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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

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Whats so special about Italian bikes?

Old 12-31-18, 01:02 PM
  #126  
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Judging from all the interest on the Kharkov thread, we may see many cashing out on their Japan and Italian rides. Pedal on comrade
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Old 12-31-18, 01:09 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post


Ah, the master of obfuscation strikes again.
Oh my, now your throwing out dem fancy Italian words huh!!


Seriously though, out of all my bikes I do have one that just feels so freaking magical every time I take it out. It's not the best climber, it's not the fastest, it's not the prettiest, it hasn't posted a single PR for me, etc. Yet I swear it was forged by the bike gods themselves. And it just happens to have been made in Italy. The De Rosa feels pretty damn wonderful too and I've always called my old Basso Gap my "silk bike".

I always say it's because they were sprinkled with pixie dust by the bike gods themselves but in all honesty I'm sure it's all just of function of the many factors that go into what makes up those bikes.
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Old 12-31-18, 03:34 PM
  #128  
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I currently own 17 bikes. Of those, nine are Italian bikes. I like the craftsmanship and the ride. I do have a Centurion Ironman that I would put in with the Italians for ride quality. Then there is the Merckx MX Leader........
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Old 12-31-18, 05:18 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post

Campagnolo and Shimano got their current dual-slant panto design from SunTour. Shimano adopted dual slant just after the patent expired in 1985, and added the dual sprung pivots - which really helped when SIS came a few years later. It took the threat of index shifting to get Campagnolo to switch away from simple parallelogram.
I was working for a shop in 1984-86. It was obvious to us that Shimano was ready to jump and sell right away when the Suntour patent expired. The 7400 series DuraAce arrived with SIS indexing, and a disconnect ring at the shift lever to revert to friction if you needed to for a problem or race wheel change. Widely available in 1985, it spelled the end of Campagnolo race dominance.

Campagnolo raced to answer with Syncro, but they were way behind, unwilling to admit that the Suntour design was superior it seemed. There were many patent applications by Campagnolo in an attempt to come up with a patentable answer. A waste of engineering resources. The 80's were a hard decade for them, used to being the company that others wished to copy, the eccentric cam brake quick release, the brake block tire guides, the wrench flats on the brake center bolt for easy centering adjustment, the "star" toothed washer to keep the adjustment, the tooth at the back of the pedal to make foot engagement easier... plenty of good ideas. But not enough minds to review old concepts and innovate from those, the "freehub" was not new, even got ignored when Shimano first applied it to Dura-Ace EX... as was the Dynadrive pedal, old concepts ready to be invigorated. Eventually after the goof up with Positron and the front freewheel, they came up with a must have, then another with integrated brake and shift levers.

Campagnolo may have been too polite to other Italian brands too, unwilling to bypass Regina and Everest when they started working with indexing.
I forget that their freewheel was a jewel of a piece and priced as such. The tooth profile was essentially Atom, with a groove at the centerline to help catch a chain, they needed to be thinking ahead as Shimano was, Hyperglide, and ramps and pins to assist up front.
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Old 12-31-18, 06:27 PM
  #130  
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Two words (just like all other Italian stuff) "Sex appeal" KB
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Old 12-31-18, 07:21 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I think it all comes down to your personal finances. Is an Italian bicycle worth 10 to 20 times more than my Miyata 912 or Centurion Ironman? To some it probably is just not me lol
You don't always have to pay a ridiculous amount. Probably for a mint bike that has not been ridden. Yes some are $5,000+ but I got mine for $850 plus shipping a couple of years back, when it arrived it was in much better condition than I expected, paint scruffy but had been well maintained and probably ridden hard as it should be but all bearings were OK. It is a great ride and has great heritage, what more could you want.
maybe I got a bargain, maybe not, as you say it depends on your perspective. I have American built bikes I love too and my all time love is an English 1955 Freddie Grubb Meteor massed start racer that most people have never heard of but it is beautiful to me and a great ride too though the Colnago probably beats it, just.
There is no logic to how we view these machines and good thing too, in my humble view. They are all worth saving.
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Old 12-31-18, 08:05 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Brilliant!

With so many Nuovo Record equipped bikes on display in this forum and elsewhere we have, perhaps, become a bit jaded; but for those of us who were young when Nuovo Record was new the impression left on us is permanent. Those satin-anodized cranks with their fluting and chamfering were the stuff of dreams for a 17-year-old putting in 50-mile days on his U0-8 which he had converted to sew-ups and toe clips. For me the object of my lust was a silver (or was it gold?) Masi and the store window was at Sugden and Lynch Bicycles in Menlo Park California.
Brent
Yep, you got that right. When I got my first Campagnolo equipped bike (a Gitane Professional Super Corsa) in 1974, I came damned close to selling my girlfriend on the street to raise the money to get it. And I finally had it, the first all Campy bike in the Presque Isle Bike Club! And I thought I was incredibly hot **** . . . . . . . . until I rode another member's bike. He didn't quite have the money I was able to raise, so he 'settled' for a Gitane Tour de France.

