Here is the first of several Revelo retro bikes in the works. This is emphatically NOT a restoration, but rather a concept bike assembled entirely of new components. Most of the components are new-old stock; a few are new where vintage parts are not critical to the design.
The idea for this bike grew out of the Campagnolo “Sport” 3 pin cotterless steel crankset. Rather rare, the “Sport” was introduced in 1971, and replaced by an alloy version- the “Nuovo Gran Sport” in 1973. Although it was meant as an entry level crankset, the “Sport” is very elegant, with super slender arms, and the quality of finish for which Campagnolo is famous. Already retro in 1971, it is reminiscent of the Gnutti splined cotterless cranks of the previous era. Joel Metz of blackbirdsf.org has theorized that both the Gnutti cotterless and the Campagnolo “Sport” cranks were actually made by Magistroni.
The acquisition of a black new-old stock frameset brought this project into focus. It was represented by the seller as being made by the Spanish maker Razesa. In the early ‘70s and early ‘80s, Razesa made high end framesets for the Spanish component manufacturer Zeus, and this frame resembles the Zeus “Victoria”- a club racer model. It has no markings whatsoever, and inexplicably sports forged Gipiemme dropouts rather than the expected Zeus dropouts. In any case, the framset, though not super light by today’s standards, sports some interesting details: an unusual sloping fork crown, and oval chainstays, suggesting Columbus tubing.
The contrast between the chrome crankset and the all black frame jelled the concept: an understated, all black and silver club racer.
Diligent shopping netted the appropriate complimentary gruppo- Campagnolo “Gran Sport” ca.1971-1979, all new-old stock. I’ve always liked the “Gran Sport” gruppo- a slightly less polished version of the “Nuovo Record” gruppo- Campagnolo’s crème-de-la-crème components of the era until the introduction of the “Super Record” gruppo in 1974. A little elbow grease and a dab of Simichrome polish will bring these components up to full parade dress. Campagnolo “Gran Sport” pedals proved difficult to obtain in new-old stock condition, so I have substituted a pair of new-old stock Zeus “Gran Sport” pedals; identical copies. Likewise, the headset is new-old stock Zeus “Gran Sport”- correct for the frameset.
The Cinelli 1A handlebar stem probably outclasses the other components, but to my eye, it is the quintessential stem of the era, and I happened to have an old logo, new-old stock example on hand. It is complimented by an Ambrosia “Campione del Mondo” handlebar wrapped Merckx-style in black cotton tape, and capped with Velox rubber plugs.
The wheels are hand-built on Campagnolo “Nuovo Tipo” hubs, using stainless straight gauge spokes, new-old stock Rigida Red Label rims, and shod with new Continental “Contact” 700x28c tires.
The whole ensemble is topped off with a handful of new components. A new Brooks B17 saddle with chrome plated rivets sits on a new-old stock Campagnolo “Gran Sport” seat pin. The nickel chrome plated 6-speed freewheel and chain are by Interloc Racing Design. The highly polished Honjo aluminum fenders are from Velo Orange.
The graphics are intentionally understated, so as to not compete visually with the black and silver color scheme. Short run water slide decals for application over black paint proved to be an interesting technical challenge; fodder for another blog entry.
Altogether, the effect is that of a European club racer as it was meant to be- before being stripped down to full racing dress for the American market. Straight out of the Revelo time machine- brand spanking new, and unridden. Bobish…dare I say Bobalicious?
There are more pictures of the bicycle here.
Here are the tech specs:
Frame: Razesa NOS
Seat Tube, C-C: 61cm
Top Tube, C-C: 57cm
Chainstays, C-C: 42cm
Stand-over Height: 86.5cm
Rear Dropout Width: 126mm
Front Dropout Width: 100mm
Bottom Bracket: Italian
Tubing: Columbus (?)
Dropouts: Gipiemme, forged
Rear Mech: Campagnolo “Nuovo Gran Sport” NOS
Front Mech: Campagnolo “Gran Sport” NOS
Shifters: Campagnolo “Record” NOS
Cable Routers: Campagnolo NOS
Crankset: Campagnolo “Sport” NOS
Bottom Bracket: Campagnolo “Nuovo Record” NOS
Freewheel: IRD 6-speed, 13-28 New
Chain: IRD New
Pedals: Zeus “Gran Sport” NOS
Toe Clips: MKS, Lg NOS
Toe Straps: Lapize NOS
Rims: Rigida Red Label, 700c x 36 NOS
Hubs: Campagnolo “Nuovo Tipo” LF NOS
Spokes: Stainless Steel, straight gauge New
Tires: Continental “Contact,” 700 x 28C New
Brake Calipers: Campagnolo “Gran Sport” NOS
Brake Levers: Campagnolo “Gran Sport” NOS
Cable Housing: 5mm, black New
Headset: Zeus “Gran Sport” NOS
Handlebars: Ambrosia “Campione del Mondo,” 43cm NOS
Wrap: Black cotton/ Velox ends New/NOS
Stem: Cinelli 1A, old logo, 100mm NOS
Saddle: Brooks B17, black New
Seat Pin: Campagnolo “Gran Sport,” 25.8mm NOS
Fenders: Velo Orange/Honjo, Extra long, 35mm New
Pump: Primus, black NOS