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To restore or not to restore: Late 1980's Bottecchia

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To restore or not to restore: Late 1980's Bottecchia

Old 08-18-22, 09:51 AM
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rwh63
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To restore or not to restore: Late 1980's Bottecchia

new here, and did not see a bike restoration section, so thought i would throw out my question into the general section.

i have a late 1980's Bottecchia that was a dump find. it has been a wall hanger for the past year. i have never done a teardown and rebuild. not sure the bike is worth that effort for me. this bike seems to be a mid-range model. campy/suntour components mostly. appears all original, overall in pretty good condition.

for those that regularly dabble in rebuilds (or restoration, though in my mind that means returning it to original condition), what kind of time, materials, costs should i expect to face. i'm not new to tearing things apart and doing maintenance, just never on a vintage bike.

please feel free to comment on the bike itself as well.






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Old 08-18-22, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rwh63 View Post
new here, and did not see a bike restoration section
That would be the Classics and Vintage section:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/

The bike looks good. It's not the fanciest model, seeing that it's made of Aelle tretubi, so it's not anything you'd make money on (very few classic bikes fall into that category- these are not muscle cars) but it looks good and deserves to be put back on the road.
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Old 08-18-22, 10:09 AM
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Depends on what you want to get out of it. It's good DIY experience. Especially when I put all new components on a '91 Schwinn Paramount frame. Helped to get me out of the vintage days believing all one needed was friction shifting and such.

However when I was about to do the same with another bike I had, I realized the frame and fork together weighed so much... 6.3 pounds or so, that it'd never be as light a bike as I wanted unless I put on expensive carbon wheels and DuraAce components that would make it more expensive than just buying a new bike.

And I found the new bike to be the one of the most fun bikes to ride.
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Old 08-18-22, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rwh63 View Post
...i have never done a teardown and rebuild. not sure the bike is worth that effort for me. this bike seems to be a mid-range model.
Fun Fun Fun... "A Tear Down and Rebuild"...

I happen to be one of those lucky ones that gets allot of pleasure from a tear down and rebuild. Especially on a bike I am not ridding so there is not allot of pressure to get it done and back on the road.

I found this out long ago when I decided to tear down and put right back together a Peugeot UO-8. It was the weekend before a Neuro-Anatomy final exam in Med School. Not studying to the last minute, and also prescribing to constructive apathy, I became the most relaxed person in our group when walking into the exam room. And yes... I Passed...
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Old 08-18-22, 10:22 AM
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A "dump find"?
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Old 08-18-22, 10:27 AM
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Yes. It's the best way to really clean and polish that great paint job.
All the regular maintenance duties that go along are OK too. 😉
$ are a whatever, black hole, or maybe $150 for new cables and excellent tires.

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Old 08-18-22, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
That would be the Classics and Vintage section:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/

The bike looks good. It's not the fanciest model, seeing that it's made of Aelle tretubi, so it's not anything you'd make money on (very few classic bikes fall into that category- these are not muscle cars) but it looks good and deserves to be put back on the road.
...pretty much this,^^^ more or less. That is the ADR team color model, from the days when LeMond rode for them, IIRC. They sold a lot of them, and the Aelle tubing model was the least expensive. But it is still a pretty good riding bicycle, at least on the larger sizeds like that, where a straight gauge frame tubing has some advantages. I have one of those that I built some lighter wheels for, and until I found another one made from Cromor, I rode it here a lot. I still ride it sometimes, trying to see if I can feel much difference between the two.

It's probably worth overhauling (but maybe not a microscopic restoration), just because of the historical value. Also, they are very colorful.



ON costs, when I do one of these, I strip it down to the frame, clean everything in an ultrasonic, replace the tires, tubes, brake shoes, cables, housing, chain, bar tape, and hoods, if it needs them. So it's a big time suck, and takes a few days of working, plus whatever you pay for those things. If you build new wheels, like on this project, it's even more time and the costs for rims and spokes. On mine, the original components were not worn, and work pretty well. So you have to add that into your costs calculation, if anything there needs replacing.

