I just returned from Italy a few weeks ago and this wonderful 1962 Legnano Mod.02 ‘Condorino’ followed me home, arriving today at my door in an old cardboard box, wrapped in bubble, zip ties and masking tape. I could tell that this was a first time experience for the sender but most importantly it looks like everything stayed in the box and there was no damage during transit. A huge sigh of relief.
The first thing to consider when shipping bikes in cardboard boxes is to make sure there is some solid bracing between the front and rear stays, either some wood blocking or an old axle with pairs of nuts to maintain the spacing. I also prefer to have the bike upside down in the box rather than resting on the dropouts as most handlers will respect large UP arrows on the outside of the package.
Small screws and bolts I prefer to put back in their holes and snug up rather than putting them in a bag that could get lost or fall out of the box if damaged. Lots of plastic bubble and zip ties to keep it all together inside the box and keep any tape well away from paint and decals. And nothing works better than duct tape wrapped 360 around all sides of the box and some makeshift loops of tape to use as handles as they do help to keep the box ‘right side up’ in handling.
Thirty, very satisfying minutes later this is what Mod.02 looks like fully assembled but not quite ready for the road. The colour is almost the same as traditional window putty, a very subtle green cast to an otherwise medium shade of grey with a contrasting head tube in Legnano red and the signature chrome bands on the seat tube that are characteristic of many Legnano Sportivo models through the 1960s.
So what’s next? Restraint mostly as this is my therapy project to ward off ‘cabin fever’ during the long, cold Canadian winter. As I often comment to friends, this activity is much more fun and far less expensive than psychotherapy. In addition, spring comes, sanity in tact, and you have a beautiful vintage bike as a reward for surviving another winter in the Great White North.
I have no intention of repainting this bike as the original paint is in great condition for the years. I will fully dismantle Mod.02 and give her a thorough degreasing, rebuild the wheels if necessary, some careful hand compounding and a good coat of wax on the frame, repack all the bearings, polish up the chrome work and then every so slowly put her back together while I gaze out the window at the snow drifts and enjoy some hot chocolate.
More to come in the spring!