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The Mystery Frame Game. Please Play!

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The Mystery Frame Game. Please Play!

Old 01-20-24, 03:43 PM
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The Mystery Frame Game. Please Play!

I found this frame at my local community bike shop. It has nice lugs and itís my size, but it doesnít have any identifying decals or head badge to let me know what it is. Whether or not I end up building something with it, Iím curious what it is. My knowledge of frames is neither broad nor deep, but hey, yours is! So please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Itís a 700c or 27Ē frame with 130mm dropouts, caliper brake mounts, down tube shift mounts, and English bottom bracket threads.



The seat stay brace is distinctive.



This is all it has for a serial number.






It has threaded holes for axle adjusters and this guide or tab on the right seat stay.

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Old 01-20-24, 04:27 PM
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Shifter mounts are drilled for bar-con cable housings, did someone have a go at this frame?
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Old 01-20-24, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by oneclick
Shifter mounts are drilled for bar-con cable housings, did someone have a go at this frame?
Interesting. I donít know. The guys at the shop didnít know the history. They said they thought it had been donated just as the frame rather than as part of a bike.
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Old 01-20-24, 05:08 PM
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It looks like a pretty minimalist, custom steel cyclocross frame--maybe built to handle either downtube or bar-mounted shifters (the holes could be for bar-con or brifter cable stops, if this was fabricated in the late 1980s). Lack of water bottle mounts, lack of fender eyelets makes me think it was probably built for racing cyclocross.
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Old 01-20-24, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by fvernon
It looks like a pretty minimalist, custom steel cyclocross frame--maybe built to handle either downtube or bar-mounted shifters (the holes could be for bar-con or brifter cable stops, if this was fabricated in the late 1980s). Lack of water bottle mounts, lack of fender eyelets makes me think it was probably built for racing cyclocross.
Ah. I thought it was odd that it didnít have bottle bosses when it was made in the era of cantilevers and 130mm dropouts. Thanks!
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Old 01-20-24, 05:48 PM
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bit on the seat stay is a "chain hanger" for rear wheel changes.
Several touches look very Italian, but not the BB shell having Brit threading...are the DOs Gipiemme?
Is there a fork?

Last edited by unworthy1; 01-20-24 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 01-20-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
bit on the seat stay is a "chain hanger" for rear wheel changes.
Several touches look very italian, but not the bb shell having brit threading...are the dos gipiemme?
Is there a fork?
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Old 01-21-24, 06:28 AM
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The seat stay bridge ("brace") isn't distinctive, it was a standard part. You can still buy very similar bridges, for example at Ceeway. I thought I saw one just like it the other day, but I forget where.

I also thought it looks italian. Did any Italian builder ever build with English BB if their customers sensibly insisted on it?
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Old 01-21-24, 09:52 AM
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-----

BSC theading:

keep in mind the possibilty of a low countries origin
there is certainly nothing to suggest the U:K

presentation of braze-ons & rear spacing:

keep in mind we do not know if it has been worked on post fabrication


-----
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Old 01-21-24, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
bit on the seat stay is a "chain hanger" for rear wheel changes.
Several touches look very Italian, but not the BB shell having Brit threading...are the DOs Gipiemme?
Is there a fork?
Thanks for solving the riddle of that little pin on the stay for me. Looks like the dropouts are Gipiemme. Good eye! The shop usually includes the fork if they have it, but I think Iíll go back and poke around their fork pile now to see if itís there but got separated.

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Old 01-21-24, 11:35 AM
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Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I learned a lot from you. Iím not sure yet what Iím going to do with the frame but I will likely post about it here if I make something of it.
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Old 01-21-24, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen
The seat stay bridge ("brace") isn't distinctive, it was a standard part. You can still buy very similar bridges, for example at Ceeway. I thought I saw one just like it the other day, but I forget where.

I also thought it looks italian. Did any Italian builder ever build with English BB if their customers sensibly insisted on it?
Viner frames came with English threaded BB shells. Subject frame does not look like a Viner to me, however.
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Old 01-21-24, 04:01 PM
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The number "56" on the BB shell denotes the size of the frame.
The nice details on the bike suggests that it's at least a mid level frame, except for the top tube cable guides (Or are they stops?) which surprisingly looks kinda crudesky....
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Old 01-21-24, 09:36 PM
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The frame looks early for rear brake cable routing along the top tube, but it would make sense on a cross frame, to aid in shoulder-carries. I was thinking the other braze-ons don't look like something a custom frame builder would use, but those drilled shifter bosses are pretty trick for a factory bike, and really hard to do after the bosses are on the frame. Of course, it could be a repaint. A lot of builders were using Gipiemme dropouts and other braze-ons in the 1980s. They were at least as good as Campagnolo's and less expensive. They usually showed up on mid-tier frames, just because of snob appeal.
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Old 01-21-24, 10:31 PM
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-----

