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The Tommasini Lounge

Old 05-22-17, 09:38 PM
  #576  
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame
I agree with most of that T-mar, but the "I" wouldn't matter as being "H" is before that. The Portacatena drops is correct, my Medici is drilled for that configuration, just not installed for some reason. I would recognize these right off.

The paint on mine isn't a fade or multicolour, its solid pearlescent pink. I am sure you know about the various decal changes, no idea about those. Barbara said the pump peg and second bottle bosses were special order for certain markets in the early 80s, perhaps it was either a one off, or it was repaired.

According to Flash2070, it had one owner prior to his acquiting it from the daughter of that gentleman. He said he sold it to Stan, this is who I received it from, in an eBay auction. Flash was fairly certain it is a mid-80s fraemset, and I asked about the AiR fork also, its original to the bike too.

I have no stake one way or another in the date, as I have said previously. Your date seems to make sense from all of your facts presented. If I had to choose yours seems to make the most sense of the two. I have nothing more to check into, unless the original owner is exhumed or reanimated. I think that I am going to finish retaping the bars now, its what I was working on when I found this in my notifications. It needs to be ready to go tomorrow, as its next up in rotation. I do appreciate your time and patience, no offense was intended in presenting Barbara's findings here either.

Bill
I'm up to almost 30 Tommasini serial numbers now, and while there's no definite pattern, I can say with confidence that 'H2' doesn't represent 1982, and I don't think the 'H' is the month. So far the two number codes are c/w the FIRST number being the frame build year (this is the case 15 out of 16 examples). This is the most common serial number type. For example, mine is '30' for 1983, and in this system '88' and '87' would both be 1988 frames.

There is a much smaller number (5) of serial numbers with a letter and then a number, like yours. Two have a leading 'B' (as in, B3 and B5) and both those are blue bikes. Two others have a leading 'R' (R3 and R7) and one is red, the other repainted. I'm wondering if a leading letter, as with the two letter codes (MR and MN for marble red and marble black) indicates a color code. In which case, 'H' could designate pink. Also, in the letter-number combos, in a couple of cases it doesn't appear possible for the second number to represent the year, so I think these codes aren't about the date at all.

There's a lot of randomness in these Tommasini serial numbers. Aside from the many blank bottom brackets, I found one that has only 'V' stamped down there, and another that is '&2.' There are a few 3-digit codes, and a couple of 4 or 5 digit codes. The only thing I'm sure of is 'US' means it was built for the US market.

I'm thinking of starting a Tommasini serial number registry, but I'd rather defer to the expert on that. @T-Mar?
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Old 05-23-17, 05:21 AM
  #577  
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I would definitely support you in the establishment of a Tommasini registry, I would think this could help with some semblance of a pattern or at least a reasoning behind the serial numbers. T-mar might have some guidelines that would help you get going, as much experience as he has with this kind of thing.

As to my bike, I am not looking to go any further in finding the build date, I am out of resources to look into and it just seems to be an exercise in futility. I'm more than willing to work with anyone that want to set up a registry, this kind of thing is giving back to the others.

Additionally, in my last reply, I stated that my bike didn't have a fade paint scheme, but while I was taping the bar last night I found that the black bands on the seat tube are painted on, not part of the Tommasini logo decals located there. Shows you how much I paid attention to this detail. Lesson learned once more.....

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Old 05-23-17, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame
I agree with most of that T-mar....The paint on mine isn't a fade or multicolour, its solid pearlescent pink...
Yes, you're correct about the month indicator. However, I thought your frame had the two small black fade panels on the seat tube? I have seen several frames with these fade panels and they are never in quite the same location with respect to the decals, so they would appear to be painted and not part of the decals. The sole piece of literature that I've seen with these fade panels would appear to be circa 1986 as it is from Wm. Lewis and the frames include SLX and have the newer decal style, Air forks and some have pump pegs.
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Old 05-23-17, 05:36 AM
  #579  
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@T-Mar, see the last paragraph in my above reply, I was posting this at the same time you did yours. I had thought the black "clouds" or bands, were part of the Tommasini logo decals there, when I got to looking at them closely, after yesterday's discussions, I realized they were painted, underneath the clear coat.