And within a couple of miles I realized he had the better performing bike. Shifted better, stopped way better. For $265.00 where I'd spent $450.00 (to keep things in perspective, my Vega GT had cost $2300.00 new).

Thirty years later when I returned to cycling, I wanted two things: Raleighs and Gitanes. THE bikes in Erie, PA thirty years earlier. Only this time, I built up a Tour de France. Like I should have bought back then. Still have it. One of the permanent keepers. And then I picked up a UO-8 a few months later and did the sew-up route. Damn, that was a good bike. Simplex again.
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Old 12-31-18, 08:38 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
...........
NR top with Rallye cage works about the same as NR and SR alone with a 13-21. It gets into the 13T cog about half the time you shift it. SunTour Superbe / Cyclone / Sprint just work, under load, with zero drama, in all gears.

Huret Duopar works great if you can keep it properly aligned.
Interesting you mention shifting under load.... That would be another thing that the NR RD did not do well for me. Really horrible when I found that out the first time when I was going up a steep hill back in the mid 80's.....
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Old 12-31-18, 09:19 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Interesting you mention shifting under load.... That would be another thing that the NR RD did not do well for me. Really horrible when I found that out the first time when I was going up a steep hill back in the mid 80's.....
I don't think you can entirely blame the NR Shifting problems on the rear derailleur. The Shifters themselves have to take some of the credit.
The best solution for NR and SR shifting is to switch your shifters to Simplex SLJ's. I know it's not cool to "mix and match" but sometimes you just have to.
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Old 12-31-18, 09:35 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Interesting you mention shifting under load.... That would be another thing that the NR RD did not do well for me. Really horrible when I found that out the first time when I was going up a steep hill back in the mid 80's.....
The basic architecture of Campagnolo mechanisms was set in the early 1950's. It's predecessor required backpedaling to shift.
It was a leap forward. Sure, there were French mechanisms and some competing Italian alternatives, but it was THE racing standard for decades.
I am actually impressed it lasted as long as it did.
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Old 12-31-18, 10:17 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I think it all comes down to your personal finances. Is an Italian bicycle worth 10 to 20 times more than my Miyata 912 or Centurion Ironman? To some it probably is just not me lol
...I don't know where you're getting your pricing data, but in the last six months I've bought two top of the line Italian bikes here in NorCal, one a Bianchi Giro with Dura Ace from the later 80's and another Casati from the 70's ( which needed to be painted and restickered). The Bianchi cost $550 and the Casati (probably a better bike, but in need of paint) cost $450.

They were both on the local Craigslist, and were on there for a while before I lost my resolve to not buy any more bikes and bought them. So at least where I live, your entire premise in this thread is fundamentally flawed. I think @KonAaron_Snake mentioned this as well. You're not well grounded in what these bikes cost in today's marketplace.

I think you might just be trolling, but it's hard to tell. Nobody ever trolls teh Beikforooms.
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Old 12-31-18, 10:20 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by kcblair View Post
Two words (just like all other Italian stuff) "Sex appeal" KB
...if there is a Japanese equivalent of Sophia Loren, I am unaware of her.
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Old 12-31-18, 11:33 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I don't know where you're getting your pricing data, but in the last six months I've bought two top of the line Italian bikes here in NorCal, one a Bianchi Giro with Dura Ace from the later 80's and another Casati from the 70's ( which needed to be painted and restickered). The Bianchi cost $550 and the Casati (probably a better bike, but in need of paint) cost $450.

They were both on the local Craigslist, and were on there for a while before I lost my resolve to not buy any more bikes and bought them. So at least where I live, your entire premise in this thread is fundamentally flawed. I think @KonAaron_Snake mentioned this as well. You're not well grounded in what these bikes cost in today's marketplace.

I think you might just be trolling, but it's hard to tell. Nobody ever trolls teh Beikforooms.
Lol search for either of those bikes in Ohio and tell me what you come up with
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Old 01-01-19, 12:44 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Lol search for either of those bikes in Ohio and tell me what you come up with
...why would I want to look for bikes in Ohio if I live in Northern California ? I'm just telling you what I experience here in the reality I live in. If these bikes are worth so much more there, I'm surprised nobody is hauling truckloads of them into the Midwest. Seems like a business opportunity that is being missed for some reason.
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Old 01-01-19, 03:10 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...if there is a Japanese equivalent of Sophia Loren, I am unaware of her.
Maybe not, but Kurosawa is the equivalent of Fellini, Antonioni, and Bertolucci combined.

[and sushi is really delicious.]

