Old racer

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Old racer

Postby Old Postie » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:38 pm

Hi, I'm new to this forum so go gentle.
Began my working life in 1968 as a PMG telegram boy/postie and used to ride around the old red postie bicycles and have continued to ride on and off (more off) ever since. Retired last year and began to pick up bikes from tip shops and garage sales that needed a bit of love and tlc. This gives me an interest and keeps me busy. These bikes are mainly old Repco, Malvern Star and Speedwell racers and a few old ladies bikes. Nothing too special but I was given an old racer this week that seems to be a bit above what I have in the shed. Details are as follows;
Make - Decal says Forcella Originale Columbus.(2x7 speed) Columbus also stamped on drop outs.
Shimano brake levers, Front derailleur - Dura-Ace Shimano, Rear derailleur Shimano, Campagnolo quick realeases front and rear wheels, stem stamped 3ttt Italy,
handlebars stamped GB, wheels hubs Campagnolo Record, crank arms shimano FC-S105 170 HE, chain ring outer Shimano 54 teeth, headset stamped Tange Falcon Japan, seat leather Concor Marco, seat post Lamprade 5R, front wheel Fiame Super Corsa, rear Mavic GP4 (France), metal pedals which I can only make out as some wear on lettering say KPT TPA Top Run Japan.
The bike came with two spare front wheels. The only wheels with a tyre is the rear which is marked Panaracer Tour Guard - Kevlar.
The most interesting thing about the bike is the 3 slots at the bottom of the frame for greasing/oiling. Never seen this before.
The bike was kept in a shed and very well greased to preserve it and is in very good condition for its age and would be easily road ready if you could get tyres for the unusual rims. I don't like to see old bikes end up in landfill or scrapped if they are worthy of preserving. Any info or comments from forum members would be appreciated.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 pm

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Re: Old racer

Postby im_no_pro » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:24 pm

Welcome to BNA. Sounds like you have scored well based on the description. Post some pics up if you can. I have also moved your thread to the correct board :)
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Re: Old racer

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:57 pm

Indeed from the description and various part details it sounds like a good score!

Old Postie wrote:The most interesting thing about the bike is the 3 slots at the bottom of the frame for greasing/oiling. Never seen this before.


What I guess you're describing is holes in the underside of the bottom bracket. They're not actually for regreasing, but rather a weight saving mechanism on higher end frames. The BB bearings and such, back in the day for professional and "serious" dedicated race bikes, were obviously meant for rebuilding relatively frequently. A lot of crud gets kicked up from the front wheel in wet conditions in this area.

In some frame examples you can see smaller or singular shapes sometimes cut & filed into a logo shape serving the same purpose.

Y'know the stupid thing? I got sucked into your post from your name, not what you said you found! I would love one of those "Old Postie" bikes.... with the large front rack/basket and the smaller front wheel :D
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Re: Old racer

Postby munga » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:28 pm

wheel rims/tyres are known as tubulars/singles/tubbies/tubs.
serial number and pics of any features such as the cutouts in the bottom bracket shell will go a long way to telling what it might be.
also, what's the diameter of the seatpost? pull it out and look for 26.4mm to 27.2mm stamped on it (seatposts are measured and stamped in 0.2mm increments). this will help tell you what columbus tubeset the frame is built with.
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Re: Old racer

Postby GaryF » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:27 am

It sounds like you have a nice racing bike. Often a rider would put together a bike using a varied collection of components as money permitted. All the components you describe are very good quality and it sounds like this bike was someone's pride and joy which goes along with your description.

