I first came across this bike about a year ago when a friend of mine told me he had it but it's recently come back into my thoughts since he gave it to me when he emigrated to settle up for a few odds'n'ends.
First up, a couple of pics:
which is where the intrigue starts - why the Colnago-esque headbadge and World Champs stripes?! I first though of Giuseppe 'Bepe/Beppe' Saronni who was World RR champ in '82 at Goodwood on a Colnago (I believe) but that line of enquiry didn't shed any light. Does anyone have any suggestions - or better still some hard facts??
As to the bike itself, well it's really rather nice! 56x57cm in skinny steel tubing. Seat and down tubes are both 28.6mm while the top tube is closer to 25.4mm. The seat stays are about 14mm near the seat custer, tapering to a pencil-like 10.5mm at the dropouts! Chainstays are a more run-of-the-mill 20 -> 14mm taper. Angles are respectably steep, wheelbase is quite tight and fork rake minimal. No eyelets either, so this is definitely a race-style bike. I don't have scales, but the bike's weight compares with 531-frames efforts that I used to race in the late 80s, based on a highly objectove 'pick up by bars and saddle' test! I'd tentatively guess this one is older than that(eg cable guides above the BB) - which then doesn't tally with Signore Saronni. The lugwork is pretty nice, though I've failed to capture this in the pics, with different cutouts on each lug that's then been painted in red to nice effect against the 'Azzuri' blue of the frame.
The build is race-ready too - Shimano 600 Arabesque throughout, with the exception of pedals which are by a Japanese brand I've never heard of, Kyuokutera (?? - will need to check again in the morning!). Bars are a nice old pair of 3TTT with the Olympic rings stamped on. Stem is a stumpy little SR (which might have been swapped in for the original?) while the saddle and post are not original (post is 27mm). THe wheels are Nisi sprints on Arabesque hubs, laced 36H F&R and shod with Vittoria tubs around 22mm wide. Both wheels are badly off true but both are round and should straighten up fine. The F spokes are in good shape while the R ones are generally pitted. I'm not sure if the R wheel may have been rebuilt since the rims don't match - they're both Nisi of similar width and section but the F rim has a textured braking surface, presumably to aid braking. It's entirely possible that both are original since you'd only really need that on the F in any case. Some pics of the components:
including a mystery and unreadable sticker on the big chainring.
I spent a fair bit of time cleaning it up and polishing it up, though it's benefit from a bit more effort, preferably with T-Cut. 95% of the paint is in impressive condition but key points on the top tube ann BB shell have been covered with what looks like Hammerite. Fortunately it's a lighter shade, so time spent looking for a colour match could pay dividends here. Some details of the damage:
I'll put a bit more work into the frame and decide what to do with it, and in the meantime I'd really appreciate any insights into its provenance and history! No frame number or any really distinctive markings, unless they're buried under the Hammerite, though there's something on the top of the NDS BB shell which somehow looks like either an eloborate '5' or 'G1', depending on your viewing angle!