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Need help identifying this bike

Old 01-31-21, 09:54 PM
  #1  
sthurman
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Bikes: 1972 Gitane TDF, 1985 Merckx Corsa Extra, 1979 Medici Pro Strada, a mysterious early 70s "Ritter"

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Need help identifying this bike

Hi all. I am new to posting in this forum, but I am an avid reader. I picked up this original "Ritter" bike (Columbus tubing, mostly Campy groupset) but I can't find anything comparable online. I have a hunch that it is an old Benotto because 1) the badge has the familiar "Fabbrica Biciclette Torino" (except in this case it has a shield with, I think, a bull and says Ritter), 2) the frame style and geometry seems a good match to early 70s Benottos as far as I can tell (maybe ya'll can help confirm this), 3) the color appears to also be the familiar Benotto champagne, 4) in 1968 Ole Ritter set the hour world record in Mexico City riding a Benotto. Is this a commemorative Benotto? Is it even a Benotto? Can you guys help me solve this mystery!? Since I'm new and can't post photos yet, maybe I am allowed to post a link to another thread with photos where I asked similar questions. Thanks!
www.cyclechat.net/threads/need-help-identifying-this-bike.271114/
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Old 02-01-21, 08:00 AM
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Welcome to the forum &...

...thank you for sharing this fascinating find!


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of the suggested temporal span lean toward the beginning
although cycle's Sport model chainset did not launch until 1971
of course fittings easily changed...

curious that pedals appear to be Way-Assauto

interesting to read that Ole did his hour on a Benotto

AFAIK for his other cycling endeavours he was sponsored by MCB

---

readers might appreciate a drive side "as found" image of the full machine

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Old 02-01-21, 08:49 AM
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I presume you are correct and this was brazed by Benotto. It's no secret Ole Ritter rode Benotto to break the 1-hour record in the late 60s. The styling is same for the era of Benotto, the color, and even the head badge mimics that of Benotto.

My assumption is, Ritter had his own brand, as did L. Bobet and other pro riders, and his friends at Benotto were happy to build the frames. Cool piece of history you have there.

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Old 02-01-21, 11:46 AM
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I just posted a long message with photos, but the system wouldn't let me post it. Thanks Juvela, you are spot on. The chainset is Campy 3320 Sport and the pedals are Way. Both had some surface rust but cleaned up beautifully. Rear NR derailleur is stamped Patent 72. I will share more photos as soon as I am able, including a driver side photo as recieved (thanks for the tip).
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Old 02-01-21, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sthurman View Post
I just posted a long message with photos, but the system wouldn't let me post it. Thanks Juvela, you are spot on. The chainset is Campy 3320 Sport and the pedals are Way. Both had some surface rust but cleaned up beautifully. Rear NR derailleur is stamped Patent 72. I will share more photos as soon as I am able, including a driver side photo as recieved (thanks for the tip).
sthurman the forum has spam-control measures in place and won't let you post links/images until you participate - I think the current cap is 10 posts, I don't know if there's a time limit in days-since-registration to go with it.

I think you can still go into the GALLERY and create a new album for yourself. After, reply here and someone can offer a 'pic assist' to get them in-thread before you reach said threshold. This is typically how things are done for genuine newbies.

I just searched a few minutes ago and see there are a few other examples out in the wild on the WWW. I suspect someone probably has the story, I wonder if trying to contact someone associated with Benotto would be possible?
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Old 02-01-21, 12:36 PM
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Thanks Francophile. I made a gallery called Vintage Ritter if you'd like to give me a pic assist? Also, would you be able to share the links to examples on www, I haven't been able to find any!? Thanks so much.
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Old 02-01-21, 12:48 PM
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Album here, for reference: https://www.bikeforums.net/g/album/20467340

Pics as follows:



















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Old 02-01-21, 12:50 PM
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Old 02-01-21, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sthurman View Post
I just posted a long message with photos, but the system wouldn't let me post it. Thanks Juvela, you are spot on. The chainset is Campy 3320 Sport and the pedals are Way. Both had some surface rust but cleaned up beautifully. Rear NR derailleur is stamped Patent 72. I will share more photos as soon as I am able, including a driver side photo as recieved (thanks for the tip).
-----

thanks very much for the response

we do not really know at this point if cycle assembled by manufacturer, a retail shop or the consumer

if done by manufacturer it is likely one down from the top model as top model at this time would have likely been kitted with the Nuovo Record road ensemble

the kitting mix is a coherent one for a one down from the top sort of model

shift and brake levers likely represent post-assembly alterations
you may discover a locus on the down tube where a set of controls erstwhile kept office...

an additional spot you will be able to retrieve specific date is the locknuts of the Campag NT hubs -




would expect either a 71 or a 72 marking...

