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What is this vintage Ribble, Columbus SL, Race Tab, etc?

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What is this vintage Ribble, Columbus SL, Race Tab, etc?

Old 11-25-18, 12:07 PM
  #1  
jamesdak
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What is this vintage Ribble, Columbus SL, Race Tab, etc?

This showed up locally and I was curious.

Here's what I've found so far, Columbus SL tubing according to the badge. The are ridges on the inside of the fork steerer and the whole seat tube looks smooth inside.

It's got a nice Cinelli stem and sweet Giro D'italia 64 bars. Total mismash of components. Dura Ace D.T. shifters. 105 levers, 600 brakes, 600 52/42 crank, 105 headset, Mavic F.D., 600 R.D., Tiogra/CXP23 wheels, and a 600 AX seatpost.

The weird thing is it's got a number tab braze-on. I haven't found another old Ribble like that is my searching so far. What else is a bit odd are the club cutouts in the lugs. Several makers use them but I haven't found a match yet. Nice long point lugs with scalloped caps on the seatstays. Another surprise is how relatively light the bike is. As pictured with saddle, pedals and even the computer it's a respectable 21 lbs 11 ozs.

I'm sure the Tiogra wheelset is not the lightest of wheelsets. The only thing I've found wrong so far is one really loose rear spoke. Funny thing is the wheel is still true.

The paint is really pretty good with some minor marks. The decals seem like a thick vinyl and are starting to come up on the edges.
There is a chain hanger but no pump peg and only one bottle mount. This is making me think early 80s. The dropouts have no names on them and there's no markings of any sort on the BB.

It came with a Cat Eye Mity 3 – Mapei, Quick Step, Colnago version attached that fired up just fine as soon as I threw in a new battery.

Winter storms came in this week and the roads are crap. I probably wont get this out for a test ride until spring.

And now the pics. Sorry but it was freezing outside and I was shaking from too much coffee so not the best quality. It's till a bit grimy since all I've done is give it a quick wipe down.






















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Old 11-25-18, 12:08 PM
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And more pics:




















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Old 11-25-18, 02:59 PM
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I just wanted to say that is a very pretty bike.

The paint is really minty looking in the pics, and the bar tape and yellow wall tires really accent the "safety green" color. I really like it. And the Columbus SL is a very light tubing set and its my favorite. Great lugs to. I've seen those clovers but I can't remember where I saw them. The geometry looks very racy as well.

I'm not sure of the date, but my guess is likely late 80s, maybe very early 90s
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Old 11-25-18, 03:12 PM
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Lots of folks chiming in at another site I posted this thinking it's a Belgium Martelly frame.
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Old 11-25-18, 03:22 PM
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The Columbus SL decal seems to indicate a re-spray. note what seems to be paint at the lower and left edge of the decal..... Could explain the good condition of the paint, but could it also question what the bike's brand really is?
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Old 11-25-18, 03:49 PM
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Portacatena dropout implies Campy, early 80s. Did others make that?
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Old 11-25-18, 04:00 PM
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I have seen that "Colnagoesque" clover on lugs before. Don't remember them being Ribbles....
Did Ribble even make a bike this old??

Last edited by Chombi1; 11-25-18 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CO_Hoya View Post
Portacatena dropout implies Campy, early 80s. Did others make that?
Yeah, what I found searching that was that they were out of the catalog my 1984. But how many more years were they still available in someone's stock?
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Old 11-25-18, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
I have seen that "Colnagoesque" clover on lugs before. Don't remember them being Ribbles....
Did Ribble even make a bike this old??
Researching this earlier this week I found plenty of older Ribble steel bikes but nothing with the details of this. Some were associated with Tom Dolan.

For sure Martelly used these lugs in the past. I don't know if those more fanciful headlugs help with the builder ID or not.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:21 PM
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That sure looks like a repaint. 30+ year old paint being thst vibrant and having that pure of black decals? Itd be surprising.

rear cable is routed under the chainstay- I would guess later 80s because of this and the paint.
only 1 bottle mount is odd. Especially if its a repaint- just add another mount before painting.

once again, this shows that SLC is the epicenter of unique 30-40 year old vintage road bikes.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:28 PM
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Looks good and pretty cool to me whatever it is.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
That sure looks like a repaint. 30+ year old paint being thst vibrant and having that pure of black decals? Itd be surprising.

rear cable is routed under the chainstay- I would guess later 80s because of this and the paint.
only 1 bottle mount is odd. Especially if its a repaint- just add another mount before painting.

once again, this shows that SLC is the epicenter of unique 30-40 year old vintage road bikes.
I think repaint too. But I should mention that I did go over the frame with Meguiars Mirror Glaze #7 and then a quick wax before the pictures. Had to be real careful with the decals as tiny pieces were breaking off and they were trying to come up. The feel like a really thick decal obviously not clear coated over.

