Friday, December 26, 2014

1970's Legnano Olimpiade

The Legnano bicycle company was founded by Vittorio Rossi in 1902 who began producing bikes in 1906.

After WWI, the company was bought by Emilio Bozzi, who also owned the Frejus and Wolsit brands. In the late 1970's or early 1980's the brand was sold and licensed to Bianchi. This included sponsorship of a professional team lead by Maurizio Fondriest. 

A classic brass Legnano head badge.

The logo of the Legnano brand is based on the warrior "Alberto da Giussano". Alberto da Giussano was a legendary Italian Guelph warrior during the wars of the Lombard League against Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century.

A tradition, probably created by the 14th century Milanese chroniclers, attributes to him the deed of forming the "Company of Death" that defended the Carroccio of the League at the Battle of Legnano. The first historical citation of his name was recorded in 1196. You can see the statue of Alberto da Giussano in the Piazza del Monumento.

Here is a pristine example of one of the Legnano brands classic 1970's road bikes...the Legnano Olimpiade. This particular example has been built with a 1970's Campagnolo Super Record groupset - the most advanced Italian built groupset of the period!

This is an impressive bike from early 1970's that would be an ideal choice for a l'eroica ride....and of further interest are the specs listed below... 

  • Handlebar: 3ttt, Superleggero, 405 mm, rare, NOS
  • Tyres: Continental Giro, tubular tires, 22 mm, new!
  • Stem:  3ttt, 105 mm, NOS
  • Saddle: San Marco,GI-Lux 312, NOS
  • Seat post: Campagnolo Super Record, NOS
  • Cranks: Campagnolo Super Record, 170 mm, 53 and 42 teeth, the only used part on this bike, but in really good condition!
  • Hubs: Campagnolo Record
  • Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Super Record, NOS
  • Shifting levers: Campagnolo, NOS
  • Head set: Campagnolo Super Record, NOS
  • Rims: Fiamme Ergal, polished, NOS
  • Brakes: Campagnolo Super Record, NOS
  • Brake levers: Campagnolo Super Record, NOS (the left hood is a little cracked)
  • Front dereilleur: Campagnolo, NOS
  • Rear dereilleur: Campagnolo Nuovo Record, Pat. 76, NOS
  • Bar tape: Textil Tape, black, new!
  • Chain: Regina, NOS
  • Cog Sprocket: Regina Oro, 6 gear, NOS
  • Quick release: Campagnolo, straight levers, NOS
  • Tube set: Reynolds 531, the fork also
  • Weight: 8,97 kg !! (without pedals)
  • Seat bolt: Campagnolo, NOS
  • Bar ends: Legnano, aluminium, NOS, rare to find!
(For those non-eBayers - NOS - New Old Stock)

Thanks for taking the time to have a look.

Until next time...ride safe. Happy New Year!!!

James @ PVC 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spurcycle bell

An effective bell is a must have for any urban cyclist. It is very uncomfortable when approaching a pedestrian from behind not knowing how they will react when you pass. At least a good bell will give you half a chance of passing without incident.

Here is a finely crafted and great sounding bell that is equally at home on a modern bike as it is on your favourite vintage ride. It's an all metal bell made from high quality stainless steel. The ringer is made of brass, which is a really nice touch.

It's not the cheapest bell on the market......but it will certainly last a lifetime. The plain steel version is US$39 and the matt black version is US$49. Shipping will vary depending upon the buyers location.

It is very cleverly engineered  and comes with two stainless steel straps, either of which will comfortably fit the diameter of almost any handlebar.

There are two colour need to get too complicated with colour choice, it's a bell!! There is a plain (raw) stainless version and a matt black version for dark coloured handlebars. I opted for the raw version. The bell sounds great, and being manufactured in the US makes it a high quality long lasting product.

The Spurcycle bell looks great on my Ciocc San Cristobal. You can purchase one at 

Ride safe,

James @ PVC.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Ciocc San Cristobal 2014 (Part 2)

After purchasing my Ciocc San Cristobal steel frame the project continued with the accumulation of parts for the build. 

I was after a mix of old and new parts. Old classic parts to recapture the feel of cycling in the 90's and new parts to ensure the ride was as smooth and reliable as it could be.

I decided that the older parts were to be the seat post, the stem, and the handlebars. My desire to keep the Italian theme limited me to very few options. None the less I was able to source a NOS Cinelli XA stem and a NOS Campagnolo Super Record seat post at a reasonable price. 

I previously decided that the group set would be Campagnolo Chorus and when I went to buy the set I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new 2015 gruppo was readily available. 

The 2015 Campagnolo cranks have caused quite a stir with traditional Campy fans - the classical 5 arm spider is now a thing of the past. It has been replaced in 2015 with a new 4 arm version, not unlike the 4 arm Shimano crank set introduced a couple of years ago.

I was a little hesitant that the new crank set was a little too modern looking for the build, but my concerns diminished when it arrived in the post and I saw it in the flesh for the first time. The new 2015 carbon crank set is amazing. In fact all of the 2015 Chorus components are stunning.  

Here are some images of the finished build with specs below:

Frame & ForkCiocc San Cristobal 2014
Front DerailleurCampagnolo Chorus 2015 - braze on
Rear DerailleurCampagnolo Chorus 2015 
ShiftersCampagnolo Chorus 2015
CranksetCampagnolo Chorus 2015 - standard 39/53
BrakesCampagnolo Chorus 2015
HeadsetCampagnolo Record - threaded
Bottom BracketCampagnolo Record - Italian
StemCinelli XA quill - 90mm
HandlebarSoma Highway One - 420mm
ChainCampagnolo Chorus 2015 
CassetteCampagnolo Chorus 2015 - 12/27
WheelsMavic Ksyrium Elite 2012
TiresContinental Grand Prix Classic
Seat PostCampagnolo Super Record 27.2 - fluted
SaddleBrooks Swift - black
PedalsRitchey Paradigm - black
Cable guidesCampagnolo standard

Of course this style of build is certainly not for everyone. I was after a steel framed bike that maintained a vintage look and feel, yet had the reliability, efficiency, and smoothness that new bikes have to offer.

