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tell me about my Benotto

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tell me about my Benotto

Old 06-11-11, 09:05 PM
  #1  
alxndr
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tell me about my Benotto

Hi C&Vers, I picked up this Benotto last spring and let it sit in my closet until today. I said I'd loan it to a friend and finally got around to the replacements/upgrades it needed before it'd be comfortable to ride frequently. Halfway through the work I realized I should take photos to show you all, and see if you can tell me anything about it...

Eyelets mean it's not high end (one set in the back, two in the front)... All circular tubes, no ovals or teardrops (except the fork). LBS said it has an impeccable Stronglight bottom bracket, not a hint of pitting, notable enough that two of the wrenches there (one of them the owner of the place) mentioned it to me. They seemed to think the bike was from the 70s.



(...got 12 more photos but the uploader always seems not to like about half of my shots no matter the dimensions or file size... what is up with that??)

I looked at a bunch of the other Benotto photos on here, and none had the rear brake cable housing broken up with the brazeons like this one has (2nd photo).

Only frame sticker that survived says Made in Italy. Weinmann brake levers, calipers, and shoes; SR cranks and pedals; Suntour derailleurs and clamp DT shifters; bolt-on rear der hanger; leather Benotto saddle; scary-looking Pivo stem. Missing head tube badge; "BOM" stamped into front of HT's top lug. Mavic G40 and Campy hub on the rear with a five-speed freewheel. Chromed fork crown and blade ends. It had almost-falling-apart Michelin Hi-Lite Prestige clinchers, the rear one glued on. (Front wheel is Mavic Open 4 CD with a Shimano 105 hub...odd one out. I've got a Campy front wheel I'll probably put on eventually.)
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Last edited by alxndr; 06-11-11 at 09:18 PM. Reason: goddamn photo manager!!
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Old 06-12-11, 06:23 AM
  #2  
Gary Fountain
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What makes you think it's a Benotto? Is it just the saddle? A 70's Benotto would most likely have been built in Mexico if it is a Benotto. I would say its a lower end frame with economy parts. Some of the parts are probably original such as the brakes and some were probably added just to keep it rolling. There are some pretty decent bits and pieces on it though, e.g. the pedals. I like the Pivo stem.

It would probably ride much better than a department store bike due to the decent wheels.
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Old 06-12-11, 11:46 PM
  #3  
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What's left of the downtube decal, plus the saddle, are what make me think it's a Benotto. The remains of the downtube decal are somewhat legible in that first photo, but this time around the uploader likes my other photos, so here's the closeup of the decal I took previously!

You like the Pivo stem?!? It's got an interesting look I'll admit, but it seems too much to me like a very painful core sample waiting to happen! (While the top tube of the stem is hollow, the walls are pretty thick so I'm not actually scared about it...though it is pretty pointy at the top...) Profile shot and closeup of the front of the clamp in the photos below too.

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Last edited by alxndr; 06-12-11 at 11:55 PM. Reason: reorganizing... and getting rid of that little pencil icon
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Old 06-13-11, 12:09 AM
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It's a Benotto. What kind of Benotto, I do not know. It's definitely on the lower end and has Japanese, French and English parts.

Oh, it has Bocama lugs.
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Old 06-13-11, 06:50 AM
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I agree with realstvin7 it is a lower end Benotto. It does have a mix of parts. But, how does it ride? It does have a pretty good, but mis-matched, set of wheels which is the best upgrade for any bike. The good wheels will make the riding experience much better.

You have left it in the closet for a couple of years which seems to tell me that it is just another bike to you - or is it? You bought it in the first place. You have bothered to take a bunch of photos and post them here. You have also researched Benotto's. I think you like it. The other consideration is the proud Benotto racing history and Italian tradition which is very attractive.

This is what I think you should do with your bike:

Lower end Mexican Benotto's aren't worth that much but it does have a certain charm and the geometry seems to be ok. If you do like it and do want to keep it I suggest stripping it down and cleaning up the frame. You could just leave the remnants of the Benotto decals or buy a new set from Cyclmondo on ebay. You could just stick them on the frame without a repaint - to keep the original patina but with an upgrade. You could even damage the replacement decals where the original paint scheme is damaged - maintain the original patina.

The other option is a re-paint. I don't think anyone would crucify you if you re-painted this frame.

