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1950s? Atala track frame

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1950s? Atala track frame

Old 01-04-22, 09:15 PM
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amillhench
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1950s? Atala track frame

I was at a local shop getting a Rockhopper for my wife when the owner mentioned the “boneyard” out back.

If there is one place I want to check out, it’s always the boneyard. One frame caught my eye. It’s poorly repainted but I saw full chrome underneath. Atala headset and serial number running down the drive side seat tube narrowed it down to Atala for me.

I was hoping someone had some insight? I couldn’t find any Atala Pistas that looked similar online.

Thanks!




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Old 01-05-22, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
I was at a local shop getting a Rockhopper for my wife when the owner mentioned the “boneyard” out back.

If there is one place I want to check out, it’s always the boneyard. One frame caught my eye. It’s poorly repainted but I saw full chrome underneath. Atala headset and serial number running down the drive side seat tube narrowed it down to Atala for me.

I was hoping someone had some insight? I couldn’t find any Atala Pistas that looked similar online.

Thanks!




You did buy it, right?

Original HS, 3t track bars, Milremo/Phillippe spearpoint stem, all good, SOLD!

No idea on your questions.
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Old 01-05-22, 10:55 PM
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With any luck Mr. @juvela will be along soon to shed some light on the subject.
Judging from the glimpses we get of the bikes to either side of the Atala there's some interesting stuff in that "boneyard."
Brent
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Old 01-06-22, 08:00 AM
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-----

wrt dating -

following a consult with Mr. Chuck Woolery can make this post

the first two numerals in the serial will give the year of manufacture

if one takes the Tecno Tubo Torino Gran Prix Pista bend to be original the machine could not be earlier than the 1963-64 time

given the layers of paint it may have been through multiple incarnations however...

would be interesting to see the chainset, should one be present

lug pattern appears to be Agrati "BRIANZA"


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Old 01-06-22, 08:21 AM
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Please say you bought it - would love to see it brought back to life.....
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Old 05-27-22, 01:44 PM
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An update:

I did not buy it, but I thought of it often.

My wife is out of town this weekend, so me and my 2 year old decided to get some bonus points and clean out the shed. Oryx skull, old fertilizer, a few wheel sets, a tub full of components spanning 8 decades of bicycle manufacturing.

I decided to bring the bike parts back to the shop as a donation. The owner and I chatted for a few and I mentioned the Atala frame.

He still had it hanging out back. He offered it up gratis and in spite of my offers to pay, it followed me home.

So I still didn’t buy it.

Cottered Magistroni cranks, BSA chainring, bottom bracket Shell marked “23”, Stronglight bottom bracket and a serial number indicating 1960 manufacture.

The seat post is 26.4 but the clamp is pinched. Any idea what other size may be used and guesses as to tubing?

She needs a lot of love but what a gorgeous set of bones!





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Old 05-27-22, 02:24 PM
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-----

grazie mille per la "datum upppum".

frame:

constructed of Agrati "BRIANZA" lug pattern ART. 000.8030/U

upper head lug item nr. 000.8034

lower head lug item nr. 000.8033

seat lug item nr. 022.8039

combination of pillar size and bullet seat stay treatment suggest a base/entry model constructed of a quality plain gauge tubeset

if when seat lug is put right a 27.0 pillar can be slid in smoothly then it is butted tubing

steerer interior can be checked for the presence of the A.L. Colombo splines

manufacturers of a range of production bicycles typically offered two track framesets/cycles; an entry model and a pro model

the 23 marking on the shell is of course the nominal frame size as measured c-t-t in inches

---

the Stronglight Competition Nr. 34 bottom bracket assembly is a nice piece - hollow spindle and all bearing races rectified after plating -



the BSA chainwheel does not really merit repair - a nice conversation piece to hang on the wall in the workshop or mancave

possible crankarms may be original to the steed; unlikely that chainwheel and bottom bracket assembly are OEM

you may decide that frame deserving of a quality respray - should you elect to go this route it might be interesting to look up Rizzato products of this time to see what the livery options were

replica transfer sets should be readily available


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Last edited by juvela; 05-27-22 at 03:56 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old 05-27-22, 07:33 PM
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Much thanks as always juvela

Am I correct in thinking the crank arms are the Magistroni “5 pin?”

what is the BCD for these? It’s not listed on velo base.

I’ll do some more digging as time allows. I haven’t even cracked open the headset.

Im looking forward to disassembling the Stronglight T-260. It feels very smooth, but has anyone replaced the needle bearings in one?

Best,

Aaron
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Old 05-27-22, 08:32 PM
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Hmm…headset cups both spin. Damn.

