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Beliilla Brakeset Auction, Are they something special, or is this more ebay nonsense?

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Beliilla Brakeset Auction, Are they something special, or is this more ebay nonsense?

Old 12-22-10, 04:13 PM
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wrk101
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Beliilla Brakeset Auction, Are they something special, or is this more ebay nonsense?

OK, here's an auction. Sorry for the title typo....Bililla.

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Sold for $132, plus shipping.

Seller seemed to be pretty honest with description: "THEY ARE NOT IN GREAT CONDITION SO THEY WOULD SUIT SOMEONE DOING AN ORIGINAL FREJUS BIKE THAT NEEDS TO HAVE A SET OF WELL WORN BRAKE HOODS TO FIT THE RESTORATION."

The reason I ask is that I have a set that came with a Olmo donor bike. If they are this special, I'll move them ahead of the project line for sure.
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Old 12-22-10, 04:18 PM
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I don't recall seeing those before. if you think that is bad look at these.. at $290 BIN the seller could spend a few bucks on new blocks.

https://cgi.ebay.com/CAMPAGNOLO-SUPER...48466374976132
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Old 12-22-10, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I don't recall seeing those before. if you think that is bad look at these.. at $290 BIN the seller could spend a few bucks on new blocks.

https://cgi.ebay.com/CAMPAGNOLO-SUPER...48466374976132
I could very well be wrong, but those dont look like the original jewels in them. Buyer beware.
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Old 12-22-10, 05:15 PM
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As far as I know those were the best of the Balilla brakes or maybe just most popular.
If the hoods were in good shape I'd have said that was a reasonable price. Those hoods aren't and describing them as well worn is too generous.
I gave up looking for hoods for my set (exact as in the auction but waaaaay better shape all around) a long time ago.
If yours have the script logo on the calipers versus the block type then I would guess they're worth something, triple something if the hoods are good and they're the same levers as this guy sold.
Ballilla also made a skimpy pressed and riveted steel lever w/the bird logo stamped on it. I have a set of those too and they're no where near as nice as these.
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Old 12-22-10, 05:16 PM
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If they are this special, I'll move them ahead of the project line for sure.
Balilla brakes are original equipment on Frejus, Legnano and other Italian bikes from the 1950s & 60s. They worked OK for the era, but seemed to wear out pretty quickly. Many were replaced with Universal & Weinmann calipers, so original Balillas in good condition are desirable, even though they weren't such hot stuff back in the day. The levers are kind of cool, with a unique quick release. The hoods, in any condition, are pretty rare.

I have a set of side pull Balillas on my 1962 Frejus TdF. If I didn't have large hands, I'd get rid of them: they are really oversprung. I had to rebush the caliper arms, since they were very sloppy when I got them. Now they do their job with Kool Stop pads. I love the levers, although I had to put Dia-Compe hoods on them. There is a photo of the levers on Velospace that have red vinyl covers on the QR buttons. I'm gonna snag a pair of red rubber berries off somebody's Christmas Wreath...
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Old 12-22-10, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
I could very well be wrong, but those dont look like the original jewels in them. Buyer beware.
Those sure do look like replacement "jewels" to me too. They look overly "rounded" like there's too much profile.
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Old 12-22-10, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
OK, here's an auction. Sorry for the title typo....Bililla.

https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

Sold for $132, plus shipping.

Seller seemed to be pretty honest with description: "THEY ARE NOT IN GREAT CONDITION SO THEY WOULD SUIT SOMEONE DOING AN ORIGINAL FREJUS BIKE THAT NEEDS TO HAVE A SET OF WELL WORN BRAKE HOODS TO FIT THE RESTORATION."

The reason I ask is that I have a set that came with a Olmo donor bike. If they are this special, I'll move them ahead of the project line for sure.
There's nothing particularly compelling about those brakes unless you're dead set on doing a period correct restoration of an old Italian road bike.

But clearly there are at least a couple people out there with that goal!
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Old 12-22-10, 06:14 PM
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these brakes bear striking ressemblance to UNIVERSAL centerpulls...
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Old 12-22-10, 08:33 PM
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aixaix, do you have a pic of the Dia Comp hoods on the Balilla levers?
Do they fit and more important - are you happy with the way they look and feel?

I thought the red on the QR button was painted.......

Don't mean to hijack the thread.

