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Mystery Aquila

Old 11-20-16, 07:22 AM
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Mystery Aquila

Friends,

New member of the family at home! What I know until now: it's an Aquila, but which one?

Date of birth: 8/1976 (dates stamped on saddle stem and brakes)
Frame: Columbus 'tubi speciali rinforzati'
'Special World's Champion'
Quite a few Sakae parts: cranc, frontblade, saddle stem.
Front derailleur: Shimano 60
Back derailleur: Shimano 600
Brakes + handles: Shimano Dia Compe 'G'
Rims: Mavic Championnat du Monde sur Route
Naves: Campagnolo Record
Fork: Tange chrome

All together not bad! I really like it and am preparing her for the road again. Takes some time and I can pose some questions here: which type of Aquila is this? Does anyone know more about this Italian brand? Was it always built in Italy? And what kind of Columbus steel is this? Thanks for reactions!
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Old 11-20-16, 07:24 AM
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Some more pics of the Aquila.
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Old 11-20-16, 07:27 AM
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Last ones.
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Old 11-20-16, 07:37 AM
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Sorry, forgot the most important one... drivetrain.
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Old 11-20-16, 09:03 AM
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I've never seen a Columbus decal like that. To the best of my knowledge, the two winged dove was only used on the pre-1978, borderless decals. This one has a a unique partial border and uses the quotation marks found on the pre-border decals. It also has a unique wording that's atypical of Columbus decals and lacks the registered trademark symbol. However, it implies that the frame has butted main tubes.

I see over the BB shell cable routing with clamp on shifters and a single set of bottle bosses. The combination of Campagnolo dropouts and a Tange fork crown is is interesting, to say the least. It is obviously a frankenbike. My overall impression is a late 1970s, mid-range model. It would interesting to know the seat post size, as this will give us a good indicator of the level of the main tubes. Have you verified that it does, in fact, have Italian BB threading (i.e. 36 x 24 stamped on the cups)?
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Old 11-20-16, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for the reaction! The dating of the decal is quite right. It's a 1976 (august) bike, although the crank is dated 1978 (J = january?). I'd never seen this decal before and can't find it anywhere. Aquila was probably 'frankenbike' To me it looks like an Italian hand-built special, not the average pruduction. The parts are all very lightweight, which could be an indication for a special too. The seat post is an SR Custom P3 'melt forging'. Don't know the size. I'll check the Italian BB threading!
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Old 11-20-16, 09:50 AM
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And presto! Italian BB threading 36 x 24.
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Old 11-20-16, 10:08 AM
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If you remove the seat post, the diameter should be stamped on it, somewhere below the insertion mark.

The "J" stamp on the crankset indicates October (i.e. 10th month, as J is the tenth letter of the alphabet).

The build workmanship is clearly is mid-range, mass production for the era.

By frankenbike I meant that a number of components are clearly not original specification and that it has been rebuilt to a degree. During this era, it would be rare to mix Italian and Japanese components, let alone frame pieces.
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Old 11-20-16, 12:09 PM
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Could it be 22.2 on the seat post? Hard to decipher...
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Old 11-20-16, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
If you remove the seat post, the diameter should be stamped on it, somewhere below the insertion mark.

The "J" stamp on the crankset indicates October (i.e. 10th month, as J is the tenth letter of the alphabet).

The build workmanship is clearly is mid-range, mass production for the era.

By frankenbike I meant that a number of components are clearly not original specification and that it has been rebuilt to a degree. During this era, it would be rare to mix Italian and Japanese components, let alone frame pieces.
I agree it's an unusual mix unless it was built on request for someone who wanted these specific components? They are all period-correct, even date-stamped... so I prudently figure the components were put on the bicycle at the same time? The only other option is that in a later stadium some owner took off the 'original' parts and put 'new' ones on the bike with period correct parts, which to me seems unlogical. But I'm just trying to decipher what I see now...
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Old 11-20-16, 02:22 PM
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Stronglight heaadset throws me-its a beauty for sure!!
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Old 11-20-16, 02:23 PM
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This seems to be another Aquila, bit older than mine, with quite some similarities (fork, ballhead...): giroditaliadepoca.eu - Bici del Gide: Aquila di Stefano Senna My Italian is not that good and Google Translate... well... I also found out that the bikes were (probably) made in Montevarchi (Tuscany), later in Castelfiorentino.