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one thing the transfers do not indicate is whether the bicycle is an Italy or a Mexico constructed Benotto

this might be something for you to investigate as you explore further

EDIT:

now see from the newly posted images that there is a "MADE IN ITALY" transfer on the seat tube

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regarding "El Toro" -

can recall seeing Benotto crests/emblems which show him but unable to locate an example in a brief search just now


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Last edited by juvela; 02-01-21 at 01:07 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 02-01-21, 01:05 PM
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With regard to Ritter, one other point. There's also a house brand 'Ritter' in Germany which is not the same as this. One example. (click the link "ver este lote" link)

It's worth noting there are some other bikes carrying the 'Ritter' branding (different head decal) which were built by Zeus as well, equipped with Zeus dropouts, fork ends, and fork crowns. There's one example on eBay, and another I found at a Spanish-language site similar to Craigslist. Search Google images for: bicicletas Ritter

But for examples of the Ritter you posted:

https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx...eta-ritter-_JM

https://www.foromtb.com/threads/cl%C...#post-25287551
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Old 02-01-21, 01:09 PM
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Oh and I found a cute kids bike, but the same marca, note the head badge at this FB page: https://www.facebook.com/bicicletasclasicasriobamba/posts/2732247916785653/
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Old 02-01-21, 01:15 PM
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Iīm surprised to see a Ritter that is apparently this old. Ole Ritter opened his shop in Lyngby Denmark in 1977, around the time he stopped his active career. Judging from the parts on the bike pictured, I suspect that the OPīs dateing of the bike is correct, and thus earlier than Ritterīs shop. In the early eighties i lived around 3 miles from the shop (Still do), and I clearly remember them selling Benotto bikes. Although Iīm not sure, I actually think that Ritter had the Danish import of Benotto bikes. Ritter have had their own brand of bikes for many years, but whether this started after they stopped importing Benotto or not, I canīt tell.
Ritter no longer owns the shop, and last time I visited, it seemed that the current staff, was way too young to know anything about the start of the shop, or of this bike. Due to pretty much everything being on lock-down (Covid) currently, I unfortunately canīt go to ask them.
Hope this helps, Lars.
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Old 02-01-21, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Highmass View Post
Iīm surprised to see a Ritter that is apparently this old. Ole Ritter opened his shop in Lyngby Denmark in 1977, around the time he stopped his active career. Judging from the parts on the bike pictured, I suspect that the OPīs dateing of the bike is correct, and thus earlier than Ritterīs shop. In the early eighties i lived around 3 miles from the shop (Still do), and I clearly remember them selling Benotto bikes. Although Iīm not sure, I actually think that Ritter had the Danish import of Benotto bikes. Ritter have had their own brand of bikes for many years, but whether this started after they stopped importing Benotto or not, I canīt tell.
Ritter no longer owns the shop, and last time I visited, it seemed that the current staff, was way too young to know anything about the start of the shop, or of this bike. Due to pretty much everything being on lock-down (Covid) currently, I unfortunately canīt go to ask them.
Hope this helps, Lars.
Thanks Lars, this is super interesting! Do you recall if the Ritter shop near you sold bikes with the same el toro head badge and logos? This would help pin down whether this bike was likely associated with Ritter's shop in Denmark, although as you point out the timing doesn't seem right. One thing I wonder is how this bike made its way out to California (unfortunately I will never know that answer as original owner has passed and his son knew nothing about it).

Juvela, I will inspect the lock nut on the hub asap for a date and let you know.