My tubing if SL, I looked at this first off, no rifling is present in any tube, that I can find. As I said in yesterday's posting, I have accepted your dating, after I got in touch with Flash2070 and he expressed the same time frame you have suggested. He was the frame's second owner, and I can trace it directly from him, through "Stantheman" at eBay, to my getting it in Stan's auction. I have his and your assessments that lead me to accept this time frame. I have absolutely no idea about why Tommasini/Barbara have latched on to the 1982 time frame.

If my frame got an extensive rework and repaint, its news to me, and I suspect to Flash2070 also. I cannot rule this out, but nothing suggests that it was worked on or repainted. As with everything I have posted, I am no kind of expert in any of this, so take anything I post with a salt shaker that is full, please.

Bill
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Old 05-23-17, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame
@T-Mar, see the last paragraph in my above reply, I was posting this at the same time you did yours. I had thought the black "clouds" or bands, were part of the Tommasini logo decals there, when I got to looking at them closely, after yesterday's discussions, I realized they were painted, underneath the clear coat.

My tubing if SL, I looked at this first off, no rifling is present in any tube, that I can find. As I said in yesterday's posting, I have accepted your dating, after I got in touch with Flash2070 and he expressed the same time frame you have suggested. He was the frame's second owner, and I can trace it directly from him, through "Stantheman" at eBay, to my getting it in Stan's auction. I have his and your assessments that lead me to accept this time frame. I have absolutely no idea about why Tommasini/Barbara have latched on to the 1982 time frame.

If my frame got an extensive rework and repaint, its news to me, and I suspect to Flash2070 also. I cannot rule this out, but nothing suggests that it was worked on or repainted. As with everything I have posted, I am no kind of expert in any of this, so take anything I post with a salt shaker that is full, please.

Bill
Thxs, for confirming the paint. As you stated, it appears I was composing while you were posting, based on the 1 minute difference in the time stamps!

My SLX reference wasn't inferring that your frame is SLX. It was just a way to date the subject literature, as I have another Wm. Lewis advertisement stating that SLX models were new for 1985, while the pumps were introduced as standard features on the 1986 USA models per a magazine road test.

BTW, I'm not trying to disprove Barabara but trying to rationalize her date in my mind. Based on my understanding, your frame characteristics just don't pass my sanity checks. By posting my thought process, maybe some other member will pick up on a mistake I've made or something that I've failed to consider.

Last edited by T-Mar; 05-23-17 at 06:02 AM. Reason: added 2nd paragraph
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Old 05-23-17, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale
I'm up to almost 30 Tommasini serial numbers now, and while there's no definite pattern, I can say with confidence that 'H2' doesn't represent 1982, and I don't think the 'H' is the month. So far the two number codes are c/w the FIRST number being the frame build year (this is the case 15 out of 16 examples). This is the most common serial number type. For example, mine is '30' for 1983, and in this system '88' and '87' would both be 1988 frames.

There is a much smaller number (5) of serial numbers with a letter and then a number, like yours. Two have a leading 'B' (as in, B3 and B5) and both those are blue bikes. Two others have a leading 'R' (R3 and R7) and one is red, the other repainted. I'm wondering if a leading letter, as with the two letter codes (MR and MN for marble red and marble black) indicates a color code. In which case, 'H' could designate pink. Also, in the letter-number combos, in a couple of cases it doesn't appear possible for the second number to represent the year, so I think these codes aren't about the date at all.

There's a lot of randomness in these Tommasini serial numbers. Aside from the many blank bottom brackets, I found one that has only 'V' stamped down there, and another that is '&2.' There are a few 3-digit codes, and a couple of 4 or 5 digit codes. The only thing I'm sure of is 'US' means it was built for the US market.

