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The Ugly Legnano Project...

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The Ugly Legnano Project...

Old 02-16-19, 12:32 PM
  #1  
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The Ugly Legnano Project...

For many years, the vintage road bicycles came to me so fast that I could not keep up with builds of interest. One project that has waited in ugly but ride worthy despair, is my Legnano Grand Premio. Ugly - look at the paint...


I have ridden the Legnno as seen above for several years, resisting the urge to repaint the bike. That said, in the last year, a fellow forum member sent me these Universal 68 brakes...


And another forum member sent me proper Universal levers. To that, add this Legnano head set tucked away a few years ago(can't find the pics).

Long have I hung on to this headset, which I lucked out on and got really cheap through Ebay...


For a while, I thought to build the Grand Premio up with a cotterless crank set, opting for a Stronglight 49d...


and a Campy Grand Sport transmission...


Then, last summer, I got really lucky, scoring a set of Campy Legnano pantorgraphed high flange hubs and Weinmann 700c clincher concave rims. They are now ready to install...


And, twenty minutes ago, I was lucky again, buying this NOS Legnano crank set and bottom bracket...




I guess that it is time to fully restore the Grand Premio, paint and all. And you know, the wait for that last part, if a really nice part of the restoration process.
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Old 02-16-19, 12:48 PM
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This bike is beautiful in its own way. Looking forward to seeing the build. Talk about some great looking parts.
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Old 02-16-19, 12:55 PM
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Now this defines 'classic and vintage'!
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Old 02-16-19, 01:10 PM
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These are great bikes. I've had my Roma since new in 1964. Its been raced on, commuted to college on, done many club rides and 2016 Eroica. Over the years, I somehow lost track of the original Legnano branded rear hub, but recently found another on Ebay to match the front. I just had new wheels laced up on clincher rims, can't wait to get some tires and take it out. Never seen a Legnano headset like that. Mine is Campy, and it came with an alloy Campy crank. For 2016 Eroica I changed out the 53/45 for a more hill friendly 52/42. Otherwise original except for newer Brooks saddle, clincher rims and Nitto stem. Good luck with yours. Always fun to see other Legnanos.




New wheel all laced, waiting for tires.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 02-17-19 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 02-16-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
These are great bikes. I've had my Roma since new in 1964. Its been raced on, commuted to college on, done many club rides and 2016 Eroica. Over the years, I somehow lost track of the original Legnano branded rear hub, but recently found another on Ebay to match the front. I just had new wheels laced up on clincher rims, can't wait to get some tires and take it out. Never seen a Legnano headset like that. Mine is Campy, and it came with an alloy Campy crank. For 2016 Eroica I changed out the 53/45 for an more hill friendly 52/42. Otherwise original except for clincher rims and Nitto stem. Good luck with yours. Always fun to see other Legnanos.
Wow, great motivation for the OP! And you've had it since new? Wow again!

And agree randy, new paint for this one. She should look her best.
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Old 02-16-19, 01:35 PM
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Randy, that thing is beyond beautiful as-is. I'd never touch it.

Then again, If I was ever pushed to that point, I'd make sure to find a painter who has shown absolutely impeccable ability to shoot the thinnest single-stage paint possible with equally impeccable ability to mask off lugs. Only then would I have the top tube and seatlug painted as a unit, using the seatlug lower edge to hide the paint seam. Then, I'd wet sand the hell out of the masking line at the stays and hope I could polish the original paint to blend with the new stuff.

You'd also have to find a master of box lining. And not the thick stuff that so many do these days either.

-Kurt
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Old 02-16-19, 04:44 PM
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...that lizard yellow is a difficult color to match, but from the photos, it looks like the paint except for the top tube is relatively intact. And all the original decals/box striping are on the rest of the bike, pretty much. I can't see it in person, but if that's the case, you might want to limit your repainting efforts to just the top tube. Just mask off the rest while you're attempting to match the color on the TT with the rest of the bike. You can get good decals from Greg Softley at Cyclomondo, but they're on vinyl. So they raise up a little when overcoated with clear coat.

I did some experimentation when I touched up the paint on this one, and I'm relatively certain that the paint on these was some kind of lacquer. At any rate it will bubble when overcoated with clear enamel, unless you are very, very careful..

I'm relatively certain that the underpainted primer is some sort of metallic silver, at least on the body of the frame. Sort of a faux chromovelato. But I'm certain it will end up looking nice however you decide to proceed.

you could probably ask @Condorino who does his repaints, if you decide to send it off somewhere.


