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  1. #1
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    I'd like to identify a frame: Romani stickers on a 198x French frame? Many photos!

    Hello all, as said in my presentation post I have been reading this forum for quite a while, so I decided to start interacting.

    I just got this racing bicycle in a second hand industrial appliance store (???). Well, it was there resting on the side of a pizza/bread oven, and I liked it at the first sight.
    I tried it with the tyres almost flat but I could feel it was okay anyway, so I got it.

    It has been repainted quite discretely, in the meaning that if you are more far away than a meter you would say it's really in good nick for its age.
    I wouldn't swear it's a Romani, I'd prefer to say that it's an unknown bicycle frame with Romani stickers.

    It wears Simplex dérailleurs and downtube plastic shifters, Belleri quill stem and dropdown bars, Amuat Competizione QR skewers (Competizione is actually written in the cursive Campagnolo font), Suarini France (with an Olympic logo) alloy cranks, Suntour pedals, Selle San Marco Laser black saddle, and Lee Chi G calliper brakes.
    Many components are nameless, e.g. the bottom bracket, 5 cog freewheel (which clicks nicely and it's not worn out) dropouts, brake levers, chain.

    I would like to give a name to this frame, the obvious biggest clue are the stickers but I wouldn't rely much on them because some of the components are French, and being Italian myself I know perfectly how much "hate" there is cycling-wise between the two sides of the Western Alps ... : )

    The wheels too are nameless, but they look nice. The rims had an oval sticker where there is the welding on the rim, but they took them off so now there is just an oval patch of glue residual.

    No obvious markings on BB shell, under the BB, or on the rear lugs.

    It feels lighter than my Raleigh Sport Equipe single speed conversion, does this mean this frame is made in some Reynolds/Columbus tubing or similar? How to discover this?

    Below some photos for you guys, if you'd like to see, please:





















    I would be grateful if somebody would shed some light, I love vintage stuff and for this reason knowing that I have a old bicycle is not enough for me, I generally like to know the history of the old items I own..

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Last edited by ElStellino; 01-06-13 at 04:58 PM. Reason: missed something.

  2. #2
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    I add another photo because I understand that there is too much lens distortion on the first photo


  3. #3
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Strange mixed look to the bike. Italian name and mostly French (Simplex and maybe Stronglight) components. Except of course for the "Lee Chi" Taiwanese copy of Weinmann brakeset. The components are definitely lower end "functional" stuff, but not junk. Surprised that I don't seem to see any water bottle bosses on the down tube....
    The frame looks to have a rough paintjob maybe done by the last owner and the "Romani" decal added at that time. Could actually be a lower model French sport bike like a Gitane or a Moto. The The plain (Bocama?) lugs and domed seat and chainstay ends looks what you might expect of a mid or lower end model Peugeot, but the rear DOs do not look familair to me as they would have been Simplex DOs on a Peugeot if they are forged. That's why I think it could be another French brand we are looking at. The fork crown also does not look like what you would find on Peugeots.

    Chombi
    Last edited by Chombi; 01-06-13 at 03:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hey Chombi,

    Thanks for your quick reply.
    Yep, French was my supposition too, in fact.

    Sorry, what DO stays for?
    These Simplex derailleurs are made in a material that I don't know if it's a darker alloy or just dark grey plastic. In fact the front derailleur collar is broken and kept in place by a.. cateye rear light seatpost collar.

    Yes, it mostly uses unknown (at least to me) components, but it rides quite well. Compared to the rest of the vintage Canary bikes this is quite a jem haha.

