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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    I have atoned for my lack of Italian bikes, in Grandis style.

    How is that a guy who owns over a dozen vintage bikes from all over the world doesn't have any Italian bikes? In fact, has never owned an Italian bike? That's sort of like having a big jazz collection on vinyl and saying, "Thelonius Monk? Never heard of him." (And no, my MIJ '84 Bianchi with 100% Japanese components does not count as an Italian bike.)

    I have repaired this deficit by making my first Italian a pretty interesting one; a Grandis (1974? Superleggera?)



    Pics are all "as found." The original owner living two towns east having had this thing hanging long years on a hook in his storage shed; I think he said he's ridden it once in about the last ten years. As you can see, he wasn't a finicky wipe-it-down-after-every-ride kinda guy, and it's got grime everywhere you would expect on a bike that you rode the hell out of for decades. He bought it new in 1975, and put enough hard-riding miles on it to convert not one, but two of those heavy-duty 1970s Brooks Professionals into worn-down, highly-burnished ass hatchets. No way I could keep up with this guy in his prime. He's 75 now and stands about 6'3", so he must have been some magnificent beast when he bought this thing nearly 40 years ago.



    Who's a dirty girl? You are, that's who.






    Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 05-09-14 at 03:53 PM.
    ● 1971 Grandis Superleggera ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    The hoods are well seasoned, and the ancient bar tape is wrapped over one or two (or three) layers of even more ancient bar tape.



    Brakes are Gran Compe which I may replace with NR stuff someday (if I can find some at the right price) to match the rest of the components. Other than that, clean it, lube it, replace the cables, tires, etc and slap my newer (1977) Brooks Professional on it and call it good. I'll try to save those old broken down Brookses that came with the bike by blocking them, but if that doesn't work, maybe I'll have RHM tool me up a new cover on one of them with the Grandis "G" logo from the headbadge







    Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 05-09-14 at 03:31 PM.
    ● 1971 Grandis Superleggera ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  3. #3
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    Nice looking bike with a lot of history.

  4. #4
    Senior Member due ruote's Avatar
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    Beautiful bike with a great history. Congrats.

  5. #5
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    That looks like an immensely classy bike. Used and loved.





    EDIT:

    Sorry I didn't see the other posts before I posted the wrong thing.

    I'll correct that with:



    Pretty bike with a great history.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*
    You are not one of us. Your pipes are leaking. You are an ocelot. What are you seeking?

  6. #6
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Just looking at this makes me happy. You checked your Italian box in grand(is) fashion - these are one of my faves. Love the patina and look forward to your ride reports.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Bravo! sir Bravo!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Vonruden's Avatar
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    Awesome find!!! Love it.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost."

    Get on your bikes and ride!

  9. #9
    Senior Member 3speedslow's Avatar
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    A Beautiful bike ! I think that is a great example of an Italian racing wizbang.

    How about replacing the Blackburn USA on the seat tube with a Cobra "made in Italy " water bottle cage ?
    "Waiting for the crash"

  10. #10
    my name is Jim BlueDevil63's Avatar
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    Great find! It should cleanup really, really nice.

  11. #11
    Pedal to the medal
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    that is a beautiful bicycle. Great find.

  12. #12
    Senior Member crank_addict's Avatar
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    Wow! Now this what C&V is all about. With the saddle and bars looking 'dialed in', you know the prior owner was one with machine. Terrific -

  13. #13
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Very nice. I bet with a clean-up and little polishing it will be even more stunning that it already is. I'm glad it has gone to someone who appreciates it.

    Did the original owner happen to say how he came to buy a Grandis in 1975? the weren't exactly a household name, even among the congescenti then, at least not where in my ill-spent youth.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
    A Beautiful bike ! I think that is a great example of an Italian racing wizbang.

    How about replacing the Blackburn USA on the seat tube with a Cobra "made in Italy " water bottle cage ?
    I'm just going to chuck the Blackburn strap-on in the parts bin, and hang something period correct (yeah, I'm going to be that way, on this bike) on the downtube. Probably just the TA chromed steel one that's already there. Not much chrome left, which sort of fits the bike in general. I may have a better one just like it in the parts box.

    Looks like it has the same frame details as mine, which Grandis ID'ed at a '73 Super Leggera.
    Send them pictures and ask them for an ID - they were happy to help with mine.
    Yeah, I saw your bike and the link a few days ago; just sent off an email to Verona today!

    Did the original owner happen to say how he came to buy a Grandis in 1975? the weren't exactly a household name, even among the congescenti then, at least not where in my ill-spent youth.
    He was a doctor (neurology, I think) in Toronto back in the 70s and a shop there sold them for a couple years. He was under the impression Grandis only sold bikes in North America for a few years, but since this is at least the the 3rd one I've seen in this forum, it may have been longer than that.

