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Allegro with "Character"

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Allegro with "Character"

Old 12-07-20, 05:02 PM
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obrentharris 
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Allegro with "Character"

A couple weeks ago I put out the call here and at Classic Rendezvous for a tall older project bike. The offers were many and varied. In fact I ended up buying two bikes. More about the other anon.

I picked up this very patinated Allegro, minus wheels, in Sacramento yesterday.







I enjoy trying to figure out as much of an old bike's history as I can from its appearance. The stickers tell me that this bike was first sold at Berkeley Cycle and Toy, a long defunct shop. It spent some time in Eugene Oregon and in San Anselmo, California.







Judging from the amount of paint that has been scraped off the drive side top tube, fork blade, and seat stay, it spent a lot of time leaning against sign posts or bike racks. An owner in its later life was more interested in function than period correctness although they didn't choose the lowest quality components. In fact I harbor a small suspicion that a recent owner may have used it as a donor bike. The original seat post, probably Campag, has been replaced with a too-small Simplex post. The original Philippe stem and bars have been replaced with a later model Cinelli and a French bar that I don't recognize.



Note the graphic demonstration of what happens to a Cinelli stem when you try to clamp a 25.0mm bar with it! Can anyone give me any information on these bars; age, manufacturer?

The original Weinmann levers are also missing, replaced with Gran Compes. The original pedals (Lyotard Berthets?) have been replaced with a pair of Suntour Superbes with a broken flip tab. The date code on the torn Brooks B-17 Champion Narrow dates it to 1973, so also a replacement. Did someone keep the original saddle because it was in better condition than the one they had? Given the rather worn condition of the rest of the bike I suspect that the original saddle became unusable at some point.

I have found no reliable serial number data base but am guessing this one is from right around 1961 to 1963.




One last tidbit before I start the teardown, this cable end is something I am encountering for the first time. My first reaction was "How very Swiss!" Perfectly fitting for a nation famed for its watch makers. No doubt some learned member here will be able to educate us on its provenance.




As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts and stand ready to be educated.

Brent
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Old 12-07-20, 05:35 PM
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-----

congratulations on this wunnerful intake!

your dating spot on

original chainset would have been a Verot but a model 57 or 63 rather than a 93. launch for 93 was 1967. if bottom bracket spindle original to cycle you will discover a two digit number marked on one of the drive side taper flats. CH bottom bracket thread. the sandcast shell with the prominent lip on fixed side is a Georg Fischer item.

you may be able to get date corroboration from the GS stern mech;
they enjoyed a relatively lengthy production life with numbrous small changes through time

puzzled by the presence of the GS front mech at this time
launch of Record model front mech was 1959-60
have had two other early '60's Allegro Special models come through my workshop and both wore the Record. also a good friend owns one from this time which came with the Record front mech.

brake calipers not shown well eno' in image to tell but would expect them to be the rare luxury anodised finish model.

-----

Last edited by juvela; 12-07-20 at 05:39 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 12-07-20, 05:39 PM
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Nice! I might have some spare decals (vinyl) left over from my home-brew restoration of a '75, but they would not be an exact match for this vintage (which I like more than my plain all-one-color paint) Those bars are "CTA" which is an ATAX model, see Velobase: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...m=112&AbsPos=0
There has been some data-gathering of Allegro serial numbers, I cannot recall if that (short) list got published in a thread here on C&V but I bet it might be. My own serial is on another computer drive so cannot check it right now but think it may be in the "238XXX" range

Last edited by unworthy1; 12-07-20 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 12-07-20, 05:42 PM
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A reusable cable end! Gotta save money somewhere
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Old 12-07-20, 05:54 PM
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-----

forgot to mention about shop -

Berkeley Cycle & Toy Co. was one of those combination shops which gave up the toy line about 1968 due to competition from the big chains and became a bicycles only enterprise.

Their original location which would have sold the bicycle was located on the southeast corner of Shattuck Avenue and Bancroft Way in downtown Berkeley, California.

During the boom period they launched two branch stores. One was in the Elmwood neighbourhood in the southeast Berkeley and the second was in the city of El Cerrito to the north. The Elmwood location operated at the northwest corner of College Avenue and Ashby Avenue. The El Cerrito location, which came later, operated at the northeast corner of San Pablo Avenue and Stockton Avenue.

At core they were a Schwinn shop which also handled a tremendous number of frankish marques at one time or another...Peugeot, Mercier, Follis, Lejeune, etc.

-----
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Old 12-07-20, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Note the graphic demonstration of what happens to a Cinelli stem when you try to clamp a 25.0mm bar with it!


Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Can anyone give me any information on these bars; age, manufacturer?
You may have seen this thread: Anyone recognize these bars?

Although it doesn't offer much aside from they were stock bars on Peugeots. (Edit: unworthy1 has provided the relevant link and info.)

Stem and bar combo? https://www.ebay.de/itm/Rennrad-Lenk...-/324171480354

Last edited by P!N20; 12-07-20 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 12-07-20, 06:54 PM
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obrentharris Nice find. Watch out for that stem. Looks like a crack across the top in the pic.
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Old 12-07-20, 07:05 PM
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Hi Brent and nice find. The bike does need some work. Were it mine, I would clean, lube, set-up and ride it, spending as little cash as I could. I always always test ride a bike before I start spending money on it. Vintage road bikes are pretty fragile and can show up with compromised frame/fork sets (bent).