I also noticed a couple new details.

There is a “V” on the bottom bracket perpendicular to the “23” on the drive side.

This one is weird: there are the remnants of an upside down Columbus sticker at the bottom of the seat tube. Why is it upside down? It appears to have the numerals 0609 under (above) it. It would be the old Columbus decal of just the dove and circle with “Columbus” in quotations. Top right in the attached photo of examples.





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Old 05-27-22, 08:57 PM
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amillhench,
This is what paying it forward and the good karma it brings. Very thoughtful of you to donate the excess to a good cause as well as offering to buy the frame. In this instance there were no losers only winners! I cant wait to set how the build progresses.
Best, Ben
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Old 05-27-22, 09:17 PM
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-----

verily, thar be a career awaiting thee in the service diplomatique should you wish to pursue it!

no mention made o' me jumbo error in thinking bottom bracket assembly loose ball rather than roller bearing

a miracle am yet here, unbanned, despite me numerous errors

Magistroni & BSA bolt circle 50.4

Magistroni

Joel lists the Magistroni five pin sets as "50mm" while Sutherland lists them as 50.4

Magistroni

Magistroni

have no hands on experience of the Magistroni five pins despite having dozens of Magistroni sets come through the workshop in fifty plus winters of spanner twisting

the Verot roller bearing bottom bracket assembly was offered in both cottered and cotterless versions

here is an image of the cottered version in a currently active forum discussion



here is an illustration showing the cotterless from



a companion roller bearing headset was also done

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Old 05-28-22, 09:13 PM
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Quick evening update:

Close examination revealed both track ends and fork dropouts to be Campy.

Caliper around the seat tube leads me to believe it is severely ovalized but should be 27.0mm.

Has some play in the bottom bracket. I’m working myself up to remove the cottered crank. I’d really like to keep the cranks on there but am not looking forward to dealing with the cotters.

We’ll see what we shall see.
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Old 05-28-22, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
This one is weird: there are the remnants of an upside down Columbus sticker at the bottom of the seat tube. Why is it upside down? It appears to have the numerals 0609 under (above) it.

Now that is very cool! But I don't think that's a Columbus sticker, but rather a stamp. It was stamped into the steel of the tube at the factory. Most good quality frames have stamps like this somewhere, but we almost never get to see them through the thick paint. Someone who understands Columbese can probably interpret the 0609. Tubing thickness?



Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
Quick evening update:

Close examination revealed both track ends and fork dropouts to be Campy.

Caliper around the seat tube leads me to believe it is severely ovalized but should be 27.0mm.

Has some play in the bottom bracket. I’m working myself up to remove the cottered crank. I’d really like to keep the cranks on there but am not looking forward to dealing with the cotters.

We’ll see what we shall see.
Relax, the cotters will be okay. It's just a matter of having the right tools. Before you do anything to them, let's talk about cotter tools. I have no experience with the Magistroni crank, but I've played with a lot of high end English cranks. The cotter press most people on this forum use, which is made for a Raleigh Sports crank, will probably not work on your Magistroni crank. Do you have a small vise, like a drill press vise? That's what I use. A C-clamp can also be made to work, but it's not foolproof.

The old school experts will tell you to use a hammer. The hammer method has its advantages to be sure, but you'd want to practice on some less precious cranks.
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Old 05-29-22, 08:05 AM
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A bench press has been on my list for years. Still don’t have one.

I was looking at the pipe underneath and a good hammer technique, but as you said, I don’t want to damage the arms or the bottom bracket bearings (though that may be minimized with the needle bearing design).

Does anyone have an opinion or experience on the bikesmith designs cotter press for a Magistroni crankset?
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Old 05-29-22, 08:56 AM
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Old 05-29-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
...Someone who understands Columbese can probably interpret the 0609. Tubing thickness?...
Yes, that represents a 0.6mm tube with 0.9mm butt(s). Which is curious because that would be an SL road tube and this is a track frame, where one would expect PS or PL.
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Old 05-29-22, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
A bench press has been on my list for years. Still don’t have one.

I was looking at the pipe underneath and a good hammer technique, but as you said, I don’t want to damage the arms or the bottom bracket bearings (though that may be minimized with the needle bearing design).

Does anyone have an opinion or experience on the bikesmith designs cotter press for a Magistroni crankset?
No, you don't need a bench press, but a drill press; and for this job, you don't need the whole thing, just the vise, like this one from Harbor Freight:

I haven't tried that exact model, but it's pretty similar to what I use. You will also need a wrench socket as shown in the photo below.

If you (or anyone) wants a slightly used Bikesmith Designs press, i'll let mine go for $40 shipped. I do not recommend it for your Magistroni crank, but if you want to try....

