Sunday, January 6, 2019

1981 Team Hoonved Bottecchia

Here is a very nice 1981 Team Hoonved Bottecchia.
It was sold to me as a original '81 Team bike, I have sent
the details of the bike to Bottecchia cicli S.r.l
so we will see if it proves to be the real thing or not?
I had always liked Bottecchia as a cycle brand, in fact
there a few things I like about Bottecchia.
So when I had the opportunity to buy what was possibly an 
ex team frame set several years ago, well I couldn't say no.
Firstly there is the heroic/tragic story of Ottavio Bottecchia, the
first Italian to win the Tour de France, and also the first rider to wear 
the maillot jaune from the first to last day of the tour (1924 TdF).
He also won the tour again in 1925.
Ottavio had, from the beginning of his cycling career, 
been helped in no small way by bike shop owner
Teodoro Carnielli, whom it is said, gave Ottavio his first
good quality race bike, a Ganna.
Sometime between 1924-26 Carnielli arranged to sell bikes
branded as Bottecchia.
Then in 1927 tragedy struck, while out on a training ride Ottavio
meet a mysterious fate, he was found unconscious on the road side near 
an orchard with  a skull fracture and several broken bones, 
but apparently no sign of a hit and run.
He died 12 days later.
More on that story here 
Teodoro Carnielli kept producing and expanding the Bottecchia range 
of bicycles,I have read somewhere as much a tribute to his friend
 Ottavio as a business venture
 Unfortunately I couldn't seem to find very much information
on Teodoro on the net at all, not even a photo of him.
Secondly, I really like the way there is practically no
pantographed components for Bottecchia. It is hard to
believe that a serious Italian race bike company, with a serious 
presence in the peloton, made a conscious decision to not go
down that path during the pantograph boom of the 80's.
Someone high up in Bottecchia must have called bullshit 
on the cult of panto when it came to their race bikes.
You have to admire the purity of vision.
Team rider Gisiger Daniel doing a time trial,,no panto here pal.
This lovely fork crown is probably the only bit of Bottecchia
 pantograph most of us will ever see.
 Nicely lined brake bridge. 

Thirdly I have always admired their decision to offer proper team
replica's for sale to the public, appropriately decaled with sponsors names.
This wasn't all that common during this period,
which makes verifying this frame's team authenticity that 
much more challenging.

Lastly, the Bottecchia jerseys have always been
outstanding, and their early eighties ones were some
of the prettiest jerseys of that period.

 Giuseppe Saronni in the SCIC/Bottecchia colours 1977-79
Their early jerseys were pretty nice too, but then nearly all the team
jerseys from the first team jerseys to early 1960's are pretty stylish IMO.
I will show you why I am reasonably sure that this might be
an authentic team issue frame set.
 Look closely at these lugs, they have been filed almost flush
with the tubes (top and bottom), there is a hell of a lot of work that 
has gone into this finishing. It is hard to imagine that this amount of 
work being put into your normal team replica.
 Even the seat cluster lugs get the same treatment.
Top/bottom and seat tube have all been filed flush.
The whole frame set has been masterfully finished from
one end to the other.

 It also rides beautifully as well, I just did a nice morning
ride today, and am still smiling.
Bottecchia/Carnielli B/B shell.

What more can you ask of a bike?
It's Italian and it's

Saturday, December 29, 2018

1971 Carlton Team Professional Mk3

This tattered magazine cover showing Brian Jolly on
his Carlton Professional in 1971, was the spark that lit
a bit if a crazy obsession for me about four years ago.
 I noticed that the rear stays were full chrome, I had never seen
a Carlton Team bike with a chrome rear triangle before, and as I am
a huge fan of the high end Carlton Cycles, my interest was piqued.
The following story and bike build takes place over this
three - four year fits and starts.
I owned a copy of the 1970 catalogue which showed the
normal half chrome stays, after searching for a while I 
came across a 1971 catalogue which I 
eagerly awaited...
While all this research was going on I had decided to make
myself a replica of Brian Jolly's '71 Team Carlton.
I picked up a very rough team bike on our local auction 
site for pretty cheap, which I intended to use for the project.
I was super pleased when I picked it up to find that it was
a 1971 frameset...sometimes you get lucky!

  Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the frame before stripping
and rechroming.
 The Carlton back from the chromers (last in line)

 Here it is masked/etch primed/undercoated, and the 
white panels painted and masked, waited for me to mix up 
the famous 'Lagoon Blue'.