    Now google images time with the names you provided me, looking for similarities to other bikes

    Luca

    Edit: why did they call it Moto??? google images just brings out motorbike images, even searching for moto vintage "bicycle".
    Would it be beneficial if I took some pictures of the lugs? Nothing special honestly, they are really plain.
    Last edited by ElStellino; 01-06-13 at 03:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    Hello Luca, welcome to the forum! I see what you mean regarding the paint job. I will follow Chombi's reasoning here: mid-level French bike, but not a Peugeot. I have seen those dropouts (DO's) before, just can't remember where right now. The fact that there are 2 cable guides on the top tube, instead of the usual 3, might help in identifying this bike.
    Klunker King wannabe

  6. #6
    Senior Member AZORCH's Avatar
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    What size is the seat pin? That can usually narrow down some possibilities of tubing.
    The Early Morning Cyclist: marksbikes.wordpress.com
    Life's too dang short to ride ugly bikes.

  7. #7
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    Thanks non-fixie!

    If it can help the frame is not drilled for a bottle cage, and the dropout seem plain steel, nothing nice.
    The chainrings aren't stronglight but Suarini as the cranks, I just saw the logo on the crank photo. Suarini a French make too I guess because on the plastic crank dust cap there is a S in the same font, and France. I can't find anything regarding it on the net, though.

    I took photos of all the lugs, the bottom of the bottom bracket and took off the rear wheel and took a photo of the rear dropout too. Uploading them right now, I will post them later.



    Quote Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
    What size is the seat pin? That can usually narrow down some possibilities of tubing.
    Thanks Azorch, 26.4, mm, I just bought it in eBay on the 31st because this one is too damn short (and in very poor condition).

    Luca

  8. #8
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    The rear dropouts look like Vitus (French as well). A bit strange that they don't have eyelets, whereas the front DO's do have them.
    Klunker King wannabe

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
    The rear dropouts look like Vitus (French as well). A bit strange that they don't have eyelets, whereas the front DO's do have them.
    With the intent of giving peace to my eyes after you said of this oddity, soon I will have some angle grinder action on the front fork. So it will be even front and back, no eyelets, please.

  10. #10
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    Here are other photos, to show lugs, DOs, BB shell.

    Steering tube lugs


    (sorry for the flip flops)




    Steering tube + fork crown


    Bottom Bracket shell







    Rear dropout


    And the chainrings:

  11. #11
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    Orbea?

    So, I was looking in a Spanish free ad website, and I incurred in a bike that seems like mine, and it says O R B E A in big letters on the downtube.
    I believe Orbea is a Spanish brand, I am on Spanish territory so there are high chances that this is a local bike rather than some exotic.

    I did a quick google images and saw bicycles with the same lugs, same dropouts and a couple that seem to have eyelets at the front but not at the back.
    I found this bike, it looks very much like mine - same lugs, same derailleurs and shifters, no bottle cage fittings:


    Some Orbeas had just 2 clips for the rear brake cable as this one
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/flagert...n/photostream/

    or these ones, older but similar in some details:


    Oh, my seat post arrived today, I took off the old one and it didn't go in. After further inspection I noticed that the old seat post had been filed down to fit the frame, and the correct size is 26.0 mm.

    Could someone confirm or void my hypothesis please?
    Last edited by ElStellino; 01-08-13 at 06:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    Your bike does indeed look like the Orbea pictured. Why don't you e-mail some pics of you bike to the Orbea factory and ask them? Chances are that someone there will know.

    Oh, and DON'T remove the eyelets. Please.
    Klunker King wannabe

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    Uhmmmm....Those kinda look like Vitus (French) brand rear dropouts, judging from their angular perimeter shapes. Not very common. Mercier used them and so did Gitane, but don't know about Motobecane.......Peugeot used mostly Simplex and Campy (on their high end racers) DOs on their bikes.

    Chombi

  14. #14
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    Haha non-fixie
    No, I'm not destructive, don't worry. I don't even own an angle grinder and no way I would do that with a file. By hand. It will remain as that.
    Yes, I found their website and I was about to email either the link to this thread, or the pictures themselves.

    Chombi, I believe that French and Spanish industries are interacting with each other quite a lot, so it may well be that the French components are on this bicycle simply because they were sourced "almost" locally. France and Portugal are the closest countries and the cycling culture in France is quite strong. I actually don't know any Spanish famous firm apart from Orbea, well Cervelo but I don't think it's so old.
    I think that first I will email Orbea and see what they say, in the meanwhile, I'll keep looking at the French brands you said.

