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Unknown Frame: Classic late 60s early 70s racing bike - Full Campy - HELP!

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Unknown Frame: Classic late 60s early 70s racing bike - Full Campy - HELP!

Old 01-30-10, 06:31 PM
  #1  
Dropout
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Unknown Frame: Classic late 60s early 70s racing bike - Full Campy - HELP!

I'm at my wit's end with this one, drawn to posting in here to get any sort of head scratching ideas. It's a long-shot with this beast but I thought I'd give it a try.

I picked this up recently because I thought it rather compelling, especially for the money... Problem is, I can't identify the frame because it's been repainted, apparently with spray paint.

The bottom bracket is not a big help, relatively blank. The threading is English, which helps narrow it down somewhat. The dropouts are Campy - the non-drive side is stamped with a serial number "898" seen in the photo below. Seatpost is Zeus 27.2. The lugwork appears to be a derivation of Cinelli or Masi with circles cut into pointed lugs but is a bit more crude, perhaps from a lone builder. The NR Campy parts date from 1971. The stem and bars are Cinelli, while the rims are Fiamme tubular with Wolber tires. It may have come with center-pulls due to the generous amount of clearance, however, it now has first generation Dura-Ace brakes and levers. The top tube does not have any breather holes - it's solid at the ends and the rear seat slot does not have an oval in the slot (to prevent a potential crack from accelerating). The seller said he bought it used "as-is" in 1980, this in the northeast.

Incidentally, I sanded the black spray paint off after these photos were taken. There is a professionally-painted light blue coat with no decals. Under that, is a coat of flat red, which appears to be the original color. The ovals in the lugs appear to painted yellow. Still, no decals or markings to identify it's origins.

Thanks for any ideas. I can add some better photos but these are all I have at the moment. I realize this is not much to go on but hoping someone has something.

Here is one FULL RES 1600px shot from drive side via tinypic:

https://i46.tinypic.com/28qzs7t.jpg

- z




















Last edited by Dropout; 01-30-10 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 01-30-10, 06:49 PM
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Windsor Pro?
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Old 01-30-10, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by stausty View Post
Windsor Pro?
No, the Windsor Pro had more Cinelli-esque details (is that being too kind?). I would guess a smaller English or American builder. Looks like a nice frame, though...I'd have no qualms about updating it with some braze-ons and getting it repainted. I know, that's borderline blasphemy, but there you go.
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Old 01-30-10, 07:19 PM
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This bike looks like it has some compact geometry. Could you measure TT, ST, stays and wheelbase to confirm it?
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Old 01-30-10, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for the thoughts! Measured C to C, the down tube is 60cm (23.5 in), the top tube is 57cm (22.5 in) and the wheelbase is 101cm (40 in).
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Old 01-30-10, 08:02 PM
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Schroder, by any chance?

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Old 01-30-10, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dropout View Post
Thanks for the thoughts! Measured C to C, the down tube is 60cm (23.5 in), the top tube is 57cm (22.5 in) and the wheelbase is 101cm (40 in).
this is indeed very aggressive geometry, not Cannondale criterium frame aggressive, but still... Here are a couple of examples

a 57 cm ST Trek 770 has a 57 cm TT and 99.2 cm wheelbase. This was considered an aggressive racing bike. Yours is more agressive. Exactly as aggressive as a Gios compact frame which on size 60 has a 60 cm ST and and a 57 cm TT (cannot get wheelbase numbers.)

to compare your 101 cm wheelbase, this is the exact wheelbase of a KHS Aero Turbo frame I have, which has 49 cm ST and 52 cm TT (this is a light touring bike)...

I would probably concur that, based on the fact that you have a British BB and on the era of the bike (early 70s) it is probably a custom frame. If you had an italian BB, it might be a different story
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Old 01-31-10, 12:48 AM
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It looks well made, but nothing really "glamorous" and nothing really distinctive about any of the details to indicate a specific maker. The fork blades look narrow enough to be classic 531, rather than later "continental" dimensions or Columbus. The lug piercings are ones that any builder with a few drill bits can make, and many did! It has a simple 3-digit serial number: I concur that it's probably a small output builder, No. American or British. Almost certainly '70s but if a conservative builder it might be later than you'd think.
Have you tried 27" wheels in it?
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Old 01-31-10, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Almost certainly '70s but if a conservative builder it might be later than you'd think.
Wouldn't a later builder put at least brake cable guides on the TT and DT shifter bosses and maybe a FD mount? And at least one water bottle mount?
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Old 01-31-10, 01:25 AM
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nope. there were loads of frames made in England (and quite a few in the US) by builders who eschewed the "modern trends" and/or built them for customers who did, well into the '80s. If it was a production bike, then of course it would be easier to estimate date based on stylistic details...this just has so many earmarks of a custom built frame. Might even be made from one of the famous Proteus "kits", but the workmanship looks too clean for an amateur.
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Old 01-31-10, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
Have you tried 27" wheels in it?
I haven't tried 27's but I'm pretty sure they would have no trouble. Would that indicate an earlier build?
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Old 01-31-10, 11:09 AM
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Stickerless bikes were very fashionable in the 70s and early 80s, much to the modern bike collector's chagrin. I do not recognize the bike overall, but the underlying paint job sounds like a good one. The underlying red primer may be zinc chromate, a professional touch.

