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Help ID my new love: Reynolds 531, Nervex Pro lugs, Agrati drops... "Corsa Strada?"

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Help ID my new love: Reynolds 531, Nervex Pro lugs, Agrati drops... "Corsa Strada?"

Old 05-15-14, 01:03 PM
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sutoroberi
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Help ID my new love: Reynolds 531, Nervex Pro lugs, Agrati drops... "Corsa Strada?"

Hi! I'm crushing hard on my new old frame (we're gonna get married as soon as it's legal) and I want to know more about it.

It's flaking purple, tagged Reynolds 531 butted tubes forks and stays (I believe the decal is from the late sixties/early seventies). It has what look to me to be Nervex Professional lugs (goldlined) and fork crown, simple braze-on cable guides, bent wire chain hanger, rear drops marked Agrati (no hanger), some severely degraded decals (which are really fueling my curiosity about the make), world champion stripes on the seat tube. No pantographing. Stamped on the bottom bracket is what looks like it might be 066 or 990, but the possible zero is truncated such that it looks like a small horseshoe or omega symbol in front of the 66 (or a small u after the 99). There is an Ann Arbor bicycle license dated 73 -76. The components that are present are a mixed bag: Weinmann 500 brakes plus Weinmann levers and hoods, Cinelli stem, Milremo barend plugs, Falcon FL250 headset, Suntour BL front derailleur, Shimano 600 rear derailleur, SR Super Custom crankset, MKS quills with Christophe clips. I haven't measured the seat tube diameter. He ain't heavy... but he's not what I'd call superlight either.

I can't make out the decals. There are identical but flaked-off decals on either side of the downtube and less faded spots in the headbadge area and on the seat tube where decals were. the decals on the downtube are oval and were outlined in narrow stripes which (as best as I can tell) were, from the outside in, black, pale blue, yellow, and red. There are a bunch of flaked off letters and then in smaller letters two words stacked on top of each other which I am guessing read "Corsa Strada." Maybe "Cicl(i) -------- Corsa Strada"?

Please take a look at the pics at the following link and tell me what you think; I very much appreciate any insight you all might offer. Thanks!

Purple frame - Imgur
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Old 05-15-14, 01:40 PM
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I am a bit stuck as well, but I can tell you that the decal starts with "CYCLES"

The CYC is visible, but since it's italic, the Y appears to have one straight side. The brand name, or team name, I suspect, is something with a G.

This is based on the fact that I can't find reference to any brand that starts with C_C______. Also, the space is far too big for an I, so it has to be an E or R or D or something, but I think an italic Y would fit right in there and make a LOT of sense.

Also, those Ann Arbor bike licenses are a joke. Are you an Ann Arborite?
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Old 05-15-14, 03:03 PM
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Thanks very much for your thoughts, Ian. No, I am not in Ann Arbor. I seem to recall my sister many years ago wearing a t-shirt with the legend "Ann Arbor is a *****." She was definitely keeping it classy in those days...
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Old 05-15-14, 03:08 PM
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No idea what it is, but it is gorgeous. Those are certainly Nervex Pro lugs. I think early 1970s is the right guess. I could be confused, but that rear-derailleur certainly looks like it attached to a derailleur hanger?

Whatever you do, please don't paint it. The patina is rad.
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Old 05-15-14, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sutoroberi View Post
Hi! I'm crushing hard on my new old frame (we're gonna get married as soon as it's legal) . . . .

. . .

Purple frame - Imgur


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Old 05-15-14, 03:21 PM
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Thanks, jmeb. Yes, the derailleur is definitely attached to a hanger. I was describing the dropout as not having an integral hanger (which is true of most, I suppose). No paint is in it's future. At most (and I'm unlikely to ever get around to it) I might hit the inside with frame saver and then hit the whole thing with clearcoat, flaking paint, decals, and all.
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Old 05-15-14, 03:55 PM
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Two thoughts: if you can photograph the down tube & seat tubes against a uniform neutral background with even light that doesn't glare and display the images side by side, it might be possible to decipher the decals. Also, be very cautious about clearcoating the frame. It may damage more than it preserves.
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Old 05-15-14, 04:11 PM
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Michael, that's a great idea. Thank you. I'll give it a try later and upload the pics to the album.
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Old 05-15-14, 04:26 PM
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I'm certain I've seen that design on the seat stay caps before.
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Old 05-15-14, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ianpaschal View Post
I am a bit stuck as well, but I can tell you that the decal starts with "CYCLES"

The CYC is visible, but since it's italic, the Y appears to have one straight side. The brand name, or team name, I suspect, is something with a G.