The chrome lugs and socks are always a favorite of mine. These days, if those items are not present, my interest in the bike is minimal. I would jump all over a chance to build up that Allegro. Looking forward to watching the progress. My present project soon to be painted with a brush...
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Old 12-07-20, 07:39 PM
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-----

one OEM fitting which has sadly gone walkabout is the distinctive Nikrom seat binder with its unusually long acorn nut.

these were found on Allegro machines from the 1930's to the 1960's.

one stockist for them in the 1950's and 1960's was Ron Kitching (RonKit).

here is one on an Allegro Special of 1963 -




---

links - you may have found these already

1964 Allegro Special with story -

https://simplicityvintagecycles.com/...legro-special/

1963 Allegro Special -

https://k-i-n-g.ch/en/allegro-special

the above two machines have framesets identical to yours; same lugs, crown, shell, ends and braze-ons

https://veloklassiker.ch

Allegro | Swiss Bicycles | A website about Swiss Bicycles

-----
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Old 12-07-20, 08:51 PM
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@obrentharris

As always, you never disappoint, great find, especially in our size.

No real help on this, way out of my depth aside from appreciation and enthusiasm.

At least that stem wasn't an oval logo version, still sad none the less.

The cable ends are cool as heck, the 58 Paramount has 2, I put them on the brakes.






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Old 12-07-20, 10:37 PM
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I assembled a bunch of Allegro data and posted it as a google sheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...h6HkE/htmlview. Your serial number is 10 away from a bike identified as a 1961, so not too terribly long after the switch from Nervex Professional to Bocama mod. 14 pattern II lugs. The dates aren’t ironclad but they’re reasonable.

Those lugs lasted into the mid-70s, and I think Allegro was the only company to use them on their top tier bikes. Yours is really cool with the chrome and brazed on cable stops. My ‘74 was the budget version with almost all clamp-on fittings and a Stronglight P3 headset.

The ride on these is a treat.

Last edited by rustystrings61; 12-08-20 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 12-08-20, 02:09 AM
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rustystrings61 I see my Allegro is listed in your database, if you want any pix or additional details, LMK, but here's a teaser of the frame in "before" condition, as purchased from Craig Griffith (who was then in SLO but I think has since relocated to AZ). As this one shows it had orange paint (no chrome) and blue lug-lining, serial 249871 and Craig said he thought this was a 1975. Now it's a browner orange with no lug lines, yet, but was considering gold (to match the drop-shadows on the graphics). Plenty more pix both before and "after", which is this 2nd shot of the fork with re-pop 531 decal (in FR of course). And it DOES have a metal headbadge: screen-printed aluminum coat-of-arms, riveted on.


Last edited by unworthy1; 12-08-20 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 12-08-20, 06:28 AM
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Very nice, Brent! Exactly what you were looking for, no?

Mine is very similar. A little earlier, with Nervex lugs, but the original components appear to have been the same.

I got one of those cable caps with mine.

I have the same brakes; I can send you a photo of the levers if you want to know what's correct.

The original seat post was a chromed steel pin with a fully domed top. Very nice. I'll find a photo. It was too small, and came --from the factory-- with a shim. Note the extra cool seat post binder bolt as mentioned by @juvela:

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Old 12-08-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
rustystrings61 - serial number 249871 and Craig said he thought this was a 1975. Now it's a browner orange with no lug lines, yet, but was considering gold (to match the drop-shadows on the graphics). Plenty more pix both before and "after", which is this 2nd shot of the fork with re-pop 531 decal (in FR of course). And it DOES have a metal headbadge: screen-printed aluminum coat-of-arms, riveted on.
Craig said he thought mine, sn 241247, was built in 1974. Mine has the 14/II lugset, yours has Bocama Professional, both have Vagner PL crowns. So I guess the rule of thumb would be Bocama Professional starts in ‘75, model 14 type II runs c. 1961-74, and the earliest Allegro I have listed with Nervex Professional lugs is sn 155733.

