Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Tomasso Lugged Aluminum Frame

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Tomasso Lugged Aluminum Frame

Old 09-24-20, 11:23 AM
  #1  
Random Tandem
Old Bike Craphound
Thread Starter
 
Random Tandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 190

Bikes: 1974 Teledyne Titan, 1970's Sekine, 1980's Kuwahara Tandem, plus a few dozen

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 25 Posts
Tomasso Lugged Aluminum Frame

I have a friend asking me about a the quality of a mid-1980s lugged aluminum frame he believes was made in Italy. Apparently, very light, but I have never ridden it to have a sense of the ride (and we are currently separated by a closed border due to COVID). The bike is like the one shown here: https://budgetbicyclectr.com/vintage...d-bicycle.html

Can anyone tell me about what the ride is like on this bike? I searched and could not find anything on past threads (but that may say more about my poor searching than what is to be found).

-Will
Random Tandem is offline  
Old 09-24-20, 11:53 AM
  #2  
billytwosheds 
Senior Member
 
billytwosheds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 944

Bikes: Peugeot, Legnano, Fuji, Zunow, De Rosa, Miyata, Bianchi, Pinarello, Specialized, Bridgestone

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Liked 122 Times in 63 Posts
That's a lot of coin.

Is it actually a rebranded Alan?

Re-branded ALAN frames: a list

Could be a rare bird but unless your friend is a collector, that may not be the best choice for a rider. At least not at that price.
billytwosheds is offline  
Likes For billytwosheds:
Old 09-24-20, 11:57 AM
  #3  
spank226
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Lugged Aluminum Tomasso is a rebadged Alan brought it by Ten Speed Drive Imports (out of business now).

It is a "glued and screwed" aluminum lugged frame, meaning the lugs and the tubes were threaded plus they were also glued.

Back in the day, they were described as "lively" or "whippy", depending on your fervor for steel bikes of the same era.

The same frame/bike was also badged as a Guerciotti and, if you haven't guessed it, Ten Speed Drive was also the US Importer of Guerciotti bikes.
spank226 is offline  
Likes For spank226:
Old 09-24-20, 12:35 PM
  #4  
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 27,350

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 145 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1947 Post(s)
Liked 733 Times in 463 Posts
$900 for a 30yo bonded Aluminum with tired 600 on it. That’s a big pass, especially since the cranks don’t match.
__________________
Bianchis '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, '93 Reparto Corse SBX

Others but still loved; '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape SLX Bertoni "Speckled Trout"
Bianchigirll is offline  
Likes For Bianchigirll:
Old 09-24-20, 02:33 PM
  #5  
Random Tandem
Old Bike Craphound
Thread Starter
 
Random Tandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 190

Bikes: 1974 Teledyne Titan, 1970's Sekine, 1980's Kuwahara Tandem, plus a few dozen

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 25 Posts
It's not THAT bike, but one that is the same frame he already owns. He thinks I should like it, but we have not talked money (and that is not my concern, there is plenty of history of transactions to give me confidence). As for ride and durability, the material and method of aluminum construction makes me hesitant. I have never ridden an aluminum bike (not counting my Technium which has steel forks, stays and lugs) that felt like the kind of ride I enjoy on many steel and a few titanium bikes. I am not a rough rider, so I find I am okay with a pretty flexible frame (I like the ride on my 1974 Teledyne Titan), but I have found modern aluminum frames just seem like riding long distances is work. I am not familiar with Alans, so any other comments are welcome.

-Will
Random Tandem is offline  
Old 09-24-20, 02:44 PM
  #6  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,287

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 120 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2310 Post(s)
Liked 557 Times in 401 Posts
There's a reason lugged and bonded aluminum frames fell out of favor. Bonds fail. The lugs can crack. I wouldn't count on an 80s Alan as being something that could be ridden like a vintage steel bike. They aren't lifetime bikes.

With all the warnings out of the way, I really love Alan frames. They are things of beauty. You will want to inspect it in person. If the frame can be inspected before purchase and does not at present have any cracked lugs or loose joints, I'd consider it as something to add to the stable. The ride is much more flexible of course than a Cannondale or some other modern OS tubing Al frame. They definitely had their fans BITD.
Salamandrine is offline  
Likes For Salamandrine:
Old 09-24-20, 03:18 PM
  #7  
spank226
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 23 Posts
I'm on the other end of the spectrum: If Sean Kelley can win several Tour de France green jerseys, World Championship medals, and several cobbled classics while riding a bonded, lugged standard diameter tubed aluminum frame, then they are ok by me. While I'll admit to having once had a similar fear of them potentially lacking durability, the sheer number of them that I've seen as survivors and that have been ridden HARD has put away my old fears.