I'm thinking of starting a Tommasini serial number registry, but I'd rather defer to the expert on that. @T-Mar?
Yes, there's always the possibility that 'H' indicates 'pink'. While 'rosa' in the correct Italian terminology, they could not use an 'R' because that was being used for 'red', which is 'rosso'. Maybe there is some shade of pink that starts with an 'H' in Italian?

Go ahead with a Tommasini registry, if you want. I'll gladly participate with my input. However, at this time I'm already maintaining several and don't want to add another to my plate.
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Old 05-23-17, 06:28 AM
  #582  
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Since I have no sanity left to examine, no need in looking into that here for my case

No harm and no foul about Barbara, never crossed my mind that you were trying to do that. She has been gracious and courteous in every email we have exchanged, I just cannot figure out how the researchers there came up with the date they have for my bike. Not that it is going to cause lost sleep either.

The SLX tubing, I was just confirming the type my Prestige used, nothing taken there either. I need to try to express myself clearer, if possible.

If @Kevindale does establish a registry I am 100% behind that idea, and will help in any way possible. I do imagine that your plate is beyond full in this department. Contacting @smontanaro about how he set up the Medici registry, and even Barbara at Tommasini for her input, could be a start. Or not, up to Kevin and not me.

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Old 05-23-17, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
Thxs, for confirming the paint. As you stated, it appears I was composing while you were posting, based on the 1 minute difference in the time stamps!

My SLX reference wasn't inferring that your frame is SLX. It was just a way to date the subject literature, as I have another Wm. Lewis advertisement stating that SLX models were new for 1985, while the pumps were introduced as standard features on the 1986 USA models per a magazine road test.

BTW, I'm not trying to disprove Barabara but trying to rationalize her date in my mind. Based on my understanding, your frame characteristics just don't pass my sanity checks. By posting my thought process, maybe some other member will pick up on a mistake I've made or something that I've failed to consider.
Just a small clarification on the introduction of head-tube pump pegs for the US market - Rory posted a translation of an Italian La Bicicletta magazine article on Tommasini, published June 1985, in which it appears Irio was showing the writer frames with the head-tube pump pegs that were destined for the US. Here's the quote (which also mentioned AIR forks and second sets of bottle cage attachments):

We say openly to Tommasini how we admire his new fork crown. It is a valuable work that allows welding of the blades that are sheathed outside and proudly displays the firm’s “T” merged on the side with the wording “Air”. The logos, after chroming, are filled with color and give the crown a very elegant look. Of Tommasini we have in fact always admired good taste in addition to technical competence. This conviction is confirmed when he hands us a finished frame. This frame is destined for the American market and some European markets where Tommasini’s are highly sought after. One detail in high demand abroad is in fact the double water bottle mounts (the second on the seat tube) that joins a little support welded on the head tube to hold the pump while mounted along the top tube.

As for the hand painted black fade stripes, and the fact that they tend to vary when and how they're applied, this seems to get at the heart of Tommasini's build philosophy. Part artist, part craftsman. It's almost as if Irio and his team would be bored making the exact same bike, over and over, and so we see subtle variations between lugs used, variations on paint schemes, experiments with precursors to the AIR fork, experiments with aero tubing and internal cable routing. From what I've read, Irio was very focused on the ideal geometry, and as long as that was right, then it mattered more that the bike was beautiful and beautifully crafted. Moreover, the adoption of distinct changes seems to happen not all at once, but over a year or two.

I wonder if Signore Tommasini (I feel presumptuous every time I call him Irio) was a fan of the Emerson line, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..."

