Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:55 pm

Gah - now I'm in serious trouble. After the $20 worth of Repco Olympic 12, Ricardo Elite double now the trifecta comes into play:

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Tange champion no 5 seamless tubing, a full Suntour Arx group with micro ratchet bar end shifters, Sakae Randonneur bars, drilled dia-compe brake levers, 27" araya alloys, half the back axle is missing and it looks set up for commuting/touring with some chopped up guards and a little Sanyo Dynapower hiding under the BB.

Can you say...stoked? What a nice match for the Elan!

Better yet, it's got the Abeni name in huge letters on the seat tube, although sadly the Europa stickers are somewhat faded. Still, a new set of tyres, some bar tape and a new back axle and it'll be awesome.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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by BNA » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:00 pm

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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:00 pm

For comparison - the elan. Wish I knew what it was made of, 27.2mm seatpost and incredibly light though:

Image
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby munga » Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:15 pm

some lovely steel there, drubie
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:08 pm

The europa is interesting - It looks like it came from the shop set up like that with the bar ends - but it's not really a touring frame I don't think. Doesn't have canti studs or anything. It's not the lightest bike either.

It's kinda like an expensive commuter. In fact it'd make an excellent commuter I reckon. I might even leave the rack on there, but the guards need replacing. Maybe leather tape and one of those butt buster brooks saddles?
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:28 pm

drubie wrote:Image

Tange champion no 5 seamless tubing, a full Suntour Arx group with micro ratchet bar end shifters, Sakae Randonneur bars, drilled dia-compe brake levers, 27" araya alloys, half the back axle is missing and it looks set up for commuting/touring with some chopped up guards and a little Sanyo Dynapower hiding under the BB.


I think what you have got their is a randonneur, audax bike. Designed for unsupported long distance endurance events such as the 1200km Paris-Brest-Paris. These bikes are designed to be fast, stable and comfortable. Carrying the minimum equipment required in all weather conditions day and night, hence the lights, comfortable randonneur bars and mud guards. That's a nice find I am very jealous.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:19 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:I think what you have got their is a randonneur, audax bike.


Hmm - maybe! The Dynapower looks like it's been there since new (not sure about the rack). Guards are plastic - bit hard to date given the bike must be mid-1980s going by the Suntour stuff.

I threw an old QR axle into it and pumped up the tyres and found some spare quick releases. To my total surprise, those tyres held 80psi and the spoke tension was all pretty good, so I went for a ride! It is really nice. Wheels are straight, hardly any wear on the drivetrain (although a lot of dirt), BB is good, chainrings are straight. That big cluster on the back makes short work of hills. The tyres are shagged though - couldn't trust them for a long ride. The quick ride around the block was somewhat curtailed by the rain today, but I could see that for a long distance bike it's really comfortable as you said.

Definitely a keeper. I am officially out of room in my shed though!
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby brauluver » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:09 pm

drubie wrote:
Image


I'll send you my address and you can box that and send it to me thanks.

Lovely bike!
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:18 pm

brauluver wrote:I'll send you my address and you can box that and send it to me thanks.

Lovely bike!


It is lovely. It's in bits at the moment - I used it as an all-weather commuter for a while and nearly destroyed it. I've got the rust under control but have decided to box it up and send it off for painting. The stickers I got off nearly 100% complete and am in the process of having them remade.

The stem is Italmanubri, 3TTT Ergo bars, campy BB.

I have a new white Rolls for it, will put the 8 speed ergo stuff back on but replaced the dura-ace headset and brakes with campag I think. Not original, but I love the 8 speed ergo levers. I've got a set of gold anodised Super Champion singles with mavic hubs and a screw-on 8 speed Sachs cluster with the right spacing for campy ergo and I intend to use it for...crit racing :twisted: Alternatively some Gipiemme Parades that just aren't stiff enough for my carbon bike but are OK for a bit of fun in a short race.

The only thing on it that was a bit rubbish were the cranks - Sugino Mighty Road. I've put those on the Repco Olympic 12 and am going to go non-retro with a set of carbon cranks and a carbon seatpost. I know it sounds a bit weird but it looks so much like a Colnago Master that making a cut-price version is irresistable.

I've had no luck with Europa - they didn't respond to me when I asked them what it was made of, although according to the canberra bicycle museum site it's one of theirs, and was probably fitted out with Shimano gear when new.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:55 pm

drubie wrote:The only thing on it that was a bit rubbish were the cranks - Sugino Mighty Road.



Nothing Rubbish about Sugino Mighty cranks. Easily as good as Campagnolo Record of the era and a lot less prone to cracking in the web between the drive side arm and the spider.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby familyguy » Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:09 pm

Image

Was posted here.

26.0 post on yours drubie? I reckon mine is pure hi-ten, but the whole fork is chromed underneath the faded-red/pink paint.

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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:03 pm

familyguy wrote:26.0 post on yours drubie? I reckon mine is pure hi-ten, but the whole fork is chromed underneath the faded-red/pink paint.

