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Italian lug sets...

Old 05-07-20, 10:27 AM
  #1  
Cissell
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Italian lug sets...

I was curious as to when Italian manufactured lugs were last used on most high-end, Italian road frames and approximately when they moved over to Asian produced castings, en masse.

I have a 1984 Gios Torino 'Professional' frameset that I suspect features an Italian set of lugs (I think the seat lug may be stamped, rather than cast, but I'm not certain). I also have a late '90s Coppi road frame (Thron tubeset) fabricated by Maschiaghi, with 'Coppi' cast into its bottom bracket, but I suspect the lugs on that frameset are Asian manufacture. My latest road frame (c 2010) is one made by Giovanni Pelizzoli that has the Walter bottom bracket casting, (SL tubing) which I understand is Taiwanese in origin.

All of these lugs on my bicycles appear to be very high quality.

Anyway, like I mentioned, I am just curious when the lug makers in Italy lost out to Chinese and Taiwanese casting houses, due to costs, no doubt.
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Old 05-07-20, 12:02 PM
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The firm which pioneered Italian investment cast (lost wax) framebuilding bits was Microfusione - today called Metrocast Italiana, S.p.A. They launched in 1967 and were the first maker of the Cinelli badged investment cast fittings.

Metrocast Italiana spa - Fonderia di precisione a cera persa - microfusione - investment casting - feinguss - metal injection moulding

The firm which produced the lugs for untold millions of Italian manufactured bicycles was Agrati-Garelli. They seemed to cease the manufacture of bicycle bits about 1985.

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Old 05-07-20, 12:13 PM
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most of the "classic" Italian frames of the 70s thru mid-80s used Bocama lugs which
were French made.
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Old 05-07-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by steve sumner View Post
most of the "classic" Italian frames of the 70s thru mid-80s used Bocama lugs which
were French made.
Don't forget Emilio Bozzi. Dunno when they stopped but they were quite plentiful in the '70s, tons of big factories and small used them.
juvela , do you know who made the cast medium/short point lugs for Cinelli, was it Microfusione? ISTR those coming available about 1980.
How about Roto, which I think came out a bit earlier, late '70s?

Mark B in Seattle
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Old 05-07-20, 07:23 PM
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Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge of these matters Mark!

With regard to Emilio Bozzi, S.p.A. I think there is a wide misapprehension regarding the items seen in that catalogue of 1950 which has been posted and much quoted online.

Bozzi was a reseller, much like Umberto Dei. There is a Dei catalogue dated 1940 which has been much quoted in online discussions also. Dei did not manufacture all of the items seen in their catalogue.

Waiting for our framebuilder members to step in and shed some real hands-on knowledge of these matters...


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Old 05-08-20, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge of these matters Mark!

With regard to Emilio Bozzi, S.p.A. I think there is a wide misapprehension regarding the items seen in that catalogue of 1950 which has been posted and much quoted online.

Bozzi was a reseller, much like Umberto Dei. There is a Dei catalogue dated 1940 which has been much quoted in online discussions also. Dei did not manufacture all of the items seen in their catalogue.

Waiting for our framebuilder members to step in and shed some real hands-on knowledge of these matters...
Oh yeah, who actually made the lugs sold as Bozzi? Good Q, I dunno. Maybe it's like Takahashi lugs actually cast by Hitachi but called Takahashi, or Henry James lugs cast somewhere on the shores of Lake Michigan by some nameless (to me) foundry, but still called Henry James.

Maybe the big OEMs who used the lugs I call Bozzi actually went right to the source, rather than buying them from Bozzi, in which case Bozzi would be the wrong name. But during my time as a framebuilder (70s thru 90s), I only heard them called Bozzi.

Oh and by the way Bozzi wasn't only a reseller. They owned several big bike brands, such as Frejus and Legnano. So they definitely had production capacity.

