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Italian Olympia bicycle - any info?

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Italian Olympia bicycle - any info?

Old 06-11-05, 01:16 PM
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meradi
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Italian Olympia bicycle - any info?

Hi,
Just picked up an "Olympia" bicycle at a garage sale. The owner said he bought it in Italy new (I should have asked when). I picked it up and was SO surprised at how light the silver-painted steel frame was!

I'm looking for some more info on the bike. Here's what I can tell (besides the head badge, no other labels on the bike)-
Weinmann 610 brakes, DuraAce front der, a Shimano "Crane" 65 (or "GS") rear der, Shimano 600 cranks and downtube shifters, "Ideale" black leather seat. Here's a pic, and there's more on my picture website at: https://photobucket.com/albums/y6/Bri...pia%20Bicycle/

The owner said the new chain skips on the rear freewheel since that's worn - would there be any problem in replacing that? Also, he said to check out the bottom bracket -- since it's old. Any ideas on restoring it would be so appreciated. Other than those things, it rides like a dream.

Now I can see why people stick with their lugged-steel bikes!
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Old 06-11-05, 04:02 PM
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It's the second oldest Italian bike company, right behind Bianchi. They made everything from city bikes, to lightweight racers. Your bike looks like late '70s.
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nice lugs baby!
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Old 06-11-05, 06:28 PM
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you need a new chain and most likely a new freewheel as well (although it looks okay in the pictures). Crane was the top-drawer shimano stuff in the '70s. Late '70s it morphed into dura ace (long after the rest of the grouppo). Simichrome or maybe naval jelly on the rust with some bronze wool, and those lugs will look like new. Treat the saddle and retension it (there's a nice long thread recently about leather saddle maintenance). You'll be amazed! It really doesn't look far from perfect.
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Old 02-11-06, 06:46 AM
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I just joined this forum, and came across your question of last year about Olympia . Absolutely top notch brand of Italian bike. If you go to Italy, you sometimes see very old ones used as daily transportation, which is a certain kind of testimony as to how well made something really is. Olympias were sold in the 70's and perhaps early early 80's Westchester County, New York, by a man who had been boyhood friends with the family that owns Olympia Cicli in Italy. He was the sole importer- all Olympias that are in the US today came from him. At the time of your posting, I'd just returned from Italy with a new Olympia IQ 2. I'm 48, and bought my first Olympia at age 17, from the man here in New York. Cost 195 bucks.

Olympia today has taken pretty active steps to stay technologically current- they are as into carbon fiber and aluminum as anyone out there, and make a ful line of racing, mountain and city bikes. At the time that I got my new Olympia, I also had a new Kestrel 200ems. Great bike, but nothing I've ridden goes around turns like the Olympia!

What model bike do you have? Does it still say anything on the top tube? The decals from that era were pretty fragile, but you may have a Sprint Junior, or a Special Piuma (piuma is feather in Italian).
Peter Askin
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Old 02-11-06, 08:26 AM
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Unfortunately the decals didn't survive, so I have no idea which model this one is. Sure is a nice ride though!
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Old 11-09-08, 02:38 PM
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Olympia

Great old bike. I just bought a 1970's bike similar to your's. looking for parts. Do you want to sell?
james Peacock
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Old 11-09-08, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by italianfrk View Post
Great old bike. I just bought a 1970's bike similar to your's. looking for parts. Do you want to sell?
james Peacock
James,

You are welcome for the identification... Your frame doesn't look anything like the OP's bike.
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Old 11-28-08, 10:19 PM
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I used to work at Charlie's Cycle Center in Eastchester, NY: "Charlie" was the guy who brought Olympias into the US. I was there from 1972 to 1974. He imported several containers of them. I remember quite a lot about them and still own a Special Piuma and a Competizione. You are welcome to contact me for specs, colors and any other info I can remember.
Mike
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Old 08-12-10, 01:28 PM
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Hello, your bicycle has been rebuilt and the frame is an Olympia Borghi, not an Olympia. Olympia Borghi bicycles were built from 1893 until 1959 by a company founded by Carlos Borghi. In 1959 the company was sold to Antonio and Pasquale Fontana and these bicycles were badged Olympia from that date onwards. I have not studied your photographs suffiently closely to identify which model / type it is. If it has mudguard fixing eyes, then it is a condorino. A condorino type in Italy = a tourer in the UK etc, or a randonneur in France. It would not have had drop handlebars. The original chainset would be engraved Olympia and together with the bottom bracket was made by Magistroni. The handlebar stem would have a large expander-bolt brass washer, with Olympia Borghi on it. The very narrow "sports" handlebars would be Farese Olympia and the brake levers, as well as the calipers, would be embossed Olympia.
The headset would state L. Magistroni Olympia.
The seat tube had a decal to the same design as the head tube badge, set in a panel and this was repeated on the rear chromed mudguard. The mudguard stays were elaboroate adjustable affairs with domed brass nuts.
The down tube had a large OLYMPIA decal on both sides. Decals might still be available.
The rear derailleurs was by Campagnolo, usually Gran Sport.
All in all, the Olympia Borghi is a very nice bicycle in every way, like so many of that era, from Italy. I am rebuilding an almost identical FLAVIA bicycle - a rare one !
Enjoy yours and look out for the white tyre pump, embossed Olympia in blue, as was the chain guard.
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