Sometimes original metal Benotto head tube badges come up for sale. One of these would look good on the bike. Or you could just use the decal that comes in the set from Cyclmondo.

I would also suggest picking a groupset and work towards getting a complete groupset. What I suggest is to look into groupsets of the late 70's but aim for a groupset that is better than what the bike would have come out with originally. Was the original groupset lower end Shimano, Suntour, Sugino, Campagnolo? It probably doesn't matter. I would pick a groupset that has a certain quality but not the top of the range. for example, if it was Campagnolo that you decided to use I would steer clear of the top end Super Record or Nuovo Record Groupsets. I would also steer clear of the bottom end Valentino stuff too. I would go for the Gran Sport or 980 groupset for this bike. a groupset that is good quality but economical. (I picked to use Campagnolo as an example because I know Campagnolo.)

Look at what you already have. For example, the Weinmann brakes are good stuff and would look nice cleaned up. They could also be original kit.

Nearly every rebuild has a top quality groupset. I think a medium quality groupset is something a little out of the ordinary and would suit your frame a little better.

Should you fit mudguards? Why not! A rack? Why not! You have the eyelets. It's up to you - don't fit them if you don't want them.

Oh yeah - don't forget the original saddle and Pivo stem (with a polish). And....Benotto bar wrap....it's a must!

I think it would make an interesting bike that would attract attention. Something a bit out of the ordinary.

Best of luck which ever way you go.

Sorry about the length of my rant but it is an exciting project.

Gary.

Last edited by Gary Fountain; 06-13-11 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:48 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for your thoughts Gary F. It had been just another bike to me (short rides sans upgrades by bike-lacking friends a couple times since I got it) but taking a closer look at got my brain sprockets turning. The brief ride I took on it had me feeling like the rear was noodly, but I couldn't put my finger on why, might have just been that these days I'm used to larger bikes with foot retention and wide bars?

I like the middle range Campagnolo groupset idea. Think I'll also hit the Google hard to try to suss out what parts could be original e.g. brakes.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:06 AM
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That thing is too low end to be a benotto in my opinion. That doesn't mean they built low end amorphous geometry bikes tho. Looks low end asian to me. Even if you find women frame design from big manufacturers they are way way way high quality built.

Anybody knows if Benotto started importing junk from asia for internal mexican markets at some point in life?
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Old 06-13-11, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
That thing is too low end to be a benotto in my opinion. That doesn't mean they built low end amorphous geometry bikes tho. Looks low end asian to me. Even if you find women frame design from big manufacturers they are way way way high quality built.

Anybody knows if Benotto started importing junk from asia for internal mexican markets at some point in life?
Benotto sold a ton of low end bikes in Mexico, as well as every range of quality. I have had a couple different ones with wildly different quality. They had gas pipe bikes and grail bikes like the 3000. The low end ones pop up all the time in the southern California area.
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Old 06-13-11, 10:55 AM
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Oh man, I went to the Benotto factory in Mexico City once...around 84 or 85 I guess? Yeah - EVERY range of bicycle, with most of them being very low end. Kids bikes, cargo bikes, tandems, you name it - the most popular ones seemed to double-top-tube work bikes. Back then you'd see them all over the city. They weighed about 200 lbs, but looked like they'd survive a direct hit from a nuclear bomb!

Here's a sampling of some of their current bikes (from benotto.com.mx)

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Old 06-13-11, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ultraman6970 View Post
That thing is too low end to be a benotto in my opinion. That doesn't mean they built low end amorphous geometry bikes tho. Looks low end asian to me. Even if you find women frame design from big manufacturers they are way way way high quality built.

Anybody knows if Benotto started importing junk from asia for internal mexican markets at some point in life?
Low end Asian with Bocama lugs?
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Old 06-13-11, 07:52 PM
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Dont why chinese wouldnt copy the lugs, they look very ugly anyways.

I knew benotto was in mx but never knew how extended their models line was, it is interesting because i always saw the high end models. Never saw the cheappo ones.

Anybody remember caloi brazil? they were the biggest bike factory in the whole world back in the 80s, then giant came up and caloi now is just nothing. The bad tghing about caloi is that the steel they used has plain bad stuff and they never manufactured high end bikes, the high end stuff their team and the brazilian team was riding was made in chile.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by toytech View Post
The low end ones pop up all the time in the southern California area.
Even the bicycles came to the US!
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