I acquired this Roma Olimpiade Record ‘Specialissima’ 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. 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.
Fifty years have passed since this Roma rolled off the production line and the fragile ‘lizard yellow’ paint has seen better days to be sure. A respray would definitely bring this Roma back to it’s former glory however as they say, “a bike can only be original once”. That said, I have increasingly opted to leave the original finish alone unless there is a serious risk of corrosion or if the finish is completely gone.
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.
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.
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 in 1966
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.
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 ‘gentle restoration’ with a full Campagnolo Record/Nuovo Record group and an early release of the Cinelli 1A stem and bars. The original stem and bars would most likely 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.
Here is the complete blueprint:
Model: Roma Olimpiade Record ‘Specialissima’
Serial No: 1420R (underside of bb)
Frame Size: 58cm center-to-center
Frame & Fork Tubing: Reynolds 531
Frame Finish: Original decals and paint (5-6/10)
Frame Only Weight: 2.790g or 6.15 lbs. (no headset or bb)
Complete Bike Weight: tbd
Crankset: Campagnolo Nuovo Record Strada 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 engraved for Legnano 1035 (locknuts ’66)
Rims: Nisi tubular type with eyelets – 36 hole (nos)
Spokes: DT Swiss double-butted
Tires: Continental Giro 22mm (new)
Handlebars: Cinelli Campione del Mondo
Stem: Cinelli 1A (90mm)
Handlebar Tape: Brooks leather (new)
Handlebar End Plugs: Gazlo branded for Legnano
Headset: Campagnolo Record 1039
Brakeset: Campagnolo Record 2040/1
Seatpost: Campagnolo Record 1044 – 27mm OD
Seat: Sella Italia Sprint – Black Suede (nos)
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