No way I'm ever going to be able to sell this bike for what I put into it. But the rides are worth something to me.
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Old 08-18-22, 10:47 AM
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yes, on the scrap metal pile (several others over time as well, listed in the dump pick thread).
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Old 08-18-22, 11:01 AM
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Hell, that’s a nice looking bike, just clean it up and ride it, then decide if you want to keep it. Doesn’t need restoration, why spend the money. I would put new tires on it though.
Tim
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Old 08-18-22, 11:03 AM
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Could you provide a picture of the drive side so we can see the derailleurs and crank?

Also, have you had the rear wheel off to verify what the rear triangle spacing is? If it is 126mm I’m one that would say to not spread it to 130. Having an excuse to set up a vintage road bike with SunTour parts is something that could be fun - 3 x 7 gearing could give you great gear range if you are interested in swapping out gear for a triple crankset. But really, since the bike was free, you are able to experiment with whatever build you desire. Because it has those crazy team colors you could do more of a throwback to Greg Lemond’s team bike from that era & utilize some Mavic components from that era…
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Old 08-18-22, 11:44 AM
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If me

Some TLC

Then enjoy riding ancient History
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Old 08-18-22, 12:12 PM
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Well I have done it a couple dozen times. Not a full restore but a refurbishment. Still have a whole lot of 'em, they are fun to ride for the investment, even tho not latest technology. Ride it first to see if fit is ok and frame/fork are straight, before investing. New tubes may be all needed for an around-th-block ride.


Cables & housing, $15 = Search results for Road bike cable - Porkchop BMX
Handlebar wrap of your choice, $20
Tube of grease, $10 - many types appropriate
Sandpaper the brake pads
Tires & tubes of choice = $50- $150
New grease in hubs, bottom bracket and headset. Lightly on stem, seat post, pedal threads

Aside from cleaning supplies you might do it for $100 + tools. And several hours of learning (youtube) and enjoying basic bike maintenance. A few special tools are needed to do it thoroughly and more easily.

If the bike fits I would do it. Forged dropouts with adjusters, nice tubeset for taller riders, appears in good condition, classic Italian factory. You could surely sell it for more than the $100 - $150 invested.


'72 Bottecchia. Refurbed. A nice bike! edit: new rear tire has subsequently been installed.

Last edited by Wildwood; 08-18-22 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 08-18-22, 03:01 PM
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Not to get off topic, but also have hanging a Raleigh Super Course to consider. Late 60s-early 70s?
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Old 08-18-22, 03:06 PM
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Crank


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Old 08-18-22, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rwh63 View Post
Not to get off topic, but also have hanging a Raleigh Super Course to consider. Late 60s-early 70s?
...you would both get a broader sampling of advice in the Classics and Vintage forum. But to answer your question, briefly, the first generation Super Course is a pretty good bike to ride around, with straight gauge Reynolds 531 frame, and a fairly long wheel base. This particular bicycle model apparently found its way to America with bottom brackets threaded both Raleigh (26 tpi), and standard. This seems to depend on which factory made your frame. This can present some unique probems, especially if you have not worked much with cottered cranks. Cottered cranks are fine, and work well, but they require some techniques and tools that many people do not possess.

Otherwise, I have done three or so of them myself over the years, as projects. They are descended from the tradition of the British Club bicycle.

I do not know what plastic they used to make those white Carlton brake lever hoods, but they seem to last virtually forever.
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Old 08-18-22, 04:09 PM
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SuperCourse has a following as well. Lots of fans on C&V.
Mine was '72 (I think - maybe '73).
Straight gauge 531, good for larger riders.


Chrome socks, accepts wider tires, what's not to like?
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Old 08-18-22, 08:41 PM
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Not high end and not worth a ton of money but could be a fun project and the purple paint is cool and it is Columbus tubing so not just generic crap. I wouldn't put a ton towards it but would get it running or if I had some parts in the bin I might make something cool.
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Old 08-18-22, 10:47 PM
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I'd refurbish (and flip) if the frameset hasn't any significant damage and I could easily find some Japanese replacements for the Triomphe crank, GS calipers, and those awful pedals/saddle ... or just part out. I'd either sell the crank and calipers separately or use on more worthwhile projects. Whenever I see a bike like this, the first thing I wonder is the originality of the fork.