The guy I got it from didn't have much history on it. He got it from a coworker.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:47 PM
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Mishmash or not, nice bike!
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Old 11-25-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I think repaint too. But I should mention that I did go over the frame with Meguiars Mirror Glaze #7 and then a quick wax before the pictures. Had to be real careful with the decals as tiny pieces were breaking off and they were trying to come up. The feel like a really thick decal obviously not clear coated over.

The guy I got it from didn't have much history on it. He got it from a coworker.
The original Columbus SL tubing decals were very thin dry transfer types and do not stand up to any sort of friction/pressure (like with a frame pump handle edge or a bike repair stand clamp) without damage. So good that you were careful around them. Makes one wonder why these tubing manufacturers (Hello Reynold TI) were so cheap with their decals as you'd think they would want them to last at least as long as the paint on the bikes.....
You can still find original decals for Columbus tubing at eBay from a very few sellers, supposedly left over from frame buidder's stock, if you ever want to replace them.
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Old 11-25-18, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Makes one wonder why these tubing manufacturers (Hello Reynold TI) were so cheap with their decals as you'd think they would want them to last at least as long as the paint on the bikes.....
Possibly to deter people from peeling them off and creating a counterfeit frame.

There might be evidence of the original color of that frame at the bottom of the fork steering tube, the bottom bracket threads, etc.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Possibly to deter people from peeling them off and creating a counterfeit frame.

There might be evidence of the original color of that frame at the bottom of the fork steering tube, the bottom bracket threads, etc.
Yep, when I service the headset I'll see. I've got to do some work on the front anyway as the brakes are set up backwards of normal to me.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
I think repaint too. But I should mention that I did go over the frame with Meguiars Mirror Glaze #7 and then a quick wax before the pictures. Had to be real careful with the decals as tiny pieces were breaking off and they were trying to come up. The feel like a really thick decal obviously not clear coated over.

The guy I got it from didn't have much history on it. He got it from a coworker.
Repaint or no, looks good. Decals are probably sign shop budget specials, not weather, uv or time resistant.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage_Cyclist View Post
Possibly to deter people from peeling them off and creating a counterfeit frame.
........
I thought of that,..... actually, applying the original dry transfer is a nerve-wracking process.
I recently replaced the really mangled up SL decal on my Bottechia with a genuine dry transfer and had to do it twice with two decals as I only had one shot getting it located and aligned. The moment any of the decal touches the frame, it cannot be pulled off or adjusted without tearing up the decal...... The first time was a disaster. The second attempt was successful, but I really had to set up and prep/position myself very carefully like I was about to do brain surgery. I suspect the bike manufacturers had to have a special jig/machine to do it consistently on all their frames.
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Old 11-25-18, 05:25 PM
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I have seen photos of old frames with new paint and Ribble decals before, mostly much older than this frame. I got the idea that Ribble offers (or used to offer)an in house repaint service, and that all repainted frames get Ribble decals.

You could probably contact them and learn more. They may even have records....
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Old 11-25-18, 05:32 PM
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To make sure it's SL, check the seatpost diameter. It should be 27.2.

It must be a Ribble and not a counterfeit. I mean who would put Ribble decals on a bike if it wasn't one, might as well make it a Colnago with those cloverleafs and where would one even find them?
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Old 11-25-18, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I have seen photos of old frames with new paint and Ribble decals before, mostly much older than this frame. I got the idea that Ribble offers (or used to offer)an in house repaint service, and that all repainted frames get Ribble decals.

You could probably contact them and learn more. They may even have records....
I have, we'll see if I get an answer. I also sent an email with pics to Martelly to see if he recognizes the work.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:00 AM
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Nice find!!!

I bet someone out there would kill for the Mapei computer.
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Old 11-26-18, 11:59 AM
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Ribble responded back this morning saying they'll look into it and and get back with me. So fingers crossed!
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Old 11-27-18, 01:25 PM
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Woo hoo! The first Belgium in my collection. Eddy Martens (Martelly) responded back this morning confirming that they made it in 1985 and it is indeed SL. He also said they still have some vintage frames for sale.

Here's a translation of his reply:


"the frame is made with us in the year + -1985, and is made in Columbus sl tubes.

I also have some vintage frames for sale, if interest only lets me know something."

I think it's really cool that he responded and I'm glad to know for sure how made this.
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Old 11-27-18, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
Woo hoo! The first Belgium in my collection. Eddy Martens (Martelly) responded back this morning confirming that they made it in 1985 and it is indeed SL. He also said they still have some vintage frames for sale.

Here's a translation of his reply:


"the frame is made with us in the year + -1985, and is made in Columbus sl tubes.

I also have some vintage frames for sale, if interest only lets me know something."

I think it's really cool that he responded and I'm glad to know for sure how made this.
So this bike is actually a Martens that was re-painted and decaled by Ribble?
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