Anyway, I think I will contact Barbara, and see if she can offer any insights on the 'serial numbers', especially from the early days. I'm inclined to also start a 'Tommasini serial number' thread here, as opposed to a formal registry. The latter seems like it may be more of a commitment than I'm ready for.
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Old 05-23-17, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale
Just a small clarification on the introduction of head-tube pump pegs for the US market - Rory posted a translation of an Italian La Bicicletta magazine article on Tommasini, published June 1985, in which it appears Irio was showing the writer frames with the head-tube pump pegs that were destined for the US...
That makes sense, given that Tommasini consented to Wm. Lewis' request for these features at the spring 1985 bicycle show. At the time, Tommasini was producing about 1200 frames per year, with the help of only four workers, of which approximately 30% was destined for the USA market. Consequently, they would have been building and stockpiling frames for the 1986 model year, quite early. It wouldn't surprise me if Tommasini started working on samples for Lewis' approval soon after agreeing on the new features.
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Old 05-23-17, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame
Contacting @smontanaro about how he set up the Medici registry...
I wouldn't go so far as to call it a "registry." It's just a Google Docs spreadsheet with accompanying submission form. I don't know if there is an easy way to share a copy, but I would be happy to, if that's something you'd like to try.

I do recall it took several tries before I was more-or-less happy with the form. I recall frequently making mistakes and starting over. Kind of like when you were a kid trying to type up your very first book report on your mom's pre-Selectric typewriter (no "erase" ribbon).
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Old 05-23-17, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale
snip.....Anyway, I think I will contact Barbara, and see if she can offer any insights on the 'serial numbers', especially from the early days. I'm inclined to also start a 'Tommasini serial number' thread here, as opposed to a formal registry. The latter seems like it may be more of a commitment than I'm ready for.
This seems be a smart move, not getting too deep but still collecting serial numbers, and getting in contact with Barbara to see if there is a sequence or even the skeleton of one. smontonaro has given the basics in just letting you know how he set up his spread sheet, if someone is skilled with Excel, or another spreadsheet software platform, they will be a tremendous asset. If you can get the submission form and modify it, as you feel needed to suit what Tommasini bikes are out in the wild, then its a chance this will be a beginning of sorting out the mystery of serial numbers. Just getting the word out will be what makes or breaks this. If I can help in any way should you start up anything just let me know, please.

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Old 05-24-17, 12:40 PM
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Hello Gentlemen! I'd like to add my 2 cents to the production year deciphering topic :-) I've got Super Prestige with SLX tubing and '15th anniversary in USA' stamping on the BB shell. Serial number is '80 42'. I suppose this should mean the frameset was made in late 80s? BTW was the 'Colorado Cyclist' Tommasini's 1st dealer in the US?
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Old 05-25-17, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Roman_Z
Hello Gentlemen! I'd like to add my 2 cents to the production year deciphering topic :-) I've got Super Prestige with SLX tubing and '15th anniversary in USA' stamping on the BB shell. Serial number is '80 42'. I suppose this should mean the frameset was made in late 80s? BTW was the 'Colorado Cyclist' Tommasini's 1st dealer in the US?
The 15th Anniversary bikes would have been made in 1990-1991.
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Old 05-25-17, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Roman_Z
...BTW was the 'Colorado Cyclist' Tommasini's 1st dealer in the US?
The earliest reference I could find to Tommasini being carried by Colorado Cyclist was 1984. None of their 1983 advertisements mention Tommasini, so I didn't check any earlier magazines.
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Old 05-25-17, 11:39 AM
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That's quite confusing as to what their first year in the US was then. It'd be interesting to know the production date of the bike to know who's older - the bike or me :-)
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Old 05-25-17, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Roman_Z
That's quite confusing as to what their first year in the US was then. It'd be interesting to know the production date of the bike to know who's older - the bike or me :-)
KD's statement would indicate that the first year for the USA was 1975-1976, though I seem to recall it being slightly earlier. Colorado Cyclist was only a retailer and not the importer, so the first year that they handled Tommasini does not necessarily correspond to the first year of import, though they probably were the largest and most prominent dealer. I've got Colorado Cyclist's 1990 and 1991 catalogues and neither mentions a 15th anniversary, though that doesn't necessarily mean anything. We may be able to narrow it down a bit if you post pictures of your bicycle. Component date codes, if any, may also help.

