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New to this: Italian frame, what cassette?, will the brakes fit?, what have I done?

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New to this: Italian frame, what cassette?, will the brakes fit?, what have I done?

Old 07-25-22, 12:23 PM
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grouchysmurf
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New to this: Italian frame, what cassette?, will the brakes fit?, what have I done?

Alright, as this is my very first post here, I can only hope I chose the right forum. Hello everyone.

I've just made an impulse buy: i.imgur.com/A4sBs8Z.png -- for less than $80 I bought half of an Italian made bike. Front wheel is not included, that does not bother me, though.

The plan is to fit it by myself, including a new BB, new wheels, clean all the parts, giving the handlebar a polish and preserving that lovely -- ain't it lovely? -- painting on the frame.

I started to browse auctions and bike equipment stores -- and as I presumed, a plethora of new questions showed up. As I said, I hope that is a right forum to look for an answer:

1. would any 28" road wheels fit, giving the width is right? Do I need to look for a specific height so that my brakes would hit the rim? Does this kind of brakes allow for enough of adjustment to fit any rim?

2. I would go for 2x7s set up. The question is would be OK to purchase any 7 cassette or do I need to watch out for the width, for example? Is there any kind of correlation / dependency between the front and rear cogs? I've already learned that I need to buy a rear wheel, on which a 7 step cassette would actually fit. First lesson is done, I guess.

3. How do I learn if my bike has an Italian thread in BB? If I want to replace the BB, what parameters / figures / values should I observe? Is there a correlation / dependency between BB and the crankset itself?

There is just for starters. Very much looking forward to your replies.

Last edited by grouchysmurf; 07-25-22 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:34 PM
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Old 07-25-22, 12:38 PM
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Thanks! I am below 10 posts and can't post links. Thanks for your assistance.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:51 PM
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Old 07-25-22, 12:54 PM
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Old 07-25-22, 12:56 PM
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For a starter, measure your drop out widths, both front & rear.
That will help determine what you can do as far as number of cogs.
Hopefully the front is 100mm. Some older bikes had narrower spacing which will cause "issues". (<100mm hubs are old & hard to find)
Rears can vary, depending on the era/#cogs.

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Old 07-25-22, 01:16 PM
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Italian BB shell width is 70mm
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Old 07-25-22, 02:02 PM
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Type "Sheldon Brown" into Google and then type the name of the part after it. He has a website that explains everything you need to know about standards compatibility for all parts of the bike.
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Old 07-25-22, 07:06 PM
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...the wheel in your photo looks like a standard 700c road wheel. That's the most likely candidate, and they are pretty much all the same, as far as rim diameter and compatibility with your brakes. Hubs are different widths, and a 7 cogged wheel in back would be matched with a 126 mm distance between the rear dropouts, assuming they are correctly aligned and that was how the frame was originally made. There are a few (very few) steel frames that were contract built in Italy using standard BB shells and threading. It is unlikely yours is one, but as suggested, measure the width of it. Italian is 70mm wide, standard is 68mm wide.

None of what you have suggested is all that difficult to do. Take your time, and if you hit a snag (like checking and measuring frame alignment....which you should do before you build up any steel frame. Stuff happens to them if they get used, and if it's been sitting without wheels for long, or is getting shipped to you without wheels or dummy axles, the chances of this increase.)

Polishing a bar is a waste of time and energy. You're going to tape over it anyway with bar tape.
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Old 07-25-22, 08:50 PM
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I'm pretty sure this is a 7-speed bike. You can verify that by putting the right (rear) shift lever in its fully-forward position, and slowly pulling out back until it stops. The number of clicks you feel will be one less than the number of gears the shifter was designed for.

If it's a 7 speed, (6 clicks,) the rear triangle is almost certainly 126 mm wide. (Some bikes in the years of 7 to 8-speed transition were set at 128.5 so that both would fit.)

The good news is that it doesn't really matter. You can use a 130 hub in a 126 steel frame all day long... the bike will outlive you. It'll be a bit harder to get the wheel into the dropouts by the side of the road, but we're only taking about 2 mm per side. A 130 rear wheel lets you use any of 7/8/9/10-speed cassettes, so long as your shifters match your cogs (or you friction shift) and you use the right chain.

Basically, any road wheel made from 1980 to last Thursday will probably work.

