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Show us your Stella bikes

Old 05-01-18, 01:41 PM
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Show us your Stella bikes

I don't know how common these are, but I know there are at least two other people in this crowd who have a Stella so why not start a picture thread?

I'm in the early stages of restoring the Stella I got from gugie. The brazed-on derailleur hanger didn't break off when I tried to straighten it with my DAG-2, so I'm proceeding with the test build. I'm getting pretty close to having matched the paint, but if the test rides go well I think I'm going to send it out for a first class repaint and decal restoration. I've got NOS Campagnolo Comp Triple derailleurs and crankset to go with the Potenza brakes that I converted to nutted for this build. The handlebar, white Specialized Phenom sadfdle, and second generation 10-speed Campy Ergo (Veloce) shifters I picked up at the Seattle Bike Swap. I've got white hoods for the shifters and white bar tape waiting to go on. It's pictured with a JPR seat post, but I picked up a Campagnolo Nuovo Record post at Eroica that will be the long term solution. I'm building wheels with H Plus Son TB14 rims and mismatched Campy hubs (Triomphe front, Veloce rear). The front wheel is pictured. I'm still procrastinating on the rear. The 700x28 Clement Strada tire pictured on the front is also what I'm using for this build. I'll need to deflate the rear to get the wheel in, but it fits once I slide it back.



Bonus points if anyone has any idea of features that give a clue as to the age or model of a Stella. I'm calling mine "70's" which is probably right, but I don't have any idea what the markers are. I found one that appears to be identical to mine except that it has its decals and vintage components, and people were calling that one an SX-76. Again, that seemed to be based on the full Columbus tubing. I can say with certainty that my fork is Columbus.

In any event, I mean for this to be a picture thread. So, what have you got?
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Old 05-01-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
In any event, I mean for this to be a picture thread. So, what have you got?
I've got some air for that back tire, in case you're all out.
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Old 05-01-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I've got some air for that back tire, in case you're all out.
My research tells me that French bikes in the 70's got a lot of flats. I'm modernizing a lot of the components, but I want to include some "hat tip" period correct details.
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Old 05-01-18, 04:12 PM
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..my first real halfway decent road bike was a Stella that was a little too small for me.
I have a nicer one now, and gave that one to the bike co-op, where probably no one appreciated it.




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Old 05-01-18, 04:16 PM
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...the one I gave away. Not top of the line, and stamped dropouts, but some kind of decent, double butted tubing.
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Old 05-01-18, 04:36 PM
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Been mostly off BF a few days, trying to adjust to new system. Also busy with wife's care & some home improvements (electrical wiring changes & landscape irrigation), plus setting up my new bench grinder. I will take some more pics, as mine were all recently posted. Don
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Old 05-01-18, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
..my first real halfway decent road bike was a Stella that was a little too small for me.
I have a nicer one now, and gave that one to the bike co-op, where probably no one appreciated it.
That's nice. Do you know if the paint and decals are original? Do you know what year either one is? That's an interesting head badge.
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Old 05-01-18, 06:03 PM
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..the paint and decals on both are original. I'm not real sure on the year of either, the smaller one was found by me in the early 1980's stripped of everything but the crankset in a dump in Merced, California (probably stolen and stripped, then tossed). The one with the Campy derailleur is sometime in the 70's, but I can't say for certain any of the components are original to it. Stella as a marque is poorly documented on the internet, as I'm sure you're aware by now.
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Old 05-01-18, 07:00 PM
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You guys have much nicer Stellas than the yellow Peugeot UO-8 equivalents we sold briefly in the early 1970s.
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Old 05-01-18, 09:28 PM
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1973 SX-75 or 76. Brochure says SX-76 comes with full Columbus/Campagnolo and that's the way mine came. I bought it used in 1977, it had been raced on the peninsula. I had it repainted in 1978 the color it is now. Decals applied 2015. It had been that sky blue color with lugs outlined in gold and chromed fork crown, fork legs, and lower chain/seat stays. 40+ years on I still love to ride this bike.



Rode it cross country in 1981, here it is at the start of the trip on one of the overpasses on I5 in Oregon. Took the Green Tortoise from SF to get to the start, those were the days...


The one that got away. This was on ebay a few years back, would have loved to have picked it up.


And one of Louison Bobet's TdF winning bikes in a museum in France.
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Old 05-01-18, 11:15 PM
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My Stella was one of those sold by Arctic cat, not one of Stella's UO8 equivalents, like most Arctic Cats, , but a #70 series model that fell on hard times prior to rescue by a BF member. When I got it as a bare metal frame, I did a lot of research and found some pics and info, so I'm putting it up here along with pics of my bare metal frame as I prepared it for paint by cleaning off excess brazing and smoothing out file marks. I'll add a current pic of my Stella in a few days.

Louison Bobet won the Tour de France in 1953 & 1954 riding a Stella and our Stella's look very much like his. Don
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1953 STELLA.jpg (118.1 KB, 515 views)
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Stella After the fire.jpg (75.9 KB, 519 views)
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Stella SX73-1.jpg (703.6 KB, 528 views)
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Stella-1.jpg (852.4 KB, 519 views)
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Old 05-01-18, 11:26 PM
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The SX73 article is from Nov 1974 Bicycling Magazine. The 2nd page is fuzzy & hard to read, but notable is that it had a Hi-ten, Durifort, frame instead of the Columbus of the SX75 & SX76, but still came in at 24 1/2 pounds. It had plain lugs instead of Bocama yet made up 1/4 of yearly production. I've never seen a SX73 model, but thought the info should be shared since they made so many.

