Does this happen to any of you guys? Around the office (and apparently the coffeeshop too!!) I'm being referred to more and more as the 'vintage bike dude.' Well it's an honor and has its benefits.
A friend wants to surprise his wife for her birthday and had me look at her bike sitting in the garage with the hopes of me bringing it back to life - it's been there for well over 20 years. Best I can tell it's an early-to-mid 70s Legnano but don't know the model beyond that. Sticker says Campione del Mondo...but don't they all say that? Also the sticker immediately below saddle says:
Anybody know what SpA is? (forse vuol dire Societß per Anonimo??). These are pics before I put my grubby paws on it, but she cleaned up nicely and is now running well. I'll post after pics only if folks are interested in that sorta thing. But could ya help give me some bkgd on this bike to pass along? Are there are other pics I can post that will help give clues? Apparently she bought it when she lived in Milan - how cool.
I've never ridden a bike with Campagnolo components, and this Valentino Special RD shifts as smooth as butter. Mamma mia!!
Last edited by ken_matthews; 11-12-08 at 01:58 PM.
Is there a serial no.engraved into the top of the seat tube? Does this Legnano have a badge or a decal on the headtube? Finally, is there a threaded boss brazed on the rear of the seat tube, near the top of the seat tube? This was used to support the brake cable guide beginning in 1961. I see side pull brakes on this Legnano so the boss is probably not present. Nice, well used Legnano.
I forgot to mention one more method of dating your Legnano. Assuming the wheels (or at least the hubs) are original, remove a couple of cone lock nuts and check the stamped date code. This applies to Campagnolo hubs. I've seen some Legnanos with Gnutti hubs. Also your Legnano appears to be the Gran Premio model.
Saw some of your responses for DEVIN's original post earlier this yr. You seem to know a thing or two about the italian machines! No serial no. on top of seat tube, but on the driveside of seat tube there is a two-digit number 31. Only other number on the bike is under the BB - says 0129 from what I can make out. There's nothing stamped on the rear dropouts as some vintage bikes I've seen.
Is decal instead of badge - I would guess a definite sign of the 70s. Same decal that is on headtube is repeated on the seat tube. Also on seat tube is decal that says in Italian - 6 time world champion (6 volte campione del mondo).
No threaded boss on rear of seat tube - it's clean back there just a simple joining lug of top tube, seat tube and down stays. Incidentally lugs tend to give me an idea of hierarchy. These lugs seem to be quite simple in design and are not elaborate. And as far as chrome, there is only chrome plating on crown of the fork and nowhere else.
Hubs are Normandy high-flange both front and rear with MM ATOM skewers.
Wheels: French RIGIDA rims 27 x 1-1/4
Saddle: no brand, non-leather aftermarket
Shifters: downtube Campagnolo
FD: Campagnolo square body - aluminum or some alloy
RD: Campagnolo VALENTINO EXTRA
Cranks: NERVAR (cottered)
Pedals: no ideal but they're beautiful yet small. very elaborate with Christophe toe clips
Your additional info points in the direction of an early to mid 70's Legnano. The Legnano downtube decal is also a later version which replaced the earlier 'sausage' shaped one. Components have been changed out over the years. I would try to obtain as much info about this Legnano's history from the owner. Someone has tinkered with this Legnano,replacing some original components. Are the dropouts or fork tips Campagnolo? Any tubing stickers such as Falck or Reynolds?
Congratulations Ken, that is a beautiful bike!! I love the color scheme. I wouldn't do anything to it except clean it up and ride it. I'm a little surprised to see all the french components on there. Are the wheels clinchers? Maybe someone switched out the tubulars? Also almost all Legnano's I've seen have Legnano branded cranks, made by Magistroni if they're cottered and Ofmega on the Gran Premio's if they're not. The front derailleur with the square body is also Campy Valentino, and matches the rear. As to the year based on the serial number - '71? As early as 1970 I've seen bikes with the new Legnano logo you have on yours, but not earlier. Anyway it's super cool - Devin.
Ken - as Retyred says I would check the rear dropouts. They look like Campagnolo from your pic, but it is hard to tell. If they are Campy they will be forged and there will be the raised section where the wheel attaches: that's where it will say "Campagnolo". Sometimes you have to look carefully because it can get hidden under paint or rubbed away. If it is a Gran Premio like mine it will have Campy droputs in the rear, but not in the front. I know the Record Olympiad had Campy both front and rear.
Did not seem to have Campagnolo dropouts. I did a search for Campagnolo VALENTINO Extra and saw wishy-washy but mediocre reviews of the RD performance. It was their low end RD but I found it to shift just fine after I adjusted the lateral chain position with the FD. No skips or jumps and smooth-as-butter shifting. Of course, up till now I had never ridden Campagnolo before.
Ok, as promised a few after pics. I really did nothing more than the following:
- replace tubes and tires
- regreased headset
- wiped down all tubes with degreaser
- degreased front chainrings
- new bar tape with twine wrappings (wine corks to close off bar ends)
- new brake cables
I gave it back to my friend and he was tickled pink. Should make his wife very happy.