My first "good" road bike

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William Crowell

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Sep 24, 2021, 10:40:10 AMSep 24
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It was a used bike that a friend brought back for me from Italy in 1971, built by Giusto Pinzani in 1957. I think it was made from Columbus SL tubing, or whatever Columbus was making back in '57. Pinzani was located at 85 Gioberte St. in Florence (it might still be there; not sure). Originally it had a steel cottered crankset, campy chromed steel low-flange hubs, and Universal center-pulls. Of course sew-ups were de rigueur back then for a hard-core rider like I fancied myself. I wanted to put an alloy gruppo on it, but at the time there was a huge bike craze and parts were hard to get. Peter Rich at Velo Sport in Berkeley, where I lived, was totally out of alloy cranksets and didn't know when he'd be able to get more. The only place that had an alloy crankset for sale was Spence Wolf at the Cupertino Bike Shop, and even Spence was out of Campy, so I had to settle for a Stronglight. I bought Campy high-flange hubs because all the British racers were using them at the time, and I wanted to be like them, and a pair of Campy steel Record road pedals because I couldn't afford the alloy ones:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y3SuyzRY19v6C6_U7ShBcmhafjP9YOg0/view?usp=sharing

I rode this bike for about 10 years, including doing quite a bit of touring in western Europe, until the down tube broke and my friend, framebuilder Bernie Mikkelsen, took a careful look at it and said it was too old and it wouldn't be prudent, safety-wise, to repair it.

Tom Kunich

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Sep 24, 2021, 10:52:14 AMSep 24
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In 1957 Columbus was making "steel tubing". It was probably nearly identical to what became known later as Thron. Almost all people who rode the various types of tubing preferred Thron but SL was lighter when it was finally developed in the 70's. SLR was heavier but stiffer. SL OS (Oversize) was good for larger size frames.

Many frame makers now still wish they could get Thron but Columbus only makes very specialized stuff that is preformed oval for top tubes and special shapes for the other tubes and is almost exclusively SLX and something called Zona. I still prefer Didiaccia Zero but they also make titanium and aluminum bike tubes.

William Crowell

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Sep 24, 2021, 11:26:44 AMSep 24
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Thanks for the information, Tom. I had never heard of Thron tubing before. My, this group is so educational!

From the Google Earth street view of 85 Via Vincenzo Gioberte in Firenze, it looks like Pinzani is no longer located there. I think either the "Full" store or the "In Condatta" store would be where Pinzani was located:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K5sNfGXIsOaj1DRSLCARXkwQCiLEsl77/view?usp=sharing

I did stop by the Pinzani shop when I visited Florence in 1978, but my diary notes that they had nothing that I considered unusual at the time, so I didn't buy anything.

jbeattie

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Sep 24, 2021, 11:32:54 AMSep 24
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On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 7:40:10 AM UTC-7, William Crowell wrote:
Are you sure about the frame build date? With the standard brake-drop, relatively short chain stays and over-all geometry, it looks a lot more recent than '57, particularly with the two brazed on bottle mounts, which could have been added later. The paint also looks like an Imron color, and I think it has the later, metalized Columbus sticker on the forks, which came in the '70s, IIRC. I can't see the lugs, although that's not very telling. It' looks like an early '70s maybe late '60s bike. If it is '57, it was really racy for the era. And it broke? Gasp! What about forever bikes? The BB/DT junction probably got cooked during building. Mikkelsen was a good builder with good advice -- probably too expensive to braze in a new DT.

Speaking of small-world frame builder stories, my PT lady's husband's uncle (if I have it right) is Glenn Erickson of R&E fame. She was excited that I was excited about that.

-- Jay Beattie.



jbeattie

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Sep 24, 2021, 11:40:06 AMSep 24
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Thron was a 90s lower-end tube and a minor alloy variation on 4130. I don't know why Tom thinks it was the bees knees -- or how he could even tell that difference between that and let's say Cromor or even 531. It is a heavy tubeset.

-- Jay Beattie.