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Old 07-25-22, 10:45 PM
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As Bill Kapaun said, the first thing you should do is to measure the rear drop out spacing. If itís 126mm then you want to look for a 126mm rear hub:
1. Some of these are freewheel hubs. They are not as strong as cassette hubs but if you are not too heavy a rider a freewheel hub will work fine. If you are lucky you might find Phil Wood or Mavic freewheel hubs which are much stronger.
2. You might come across a Suntour or Helicomatic cassette hubs-avoid these.
3. The best case scenario would a 7 speed Shimano HG hub in 126mm width.
4. The next best case scenario would be a Shimano 130mm HG 8-10 speed hub. In most instances you can swap the freehub body and narrow these down to 126mm.
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Old 07-26-22, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
As Bill Kapaun said, the first thing you should do is to measure the rear drop out spacing. If it’s 126mm then you want to look for a 126mm rear hub:

3. The best case scenario would a 7 speed Shimano HG hub in 126mm width..
These can still be found in NOS condition - sometimes for about the cost of Claris or Sora hubset. I recently picked up a set (HB-RM50 and FH-HG20) from an overseas vendor for a bit over US $47 - including tax and shipping. Not high end, but eminently serviceable and reliable.

The bearing grease was dried out and they had some shopwear, but obviously were new/never laced. Only "issue" was that the HG20 had the early non-compact 7-speed HG-only hub; using a cassette with an 11-tooth small cog will require using a 1mm spacer. I can live with that.

Another option is to respace an existing used 7-speed 130mm hub. Many of Shimano's early 7-speed hubs were offered in 126/130/mm (and sometimes 135mm), with the only difference being the presence of spacers; the exploded views on their documentation search page make that fairly easy to determine. But I wasn't in any hurry, and for <$50 I decided I'd rather go with NOS hubset instead. Less chance of missing a cup/cone issue that way.

Last edited by Hondo6; 07-26-22 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:24 AM
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Right. The frame hasn't yet made it to me, so I can't measure the dropouts. Nonetheless, I am checking out the available gear in local stores. What you guys say here opens a world that is completely new to me. New and quite amazing! I've always wanted to build up my own bike, but never had guts / space / money. I still lack the money, but at least I've made the first step and have my own basement to set up a bike workshop.

I thought the wheel are of 28", given this is a vintage bike. Weren't 700c introduced later? Or maybe I am mixing things up and 700c and 28" are in fact the same. Regardless, in local stores they also have freewheels available so irrespectively of the width I think I am set.

As for BB, I assumed it would be an old type with weird crank mounting so my intention was to replace with a square axle BB that would allow for more options but maybe I got this wrong.

I will keep you guys updated how things are going as soon as the frame arrives.
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Old 07-26-22, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
I thought the wheel are of 28", given this is a vintage bike. Weren't 700c introduced later? Or maybe I am mixing things up and 700c and 28" are in fact the same. Regardless, in local stores they also have freewheels available so irrespectively of the width I think I am set.

As for BB, I assumed it would be an old type with weird crank mounting so my intention was to replace with a square axle BB that would allow for more options but maybe I got this wrong.
700c is sometimes also referred to as 28", you were probably thinking of 27" wheels which are actually larger in diameter than 700c
Your crank appears to be a very common square taper type. The bottom bracket may or may not be a cartridge type. if it is a cup and cone type it will need to be serviced
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Old 07-26-22, 10:10 AM
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...I have either rehabilitated, overhauled, or "restored" from the ground up at least a couple of hundred bicycles. One of the most valuable things I learned in all of that is that it is a mistake to buy anything before you have the project frame in hand, and disassembled. On your question about cranks, the different square taper ones all have a recommended spindle length. The newer ones, with various configurations for fitting the crank arms to the spindle are more standardized, according to whatever crank you are trying to fit to the bicycle.

It's good you have the work space. Spend your time building yourself a small workbench in there, figure out what you are going to use for a work stand, if at all possible, solidly affix a decent bench vise to your workbench, and budget to buy some tools for the different bike specific operations that are involved, in things like pulling and installing cranks, and removing and reinstalling headsets. etc. etc. It's not the cheapest hobby, but it's less damaging than drinking and whoring.
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Old 07-26-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
I thought the wheel are of 28", given this is a vintage bike. Weren't 700c introduced later? Or maybe I am mixing things up and 700c and 28" are in fact the same. Regardless, in local stores they also have freewheels available so irrespectively of the width I think I am set.
700c tubular tires are sometimes labeled as 28". But they are the same size.

Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
As for BB, I assumed it would be an old type with weird crank mounting so my intention was to replace with a square axle BB that would allow for more options but maybe I got this wrong.
Judging by the picture, it already has a square taper axle BB. Nothing weird here.
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Old 07-26-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
I thought the wheel are of 28", given this is a vintage bike. Weren't 700c introduced later? Or maybe I am mixing things up and 700c and 28" are in fact the same. Regardless, in local stores they also have freewheels available so irrespectively of the width I think I am set.

As for BB, I assumed it would be an old type with weird crank mounting so my intention was to replace with a square axle BB that would allow for more options but maybe I got this wrong.

