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Zullo experts? 1984 model... SL tubing?

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Zullo experts? 1984 model... SL tubing?

Old 03-18-13, 01:19 PM
  #1  
rruff
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Bought for $375... pics at post #19

Got a wild hair recently after watching some old cycling videos... that it would be cool to own a classic bike and ride like Eddy... maybe. I starting racing in '87, so friction shifters, crappy brakes, and toe clips are part of my experience. And low and behold a guy who lives a mile from me is selling a 1984 Zullo with mostly Nuovo Record. Parts appear in good shape (some scrapes on the brake levers and rear derailleur, but not bad... very little rust), and the size works for me, and the price is decent ($750 and he says he will deal). Downtube friction shifters are a real trip... as are the brakes which require a firm grip just to get the pads to contact the rim! Might as well get some old pedals and clips to make it even more "authentic".

The frame paint and stickers are quite rough. Poor non matching touch ups on the paint. I'll need to get the frame repainted, and I'm not sure what a decent job on that would entail.






My real question is... what model and tubing is it? The front fork and right chainstay are chromed. Zullo is stamped on the bottom bracket shell and headtube and Z is stamped on the seat lug and fork crown. I couldn't find a serial number anywhere on the bike. The bottom of the BB shell is stamped with Cinelli and Made in Italy, but nothing else. The frame sticker is mostly gone, but I think it is like the one below. I'd like to make sure it is at least SL tubing. The owner doesn't remember, though he says he is the original owner. I don't know if Zullo made any lower end frames.



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Old 03-18-13, 03:34 PM
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that sticker points to an SL (or if a large size) SP frame...so I think you're safe to assume it's that.
Zullo is still building, saw him in person at the NAHBS in Sacto...very nice frames, enjoy it!

He did make at least one model with Zeta tubing: https://bulgier.net/pics/bike/Catalogs/zullo/6.jpg
but if the frame has that decal, above, it's not Zeta.

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Old 03-18-13, 03:46 PM
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Should be a great riding bike.

Zullo's have a very good reputation and SL frame's are racy and fun to ride.

As far as painting, I wouldn't rush into it because it can cost a considerable amount of money and the labor of tearing down the bike needs to be taken into account to. Powdercoating is a lot cheaper, but not quite as nice as a good paint job. It's tough to tell the condition of the paint from the pics, but maybe you can touch her up and replace the decals and it would pass the "5ft. test".
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Old 03-18-13, 04:33 PM
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Other than the helical ribs in the tubes, what other differences would SLX have with SL tubing anyway. Is the metallurgy different between the two, or is it just a material/weight reduction being done with SLX tubing.
I think that its unfortunate that SL tubing is being overshadowed by SLX in most instances, I think, mostly because the SLX was the latest and top of the line tubing from Columbus at that time. I bet that most people given two unlabeled bikes with the two different tubing will not be able to tell which is which when riding them back to back anyway.....
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Old 03-18-13, 05:18 PM
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Please look at the bottom bracket shell.

Right on top of it will usually give the model.

Please post detail shots if you get a moment.

I rolled through a few Zullo models several years ago and they are very nice racing bicycles.

The one I chose to keep was a Sprint.

Great riding framesets with some decent details.

Pm me and I'll talk about pricing on these if you would like.

Cyclomondo has decals that match yours btw.

So does Zullo if you contact them directly.

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Old 03-18-13, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Other than the helical ribs in the tubes, what other differences would SLX have with SL tubing anyway. Is the metallurgy different between the two, or is it just a material/weight reduction being done with SLX tubing.
The alloy is the same (chrome-moly); just the ribs differentiate SLX from SL.
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Old 03-18-13, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Other than the helical ribs in the tubes, what other differences would SLX have with SL tubing anyway. Is the metallurgy different between the two, or is it just a material/weight reduction being done with SLX tubing.
I think that its unfortunate that SL tubing is being overshadowed by SLX in most instances, I think, mostly because the SLX was the latest and top of the line tubing from Columbus at that time. I bet that most people given two unlabeled bikes with the two different tubing will not be able to tell which is which when riding them back to back anyway.....
JMOs

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SLX and SL have the same wall thickness, but SLX actually weighs more because of the helical reinforcements in the butts. Columbus claimed that the reinforcements in the butts made the SLX stiffer, but if that's true the difference is very slight since most of the noodley feel is due to the thinness of the walls in the center sections of the tubing. I believe the only Columbus tubeset that had the helical reinforcements in the center (non-butted) sections was TSX. They're all the same Cyclex metallurgy.





