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Leo: The 1960s Bottecchia...randonneur?

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Leo: The 1960s Bottecchia...randonneur?

Old 11-24-22, 08:12 AM
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Much to my surprise, the fenders that were lost by LaPoste for a month managed to show up yesterday. (And, of course, it looks as if it'll take a month for eBay to figure out how to re-bill this, seeing as they're all too eager to refund on any seller's behalf, but that's another story).

Polishing them up:





Before:



After:



They can probably use a more abrasive cleanup - something that gets the pits out first. But this will do for now.

Strange thing though - I test-fitted the front fender to the frame last evening and came to the conclusion that they don't look right on this build; rather, the clean look of the Honjos are perfectly suited to the stem, bar, hubs, and color of the frame. I guess this means I need to dig up a proper 650B frame from BITD for another build sometime





-Kurt
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Old 11-24-22, 02:37 PM
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If they're selling that Cannondale is ready to ride and not as is then I'm kind of horrified. Why is the electrical tape on the stem?
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Old 11-24-22, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
These scissor brakes? Looks like low-end crap to me.



The one fellow who has used the new, aluminum roller cams had good things to say about them. The brake arm fittings also look half decent. Could probably be shaped and polished nicely.

-Kurt
I've seen these specific breaks on only really low end apartments or mountain bikes. I tried them and they barely work. I think they are more of a gimmick to get more buyers just like the front freewheel system.
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Old 11-24-22, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by grant40
If they're selling that Cannondale is ready to ride and not as is then I'm kind of horrified. Why is the electrical tape on the stem?
No idea. Some of the bikes hanging up are repairs waiting in line.

I'd assume the electrical tapes is uglification.

Originally Posted by grant40
I've seen these specific breaks on only really low end apartments or mountain bikes. I tried them and they barely work. I think they are more of a gimmick to get more buyers just like the front freewheel system.
I believe there are some BMX-specific roller cam brakes that do actually work, but these just don't look it. Not with those arms.

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Old 11-24-22, 04:30 PM
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That Rossin on the first page was beautiful.
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Old 11-24-22, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
That Rossin on the first page was beautiful.
It's a fake. Doesn't even look like a Rossin, but it had one striking color on it. Spent years trying to figure out what it was, but the only thing that really came of it was the possibility of it being from a medium-sized Belgian builder.

More here:
Revisiting the unknown Belgian Faux Rossin - 10 years later - paging @dddd




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Old 02-23-23, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Better headbadge pic of the "Leo" Bottechia:

Man, just looking at those lugs make me want to go spend an obscene amount of time and hand carve a set just like them!
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Old 02-23-23, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Man, just looking at those lugs make me want to go spend an obscene amount of time and hand carve a set just like them!
These weren't an uncommon lug set, IIRC.

If time is a concern, you could probably have a set 3D printed that will be more than passable - probably nicer than these too; they're pretty thick. I believe some of the gas pipe Bottecchias in the 1970's inherited these.

-Kurt
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Old 02-24-23, 11:35 PM
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Keep this one going...can't wait to see the final product.
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Old 03-01-23, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Keep this one going...can't wait to see the final product.
Well, if anyone has a Shimano GC-100 crankset like this they're not using...hint, hint.



Don't need the rings either; plan to put a single 48t on it.

-Kurt
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Old 01-13-24, 10:11 AM
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I haven't tinkered much with Leo or many of the other projects - I've been too busy distracting myself with other crap - but in the process of building new wall display supports for it, I finally lucked across a few Italian sites that unraveled the entire mystery of the brand and correlate @MauriceMoss's discovery of the 1955 brand patent:

An article written by Gastone Nencini's daughter: https://gastonenencini.blogspot.com/...rcata-leo.html
Another article about Leo-Chlorodont: https://www.tuttobiciweb.it/article/62887

Long story short, Leo-Chlorodont was a team sponsored by the company producing (or distributing?) German Chlorodont toothpaste in Italy. The second article speaks of a fanciful story relaying how the bikes became branded "Leo:" Their sponsor had showed up to a race, asking where their branding was on the team's unmarked white frames. The story suggests the team mechanic quickly cut out logos of the parent company, Leo-Werke, and stuck them on the downtube.

However, if the patent for the brand was applied for on the 12th of January in 1955, it would suggest they knew exactly what they were doing from the start, given that the team ran from 1955 to 1958. Concocted story for publicity? Perhaps.

