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1980's Battaglin Frame with SLX tubing - 62cm

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1980's Battaglin Frame with SLX tubing - 62cm

Old 06-23-19, 01:43 AM
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RiddleOfSteel
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1980's Battaglin Frame with SLX tubing - 62cm

Hi everyone,

I sold a complete bike today and this frame "set" followed me home a little while later. I had seen it complete as a mutt-build single speed a few months ago, but it popped up in the local non-profit bike shop as a frame, fork, and headset.

62cm CTC (63.5cm CTT)
59.5cm TT
73.0 seat tube angle (edited)
75.5 head tube angle (edited)
Italian-threaded BB

Frame stamped "62" (for frame size) as well as "542"

Internal top tube brake cable routing
Cinelli dual-slotted fairing-type bottom bracket
Columbus SLX tubing
Tri-window Italian flag top tube braze-on
Tons of pantographing (text and logos)

The fork has obviously been replaced, as has the headset. I will not be keeping/using the fork. At present, the frame is not trustworthy (to me) to do a drive side chain stay-to-dropout booger-weld job. Frame has 130mm rear spacing (cold set or originally like that is unknown) and the rear triangle is in alignment. Frame has paint defects but no dents, thankfully. Decals are in surprisingly good shape given all the paint issues.

Any information would be greatly appreciated in dating the frame or identifying a model or rank of it. Obviously with it being an SLX frame, that's right at the top, so I'm happy about that. The primary reason, after it being tall enough, that I chose it. I've wanted to try a pure SLX frame for a little bit now.

As to a future of this? A few thoughts roll through my mind.

0) Fix rear dropout/chain stay issue
1) Slow-burn type project. Marinate on ideas, then execute.
2) Find a replacement fork. Battaglin if lucky (almost zero chance), fully-sloping production type in chrome or in paint yet matching in style, SOMA-type straight blade chrome track fork
3) Get it rideable and see how it is. Make decision to keep as is, sell, or keep and modify
4) Powder coat frame and fork (if used production type) plus new decals
5) Non-abrasively strip paint to bare steel (keep chrome as chrome), clear coat, place new decals. If the fork is chrome, great. Could strip fork paint as well if used/painted. Build with go-fast modern parts.
6) ???

I like the raw steel look as I am, truthfully, not a huge fan of the triple fade paint job. And really, a lot less of a fan of it with all the chips and scratches and prior touch-up efforts.

Anyway, on to pictures:

As received.


On some wheels of mine. That front fork kills me. Axle-to-crown is 380mm and really should be around 370mm. Uncut steerer doing no one any favors.


Giro and Tour colors!


Riding Man appears many places on this frame.


Italy, of course.

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Old 06-23-19, 01:48 AM
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More detail shots:

Reinforced through-tube guides. Very appreciative.


Yup.


The good stuff.


Amazed at how well the decals escaped harm over time and treatment.


Always nice to have a panto'd BB shell!
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Old 06-23-19, 01:59 AM
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And finally, some drivetrain area shots. I should note that the braze-on for the FD is gone. Stripped clean off, it appears. Crummy touching up is in its stead. Dang.

Bad news first: What is the remedy for this? Possible to re-braze after filing all that blobby metal down? I don't care about keeping the chrome pure--we're pas that point with what we're looking at here, even if @gugie performed a miracle on my '74 Paramount. Biking Man, with "BATTAGLIN" text is a super cool detail.


There is a lot going on in this BB shell.


I am at a loss as to why this design is the way it is, unless it's to add stiffness (because it sure isn't making it lighter)?


Back side of the scoop. No dirt will ever get in there, and need to be cleaned in the future. Ever....


Two Biking Men. Maybe they'll find and pick up a matching fork for me...
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Old 06-23-19, 03:10 AM
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In my experience these large SLX frames ride very smoothly, if every tube is SLX.
Mine is an EM Corsa Extra. @Lascauxcaveman has a similarly sized E.Merckx in SLX.

Not sure if that steep HT angle and replacement fork change the feel dramatically.

