Re: [CR] FS: frameset with chainset, early '70s Bottecchia Giro d'Italia

(Example: Framebuilding:Tubing)

Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2010 12:33:52 -0800
From: "verktyg" <>
To: Ken Freeman <>,
References: <> <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] FS: frameset with chainset, early '70s Bottecchia Giro d'Italia

French bikes from that era were made to ride not look at! ;-)

During the "Great Bike Boom" era of the early 70s the cosmetics on production bikes from a number of Italian makers were as bad or worse than anything coming from France!

We sold a few Atala bikes and some Bottecchias too but we bought more than we sold!

We could get "full Campy" versions of those bikes for around $300 shipped. In those days Campy brakes were in such short supply that many times "full Campy" meant everything but the brakes.

Gruppos were hard to get too. We'd bring in those bikes, part them out and put the Campy components on a nice British or Italian frame. A few Gitane Super Corsa bikes fell victim to that fate too.

In the end we had a gruppo plus a good set of sewup wheels and tires plus a cheap frame we could "try" to sell for $75-$100. We usually sold as cheap replacement frames for someone who crashed their bike.

The cosmetic finish on some of those Italian bikes was probably acceptable in the 50s and 60s but it became a hard sell after the entry of Japanese made bikes into the US markets.

There were a number of brands, Olmo and Bianchi for example that I had only seen as gas pipe entry level examples so I could never understand why some people raved about those bikes. In later years after seeing some top quality models from those makers I changed my opinion somewhat.

We sold Legnano/Frejus bikes until we could no longer get them in the mid 70s. Even the cheapest models with steel cranks had decent cosmetics on the frames. We even got in a few of the low end models with Reynolds 531 frames!

So the next time I get some lip about my French bikes, think "Bergamo"!

Chas. - Is it wrong, or just French - Colerich Oakland, Ca USA

Ken Freeman wrote:
> The fork dropouts and frame ends are forged, with the adjusting screws, and
> the crimps in the back appear to have been brazed in addition to the crimp.
> Plus the lugs and fork crown look decent. If it's really a full db Columbus
> frame, I would think it will provide a really good ride, though it might or
> might not be Bottecchia's best work. I had a non-famous Italian frame with
> some similar workmanship ideosyncracies, and it was a great ride.
> Somewhere on the list a bunch of years back (maybe 5 or 6, when I started)
> one of the "venerable members" described the workmanship of Italian racing
> frames of this era as being "tools for racing" rather than showpieces. This
> could be an example of that, though I admit the stay attachments are
> questionable.
> It looks like a 58 or 59, so it's out of the question for me. But if in the
> 54-56 range (and if I had a job now), I'd be thinking about it.