Some more photos of Nencini's Leo are here on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/515682...7631612643254/. The headbadge on it is clearly visible in this photo (from his daughter's article - please see the link above). It's a match.



As for this Leo - the other question is whether the badge is original to the bike. The lugs on Nencini's Leo are clearly different, but the nozzle cut is clearly familial, so the source of the lugs was likely the same; it's not out of the question that the team, one year, was supplied with bikes that share their appearance with the blue thing I have. Given the long top tube and seat tube, and the typical frame sizing of the era, whoever rode this was probably pretty tall.

There's a directory of the Leo riders from '55-58 here, so perhaps some Google-fu might bring up more photos: Accès équipes chlorodont

P.S.: I can't leave this thread without at least sharing a picture of Leo on its new wall hangers:




-Kurt
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Old 01-13-24, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
Well, if anyone has a Shimano GC-100 crankset like this they're not using...hint, hint.



Don't need the rings either; plan to put a single 48t on it.

-Kurt

So glad to see you posting again. I'll keep an eye out at the co-op just in case.
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Old 04-14-24, 08:49 PM
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It’s the eve of a protected bike lane pop-up event, so I should be resting, but I’m not…

…because I finally bit the bullet on the crankset. It arrived a few days ago (which should give you an inclination that free time has NOT been an available luxury) and so I have a 45t and a 50t to work with.



Into the stand. Only the downtube is mitered to the bottom bracket. Built for function, not for Instagram.







The Italian bottom bracket I’d been saving for this is a 115mm BB-6400 off the Romani frameset from ages ago - at least, I think it was the Romani. Might have been something else.

While the drive side cup is fine (minus the plastic dust cap), the NDS is pretty rough. Good enough for a test fit.



Installed:



…and crank on.



One problem - this really needs a 117 at least. Maybe 118 to be perfectly safe.



If anyone has these bits - spindle and left Italian BB cup - I’m definitely listening.

Fit failures aside, the look is everything I had hoped for. I still think it could really use the 50T ring just from a visual standpoint. This frame is big and the long top tube geometry benefits from the most visually commanding chainring possible. I'll calculate the gear inches just to check.



-Kurt
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Old 04-14-24, 11:19 PM
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Is that the crank that's been on eBay for a while? I've been drooling over it for months.
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Old 04-15-24, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Piff
Is that the crank that's been on eBay for a while? I've been drooling over it for months.
That's it. I contacted the seller and got it for a reduced (but nevertheless, still significant) price. Must be the most I've ever spent for a crank, but the condition is superb.

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Old 04-16-24, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888
It’s the eve of a protected bike lane pop-up event...
Not that anyone asked, by the way, but the event went really well. Couldn't bring a C&V bike out to it as I really needed the electric assist - I must have made 12 trips between our start and end point, including carting kids backpacks. Apparently, most of the kids hadn't strapped them tight enough and they were sagging into the rear wheels.



Hey, at least there's a very French-looking mudflap on my ride for the day

Back to the regularly-scheduled Leo build (as soon as a BB shows up).

-Kurt
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Old 04-22-24, 07:50 PM
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Thanks to our forum's one and only Mad Honkster, I received a beautiful, brand-new 119mm Shimano BB in the mail today:



Bike jewelry, with just the right taper to match.



Out with the old...



I noticed the non-drive side has witness marks from a BB cup long ago removed via the slice-and-dice method:



New bits installed. It spins so very, very nicely.



I went with the big daddy - the 50t chainring. It just looks right.



To be honest, I'm still concerned about clearance. It looks worse in the photo than it appears; there's 3mm of clearance at the narrowest spot.

This is with the crank fully seated, of course. I don't know how much chainstay flex this frame has. In the worst of cases, I'll shim the drive side BB and use the narrower NDS lockring from the other BB set.



I debated on whether a garish chain would be over the top for the build. Then I said "what the hell" and put it on anyway.

The dropout adjuster springs had to be replaced with shorter ones to allow the axle to come back far enough. A bit concerning is the fact that there's some significant drag in the 7-speed Shimano hub. I've only had experience with the 8-speeds, so I am a bit concerned - particularly as the donor bike had the tacoed rear wheel (with no external damage to the hub).

Yes, the fender is not fitted to the frame yet; this bike is still very much a mock-up and barely functional.



Mock up or not, it looks fabulous. Exactly what I'd hoped.



Thanks again to the always-generous @Mad Honk for helping to get the build a massive step further forward.

Now it's time to manhandle those fenders into this thing permanently.

-Kurt
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