I would throw together a geared build to see how you like it. Then proceed based on what the bike tells you.

Tri-colour fade?? I have a muti-color tribute Pinarello in tough shape, needing decals and a better chrome fork. I'm undecided and still haven't rejected the concept that every fleet benefits from the ugly rain bike that takes urban abuse while riding like a dream, and keeping thieves uninterested in your sleeper.
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Old 06-23-19, 05:24 AM
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Italian flag "fade" scheme. Frame cleans up well; as the paint is better than typical Italian quality.
Time to get all freaky with the colors; this is not your basic black number, eh?

I'm tempted to Dura Ace the 54cm sitting here, because I want to ride it a lot, if it ever stops raining in So. Indiana.

Begs Campagnolo, ergo, it gets Centaur. (heh heh). Good score for a good builder. I think you'll like it.
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Old 06-23-19, 06:13 AM
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Performance sold those frames back in the day and I bought one in the early 1990's on closeout. The steering was fast, set up for racing. Nice bike.

Regarding that rear dropout, I think I'd find someone with a Park dropout alignment tool and have them do a ghetto stress test to see if it breaks before assuming the weld is bad. If it breaks, oh well. Fix it with a dropout replacement at that point.

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Old 06-23-19, 07:58 AM
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Well, you won't be disappointed with the ride. I have a mid-80s Battaglin that rides like a dream. My frame is Cromor is a TSD bike. Paint is a fantastic Imron with the decals under the paint. It's a 58 ctc and I've owned it since 1996.



Agree with testing the weld before a redo. Maybe get a pro's opinion. Shame about the fork, hope a suitable replacement can be found.
your frame has a lot of nice details and appears to have been made by a different builder than mine. SLX Is a fun tubeset.
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Old 06-23-19, 09:19 AM
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...Battaglin went to tig welding their steel frames long before any of the other Italians, IIRC. Anyway, I have one from what I thought was the early 90's that is tig welded, but I don't remember why I think it is from the early 90's. Possibly because mine is set up with 8 speed Dura Ace and ergo shifters ? That switch from lugged to welded construction might help you at least get an idea of the latest year it could possibly be.
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Old 06-23-19, 11:20 AM
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Thanks, guys.
@Wildwood funny you mention having a super frame with imperfect paint as a rain bike. My Davidson Impulse's pain cleans up decently, but it has its scars and stains. It is a fantastic bike to ride on its own and isn't too bothered with the small weight penalty that the super thin metal PDW fenders put on it. I need to put mud flaps on it to really get the most out of rain deflection. I've been really slow in getting to that.

As to frame angle change with a shorter axle-to-crown distance, it shouldn't do too much, and I'm not worried about it. I just want an ugly unicrown fork that's too tall at the crown to be off a bike that needs a much prettier option. I'll see what my LBS has in their used stash.
@RobbieTunes I'll do the standard clean/compound/wax routine and see how the paint does, though I'm not expecting miracles. If I end up stripping the paint, I'd re-paint fill the engraved/panto'd areas in Italian (or very visble) colors while also having fun with the decals.

To everyone regarding how SLX will ride, this is the part I'm most excited about. The frame is dead-on the same as my '83 Guerciotti Super Record, just with a 1cm longer TT. The Guerciotti's fork calc'd out to 49mm of rake, netting a VERY quick turning front end with 31mm of trail. You really have to mind that bike, but it's fun. My '88 Masi Nuova Strada had SLX-SP tubing which gave one of the most lovely and smooth rides I've experienced on a steel bike, while also being plenty responsive. I have the Guerciotti wanting my 7400/polished MA2 wheelset that's now on my Paramount. I need to build another type of wheelset that is similar. I have the hubs, just need to decide on finding more MA2s or going with, say TB14s.

Fork options, time:

Condor Curved Chrome Fork - 1" threaded. $200 from this UK builder. Not cheap, but very beautiful and most accurate to the original Battaglin fork of this era.



