MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

SITE INDEX   FINDING   BICYCLES   WORK SHOP   TRADING   WHAT'S NEW?

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

1971 ATALA PRO - INTRO

FINDING THE ATALA PRO

BUILDING THE ATALA PRO

RIDING THE ATALA PRO 

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

RIDING THE ATALA PROFESSIONAL

The Atala was equipped with sew-up wheels and, at the time of ownership, I had little use for tubular tires.  With that in mind, I did not ride the Atala nearly enough to properly evaluate the ride qualities.  Generally, I spend half a riding season evaluating a bicycle's vices and virtues.  In the Atala's case and at the end of the riding season, that wonderful old Italian bicycle and I never got a chance to get to know each other.  My loss, to say the least!

What I did learn about the bicycle and its ride was exactly what I expected.  Italian road bicycles tend to offer a very good ride.  This applies to most road bicycles from Italy.  I have ridden lesser Atalas, Bottecchias, Torpados, Legnanos, and even Bianchis.  Every one offered the kind of ride that I appreciate.  Why would a top of the line offering be any different.  And it wasn't!

Acceleration was quick and handling even quicker.  I attribute these two ride qualities to the tubular tires mounted on the bicycle at the time.  Though I honestly had little appreciation for the Old School Sew-up tire system, I was beginning to change my opinion about them.  I just didn't realize it at the time.  Again, my loss but at least I have allowed myself to learn.  My 1975 CCM Tour du Canada that I had fitted with a gorgeous set of Campy high flange record hubs laced to Weinmann concave clincher rims are on their way out.  I am installing the original hubs with a set of original Fiamme tubular rims this up-coming riding season.  Time to give the Sew-ups a fair chance.

The Atala was a great rider and I regret letting it go but I did have my reasons.  My collection focus is Canadian made vintage road bicycles, particularly those that are top of the line or even special production issues.  The Atala just didn't fit into my collection profile at the time.  Today, it would be a different story.  I am keeping my eye open for a really good deal on a quality vintage Italian road bicycle.  Probably a nice old Celeste green Bianchi, hopefully with chromed lug work, if one chooses to come my way again.

Vintage high end Italian road bicycles are becoming harder to find each day.  They are constantly fetching prices that all but astound me.  The day I bought the Atala for twenty bucks, I thought that I hade done pretty well.  Today, the frame set alone would go for roughly fifteen to twenty time that amount.  The only thing is, I wouldn't sell it knowing what I know today.  And what is that?  Right now is the best time to find and purchase a vintage road bicycle.  Guaranteed, anything of real value will be considerably more expensive tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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