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Grandpa's 1980's Vitus 788 steel road bike

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Grandpa's 1980's Vitus 788 steel road bike

Old 06-13-20, 08:53 AM
  #1  
MaxDB
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Grandpa's 1980's Vitus 788 steel road bike

Hi all!

I'd like to share my vintage road bike restauration here, it's a 1980's Fangio with Vitus 788 steel that I got from my grandpa.

It came with Campa Nuovo Record front/rear derailleur and shifters, Cinelli stem and bars, Ofmega crankset, Mavic GP4 with Ofmega hub frontwheel, Mavic unknown rim with Shimano 600 hub rearwheel, Diacompe aero levers.

Ibtook a small ride to have an idea about all the issues it might have. The tubs were starting to separate, the gear cables were very hard etc etc... All the things you'd expect from a 35 years oldish bike.

I had been searching for a project for some time before my grandparents told me they wanted to get rid of that bike sitting in the garage for the last 20 years so it was definitely rusty, but the parts where actually in very good condition.

Plan is to completely get it back to perfect condition, new paint etc.








After stripping down everything I went to remove all the paint and stickers with a paintstripper.




I bought a 2k epoxy primer, 2 colours of Montana metallic, and a 2k high gloss clear coat to paint the frame. Pictures later.


Cheers,

Max

​​​​​​​
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Old 06-13-20, 08:58 AM
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Started with removing all the rust from every part, incl all the bolts and nuts but more on that later.

Needed lots of TLC


Sanding first

Buffed and polished, like new





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Old 06-13-20, 09:05 AM
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This a terrific job on this bike. This is clearly a high quality bike. Info on Vitus tubing is somewhat scarce but my there will clearly be more info available in French than English.
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Old 06-13-20, 12:27 PM
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Those model 65 bars are used more for track applications. For most folks, they don't work very well for road. You may wish to seek the more popular model 64 or the deeper 66. Be sure to get the right clamp diameter for your stem, in this case, either 26 or 26.4mm. Nice job so far.
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Old 06-13-20, 12:27 PM
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I have almost the same frame - very nice workmanship. The one I have has 888 forks, they have a penny-farthing engraved in the crown. They BB cable guides are little curved bits of steel tube, just at the right spots. Lugs are a little different, mine has points, but the same cutouts.

Mine also has the rubbish decals that have started falling apart.




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Old 06-13-20, 12:29 PM
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p.s. mine also says "Phillipe" on the left chainstay, I don't know what that is supposed to mean if anything.
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Old 06-13-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Those model 65 bars are used more for track applications. For most folks, they don't work very well for road. You may wish to seek the more popular model 64 or the deeper 66. Be sure to get the right clamp diameter for your stem, in this case, either 26 or 26.4mm. Nice job so far.
That's a very good tip thank you! I already found the bars to be a bit awkward on that test drive, but I thought it was the bad placement of the levers that caused it. I might give it a try first and then keep an eye on the local second hand market!
And thanks!
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Last edited by MaxDB; 06-13-20 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 06-13-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
I have almost the same frame - very nice workmanship. The one I have has 888 forks, they have a penny-farthing engraved in the crown. They BB cable guides are little curved bits of steel tube, just at the right spots. Lugs are a little different, mine has points, but the same cutouts.

Mine also has the rubbish decals that have started falling apart.




Sweet! Any plans with it? What size is it?
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Old 06-13-20, 01:26 PM
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I have plans for all the bikes.

That's the problem.
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Old 06-13-20, 01:41 PM
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Next was the crankset and brakes




One done, another to go


Had to sand the finish off first, until a 2500 grit, then 2 polishing compounds


Frame colour. 2k primer, base and 2k high gloss coat

Result
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Old 06-13-20, 02:01 PM
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MaxDB

Fantastic, love it when this happens, no other cyclists in my family but my Dad helped make sure I had some good bikes growing up and he was a good mechanic so I inherited that and ran with it.

Wish I had a bike from my family, glad you are bringing this one back up to speed.
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Old 06-14-20, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
p.s. mine also says "Phillipe" on the left chainstay, I don't know what that is supposed to mean if anything.
Maybe Fangios were re-branded Philippes??
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Old 06-14-20, 02:29 AM
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The Fangio brand was former pro Guido Reybrouck's. He opened a shop in Aartrijke after his cycling career, and named it (and his son) after Juan Manuel Fangio, the former F1 champion. The son now runs the shop.
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Old 06-14-20, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Those model 65 bars are used more for track applications. For most folks, they don't work very well for road. You may wish to seek the more popular model 64 or the deeper 66. Be sure to get the right clamp diameter for your stem, in this case, either 26 or 26.4mm. Nice job so far.
Whoa, the 65 is the Criterium bend, love those bars. Give them a try OP. Very appropriate for the bike you have there.
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Old 06-14-20, 07:37 AM
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I love me some polish!

Nice work!
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Old 06-14-20, 07:45 AM
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Wow! Looking forward to more pics !
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Old 06-14-20, 08:04 AM
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You obviously known what youíre doing - beautiful work! Polishing old aluminum bike parts is so rewarding. I canít wait to see the finished bike!
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Old 06-14-20, 08:06 AM
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Amazing project, I had to go find my sunglasses to look at the pictures . Do you use a machine to polish the parts? Really looking forward to more pics!
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Old 06-14-20, 08:18 AM
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Lovely work here.

Can you provide a little more info on your specific method for restoring the chrome fork? Everyone seems to do it slightly differently. You mentioned sanding? Wet? Then what did you use for polishing compound and method? Likewise, I'd be curious to know the compound and method you used on the other parts (stem, brakes, cranks)?
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Old 06-14-20, 03:35 PM
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Great Job

How did you go about polishing?
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Old 06-14-20, 03:43 PM
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I'm sure Grandpa is proud of what you've done so far, now watch out, Grandpa may want to take it for a spin around the block, so you better set a curfew for him.
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Old 06-14-20, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Those model 65 bars are used more for track applications. For most folks, they don't work very well for road. You may wish to seek the more popular model 64 or the deeper 66. Be sure to get the right clamp diameter for your stem, in this case, either 26 or 26.4mm. Nice job so far.
I rocked model 65s on all my Crit bikes. Good for sprinting and not hitting your wrists on the tops.

And to the main point, BRAVO OP!!!!!
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Old 06-14-20, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I rocked model 65s on all my Crit bikes. Good for sprinting and not hitting your wrists on the tops.
Makes sense that crit bars would be similar to track bars.
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Old 06-14-20, 05:59 PM
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Just weighed and measured mine,

Completely bare frame - four and a half pounds.
Completely bare fork - one and a half pounds
56cm c-c seat tube
68mm wide BB, English threading.
22.2 steerer
26.6 seat post dia
26.5 crown race (the race that was on was extremely tight).
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Old 06-14-20, 06:50 PM
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"Philippe" on the chainstay may be Philippe Deleye who rode for the Fangio team.

This post (in another place) has relevance:
https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/163006/

Can it be that all three of our frames were ridden by him - why else put the name there?

Edit: found this ad - also says Philippe:
https://www.gumtree.com/p/bicycles/b...80-/1372902883
Guess he was their best guy.

Last edited by oneclick; 06-15-20 at 02:14 AM.
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