This pristine 1967 Roma Olimpiade arrived this week from its original owner Peter Rossbaum, who was only 14 years old when he walked through the doors of Bloor Cycle in Toronto and purchased this Italian thoroughbred. It’s a rare find to come across a 50 year old Roma in this condition and beyond the financial transaction, it was kind of Peter to let me add this bike to the ‘Legnano Collection’. As with many of the former owners of the bikes in the collection, I think that Peter was pleased to know that his friend of so many years was not going to be ‘parted out’ on eBay and would be kept in its original condition.
The really interesting thing about this Roma is the Columbus decal on the front of the top tube. Is it for real? I say that because this is the first Legnano that I have come across that purports to be made from Columbus tubes. Legnano built the Roma using an extra light or premium grade of Falck tubing as well as some Reynolds 531 builds in the late 60’s and early 70’s as the Reynolds brand gained popularity with enthusiasts. So is it for real or is it just a decal? The sweep of the front forks look correct and some of the other dimensions look right as well.
It’s a boy! And his name is Columbus.
Well the nod on this one goes to T-mar on BikeForums who suggested I check the inside of the steering tube for the five helical ridges that were a patented feature of Columbus tubes at this time. And sure enough, there they were. So Roma’s were built out of Columbus tubes but perhaps by special order as this is the very first example that I have come across. Given the 101 stamped on the underside of the BB, there is also a good chance that not many were built and I am also hoping, in my mind of minds, this ‘could’ have been the first Columbus build had they chose to start the numbering at 100. Maybe, just maybe?
More on the Columbus question along with all of the details for this bike can be found in the listing 1967 Roma Olimpiade on the right hand side of the home page . . . or click here.