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Old 03-18-13, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Got a wild hair recently after watching some old cycling videos... that it would be cool to own a classic bike and ride like Eddy... maybe. I starting racing in '87, so friction shifters, crappy brakes, and toe clips are part of my experience. And low and behold a guy who lives a mile from me is selling a 1984 Zullo with mostly Nuovo Record. Parts appear in good shape (some scrapes on the brake levers and rear derailleur, but not bad... very little rust), and the size works for me, and the price is decent ($750 and he says he will deal). Downtube friction shifters are a real trip... as are the brakes which require a firm grip just to get the pads to contact the rim! Might as well get some old pedals and clips to make it even more "authentic".
Nice looking Zullo are more pics coming?

What kind of bike did you have in '87? I bought my first ever new bike then a Bianchi Sport SX. Nothing special but at $475 it had Suntour Accushift (indexing) and rebranded DiaCompe brakes. Oh and of course toe clips but by the end of the year I had shipmano Look style pedals. I thought the shifting and braking was excellent and I am in fact looking for a new frame to mount those very same parts on.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
My '84 has the drive side wheel stay chrome just like yours and had the faint remains of a "Special" decal on the off side wheel stay.
Later ones have the model pantoed on the BB where it says Zullo on the '84's.
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I'll try to answer most of the questions in one post.

Looks like you have the same bike there... '84 Special. The sticker is gone from the stay. If it's SL tubing that's good enough for me. I wanted something fairly lively, so anything but Zeta is fine. Is there any way to tell from the seatpost diameter?

I haven't purchased the bike yet, but I'll go back for another look. I have a garage now, so I can start collecting them...

I haven't taken any pictures... that one is from the seller.

Even from that poor picture you can see darker spots. That is "touch up" paint. I looks pretty bad even from 50ft away. I'm not sure how to fix that without stripping and starting over. I don't think it's rust because the rest of the bike has pretty minimal corrosion, and the owner stated that it wasn't rust... or dents. It's a lot of area for paint chips though.

In '87 I had an Olmo with Cromor tubing and a hodge podge of parts from the bargain bin. Nothing fancy. I think I got clipless pedals and index shifting in '89... along with a Klein Quantum. In '90 I mounted a MTB shifter under the right hood... later followed by a thumb shifter. I didn't get brake-shifters til 2007. Now I have a really nice 15lb bike that is mostly carbon... but I guess I'm getting old enough to be nostalgic for nice old stuff...
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Old 03-19-13, 11:10 AM
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I can't tell for sure where all the "bad" touch-ups are, but if it's concentrated on the top tube, that's often an indication of a steel frame that's been used on a trainer: sweat does that. Hope rust hasn't eaten through the cable guides (another common sweat-caused injury).

But if it's not rust, you may have a frame that's entirely chrome-plated and top-painted with transparent lacquer (AKA: cromovelato). That lac typically does not stick well to chrome and eventually comes off in big patches.

Last edited by unworthy1; 03-19-13 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 03-19-13, 11:17 AM
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+1, those stickers are for SL or SP. However, to be sure, just look inside the bottom of ther fork's steerer tube. If it has five spiral ridges, it's at least Columbus SL or SP.
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Old 03-19-13, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rruff View Post
Thanks for all the replies everyone! I'll try to answer most of the questions in one post.

Looks like you have the same bike there... '84 Special. The sticker is gone from the stay. If it's SL tubing that's good enough for me. I wanted something fairly lively, so anything but Zeta is fine. Is there any way to tell from the seatpost diameter?

I haven't purchased the bike yet, but I'll go back for another look. I have a garage now, so I can start collecting them...

I haven't taken any pictures... that one is from the seller.

Even from that poor picture you can see darker spots. That is "touch up" paint. I looks pretty bad even from 50ft away. I'm not sure how to fix that without stripping and starting over. I don't think it's rust because the rest of the bike has pretty minimal corrosion, and the owner stated that it wasn't rust... or dents. It's a lot of area for paint chips though.

