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Austro-Daimler Early 80's

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Austro-Daimler Early 80's

Old 02-08-21, 06:21 PM
  #1  
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Austro-Daimler Vent Noir

Just unloaded and wiped down a new $30 project bike, an Austro-Daimler from 1980-81-ish. It's way too cold in my garage this evening to go out there and start dismantling properly, so this is just a first look. I'll put more photos in the next post.


Quick Description:
Serial Number is 6230368, and the BB shell is also stamped A 4.
It has a chrome-like finish throughout the frame, with remnants of a much darker shade around the head tube and other hard to reach areas.
All decals have been scrubbed away forever, except the 531 decals on the forks and US consumer safety decal at the bottom of the seat tube.
Seat tube measures 53 cm and top tube 58.

Components:
I'm no good at identifying Campagnolo components, so I'll look forward to some feedback on that. (Apparently most is Nuovo Gran Sport, RD is 980.)
Brake calipers, brake levers, shifters, and RD are all Campagnolo, as are the cable guides on the top tubes and above the BB.
Stem and bars are SR.
Crank is Avocet.
BB unknown.
Seat post seems to be peeling chrome, so I expect a fight there. Apparently it, too, is Nuovo Gran Sport.
Can't find any engraving on the rims, though it was carrying 700x23 tires.
Update 2/9:
Rear dropouts are Shimano, front are Campagnolo
Headset is Campagnolo

With all that, I suspect it is a Vent Noir? If so, it's a crying shame that someone polished the noir right out of it. Pictures below!

Last edited by dbhouston; 02-09-21 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:26 PM
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Vent Noir (or Vent Noir II) in smoked chrome finish.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:33 PM
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Pictures


Head shot! GS means Gran Sport?

Serial number. Also stamped A 4.

Campy model?

Avocet Strada. I like the look. Specialized pedals.

531 fork decal.

Mystery seatpost.

SR stem and bars.

Again, Campy model?

Rims don't seem to have anything engraved on them, but I did find this remnant of a sticker. Both 36h with Miche hubs.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:41 PM
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A bit crusty but some evaporust can help. Are the seatpost and stem stuck? With rust like that I imagine they may well be.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thumpism View Post
Vent Noir (or Vent Noir II) in smoked chrome finish.
Thanks! Bummer about the "smoked" part, those are beautiful.
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Old 02-08-21, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Narhay View Post
A bit crusty but some evaporust can help. Are the seatpost and stem stuck? With rust like that I imagine they may well be.
When it's warm enough or I'm feeling hardy enough, I'll try all those things in the garage. I don't want to start in with PB blaster in my office. Evaporust is magic, though lots of the finish is probably permanently ruined. It would be a shame to turn this into a parts bike, but I'm not going to be surprised if that's where it ends up.
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Old 02-08-21, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dbhouston View Post
When it's warm enough or I'm feeling hardy enough, I'll try all those things in the garage. I don't want to start in with PB blaster in my office. Evaporust is magic, though lots of the finish is probably permanently ruined. It would be a shame to turn this into a parts bike, but I'm not going to be surprised if that's where it ends up.
As a huge fan of Evaporust, this is a job for oxalic acid bath.
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Old 02-09-21, 08:32 AM
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If that seatpost is a goner, the loose clamp hardware might be of interest to folks. There are lots of those seatposts around that have lost the lower clamp parts in particular.
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Old 02-09-21, 10:06 AM
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You might be interested in this link if you havenít already found it.

My Austro-Daimler "Vent Noir II" Bicycle And Brief History of Steyr Daimler Puch
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Old 02-09-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dbhouston View Post
It would be a shame to turn this into a parts bike, but I'm not going to be surprised if that's where it ends up.
Minimal value in those parts, assuming they clean up enough to be fully functional. Maybe worthwhile value in brakes/levers.

Difference between drop-outs and fork-ends is unusual, assuming fork is original.

Last edited by Wildwood; 02-09-21 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 02-09-21, 12:23 PM
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That bike made me start to rust! Let us know how it comes out.
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Old 02-10-21, 09:49 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Stubbornly bulling forward last night, and here's where things are. It's still too cold to try to work in the garage, so I set up a guestroom winter workshop, in which I'd rather not make too much of a mess.


The things you see still attached are really, really attached. Bolts holding the FD (Exage) and chainstay cable guide are just too rusty to unscrew and will get cut off eventually, or maybe go along for the derusting ride. Seatpost shows no sign of moving, yet, but I haven't really tried with the penetrant in there since it's inside.

The RD is a bigger problem. The bolt turns freely in the hanger, but not within the derailleur body. It was a little stripped when I got it, and now it's totally stripped! I have good extraction bits, though, and can get a good grasp of it, but it still isn't turning despite penetrating oil. Super frustrating. I found others describing this problem, and I suspect drilling the bolt out will be the ulitimate solution. We'll see.


