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Columbus query

Old 03-03-10, 05:53 AM
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familyguy
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Columbus query

I picked up a bare frame the other day: Columbus dropouts and fork ends, 27.0 seat post sizing, recessed brake nut capable, english BB. Its been powdercoated (roughly), but is in straight condition. Reported to have had c.1986 Campy on it pre-stripping. 770g fork, 2050g frame. Pics here.

Questions:
From what I can find, a 27.0 seat post indicate Gara or Aelle (28.6OD with 0.8 straight gauge tubing). Correct?
Gara or Aelle were the only tubings that didnt feature butting or steerer helical reinforcing. Correct?
When Gara was introduced into the Columbus lineup?
How early were recessed nut brakes a feature in the Campy timeline?



Assistance or thoughts appreciated.

Jim
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Old 03-03-10, 06:42 AM
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Gara and Aelle are butted but do fit the sizes you mentioned. The weight, including that powdercoat paint, is low for typical Aelle frames; maybe you've got Columbus SL tubing. Don't know when recessed brakes replaced nutted ones. Your frame looks very 80's to me. That powdercoat job could use a glossy clearcoat or some good car wax after a light sanding with very fine paper or steel wool.

Last edited by bbattle; 03-03-10 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 03-03-10, 06:52 AM
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SL/SLX would be 27.2, SP/SPX would be 27.0, so it's possible that you've got an SP/X frame. I'm building a frame out of SPX right now.
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Old 03-03-10, 09:11 AM
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All you can tell by looking at it is that it is not SLX. You cannot infer much with seatpost diameter because often it was a manufacturer's choice. For example, all the Schwinn bikes built with Tenax in the 80s have 26.6 mm seat posts.



What is the frame ST size C-C? This might be a good starting point. 2050g might point towards SL at that size (manufacturer weight 1925; Aelle was 24xx and SP 23xx)

Last edited by EjustE; 03-03-10 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 03-03-10, 09:26 AM
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nice looking frame, it is almost the same blue as the nice looking Fuji Trivoli that someone just rebuilt.

as for the brakes and recessed nuts. my '80 Bianchi catalog shows them on Nouvo and Super Record equipped bikes.

BTW this is why no one but a reputable professional builder or refinisher should repaint a bike.
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Old 03-03-10, 06:07 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Parts were 86, so definitely an 80's frame. I quite like the style. Frame is 58cm seat c/c, 57cm top c/c, so a decent piece of metal. My 501SL is 61cm seat c/c, but I forgot to weigh it before I rebuilt it.

I should add, steerer tube does not have the helical reinforcement mentioned in Columbus catalogs for anything above Gara/Aelle, which was why I went down that track. Its possible the fork is not original I guess, but I cant be sure. Seller bought it as a complete bike, with matching dingy paintwork, so its probably original fork.

Were listed weights for entire frame tubeset, i.e. tubes including fork blades and steerer, but not including dropouts, BB shell and lugs?

Jim
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Old 03-03-10, 07:43 PM
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I think that early Aelle was not butted; later it was. The seatpost size for these two tubesets are 27.0 unless the manufacturer sleeved the seat tube (or reamed it, I guess, but that really does not sound like a good idea to me). 86 would be a good guess. Can you provide some closeups of the lugs?

No serial numbers?

<edit> belay that, I was thinking of Cromor. The Aelle is straight gauge, at least in 1990. Gara was around in 1990, but not in 1988, btw. </edit>

Last edited by luker; 03-03-10 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-03-10, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by luker View Post
I think that early Aelle was not butted; later it was. The seatpost size for these two tubesets are 27.0 unless the manufacturer sleeved the seat tube (or reamed it, I guess, but that really does not sound like a good idea to me). 86 would be a good guess. Can you provide some closeups of the lugs?

No serial numbers?
Aelle is heavy. It is listed at 2400g or so at 56cm (and this looks to be a bigger frame). The wild-card here is cromor, which is listed at 2200g for a 56, which is pretty close to the weight of this frame. Still think that based on the weight (plus add some grams from the powder coating) it is either SL (hard to imagine in this size) or Cromor or not a Columbus tubing that just happened to be built with Columbus dropouts.