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Old 02-16-19, 05:24 PM
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Randy -

Noah Rosen at Velocolour has matched your frame colour. It may be possible to re-paint just your top tube. Condorino has an article on pin stripes as well.
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Old 02-16-19, 05:24 PM
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I see nothing wrong with something old looking old. The patina reflects a long life of use and probably a great deal of enjoyment. If it needs to be stabilized, thatís a different matter, but personally I would do the minimum. As you well know, once you start you canít back up.
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Old 02-16-19, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...that lizard yellow is a difficult color to match, but from the photos, it looks like the paint except for the top tube is relatively intact. And all the original decals/box striping are on the rest of the bike, pretty much. I can't see it in person, but if that's the case, you might want to limit your repainting efforts to just the top tube. Just mask off the rest while you're attempting to match the color on the TT with the rest of the bike. You can get good decals from Greg Softley at Cyclomondo, but they're on vinyl. So they raise up a little when overcoated with clear coat.

I did some experimentation when I touched up the paint on this one, and I'm relatively certain that the paint on these was some kind of lacquer. At any rate it will bubble when overcoated with clear enamel, unless you are very, very careful..

I'm relatively certain that the underpainted primer is some sort of metallic silver, at least on the body of the frame. Sort of a faux chromovelato. But I'm certain it will end up looking nice however you decide to proceed.

you could probably ask @Condorino who does his repaints, if you decide to send it off somewhere.
Overall, the paint on this Gran Premio looks to be in very good shape for a Legnano of this vintage as the factory paint is fragile and tends not survive the years in most cases. Here is post from my blog on refinishing the 'lizard yellow' paint that defined the brand if you are thinking about going down this road: https://condorino.com/2014/06/11/noa...he-impossible/ Along with decal work and box lining it is not an inexpensive venture to get it right. Enjoy your treasure !!

regards,
Mark Campbell
Toronto
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Old 02-16-19, 05:29 PM
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Looking forward to this build!
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Old 02-16-19, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
These are great bikes. I've had my Roma since new in 1964. Its been raced on, commuted to college on, done many club rides and 2016 Eroica. Over the years, I somehow lost track of the original Legnano branded rear hub, but recently found another on Ebay to match the front. I just had new wheels laced up on clincher rims, can't wait to get some tires and take it out. Never seen a Legnano headset like that. Mine is Campy, and it came with an alloy Campy crank. For 2016 Eroica I changed out the 53/45 for an more hill friendly 52/42. Otherwise original except for newer Brooks saddle, clincher rims and Nitto stem. Good luck with yours. Always fun to see other Legnanos.




New wheel all laced, waiting for tires.
I love the bikecentennial stickers. So you rode this on the bikecentennial?
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Old 02-16-19, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I love the bikecentennial stickers. So you rode this on the bikecentennial?
No, I didn't ride, but for a donation you got a sticker and cycling cap.
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Old 02-16-19, 08:06 PM
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Randy if I were you and going to Paint it I would NOT try to match the "Lizard Green". It would be just about an impossible DIY project.
I would try getting a match for the Blue.
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Old 02-16-19, 08:20 PM
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Looking forward to seeing this project go forward!
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Old 02-17-19, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Randy, that thing is beyond beautiful as-is. I'd never touch it.

Then again, If I was ever pushed to that point, I'd make sure to find a painter who has shown absolutely impeccable ability to shoot the thinnest single-stage paint possible with equally impeccable ability to mask off lugs. Only then would I have the top tube and seatlug painted as a unit, using the seatlug lower edge to hide the paint seam. Then, I'd wet sand the hell out of the masking line at the stays and hope I could polish the original paint to blend with the new stuff.

You'd also have to find a master of box lining. And not the thick stuff that so many do these days either.

-Kurt
Or, if you want to do the whole thing, you could do worse than find the guy who 'cracked' the Lizard Yellow color code for Condorino. I bookmarked the page on his website when I was planning on doing a faux Legnano a few years back: https://condorino.com/2014/06/11/noa...he-impossible/
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Old 02-17-19, 01:53 AM
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I'm gonna be watching this one!
These Legnano's are all lovely!
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Old 02-17-19, 07:59 AM
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Those Legnanos bring back fond memories from my middle school and high school years, when I really got into bicycling. I never had one, but several of my friends did. Since I got my first road bike in 1962, I have a soft spot for bikes from about 1960 to 1965.