Parts are about as expected except that the chainrings were really shot. I'll get around to cleaning everything up during this cold snap and decide what to do with things later.

So, obviously, the whole thing really comes down to what the frame looks like de-rusted. I'm looking forward to trying the acid bath (again, when it's warmer). Worst case is I file these parts away for other projects.
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Old 02-10-21, 10:05 AM
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I've read that houses don't have basements in Oklahoma because the bedrock is too close to the surface. Here in Minnesota just about every house has a basement, in part to keep pipes from freezing in the winter. So I could go downstairs to my warm work shop even though it's 7 degrees outside. Nice bike though that is some serious rust. Good luck.
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Old 02-10-21, 10:10 AM
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Here in "tornado alley," we love basements; I just don't happen to have one (bedrock varies a lot in Tulsa). Minnesota's weather seems to have snuck south this week, gradually encrusting our world in ice.
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Old 02-10-21, 11:24 AM
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If those pedals are what I think they are, those are some of my all-time favorites.
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Old 02-10-21, 11:47 AM
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Funny you say that. When I took them off, I right away thought they would be comfortable and gave them a half-ass cleaning. They may end up on my 70's Raleigh town bike.

Found them on Velobase: https://velobase.com/ViewComponent.as...2df1d&Enum=109

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Old 02-10-21, 12:24 PM
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I like them because they fit wide feet without being overwhelmingly large and they're genuinely light. I got rid of my last pair on trade in that post I linked. I miss them, but no regrets, they went to a good home. I've put thousands (tens of?) miles on those pedals. They'll last a lifetime with limited maintenance.
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Old 02-11-21, 07:30 PM
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Progress on the frame this afternoon/evening. The finish on this frame is incredibly tough, which probably shouldn't be such a surprise, but it cleans up like regular chrome. So, using 0000 steel wool and a degreaser, I've rubbed the whole thing down once, and it made a visible difference as hoped. Much of what looked like rust rubbed off leaving a reasonable finish. Then, just as an experiment, I tried a little Evaporust gel (nearly empty bottle, so not much) on the worst places around the BB and at the top of the seat tube. I'm not willing to remove it with a stiff brush and make a mess in the house, so a real effort will have to wait a bit.

The battle is not over, obviously, but I'm more confident now that the frame salvageable and worth saving. It won't be as beautiful as the examples that retain more of the smokiness over the chrome, but I think it can be a great bike again soon.

That said, if anyone spots something fatal I'm overlooking, or can suggest a better technique, please let me know. I'm here to pick your bicycle brains!






Drilled that bolt all the way down to the hanger!

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Old 02-11-21, 08:52 PM
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You should really use bronze wool. It's less abrasive, but still does the job.
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Old 02-11-21, 09:05 PM
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Checking the serial number data base on
Lightweight Classic Vintage bicycles
your dating seems correct.
There is another VN listed = 6230321
Austro Daimler serial number chart (classicrendezvous.com)
entry #91
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Old 02-11-21, 09:17 PM
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I was scoping that bike out on facebook marketplace and was hoping the weather would be worth going to Tulsa this weekend to check it out. On the one hand, it is worse than I thought from the seller's pictures. On the other hand it is cooler than I thought it would be as she had it listed for 20 bucks. Please keep posting pictures of it. I hope you can rehab it.

Edit: She also called it an Astra Dalma which I found no information on. Googling Austro Daimler would have made me maybe look into it harder, but I think you still would have beat me to it.
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Old 02-11-21, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
Checking the serial number data base on
Lightweight Classic Vintage bicycles
your dating seems correct.
There is another VN listed = 6230321
Austro Daimler serial number chart (classicrendezvous.com)
entry #91
Funny, because I've talked myself into it being a bit earlier based on this one catalog page from 1978. But they seem to have made it this way for a few years.
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Old 02-11-21, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
IOn the one hand, it is worse than I thought from the seller's pictures. On the other hand it is cooler than I thought it would be as she had it listed for 20 bucks.
She was going to take $20, but I haggled her up! In the seller's defense, too, there's no place on the bike that says Austro-Daimler any more, so Astra Dalma was her translation of what her mother (the original owner) must have told her.
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Old 02-12-21, 05:22 AM
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....and my Olympian has 1981 catalog decals and 1982 frame specs.
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Old 02-12-21, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
If those pedals are what I think they are, those are some of my all-time favorites.

Those Specialized Touring pedals are worth a couple multiples of the purchase price of the bike. I'm with francophile -- they are fantastic!

Looks like the bike is cleaning up reasonably well -- you might have a runner there when all is said and done. Is it your size?
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