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Identify my mystery four leaf clover frame (please)

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Identify my mystery four leaf clover frame (please)

Old 10-15-13, 11:28 PM
  #1  
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Identify my mystery four leaf clover frame (please)

Hello everyone, I am a rank newbie with yet another "I have no idea what my bike is, please help me" thread. Hopefully this one might be a bit more interesting or mysterious than most.

I've searched exhaustively on our friend Google for any hints or tips as to what my bike may be, but without any real joy. I bought it as a frame and fork only. The miserable bugger I got it from even took the seat post bolt. I'm told it had reasonably nice late 80s campagnolo and cinelli components on it when he obtained it, though that's conjecture.

Overview of frame: https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../283233816.jpg
The frame has been fully stripped and re-primed, so I have very little to work with. No cable guides but three very slight depressions, suggesting they may have been removed. I'm informed it's Columbus tubing, though probably Aelle so not too flash. Dropouts are Gipiemme but have funny little dimples in the text obscuring half the letters.

Some more details:

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...d/IMG_7004.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...d/IMG_7007.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../283233952.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...d/IMG_7010.jpg
https://smg.photobucket.com/user/happ..._7013.jpg.html

A few nice little features on there. The serial number is AL 2, and is on the BB and the forks.

The best clues I can offer are the four leaf clover details on the seat stays and the fork crowns, and the most interesting bit, what looks like a maker's mark on the bottom bracket, which looks like either a ZB with a W underneath it, or an M with a BZ below, depending which way up I hold it.

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3.../283233996.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...d/IMG_7015.jpg

The threading seems to be English, and the seatpost diameter (i'm told) is 27mm, though I'm not sure about that magical 0.2, I don't have the means to check.

So, I'm confused. I want to restore this bike to some semblance of what it was, but I have very few clues as to where to go with it. I guess I'm also slightly suspicious that it's a bit crap and isn't worth the effort, but it does have some interesting features, and I'd like to at least get to ride it, to see if I like it.

If anyone has any clues for me, I would very much appreciate it.

Kind regards,
Mr Biketothemoon.
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Old 10-15-13, 11:54 PM
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The frame definitely doesn't look like crap... nice lug work and I really like the brake bridge. I have no idea of the maker though.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:19 AM
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definitely not a crap bike. Looks quite well made.
I would venture to say that's a small framebuilder or a shop house brand
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Old 10-16-13, 08:26 AM
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Looks like a decent frame, but if NOT a well known maker...perhaps not a wise investment from a monetary point of view to put a lot into, but may make a great rider.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:35 AM
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An Irish Colnago!
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Old 10-16-13, 09:24 AM
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Possibly an Automoto? they were a French marque that uses a clover
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Old 10-16-13, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
An Irish Colnago!
So that would be a MacNago???
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Old 10-16-13, 11:19 AM
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O'Nago, methinks ...
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Old 10-16-13, 12:44 PM
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Maybe it's a Pseudo Placebo!
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Old 10-16-13, 12:55 PM
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INteresting...I once had a Colner frame that had a four leaf clover...but I do not believe it had the same look as the one you have...I do not specifically recall however...maybe others? As I understand it, Colner was a "house brand" type of bike that was built by Colnago...so, maybe it is an Irish Colnago???
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Old 10-16-13, 01:11 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Catnap View Post
Possibly an Automoto? they were a French marque that uses a clover
I thought Automoto used a clover not a 4 leaf clover.
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Old 10-16-13, 01:21 PM
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Definitely NOT Cr*p - a lot of quality features on this frame. Sorry, no idea as to maker, though the idea of a Colner appeals. Or is it a New Zealand make? Those dimples in the drop-outs aren't filled drillium by any chance? Nice colour paint job. The advantage of a "Velo inconnue" is that you can build it up any way you want to with no conscience about having to keep things original or destroying piece of cycling heritage.
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Old 10-16-13, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for your comments so far, I'm glad it's not crap, and I'm also glad it's not easy to identify.