Edit: I just found pics that you had previously posted, so ignore the request.

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Old 05-25-17, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
KD's statement would indicate that the first year for the USA was 1975-1976, though I seem to recall it being slightly earlier. Colorado Cyclist was only a retailer and not the importer, so the first year that they handled Tommasini does not necessarily correspond to the first year of import, though they probably were the largest and most prominent dealer. I've got Colorado Cyclist's 1990 and 1991 catalogues and neither mentions a 15th anniversary, though that doesn't necessarily mean anything. We may be able to narrow it down a bit if you post pictures of your bicycle. Component date codes, if any, may also help.

Edit: I just found pics that you had previously posted, so ignore the request.
I didn't know that. Anyways I bought the frameset and pantographed stem only, so what particular parts were installed in original package is unknown. I can only guess how a frameset presumably intended for the US market ended up in the opposite side of the world Could you please give me a link to Colorado Cyclist's catalog?
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Old 05-25-17, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevindale
The 15th Anniversary bikes would have been made in 1990-1991.
I've seen a few 15th anniversary Tommasini's on the web, all different color and dates spanning 1988-1992 period. Looks like they were quite limited in numbers
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Old 05-25-17, 03:08 PM
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OK, found the 15th anniversary model as part of the Super Prestige listing for 1991. I missed it the first time around because I expecting a separate listing for an anniversary model and it looks different than yours. According to the catalogue, it only came in blue/white and there's large, paired Italian and American flag on the top tube. It also mentions a brass head badge, while yours clearly has a decal.

Sorry, no link, as it's a personal hard copy but I've scanned it. There's also some water damage, so the scan isn't great. Picture is small but it's the front frame in the upper of the two pictures.

Edit: found a better picture of the catalogue frame, online.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Tommasini 1991.jpg (100.4 KB, 320 views)
File Type: jpg
Tommasini 15th anniversary.jpg (99.5 KB, 320 views)

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Old 05-25-17, 06:22 PM
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In a roadbikereview forum post discussing the Tommasini 15th Anniversary models, wrote this:

Found my catalog. Colorado Cyclist, Late Summer 1991:

The Tommasini Super Prestige. Reg. $1039. sale $899 (good through Oct, 5, 1991!)

Frame: Columbus SLX.

Fork: Columbus, chrome with fully sloping, engraved internal fork crown.
Weight. (56cm frame) 5lbs, 15oz.

Features: Front derailleur braze-on, two bottle mounts, pump peg, chrome rear triangle, Campagnolo dropouts and forkends, investment cast bottom bracket shell, internal rear brake cable routing.

Sizes: 49-64cm in one cm. increments, center to top.

Colors:
Colonia Blue (navy with silver/bronze swirl)
Colonia Red (black highlights on red)
Oro-Nero Black (black with silver/bronze swirl)
Amore et Vita (pink/gray/pearl white)
15th Anniversay (blue/white)*
Allessandro Purple (purple/white)
Allessandro Blue (blue/white)

* The 15th Anniversary frame also features an oversized top tube, engraved bottom bracket shell, deluxe seatpost cluster and embossed brass head tube badge.
The person quoting their old catalogue didn't show a scan of the catalogue, so I suppose they could have made a mistake. I've seen several examples of the actual anniversary edition, with the colors and graphics shown by T-Mar above, and I've seen a couple of the other Super Prestige models, in other colors, that have the special BB shell stamped "15TH ANNIVERSARY IN THE U.S.A." on the top side.

There's also a previous post here on BF where someone with one of these bikes wrote to the factory, and was told by Barbara that frames designated with the 15th anniversary BB shell were made in 1990-91.

Since this was an anniversary edition to honor the imports to the US, I would assume there wouldn't have been a major delay in shipping and selling them over here. It's also difficult to imagine that an 'anniversary special' would be made and sold over a 5 year period. I can see some bikes being delivered in 1990-1991, and not selling until a couple of years later, but that's the buyer's date, not the manufacturer's date.

