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Sudden Acquisition of 50's Allegro Frame

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Sudden Acquisition of 50's Allegro Frame

Old 02-29-16, 12:50 PM
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Camplex
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Sudden Acquisition of 50's Allegro Frame - Big Pics

A friend recently gave me this frame, explaining that he'd never make a proper build of it, and though it'd been languishing in his garage for more than twenty years, it wasn't even his size. He purchased this Allegro used at a shop in Orange County in the early 80s and, bringing it up here to the Pacific Northwest, it eventually saw genuine velodrome use. He rode it less and less over the years until putting it away in 1989 or so. Interestingly, he decided to protect the frame by applying thick white appliance paint, probably from Home Depot or something. The serial number remains visible. The seat post is stuck and the bottom bracket (Campy 35 x 1) is intact, though he says that the races require replacing. I was unfamiliar with the brand before seeing this head badge and looking it up. I've read some history, most prominently how the brand came to America and the involvement of the Kemps. I understand that only a limited number of these frames exist and that at one time, just a few collectors held a great many of them.






Can anyone help identify the frame model? The lug-work is beautiful and perhaps could help identify the model... my friend says that this was all Italian in threading, save for the Swiss BB. It was a Reynolds 531 frame entirely outfitted with Campagnolo components.

I'm looking for someone locally right now that can help with stripping the appliance paint and re-painting it, aiding in its restoration. I already have components saved-up for it and the possibilities excite me. Any helpful info anyone can provide would be awesome right now... Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Camplex; 02-29-16 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Warning folks of big pictures
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Old 02-29-16, 01:35 PM
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What's your serial number? I have no.165167, which appears to date to 1959 or 60. Sounds like you've done all the same reading as I, and I'm afraid I don't have much to add!
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Old 02-29-16, 01:47 PM
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very likely this is all 531 but not a "Super" frame which may have some chrome panels on the main tubes. Those are BCM (Bocama) lugs which were very common on Allegros for decades, many other marques used them, too, but these have an unusual socket pattern...I'll have to look these up and see if there's a number or name for them. Surprised that other threading would be "Italian" cause this Swiss brand stuck with FR threading and metric tubing for the most part except for the SW BB shell (BTW usually the shells were Georg Fisher sand-cast steel as yours looks to be.
Carefully center-punch the rivets and drill them out, set aside the head badge for afterwards and then take the bare frame to a media-blaster who will use glass beads or walnut shells (not emery or sand), or you can DIY with liquid stripper if you're into that.
If Craig Griffith in SLO, Calif is still active he can tell you the entire Allegro story, but most of that is already on his "Swiss Bicycles" website.

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Old 02-29-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
What's your serial number? I have no.165167, which appears to date to 1959 or 60. Sounds like you've done all the same reading as I, and I'm afraid I don't have much to add!

Interesting... Please let me know what my serial tells you as I've only had the reporting of the former owner to go off-of in determining when this was made; the serial on the side is 236946. Perhaps of much later make than the owner thought? On the bottom of the BB is +GF+ 43

Also, I did not get a fork with the frame... a big bummer. So I have to go out and find one. What should I look for? Something for 27" wheels I gather, but what else?

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Old 02-29-16, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Camplex View Post
Interesting... Please let me know what my serial tells you as I've only had the reporting of the former owner to go off-of in determining when this was made; the serial on the side is 236946. Perhaps of much later make than the owner thought? On the bottom of the BB is +GF+ 43
Here's a pic of mine with serial number. Mine was purchased as frame/fork from Mr. Griffith and reportedly a '74/'75 product.
That marking tells us yes, it's a Georg Fisher BB shell.
Closest I can come to on your lugs is they are a BCM model no. 14 with a pattern II socket.
Allegros are very nice riding and well-made, I'm sure you'll like yours.
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Old 02-29-16, 02:58 PM
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Going to attempt one of their signature "smoked" finishes?

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Old 02-29-16, 03:51 PM
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Well, I don't know for sure that the serial numbers are strictly sequential. I assumed they were, but... what do I know.

I'd try to get a fork with one eyelet on each dropout, English or Italian thread, and a decent looking crown. The right geometry is tricky; you might want to make a scale drawing of the frame, figure out the head angle and the vertical distance between the lower head race and the axle. And the minimum steerer length of course.
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Old 02-29-16, 05:58 PM
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I'd be very surprised if they were NOT sequential (or at least some part of the system must be) since this is SWITZERLAND we're talkin' here, right?
Not so sure about 27" versus 700C (sprints/tubbies/tubulars) since I reckon it might be either...
They nearly all seem to have that same forkcrown so that feature would be a plus if you can find one...again: you might give Craig Griffith a shout, he MIGHT have spares.
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Old 03-01-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Going to attempt one of their signature "smoked" finishes?


I do like the "smoky" finish but I'm not sure its something any painter can do... I'm currently looking for a painter here in the Portland, OR area. No shortage, of course. How to choose...

Assuming it was sequential, we're talking a mid- to late-60's frame....
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Old 03-01-16, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Camplex View Post
I do like the "smoky" finish but I'm not sure its something any painter can do... I'm currently looking for a painter here in the Portland, OR area. No shortage, of course. How to choose...

Assuming it was sequential, we're talking a mid- to late-60's frame....
Well, don't paint the bike until you've got a fork; I'd even go so far as to suggest you find a fork, then build the bike up and ride it to see how it rides with that fork. Once you've confirmed that the bike and the fork play nice together, then have them both painted.
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