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Rebuilding Bella Basso

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Rebuilding Bella Basso

Old 02-22-24, 07:31 AM
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Rebuilding Bella Basso

My first baby when I came off my bicycle hiatus, and an incredible riding bike. Thanks to a few purchases and a trade (generous from his side) with @SoCaled I am reworking Bella.

Instead of the Italian colors they previously sported, the pantographed items were repainted in red, white and blue (to match the “Americana” model.)

I had originally built her up with a mosh mash of parts including Chorus crank, Campy NR wheels with a 7 speed freewheel and brifters. Obviously I could not get it quite right in indexing.

I also never was enthused with the cockpit which has a too narrow Cinelli bar (40. I need 42/44).



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Old 02-22-24, 07:39 AM
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Super Record crank. Hoping the chainrings are thin enough for 8 speed duty.

Now I just need to find a good fitting black bar.
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Old 02-22-24, 08:16 AM
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Nice looking frame. Any cool decals under that bike stand clamp?
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Old 02-22-24, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Nice looking frame. Any cool decals under that bike stand clamp?
Sidi. Campagnolo on the NDS chain stay.

Has anyone ever had an extremely tight fit stem to steering tube issue. Steel wool grease treatment only slightly helped. At least it shouldn’t move...



Chrome lugs look great...fork will have to accept patina.

Might have to move to a black saddle to offset the black bars and stem. Plus some Cinelli -3ttt mismatched OCD I will have to get over. Not wasting the nice stem!
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Old 02-22-24, 09:10 AM
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I wouldn't sacrifice the stem either. At least they're both Italian.
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Old 02-22-24, 12:28 PM
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Why didn't the indexing work with the 7 speed freewheel and brifters?
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Old 02-22-24, 12:39 PM
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New patriotic paint on the panto's looks great, nice work!
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Old 02-22-24, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
. Has anyone ever had an extremely tight fit stem to steering tube issue. Steel wool grease treatment only slightly helped. At least it shouldn’t move... !
The 1970s "Cinelli" catalog included specifications for Columbus tubes. The spec for the inner diameter of the steering tube was 22.2mm +0.0, -0.1mm. So, the ID can be slightly tight.

My local bike shop (in Manhattan Beach, CA) was owned and run by Ted Ernst, who was a former pro racer. He really knew his stuff. He owned an adjustable variable taper reamer, which he used to use to ream out the inside of the steering tube (if necessary) so that it would exactly fit the stem. He took out a very, very slight amount on the inside of the steering tube of my 1979 Pinarello, and my new Cinelli stem fit just right - slightly sticky when doing in dry, but would slide in smoothly when greased.

I recall Ted saying that he bought the adjustable reamer from a plumbing supply store. A web search bring up plenty of options.

My experience is that Cinelli stems have tended to have a larger outer diameter than 3ttt or Nitto. If you check your bike (fork) with another stem and it fits OK (easier), I'd leave the fork alone.

My first bike was made with Reynolds 531, and the 3ttt stem fit a bit loosely. Ted told me to shim the stem with a bit of greased newspaper (for the first 1" down from the headset's top locknut) and that did the trick - the stem no longer rocked in the steering tube.

Andrew G.

Last edited by Andrew_G; 02-22-24 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 02-22-24, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCaled
New patriotic paint on the panto's looks great, nice work!
Thank you! Pretty easy with the old paint pens!
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Old 02-22-24, 03:11 PM
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A few years back I was bidding on an Identical Basso frame on EBay ,, I lost when the bidding got over $550 .
Great looking bike build !
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Old 02-22-24, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Manny66
A few years back I was bidding on an Identical Basso frame on EBay ,, I lost when the bidding got over $550 .
Great looking bike build !
That wasn't this one! Haha. This one had a bit of rust here and there and the peeling paint from the white area on top of the chrome. The guy wanted it gone so I think I paid $240 including shipping from out west?

