Re: [CR] Was: Q for members. Now: Alan aluminum bikes

(Example: Production Builders:Cinelli)

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 07:51:01 -0800
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
To: <>, <>, <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Was: Q for members. Now: Alan aluminum bikes

James, do you have photos?  There were at least three ALAN road models in the 70's, not counting cyclocross models with cantilever brake bosses.  The most basic was the Olympic, although even that was good enough to be used by Eastern European teams notably Poland at the 1974 World Championships.  A Pole won the amateur road race on an ALAN Olympic. I imagine the the Eastern Europeans also used them in the Olympics, thus the name. Many Olympics were gold anodized. The Olympics had pretty plain alloy lugs and minimal decals, I think only a headtube and a small seattube decal. It may have been the only road model in the early 70's.

Later, the top model was the Super Record, which is shown on the CR site. the alloy lugs were fancier, with recessed "cutouts" and the ALAN name and some wreath designs engraved in the lugs. The Super Record had larger ST and DT decals. The Competition was in the middle, with some lug engraving, but minimal decals.

If this is a Super Record, and depending on the exact components, $500 doesn't seem too out of line, as the components might be worth almost that much. However, as Dale mentions, there is an issue with cracking of any aluminum frame. We've had discussions of that before, and my opinion is that this concern is grossly exaggerated. Theoretically any aluminum structure will eventually fail from stress fatigue, but this is not a function of simple age, but the number of stress cycles experienced. One should remember that airliner airframes are also largely made of aluminum, and I suspect that an airframe component will experience more stress cycles in a year than a bicycles frame will in a couple of owner lifetimes. So unless an aluminum frame is crashed, I personally am not too worried about stress fatigue. I have an ALAN Competition and a Super Record both bought new in the late 70's/early 80's and both are still just fine. Not to mention a 1954 aluminum Duravia.

But the perhaps overblown concerns about aluminum frames has tended to depress ALAN prices. You could perhaps use this to your advantage, however. If the price is negotiable, you might make a big show of inspecting the bike for cracks, and talk on about stress fatigue failure, then offer perhaps 250 Euros, as the components are probably worth that much. This assumes you are not yourself paranoid about an aluminum frame suddenly disintegrating on you. If you are, it is best to avoid them, even though logically the same would apply to aluminum components, meaning your classic bike collecting is going to be severely limited.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, Texas, USA

On Thu, 12/17/09, <> wrote:r
> From: <>
> Subject: [CR] Was: Q for members. Now: Alan aluminum bikes
> To:,
> Date: Thursday, December 17, 2009, 8:16 AM
>  << Alan aluminum frame circa 1977, with Campy
> everything. Nuovo Record  rear D, 1980's Chorus brake
> levers, Record hubs laced to tubular rims, and a Cinelli
> bar......looking to place the WAJA sticker. It looks like a
> race team decal..... I'm thinking its a steal at 350 Euro,
> about 500USD, but what do you think? >>
> James, you might go to the CR archives are search for Alan.
> I think quite a bit has been written about them. In a
> nutshell, they are "glued and screwed" together rather than
> just glued like some aluminum frames, or welded like others.
> Alans can be very sturdy and fun bikes but also can develop
> cracks with time. So close scrutiny is called for when
> buying used units.
> Re: the sticker(s), Alan was known to be labeled by many
> entities, one of the most famous were the successful
> cyclocross campaigns by Guerciotti labeled Alans.
> Is $500 a good deal for a used Alan with mixed parts?
> Depends on the exact parts, condition of the pieces, etc.,
> but seems slightly highish to me in this recessionary
> period. But maybe not if it's a deluxe version in super
> shape and with some good parts... And if you love it, that
> counts for a lot!  :)
> Best of luck and Merry Christmas,
> Dale


> Dale Brown
> cycles de ORO, Inc.
> 1410 Mill Street #100
> Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 USA
> 336-274-5959


> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Simmons <>
> To:
> Sent: Thu, Dec 17, 2009 6:35 am
> Subject: Re: [CR] Question for members
> On Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM, James Simmons <>wrote:
> > Hey all,
> >
> > So I walked into a local bike shop in a rich part of
> town looking for an
> > old Italian road bike for my girlfriend to start
> riding this year. But this
> > is what I found.
> >
> > Its an Alan aluminum frame circa 1977, with Campy
> everything. Nuovo Record
> > rear D, 1980's Chorus brake levers, Record hubs laced
> to tubular rims, and a
> > Cinelli bar.
> >
> > I'm pretty in love with it, and now I'm just trying to
> get some details
> > down about its age.
> >
> > I've been looking online, and I can tell its post
> 1963, but thats about as
> > smart as I am. I am also looking to place the WAJA
> sticker. It looks like a
> > race team decal, but I haven't been able to find much
> about it. It does have
> > the same colored rings that the Alan emblem has, so
> maybe its a factory race
> > team? Is that possible? I can't imagine Cervelo is the
> first to dream up
> > that idea.
> >
> > I'm thinking its a steal at 350 Euro, about 500USD,
> but what do you think?
> >
> > James Simmons
> > Heidelberg, Germany
> > Campy Chorus 11 Ridley
> > And soon an
> > Alan 1975c Campy 6 speed, in gorgeous anodized gold
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 8:32 AM, James Simmons <>wrote:
> >
> >> I'm a US Soldier living in Germany, and I'm headed
> home next summer.
> >> I'm planning on buying a few European relics to
> take back with me, but I'm
> >> looking for advice on what to search for.
> >>
> >> In second hand bike shops I've found old Bianchis
> with and without cracked
> >> head tubes, Peugeots, Campy Veloce on old race
> bikes, all of that. I've
> >> somehow ridden a canadian rocky mountain frame
> with maybe 8 different years
> >> of campy, DA, and mavic on it. I understand that
> some of this is probably
> >> post-1983.
> >>
> >>
> >> I think I've got a unique opportunity to smuggle
> some special finds into
> >> the states, but I'm not sure what to look for.
> >>
> >>
> >> I would like your input concerning certain brands,
> components, and
> >> buzzwords to be on the lookout for.
> >>
> >> Thank you,
> >>
> >> James Simmons
> >> Heidelberg, Germany
> >> I own a 2009 Ridley X-Fire Cyclocross bike with
> 2009 Campagnolo 11-speed
> >> Chorus.
> >> I'm brand new to the sport, and I'm in love with
> the European style and
> >> history.