[and Godzilla.]
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Old 01-01-19, 04:03 AM
  #141  
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I'd add to the debate by saying that bikes vary how they ride based on the rider. One person's perfectly flexy frame could be terrible for a heavier or lighter rider. I find I have to customise bikes to get them as I want them to make a bike suitable for me. You can make the point that Italian bikes have heritage both in winning races and innovation but I question realistically how good the bikes are overall as a good bike is quite an individual thing. Many italian brands of today are being churned out by factories in the far east except their premium models but you still get many people who clearly love these bikes and happy to pay extra for them despite the bikes being made next to bicycles destined for cheaper brands or shop brands. Yes the frames may have better tubing or maybe the carbon is better and the end components fitted to the frame may be different but the end price difference is still extreme even allowing for the different components. There will always be bikes available for whatever price people are willing to pay. Diminishing returns seems to be a common thing for bikes. Just shaving off an extra 100g off bike weight seems to cost huge money and the difference in cycling times can be seconds over hours of riding.

I bought a cheap Muddyfox road bike new and after use of various discounts and exploits I got it down to about 130, it's clearance price was about 150. It is equipped with a mainly Claris groupset, 16 gears, pretty much all aluminium and very well made generally. It weighs 11.5kg in its extra large frame size '60cm'. It's stronger and faster than many classic italian bikes and much, much safer with better brakes and certified to modern safety standards in pretty much all ways its a better bike. The gearing is better and it shifts quick and precisely. It was assembled in Bangladesh from pretty much all Chinese components in what they call 'tariff engineering' to avoid EU additional duties. Even if you don't accept that bike as superior an entry level Claris bike like the Giant Contend which is sub 9.5kg in weight with a carbon fork and a wider ratio cassette surely goes well beyond classic Italian bikes.

I'm just making the point like classic cars, classic hifi and many other classic things they are easily beaten in performance by much cheaper products today.
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Old 01-01-19, 05:27 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by kcblair View Post
Two words (just like all other Italian stuff) "Sex appeal" KB
That 1986 cover on Bicycling magazine did it for me. I was 16
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Old 01-01-19, 05:52 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
Lol search for either of those bikes in Ohio and tell me what you come up with
Just did a search from 200 miles around Columbus and lots of hits came up for italian bikes some with good prices. Checked around a little more and there are some real deals for other bikes as well. Saw a real sweet Motobecane for under $200. Sometimes it takes a little work to get what you want.
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Old 01-01-19, 06:04 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
[and sushi is really delicious.]

[and Godzilla.]
You've eaten Godzilla? How did you manage that? It usually works the other way around.

All this discussion reminds me of a comment frame builder Peter Mooney made when I took him a fork to straighten. "Made with passion, not precision." Of course the bike in question was French (as we both knew), not Italian. (With a straightened fork it is a superb bike.) But it is all about passion, whether precise or not. With so many of the great Italian bikes passion is why they ended up as good as they are.
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Old 01-01-19, 12:18 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Maybe not, but Kurosawa is the equivalent of Fellini, Antonioni, and Bertolucci combined.

[and sushi is really delicious.]

[and Godzilla.]
...there's no Italian equivalent for Godzilla. The closest they come is Cipollini.
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Old 01-01-19, 12:20 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
Just did a search from 200 miles around Columbus and lots of hits came up for italian bikes some with good prices. Checked around a little more and there are some real deals for other bikes as well. Saw a real sweet Motobecane for under $200. Sometimes it takes a little work to get what you want.
...way to rain on my Italian bikes to the Midwest business parade, man.
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Old 01-03-19, 01:49 AM
  #147  
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what's so special about Italian bikes?

the shop owner at Corsa Corsa in Tokyo could tell ya.

https://youtu.be/yFEW53hFYyk .
​​​​​​
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Old 01-03-19, 11:20 AM
  #148  
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What's so special about Italian bikes? Nothing, in my opinion. That they are Italian and the uninformed will gravitate to just that. But you want great ride quality and great cosmetics and vintage appeal? Try this French steed...


or this Canadian wonder bike...


or even this...


Each of the above rides and looks just as good as anything Italian that I have ever owned, including my late sixties Atala Pro...


I am even trying out a German steed, just to see what they feel like...


Of course, when it comes time to sell, Italian always, or almost always, commands more interest and more cash.
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Old 01-03-19, 03:04 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...if there is a Japanese equivalent of Sophia Loren, I am unaware of her.
Japanese are more into "The girl next door (That your mom would be really really proud to have as a daughter in law)" type of actress. Actresses like Setsuko Hara. From a slightly older generation of actresses than Sophia, but the country looks at her as pretty much a much beloved queen of the screen arts....
Look her up and watch her movies and it's easy to develop a crush on her.
Sadly, she just died last year....
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Old 01-03-19, 03:21 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Japanese are more into "The girl next door (That your mom would be really really proud to have as a daughter in law)" type of actress. Actresses like Setsuko Hara. From a slightly older generation of actresses than Sophia, but the country looks at her as pretty much a much beloved queen of the screen arts....
Look her up and watch her movies and it's easy to develop a crush on her.
Sadly, she just died last year....
I think it's all about the "curves".

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