SOMA lugged chrome straight blade track fork. A bit less money, still the same type of crown/lug design, and hey, if a straight bladed fork was good enough for the Colnago Arabesque re-issue, then it's good enough for me.


For the raw metal + new fork of whatever variety option, there is the 1" threadless Hylix carbon option. A BF member has one on his 1991 Schwinn aluminum bike and it looks fantastic with the modern Shimano 105 pieces he's put on it. This is not a photo of that Schwinn. There are other 1" carbon forks that I could look for as well.



The frameset in better shape, and in a smaller size. Different graphics.


This guy is claiming that this is an early '90s Team bike. That could explain my 130mm rear spacing, but somehow I doubt SLX being used in the early '90s as Columbus and others had moved on from SLX by then, per my research.


Oh look, Battaglin made a new one with the Giro paint job and essentially darn near identical to mine. That fork needs to be, at least, not matte.


That fork is like overalls that are way too big for you and you grab the waist area and pull out to look down the pant legs and see your feet...
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Old 06-23-19, 01:10 PM
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Consider a Tange Champion fork.

easy to find NOS and plenty of threads for a larger frame.

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Old 03-22-20, 12:36 AM
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Well it has been some time since I/we left off here. A knee injury that I'm still sorting out plus a bunch of other stuff and just time...worked to try and downsize the fleet only to be met with minor success over the months. Put this up for sale and received essentially no interest. What to do, then? Well, slap the thing together in a "don't get it right; get it running" fashion and see how it fares. I had allocated a seat post and 1" threadless stem for inclusion in the frameset sale just to sweeten the pot and ease the build for the next owner, so I simply used those components and bolted a saddle and bars to them.

No cable caps. Rear brake cable wasn't even long enough. I almost cut the housing too short (it's just long enough...gahhhh). The saddle ended up being a touch to high. No 1" spacers for the steerer which meant my shove-the-stem-down-and-tighten method predictably yielded a slightly loose front end. The clamp-on Dura-Ace 7410 was in full failboat mode, which revealed itself on the ride. No bar tape installed.

But whatever! Bunch of spare parts plus some new-era black Campagnolo Athena brake calipers for compositional experimentation and she was a runner. The white saddle was also intentional.

The below photo is from out on the test ride. Two and a half blocks and the not-tightened rear brake caliper cable pinch bolt and 'washer' fell off the bike with a good amount of noise. I had made a mental note to tighten them before riding but of course forgot. I was a super rookie that day and proceeded to spend 20 minutes looking at the ground at sunset only to find nothing. Two more days of searching (and getting funny looks) and I found the 'washer'! I think this was the more critical piece to find. Glad I did!



This photo is from the next day, in better (for my troubled smartphone) lighting. The front fork is completely not right but 1) it did well 2) was fine in geometry and axle-to-crown after all 3) works well compositionally--totally surprised, but then, the original fork was chrome. There is a certain aesthetic cohesion in all of this (tan wall tires are intentional and will be used), which was a pleasant surprise. Gives me a lot to think about.



To give the bike the best chance to perform as it would with a full build--and to corroborate my initial impressions--I had to have a Test V1.1 setup. 7410 FD out for a 7800, bar tape employed to gauge front end comfort, adjusted saddle height, steerer spacers for a properly set headset, and a new long-enough brake cable. This is the 20.2 lb ready-to-ride result.

And the overall result? It rides well! I had re-measured the frame angles and found the seat tube to be 73 and the head tube to be 74.5 instead of steeper. [I updated my first post to reflect this] So I now actually fit the bike, and my setup proved it. Still 59.7-60.0cm is long, and the bike feels like a classic sports car with the cabin set far back and a long hood stretching ahead of it. I love the overall proportion of the bike--there's this great gesture it has (and it may have something to also do with the top tube actually being slightly sloped!).