Francophile, thanks for posting the links. I didn't even think of searching "bicicletas ritter"... I was searching "ritter bike" and came up with nothing on google image search here. This is a helpful insight That kid's bike seems super old, doesn't it? Do you think the Ritter badge on that is original, and if so, what does it suggest about how long Ritter "Torino" (to distinguish it from Ritter Germany or Zeus that you pointed out) was making bikes?
Thanks all for your insight, you guys are amazing!
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Old 02-01-21, 03:34 PM
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Unfortunately I have no idea what Ritterīs shop sold beside Benotto. I wasenīt much into bikes at the time, and the only reason I know they sold Benotto, is that I rode a Benotto after I outgrew my moped. When the other members of our "gang" got drivers licences and cars, I opted for a roadbike and spent the rest of my very modest income on beer and guitars.
Actually my Benotto was approximately the same color as your bike, so it seems quite likely to me, that it is a Benotto.
Knowing that Ritter had a relationship with Benotto for certain in 1968 (The hour record), in 1974 (The attemt to win back the hour record from Mercx who had taken it in 1972), and in the eighties, it seems likely to me, that the relationship actually was a continous relationship for 20 years. If you go to youtube and write Ole Ritter, you can actually find some pretty good footage.
I know that a few other well known Danish riders have had their name on bikes sold in shops they did not own. My best guess is therefore, that your bike was sold in the late sixties, in a mutual attemt with Benotto and Ritter, to cash in on the hour record. Ritter did also btw set a 100 km track record (2:14:2,51) in Mexico in 1971.
I have no idea how you bike got to be in Calefornia. But people do sometimes emigrate. I for instance have a cousin near LA (His mother married an American in the late forties). I also have friend who recently spent 2 years in San Diego. So my guess, is that somebody moved from Denmark to Calefornia, and brought the bike with him.
Anyway, cool bike, I hope it gets the restoration it deserves.
Best regards, Lars.
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Old 02-01-21, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for all the great info Lars, and very interesting stories!

I checked for a date stamp on the hub lock nut as suggested, and it says 72, so this was also right after the 100km record in 71.
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Old 02-01-21, 06:57 PM
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-----


frame appears constructed with NERVEX Professional lug pattern and crown

this lug pattern offered both with and without cutouts and with or without the reinforcing lip

bottom bracket shell looks to be the BOCAMA Professional

ends set is of course Campag 1010






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cycle exhibits one non-contemporaneous fitting, its 3TTT Record second generation stem

the Record model launched in 1971 and has two prominent oval recesses in its side

it was revised for 1974 and the recesses disappeared

evidently the bicycle was too large for a previous pilot
they had the saddle pillar all the way down with the rails about touching the seat lug
whatever extension of 3TTT Record stem came with it was too long for the rider and this present one was fitted





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history note on the bicycle's Way-Assauto pedals -

interesting that you have established a date of 1972 for your machine

this was also the time that Way-Assauto ceased the fabrication of cycle fittings

they are still in business today and are involved in humidity control


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Highmass -

do you know if the Everton marque is yet active?

asking because we had a discussion thread on one here at the forum several years back

it was an early 1960's era bicycle and had been contract manufactured by Garlatti

thank you for any information


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Old 02-02-21, 03:57 AM
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Hi Juvela.
Is Everton still active?.
The Everton brand was bought by Kildemoes cykler in 1997 (Who was bought by Swedish Monark/Stiga A/B all the way back in 1987). So the original Everton is long gone, but you can still buy a new bike (Not made in Denmark) with the name on in. But the current lineup looks pretty sad to me. You can see for yourself here: Cykler - Everton - damecykler, herrecykler, børnecykler, mountainbikes, retro, city, MTB
(Note that my bowser says that this site is not safe, but my pc has crashed yet!).
Best regards, Lars.
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Old 02-02-21, 04:02 AM
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And now replying to myself, this is getting silly!.
Just saw that you mentioned Garlatti manufacture. Most of the original Evertons were locally made, including the frames. I have not seen the tread you refer to, but my GUESS is that, they made the ordinary bikes locally, but possibly imported the better models, or at least the frames for them..
BR.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by sthurman View Post
Francophile, thanks for posting the links. I didn't even think of searching "bicicletas ritter"... I was searching "ritter bike" and came up with nothing on google image search here. This is a helpful insight That kid's bike seems super old, doesn't it? Do you think the Ritter badge on that is original, and if so, what does it suggest about how long Ritter "Torino" (to distinguish it from Ritter Germany or Zeus that you pointed out) was making bikes?
Thanks all for your insight, you guys are amazing!
I'm not how to answer your questions. Yes, I agree, the kids bike looks quite a bit older, but who knows, maybe that style of tank bike was meant to be indestructible, thus had the sticker-less badge? I think the main distinguisher from Ritter in DE versus Ritter in IT is mainly the decals denoting which is which. There may be another Ritter producing MTB and more modern faire as well.

Interesting about the shop in Netherlands as well. Establishes a relationship between Ole Ritter and Benotto sales a bit later. Makes one wonder.