Mine is missing its metal headbadge - anybody got one lying around unattached?
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Old 12-08-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
The cable ends are cool as heck, the 58 Paramount has 2, I put them on the brakes.
Are their origins known? Or could they be repurposed from a non-bike application, like musical instruments?
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Old 12-08-20, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Are their origins known? Or could they be repurposed from a non-bike application, like musical instruments?
Don't think I ever saw such "cable stops" on any (stringed) instrument but definitely have seen similar under automotive hoods. Any cable controlled carburetor linkage or perhaps choke cable might have sude something like it, ditto for some motorcycle applications but maybe NOT for brakes!
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Old 12-08-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
Are their origins known? Or could they be repurposed from a non-bike application, like musical instruments?
No wisdom was garnered when I posted the Paramount which I did extensively so....
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Old 12-08-20, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Don't think I ever saw such "cable stops" on any (stringed) instrument but definitely have seen similar under automotive hoods. Any cable controlled carburetor linkage or perhaps choke cable might have sude something like it, ditto for some motorcycle applications but maybe NOT for brakes!
Originally Posted by merziac View Post
No wisdom was garnered when I posted the Paramount which I did extensively so....
I've just been searching Google Images to no avail; I tried "cable stop", "Cable tip w/screw" and "cable end w/screw". OTOH, on the first search, I found a few items, turned 90 degrees from these, that might be modified into a 2-into-1 cable splitter/combiner for the Simplex 543 (because I've lost mine! ), so not a complete waste. Somehow, I figure these had to be made in volume for some use... I just don't know what.
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Old 12-08-20, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tiger1964 View Post
I've just been searching Google Images to no avail; I tried "cable stop", "Cable tip w/screw" and "cable end w/screw". OTOH, on the first search, I found a few items, turned 90 degrees from these, that might be modified into a 2-into-1 cable splitter/combiner for the Simplex 543 (because I've lost mine! ), so not a complete waste. Somehow, I figure these had to be made in volume for some use... I just don't know what.
I'm pretty sure they are cable end caps, seems like somebody else thought they knew they were. I always assumed they were with no actual proof, maybe they weren't originally for bikes.
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Old 12-08-20, 03:35 PM
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as was mentioned there was a post about the CTA bars awhile back. it just goes to show that
bars and stems need to be the EXACT same size. an Allegro came in my shop for repair a long
time ago (early 90s) and gave to me 3 of those cable ends (brass no less) oh how I wish I had
a 4th one. they are so classy!
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Old 12-08-20, 03:37 PM
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I've seen these before:

https://www.amazon.com/CyclingDeal-B.../dp/B075TNPMLF

I could have sworn I saw something like them on the Jitensha Studio website once upon a time, but not now.

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Old 12-08-20, 03:38 PM
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Those look like an early version of cable knarp to me.
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Old 12-08-20, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
I assembled a bunch of Allegro data and posted it as a google sheet - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...h6HkE/htmlview. Your serial number is 10 away from a bike identified as a 1961, so not too terribly long after the switch from Nervex Professional to Bocama mod. 14 pattern II lugs. The dates aren’t ironclad but they’re reasonable.

Those lugs lasted into the mid-70s, and I think Allegro was the only company to use them on their top tier bikes. Yours is really cool with the chrome and brazed on cable stops. My ‘74 was the budget version with almost all clamp-on fittings and a Stronglight P3 headset.

The ride on these is a treat.
Rusty, I just saw your spread sheet and was glad to see my old Allegro on it. Mine was the third on your list, Ser. No. 99116, I sold it to Craig Griffith a couple years ago. I dragged it out of an antique shop in Peoria, IL and put it in my garage for a couple years trying to figure out how old it was and what to do with it. I finally decided I needed to downsize some of my collection and was able to find Craig. We made a deal and off to AZ it went. In a world of Allegro road bikes it was kind of neat to see an oddball like mine .... upright aluminum handlebars, fat tires, aluminum fenders, 3-speed derailleur. It was a pretty cool old bike, and as far as I could tell, mostly original.
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Old 12-08-20, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

congratulations on this wunnerful intake!

your dating spot on

original chainset would have been a Verot but a model 57 or 63 rather than a 93. launch for 93 was 1967. if bottom bracket spindle original to cycle you will discover a two digit number marked on one of the drive side taper flats. CH bottom bracket thread. the sandcast shell with the prominent lip on fixed side is a Georg Fischer item.
Lucky me. I have a Stronglight 57 which was originally going on my Olmo until I found a Magistroni. It will go on this. I was happy to acquire a pair of the domed Stronglight crank bolts with this bike.

you may be able to get date corroboration from the GS stern mech;
they enjoyed a relatively lengthy production life with numbrous small changes through time

puzzled by the presence of the GS front mech at this time
launch of Record model front mech was 1959-60
have had two other early '60's Allegro Special models come through my workshop and both wore the Record. also a good friend owns one from this time which came with the Record front mech.
There is only the faint outline of the GS on the seat tube; no indication that this bike every carried a Record front mech.

brake calipers not shown well eno' in image to tell but would expect them to be the rare luxury anodised finish model.


Brent
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Old 12-08-20, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Nice! I might have some spare decals (vinyl) left over from my home-brew restoration of a '75, but they would not be an exact match for this vintage (which I like more than my plain all-one-color paint) Those bars are "CTA" which is an ATAX model, see Velobase: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.a...m=112&AbsPos=0
There has been some data-gathering of Allegro serial numbers, I cannot recall if that (short) list got published in a thread here on C&V but I bet it might be. My own serial is on another computer drive so cannot check it right now but think it may be in the "238XXX" range
Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post




You may have seen this thread: Anyone recognize these bars?

Although it doesn't offer much aside from they were stock bars on Peugeots. (Edit: unworthy1 has provided the relevant link and info.)

Stem and bar combo? https://www.ebay.de/itm/Rennrad-Lenk...-/324171480354
Thanks for the CTA handlebar information. These may go on my Peugeot town bike when I steal the Philippe Professionals from it to install on this one.
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