Steering is LIGHT up front with the head angle and fork offset. Makes for a really playful experience when out of the saddle accelerating or climbing. I really enjoy it. The rear triangle is understandably all business when in the saddle, and a zero-offset seat post doesn't cushion the road shock well. Out of the saddle spring is excellent--it's at the Davidson Impulse level but with a flare. Very good company. "On top of the gear" or "behind the gear" (aka in too tall of one to start with), it doesn't matter. It'll dig you out of it if you can put the power down. Easily. These Vittoria Corsa tires definitely have some give to them and aren't as springy as their Open Corsa Evo CX brethren before them. So to have the bike work those tires and super light wheels like that is fantastic.



So of course the question is: What's next? Well, I took the for-sale ad down, which should tell anyone that I'm keeping this in the stable. I should still do the weld stress test but it's been totally fine when I've put my power through it. Rear triangle alignment is also good, so I think for now I can put addressing that on the back burner. Color is still up for debate. I am going to build the frame and a complementing fork in CAD and then put it through KeyShot (a rendering program) to get some color possibilities going. I picked up a Lemond carbon-aluminum fork from 1999 to get a proper race bike fork on the thing while also shaving weight. I'll repaint it, naturally. I need a Shimano 6400 headset (26.4mm crown race diameter) with its 33mm stack height to make it all work. My FSA Duron X and 7400 headsets are too tall!

So consider this my 'quarantine project', especially as we have a week of rain headed our way. It's been flat out gorgeous this last week or so, and with everyone adjusting to the new rules, getting outside has been really good. I've also made big strides in getting my knee situation better (gotta get the feet set up properly...), so I feel a lot more like myself before.....minus the 'base' or really any conditioning.

We'll see what happens next!
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Old 03-22-20, 02:12 AM
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RiddleOfSteel

Not sure if I missed this or just don't remember, no matter.

Very cool, Battaglin could easily stand for Badasslin based on longevity alone.

Too bad about the RDO but you may not have ended up with it otherwise, if you had it could have warranted a cursory fork inquiry from the homeland.

I know its not likely but I would give long consideration to the livery as it is, again, longevity, tradition, oldschool cool, etc.
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Old 03-22-20, 11:17 AM
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@merziac you're right, if this frameset wasn't in the shape it was, with the history it had, and build into a single speed like it was when it rolled into Bike Works as a donation--a few months after they stripped it of its parts and offered just the frameset for sale--then I wouldn't have bought it. Well that and not noticing the welded rear dropout...too excited about 1) Battaglin and 2) SLX tubing.

Regarding color, I have come a long way and now possess an affinity for the red-white-green colors. Even the chrome fork looks fine, though I'd want it in a different shape of course. But compositionally, the chrome works well as per original construction.

So I still want to go digital and play around with colors in the computer before committing to something. The decals are in great shape, I just wish the paint wasn't so nicked up (and the FD braze on ripped off...). It's my Italian Millennium Falcon.
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Old 03-22-20, 12:02 PM
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Late to this thread but congrats on finding a "bargain thoroughbred" even with the noted deficiencies:
I think this may have been built by either Billato or (more likely) the Bonati brothers (re: the little flag braze-on), in either case these contractors both do first-rate building.

It deserves a better fork, whether you chose threadless or threaded. All chrome would be fine IMO, but this current one looks "off". If I had one to offer with big-enough steerer I would but my stocks have steerers too short, I agree a good Tange chrome fork would be perfectly fine if you come across one.

Most important: the drop-out-to-stay repair looks to have been done with a Mig welder, which to me says lucky if it was done bicycle-repair "right", could have been a total amateur (think: muffler shop) and this frame (and your safety) deserves to have the repair done right. I don't think that means a dropout replacement, maybe just a grind-out and re-do the weld with either Tig or silver-braze.
It's one approach to give it the acid test and ride it until it fails, but I'd take this to a competent frame builder (in Seattle there should be several good ones) and see what they say.
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Old 03-22-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
@merziac you're right, if this frameset wasn't in the shape it was, with the history it had, and build into a single speed like it was when it rolled into Bike Works as a donation--a few months after they stripped it of its parts and offered just the frameset for sale--then I wouldn't have bought it. Well that and not noticing the welded rear dropout...too excited about 1) Battaglin and 2) SLX tubing.