    What is certain is that I don't look it's paint job, nor its colour. If I don't find an identity soon I will find somebody doing "pintura con polvo" and I will make it powder coated in plain white like my fridge or something, than will go to the graphic shop downstairs and make print some fancy stickers, haha

    Thanks again, guys

    Luca
    Last edited by ElStellino; 01-08-13 at 06:40 PM.

  15. #15
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    Update: I wrote to Orbea redirecting to this thread, as many photos were present.
    I had an email communication, which ended with them asking for a 11 characters serial number, which is present on any Orbea bike produced after 2008, to which I replied that this bicycle has been clearly made before 2008 and the frame is totally blank, maybe if they had somebody in their factory who is old enough they may have been able to identify it. But I then got the final message saying - we are sorry we can't help you further.

    So, I decided with the time to paint it more or less like this one which is very similar in shape and particulars ban the rear brake cable passing inside the top tube. But with white bar tape.
    I think I'll go for it being an Orbea, it's relatively easy finding decals over here, it's similar enough, it's local... And I obviously like it.


    And then I got hooked by this thread, so I think a Ergo transformation may occur, for an improved ride (many hills down here, gears are necessary and in this way aren't exactly comfortable)

    non-fixie be reassured that when I do transformations on old vehicles (being these bicycles, but also on cars or motorbikes) I never do irreversible stuff, and I always try to keep what I took off, as it doesn't cost anything.
    Last edited by ElStellino; 02-03-13 at 02:50 PM.

  16. #16
    MIKE is my name! puchfinnland's Avatar
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    some careful paint removal may tell you what it is
    My name is Michael, and I am a recovering bike addict, It has been 11 months since I purchased a bicycle for myself..
    (Im bound to fall off the wagon again, its just a matter of time)
    Lord help me!

    "Some cream crackers, a glue *** and a little imagination can turn any domestic cat into a fearsome Stegosaurus."

  17. #17
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElStellino View Post
    (...) non-fixie be rassured that when I do transformations on old vehicles (being these bicycles, but also on cars or motorbikes) I never do irreversible stuff, and I always try to keep what I took off, as it doesn't cost anything.


    It's a pity that the contact with Orbea yielded no useful information. Regarding the paint job, I would like to suggest a single color instead of a fade job like you showed. A nice metallic red or blue, for instance, brings out the elegant lines of a steel frame so much better.

    Oh, and I think you meant to link to this thread.
    Klunker King wannabe

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post


    Oh, and I think you meant to link to this thread.
    Yep, copied from a message I sent to a friend in facebook, I followed the lazy way... Now corrected, thanks.

    I will play with photoshop and I will decide for the colour, it isn't anything that is going to happen any time soon anyway
    I see your point with the faded colours, I just remember many frames in the 80s were like that.
    I am not very much for metallic colours, but we will see.
    Last edited by ElStellino; 02-03-13 at 02:49 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by puchfinnland View Post
    some careful paint removal may tell you what it is
    Thanks mike, I actually try to remove some paint but it seems that at some point somebody decided to sand blast it too....

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    Quote Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post


    ...A nice metallic red or blue, for instance, brings out the elegant lines of a steel frame so much better...
    Ok, like this? I agree

  21. #21
    Hoarder Pur Sang non-fixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElStellino View Post
    Ok, like this? I agree
    Exactly, although the big red bottles are a little too much for my taste.
    Klunker King wannabe

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
    Exactly, although the big red bottles are a little too much for my taste.
    haha, I don't have any water bottle bosses - no risk.

  23. #23
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    The Amuat hubs are a Spanish brand which tends to fit in with an Orbea product.

    That upper headset stack appears as if it has been kluged together from bits.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by juvela View Post
    The Amuat hubs are a Spanish brand which tends to fit in with an Orbea product.