I might be paring down my "collection" of stuff, but Bella is going nowhere.
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Old 02-22-24, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Why didn't the indexing work with the 7 speed freewheel and brifters?
Just a tad bit off no matter the cable routing, or adjustment. Big cog was a bit problematic. That's why I am opting to go straight 8 speed (RD, brifters, cassette) with this one.
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Old 02-22-24, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Just a tad bit off no matter the cable routing, or adjustment. Big cog was a bit problematic. That's why I am opting to go straight 8 speed (RD, brifters, cassette) with this one.
Were you trying to shift the 7 speed freewheel with the 8 speed Campy Ergo? I always wondered how that would work. On paper the cog spacing should be correct.
Anyways, when in doubt, you can always switch back to Shimano. Shimano 7 speed brifters will shift that 7 speed freewheel or cassette perfectly fine. Going to 8 speed all campy, would mean having to find a 8speed Campy hub which is an oddball.
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Old 02-22-24, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
Were you trying to shift the 7 speed freewheel with the 8 speed Campy Ergo? I always wondered how that would work. On paper the cog spacing should be correct.
Anyways, when in doubt, you can always switch back to Shimano. Shimano 7 speed brifters will shift that 7 speed freewheel or cassette perfectly fine. Going to 8 speed all campy, would mean having to find a 8speed Campy hub which is an oddball.
I was. There was just something about the Regina freewheel not playing well with the RD and brifters. I probably could have made it work but I am shifting (no pun intended) parts to better suit the inbuilt herd.

Oddly, I have 3 or 4 Campy 8 speed wheel sets floating around...and the brifters to match (including a racing T that I have no clue what I will do with), but not sure I have enough rear derailleurs to match. I am pretty sure one of them went with the boxes of non crap...oops.
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Old 02-22-24, 11:57 PM
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Jealous of the Basso branded stem and seat post. My Basso does not have either of those.

They did such a nice jobs with those frames though. But all I ever see for sale anymore are larger ones (60+ cm).
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Old 02-23-24, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tkm
Jealous of the Basso branded stem and seat post. My Basso does not have either of those.

They did such a nice jobs with those frames though. But all I ever see for sale anymore are larger ones (60+ cm).
Easily one of the most under-rated frames. Does everything well.
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Old 02-23-24, 12:35 PM
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I'm a big fan of 3ttt stems. That one you have is beautiful
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Old 02-23-24, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by malcala622
I'm a big fan of 3ttt stems. That one you have is beautiful
Thank you! It was a really nice one that I splurged on. Would have preferred silver but at the price, it works. The crank was purchased several years ago at a good price, and @SoCaled furnished the post. Luckily I am not one who cares about cross-pollination between Cinelli and 3ttt.
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Old 02-23-24, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Easily one of the most under-rated frames. Does everything well.
Honestly, there is nothing about a vintage Basso that's inferior to the other top name Italian brands of the time.

I really want a certificate for my bike since mine is mostly a wall-hanger and the framed cert would look great behind it. Anyone done this yet that lives in North America?

https://bassobikes.com/it/accessori/...ginalita-basso

English link:

https://bassobikes.com/en/accessorie...f-authenticity

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Old 02-24-24, 12:15 AM
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Probably going to avoid the certication. I know Bella is real!
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Old 02-24-24, 07:09 PM
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There are reviews of the Basso Gap and Ascott in 1980s Bicycle Guide magazines. They were considered equal to the Cinellis, Colnagos and DeRosas of the day.
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Old 02-29-24, 02:01 PM
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Bella is complete!

I think Bella looks great, but I reserve the right to have OCD demand a black saddle at some point.



White might not be right...too bright and OCD blight

Yes, those are Shimano pedals for simplicity of exchange.

The new 8 speed Campy Chorus shifts better on the stand than the seven speed NR wheels it had.

Centaur skeleton brakes seem to fit.

Chrome on the fork is slightly pitted. Will worry about that later.
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Old 02-29-24, 02:11 PM
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I'd be more OCD about having blue bar tape instead of white--as this bike deserves!
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Old 02-29-24, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I'd be more OCD about having blue bar tape instead of white--as this bike deserves!
Ouch! Maybe true. Too late. It’s my favorite tape.
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Old 02-29-24, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
Ouch! Maybe true. Too late. It’s my favorite tape.
It doesn't come in white?
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