Do Presto have lots of different builders build bikes for them?
I found a bike on weight weenies that was built for Presto by Pesenti in Italy.
I visited the Oostzaan branch of Presto a couple of weeks ago and there I had the oppertunity to speak with long time Presto involved Mr. Loek Valk.
On your Q: Who built the Prestos through the years was one question I asked. We discussed an early 90s Max tubing Presto I had encountered an Loek told that also by than all Prestos were still handmade in Holland. I do not know what happened after that, but I do know you can still buy Prestos today and that they come in steel, carbon and aluminum. I seriously doubt these are all made in Holland, so that particular bike you're mentioning should be relatively modernish era.
With my visit to Presto-Oostzaan I got nice insights from Loek. Some will shook the earth (well, at least my vintage bicycle related world). Here a brief summery:
Maybe some of you remember my blue Presto. The frame shows striking resemblance with a Gazelle Champion Mondial A-frame and some people argued it must be a refinished A-frame.
Well, it is not.
The blue 'Gazelle A-frame' Presto is not a Gazelle in disguise. It is more the other way round. It predates the A-frame and is of the hand of Mr. Slesker who build at Presto before Legrand/Serier start building. Slesker had been connected to Locomotief previously and Locomotief were taken over by ....Gazelle. There Slesker introduced the Champion Mondial A-frame (and AA-frame CM). That is why it looks like the A-frame.
So that model Presto is more or less the mother of all A-frames and Champion Mondials in general. It is not exactly like an A-frame btw, for example the bb lug is slightly more decorative, there is a squarish tube instead of the the butterfly bridge and the lugs have seen more filing.
More pics of the Slesker Presto
Maybe some of you remember my greenish Presto I posted a while ago. This bike >>
View the topic here.
The particular Presto was built by masterbuilder Peter Serier. Peter was not the only builder for Presto in the 70s/early 80s. He had company from Jan Legrand. JL: also well known as chief mechanic/builder of TI Raleigh.
About how to recognize who built your frame Loek told me this: Frames by Serier did came with the slotted clamp and the seatstay tops with ridges. Serier was more into that kind of detailing in general. Peter also had a background in fine mechanics. Without ridges denotes Jan Legrand, except for the TI Raleigh bikes. This is done to make them more look like the catalogue Raleighs. The frames Loek himself built also came with the slotted clamp, but Loek did not use the squarish brake bridge, but a part of Cinelli instead.
1st pic: Sloted clamp >
2nd pic: The ridges >>
On the TI Raleigh connection: By far most if not all Team TI Raleigh bicycles were made by Jan in the Presto shop at the Haarlemmerstraat in Amsterdam, not in Ilkeston. Interesting thing is the Bulgier site shows an article in 'Cycling' of November 1982 with Jan in Ilkeston. Maybe there was a certain interest to present it that way. As if they were all made along the 'regular' SB's.
Back in the day you could also see many TI Team bikes parked in the A'dam shop.
Next to the TI Raleighs Jan did also still build Prestos. Frame production by the masterbuilders lasted untill ca 1982. The assumption of 500 made between '74 and '79 (see the greenish Presto topic) could be true, but in total the number could be significantly more. Numbering was sometimes a bit ''natte vinger werk'' (not always very accurate) and there are more systems through the years. According to Loek quite a lot Prestos made it into the US. They were exported to there by someone from Belgium (I unfortunately do not recall the name of)
After 1982 not much happened for a while. We briefly discussed an early 90s Presto example I encountered somewhere on the web recently. The particular Max tubing frame is still build in Holland and not outsourced to Italy or so. It is possibly built by Loek himself or another person I do not recall name of.
Racing: I mentioned TI Raleigh already, but among other teams that raced on by Presto built frames were Le Jeune (Jan Janssen) and Ketting.
I think I pretty much covered all now.
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