The 1st pic is a bike displayed by a French restauranteur as the Bobet 1953 bike, but it has the later style decals and probably is a 70 series frame bike just like most of ours. Don

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Old 05-02-18, 06:28 AM
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Another Stella-built Arctic Cat, bought from a local flipper. Plans are for a color change and re-decal as a Stella.





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Old 05-02-18, 07:11 AM
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I was also given this tiny Arctic Cat frame by johnnyspaghetti. Even though it's just a basic Hi-Ten model, I'm tempted to refinish it in something feminine and re-decal it. Somebody out there would enjoy riding her trusty little Stella!


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Old 05-02-18, 03:44 PM
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Beautiful Spring day today. Still lots of blossoms, but they are coming down like pink snow. Here is my Stella. Don
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Old 05-02-18, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ollo_ollo View Post
Beautiful Spring day today. Still lots of blossoms, but they are coming down like pink snow. Here is my Stella. Don
That's a gorgeous bike and the pictures aren't half bad either. Also, thank you so much for sharing the information and images earlier. I love those shots of the Stella building.
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Old 05-02-18, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post
1973 SX-75 or 76. Brochure says SX-76 comes with full Columbus/Campagnolo and that's the way mine came. I bought it used in 1977, it had been raced on the peninsula. I had it repainted in 1978 the color it is now. Decals applied 2015. It had been that sky blue color with lugs outlined in gold and chromed fork crown, fork legs, and lower chain/seat stays. 40+ years on I still love to ride this bike.

That's nice! Apart from the pictures of it in Oregon when it was young () and the excellent paint, I'm interested in the braze-ons. You've got water bottle bosses and top tube cable guides. Shifter bosses as well? Were those things original or did you have them added before the repaint? Were the head tube lugs originally chrome also?
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Old 05-02-18, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
I've got some air for that back tire, in case you're all out.
Andy rocks the low pressure.

This thread is screaming for some more Stella:
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Old 05-02-18, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Andy rocks the low pressure.
Andy, check your valve stem.
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Old 05-02-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
That's nice! Apart from the pictures of it in Oregon when it was young () and the excellent paint, I'm interested in the braze-ons. You've got water bottle bosses and top tube cable guides. Shifter bosses as well? Were those things original or did you have them added before the repaint? Were the head tube lugs originally chrome also?
I had the braze ons added when I had it painted, all those you mention plus bb cable guide, rd housing stop and seat stay rack mounts. Basically anything that got bolted to the frame was replaced. Some of the niceties of a custom build w/o the cost.

Lugs were not exposed chrome but the fork crown was. In hindsight I wish Id left it in original paint, but Im much more appreciative of patina these days than I was back then. Also, it was only 4 y.o. back then, who would have thought Id have it that long. Somewhere at the back of the closet is an old photo album with a shot or two of the bike in original paint, Ill have a look for them.
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Old 05-02-18, 08:21 PM
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I bought my first wife a Stella SX73 in 1976 from our LBC, Vitesse Cycle Shop in Normal, IL. Stellas stopped being available (went out of business?) in '76 or so and Vitesse started selling Sekai and became one of the first Trek dealers. Her bike was a pearl light blue color and was outfitted exactly as the above mentioned Bicycling Magazine article. It had a Pryma leather saddle which we swapped for something softer, as that was a hard riding bike. I tossed the Pryma leather saddle in my parts box and still had it until last year sometime when I sold it to someone who was restoring a Stella. The Stella (and my first wife) went away (although not together) years ago.
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Old 05-03-18, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post

I had the braze ons added when I had it painted, all those you mention plus bb cable guide, rd housing stop and seat stay rack mounts. Basically anything that got bolted to the frame was replaced. Some of the niceties of a custom build w/o the cost.

Lugs were not exposed chrome but the fork crown was. In hindsight I wish Id left it in original paint, but Im much more appreciative of patina these days than I was back then. Also, it was only 4 y.o. back then, who would have thought Id have it that long. Somewhere at the back of the closet is an old photo album with a shot or two of the bike in original paint, Ill have a look for them.
Thanks for the details. I'm considering what mods to do on mine right now. Patina can be cool but my paint is flaking off like a week old sunburn. I'm not sure it would last a year of regular riding. Of course, I do still have nearly three partial letters of original decal.

The more difficult decision is the brazing. I have nice Huret clamp on pieces for everything but the chainstay guide (and that would be easy enough to get), and I kind of like that tip of the cap to the bike's history as contrasted with the newer components I'll be using. On the other hand, brazed on bits are solid and don't scratch the paint. I'm definitely decided on bottle bosses, but I may stop there.
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Old 05-03-18, 08:05 AM
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Andy K: Thanks for the encouraging comments. These Stella's are pretty bikes that get lots of compliments from strangers too. They've been out of production for so long and are from an era when I think anything goes parts wise was the norm. Definitely worth any customizing efforts to make it yours. Don
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Old 05-03-18, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
This thread is screaming for some more Stella:
Thanks! This thread definitely needed that.

It also needs this:


I hope Joe Decuir won't mind my re-sharing the picture of his bike (which apparently he still has and rides). I thought this was a pretty cool story: The real "STELLA"
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Old 05-03-18, 12:56 PM
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Seeing all these other lovely Stellas is really inspiring me to get thing going with my build. I realized (duh!) that I could get this thing on the road quicker by borrowing wheels from another bike, so I slapped together a build with the parts I had on hand and rode this beauty to work this morning.



I wanted to make sure I like the way it rides before investing in new paint and decals. Mission accomplished!

I've been talking to Jeffrey Bock about paint. Now I just need to get some orange pedals.
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