Jim


As far as I know, Tange Champion 5 PG is pretty much classy hi-ten. On the scalloped seat stay on the right hand side, there is a little "5" stamped right in the scallop, dunno whether that indicates the tube type, but it's too much of a coincidence not too. Our frames look *extremely* similar - same headset, lacking the braze-on cable guides on the top tube and using clamps instead etc.

My forks are chrome under the paint too, with the only bit originally left unpainted was the fork crown.
Not sure about the seat post size - I didn't pull it out far enough to check for any markings on it, but at least it wasn't stuck! Aluminium fluted one, not fabulous but at least it's a micro-adjust style.

Was interesting pulling the shifters apart to get 'em working again - the dia-compe bar ends I bought new for my cyclocross bike are near identical internally, but have a much improved blade attachment (less fiddly). They feel pretty much the same though.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:09 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Nothing Rubbish about Sugino Mighty cranks. Easily as good as Campagnolo Record of the era and a lot less prone to cracking in the web between the drive side arm and the spider.


Well, they are lighter than the other sugino's I've had in my shed recently, and they take campy road rings, but they don't really work with that campy BB. Once I bunged em on that Repco and they snugged up on the JIS taper BB, I knew they'd found a decent home. Perfect chain line.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:21 pm

drubie wrote: Tange Champion 5 PG is pretty much classy hi-ten.

Like the Sugino cranks don't under estimate Tange 5 PG. It is a plain gauge seamless Cr-Mo. Nice strong stuff and a s**t load better than Hi Tensile steel. As a matter of fact a variation of Tange Champion is still used for NJS track frames.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:31 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: As a matter of fact a variation of Tange Champion is still used for NJS track frames.


I didn't know that, I had assumed hi-ten given the bikes weight, then again it's got a lot of stuff hanging off it. It reminds me a lot of the bikes I used to see whizzing around Canberra at twice my speed when I was a teenager on my Road King. It's as good as I imagined they were back then :D

edit: it says "chrome molybdenum" right on the bloody tange sticker. One other thing I just noticed - on the blue metallic paint, it has a nice gold painted highlight on the lugs - I thought it was dirt at first!
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby familyguy » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:24 pm

drubie wrote:One other thing I just noticed - on the blue metallic paint, it has a nice gold painted highlight on the lugs - I thought it was dirt at first!


Mine has the gold lug highlighting as well. No ID for tubing (there's no little '5' stamp like yours) but they do look remarkably similar. I also happen to know there's a dark green one very much like these ones hanging in a shed in Canberra :wink:

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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby fatearle » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:54 pm

I'd appreciate some help with this Europa I have recently purchased.
(Excuse my description and terminology. Motorbikes.. yes. Bicycles...well, I'm learning.)
The frame is alloy. (must say light as a feather!) Markings over the paint is "Europa" and "Tech Road 1"
Under the finish, RH side where the wheel attaches is 56 A102 and DR.
Front forks are chrome under the paint.
F & B derailleur and cranks are Shimano Golden Arrow (Googled that much..)
F & B brakes are older 105's.
Araya 700c rims; some old KKT Pro Vic II pedals.
And that's all to start with.
I can't seem to add pics?
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:06 pm

Fatearle - you need a minimum number of posts before you can put up a picture, but if you post the link to your photobucket somebody else can put the picture up for you.

Familyguy - That green one hanging in a shed is a crime - maybe you should go and get it. I'd honestly be surprised if yours was hi-ten if the forks are chromed - I don't think I've seen a hi-ten with chromed forks but who knows.

Went for a longer ride this arvo (in the rain) - so surefooted and comfy on those fat tyres, gearing is a little low for my taste but with a bag full of gear or food I might appreciate it a bit more. Can't wait to throw some decent bar tape and new hoods on it, but the cable routing is a bit dud when you're in the drops so I'll have to sort that out.

Interestingly, the Suzue hubs use the same axles as the Miche/Campy ones of the era - got lucky as it happens that was the exact spare axle I had in my spares bucket.

It's a lot faster than it looks - I had to slow down in deference to the aged rubber on there when road flattened out. Was a bit hard to get used to the massive jumps between the back six cogs after riding 10 speed modern stuff but those stubby little bar ends are magic. I hate to say it - much better than down tube shifters if you like to spend your time on the hoods. Vinyl turbo-clone saddle is serviceable but it'd be much nicer overall with a decent one. I think I'll ride it to work tomorrow :)
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby munga » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:04 pm

... and on wednesday we hear about your walk home with two flats and a grazed elbow ;p
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:14 pm

munga wrote:... and on wednesday we hear about your walk home with two flats and a grazed elbow ;p


Heh. I'll be thinking of you munga when I'm picking the flint and sand out :mrgreen:

Anyone got a red rear lens to suit that Anlun light set?
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby familyguy » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:47 pm

drubie wrote:Familyguy - That green one hanging in a shed is a crime - maybe you should go and get it. I'd honestly be surprised if yours was hi-ten if the forks are chromed - I don't think I've seen a hi-ten with chromed forks but who knows.