I've never seen photos or known anyone to have broken an Alan or Vitus bonded aluminum frame, but I'm willing to be educated on this.

And, in fact, I'm actively looking for the "right" vitus 979 to add to my stable. I rode a friend of mine's bike back in the 1980s and was very surprised how great it road and I didn't find it whippy at all. Reason would have it that the Alan, which is not just glued like the Vitus but also threaded together, is a much better construction. I recall Alan also making cyclocross versions of their bonded aluminum frames.

As for bonded lugged frames: Trek built an EMPIRE on bonded and lugged aluminum (and carbon) frames. I would actually argue that true monocoque carbon frames are the ones that have fallen out of favor because quality is poop. And most major car manufacturers nowadays actually use bonded body panels. I cant say that yester-years' bonding agents are as good as today's bonding agents, but I have little concern for a bonded aluminum frame failing under my body weight.

Last edited by spank226; 09-24-20 at 03:23 PM.
spank226 is offline  
Likes For spank226:
Old 09-24-20, 07:06 PM
  #8  
joluja 
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 39

Bikes: Merckx Corsa Extra, Ciocc Mockba, Zeus Victoria, Alan Competition (R.I.P), Serotta CDA, Willier Cento 1SR, Pinarello FP Quattro, Teledyne Titan, Chesini Arena Precision 83, Cannondale SR900, Denti Master, De Rosa 35th, 3Rensho Super Record Export

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 20 Posts
Alan Tommaso

I kind of agree with everyone on this. I absolutely love the ride of my deceased Alan. It really was fabulous. Unfortunately, I cracked a seat lug at the 2019 Eroica and I was one of those people who thought it would never happen to me until it did!
joluja is offline  
Old 09-24-20, 11:02 PM
  #9  
Random Tandem
Old Bike Craphound
Thread Starter
 
Random Tandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 190

Bikes: 1974 Teledyne Titan, 1970's Sekine, 1980's Kuwahara Tandem, plus a few dozen

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 25 Posts
Originally Posted by Random Tandem View Post
I searched and could not find anything on past threads (but that may say more about my poor searching than what is to be found).
Getting the name spelling correct may have been a critical step! I think I understand when Italians use single and double "c", but "m" and "s" are outside my talents.
Thanks to all with your comments and assessments - I am persuaded by all, so left with no decision. On a previous purchase, I noted many comments that using a Teledyne Titan as a rider was foolhardy (too fragile), and I have been lucky so far, but I try to ride it on roads with which I am familiar, and keep it away from "off road". It seems like a Tommaso would be another weakling in the stable, but someone has to take on and love the weak and the sick...

-Will
Random Tandem is offline  
Old 09-28-20, 02:10 AM
  #10  
kenhawkeye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Swanage UK
Posts: 84

Bikes: 1976, Alan Super Record, 1977 Bob Roberts, 1978 Viner Special Professional

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I've owned a few Alans and a few rebadged Alans. In my experience, the problems with whip and stress are greater with frames over 54cm. As a price guide, in March, I sold a flawless Alan Super Record with full low mileage Campy SR group and Almarc bars for £900 ($1150 approx)
kenhawkeye is offline  
Old 09-28-20, 05:15 AM
  #11  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,771
Mentioned: 93 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 792 Post(s)
Liked 1,058 Times in 534 Posts
Originally Posted by spank226 View Post
I've never seen photos or known anyone to have broken an Alan or Vitus bonded aluminum frame, but I'm willing to be educated on this.
Lug cracks on Alan bonded aluminum frames are pretty common.




__________________
nomadmax is offline  
Likes For nomadmax:
Old 09-28-20, 08:33 AM
  #12  
scarlson 
Senior Member
 
scarlson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Medford MA
Posts: 1,263

Bikes: Ron Cooper touring, 1959 Jack Taylor 650b ladyback touring tandem, Vitus 979, Joe Bell painted Claud Butler Dalesman, Colin Laing curved tube tandem, heavily-Dilberted 1982 Trek 6xx, René Herse tandem

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 550 Post(s)
Liked 664 Times in 384 Posts
Originally Posted by spank226 View Post
I'm on the other end of the spectrum: If Sean Kelley can win several Tour de France green jerseys, World Championship medals, and several cobbled classics while riding a bonded, lugged standard diameter tubed aluminum frame, then they are ok by me. While I'll admit to having once had a similar fear of them potentially lacking durability, the sheer number of them that I've seen as survivors and that have been ridden HARD has put away my old fears.