​​​​​​

lug pattern appears to be BOCAMA Competition 83



suspect frame national origin to be either BE or NL

these lands have hundreds of cottage industry frame makers who create house branded product for retail cycle shops

identifying a specific one may prove impossible

you could check tubes for a hallmark
may discover frame to be constructed of Ishiwata 022

should you be able to locate fork its steerer should bear a tubing mark

it may be that member MauriceMoss may see a combination of details which points to a specific source


-----

Last edited by juvela; 01-21-24 at 11:30 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-22-24, 09:33 AM
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Cinelli rear brake bridge. Check.
Chain hanger. Check.
Drop outs Gipiemme. Check.
Bocama Competition lugs. Check.
Cyclocross brake attachments. Check.
If I were you I would carefully study this frame further. This is not a low-end frame, but quality stuff. Could well be Belgian or French, made by one of the many smaller shops/builders. Carefull guess: from around '80-'85.
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Old 01-22-24, 12:01 PM
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"suspect frame national origin to be either BE or NL"
And adding that these were the hotbeds for CX racing back when this frame was probably made.
Another clue to this being purpose-built for CX rather than a road frame that was adapted might be a higher-than-road BB height but to determine that you'd need to add wheels (700C) and at least a temp fork
I know many "house brands" from Benelux shops had frames built in Italy then finished locally (but also built their own or employed a local builder). Could be this frame is one made for a Benelux shop but had Italian roots
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Old 01-24-24, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C.
Viner frames came with English threaded BB shells. Subject frame does not look like a Viner to me, however.
Actually, the first name that came to mind when I saw the first pictures was Viner. The top eyes, the color, the cutouts are much like the Viner Record frames. They weren't well-numbered either....

The cantilever bosses, however, and especially the top tube cable stops make me think it is more likely to be a Belgian CX frame. And if the "56" is the center-to-top measurement, I think we can pretty much rule out Italian.
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Old 01-24-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Actually, the first name that came to mind when I saw the first pictures was Viner. The top eyes, the color, the cutouts are much like the Viner Record frames. They weren't well-numbered either....

The cantilever bosses, however, and especially the top tube cable stops make me think it is more likely to be a Belgian CX frame. And if the "56" is the center-to-top measurement, I think we can pretty much rule out Italian.
I have a Viner and this is not one. Belgian is very likely, though frames certainly did come from Italy. It's not a simple nut to crack...
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Old 01-24-24, 06:44 PM
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Well, I have to confess to you all that I was mistaken about the bottom bracket. It is Italian threaded. I don't have a way to spin a good explanation for how I took a wrong turn at the bottom bracket, so I will just throw myself at the mercy of the court.

Sorry about the head scratching this caused some of you when the stars were otherwise aligning toward an Italian origin for the frame. The context may be right for me to say mea culpa. The fixed cup for the BB was the only thing installed when I got the frame and it's taken a while for me to get it removed so I could confirm that both sides are right-hand threaded. They are. And the threads are 24TPI, and it is 36mm X 70mm. I think that the cup had been installed with thread lock. It wasn't rusty and no amount of penetrating oil would free it. But heating it up with a torch like you do to loosen thread lock made it easy to remove.
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Old 01-24-24, 07:33 PM
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EDIT: Italian BB makes the following moot. Oops.

Count me among the Belgian builder guessers.

Maybe bespoke (I think thatís the term). Sliding a wheel in the rear drops would be interesting to see clearance between the stays and seat tube. The seat stay caps sort of make a strong case for me (without evidence)

Almost certainly cyclocross as others have stated. Using a shifter boss as a stop is a pretty trick ďcustomĒ touch for flexibility. 82-84 seems a reasonable period...

Not sure an Italian builder would bother with making BSC threaded, 68 BB (Did Cinelli make many of those?)

Does the headtube look over-reamed though? It would make some sense since CX riders go through a ton of headsets...re-squaring after de-installation?

Last edited by jdawginsc; 01-25-24 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 01-25-24, 03:15 AM
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Here are some pictures of a Viner Special Course that was recently sold on Ebay. The seller believes the canti bosses are a later addition. It is a slightly older frame, given the shifter cable routing.











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Old 01-25-24, 03:27 PM
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The way the frame size is stamped on the BB shell looks like the way another Italian builder used to do it: Billato. They built a lot of bikes for others, but in the cases I've seen the frame size was stamped similarly. Often combined with a material code, denoting the tubing used, but not always.

This is the shell of my Concorde Prelude:




Have a look here for more examples: Billato material codes / markings reference.
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Old 01-25-24, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Does the headtube look over-reamed though? It would make some sense since CX riders go through a ton of headsets...re-squaring after de-installation?
Learning a lot about CX! The internal ends of the head tube look in pretty good shape. They aren't misshapen and the paint is still mostly intact on the inside in the areas where the cups would have inserted.
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Old 03-09-24, 01:08 AM
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Concorde Colombo CX

The frame is a Concorde Cyclocross frame. Columbus Aelle tubing.
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