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

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