Regarding color, I have come a long way and now possess an affinity for the red-white-green colors. Even the chrome fork looks fine, though I'd want it in a different shape of course. But compositionally, the chrome works well as per original construction.

So I still want to go digital and play around with colors in the computer before committing to something. The decals are in great shape, I just wish the paint wasn't so nicked up (and the FD braze on ripped off...). It's my Italian Millennium Falcon.
Sounds good, glad you're considering retaining the basic color scheme at least.

I'm with you on the fork as I dislike unicrowns all day long "but" if it is in good shape as it appears to be, looks good as it does, fits and works well, then you have plenty of time to suss out a replacement keeping in mind that if you can't find a reasonable one that exceeds what you've got it should be very hard to justify a "downgrade" of any sort.

Very tough call but as hard as you are known to ride when at full capacity, when something like this works like it should you would be remiss to change that, aesthetics be damned.

If I had been paying attention, you may have been relieved of this dilemma before it ever really started, although its capability would have been sorely lost on me.

Get that dropout kludge off to Gugie post haste if you can so that roadblock is eliminated.
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Old 03-22-20, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel View Post
And finally, some drivetrain area shots. I should note that the braze-on for the FD is gone. Stripped clean off, it appears. Crummy touching up is in its stead. Dang.

Bad news first: What is the remedy for this? Possible to re-braze after filing all that blobby metal down? I don't care about keeping the chrome pure--we're pas that point with what we're looking at here, even if @gugie performed a miracle on my '74 Paramount. Biking Man, with "BATTAGLIN" text is a super cool detail.


There is a lot going on in this BB shell.


I am at a loss as to why this design is the way it is, unless it's to add stiffness (because it sure isn't making it lighter)?


Back side of the scoop. No dirt will ever get in there, and need to be cleaned in the future. Ever....


Two Biking Men. Maybe they'll find and pick up a matching fork for me...
Love all these details although in this condition, they accentuate the nick and ding condition.

Pretty sure I read somewhere once the BB "spoiler" was for aero, widgets for dollars probably.
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Old 03-22-20, 02:17 PM
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I missed this the first time around. Regarding the age, the Columbus decals style dates it no earlier than 1988 but the 1988 models had a World Champion decal on the tube tube to clebrate Roche's victory in 1987, so the subject bicycle should be no older than 1989 model year. Yes, it could go into the 1990s. Many European manufacturers continued to offer SLX into the mid-1990s, including Basso, Bianchi, Casati, DeRosa, Eddy Merckx, Mondonico, Pinarello and Simoncini, to name but a few. As for the name, I'd just call it a Battagflin SLX., though I have seen Team SLX (1988) and BLX (1990).
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Old 03-22-20, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Late to this thread but congrats on finding a "bargain thoroughbred" even with the noted deficiencies:
I think this may have been built by either Billato or (more likely) the Bonati brothers (re: the little flag braze-on), in either case these contractors both do first-rate building.

It deserves a better fork, whether you chose threadless or threaded. All chrome would be fine IMO, but this current one looks "off". If I had one to offer with big-enough steerer I would but my stocks have steerers too short, I agree a good Tange chrome fork would be perfectly fine if you come across one.

Most important: the drop-out-to-stay repair looks to have been done with a Mig welder, which to me says lucky if it was done bicycle-repair "right", could have been a total amateur (think: muffler shop) and this frame (and your safety) deserves to have the repair done right. I don't think that means a dropout replacement, maybe just a grind-out and re-do the weld with either Tig or silver-braze.
It's one approach to give it the acid test and ride it until it fails, but I'd take this to a competent frame builder (in Seattle there should be several good ones) and see what they say.
Thank you for your input! Yeah, the fork looks off because it is totally not right and not what I want, just what it came with. The SLX curved blade Condor chrome fork is my first choice to get it back as close to original as possible.

