on the frame which contrasted with the black paint. Cottered steel cranks with rat-trap pedals. There was a least one model lower (the model 208?, but also called a Grand Prix??) in the Atala hierarchy at the time.

    Mine was purchased for a bike tour organized by Student Hosteling Program of New England. I outfitted it with a Pletscher rear rack, water bottle and cage, pump, and panniers and handlebar bag. At the end of the tour or shortly afterwards, I broke the frame at the seat tube/bottom bracket junction . The shop had it (sloppily) welded or rebrazed. I later upgraded the cranks (Sugino Mighty), pedals (Zeus), and deraillers (SunTour), and ultimately transferred most of the parts to a new frame (Holdsworth Mistral), which was subsequently stolen . The Atala frame was subsequently outfitted with remaining and new components and sold to a friend.

    In retrospect, I think the wheelset and the chrome lugs are what set this bike off from it's competitors (Peugeot UO8, etc.). Otherwise, I don't think it performed any better than other mid-range bike boom models.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomJD View Post
    ... There was a least one model lower (the model 208?, but also called a Grand Prix??) in the Atala hierarchy at the time...
    The 208 was indeed the next model down, but it called the Giro d'Italia and was distinguished primarily by the use of Simplex Prestige derailleurs and steel rims. Below that was the 207, Corsa.

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    I think it's moot for the time being. My girlfriend told me I couldn't have anymore. I told the seller I'd have to pass and he responded:
    Paul,
    I recommend that you buy the bike and find another girlfriend....
    Anyway...
    Good luck.
    Actually seems like a good dude.

  12. #12
    FalconLvr
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    So, since when do "girlfriends" dictate how many of anything a guy has?? What is that about! I would put this under serious consideration prior to changing "girlfriend" to "wife", that is for sure!

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    After reading up as much as I could about the bikes they seemed a bit more show than go to me. I decided to hide behind her skirt as much as anything.

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