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Old 11-20-16, 02:33 PM
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And they even had a Touring? https://troppebici.wordpress.com/201...-touring-1970/
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Old 11-20-16, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by juls View Post
Stronglight heaadset throws me-its a beauty for sure!!
Thank you! It sure is a beauty! Concerning the headset: I also took it for a Stronglight at first sight, but as there was no lettering on it (which Stronglight always has) I started searching (on Velobase). I believe it to be a Tange MA-60 headset, but could be mistaken. The fork is a Tange too, so it would make sense as a set?
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Old 11-21-16, 02:28 AM
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The mystery starts to unfold... Message from Italy! "Aquila was/is a producer located in Montevarchi, Arezzo. It was founded and directed by Dr. Pierluigi Picchioni. They built 'raw' frames in the 50's and 60's. After this they built sports- and racebikes for men and women. Aquila had a painting department and assembled bicycles to request, on the desired level. During the past years they sponsored good racers like Giuseppe Petito of Civitavecchia."

This could indicate that my bike was indeed built on request, with the original parts as is. Oh, the world of cycling. I love it!
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Old 11-22-16, 06:51 AM
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Tubing identified as Columbus SL/SP. One more piece of the puzzle solved. Freewheel turns out to be an Atom 'SGDG' (5 speed, black cogs).
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Old 11-22-16, 05:57 PM
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What's not to love??? How bout a pic of the full montey?
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Old 11-23-16, 03:58 PM
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I agree it looks like a nice bike. That rear reflector is fabulous.
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Old 11-24-16, 03:17 AM
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Here you go, 'full Monty'! Rims have been cleaned, new (Vittoria) tubes received, will be put on the bike later this week. In the meantime I discovered ONE (!) other Aquila with the same decals, but frame only so without parts. I visited my bike-shop today and they nearly dropped their coffee. Does anyone recognize the bottom-part by the way?
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Old 11-27-16, 07:20 AM
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Have a look through the posts in this thread. There are quite a few with similar holes, some even Italian.
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Old 11-27-16, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
Have a look through the posts in this thread. There are quite a few with similar holes, some even Italian.
Thanks. Some have a resemblance, but still a mystery not solved...
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Old 11-28-16, 04:50 PM
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Another bike these pictures remind me of is the Union Rini Wagtmans. I've seen them with and without top tube cable guides, shifter braze-ons, and apparently they could be had with different kinds of Columbus tubing, including a 'tre tubi' version.

I haven't been able to find a definitive name for the builder of these frames. Motta is often mentioned, but he could also just have been acting as a go-between. Wagtmans himself mentioned in an interview somewhere that "they came from Italy".

Have a look at this thread.
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Old 11-29-16, 03:23 AM
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Interesting link. Some Italian frames it seems were imported to Belgium, Sint Niklaas, and sold there in the '70s-'80s. The name that pops up is Van den Berghe as distributor. I don't know if this was in the form of complete bikes or just frames that were assembled with parts in Belgium. This probably was the way my Aquila came to Belgium. But it's guessing with the bits and pieces I was able to gather... The Aquila was produced in Montevarchi, Arezzo.
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Old 12-02-16, 07:42 AM
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Pretty much finished with the Aquila. Everything has been cleaned and oiled thoroughly, new tubes glued on (first timer...) and ready to roll. Waiting for some nice sunny weather this coming Sunday. Can't wait! It probably wont win any concours, but I really really like it! And that's what vintage biking is all about, isn't it?
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