Frequently the name on the lugs indicates who owns the tooling, which is often not the company that pours the molten metal or wraps and welds the steel sheet. But all those Italian bike factories used lugs that were so similar, differing only in the nozzle cut or feature cut (or whatever those terms are in Italian). So I don't think they owned their own tooling, other than maybe the nozzle cut stamping dies. They were all getting their lugs from the same source -- and it sure wasn't Bocama.

To get an idea of the range of lugs commonly called Bozzi, do a Google Image Search on "Bozzi Lugs". As with any GIS, there will be lots of incorrect hits, lugs that aren't Bozzi. But after looking at a few dozen pics, you'll see the family resemblance in the real Bozzi lugs, especially the unique method of attaching the seatstays to those spigots that come off the back of the seatlug. Yes other brands did something similar, but never exactly the same. You see that exact seatstay attachment on many Italian bike brands. Here's a pic of the set I own:


Note how the seatstay spigots are hollow -- pretty clever!

Changing the subject slightly, another very popular Italian lug maker in C&V times was Agrati.

Mark B in Seattle
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Old 05-08-20, 07:23 AM
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Thanks very much for this fine post Mark!

Forgot to respond to your inquiry regarding ROTO.

Have only a very limited knowledge of Rampinelli.

Highly unlikely they would have enough business to make the operation of their own foundry economic. Do not know who the actual maker was.

Wonder if they would have been designed in house or if that would have been a contract thing as well...

One U.S. agent for them from the late 1970's through the early 1980's was the Zeus Cyclery Corp. of New York City.

brochure page of 1982 -



---

Bozzi -

fear you may have somewhat misunderstood me comment - or more likely did no make meself clear!

of course would expect that nominal lug brands would not be large eno' operations to have their own foundries.

Bozzi a reseller badging the products of others as their own; or at least presenting them in such as way as to make the reader think that they were their own. Dei did much the same in their operation.

For example, the lug set you posted a photo of from Bozzi is an Agrati product. This pattern is called "ROMA" and the ensemble is stock number 000.8020/U. The upper head lug is item nr. 000.8024, the lower head lug item nr. 000.8023, the seat lug nr. 023.8059. Not shown in the image is the companion fork crown which is item nr. 000.8028. Agrati seat lugs were offered in three configurations: a) plain, without binder ears or Malaguti plugs, b) with conventional binder ears & c) without binder ears and with Malaguti plugs as in the image you posted.

The plugs you commented on were first created by lug maker Malaguti. Do not know the years for their operation. They were active in the interwar period.

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For readers interested in framebuilding bits one outstanding resource is this Dutch site. It disusses the history progression of framebuilding parts and how they are/were manufactured, as well as illustrating many examples. Includes tubing sets as well.

https://fietssite.jouwweb.nl/13

(text in English)

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Old 05-08-20, 12:37 PM
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when Bozzi was shot dead by the Red Guard in 73ish? his widow want nothing to do with the
bike biz. she sold the Legano and Frejus names to Bianchi. the stock of lugs couldn't have
lasted long. by 77-78 every top Euro frame appeared to have the same lugs: long points with
triangular windows. Bocama had a modal that matched. if they weren't all using Bocama
what were they? Mark, please school me!
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Old 05-08-20, 12:54 PM
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the Emilio Bozzi who founded Emilio Bozzi S.p.A. died in 1936 -

https://condorino.com/2016/11/02/who...-emilio-bozzi/


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Old 05-08-20, 02:18 PM
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Have a look at page 10 and 11, you might see some names and logos you recognize, I will let you call this one, catalog is from 1979. Asian lugs didn't really enter the Italian market until 1990+ and then it was Long Shen. Their catalog can be found on Velobase.

















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Old 05-08-20, 02:31 PM
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Old 05-08-20, 02:59 PM
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Thanks so much for all of this great information Dale!

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Old 05-08-20, 03:21 PM
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Old 05-08-20, 04:03 PM
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Perhaps a dumb question here, but are all frame lugs cast as Ďone size fits allí? For example, are top headtube lugs made In one angle size, letís say 72 degrees, and then tweaked to fit a bike with a 74 degree angle? Or are they cast in several different angles to account for the HT angle differences between a small bike vs a large one?
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Old 05-08-20, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
For example, the lug set you posted a photo of from Bozzi is an Agrati product.
Dang, Agrati made those? Dang!

