1980 Olmo Super Gentleman

s-l1600-3 copy

Completely original, a complete Campagnolo Gran Sport group, the asking price wasn’t much more than a good pair of dress shoes, and it’s an Olmo. How could I say no?  The Super Gentlemen was to Olmo what the Gran Premio was to Legnano, a respectable club racer. Having said that, the frame is nicely finished with the Olmo logo pantographed into the fork crown and the top of the seat stays, Gipiemme dropouts front and rear, bosses on the down tube for the shifters and cable guides on the bottom bracket and top tube.

Without toe clips, straps and air in the tires, the bike as you see it above weighs in just under 10 kgs or 22 lbs, a tad lighter than the Team Raleigh that Zoop Zoetemelk rode to victory in the 1980 TdF.  In fact with the odd exception it wasn’t until the mid to late 90’s that winners of the TdF and the other grand tours were crossing the finish line on sub 9kgs/20lbs bikes.

I acquired the bike in August of 2016 from its previous owner, Mario Viotto of Villar San Constanzo, Italy, a small town about an hour from Turin. The overall condition of the bike is very good although the frame is definitely in need of new paint and decals, and the chrome plating on the fork crown may also need to be redone. Otherwise the Campagnolo Gran Sport group has very few scuffs or scapes and should clean up well. Here is a page from the Olmo catalog showing what the bike looked like when new.

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8a

And a few more photos of the bike as it arrived.

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Here is a blueprint of the bike as it was received:

Model:   Olmo Super Gentleman ‘Z’
Year:   1980
Serial No:  none
Frame Size:
  57 cm (ctc)  58.0 cm (ctt)
Total Weight: 9.85kg or 21.72lbs (as shown above)
Frame Weight: 2.98kg or 6.57lbs (no bb or headset)
Tubing:  Columbus Zeta
Dropouts:  Gipiemme
Crankset:  Campagnolo Gran Sport (42/52) 170mm – 1980 Production
Bottom Bracket:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Pedals:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Toe Clips:  na
Front Derailleur:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Rear Derailleur:  Campagnolo Nuovo Gran Sport
Shifters:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Freewheel:  Regina Extra (6 speed)
Chain: Regina Oro
Hubs: Campagnolo Gran Sport (Nuovo Tipo) LF 36H
Rims:  Mavic Monthlery tubular 36 hole w eyelets
Spokes:  na
Handlebars: 3TTT
Handlebar Stem:
  3TTT
Headset:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Brake Levers:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Brake Callipers:  Campagnolo Gran Sport
Seatpost: Campagnolo Gran Sport (26.6mm OD)
Seat:  Olmo

 

Update January 6, 2017:

The bike has now been fully disassembled and handed off to Noah Rosen at Velocolour where it is has been stripped of the old paint and the forks sent out for plating as the chrome on the fork crown had deteriorated. Replacement decals have been ordered from Cyclomondo and I have been going through the ‘yes, no, maybe’ of selecting a colour for the respray. Inching toward a smokey green-grey metallic not far off the original colour.

On my next visit to Velocolour (another Legnano Roma is also in the queue for a full restoration), I am also going to check the wheel/frame clearances as I am hoping there is enough room to properly fit a pair of the narrow Honjo aluminium fenders for 25-29mm tires.  If so, I will have Noah braze some mounts to the frame and have the fenders painted up to match the frame along with some brazed on fork mounts for a VO front rack with decaleur.  The end game being to finish the restoration as a sleek randonneur.

 

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