The 1971 catalogue wasn't much help, it had the same photos as
the 1970 catalogue, by now I was starting to assume that Bulls Carlton
might well be a frame set built by a favored frame builder 
with Carlton decals,which was pretty common practice for professional
 riders around the world.
1971 Team Professional Carlton from the catalogue...
exactly the same photo as the 1970 catalogue.
Strangely the bike in both the catalogues don't seem to be
  Carlton Professionals that were on sale in 1970 or 1971.
Notice the different seat cluster, also the Camagnolo 1010a drop outs 
have the fender eyelets, whereas the Professionals (as far as I know) 
had the 1010 drops outs without eyelets, also the slack frame
 geometry...all very strange.
Cycling November 7, 1970 

Mixing the Lagoon blue, using the catalogue and my beaten up old 
Pantone colour book as my guides.
All painted, now just waiting for decals and clear coat.

Finally I found the piece of the puzzle that I had hoped might show up,
a Carlton add from a February issue of Cycling advertising the 
Team bike with full chrome forks/head lugs/seat panel and full
rear triangle.
Cycling January 30, 1971

 Unfortunately I had already had my frameset 
chromed and was half way through painting it, when I found this
add, I hadn't realized the whole seat cluster was chromed, I had just
had the stays polished and chromed.
Of course it seems obvious that you would do that now...oh well.
So after about three years of slowly putting together the info and (mostly)
correct period is my 1971 Carlton Team Professional Mk III.
Butted Reynolds 531 of course.

 1971 Team specs from Cycling February 20, 1971
 3TTT Stem with Fiamme Stem.
I don't think the Fiamme bars were used by the Team, 
but I couldn't help myself, just really like that logo, and as this is
what you look at most when on the drops, I allowed myself this 
  slight deviation from original.
VAR spare tubular bag.
The great innovator Gerald O'Donovan (R) Directeur of the
Carlton Team at the time, and who of course went on to set up
and manage Raleigh's famous Specialist Bicycle Development Unit
 (SBDU)  so serious pedigree for these Carlton team bikes
is unquestionable, but is probably often overlooked.
The chrome rear stays, and REG Cobra pump.
ALE bottle and cage.

Wes Mason on what looks to be a Carlton Contre la Montre
Time Trial bike.
Period Canetti Tubulars which were sold through Holdsworthy.
 Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centre pulls, spongy but surprisingly effective.
Lots of pretty chrome, notice the slightly clunky
red lining, I did this intentionally as I have noticed that
all the original Carlton Pro's I have seen were pretty
heavily lined.

I used Fiamme rims, the front is actually Neil Robinson's 
time trial wheel from his Dulux days, it is a 28h track rim.
Very fragile on the road I am told.
 Yes I even used original campagnolo grease, what can
I say, I am now just another sad rivet counter
 Lovely Campagnolo Nuovo Record drive train.

56/46 chain rings, the 56 is quite a bit of fun, but the
46 might need changing, it can make some of the bigger hill 
work feel pretty brutal.
 Team rider Trevor Bull trade card.
Carlton also had one of the nicest team jerseys of the period IMO.
If any who reads this know where I could obtain one, or any old
British pro memorabilia for that matter, please let me know.

An iconic derailleur that actually works pretty good.
Tied and soldered spokes are always a nice touch.
 The 1971 Carlton team line up was a very formidable team 
in the UK pro scene, they competed very successfully on 
Road, Track and Cyclocross. 
Gordie Johnson getting a great result for Carlton-Truwel in 1970
Those chainrings and a nice Everest slotted chain.
 Campagnolo bar end shifters, work good, and look the biz.
So after much research and buying a complete set of Cycling Magazine
from 1971,I know that this model was only advertised three time in
  1971,and seems to have then reverted back to the half 
chrome front/rear style that we all know.
It was also never offered in Carlton's official catalogues.
 I presume that this model proved either just to expensive to produce 
at the price point that (Raleigh) Carlton were aiming at, 
or maybe Raleigh just wanted to shift the limelight to the  
TI Team Raleigh project which was about to be unveiled in 1972
...bit of a pity.
 Nice little photo taken inside the Carlton factory in 1970.
Notice that they are still using a hearth in the brazing process.

I left the original headbadge unrestored as a nod to the
battles this old race bike had seen before I restored it.
Brian Jolly in action, cycling February 1971.

  I have ridden a couple of short shake down rides, one 80km 
ride and one 20km TT so far, and will say that I am very glad 
that I spent the time getting this one pretty close to period correct.
It feels very 1960's to me, the narrow bars, and just slightly
longer wheelbase probably account for his, it is also 
very supple in it's ride and soaks up road noise nicely.
All and all a well rounded and balanced vintage race bike.

If anyone has any further information and or corrections on this subject 
they can contact me here..

 Last photo goes to my honey, who calmly puts up with my
mad obsession with vintage cycle racing.