I've never seen photos or known anyone to have broken an Alan or Vitus bonded aluminum frame, but I'm willing to be educated on this.
Lots of broken Alans as seen above. That's the typical failure mode, fatigue crack on the head lug.
However, I've been looking for years to no avail, to try and find a broken Vitus that hasn't been actually abused. I found a likely candidate a couple years back, but it turned out the guy had tried to make it into a fixie, and messed up the chain tension (couldn't adjust it, vertical dropouts) so the chain pulled the frame apart by cyclically flexing it with great force. The Vitus "carbone" was a different story. There is documented evidence of one catastrophically failing.

And, in fact, I'm actively looking for the "right" vitus 979 to add to my stable. I rode a friend of mine's bike back in the 1980s and was very surprised how great it road and I didn't find it whippy at all. Reason would have it that the Alan, which is not just glued like the Vitus but also threaded together, is a much better construction. I recall Alan also making cyclocross versions of their bonded aluminum frames.
The Vitus 979 was developed later and was more durable in spite of the lack of threading, mainly because Vitus used castings (the lugs) under compression (inside the tubes) where they are less likely to fail. This in contrast with AlAn's decision to use the castings in tension (holding the tubes in; put sidewards stress on a tube and you put tension stress on the lug), where they are more likely to fail. Just my simplistic view of things, but I've seen a few aluminum components fail in my day so I like to think I know how they work! This seems to be borne out by what we see.
__________________
Owner & co-founder, Cycles René Hubris. Unfortunately attaching questionable braze-ons to perfectly good frames since about 2015. With style.
scarlson is offline  
Likes For scarlson:
Old 09-28-20, 03:39 PM
  #13  
spank226
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 23 Posts
Thank you for the education. I'm not surprised at the head tube failure at that location. Aluminum does have a finite life and can only take so many cycles before failure. I recall going through a bunch of 1" ball and cage headsets back in the 1980s because they would loosen and then dimple the lower races with hammering of the road surface. The "fix" back then was to remove the balls from the cage and add an extra ball so they all wouldn't index in the divots at the same time. But I digress...

There's an aluminum Bianchi for sale near me and it is NOT lugged and it has a crack in the same spot. So I'm not convinced it is a specific failing of lugged aluminum construction. But I concede it is a characteristic to look out for with Alan (and rebadged Alan) frames.




When I raced a Trek 2300 in Italy in the early / mid 1990s when most of my competition was still riding steel bikes, many would actually go out of their way to come over and tell me "There's no way that bike is going to stay together" or "No way I'd ride a bike that is glued together on these cobbles". When I started to get some positive results, a few actually went out of their way to give me COMPLIMENTS on the bike.
spank226 is offline  
Likes For spank226:
Old 10-19-20, 10:37 PM
  #14  
Random Tandem
Old Bike Craphound
Thread Starter
 
Random Tandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 190

Bikes: 1974 Teledyne Titan, 1970's Sekine, 1980's Kuwahara Tandem, plus a few dozen

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 25 Posts
I have the Tomasso

So, I have the Tomasso (ALAN rebadge) now...

No cracks on any of the lugs and all of the tubes are well connected and in nice condition (one chainstay has a spot where the wheel has rubbed off the anodizing, but I believe this is just cosmetic). One of the cable guides on the top tube has been damaged and there are no decals (although the headlug and the fork crown are pantographed with "T"). My disappointment is that this frame is just too small for me, so I will soon be looking to pass it along. It was described to me at a 1985 ALAN-made Tomasso TA-5000 Record, which in the 10 Speed Direct catalog was to be sold with a Campagnolo Sprint groupset, but it had Japanese components when I received it. I am just posting these pix to feed the hungry eyes for classic aluminum frames.

-Will





Random Tandem is offline  
Old 10-25-20, 06:55 PM
  #15  
kenhawkeye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Swanage UK
Posts: 84

Bikes: 1976, Alan Super Record, 1977 Bob Roberts, 1978 Viner Special Professional

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
This frame is an Alan Competizione judging by the seat lug. In 1985, on Record frames, the month and year were stamped in the seat tube about 6 inches below the lug. If it isn't, then I would email Alberto Falconi and he'll know the date from the serial number. I might have spare cable guides
kenhawkeye is offline  
Likes For kenhawkeye:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.