I'll post a review of the group set in due course.

Until then, safe riding.

James @ PVC.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Masi Gran Criterium - late 1970's

I don't know if you've picked it yet....but Masi bicycles are one of my favourites!

The history behind the Masi brand name is fantastic. If you are interested in Italian cycling history just 'google' the name Masi and enjoy the ride.

Here is another classic Masi bicycle....a sight to behold. Please enjoy the images of this late 1970's Masi Gran Criterium. The build is made complete with a Campagnolo Nuovo Record groupset from the early 1970's, and a classic Cinelli Unicanitor saddle.

.....and for a comparison forty or so years on, below is the new 2015 version of the Masi Gran Criterium decked out with Shimano 105 5800 series (soon to be in a store near you!)

Until next time, safe riding.

James @ PVC.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Freo Tweed Run 2014

'Dismantle' have done it again this year!! The Fremantle Tweed Run is on this Sunday, 26 October 2014. 

Those lucky enough to go will gather near the Dismantle Workshops on the Fremantle Esplanade where they will experience a fantastic afternoon of fun and laughter. Dress in your best vintage tweeds (Good Sammy's here I come!) and bring along your favourite vintage bicycle to ride in the event. Don't be too concerned if you don't have a vintage bike, you can still ride a modern bicycle, just try and dress to the theme.

Entry is free and no bookings are required. Search the web for similar rides to get the general idea, get into the spirit of the day and enjoy the experience of cycling!

After gathering near the workshops on the Esplanade at 12.00 midday you'll be lead by the master of Dismantle ceremonies for the epic ride that will end up at the North Freo Bowling Club a little later in the afternoon.

The ride won't be difficult, so don't be thinking that you need to be a cycling fanatic to participate! The ride will be easy and enjoyable.

I am so disappointed that I can't make it this year, I have to go to a family wedding down south. Last year was a real hoot, I caught up with friends I had not seen in years!

The good news is that the ride will again finish at the North Fremantle Bowling Club which is such a great venue. After the ride play bowls if you wish, but more importantly quench your well earned thirst with a cleansing ale as you soak up the vibes of yesteryear.

Here's a couple of piccies from last year to get you into the spirit....

Check out the Freo Tweed Run page on Facebook for more info.

Dismantle do a great job, please support them when and where you can!

Enjoy the day....

James @ PVC.

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Ciocc San Cristobal 2014 (Part 1)

I've been looking for a 'new' classic steel frame to build up recently. It was time for a change....out with the old and in with the new!

I was after an Italian built steel lugged frame that had a classic racing geometry. I was looking for features such as a chromed 1 inch threaded fork, a chromed chain stay, and chromed lugs. I was also after some branding that was stamped into the steel frame somewhere. 

I considered the usual suspects such as the De Rosa Nuovo Classico, the Cinelli Supercorsa, and the Bianchi Tipo Corsa. They were all very nice frames that are relatively easy to source.

With the popularity of steel frames growing there were many choices.....unfortunately though, not many were Italian made. Even De Rosa are making steel frames in Taiwan now so it was interesting to determine which steel classics were still manufactured in Italy.

After a lot of internet research (as most of us enjoy doing) I discovered a not so well known brand named CIOCC (pronounced CHEE-OH-CHand became particularly interested in the San Cristobal model - see CIOCC post from March 2014.

After a few emails I discovered that I could place an order for a new Italian built San Cristobal frame with a CIOCC distributor in Melbourne - his name was Mike. 

I'm very happy to say that Mike did a great job. He communicated well and whilst doing so offered a wide range of frame colours and decal types. The San Cristobal was also available with either a 1 inch threaded or 1 inch non-threaded steerer.

You can find Mike at or click on the CIOCC logo to the right.

I placed an order for a frame and about 8 weeks later it arrived on my doorstep.

Here is the bike I ordered...

Beautifully chromed chain and seat stays.

The CIOCC logo on the top rear of the seat tube is interesting. CIOCC have been placing a decal in this unusual position for a long time. I've been told that it's placed in this position so that a competitor can see what type of bike has just passed him!

Chromed head tube lugs.

Campy Record threaded headset.

The frame is stunning and the photos really don't do it justice. The details and finish are perfect. 

It arrived in a solid cardboard box and it was packed with great care. It didn't come with the headset at all so I bought a Campagnolo Record 1 inch threaded headset that does the job well. When fitting the headset I also added a Campy spacer from an old 'Super Record' headset from the 80's.

CIOCC stamped on the top of the seat stay.

I particularly like the Italian flag logo (pictured above) that sits towards the rear of the top tube. This feature is also available on the GIOS Compact Pro which I also considered as an option. 

CIOCC stamped on both sides of the bottom bracket.

A chromed 1 inch fork with CIOCC stamped into the crown.

The classic CIOCC head tube logo.

So the dilemma now is to source parts for the build. Cinelli still offer a classic quilled stem, and with a bit of effort I should be able to get hold of a NOS fluted Campagnolo seat post. 

I have certainly decided that the groupset should be from Campagnolo, that was an easy decision! But do I go classic Athena silver 11 speed, or carbon Chorus 11 speed? So many options!!

Until next riding.

James @ PVC.