The clues I've scraped up from the internet don't lead to much, and have mostly hinged around four leaf clovers being used on similar locations.

So far all I've found is this chap who has a nice Berardi with a similar clover on the fork crown, but a totally different design (and fork): https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/berardi-bikes.127770/
(Photo here so you don't have to sign up: https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...noJrQ60_57.jpg)

And this fork for sale, which is identical to mine, but in much better condition: https://racevelo.com/frame-and-fork/1...iemme-075.html


Interestingly, my backup plan if I can't figure out what it is, is to paint it a deep (but not too dark) metallic green and play up the clovers, with maybe the odd Columbus decal. An Irish Colnago indeed! I'll settle for that.
I've obtained a new (old stock) Campagnolo NR headset for it, and the forks are in being re-chromed as I type this. I've just discovered a wee dent in the side of the down tube right next to the bottom bracket lug, so hopefully I get get that popped out. I'm really looking for a good riding (Single speed. Sorry.) bike that I don't need to be too precious about, so this sounds like it should fit the bill.

My 531 Barry Hoban can then happily become a two speed with a kickback hub change, and only a coaster brake. Terrifying.
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Old 10-16-13, 01:32 PM
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I was going to suggest it was a team frame but Francaise Des Jeux is far to new of a team for it to be that.
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Old 10-16-13, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Biketothemoon View Post
Thanks for your comments so far, I'm glad it's not crap, and I'm also glad it's not easy to identify.

The clues I've scraped up from the internet don't lead to much, and have mostly hinged around four leaf clovers being used on similar locations.

So far all I've found is this chap who has a nice Berardi with a similar clover on the fork crown, but a totally different design (and fork): https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/berardi-bikes.127770/
(Photo here so you don't have to sign up: https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...noJrQ60_57.jpg)

And this fork for sale, which is identical to mine, but in much better condition: https://racevelo.com/frame-and-fork/1...iemme-075.html


Interestingly, my backup plan if I can't figure out what it is, is to paint it a deep (but not too dark) metallic green and play up the clovers, with maybe the odd Columbus decal. An Irish Colnago indeed! I'll settle for that.
I've obtained a new (old stock) Campagnolo NR headset for it, and the forks are in being re-chromed as I type this. I've just discovered a wee dent in the side of the down tube right next to the bottom bracket lug, so hopefully I get get that popped out. I'm really looking for a good riding (Single speed. Sorry.) bike that I don't need to be too precious about, so this sounds like it should fit the bill.

My 531 Barry Hoban can then happily become a two speed with a kickback hub change, and only a coaster brake. Terrifying.
Don't be sorry, it's your bike and if you want a single speed that's your choice but please don't cut any more braze-ons off of it. Can you get adequate chain adjustment for a single speed with those rear drop-outs? If not, try a half-link in the chain, like the track/fixie boys use. Love the idea of a green Irish themed livery, maybe get some more shamrocks, one for the head tube and one for the seat-tube?
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Old 10-16-13, 01:46 PM
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I'm a little bit annoyed about the braze-ons, as I quite like having brakes. Now I'll either need to put some new ones on, or find some interesting vintage cable clips.

I haven't tried putting a wheel on it yet to see if I can get the chain to line up- I've built a Mercier single speed for my fiancee that has a half link chain, and it seems to work really well. My Barry Hoban currently has such good dropouts that I am running two rear cogs (a 16T and an 18T I believe) and there is enough play in the dropouts that you can just manually change the chain over without any adjustment. Though I do have to carry a spanner if I want to go up any hills. There must be an easier way of changing gears...
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Old 10-17-13, 05:38 AM
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i think you should ask around in NZ...most likely you might get lucky and someone has seen it before.
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Old 10-17-13, 06:43 PM
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NZ made frames I'm pretty sure were limited to those made under licence for large producers like Raleigh and Peugeot, and a few local brands that deservedly have pretty poor reputations. I'm pretty confident that this bike was made somewhere in Europe. The cycle forum scene in little old New Zealand is also pretty minimal, there are a couple of forums- but most are frequented by only a few people, and there are not so many vintage cycle enthusiasts due to the lack of availability here. Hence coming to you fine folk for advice.