Originally Posted by juvela View Post
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-----
The problem with the C-clamp method is that the threaded screw of any C-clamp is going to be much longer than needed, and when extended more than an inch or so (as in the photo above) the business end can flex sideways, bending over the threaded end of the cotter. If you do try the C-clamp method, I recommend adding a thick piece of wood to the mix so the screw doesn't have to be extended so far.
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Old 05-29-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Yes, that represents a 0.6mm tube with 0.9mm butt(s). Which is curious because that would be an SL road tube and this is a track frame, where one would expect PS or PL.
T-mar, I believe this predated (1960) SL, PS, etc. Did the tubing preferences for track vs road change over time?

It does help explain why it’s upside down. The frame builder would have flipped it to adjust the butted sections. I have only ever seen tubing stamps on steerer tubes, so I learned something new.

Yes, RHM, I meant the vice. Apparently my squat rack was on my mind. 🤣

I’ll spin by the tool shop and see if I want to drop the coin. I may cheap out and try the c-clamp. It sounds like the bikesmith press is less than ideal.

I stripped a bit of paint off the lugs and the chrome looks perfect underneath. I can’t believe they painted over it.
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Old 05-29-22, 01:34 PM
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More mixed news:

I removed the crank arms after a good soak with PB blaster and a couple choice taps. No issues at all.

It looks like the previous owner destroyed the locknut on the drive side BB cup. Luckily it was loose already so I removed it by hand. Sad, because it looks like the T-260 is a relatively rare bottom bracket. Anyone have a spare Italian drive side cup??

This leaves me at an impasse. I could find a new cottered bottom bracket and reuse these beautiful crank arms. Any advice on finding a quality Italian threaded cottered BB?

Option #2 is to use the Phil Italian lock rings I have in my parts bin and order the appropriate spindle and go cotterless.

I believe that would limit my period correct crank choices to Campy piste, yes? eBay prices made my eyes water. $350+

Which correlates to another question I’ve been kicking around. What would the correct wheelset for this bike have been ca 1960? FB hubs? Campy? And which rims?

My experience is generally post 1970s for which there is much more information available.

Last edited by amillhench; 05-29-22 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 05-29-22, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by amillhench View Post
More mixed news:

I removed the crank arms after a good soak with PB blaster and a couple choice taps. No issues at all.

It looks like the previous owner destroyed the locknut on the drive side BB cup. Luckily it was loose already so I removed it by hand. Sad, because it looks like the T-260 is a relatively rare bottom bracket. Anyone have a spare Italian drive side cup??

This leaves me at an impasse. I could find a new cottered bottom bracket and reuse these beautiful crank arms. Any advice on finding a quality Italian threaded cottered BB?

Option #2 is to use the Phil Italian lock rings I have in my parts bin and order the appropriate spindle and go cotterless.

I believe that would limit my period correct crank choices to Campy piste, yes? eBay prices made my eyes water. $350+

Which correlates to another question I’ve been kicking around. What would the correct wheelset for this bike have been ca 1960? FB hubs? Campy? And which rims?

My experience is generally post 1970s for which their is much more information available.
Congrat's on dealing with the cotters. They're nothing to be afraid of. Note, there is also this thread:

$16 Cotter Press

I have one of those, too. It's fine, but I still use the drill press vise.

Bummer about your BB. How bad is it? And how much do you mean to ride this bike? If using the damaged BB is going to damage the frame or the crank, obviously, don't do it. But if it's only going to continue to get more damaged, doing no damage to anything but itself, why sweat it? It's original. One day it will inevitably go into the recycling bin; but is it ready for that fate already?

On the other hand, if you're going to ride it like crazy (highly recommended! old track bikes are a blast) then it might make sense to put something more robust on there. Any 165 mm crank that will fit on your Phil BB will do. A 144 bcd campy copy (there were plenty; SR Royal, Sugino Mighty, Avocet, Gipiemme, &c; ) with an aftermarket 1/8" chainring would look great (it doesn't have to be a piste crank, just put one ring on a strada crank).

I would not worry about "correct" wheels unless you decide this bike is a museum piece and a keeper (which I think is already a contradiction in terms, but this is your call). It would be sweet to get hubs that look like Campy large flange track hubs (Sunshine made some very nice ones) and any silver clincher rims that look faintly like old tubular rims, but if you can get a pair of used fixie wheels off craigslist, that'll get you rolling.

I strongly recommend getting the bike in rideable shape, and taking it out for a good long ride over some hills &c, before committing any money to it. Maybe it's a keeper. Maybe it should be someone else's project. You'll figure it out.
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