I've had a couple Triomphe cranksets, and one was very similar to this with the grey finish. I could not deanodize it through the normal (lye) methods. It was very difficult to polish ... but worth it.
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Old 08-18-22, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
I'd refurbish (and flip) if the frameset hasn't any significant damage and I could easily find some Japanese replacements for the Triomphe crank, GS calipers, and those awful pedals/saddle ... or just part out. I'd either sell the crank and calipers separately or use on more worthwhile projects. Whenever I see a bike like this, the first thing I wonder is the originality of the fork.

.
...Bottecchia was using unpainted chrome forks extensively during this period of time. I've had three, and they all had full chrome forks.
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Old 08-19-22, 11:44 AM
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nice bike

given the Campagnolo crankset and brakes - which is either Victory or Triomphe - it probably was originally all Campagnolo --- one of the former owners must have replaced to get better indexing

i would toss the Suntour stuff in a box and say "free to whoever pays shipping" in the sales section and find some Campagnolo shifting bits and brake levers. Rims match and they appear to be Campagnolo hubs too , although from an earlier era i think -- also seatpost - probably 26.8 so slightly more difficult to source a nice Campy post, but not impossible at all

The bike is clean for a dump find for sure ! $200 on ebay for some appropriate shifters, derailleurs and levers plus another $60 for tires and you'd have a real classic !

(Or - just get the tires, re-grease all the bearings , polish it up and ride it till your brain melts -- people used to run mismatched parts kits all the time BITD )
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Old 08-19-22, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Yes. It's the best way to really clean and polish that great paint job.
All the regular maintenance duties that go along are OK too. 😉
$ are a whatever, black hole, or maybe $150 for new cables and excellent tires.
what are some of the recommended materials and procedures to use to achieve that showroom appearance? i have car stuff.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by J_Chickles View Post
Campagnolo crankset and brakes - which is either Victory or Triomphe.
Crankset: Triomphe
Calipers: GS
Brake levers: ?

I would toss the Suntour stuff in a box and say "free to whoever pays shipping."
Got any free stuff of your own to offer? I love Suntour.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by J_Chickles View Post
nice bike

given the Campagnolo crankset and brakes - which is either Victory or Triomphe - it probably was originally all Campagnolo --- one of the former owners must have replaced to get better indexing

i would toss the Suntour stuff in a box and say "free to whoever pays shipping" in the sales section and find some Campagnolo shifting bits and brake levers. Rims match and they appear to be Campagnolo hubs too , although from an earlier era i think -- also seatpost - probably 26.8 so slightly more difficult to source a nice Campy post, but not impossible at all

The bike is clean for a dump find for sure ! $200 on ebay for some appropriate shifters, derailleurs and levers plus another $60 for tires and you'd have a real classic !

(Or - just get the tires, re-grease all the bearings , polish it up and ride it till your brain melts -- people used to run mismatched parts kits all the time BITD )
ok, so you think the frame is a keeper, as well as the campy gs stuff and rims. wondering, do older rims go bad? do the spoke holes commonly break down and get rounded? i would like to initially keep to use everything that is quality. since it is a found bike, i don't mind spending a little on good used or NOS parts that would bring it back to a good level. should i stick with the skinny tires (assuming the current ones are tubed)? nice to have a low cost eye catching vintage bike in my very small stable.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:26 PM
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Nothing new will ride like it. It looks like the frame will have some nice flex.
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Old 08-19-22, 07:01 PM
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wondering, do older rims go bad? do the spoke holes commonly break down and get rounded?
...those look like pretty good quality wheels for the period. I would service the hubs, check the spoke tensions, true, and rear dish, maybe mount 700x 25 or 700x28 Vittoria Rubino Pro tires, and ride them. From the looks of the thing you found at the dump, I'm guessing it is not real high mileage. I've seen these Aelle framed Bottecchias with a variety of components on them. Some with Suntour early indexing stuff, some even with Sachs equipment. They were trying to sell them at an attractive price point.

The Cromor framed bike I bought a few years back had Suntour indexed stuff on it, but I switched it over to Shimano, mostly because I didn't want to fool around learning a new index shifting system, and I had the extra parts already.
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