There have been a few good leads though, and I'm continuing my research, so hopefully in time more information will come to light.
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Old 10-17-13, 09:22 PM
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the mark on the bottom bracket tells us it was built by Biemmezeta (BMZ) a big contract-builder in Italy. They have done a lot of quality frames for many brands (as well as shops) but never a Colnago, AFAIK.
BTW, the Shamrock has 3 lobes (St. Patrick used it to teach the Trinity, according to legend), a 4-leaf clover might have been Automoto if this was French (not) or Alfa Romeo if this was a car (also not)...what bicycle house brand it might be is still out there.
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Old 10-18-13, 04:02 AM
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Sorry but failing to kick brain into gear......
I'd be trying to the owner, Brian, at Southend Cycles (none of the other staff will do) as I believe he'd be your man to ask. (Levin, Horowhenua, NZ)
Been involved with bikes all his life and last I heard, was currently coaching.
Thats if I was in NZ.

Whoops, just spotted your in Chch.
Its been a few years but if you turned right I believe from Lincon Rd beside Hagley Park(?)and travelled straight down until you came to a supermarket on the left, on a corner, and took that left, there was a bike shop there that had been there for donkeys.
I dont recall the name but they had lots of old school stuff.
I bought a new old stock Sturmey dynohub there years ago and got them to build it up.
If that shop is still there (post earthquake) I'd try asking in there as there was always (when I went in many moons ago) vintage bikes getting worked on in the workshop area.
Worth a crack?

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Old 10-20-13, 01:48 PM
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I suspect, and I'm working from some pretty basic assumptions here, as a lot has changed and moved since the earthquakes, but I THINK, you might be talking about the Cycle Trading Company, who are my regular shop whenever something gets a bit tricky for me to do myself (I still can't get the hang of truing wheels). They straightened the frame for me- one of the seat stays was a bit wayward, but had no idea where it might have been made, and didn't recognise the Biemmezeta maker's mark, which our friend above has very helpfully pointed out.

The BMZ logo is a great help- it gives me a solid point to start from. It seems that there are a number of Italian bike makes that have the occasional four leaf clover, so perhaps the clover is to do with a particular association that all of there makers have in common. At any rate, I'm pretty pleased with the results, so thank you all for your help. If anyone knows where the clover fits in, that would be the last piece of the puzzle.
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Old 11-06-13, 01:39 PM
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Update! My local cycle shop old timer/wizard suspects it was made by BMZ for the American market, due to the British thread BB. So quite who it was for is still a mystery.

The frame is currently in the paint shop getting a few dings and pits smoothed out before being painted metallic emerald green with cream highlights to the lugs. There will be a small cream biemmezeta logo on the steerer tube (which I'm having to photoshop because I can't find a decal), and a Columbus Aelle decal on the seat tube. The forks have been re-chromed and are back from the electroplater, and I've tracked down a nice Campag old-timey cup&shaft BB and Campag heatset that will add some nice shininess. The rest of the parts are a little bit uncertain, though many will no doubt be salvaged from my other bikes.

This is fun!
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Old 11-06-13, 02:12 PM
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Old 11-06-13, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
the mark on the bottom bracket tells us it was built by Biemmezeta (BMZ) a big contract-builder in Italy. They have done a lot of quality frames for many brands (as well as shops) but never a Colnago, AFAIK.
BTW, the Shamrock has 3 lobes (St. Patrick used it to teach the Trinity, according to legend), a 4-leaf clover might have been Automoto if this was French (not) or Alfa Romeo if this was a car (also not)...what bicycle house brand it might be is still out there.
Now that's something I never knew, Unworthy1. Thanks for the correction, the way you've explained it means I won't forget now.

Sounds as though Biketothemoon is building a brilliant bike for himself 'down under'
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Old 02-26-14, 08:52 PM
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For the record chaps, this is what I built:

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