I would certainly agree that if the bike fits you, it is worth having a repaint, and worth the effort of restoring the parts group. Doesn't sound like any of the parts are losers.

oh, and that's a drop bolt on the rear brake. That would be strong evidence for the bike being originally equipped with 27" wheels.
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Old 01-31-10, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by luker View Post
The underlying red primer may be zinc chromate, a professional touch.
red primer would be iron oxide, zinc chromate primer is usually yellow and usually used on aluminum.
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Old 01-31-10, 04:56 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback so far! It's been a fascinating discussion even if we can't as of yet determine the builder. I'll probably just incur a 1000 sleepless nights before I'm over it. Small English/American builder from early 70s seems pretty broad. Anyone know what the short list would be? I thought that the number in the rear dropout might narrow it down because that seems like an unusual place to put it and, in addition, kind of a large serial number for an obscure frame builder. I also thought that the solid top tube might be an indication of year. I plan to post more photos of frame after sanding shortly. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:31 PM
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if you strip it down to bare, you might find the small and faint stampings on the tubing that say: "Reynolds 531", and you might find the same stamping on the steerer by just removing the fork. There were so many British builders (not as many Americans building at that time) and this frame is so lacking in "signature" details that it may never get ID'ed, but I'm confident it's a high quality frame and worthwhile putting some work into.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:46 PM
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Here is a link to photos after I started sanding: https://picasaweb.google.com/bisacky/UnknownPart2#

Here are some more before: https://picasaweb.google.com/bisacky/OldRacingBike#
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Old 01-31-10, 07:50 PM
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Also, if anyone has any suggestions regarding the sanding process or who would be a good person (perhaps in the Seattle area) to have repaint, I would welcome that feedback as well. Thanks very much.
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Old 01-31-10, 09:51 PM
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If you love doing handwork, I'd suggest using a stripper (3M Safer Strip and Citrastrip Orange are less toxic, but slower) and steelwool, wear gloves, do it outside on a thick layer of newspaper. If you want it done fast and painless take it to a blaster who uses a glass bead media (or something similar that's not super-aggressive).
The new shots make me more than ever convinced it's a British builder, it shows some nice touches like the Wagner forkcrown and good tube mitering in the BB shell. The forkblades look especially nicely curved, seatstays look like single-tapers, and combined with the geometry, these are things that makes me think it might be built later than early '70s...even tho all those other clues: the little RD cable braze-on, the nutted brake fittings, lack of any other cable guides, etc. all point to an early '70s date. Looks like it was originally red, over white (?) primer...nice (mystery) bike!
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Old 01-31-10, 10:01 PM
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The other thing that suggests an older, British frame is the top tube length: an Italian or French bike would be much more likely to have one longer than 57 cm.
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Old 01-31-10, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
red primer would be iron oxide, zinc chromate primer is usually yellow and usually used on aluminum.
zinc chromate pigment is yellow, and the primer that was used on aluminum aircraft in the 50s and 60s was yellow...the zinc chromate primer that we applied to anything metal in the air force in the 70s was a nasty pinkish red color. At least they called it zinc chromate, I was only the applicator. The zinc chromate that was used during WWII was a pale green color. (in a former life I was a static model junkie. Once an obsessive compulsive, always an obsessive compulsive, although the targets of the aberration have changed troughout my life).
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Old 02-01-10, 12:44 AM
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That is a good looking bike.

Take a look at these pics of my 72 Condor. Except for the signature Condor fastback seat stays, the fork crown and the drilled out lugs, the design and workmanship seems quite similar. Condor used a stable of builders over the years for their different lines, many also worked on their own or for other builders, unfortunately Condor didn't keep decent records so I'll likely never know who the actual builder was.



If nothing else it seems to support the argument for a 70's english builder.
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Old 02-01-10, 10:32 AM
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dyander, the picture links^ aren't working...and we have to see pics!
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Old 02-01-10, 11:01 PM
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I hope these pictures work better, if not perhaps some help! Both these previous and these pictures show up for me when I preview.

One additional note, my top tube ends are also solid with no holes.
Hope the pictures help this time.
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Old 02-01-10, 11:13 PM
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those worked^ and it's a nice bike that '72 Condor, but you've got, in addition to the obvious fastback seat cluster:
different lugs (Prugnaut type S, I believe), different fork crown, different place for (longer) serial number...but some similarities, too like the braze-on for just the RD cable housing. I'm curious how your Condor's geometry compares to the OP's.
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Old 02-02-10, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I'm curious how your Condor's geometry compares to the OP's.
Exactly the same, assuming he meant: Seat tube 60 cm, top tube 57 cm, wheelbase 101 cm and for good measure, the down tube is 63 cm. The only other braze-on I have is for the down tube shifter stop, a little brass pin.

The original owner bought it in '72 from the Condor shop in London for a European Tour with his Dad. I traded his frame for my 77 Trek TX 510 frame in 1980.

Doug
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