I am currently in the market for at least three frames. That doesn’t mean I have the budget to buy all three, but there are three bike projects that interest me and if I can find one or more of the frames and the price is right, I’ll buy one or more of them. I’d be happy with one, two or all three.
Ideally, I’d like to find the original frameset in original finish. But, at least for two of these projects, I’m very flexible. What I do not want are bent, cracked or otherwise damaged frames in need of major repairs. Repaints, sure, but nothing that requires a torch.
And, by the way, I have an beautiful, early Tommasini frame and a very clean Look Kevlar 2000 frame I’d like to sell or trade.
Project 1: Gios Torino Super Record
This is the only one I really want to be original finish. And the only one of the three I seek that I want to be nice. Not beat.
I have been looking for one off and on for a few years. When I acquired my Julien Stevens frame and a 1979 Super Record a couple years ago, my hankering for a Gios was satisfied.
Occasionally, I’d look for a 1974-1977 frame, but getting one was never a priority. When I’d see one for sale, I’d look, but none were my size. Or, if they were, there was always an issue—repaint, incorrect decals, damage (bent tubes), too rusty, etc.
Recently, after finishing my ride at the Paris Roubaix Challenge on the Stevens bike and seeing a few original Brooklyn Team bikes in museums in collections in Belgium, I started to feel the need to get my own 1974-1977 model.
A couple weeks go, this perfect (original finish, correct model, correct size, even had the original seatpost) example came up for sale. I contacted the seller, but he seemed pretty set on this asking price—1,250 Euros with the BB, headset, seatpost and chainring. I was short on cash and the price was a bit on the high side, although with the post and chainring, arguably fair. I passed and looked elsewhere.
I quickly found a second option, but it had been repainted (not by Gios) and had the incorrect top tube sticker. The sticker is a minor problem, but it’s the sort of thing that would drive crazy. I’d be tempted to sand off the clearcoat, remove the two GIOS decals and replace them with correct Gios decals and have it re-cleared. A lot of work, money and hassle to get it done right.
Yesterday, after much thought, I reached out to the seller of the frame above again. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the frame had been sold. I’m pretty bummed.
The frame is stamped 55, which means 55 c-t. And according to the seller, the toptube measured 55. It’s a good size for me, although I prefer a 54.5 top tube. My 1979 model also is stamped 55, but it measured 53.5 c-c with a 53.5 cm top tube. I have a hunch that Gios tweaked its geometry for the growing US market in 1979, switching to shorter top tubes. I’ve never confirmed this. But when I ask for frame DIMs from online sellers, the older Super Records always seem to have longer top tubes, like the frame above.
But I digress.
What I want in a Gios frame is the following:
- 1974-1977 Brooklyn Team-era Gios Torino Super Record frame (with or without the fork—I have a spare)
- Color: Gios blue, original finish (would consider a Gios Torino refinish)
- Size: Stamped 55; seat tube c-c 54-55cm; top tube c-c 54-55
Project 2: 1973 Flandria Shimano
I recently acquired a 1973 Shimano Dura-Ace group, which I have been wanting for several years. My goal in getting the group has been to build a 1973 Carpenter Flandria-Shimano or 1974 Flandria Shimano Team replica bike.
Ideally, again, I’d like to find a vintage team frameset or high-quality consumer frameset in Flandria livery with original finishes. But, for this bike I’m okay repainting a non-Flandria frameset of the correct era and build spec to look like one.
It’s well known that many of the team riders used non-Flandria frames built in Italy or Belgium because the Flandria frames were of lower quality. The photos below show a variety of frame types, indicating that several builders were involved.
Sample Flandria Bike 1: The bulk this bike looks to be a 1973 or 1974 team bike. I like the way this frame is spec’d—clamp-on brake cable guides and shift levers, braze-on BB shell cable guides (rear only?), Campagnolo dropouts, etc. I’m looking for a frameset like this, either real Flandria or other Belgian, Dutch or Italian, as long as there are no logos.
Sample Flandria Bike 2: This bike also looks to be a 1973 or 1974 team bike, but it also has some Campy and Gipiemme and other parts. I also like the way this frame is spec’d. A frameset like this, either real Flandria or other Belgian, Dutch or Italian, as long as there are no logos, also would work for me.
Sample Flandria Bike 3: This bike is allegedly one of Marc Demeyer’s 1975 bikes. I also like the way this frame is spec’d. A frameset like this would work for me.