    That upper headset stack appears as if it has been kluged together from bits.
    Thanks juvela,
    What do you mean for the headset stack? The two nuts and the washer? There was no washer but I had it on a mountain bike I was using for work, so I just took it off and put it there. That's the only bit that is not belonging to the headset. I just put it because it was coming loose too easily and when I saw that the garbage MTB had the washer and the racer not, I just took it off from one, and put it on the other.

    On a side note I wanted to update this thread, I was just waiting to have the bike up and running again.
    I actually had problems with work, now it's quite a calm moment instead but I have no money, hence the project steel racer is momentarily stalled.

    What happened afterwards:
    • The front Simplex plastic dérailleur crumbled. Strange.
    • I got off ebay.co.uk a very cheap but really nice chrome finish Shimano dérailleur, so I fitted it.
    • Coming back uphill after a week the rear Simplex plastic dérailleur crumbled as well. Strange.
    • As I needed the bicycle for going to work the next day, I chopped the chain and made it single speed, good to go downhill and on flat road, no way it could be used to come back home. So I was coming back by bus with the bicycle in the trunk. 14 minutes to go, 50 minutes to come back.
    • In any case, after another week or two the rear hub cracked in half... not the alloy part where the spokes are attached to, the inner core spindle thing with the skewer passing through it.
    • At this point I really had to stop the bicycle...


    The problem is that here it's very difficult to get the parts that one wants, and at a suitable price too. I wish I was back in UK sometimes, just for this. In any case I worked in that place for another month, then I started working from home: the income has diminished, and I don't need a bicycle, it's now just a leisure item.

    BUT
    One day I went to the local car tyre place, and I saw in a pile of car related stuff 2 bicycle wheels. dusty, with old tyres, but hey, they looked straight with their QR skewers, rear freewheel etc.. I go closer, I take a look at the hub...
    P3021673_zpsc866bcad.jpg
    !!!
    Do you recognise it?
    In any case I play cool and ask if I can get them, because my rear hub is broken and I say my front wheel is not true. The guy said to pass in a week because who put them there was not at work, and so I did. The guy was not there anyway, but they called him and he said to give them to me. FOR FREE. I brought back a bottle of cold beer for the guy I interacted with, and off I went with my new-to-me old wheel set.
    You didn't guess what it is?
    Let me wash the muck off for you:
    P3021669_zps95ef62a1.jpg
    It seriously made my day. Nobody ever gives me something for free, imagine a Campagnolo wheel set.
    I washed it off marking the bathtub for the joy of my wife, and it all came spotless. Just the rings where the nipples go are a bit rusty, but I will see what to do.
    Here a few more pictures.
    P3021666_zpsa5a69ad5.jpg
    P3021670_zpsd2c51aa1.jpg
    P3021672_zps2f32131e.jpg
    P3021668_zps56f7df75.jpg
    P3021665_zpscd2d9202.jpg

    So now I will need to thread the hole for a real metal rear dérailleur on the DO, as the Simplex system uses a bolt+nut, and I read on the net that it's possible to do it.
    I actually don't know if I want to use a shorter gear ratio, as here it is very hilly (I live on a small volcanic island after all, and the tip of the volcano is just 3,700 and odd metres.... So I have to check well first because I will start with the dérailleur if I want to put citybike or MTB gears. But probably it's just a stoopeed idea and I will just end up putting a standard road dérailleur.
    Last edited by ElStellino; 08-02-14 at 07:08 PM. Reason: a mistake.

  25. #25
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    wow ElStellino, you have been busy!

    congratulations on the fine wheelset find.

    my comment regarding the upper stack of the headset did not have to do with the locknut but rather the fit of the adjustable race. it does not look like it was made to work with the upper head race. the assembly has the appearance of being put together from odd bits.

    you are certainly not the first cyclist to experience difficulties with delrin derailleurs. shifting should be much more reliable when you get the new metal ones fitted.

    wrt the gear hanger mount you just need to run a 10mm x 1.0 tap through there and "robert will be your uncle."

    btw - what island are you on? Gran Canaria?

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