Originally Posted by Roman_Z
I've seen a few 15th anniversary Tommasini's on the web, all different color and dates spanning 1988-1992 period. Looks like they were quite limited in numbers
I would say at least half the time I see someone reporting what year their vintage Tommasini is, they appear to be off by either a few years, or as much as a decade. The most common mistake seems to be someone looks at their RD or cranks, sees a date there, and assumes that's the date the frame was made. They're often the 3rd or 4th owner, and are passing along 3rd and 4th-hand recollections of when the frame was bought.

Last edited by Kevindale; 05-25-17 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 05-26-17, 06:47 AM
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I have seen owners report that there were only 50 of the 15th anniversary frame manufactured. If so, the 80 42 stamping would appear to indicate August 1990, 42nd frame. Certainly, a lot of 50 is small enough that it could have completed in one month. I would expect that these frames would have been painted and shipped by at least September and probably rec'd no late than October. So, they probably are 1991 models.

Roman's variation is very perplexing. I would think, given the small lot size and the fact that it is a special anniversary edition, that the livery would have been consistent, to make it readily recognizable. Certainly, this is implied by the catalogue listing. Also, features like Italian-USA flag motif and brass head badge celebrate the uniqueness of this particular anniversary, so why doesn't Roman's bicycle (and some others) have this?

The fact that Barbara mentions 1990-1991 manufacture suggests that there may have been additional production lots scheduled, due to demand. Still, Roman's is supposedly the 42nd of an August 1990 lot. Maybe the catalogue bicycle is a later lot, and possibly even something unique to Colorado Cyclist, given that they were almost certainly the largest USA retailer? I'm just thinking out loud for the purpose of discussion. Unless we can obtain some additional serial numbers for this model, only Barabra could answer this.

BTW, there is a picture of Barbara in a 2014 web article A visit to the Tommasini factory in Tuscany It's interesting to note that the article claims the first exports to the USA took place in 1973, which would make 1988 the 15th anniversary. Regardless of this and some of the discrepancies and apparent anomalies that surface, Barabara and Tommasini deserve a shout out for being one of the few brands willing to take an active interest in assisting the C&V community. Well done Barabara! We are forever grateful.

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Old 05-26-17, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar
I have seen owners report that there were only 50 of the 15th anniversary frame manufactured. If so, the 80 42 stamping would appear to indicate August 1990, 42nd frame. Certainly, a lot of 50 is small enough that it could have completed in one month. I would expect that these frames would have been painted and shipped by at least September and probably rec'd no late than October. So, they probably are 1991 models.

Roman's variation is very perplexing. I would think, given the small lot size and the fact that it is a special anniversary edition, that the livery would have been consistent, to make it readily recognizable. Certainly, this is implied by the catalogue listing. Also, features like Italian-USA flag motif and brass head badge celebrate the uniqueness of this particular anniversary, so why doesn't Roman's bicycle (and some others) have this?

The fact that Barbara mentions 1990-1991 manufacture suggests that there may have been additional production lots scheduled, due to demand. Still, Roman's is supposedly the 42nd of an August 1990 lot. Maybe the catalogue bicycle is a later lot, and possibly even something unique to Colorado Cyclist, given that they were almost certainly the largest USA retailer? I'm just thinking out loud for the purpose of discussion. Unless we can obtain some additional serial numbers for this model, only Barabra could answer this.

BTW, there is a picture of Barbara in a 2014 web article A visit to the Tommasini factory in Tuscany It's interesting to note that the article claims the first exports to the USA took place in 1973, which would make 1988 the 15th anniversary. Regardless of this and some of the discrepancies and apparent anomalies that surface, Barabara and Tommasini deserve a shout out for being one of the few brands willing to take an active interest in assisting the C&V community. Well done Barabara! We are forever grateful.
I have photos/documentation of 3 of the blue-and-white special anniversary edition bikes with the brass headbadge. One has no serial number at all. One is stamped '12' and the other is '14'. This is part of the reason I've been leaning towards the first digit of the 2-number codes standing for the last year of the manufacture date (i.e., 1991 in these cases). In any case, the blank one BB indicates that the factory was simply not really very systematic in stamping these things.