I will keep you guys updated how things are going as soon as the frame arrives.
It's not that old. Mid-to late 1980s, maybe early 1990s. 700C wheels will be perfect. You got cranks, BB, aero brakes levers, what look like decent brake calipers, downtube shifters. Pretty good bones over all. Figure out if you want to build it with more-period parts, or if you'd like to upgrade some things to more-modern, like shifters integrated with the brake levers, so you don't have to take your hands off the bars to shift (like you would now, with those downtube shifters). Also figure out if you want to stick with one parts manufacturer, or if it doesn't matter.

I built my own similar-period bike with parts I liked. Some were vintage, and some (at the time) were much newer. Having ultra-modern stuff isn't of interest to me, so I have a 9-speed, which is decidedly sooo 1990s. But this is the beauty of the hobby--with the bike, you have the option to build something totally unique and your own.

Don't worry about having all the specialized tools. Things that you may do only once--like installing a headset--you can have the shop do (and with your frame already having a headset installed, it may need nothing more than a servicing).
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Old 08-02-22, 10:08 AM
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Cheers, everyone. A short update.
BB thread is Italian. I visited my FLBS to have the BB and the headset removed. The crank wouldn't come off, so they needed to saw through the spindle and BB is no more, I need to get a new one.
Drop out widths are 125 mm for the rear and 100 mm for the front.
They delivered the service stand today.
I need to buy front and rear derailleurs, new crank probably, wheels, tires, cables, shifters (the stop in the right one broke during the transport, alas)...
Hopefully, it all will be ready for the next season.
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Old 08-02-22, 03:54 PM
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Before you get too far ahead of yourself, you should probably get an idea of what you want to build otherwise you’ll just be throwing parts at it.

You can go to bike co-ops, if they are around, and go a more vintage route or go with more modern components, which might get costly.

If you have any idea the type of gearing you want that can drive going to compact crank or triple or ???. It might be wise to ask at shops what is preferred in your area.

No matter how you go, I would spread the rear dropouts to 130mm and plan on running a cassette rather than a freewheel.

John
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Old 08-03-22, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
Cheers, everyone. A short update.
BB thread is Italian. I visited my FLBS to have the BB and the headset removed. The crank wouldn't come off, so they needed to saw through the spindle and BB is no more.
WTF!?!?!?!?!? I would not go back to that bike shop. I can not believe they could not pull the crank with a standard puller unless the threads were stripped. Can't tell from the picture, but it looks like they had covers.
The second option was to use a steering wheel puller. That is all that really was needed.
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Old 08-03-22, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
WTF!?!?!?!?!? I would not go back to that bike shop. I can not believe they could not pull the crank with a standard puller unless the threads were stripped. Can't tell from the picture, but it looks like they had covers.
The second option was to use a steering wheel puller. That is all that really was needed.
My thought exactly. As things stand both your crank and bottom bracket are finished
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Old 08-03-22, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Before you get too far ahead of yourself, you should probably get an idea of what you want to build otherwise youíll just be throwing parts at it.

You can go to bike co-ops, if they are around, and go a more vintage route or go with more modern components, which might get costly.

If you have any idea the type of gearing you want that can drive going to compact crank or triple or ???. It might be wise to ask at shops what is preferred in your area.

No matter how you go, I would spread the rear dropouts to 130mm and plan on running a cassette rather than a freewheel.

John
My choice is to go full vintage, with some retro derailleurs, should I be lucky to find them cheap. There are some available on eBay, there is a guy selling them through the local forum, I may also wait for something less pricey.

I found some semi-cheap hubs (Shimano hb-1055, if I got it right); the rear one is 126 mm wide and would fit nicely. I am somewhat reluctant in terms of spreading the frame. That is not something I would like to do by myself and am not sure if any LBS would be opting do it for money, so the best option is to leave it as it is.
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Old 08-03-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
My thought exactly. As things stand both your crank and bottom bracket are finished
The crank is fine. The guy from the LBS said, however, that I should be careful when mounting in a bracket as it may again get stuck on it. So before I commit to a specific axle length, I'd better check the alignment of the chain etc.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the LBS -- might be just my impression, though.
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Old 08-03-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
The crank wouldn't come off, so they needed to saw through the spindle and BB is no more, I need to get a new one.
Originally Posted by grouchysmurf View Post
The crank is fine.
I think we need some clarification. You say the crank wouldn't come off? And so the bottom bracket spindle needed to be sawn through? And yet now the cranks are fine? Something definitely seems amiss here.
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Old 08-03-22, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I think we need some clarification. You say the crank wouldn't come off? And so the bottom bracket spindle needed to be sawn through? And yet now the cranks are fine? Something definitely seems amiss here.
Crank wouldn't come off. The spindle needed to be sawn through. Cranks are fine, but they may be tight and hard to remove from the new BB, so I should double-check things before I mount them for good.

Of course, I am just quoting them here, that is just what they said. Once the spindle was sawn off, they hammered the spindle -- or rather what was left out of it -- out of the crank and here we are.

Last edited by grouchysmurf; 08-03-22 at 01:13 PM.
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