The debate over repainting reminds me of how lucky I was to find the 98 percent original Capo Sieger, whose paint I plan to repair and preserve, to complement my updated and professionally repainted Capo Modell Campagnolo. Best of both worlds ...
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Old 02-17-19, 12:26 PM
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Firstly, I am a Legnano lover, the one I am building now is number five.

Number one...


Number two...


Number three(the one I have now and will not sell)...


Number four(found at thee Dump looking just like this and spent not a penny to get it on the road)...


And number five, if I ever get lucky enough, will be a Roma from the fifties or sixties.

All that said, though poorly made, the point I was making is that seeking that last part, or those last parts, is part of the fun of restoring old road bikes. Moreso, if you are cheap, as I am, and seek really good deals.
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Old 02-17-19, 08:09 PM
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Just thought I'd share a few new scratches from today's ride. That's my blue one up above in the thread with the red bars. Today, my Zefal pump worked loose, jammed in the crank,and took some paint with it. Its not the first, nor the last scratch in 55 years, but I hate it when that happens. I never have found an acceptable touch up for the blue. The paint is very thin lacquer, and has worn almost thru in several places to the silver undercoat. One day I spilled a drop of chrome cleaner on the fork, and when I carefully wiped it off, the paint came right with it.😥
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Old 02-17-19, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...that lizard yellow is a difficult color to match, but from the photos, it looks like the paint except for the top tube is relatively intact. And all the original decals/box striping are on the rest of the bike, pretty much. I can't see it in person, but if that's the case, you might want to limit your repainting efforts to just the top tube. Just mask off the rest while you're attempting to match the color on the TT with the rest of the bike. You can get good decals from Greg Softley at Cyclomondo, but they're on vinyl. So they raise up a little when overcoated with clear coat.

I did some experimentation when I touched up the paint on this one, and I'm relatively certain that the paint on these was some kind of lacquer. At any rate it will bubble when overcoated with clear enamel, unless you are very, very careful..

I'm relatively certain that the underpainted primer is some sort of metallic silver, at least on the body of the frame. Sort of a faux chromovelato. But I'm certain it will end up looking nice however you decide to proceed.

you could probably ask @Condorino who does his repaints, if you decide to send it off somewhere.


Nice job on the blue touch up. Did you have custom mixed paint? I haven't found anything close over the counter. Mine is the other blue one above. Sorry to hijack the thread, but what rims are those? Are they modern ones? I had a set of large flange Legnano branded Campys with Sun CR18 rims built, and the brake tracks look really tall. Takes some getting used to. Nice bike.
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Old 04-06-20, 03:07 AM
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Here I am, stuck in Winnipeg, thanks to a forced early return from my winter riding in Jamaica. I have no bike with me now, but that is not an issue, for the moment. Looks like Canada is getting two winters this year. Anyway, I am so looking forward to getting home and taking the Legnano out for a spin.

The bike, purchased as a frame/fork set has seen an evolution in its build. Put another way, the bike looked like this, "as found"...


Build one looked like this and I already loved my the bike, my third Grand Premio...


Build two was a form over function effort, adding the vintage bar mounted bottles...


Build three is the way I have always wanted this bike to go. NOS crank and bottom bracket, Campy high flange hubs with Legnano pantographing, font and back, a Legnano head badge(will install this summer if Big Brother will allow me to return to my summer home. I really like this old road bike and I don't even know why. I have had better riders. I have had prettier bikes. But few others that felt just right. Anyway, to paint or not to paint, a question that still hangs in limbo.

For this build, I toyed with the idea of 49d cranks but they just did not look right. Besides, I am a cottered crank fan...


So, here's the bike as close to the way I want it as I can get it for now. Paint is still a concern and if I do paint, I will make a cardboard stencil and attempt to do the down tube art the way it was originally done...










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Old 04-06-20, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Here I am, stuck in Winnipeg, thanks to a forced early return from my winter riding in Jamaica. I have no bike with me now, but that is not an issue, for the moment. Looks like Canada is getting two winters this year. Anyway, I am so looking forward to getting home and taking the Legnano out for a spin.
I guess it depends on what part of Canada you are in S.W. Ontario is Sunny and highs of 13-15 degrees.

You are in "The Peg". Do they even get Spring there?
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Old 04-06-20, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
I guess it depends on what part of Canada you are in S.W. Ontario is Sunny and highs of 13-15 degrees.

You are in "The Peg". Do they even get Spring there?
Yes, spring is when blackflies instead of snow starts falling from the sky.
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Old 04-06-20, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
Yes, spring is when blackflies instead of snow starts falling from the sky.
I don't get blackflies here just skeeters. Now Halifax is a different story.
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