Yeah, trouble is its friend of a friend, so its not really an offering relationship currently. But I reckon its not going anywhere in the forseeable future.

drubie wrote:Was a bit hard to get used to the massive jumps between the back six cogs after riding 10 speed modern stuff but those stubby little bar ends are magic. I hate to say it - much better than down tube shifters if you like to spend your time on the hoods. Vinyl turbo-clone saddle is serviceable but it'd be much nicer overall with a decent one. I think I'll ride it to work tomorrow :)


I've got mine set up as a 1x6, and the bar end shifter works a treat. Very easy to reach and shift. The jumps are a killer 8)

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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:25 pm

familyguy wrote:I've got mine set up as a 1x6, and the bar end shifter works a treat. Very easy to reach and shift. The jumps are a killer 8)


Yep, the jumps are a killer.

Sugino cranks on that one? One thing I'm not sure what to do about is the total lack of bidon braze-ons. There was a bit of tape on my down tube which I suspect had something like that clamped on it. I like the idea of one of those french style handlebar bags with the drink bottles up front, then I noticed your frame looks to be missing them as well. Do tourists not drink?
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby spirito » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:14 pm

My first roadie geared bike was a Europa. Yellow with blue decals and chrome fork. Ambrosio rims, Modolo brakes, Ofmega derailleurs (Mistral rear !!! 8) ). Can't remember much else as it was stolen from the garage only a few weeks after I got. Insurance covered the cost and I bought a used Mercian with singles and I guess I've been a sucker for imported stuff ever since :oops:

Anyway, I have the below frame in the shed which might be good to add pics of here. It's an early Europe which I've confirmed in person with John Abeni but it's hard to get more details from him and he's a little vague about the time frame. It looks early 70's and he said it was made in Italy to order for Europa and branded as such. Neat decal, Falck tubing and it has an Ofmega headset which probably isn't original. Somewhere along the way it scored a Chatswood Cycles decal.

Nice frame ... way too big for me and it looks like I might be boxing it up to send to a mate of mine in NYC. Not certain for now but it's his size and I promised him a cool ride.

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Amusingly I saw an interesting "Europa" in the shop last week. I had to ask John about it as it was an early type but unlike any other "Europa" I've seen. After a while John admitted it was a Motobecane repainted with "Europa" decals. That stuff is common for most Aussie shops though ... a little badge engineering and free advertising. I can't wait to read about some Europa's being french threaded in 5 or 10 years time :lol: :mrgreen: :twisted:
Last edited by spirito on Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:25 pm

That's cool spirito - I notice the little kangaroo sticker surrounded by italian flag colours is very similar to the blue tip shop find stickers on the seat tube.

In some ways it'll be a bit of a shame to see it go overseas, but better to be ridden than not I reckon.

If you talk to Mr Abeni again, could you possibly get him to fill in the details on the connection to Pulteney street cycles in Adelaide, the Elans and identifying which frames were built at the shop vs. the imported ones? Quite a few seem to be Technotrats (one for sale at the moment in Member to Member) but the old Canberra bicycle museum site says "reynolds 531", but every eighties Europa all seem to be Tange frames and there's no tube type markings on the Elan at all. A bit confusing!
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby spirito » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:57 am

In some ways it'll be a bit of a shame to see it go overseas, but better to be ridden than not I reckon.


It's a tricky one and not for certain yet. It's for an old friend who I was formerly in business with when I lived in NYC. He's had a tough time the last few years and the GFC has hit him hard. I thought to send him a nice frame to build up as it might help lift his spirits and I know he needs a more practical bike. It's one of two frames I was considering to send him .. they're both similar size and it'll come down to whatever is the best fit. I know it's somewhat of a shame to let it go but it's in the shed and I don't have to fork out for anything except for postage.

If you talk to Mr Abeni again, could you possibly get him to fill in the details on the connection to Pulteney street cycles in Adelaide, the Elans and identifying which frames were built at the shop vs. the imported ones? Quite a few seem to be Technotrats (one for sale at the moment in Member to Member) but the old Canberra bicycle museum site says "reynolds 531", but every eighties Europa all seem to be Tange frames and there's no tube type markings on the Elan at all. A bit confusing!


That's a tough one. I've known John for years and even then he's usually a man of few words and is hard to catch when he's in a mood to chat. I've asked him a gazillion question and I've only ever got snippets of info here and there but nothing linear or detailed. I'd be the first to ask him and set it all straight if it were possible. I'd discount the Canberra info as a lot of it is inconsistent. The "reynolds 531" reference is mostly with regard to Kenevans who Europa distributed for at one time and they (or Europa) co-sponsored the 84 Olympic team bikes. John's currently having frames made in the old lugged steel style and indeed the shop has a bunch of classic lugged steel brand new bikes. Who's building them? John says " .. in Melbourne". :? It's usually cryptic like that :lol:

One day I'll get to the bottom of all this ...
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Re: Europa / Abeni / Elan appreciation society

Postby drubie » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:12 am

spirito wrote:One day I'll get to the bottom of all this ...


Would be great if you could - Europas were everywhere in Canberra when I was growing up. It was the bike you bought if you wanted more upmarket than an Apollo.

It'd be good to set the record straight.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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