I bet it rides a little easier than your postie bikes - but I suppose a postie bike would be comfortable allowing many hours in the saddle. This new addition to your bike fleet would be more efficient to ride but it may not be as comfortable. The saddle you describe "Concor" is my personal favourite for comfort though.
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Re: Old racer

Postby tedsbikes » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Old Postie wrote:Hi, I'm new to this forum so go gentle.
Began my working life in 1968 as a PMG telegram boy/postie and used to ride around the old red postie bicycles and have continued to ride on and off (more off) ever since. Retired last year and began to pick up bikes from tip shops and garage sales that needed a bit of love and tlc. This gives me an interest and keeps me busy. These bikes are mainly old Repco, Malvern Star and Speedwell racers and a few old ladies bikes. Nothing too special but I was given an old racer this week that seems to be a bit above what I have in the shed. Details are as follows;
Make - Decal says Forcella Originale Columbus.(2x7 speed) Columbus also stamped on drop outs.
Shimano brake levers, Front derailleur - Dura-Ace Shimano, Rear derailleur Shimano, Campagnolo quick realeases front and rear wheels, stem stamped 3ttt Italy,
handlebars stamped GB, wheels hubs Campagnolo Record, crank arms shimano FC-S105 170 HE, chain ring outer Shimano 54 teeth, headset stamped Tange Falcon Japan, seat leather Concor Marco, seat post Lamprade 5R, front wheel Fiame Super Corsa, rear Mavic GP4 (France), metal pedals which I can only make out as some wear on lettering say KPT TPA Top Run Japan.
The bike came with two spare front wheels. The only wheels with a tyre is the rear which is marked Panaracer Tour Guard - Kevlar.
The most interesting thing about the bike is the 3 slots at the bottom of the frame for greasing/oiling. Never seen this before.
The bike was kept in a shed and very well greased to preserve it and is in very good condition for its age and would be easily road ready if you could get tyres for the unusual rims. I don't like to see old bikes end up in landfill or scrapped if they are worthy of preserving. Any info or comments from forum members would be appreciated.



The "Forcella Originale" means forks by Columbus. (See http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Columbus-CRO ... 337e6b66f3 )

Seven speed gears means mid 70s to 80s. Tubular tires will be required to fit the Fiamme & Mavic GP4 rims. Training tyres such as Continental Giro are readily available - check out "tubulars" in Cycling on ebay. They do have disadvantages compared with clinchers, such as the need to be glued to the rim and difficulty in repairs - a puncture usually means another tyre! The Campagnolo hubs should be worth something if you decide to replace the wheels with clinchers.

This sounds like an interesting and worthwhile exercise - check out the other threads on this forum re preservation vs restoration.

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Re: Old racer

Postby morini » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:34 am

Can I just add that singles are repairable, it's just a pain in the bum unpicking the stitches. I've had the misfortune of getting two punctures in one ride and was forced to sit on the side of the road and repair one of the tyres. From memory that might of been the ride that pushed me over the edge. I came home, got a pair of pliers out of the toolbox and cut the hubs out, then realised I forgot to remove the free wheel. That was over twenty years ago......still learning.
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Re: Old racer

Postby Old Postie » Thu May 02, 2013 1:46 pm

Hi to all readers and especially to those whose replied to my post. I have did a bit or research locally and spoke on the phone today with a road racing legend from
the Riverina area Barry O'Hagan. The bike I have was owned and ridden successfully by Ronald Bowditch from Wagga who passed away a few years
ago. Barry said he and Ron rode in many races in the 60-70s. Barry remembers the bike from those days and said it was built by a Jim Bundy. Will try and catch
up with Barry in person as he lives close by and get some more info on the original owner and the races contested with this bike. Now it's down to the shed
and clean up a couple of old 28 inch ladies Malvern Stars that I picked up last month.
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Re: Old racer

Postby HappyHumber » Thu May 02, 2013 2:14 pm

Sounds like a local gem you've picked up there. Happy to assist you posting pictures to share.
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Re: Old racer

Postby Old Postie » Sun May 05, 2013 5:56 pm

Thanks for the offer of assist with posting pictures. I'm hopeless with anything more advanced than a rotary dial telephone. Don't have enough posts yet to be able to send pics. Will take a few as found pics and hopefully as a restored road ready bike after a few more posts.
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