I have had many inquiries from readers about the large number of new-old-stock (nos) Legnano bikes that have been turning up for sale in recent years. The question is, “Are they real or are they reproductions”? Although I have hesitated to offer a definitive answer, I have generally believed them to be the real thing based on the reputation of the individuals or shops offering them for sale.
Most of these NOS Legnano bikes are either Specialissima or Competizione models, the number one and number two tiered road models produced from the mid-1970s. However I often found that some of the new components on these bikes deviated from the factory fittings as listed in the Legnano catalogs. And if these Legnano bikes were reproductions, where on earth were all the nos Campagnolo, TTT, Universal and Regina components coming from?
To clear up the mystery and set the record straight, here is a letter that I received from Claus Riemann of Germany.
“Dear Legnano friends, as a long time Legnano fan and rider it took quite some time to find this website this morning and I am more than happy to read all the stories and check all the detailed pictures.
Maybe, as a first reply, I can fill in some of the gaps in the the story of the NOS Legnanos here in Germany. The source of all these bikes was a large, now defunct Legnano dealership named Neumann here in south Germany where I live. Neumann was just 20 minutes away from my place, so I knew them quite well.
The founder of the shop died a couple of years ago and is missed by all the old style racers here. The business went down a bit as the owner and his ever present and helpful wife were 70+ already, and it came to the point to sell a bit of the stuff collected as the sons had there own lives and jobs.
There were at least 50-100 NOS Legnanos (200 to 400 Euros each) of all kinds and heaps of unassembled frames (garages filled to the top). I bought about 15 of the NOS bikes after a couple dealers went through it and picked out the highlights taking truck loads of bikes and parts with them.
Neumann sold 100s or maybe even 1000s of Legnanos through his shop to Germany, Switzerland and Austria which is around the corner. And a lot of the bikes were assembled in his workshop, his two sons earning some pocket money to build up bikes on Saturdays as they told me. So there is always a mix of parts on these bikes. They started putting Campagnolo Gran Sport on them but used Universal brakes or Ofmega cranks to complete it as these parts came handy at this moment.
As I came there after the big sell off around 2014 to the dealers in Berlin, Munich, Düsseldorf and Poland etc.. there were still approx. 20 to 30 NOS Legnanos and Gitanes, Olmos, Romanis etc. around so it was still a paradise for me. I still have a couple of the NOS Legnanos but gave some of them, as I had them twice, to friends for a small sum compared to the prices on the market.
Two weeks ago I sold a Mod.54 Special and a Competizione so I could buy (had to raise money) an Olimpiade Record Specialissima fitted with the Campagnolo 50th Jubilee group, built by Neumann in 1986 for a watchmaker from the Black Forest from whom I bought it. So there are still some around here and if all the NOS Legnanos would be on the market at once, there would be quite an inflation.
So, for me, there is not a rigid specification of Legnanos possible as a very large number did not come out of the works in bits. I still have two NOS ones wrapped up in masking tape with saddle, seat post and pedals in plastic bags hanging on the frame.
Thats it for today, of course i can offer to take some pictures of my bikes and send them, but they cover mainly the 70s/80s.
Keep on the good work, Claus.