In '87 I had an Olmo with Cromor tubing and a hodge podge of parts from the bargain bin. Nothing fancy. I think I got clipless pedals and index shifting in '89... along with a Klein Quantum. In '90 I mounted a MTB shifter under the right hood... later followed by a thumb shifter. I didn't get brake-shifters til 2007. Now I have a really nice 15lb bike that is mostly carbon... but I guess I'm getting old enough to be nostalgic for nice old stuff...
Italian QR paint from the 80's??...........quite common on even their best brands and models back then........
The new bike frame racks at my LBS's was literally raining paint and decal flakes from different brands and people didn't even flinch when they saw it. Just part of owning an Italian bike back then, I guess....
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Old 03-19-13, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I can't tell for sure where all the "bad" touch-ups are, but if it's concentrated on the top tube, that's often an indication of a steel frame that's been used on a trainer: sweat does that. Hope rust hasn't eaten through the cable guides (another common sweat-caused injury).
Bad touch-ups are all over... mostly the top and down tubes. I need to do a better inspection. It has been used a lot on the trainer. I don't recall the cable guides looking very rusty. As I recall my Olmo's cable guides were nearly rusted off, and it was showing a fair amount of rust in other places after only a couple of years. It lived in a more corrosive environment than this frame though.

Chrome plated main triangle? Have you seen any references to other Zullos being chromed?

Is there a way to tell if the touchups are covering rust?

Last edited by rruff; 03-19-13 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 03-19-13, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
Seatposts; the black one is ~27.2 while the red is more like >26.6 - so there are Zeta/Chromor Zullos out there.
Pantographing and braze quality is the same. Red doesn't have any chrome on the stay, but that may be a feature of the repaint.
Based on the tube dimensions shown above. 28.6mm-.6x2= 27.4mm... so .2mm for clearance? I think Alle is .8mm straight, and Zeta .9mm. So those would end up with 27.0 and 26.8mm diameters... and if the .2mm clearance is standard, they'd take 26.8 and 26.6 posts.

Anyway, measuring the seatpost should tell me something.
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Old 03-20-13, 12:08 AM
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if the post has a size stamped, that's usually more reliable than measuring with a caliper, but correct: 27.2 is going to be a very strong clue that the tubeset is SL (or SP for a large frame, and post might be 27.0), Aelle was often 26.8, not sure about Zeta or Cromor (but I think Cromor was same dimensions as SL).
Taking the one Zullo catalog scan as a guide, looks like at least the first 2 frames shown are cromovelato (to me), but they are also shaped tube sets: Air and "micro Air".
I'd say Zullo did some frames that had full chrome plating.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I think Cromor was same dimensions as SL.
It has the same seat tube dimensions, so should take a 27.2 post. The other tubes are thicker though. https://www.equusbicycle.com/bike/col...umbuschart.htm
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Old 03-21-13, 02:55 PM
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Bought it for $375...

I guess he wasn't too interested in hanging onto it, so I got it for $375... including headset, bottom bracket, and seatpost tools (which I needed anyway), and a pair of shoes with cleats that fit.

The paint is pretty rough, but not really rusty. Thinking I'll try to just touch it up better. Where can I find a source of paint that matches? I noticed that the left chainstay looks to be chromed and then painted over. Not sure about the seat stays.

Rear hub bearings are shot and the axle is for a 120mm. They are Specialized hubs so bearings are an easy fix. The headset is notchy... hopefully going to loose balls will fix that. The bottom bracket and front hub bearings seem fine. Bars and stem are good. Cranks and derailleurs too. Chainrings and pulley wheels don't look worn much at all. Brakes work well... just needed a little lube and adjustment. All the bolts I've turned so far are well lubed.

Time to ride it!
Attached Images
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Zullo_LStayChrome.jpg (89.4 KB, 50 views)
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Old 03-21-13, 03:41 PM
  #18  
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Testors model enamel can work well as a touch-up paint. Might have to mix a couple of colors to match it. Apparently some auto body paint shops will mix a matching color for you; never tried that myself. And there is always fingernail polish if you can find a match. Not sure how durable that is, but it does seem to get its recommendations.

Nice frame!

EDIT: A lot of times there is some paint on the fork steerer tube; can be a good place to check for a close match on the paint. Have to remove the fork obviously.
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Old 03-21-13, 09:00 PM
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that'll buff right out!
Seriously, a very nice bike for what you spent, you done well.
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Old 03-22-13, 11:20 AM
  #20  
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The bike rides great! Definitely different than my carbon bike... not as twitchy and with a different feel over the bumps that is hard to describe. Thinking that some good quality ~28mm tires are in order for the kind of riding I want to do.

The shifters encourage a different riding style. It's very hilly where I live so normally I'm shifting gears a lot. But since downtube friction make this inconvenient, I shift a lot less often and just deal with it. It isn't a problem. Compared to guys riding single speeds and fixies, I have a massive amount of gears and convenience!

I'd like a 130mm stem and bars with more of a U shaped drop. Any ideas on a good one that would be correct for the period?

I'll try looking through my wife's massive nail polish collection, if that stuff really works...
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