I'd like to keep the rear dropout due to its logo detailing, but am in no way worried about keeping the chrome pure. It's already been messed up a little, but as long as the repair can be done correctly, I'm all for it. Maybe the repairer got the job done correctly enough, which I'm thankful for as it allowed me to test ride it (as the new owner), but the bike will be disassembled today and cleaned up (for the first time).
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Old 03-22-20, 02:40 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I missed this the first time around. Regarding the age, the Columbus decals style dates it no earlier than 1988 but the 1988 models had a World Champion decal on the tube tube to clebrate Roche's victory in 1987, so the subject bicycle should be no older than 1989 model year. Yes, it could go into the 1990s. Many European manufacturers continued to offer SLX into the mid-1990s, including Basso, Bianchi, Casati, DeRosa, Eddy Merckx, Mondonico, Pinarello and Simoncini, to name but a few. As for the name, I'd just call it a Battagflin SLX., though I have seen Team SLX (1988) and BLX (1990).
Thank you for pinpointing the age! The 'false positive' of 130mm rear spacing could have just been it having been performed at some point in history, and 1989 was just before the 8-speed era as we know. Over thirty years of time to have modifications done, that's for sure.
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Old 03-28-20, 09:33 PM
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Yesterday I waxed the Battaglin's paint, and the result was good. It still has a million nicks, but the paint is clean and protected (more so) now. I've been rearranging things around the apartment, which will eventually touch the bike stand/work area. Maybe a Gugie Shop Cleaning Quarantine Challenge participant!

So after doing tons of laundry and various show watchings, it's back to CAD work on the Battaglin. I have an idea or two more floating around my head regarding possible colors for it. Below is the splash screen for Adobe Illustrator 2020. Something about those colors is just really cool. And since this is late-'80s Italian bikes we're talking here, loopy color schemes (with chrome forks to boot!) are the name of the game. A new triple fade? A few colors seen in this illustration are represented in components or logos already (black, gold/tan for wheels; pink, yellow, white for logo/graphics), so it's just a matter of running it around my brain, coming up with the best color combo, and then seeing if I want to go through the effort to DIY it or not.



And also, as an industrial designer, I can (re)make the logos. For accurate rendering purposes! [don't worry about those other graphics, they won't be used]

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Old 03-29-20, 01:47 AM
  #21  
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I'm going to call it a day/night at this point, but we have the seat and chain stays built, as well as their pantograph details. I've made the lug "blocks" elsewhere (to be carved up, of course) and am nearly finished with the bottom bracket cluster. As expected, that's an involved piece. The seat cluster will also be involved, though a bit more fun I think.

For now, though, it looks as if I have made an early carbon Specialized Allez.

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Old 04-04-20, 11:50 PM
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Making the rear dropouts. Once complete, the frame will be done. Then onto the headset and fork! Get excited.

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Old 04-05-20, 03:38 AM
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I'm just going to keep updating things here....

Frame is fully constructed. Onto fork and headset.

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Old 04-05-20, 05:45 AM
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I like a prestine looking bike as much as the next guy but I can't afford it. Due to BF comments over the years, I have come to accept and even appreciate keeping bikes as is. My Pinarello is really beat up with decals that have fallen off and now fading top coat. I will not repaint. I like the Italian flag paint scheme on your bike. I would keep it but that is JMHO. Your perseverance in making it road worthy and in your collections is admirable and encourages me to appreciate my old beat up small collection.
I wish my bucket list of Italian bikes to have in the stable would decrease but......
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Old 04-05-20, 06:14 AM
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If this were mine and a repaint was in order, there would be no question as to the livery. In 1987, Stephen Roche rode a Battaglin SLX for the Carrera team and became the only person besides Merckx to win the Triple Crown of Cycling (Giro d'Italia, Tour de France & World Championship). It should be painted in the 1987 Carrera triple fade livery of red, white and baby blue. The real fun part is that if you model as the bicycle he used in the 1987 Nissan Classic, you can put Peugeot decals on it and confuse the hell out of everybody.
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