    With the saddle and bars looking 'dialed in', you know the prior owner was one with machine.
    Actually, he had that post up another couple inches. I dropped it a bit just to make sure it could be moved and take a quick spin before leaving town. Seller's original picture:
    Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 05-09-14 at 10:57 PM.
    ● 1971 Grandis Superleggera ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  15. #15
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    How is that a guy who owns over a dozen vintage bikes from all over the world doesn't have any Italian bikes? In fact, has never owned an Italian bike? That's sort of like having a big jazz collection on vinyl and saying, "Thelonius Monk? Never heard of him." (And no, my MIJ '84 Bianchi with 100% Japanese components does not count as an Italian bike.)
    I have to admit that your Grandis is quite the nice bicycle. I really like seeing original bicycles like this one when they're presented here. Your bicycle is exceedingly clean for on its age.

    Now about your question: I can see perfectly how that could happen based on personal experience. I'm probably going to get flamed for this statement, but most Italian bicycles just don't really appeal to me. They normally don't accommodate fenders, they usually don't have the relaxed geometry I like, Italian chrome is generally known for not being that good, they have derailleurs, etc. That is not to say that I don't like ALL Italian bicycles, but most just don't tick the right boxes for me. The closest I have to an Italian bicycle is my late-80's Alpine. I do have an early 60's Fiorelli tandem, but I'm pretty sure the Ital-ophiles on BF cringe to think that any Italian bicycle could have 26" wheels and balloon tires. Simply put, English stuff is what I like the best and looks the best to my eye.
    --
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    46 Hercules Roadster, 49 Hercules Kestrel, 50 Norman Rapide, 51 Hercules Lion, 52 Hercules Windsor, 56 Hercules Royal Prince, 61 Fiorelli Tandem, 67 Carlton Super Race (IGH), 70 Schwinn Collegiate (IGH), 71 Hercules, 71 STF Hercules, 72 Peugeot PX-8 (IGH), 76 Raleigh Sports, 77 STF Raleigh Sports, 77 Jack Taylor Tandem, Early-80's Mike Appel SC, 84 Davidson Tandem, Late-80's Alpine, 10 Bilenky "BQ" Signature Tandem

  16. #16
    Unreasonably tall member non-fixie's Avatar
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    Beautiful! And my size too! I think I just fell in love with it.
    Clunker or not, it's gotta have gears!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention, I first learned about this bike right here in the Bike Forums appraisals thread.

    Thanks for feeding my sickness, guys.
    ● 1971 Grandis Superleggera ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  18. #18
    As found... devinfan's Avatar
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    I absolutely love this bike. There's something about a way a great bike looks when it's just been re-discovered that I like even more than the polished and cleaned up versions, kind of like buried treasure that just came out of the ground. Not that I wouldn't clean it up, but it looks pretty magical now.

    Fantastic find.
    My bike is cooler than me.

  19. #19
    Senior Member crank_addict's Avatar
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    lascauxcaveman ^^now that's funny. You just have a mild fever.... are those French Wolber's on an Italian steed? (LOL meaning 'like-o-lot')

  20. #20
    Senior Member Lascauxcaveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
    ... are those French Wolber's on an Italian steed? (LOL meaning 'like-o-lot')
    Yeah Wolber Gentleman 81 Super Champion rims front and back, which look newer than the Record hubs to which they're laced. I think the original owner rode this bike a lot, and being a big guy, had some bent rims along the way. Also in the grab bag o' wheels that comes with a deal like this is:

    one Wolber Super Competition (older Phil hub)
    one Wolber Model 58 Super Champion (Sunshine hub)
    one Rigida red label (Shunshine hub)
    pair of newer looking Ambrosio 19s (older Phil hubs)
    Last edited by Lascauxcaveman; 05-09-14 at 10:54 PM.
    ● 1971 Grandis Superleggera ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo Prestige fixie ● 1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot PH10LE ● 1984 Bianchi Limited ● 1985 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

  21. #21
    Senior Member northbend's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Lascauxcaveman;16744430]The hoods are well seasoned, and the ancient bar tape is wrapped over one or two (or three) layers of even more ancient bar tape.



    I love this! Don't change it. that is very cool. Great find, caveman

  22. #22
    Senior Member gaucho777's Avatar
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    Swoon.

  23. #23
    WNG
    WNG is offline
    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Don't worry, you're not the only one. After all these decades I also never acquired an Italian-made bike, even though I lust after them.

    Congrats on the Grandis find. Love the green, hope it shines up well.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  24. #24
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by northbend View Post
    I love this! Don't change it. that is very cool. Great find, caveman
    I like that look too. There is so much to be said about the utilitarian approach he took with the hoods and tape. Perchance, was this guy Scottish?
    --
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  25. #25
    Senior Member mparker326's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lascauxcaveman View Post
    Forgot to mention, I first learned about this bike right here in the Bike Forums appraisals thread.

    Thanks for feeding my sickness, guys.
    That is great! Did he contact you?
    Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em
    That I got no cerebellum

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