My impression is that all the Super Prestige bikes made for the anniversary year (the other colorways listed in the Colorado Cyclist catalog) lacked the brass head badge, but did use the special stamped BB. I've seen 3 or 4 of these, all appearing to have original paint (i.e., not the blue/white special paint), abut all having the special anniversary BB. Aside from Roman's, I only have one of these with a documented serial number, and that number is '13', which again fits with a possible 1991 build date. It does seem odd to me that I haven't seen one of these bikes (out of 5) with a 2-digit code that starts with '0x' (representing 1990), so that makes me a bit skeptical of my working theory, but otherwise I can't make these 2-number codes meaningful in any way.

I'm also skeptical that only 50 of these were made. The only time I've seen that mentioned was a pretty vague reference on another forum, and I can't imagine something so exclusive wouldn't have been a prominent part of the advertising that we know about.

Roman's '80 42' is really baffling. Was the '80' reversed, and should have been '08'? What is the '42', since clearly the actual anniversary editions didn't have specific numbering for each iteration, unless somehow the '12' and '13 and '14' mean by some statistical fluke I've documented three consecutive builds, and no others. Each new "serial number" I document seems to complicate, rather than clarify, what these numbers mean.

As for the anniversary date, and what that means for when Tommasini first started importing to the US, I can imagine that there were a small number of bikes imported, somewhat informally, prior to 1975, but that 1975 was when Tommasini made a formal agreement (with Wm Lewis?) to send them over in decent numbers. Or maybe the recent article in which 1973 was mentioned referenced a number pulled from memory? Or maybe the anniversary was approximate - I notice that the graphic on the TT of the special model doesn't contain any dates, like "1975-1990".
@Roman_Z, can you post a good photo of the underside of your BB. I'm curious if it's the same style as this:



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Old 05-26-17, 09:51 AM
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Thxs for your thoughts KD. I agree that the most likely scenario for the date codes is that the month-year was reversed.

I hadn't considered the possibility that all the USA Super Prestige or even all the USA Tommasini for 1991 may have had the special shell and only the special edition versions would have the unique paint and brass head badge. Still, Roman's and some of the other 15th anniversary paint schemes I've seen aren't in the 1990 & 1991 Colorado Cyclist catalogues. This begs the questions of whether these BB shells were used for in all markets for 1991 and not just the USA. It might explain how a supposed USA model found it's way to him.

BTW, I've checked my 1990-1991 magazines and Wm. Lewis had cut his advertising budget and was running smaller, classified type advertisements. The Tommasini advertisement was B&W, showing the front half of a frame. During this era, he seemed more interested in promoting Quattro Assi and Roval wheels.

FYI, I also had a quick look back through my late 1970s issues of Bicycling. Fortunately, the advertisers are indexed which made it easy to look for Wm. Lewis. Unfortunately, he wasn't advertising with them at time, so even if he was the Tommasini importer during this era, I have no evidence of it.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:39 PM
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@T-Mar thank you for a scan copy. My version doesn't have a pump peg, top tube seems to be normal size, and head tube logo is clearly a sticker, rather than being an embossed head badge. I guess that given that all these steel frames were made manually rather than from a single mold as CF bikes are made these days, some minor discrepancies were very common for whatever reason.

I would go as far as to suggest that from time to time different lugs could be used depending on the stock.
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Old 05-26-17, 12:59 PM
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@Kevindale here is a BB picture. It doesn't 3 lines drilled out in it


I purchased the frameset from fellows who had bought a bunch various used bikes in Poland and imported them to Ukraine.
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