This is based on the fact that I can't find reference to any brand that starts with C_C______. Also, the space is far too big for an I, so it has to be an E or R or D or something, but I think an italic Y would fit right in there and make a LOT of sense.

Also, those Ann Arbor bike licenses are a joke. Are you an Ann Arborite?
I see the C_C______ as well. Definitely a 'G' in there and it almost looks like after the manufacturer name it says in a stacked fashion: '_ORS_ _TRA__' which would correspond with OP's suggestion
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Old 05-15-14, 10:10 PM
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I would find out the headset diameter, bottom bracket threading, seat tube diameter, and the outer diameters of the main tubes. That could narrow it down regionally at least. "Cicli" and "Corsa Strada" are Italian, although I do not recall ever seeing an Italian bike with Nervex lugs.

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Old 05-15-14, 10:34 PM
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there have been a few italians with Nervex pro lugs, even a Ciocc (which was quite unusual)...but this frame looks quite British to me. The hand-painted pattern on the stay caps is "almost" a hallmark, but there's no law that prevents it being copied. That said, I'd look at all the British stay caps that have hand-painted stripes and try for a match.
Might be something contract-built, and one marque that did some of that was Holdsworth, another was Geoff Butler, who may have done some frames sold as Ron Kitchings...just some possibilities...
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Old 05-15-14, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
there have been a few italians with Nervex pro lugs, even a Ciocc (which was quite unusual)...but this frame looks quite British to me. The hand-painted pattern on the stay caps is "almost" a hallmark, but there's no law that prevents it being copied. That said, I'd look at all the British stay caps that have hand-painted stripes and try for a match.
Might be something contract-built, and one marque that did some of that was Holdsworth, another was Geoff Butler, who may have done some frames sold as Ron Kitchings...just some possibilities...
i agree re with the British sentiment. The design on the seat stays along with the lugs and curved rear brake hanger almost look WB Hurlow like. He built for Condor, his own marque and others.

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Old 05-16-14, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Stevensb View Post
i agree re with the British sentiment. The design on the seat stays along with the lugs and curved rear brake hanger almost look WB Hurlow like. He built for Condor, his own marque and others.

Brad
Brad, I totally agree, post a picture of your Blue Condor decal panel. The C is the same typeface and shadowing as the C that is plainly visible at the beginning of the purple bike, that and it's time to see how that beauty is cleaning up.
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Old 05-16-14, 01:05 AM
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If I may be so bold: Replace the decals!

I won't go so far as advocating a repaint because you'd loose all the gold details, but if you can find replicas of the decals (or have someone like me make them ), that's nicer.

In my mind keeping them as is is a bit like finding a stray dog with fleas and horrible matted muddy hair and saying, "Aww, he's such a good dog. I'm going to keep him like this because it preserves his stray character."

Clean that puppy up!
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Old 05-16-14, 08:32 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your input! I have so much faith in all of you internet bicycle geniuses that I felt certain consensus would have been reached and matching bicycle images posted this morning when I awoke. Per Michael's suggestion I took some glare-reduced (this bike is shiny!) images of the decals on each side and arranged them for comparison in the updated album: Purple frame - Imgur
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Old 05-17-14, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sutoroberi View Post
Thanks to everyone for your input! I have so much faith in all of you internet bicycle geniuses that I felt certain consensus would have been reached and matching bicycle images posted this morning when I awoke. Per Michael's suggestion I took some glare-reduced (this bike is shiny!) images of the decals on each side and arranged them for comparison in the updated album: Purple frame - Imgur
Well this is the best I could do.