Last edited by MalcolmsFrejus; 12-22-10 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Because I made a mistake.
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Old 12-22-10, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bloom87 View Post
these brakes bear striking ressemblance to UNIVERSAL centerpulls...
Balilla and Universal were THE brands in Italy for brakes. Balilla kind of fell off the map by the end of the 50s and Universal was the dominant brand. Needless to say, what each company offered was closely mirrored by the other.

The price paid was just plain silly. Balilla centerpulls are easliy found on boom bikes in Italy. ebay.it has entire bikes with those brakes at that price.


On a side note, if anyone has some long-reach aluminum Balilla side-pulls from the 30s with levers, I'll pay. I'll pay dearly.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:24 PM
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I have a pair of Balilia sidepulls on a 50s Olmo. I imagine they're comparable to Universals of the period. I've never thought of them as especially desirable, but fun because they're offbeat.
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Old 12-22-10, 09:42 PM
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Gee, I've got a set of those set aside because they came off a Campy equipped bike. I didn't think they were anything special. Who knew!
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Old 12-23-10, 01:03 AM
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As noted, these were brakes found on low end bike boom bikes in the 70's. IMHO they were absolutely nothing special, and I cannot see why they are going for such a ridiculous price.
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Old 12-23-10, 01:31 PM
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I know that Balilla was not just low-end. A local shop used to import Fiorelli full Campy bikes in the late '60s, and they came through with Balilla center pulls. The shop guys thought they were better than Mafacs and Weinmanns. These had a scripted logo and free-swinging arms, fwiw. Can't say a thing about durability. Eventually the Campy sidepulls came through, but by then the Fiorellis were no longer in the line-up.
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Old 12-23-10, 01:42 PM
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As noted, these were brakes found on low end bike boom bikes in the 70's.
That's true, but they were also found on higher end bikes of the 50s and 60s. Somebody has put up a Frejus with Balilla brakes on eBay, BIN $4350. Ridiculous? Maybe, but maybe not unreasonable. A 1958 Legnano just went for $4449.
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Old 12-23-10, 01:52 PM
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I sold some of those a few years back and got about $30 or so. Timing.......
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Old 12-23-10, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AZORCH View Post
Those sure do look like replacement "jewels" to me too. They look overly "rounded" like there's too much profile.
Good eye. Genuine jewels have a step to the underside which allows them to rest on top of the nuts lip. Viewed from the side the jewel and nut have a seemless transition.


Last edited by miamijim; 12-23-10 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jacksbike View Post
As noted, these were brakes found on low end bike boom bikes in the 70's. IMHO they were absolutely nothing special, and I cannot see why they are going for such a ridiculous price.
Especially dirty and with rusted bolts on them, they look like some guy pulled them off an old bike and decided to sell them, without the rest of the bike, might be annoying for the buyer though, the hangers are missing.
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Old 12-23-10, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
Especially dirty and with rusted bolts on them, they look like some guy pulled them off an old bike and decided to sell them, without the rest of the bike, might be annoying for the buyer though, the hangers are missing.
I noticed the same thing. They really were not complete. He also was shipping from Australia, and his shipping rate to the US was something like $35 or $40. I have a set that came with a so so Olmo from my guess the 1970s. Bike had a mix of nicer Campy stuff (definitely not original), that I sold on ebay earlier this year. I was going to sell the brakes, but did not get around to it. I have a little more motivation now!
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Old 12-23-10, 04:58 PM
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I bought a new pair of those Ballila QR levers back in 1972 for my racing bike, which had Mafac Racer centrepulls and everything else Campagnolo Nuovo Record. They were superb! Really comfortable hoods, levers worked great with the Mafacs and the QR was so simple to use. They didn't cost much as I recall and I've never found a QR brake lever to match them. Wish I hadn't sold that bike!
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Old 12-23-10, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldpeddaller View Post
I bought a new pair of those Ballila QR levers back in 1972 for my racing bike, which had Mafac Racer centrepulls and everything else Campagnolo Nuovo Record. They were superb! Really comfortable hoods, levers worked great with the Mafacs and the QR was so simple to use. They didn't cost much as I recall and I've never found a QR brake lever to match them. Wish I hadn't sold that bike!
You could have bought these for 10 euro (about $13).

https://cgi.ebay.it/Leve-freno-BALILL...item415545e426
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