1970 Roma Olimpiade

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I acquired this Roma Olimpiade frame in 2013. I am dating this Roma to 1970 given the serial number (1420R) on the underside of the bottom bracket although it could be as early as 1969 production or possibly as late as 1972.  As I have noted several times on this site, neither the unique position of the seat binder bolt or the lozenge-shaped Legnano down tube logo went too far into the 1970’s.

Model:   Roma Olimpiade Record Specialissima
Year:   1970 – 1971
Serial No:  1420R  (on the underside of BB)
Frame Size:  58cm ctc
Tubing:  Reynolds 531
Seatpost Diameter:  27.2mm
Front & Rear Dropouts:  Campagnolo
Frame Only Weight: 2.790g or 6.15 lbs. (no headset or bb)

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The Shimano BB cups and lock nut will go to the parts bin for another project however the Campagnolo axle is correct to the period if not original to the bike.

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The reinforcing flanges on the brake bridge did not appear on Legnano frames until 1969/1970.  On the 1969 Roma on this site, the size of the flange and the cutouts are a little smaller.  All of these small details help to date Legnano frames.

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My research has led me to conclude that the ‘R’ below the serial number on the underside of the bottom bracket is in reference to the Reynolds 531 frame construction. Having said that, the traditional Legnano alphanumeric serial numbers on the seat lug came to end by the late 1960’s.

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In the photo above you can see the faint remnants of a triangular-shaped Reynolds 531 tubing decal on the top of the forks.  Legnano started to build some frames with Reynolds 531 tubing starting in the late 60’s and I understand that Emilio Bozzi had the Reynolds distribution rights for Italy. Another clue to the Reynolds 531 construction on this frame is the 27.2mm seat post sizing compared to the 26.4mm post diameter of the Falck tubing that was the primary spec for Legnano.

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This frame is also one of the few 531 constructions that I have come across with the classic Legnano seat lug and binder bolt below the top tube, and this reason I wanted to add it to the collection. It wasn’t until I had acquired the frame that I also noticed the remnants of a ‘Olimpiade Record Specialissima’ decal on the seat tube, which may be the earliest year that I have seen this designation on a Roma model. The ‘Olimpiade Record’ designation (previously Roma Olimpiade) references the Olympic records set by competitors on Legnano bicycles. The ‘Specialissima’ designation was also used about this time by Legnano’s arch rival Bianchi to designate the top professional model(s) of the day.

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It’s always special to find a decal from the retailer that originally sold the bike.  In this case, The Spoke bicycle shop was located in ‘ The Hill ‘ district of Boulder close to the University of Colorado. The Spoke was started by Chris Finoff in the mid 60’s while he was pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at CU-Boulder. The Spoke was gone by the mid 80’s and is now a coffee house.

Below is a photo of the completed build, with a full Campagnolo Record/Nuovo Record group and an early release of the Cinelli 1A stem and bars that came to market in 1972. The original stem and bars would have been T.T.T., however I will put the Cinelli modification down to what was a very popular upgrade with cyclists in those years including myself.

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Here is the blueprint of the final build:

Model:   Roma Olimpiade
Year:   1970-1971
Serial No:  1420R (underside of bb)
Frame Size:  58cm ctc
Frame & Fork Tubing:  Reynolds 531
Frame Only Weight: 2.790g or 6.15 lbs. (no headset or bb)
Complete Bike Weight:
Crankset:  Campagnolo Nuovo Record pre72 production (42/52)
Bottom Bracket:  Campagnolo Nuovo Record 1046/a
Pedals:  Campagnolo Record 1037
Toe Clips:  Balilla
Toe Straps & Pulls:  REG
Front Derailleur:  Campagnolo Record 1052/1
Rear Derailleur:  Campagnolo Nuovo Record 1020a (patent 70)
Shifters:  Campagnolo Record 1014
Freewheel:  Regina Extra (17-17-20-23-26)
Chain:  Regina Extra
Hubs: Campagnolo Record HF for Legnano 1035 (locknuts ’66)
Rims:  Nisi tubular type with eyelets – 36 hole
Spokes:  DT Swiss double-butted
Tires:  Continental Giro 22mm
Handlebars:  Cinelli Campione del Mondo
Stem:  Cinelli 1A (90mm)
Headset:  Campagnolo Record 1039
Brakeset:  Campagnolo Record 2040
Seatpost:  Campagnolo Record 1044 – 27mm OD
Seat:  Sella Italia Sprint Suede

 

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3 thoughts on “1970 Roma Olimpiade

  1. O have a 1960 Legnano that was sold by the Boulder spoke has the same decal on the bottom of the seat tube

  2. Hola Marc.
    Le escribo desde España. Compre recientemente un cuadro legnano practicamente igual al Roma Olimpiade del 70 de su blog.
    Sorpresa, el cuadro en el clasico color legnano, con el tornillo de tija bajo tubo horizontal, cabeza de horquilla ….todo correcto…La calca del fontal es igual a legnano, pero ohhhh…sorpresa puede leerse Cicli Grandi Caracas.
    He investigado y solo consigo saber que Allegro Grandi campeon del mundo amateur 1928 y corredor para Legnano, tras la II Guerra Mundial se traslada hasta Venezuela y alli se convierte en distribuidor de Legnano y abre su propia tienda en Caracas.
    Queria informar de este exotico legnano y ofrecer unas imagenes para poder saber mas de el.
    Saludos desde España

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