Sample Flandria Bike 4: This bike is allegedly one of Freddy Maertens’ bikes. I like the way this frame is spec’d, too.
Sample Flandria Bike 5: This bike is another nicely spec’d frame, this time with a clamp-on bottle cage. The photos show the nice wrap-around seatstay caps common on many Flandria frames.
Sample Flandria Bike 6: This bike is another alleged Maertens bikes and a great example of what I’m looking for.
Sample Flandria Bike 7: This bike is a Flandria-Shimano team bike from 1973. Note the circular cutouts in the lugs, wrap-around seat stay caps, bolt-on bottle cage, braze-on derailleur cable guides and chain stay stop, nutted seatpost clamp bolt, etc. This is perfect.
Sample Flandria Bike 7: This bike is an older Flandria frame, likely a real Flandria. It’s located nearby my house and is inexpensive. Although not as high-end as I’d like, I think it’s the real deal and the approximate era I seek. I’d buy it, but it’s too big.
Sample Flandria Bikes 8 & 9: The number 8 bike here show the fancy lugs I often think of when I think about Flandria frames. Both are real team bikes and part of Leo’s Bike Collection.
I’ve been looking at other Belgian and Dutch frames to get an idea of which might work. I’d like to find something without any branding on the lugs, fork crown, seatstay caps, etc. I kind of like the Dutch-made Gazelle below, which has fancy cut-out lugs similar to those on many Flandria frames.
This 1968 Gazelle frame has many of the aspects common on Flandria frames—the fancy lugs, lack of braze-ons, similar fork crown. I like it. But I’d hate to buy it only to strip it and repaint it. I’d prefer one in need of paint.
These R3 style lugs by B.C.M. may be the fancy lugs I have seen on many Flandria frames.
What I want in a “Flandria” frame is the following:
- A vintage Flandria team frameset or high-quality consumer frameset. OR a structurally sound 1970s frame of another brand in need of paint.
- Color: Best if in need of paint
- No brake cable braze-ons
- No shift lever bosses. (I’ll consider with.)
- One set of bottle bosses (I’ll consider without.)
- BB and chainstay cable guide braze-ons (I’ll consider without.)
- Ideally, and to make it easier for me to find a seatpost, I’d like a high-quality tube set that takes a 27.2 seatpost.
- Size: Seat tube c-c 54-55cm; top tube c-c 54-55
Project 3: 1981-1985 Splendor
I’ve been wanting one of these beautiful blue frames for more than 30 years. I never looked for one until recently, however. Ideally, I’d like a real team frame with original finish. But, like the Flandria frame above, I’m okay repainting a non-Splendor frameset of the correct era and build spec to look like one.
It’s well known that many of the team riders used non-Splendor frames built in Italy or Belgium because the Splendor frames were of lower quality. These photos show a variety of frame types, indicating that several builders were used. I’ve heard Maertens built some of the frames for the team.
Sample Splendor Bike 1:
Sample Splendor Bike 2: This is a team bike with unusual (for a Splendor) diamond cutout lugs. Something like this would be perfect. Love it!
Sample Splendor Bike 2: This is one of Clady’s 1986 bikes. I hate this paint job, but I’d definitely take an original team bike this this. I’d also be interested in a non-Splendor bike frame like this, in need of new paint.
Sample Splendor Bikes 3 & 4: More 1986 Claudy frames. These should explain what I’m looking for. With or without chrome.
As with the Flandria, I’ve been looking at Belgian frames to get an idea of which might work. Maertens or Plums, which sometimes have the diamond cutouts of Rudi Matthuis’ bike above, come to mind. Whatever I use, I’d like to find one without any branding on the lug, fork crown, seat stay tops, etc.
This Plum Vainqueur has a lot of similarities to both the 1986 Criquielion and Matthuis frames above.
What I want is the following:
- A vintage Splendor team frameset or high-quality consumer frameset. OR a structurally sound 1980s frame of another brand in need of paint.
- Color: Best if in need of paint; optional chrome fork and/or driveside chainstay. (I like the painted forks on the bikes in 1981 best.)
- Tubing: Ideally, and to make it easier for me to find a seatpost, I’d like a frame made of Columbus SL (1981-1982), but I owed consider Reynolds 531 (1983-1985)
- Size: Seat tube c-c 54-55cm; top tube c-c 54-55