I don't know how, but it seem like there was a Condor "C" in there somewhere. The serial number is no help, but it would be worth checking if there is one on the left rear drop out and/or the steerer tube. We've been unable to get much consistency out of the serial numbers from Condor, but you can check out the latest thread with a number of these bikes here.
https://i853.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps1e7cb4ec.jpg

Our friend @Stevensb started it.
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Old 05-18-14, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dyander View Post
Well this is the best I could do.





I don't know how, but it seem like there was a Condor "C" in there somewhere. The serial number is no help, but it would be worth checking if there is one on the left rear drop out and/or the steerer tube. We've been unable to get much consistency out of the serial numbers from Condor, but you can check out the latest thread with a number of these bikes here.
https://i853.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps1e7cb4ec.jpg

Our friend @Stevensb started it.
Those C's look a tad different to me: the shadow on the top right part is larger on the Condor. Bottom part seems more narrow in hight as well. Perhaps a close interpretation of a popular font.
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Old 05-18-14, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Zieleman View Post
Those C's look a tad different to me: the shadow on the top right part is larger on the Condor. Bottom part seems more narrow in hight as well. Perhaps a close interpretation of a popular font.
That and the second letter oh the purple bike is certainly not an O. I'd put a decent quality beer on the label originally reading "Cycle" or "Cycles".
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Old 05-18-14, 09:54 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your continued attention to this matter. Those Condors are gorgeous.

I passed some images to my LBS owner, Andy Muzi of Yellow Jersey and yellowjersey.org. He is a bicycle savant and very generous guy, and (shameless plug) you should buy from him if you ever have occasion to. He had me measure the caliper-to-frame nuts and because they are 10 mm rather than 11 mm he was able to date the frame to the 1960s at the earliest. He also directed me to the date codes on the brake calipers, which in this case indicate calipers produced in 1961. Given that the bike is not likely older than the calipers, his tentative supposition, pending further data, is that the frame was built in 1961 or thenabouts.

I'll likely manage to assemble the bike for an initial spin this week and I'll relate any first riding impressions and any further identifying information I encounter. Thanks again.
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Old 05-19-14, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jmeb View Post
That and the second letter oh the purple bike is certainly not an O. I'd put a decent quality beer on the label originally reading "Cycle" or "Cycles".
Also my thinking. Also, €0,02 as a graphic designer: they're not the same typeface. The C in CONDOR is far more squarish/blocky than that in the enigma bike so I think any similarity is unfortunately a coincidence. So it's doubtful that it would read "CYCLES CONDOR" I think (aside from the language inconsistency as well). When you think about it though, that's a common style. My 1970s Jan Jansen uses the Helvetica instead of this typeface, but the same kind of blocky drop shadow behind it. It's just a classic styling choice.
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Old 01-25-19, 02:30 AM
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Pic assist for reference:









If the decals are original to the frame (and I really don't have a reason to believe they aren't), they would have looked something like this in their better days:






The marque was that of Tom Board who built for many brands, but in the 70s sold his frames under the label Ciclo Parigi.

Tom Board started out apprenticing for Harry Rensch at Paris Cycles (hence the Italian version of his own brand name), then went on to MacLeans, FW Evans, Hinds, Pat Hanlon (in the 60s) and Condor (building replica Paris Cycle frames in the 80s). So, quite a storied career.


It's a beautiful frame; I'd love to see what you've done with it.
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Old 01-25-19, 03:06 AM
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This thread read like an unsolved mystery. In reading it just now for the first time, I was kind of sad that this would remain a cold case. Then BAM, MauriceMoss comes through 5 years out of the blue and cracks it wide open.

This (sub)board is amazing.
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Old 01-25-19, 03:02 PM
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Indeed! OP is still on 6 posts, so one can only hope he's having such a good time riding it that he's not been back to check on the forum...
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Old 01-25-19, 03:39 PM
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It does say they were in love...perhaps the honeymoon never ended
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