William Crowell

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Sep 24, 2021, 11:40:28 AMSep 24
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You have a good eye, Jay. Yes, it's not stock in the picture. The original paint was in terrible shape when I bought it, and before the picture was taken Bernie had done a highly un-kosher paint job (at my request) with some braze-ons. A few years after that the down tube broke. Bernie didn't want to repair it because he found stress cracks starting in some of the other tubes, and he was afraid the head tube might actually break totally off of it sometime.

William Crowell

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Sep 24, 2021, 12:02:54 PMSep 24
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"Are you sure about the frame build date?"

Yes, Pinzani always stamped the year of production into the lug at the bottom front of the head tube.

jbeattie

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Sep 24, 2021, 12:06:34 PMSep 24
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On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 8:40:28 AM UTC-7, William Crowell wrote:
> You have a good eye, Jay. Yes, it's not stock in the picture. The original paint was in terrible shape when I bought it, and before the picture was taken Bernie had done a highly un-kosher paint job (at my request) with some braze-ons. A few years after that the down tube broke. Bernie didn't want to repair it because he found stress cracks starting in some of the other tubes, and he was afraid the head tube might actually break totally off of it sometime.

Since I'm ignoring work, more O.T., I'm O.K. with modern bicycle recognition, mostly because everything has planet-sized decals, but walking around with my son, a bike will go by at >20mph, and he'll launch into his OMG, he's got the Firecrest 303s and eTap and a 2020 Dogma etc., etc. If its a Specialized, he'll really go off and give me the staggering OTC price. I can't see that stuff immediately. I could tell you if it had a NR crank. And all cars now look the same to me.

-- Jay Beattie.

William Crowell

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Sep 24, 2021, 12:32:18 PMSep 24
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Ignoring work, atta boy! You are going to need something to occupy your copious free time, and believe me I am just the man to help you with that. You simply must read this short story that appeared in Argosy magazine in 1951:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pT5mYx-Wm2vVZvjVxUOA2m9BLMXhRHA8/view?usp=sharing

Note how the narrator (the kid) knows all the different brands of now long-extinct cars by sight, and the precise method by which the mom and dad decide to buy a new car. Some things never change.

Tom Kunich

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Sep 24, 2021, 1:45:21 PMSep 24
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I didn't particularly like Thron but in blind testing almost 100% of professional riders preferred it. But you may continue misrepresenting anything and everything I say. It just makes you look like the idiot you are.

AMuzi

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Sep 24, 2021, 2:59:13 PMSep 24
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Entirely rational.

Without a scale, the weight increase isn't immediately
recognizable but on a ride, especially a climb, the
stiffness is noticeable.

--
Andrew Muzi
<www.yellowjersey.org/>
Open every day since 1 April, 1971


jbeattie

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Sep 24, 2021, 3:13:28 PMSep 24
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What sort of idiots says that:

"In 1957 Columbus was making "steel tubing". It was probably nearly identical to what became known later as Thron. Almost all people who rode the various types of tubing preferred Thron but SL was lighter when it was finally developed in the 70's. SLR was heavier but stiffer. SL OS (Oversize) was good for larger size frames."
And further shooting the moon:

"I didn't particularly like Thron but in blind testing almost 100% of professional riders preferred it'

Hint: you said that. That doesn't even make sense. Thron was developed decades after SL. And how can you say that "almost all people who rode the various tubes" or "almost 100% of professional riders" preferred Thron? This guy preferred Neuron -- maybe. https://www.habcycles.com/m7.html AFAIK, there is no such thing as SL OS. SL was off the market before OS was a thing.

Please link us to anything indicating that professional riders preferred Thron -- or that people in general preferred Thron over other tubes. Thron also comes in OS, so are you talking the OS tubes or the standard diameter tubes?

-- Jay Beattie.

Tom Kunich

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Sep 24, 2021, 3:36:28 PMSep 24
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Jay, you have already shown that you can't understand ANYTHING so I have no worries that you cannot interpret anything I say now. The 4130 that was made by Columbus early was the same stuff except Thron was butted tubing. Apparently unlike you I have actually owned and ridden bikes made from every Columbus tubing except Brain. But EL-OS is a better set for a 62 cm frame so what does that mean?

The Didiaccia still was better tubing and that is why the later Basso Loto team bikes were made from it.
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