The lugs look like generic Cinelli lugs to me from this picture (but could be anything; Trek investment cast lugs look just like Cinellis, for example)
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Old 03-03-10, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
SL/SLX would be 27.2, SP/SPX would be 27.0, so it's possible that you've got an SP/X frame. I'm building a frame out of SPX right now.
are you sure 27.0 is SP? I have a couple of frames I assumed were SP seat tubes that are 27.2...
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Old 03-03-10, 08:00 PM
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I didn't pay any attention to the weight figures; you are right, this is clearly in SL weight territory (depending on the weight accuracy...), and it could be early Cromor as well.
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Old 03-03-10, 11:31 PM
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Sorry to add to the mystery, but I have a roughly '84 Cilo with Aelle tubing (straight gauge, I believe) and it takes a 26.2 seatpost. Additionally, my '86 Torpado Superlight, which had SLX, took a 27.0 post. So, hmm. Have you checked the seat tube for SLX rifling above the bottom bracket junction? There is also the possibility that the seat cluster is squished a bit or was never reamed properly at the factory and could have originally spec'd a 27.2 post, but now a 27.0 fits snugly. Is there any play beyond the cluster if you try and wiggle the post?
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Old 03-04-10, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by luker View Post
I think that early Aelle was not butted; later it was. The seatpost size for these two tubesets are 27.0 unless the manufacturer sleeved the seat tube (or reamed it, I guess, but that really does not sound like a good idea to me). 86 would be a good guess. Can you provide some closeups of the lugs?
No serial numbers?
<edit> belay that, I was thinking of Cromor. The Aelle is straight gauge, at least in 1990. Gara was around in 1990, but not in 1988, btw. </edit>
Hence why I was thinking more Aelle. No serial numbers or branding on BB shell, as I've seen with Cinelli setups. English thread.

Originally Posted by delicious View Post
are you sure 27.0 is SP? I have a couple of frames I assumed were SP seat tubes that are 27.2...
I believed SP and SL to be 27.2 as well, but...

Originally Posted by Night Tiger View Post
Sorry to add to the mystery, but I have a roughly '84 Cilo with Aelle tubing (straight gauge, I believe) and it takes a 26.2 seatpost. Additionally, my '86 Torpado Superlight, which had SLX, took a 27.0 post. So, hmm. Have you checked the seat tube for SLX rifling above the bottom bracket junction? There is also the possibility that the seat cluster is squished a bit or was never reamed properly at the factory and could have originally spec'd a 27.2 post, but now a 27.0 fits snugly. Is there any play beyond the cluster if you try and wiggle the post?
No rifling in seat tube or steerer. 27.2 definitely not fitting, even with a little persuasion. No wiggle in a 27.0. The Cromor with the 0.9 butting is interesting, but it doesnt look like 0.6 at the bottom of the seat tube. More like 0.8 straight gauge.

I'm leaning Aelle, which suits me fine. I'm 6'3" and 88kg (190lb), so the sturdier the better.

Jim
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Old 03-04-10, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by familyguy View Post
Hence why I was thinking more Aelle. No serial numbers or branding on BB shell, as I've seen with Cinelli setups. English thread.



I believed SP and SL to be 27.2 as well, but...



No rifling in seat tube or steerer. 27.2 definitely not fitting, even with a little persuasion. No wiggle in a 27.0. The Cromor with the 0.9 butting is interesting, but it doesnt look like 0.6 at the bottom of the seat tube. More like 0.8 straight gauge.

I'm leaning Aelle, which suits me fine. I'm 6'3" and 88kg (190lb), so the sturdier the better.

Jim
Aelle sounds likely:
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Old 03-04-10, 10:46 AM
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After wasting far more time than I should have (home sick today, though...) might I suggest that this may be an 80's Koga Miyata? The frame fixtures match several that can be seen with an image search, down to the sloping fork crown. It may not be columbus tubing at all...
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Old 03-04-10, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by luker View Post
After wasting far more time than I should have (home sick today, though...) might I suggest that this may be an 80's Koga Miyata? The frame fixtures match several that can be seen with an image search, down to the sloping fork crown. It may not be columbus tubing at all...
Before I do the image search, I'll stick my neck out and say I doubt Miyata would have used so many Italian-sourced frame bits: the brake bridge, chainstay brace, Columbus DOs, maybe BB shell, etc.
But anything's possible, the 27.0 seatpost is more commonplace on JP frames and English BB would be too...
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Old 03-04-10, 02:22 PM
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Are you certain that it's not a 27.2 with powdercoat lining the inside of the tube?