I learned something, thanks!

Mark
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Old 05-08-20, 05:40 PM
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...the *&^%ing Bozzi catalogue striketh again...


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Old 05-08-20, 07:28 PM
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anybody know the stories of some more modern Italian investment-casters (not lugs in every case, but frame bits) like Silva and Tecnociclo?
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Old 05-08-20, 08:17 PM
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Wow!! Extremely impressive replies! Bravo!!
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Old 05-08-20, 08:33 PM
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Great thread. Really like the catalog pics.
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Old 05-08-20, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred View Post
Perhaps a dumb question here, but are all frame lugs cast as Ďone size fits allí? For example, are top headtube lugs made In one angle size, letís say 72 degrees, and then tweaked to fit a bike with a 74 degree angle? Or are they cast in several different angles to account for the HT angle differences between a small bike vs a large one?
I wouldn't be surprised if at least one lug manufacturer did that...but tink-tink, bend-bend, and heat-heat is the reality of what actually happened on production lines. Perhaps less so with investment cast lugs than stamped ones.

-Kurt
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Old 05-09-20, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred View Post
Perhaps a dumb question here, but are all frame lugs cast as Ďone size fits allí? For example, are top headtube lugs made In one angle size, letís say 72 degrees, and then tweaked to fit a bike with a 74 degree angle? Or are they cast in several different angles to account for the HT angle differences between a small bike vs a large one?
Hank Folson, who sold his US-made cast lugs under the name "Henry James", offered some choices in angles. I forget, maybe 3 or 4 angles per lug. He cast the lugs with the angle in raised numbers, that would almost always be filed off before the frame went out -- info for the FB only.

When I worked at Match making Schwinn Paramounts, we got the unique Match-Paramount cast lugs in a few angles, as needed to cover the range of frame sizes.

Formed lugs, made from sheetmetal wrapped around and welded or else bulge-formed, were also sometimes offered in a choice of angles. When you see a stamped-in angle on the lug, remember it's not necessarily the frame angle, it's the lug angle. Those can be a few degrees off from each other. Formed lugs are generally much easier to tweak to change the angle, and can be tweaked further than cast lugs. Though you can take a cast lug as far as needed -- the sky's the limit if you're willing to perform extreme surgery.

Mark B in Seattle
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Old 05-09-20, 11:03 AM
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Cudak888 and Bulgie thanks for the info.

Cissell, I didnít mean to hijack your thread..

-Dwayne
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Old 05-09-20, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tyler_fred View Post
Cudak888 and Bulgie thanks for the info.

Cissell, I didnít mean to hijack your thread..

-Dwayne
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A perfectly reasonable & very good question!

No worries.

Lugs are being discussed after all.

---

BTW there is a good assemblage of BOCAMA information here -

Bocama lugs BCM catalog -

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Old 05-09-20, 10:46 PM
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Rampinelli note for Mark -

the first ROTO investment cast lugs were the first Italian investment cast lugs and the annum was nineteen and seventy-three (pre-Cino) -




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Old 05-09-20, 11:46 PM
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French Nervex Lugs On Masi Frames

A little late to the party but Masi used French Nervex lugs in the late 60's through at least the mid 70's.

Nervex Professional Ref 49/162 lugs on a Brian Bayless restored Masi Special



... and Nervex Dubois Ref 32 lugs on Gran Criterium frames per Richard Sachs: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...f-32-308939415



And Nervex Dubois Lugs on Bob Hovey's site: https://bhovey.com/Masi/MasiBits/Spoon.htm

These are supposed to be Bossi lugs. but they look like early Nervex, especially the one on the left.



French lugs on Italian bikes???

Sort of like the annual French Festival Of Welcome To Italian Wines... In reverse!




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