Help identify the 70s frame builder of my Eroica bike

wqlava1
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Nillumbik, Vic

Help identify the 70s frame builder of my Eroica bike

Postby wqlava1 » Fri Dec 01, 2023 4:07 pm

I’ve got a bike I bought back in 2011, planning to use the frame as a fixie for one of my sons to come along and do Melburn Roobaix with me (which we’ve mostly done ever since). But being exactly my size, and having nice lugs I thought I’d keep it for myself and keep looking for the boys. Over on the Classic Rendezvous Google forum I was told back in 2016 that the lugs are only a copy of Nervex Professional, but I still don’t know the difference! Note that the lug lining is at the top of the edges not in the internal corners.

I’d really like to find out the builder. There is no sign writing on the frame, just an S stamped above the number 290 on the BB lug. It has Nervex Pro lugs, which I like. The fork lower half and the rear halves of the chainstays and seat stays were chromed. Rather pitted, now, but patina… The brakes were Weinmann 999 610, and I still have them but replaced them with the same but NOS. The 38cm 3TTT handlebars (way narrower than I ride usually) and tfe stem with 7mm bolts for the bar clamp and the centre bolt appear to be ‘71 or ‘72 according to my investigation on VeloBase. The original front hub was 95mm - it was noticeably difficult to get a 100mm hub in there. The rear dropouts are 120mm. It came from somewhere in country SA, I think on Yorke Peninsula, and there was no easy courier for the vendor, so I told him to cut the spokes and scrap the rims - I should have got him to take the freewheel off but didn’t think to at the time so the back hub was wasted. I also got rid of the lowing quality derailleurs & shifters, and didn’t decide to keep it for myself till they were gone. The frame takes a 26.8mm seat post, so it’s made of pretty reasonable tubing for its age. The rear dropouts are longish Campagnolo (and I know the screws are bent, airlines are bit rough on bikes, even in padded bags).

When I saw something about L’Eroica Gaiole in Chianti, in about 2015 or 16 I resolved to build it up to go. My approach was to use period-appropriate gear, with a few nods to my needing to travel with it and also have it set up to use the bike for other hilly rides on the same trip. I built the wheels with MA2s and some used Royce 100 & 120mm hubs. I spoke to Cliff Polton at Royce Racing a few years back, and he said that my hubs with the brass end caps were from his early production up to 1983, which is nice and complies with Eroica regulations. The sealed bearings are still so nice that with one good flick in the truing stand, they stop spinning just over 5 minutes later. I was going to use some 105 Golden Arrow cranks, but asked the Eroica people and they were happy for me to use the silver fluted IRD compact cranks so I could get 46/30 rings up front without greatly compromising the looks. I got an IRD 13-32 freewheel as I think it’s about the best quality available and would also help me climb. I chose an IRD QB-95 BB (a nice one from Tange Seiki’s high end) because I just want it to work if I travel with it. I got a Rinko headset from Grand Bois because I didn’t want to carry a 32mm spanner. The original headset had many, many very small free balls. And to complete my change of all the bearings, I put in MKS Ezy Superior Road Next pedals so could have clips & straps , but also have the triple sealed bearings. The tool less pedal removal made packing the bike easier and saves a couple of hundred grams of pedal spanner. With size 13 shoes, I’ve had to use stacks of 7 washers for the clip bolts, as even XL MKS clips are far too short! The shoes were a story by themselves. I got some in size 12 from REW Reynolds in the UK before Covid but they were just too small even after painful stretching. Reynolds seem to have gone out of business now. Then I didn’t find anyone else till mid this year - William Lennon makes up to UK size 13, also in Northampton coincidentally, and a bit cheaper. The brake levers, shifters and derailleurs are all Shimano 600 Arabesque. The RD is a long cage that I got NOS which should be at the limit of its capacity with my gearing - I still need to take a link or 2 out of the chain as I can’t use the small chainring with the 2 smaller rear cogs currently. The photos show a dirty bike - that’s the Tuscan dust still on it from L’Eroica a few weeks back.

Sorry to write so much. Anyway, does anyone have an idea on the frame builder? I recently (November 2023) saw a bike for sale up in Mansfield that has the same sort of BB stamping, but number S165 and less ornate lugs. Same chainstay style brazing to the seat tube though. It’s over on the FB group Old Aussie Riders (70s and earlier).

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P!N20
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:50 pm
Location: Wurundjeri Country

Re: Help identify the 70s frame builder of my Eroica bike

Postby P!N20 » Fri Dec 01, 2023 4:29 pm

Dunno, but we need some photos!

Imwit
Posts: 596
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:21 pm
Location: Albury

Re: Help identify the 70s frame builder of my Eroica bike

Postby Imwit » Sat Dec 02, 2023 9:17 am

Is it this one…? Last post in the thread (there’s a really good discussion of when Campag drop outs started appearing in Australia in that thread)

https://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/view ... 23&t=89660

wqlava1
Posts: 622
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Nillumbik, Vic

Re: Help identify the 70s frame builder of my Eroica bike

Postby wqlava1 » Thu Dec 14, 2023 11:38 pm

Imwit wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2023 9:17 am
Is it this one…? Last post in the thread (there’s a really good discussion of when Campag drop outs started appearing in Australia in that thread)

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=89660
Yes it is . Apparently photos are easiest linked to Instagram, but I couldn't do that quickly. I'll try again. Yes, that photo is from a 2018 effort I made at identification. I finished up not going to l'Eroica that year (house renovations got in the way), or 2020 when I entered again (Covid).

Thanks for your interest.

Andrew
Nillumbik, AU

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