MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

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

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

SPECIAL SPECIAL - INTRO

THE SPECIAL SPECIAL FIND

THE SPECIAL'S EVALUATION

TEST BUILD THE BOTTECCHIA

BOTTECCHIA FRAME REPAIR

BOTTECCHIA RESTORED 

RESTORED AND REVISED

 

BICYCLES OF ITALY

 

FINDING THE special BOTTECCHIA SPECIAL

Finding a vintage road bicycle is rarely a difficult thing to do.  Entry level, "department store on sale" old road bikes abound, at the time of this writing.  Super Cycle, Free Spirit, Venture are bicycles typically sold by department stores in Canada during the seventies.  Finding a vintage road bicycle, bearing the original manufacturer's name, however, is a slightly different story.

None the less, there are many ways to actively and effectively seek out the hiding places of old road bicycles.  Perhaps one of the best I have experience, to date, is to simply earn one, by volunteering my time to a local chapter of Bicycles for Humanity (B4H).

Generally, I like to start my day around five in the morning.  I get up, make coffee and open up the computer.  Time is spent dealing with emails and the like, after which I move on to the more active part of my bicycle interests.  More active interests include building, riding and finding vintage road bicycles.  And, of course, preparing information to be published on the pages of MY "TEN SPEEDS".

Since I start my work day fairly early, I like to end early as well, usually shutting things down around 2:30 in the afternoon.  On this particular day, one last task needed to be addressed in The Old Shed, and that task really had nothing to do with bicycles.  Anyway, with the "unrelated to bicycles" task just begun, a white half ton pulled into the laneway, beside my house.  I have seen this scenario repeated, time and again, since becoming involved with B4H.  I put what I was doing away, popped a peppermint into my mouth and went to help unload the truck.  Chances are there would be a bicycle, or two, stashed inside the topper.

As I approached the truck, an old fellow rounded the back, asking if I was the bicycle guy.  Once assured that he had found the right place, to drop off his old bicycles, he popped open the topper, revealing three bicycles, all laying in a tangle on their sides.  It is easy to get them into there, but just try untangling the darn things, once they have travelled a ways, while jiggling around in the back.

The bicycle, closest to the tail gate, was a Venture, department store "Ten Speed".  I couldn't help but notice that the bike was in really nice shape.  As I helped extract the bicycle from the tangle, I could not help but notice another Ten Speed, closest to the cab of the truck.  The bike was laying at such an angle, that I could not make out the name on the white panels.  But, there were no dual position brake levers, which is often a good sign of something with potential.

Next out of the truck was a near mint, made in England, ladies Raleigh Sport.  Though I have no pictures of the bicycle, it was the kind with the round end piece on each end of the fork crown.

I did marvel at the condition of the lavender coloured Raleigh, before turning my attention to bicycle number three.  To reach that one, the old fellow had to climb inside of the topper.  The moment he started to move the bicycle, I caught a glimpse of the down tube decal - Bottecchia.  And, weren't those crud covered lugs chrome plated?  But what the heck kind of lugs were they?  Certainly nothing I had seen on any other Bottecchia that had ever come my way.

As the old Italian steed emerged from the topper, my eye was quick to notice Campy, high flange hubs secured with grunge coated straight blade skewers.  Sadly, though I didn't notice it at first, the 27" alloy rims did not match.  The front a NISI, the back a Fiamme.  Why would I suggest this could lead to sadness?  Because a replaced wheel, particularly a front one, suggest that the bicycle might have been in a crash.  It is rare that the front wheel will wear out, before a rear.  And the Bottecchia did have non matching rims.

A very old set of Universal callipers pinched those mismatched rims.  The brake levers, also of older design, were in great shape and all but unscuffed.  This would suggest that my concern about the crash might have been poorly founded.  The original hoods were long gone, leaving naked lever bodies exposed to the elements.

A steel cottered and unnamed crank set delivers power to a five cog freewheel.  The shifters and front derailleur, both Campagnolo Valentino, were accompanied by a Hurett Allvet rear derailleur.  Best guess, based on virtually all of the other Bottecchia Specials to come my way, would suggest that the Hurett is miserably out of place.

The saddle, however, did not look out of place, at all.  In fact, like the rest of the bicycle, the saddle was original issue and, aside from some weathering due to the passing of time, the beautiful old Dolomiti Grand Prix B17 saddle is a wonderful find on the Bottecchia.  Not only is the saddle in nice shape, but so too is the badge on the rear of the saddle.  All in all, a wonderful vintage butt perch that would appear to need little more than a good application of Proof Hide from Brooks.

And that is just about all there was to finding a vintage Bottecchia Special with very special lug work.  I can't help but believe that the bicycle is really nothing special, but it is special to me and certainly worth the effort to restore.

NEXT - EVALUATING THE special SPECIAL

 

 

 

 

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