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What kind of bike to I have?(7 posts)

What kind of bike to I have?slugman
Jul 13, 2001 6:26 AM
I need help in determining whether a garage sale racing bike I bought is worth putting some money into or if I should find the nearest dumpster and make a deposit. Here's the biggest clue: On the top side of one of the dropouts CAMPAGNOLO is stamped. I always thought that Campagnolo made components and was not aware that they ever made frames. the serial number is located on the right side of the seat tube and reads 73A1232. It appears to be an early 80's bike and what drew me to it was the ornately lugged frame although no decals or head badge. there is one set of braze-ons located on the down tube. It has Dia-Compe brakes (deep sidepull), SunTour downtube shifters, Suntour BL rear derailleur, Maillard 10-speed cassette, Suntour spirit front derailleur, Campagnolo chain rings, Aero Maxy Cranks (made in Japan), Campagnolo Record hubs, Martano Strada Rims, Campagnolo headset. Any ideas out there? The bike is in rough shape (nicks, scrapes, abrasions) and I would like to know if it's a classic or crap. Thanks in advance for your feedback!!!
I think...MrCelloBoy
Jul 13, 2001 6:44 AM
those are Campy DROPOUTS only. Can't say for sure that campagnolo never made a complete frame though. I'm not THAT into it all. I also think you mean a 5 speed freewheel, not a 10 speed "cassette". The latter would be pretty unusual on such an old setup.
Sounds like a pretty sweet restoration project to me.

How much was it IYDMMA?
I think...slugman
Jul 13, 2001 8:04 AM
I paid $10 for it.
re: What kind of bike to I have?Jiggy
Jul 13, 2001 6:44 AM
You're right, Campagnolo never made frames. However, they did make dropouts and these were commonly used up until the early 90s at least. I myself have a ca. 1984 Trek that has these, but given that you have a 5-spd (not 10, right?) the bike is probably somewhat older, like 70s.

When you say "putting some money into it" I hope you mean restoring and not upgrading and modernizing. There may be some serious compatability issues, like dropout spacing and threading (it could so old that French threading may have been used). OTOH, it would probably make a real nice fixed-gear town bike if the rear dropouts are horizontal (likely).

If the components are all original, you might be able to find out what it is here: It's probably a classic, but also probably not worth much given the condition.
re: What kind of bike to I have?TommyBoy
Jul 13, 2001 8:10 AM
For $10, if it keeps you intrigued and you have fun restoring it, then it was a good investment.
Any bike is worth restoring...gust-of-sun
Jul 13, 2001 8:32 AM
...if it fits you well.
It's probably impossible to tell what kind of frame it is unless someone can identifiy the construction style which would be based on the lugs, the geometry, and any special design details like the way the fork was put together. that said, you don't really need to identify it if you don't want to. it's probably a pretty good frame for the time. the campagnolo name on the rear dropouts refer only to the dropouts, not the frame, and they didn't put campy dropouts on cheap bikes. the other campy components you listed, the headset, chainrings, and especially the hubs, wouldn't appear on a cheaper bike.
the most important question is: does the frame fit? if so, you could leave it as is for a great riding commuter/training bike, or you could pay some $$$, get someone like joe bell to do a quality strip and repaint, upgrade some components and have a really sweet ride.

good luck with it,
There may be more clues there...Whatever
Jul 13, 2001 11:31 AM
In the days of lugged steel bikes, many high-end builders had custom lugs cast with identifying marks or logos on them. Look underneath the bottom bracket (my 1985 Paletti has the name and a logo cast into the bottom bracket). Also check the fork crowns for a logo, initials, or something like that.

Also, if the lugs are fancy hand-work, someone who has restored a lot of old steel bikes might recognize the patterns. The people at CyclArt ( might be helpful here... They might also be able to read clues in the geometry and the components (axle length, long arm brake calipers, what type of braze-ons, etc.)that could help you date the bike, identify it, or both. Give 'em a phone call, shoot them a few pics, and see what they say.

I wonder if the "73" in the serial number is actually the year of manufacture. Small manufacturers (of many different types of products, not just bikes) frequently put some intelligence into their serial numbers...this practice was especially prevalent before everyone and their brother was computerizing their manufacturing records. A reasonable hypothesis is that the bike was made in 1973, is frame type "A" (racer vs. touring bike vs. track bike, or whatever else that person or company made), and was the 1,232nd frame that that builder had made. Less likely, but possible, is that it was the 1,232nd frame made that year by a factory.

I think that the 1973 hypothesis would also be consisent with the 5-speed freewheel you have. I don't know when 6-speed and narrow-7 started becoming prevalent (again, a data point is that my 1985 bike has narrow-seven on a 127mm rear axle). Again, CyclArt or an old-time framebuilder would be able to read a lot into what you can show them.

Good luck...and if the bike fits, fix it and enjoy the ride! My current steed is a Calfee Tetra Pro (one awesome piece of plastic, thank you Craig!) but when I take out the Paletti for yuks, I am still blown away by how good of a ride it was, too.

Just some guesses, anyway.