And yes, in searches, it's quite helpful to use the native tongue bici, cicli, ciclo, biciclette/etta all can prove useful for producers of Italian origin. Bicicleta is Spanish, but I've found a lot of Italian bikes somehow ended up in Spain over the years, so I always give it a go. Had I not searched in Spanish, I wouldn't have found the two clear Zeus frames badged as Ritter as well. That's curious all-around, and I'm wondering if maybe Ritter started sourcing from Spain in the 80s, which those bikes appeared (to my feeble eyes) to be?
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Old 02-02-21, 12:24 PM
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[QUOTE=fra
Interesting about the shop in Netherlands as well. Establishes a relationship between Ole Ritter and Benotto sales a bit later. Makes one wonder.

Not the Netherlands. Although Dutch and Danish sounds about about the same, and eqally horrible to the untrained ear, it is not the same. Ole Ritter is Danish, and his former shop is in Lyngby Denmark. Iīd be VERY surprised if he had a shop in the Netherlands also.
BR, Lars.
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Old 02-02-21, 12:39 PM
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Nice pick. Good candidate for evaporust/brass wool cleanup. Post a link when you get to it.
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Old 02-02-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Nice pick. Good candidate for evaporust/brass wool cleanup. Post a link when you get to it.
I will definitely post images soon. Exactly, I disassembled and used evaporust and everything cleaned up VERY nicely with brass wire brush and brass wool. I am having difficulty figuring out what to do about paint chips/scratches and minor surface rust on the frame. I thought I'd just leave it as a vintage patina, but perhaps I should use something to touch up the paint (recommendations?). I don't want to strip and repaint because the stickers are irreplacable and are already in rough shape. I did find an automotive paint that appears to be a good match for Benotto gold - it's Toyota metallic champagne 583, but it may not be a perfect match as the paint on this bike is nearly 50 years old! Any tips or ideas? How about restoring chrome lugs and fork crowns to shine?
EDIT: This is the link to the site that led me to Toyota 583 color specifically: lecycleur.com/framesets/benotto-3000-restauration-1978-82/

Last edited by sthurman; 02-02-21 at 01:17 PM. Reason: forgot to post link
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Old 02-02-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Highmass View Post
Not the Netherlands. Although Dutch and Danish sounds about about the same, and eqally horrible to the untrained ear, it is not the same. Ole Ritter is Danish, and his former shop is in Lyngby Denmark. Iīd be VERY surprised if he had a shop in the Netherlands also.
BR, Lars.
You know, as I typed that, I thought, "I should scroll backup and check" but I got sucked into editing another comment and forgot. I'm fully aware of the difference, I've been in and around Europe for the past 20+ years working for a company in CH. I know better, I just forgot to check and had "Netherlands" on the brain vs. "Denmark"
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Old 02-02-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sthurman View Post
about paint chips/scratches and minor surface rust on the frame ... How about restoring chrome lugs and fork crowns to shine?
Moderate surface rust in paint and cleaning chrome lugs: Bronze wool 0000 gauge is your friend. Bronze wool, used with a lubricant (soapy water is my preference) and very light pressure over paint will take surface rust out and get chrome shining. VERY IMPORTANT not to confuse bronze wool and steel wool, two very different products. Turtle Wax's "Chrome Polish" product works for chrome haze.

Light surface rust in paint and scratches: Use a light-cut buffing compound first. I prefer No.7 Compound, but it's heavy-cut and needs a light trained hand. Follow with a polishing compound (I prefer Meguiar's), then any wax of your preference.

Heavy Scratches and chips: Use Naval Jelly to clean and remove any rust, follow directions -> 10min application, remove, clean, then buffing/polishing compound, clean again, then paint, let cure for no less than 48 hours at room temp, but if you can wait 1-2 months before sanding and treating, the longer you wait, the harder it gets, the easier it is to wet sand flat, polish, then seal/wax.

EDIT: On the Toyota, I'm pretty sure that's a 2-part paint (or worse), base coat, plus metal flake coat which requires clear on top. Find a single-stage metallic like nail polish or Testor's model paint (enamel) that's a close match.
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Old 02-02-21, 01:24 PM
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Very entertaining thread and bicycle, thanks to the OP for starting it and all the chimers-in! I am surprised to see a steel 3-pin Campy crankset on a 1972 frame, I think of that as "older vintage gear" , but I don't mind some surprises.
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