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Old 03-04-10, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Aelle sounds likely:

Other than that number in the bottom right hand corner, which is a full 300g more than the OP's bike (which looks larger that the specified 56cm)
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Old 03-04-10, 03:28 PM
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Koga made the frames for the old Koga Miyata bikes. I would be more likely to suspect Reynolds than Columbus, but I don't know very much about their relationship at the time. I stole a picture from Jon's site (velospace)...he owned this one, I think. I cannot tell what the dropouts are here, but another picture of a blue one looked like typical Columbus rear drops...
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Old 03-04-10, 03:40 PM
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Weren't those high end Koga Miyata frames triple-butted? I think that something like Tange might be more likely than a European supplier
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Old 03-04-10, 04:54 PM
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Again, thanks for the replies.

I believe 27.2 has NO chance of fitting, as the tube is now clear of powder, and its still not even going in.

I also believe I may have thrown some of you a curve ball. When I lsited the weights, the fork is 770, plus the frame at 2050. This give 2820 for the complete, bare frame. The listed weights appear to include fork blades and steerers.

So, given maybe 500g of lugs, dropouts, and powder, brings it back to 2350 for the tubes, bang on line for Aelle. Is 500g a fair assumption?

I appreciate you all sharing your knowledge for this one.

Jim
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Old 03-04-10, 05:00 PM
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yep, that's a good fit for weight.
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Old 03-05-10, 12:05 AM
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So Aelle straight gauge, then? If the tubing is Columbus, that seems about right. Some very nice frames were built with Aelle. Since we're on the subject, here's something that came to mind. If my Cilo was built with Aelle (factory gold transfer, long "A") and Gipiemme dropouts/ends, I assume around 1984 going by the Shimano 600 6207 group, fastback stays and the semi sloping fork crown, but it takes a 26.2 post, would it be the butted version of Aelle then, evidenced by the thicker seat tube top section? I have heard those tubesets came with a red background to the Columbus transfer. Here's a pic:Attachment 140292
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Old 03-05-10, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Night Tiger View Post
So Aelle straight gauge, then?
Only the steer tube is butted with Aelle; the rest of the tubes are straight-gauge.
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Old 03-05-10, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Night Tiger View Post
So Aelle straight gauge, then? If the tubing is Columbus, that seems about right. Some very nice frames were built with Aelle. Since we're on the subject, here's something that came to mind. If my Cilo was built with Aelle (factory gold transfer, long "A") and Gipiemme dropouts/ends, I assume around 1984 going by the Shimano 600 6207 group, fastback stays and the semi sloping fork crown, but it takes a 26.2 post, would it be the butted version of Aelle then, evidenced by the thicker seat tube top section? I have heard those tubesets came with a red background to the Columbus transfer. Here's a pic:Attachment 140292
Only the bottom of the seat tube should ever be butted with any tubeset, unless the builder installed it upside down (it has happened).
Aelle did come as a butted version, decal will say Aelle R, this version is fairly rare.
Jumping track a little, I did scan a few mid-'80s Koga Miyata catalogs from Velobase, and tho I don't read Dutch it sure seemed like all of them were Japanese-built using Miyata's own brand of tubing, whether triple-spline-butted or high-manganese.
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Old 03-05-10, 02:09 PM
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well, I suppose we need to know what Koga Miyata means by "built". This is a snippet from their literature:
Hand bikes built by Koga Miyata - look for yourself at what they say... since the beginning of 74' every Koga Miyata bicycle has been developed and built in our head quarters in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

A demanding process whereby every bicycle is assembled by hand from start to finish by a bike builder. This is a logical choice for Koga Miyata bikes which is derived straight from our philosophy about bicycle quality. What does that look like then...?

Look at it yourself via a panorama presentation of our cycle company or look at our original image film 'Perfection'.

More on Koga-Miyata hand crafted Road Race bikes, Touring bikes and Metro bicycles - what they say: All our bicycles are hand crafted in Holland for people who like to ride and demand real bicycle quality.

"All Glory Comes From Daring To Begin"
Company history: Back in 74 Andries Gaastra started Koga bikes to market the finest racing frames available. Owned by Accell since 98, Koga and our employees have remained true to the founder's insistence on quality above all. Koga quality is guaranteed by our unique production philosophy: To this day there are no assembly lines at Koga. All framesets are hand-built and each cycle is assembled - start to finish by a certified technician.
I guess it is just clever semantics. I couldn't understand the relationship between the two companies if Miyata didn't put the frames together...
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