Wednesday, January 8, 2014

For Sale: The Bottecchia


Sometime in early, or maybe mid-2010 I began to take notice of this black Bottecchia that was for sale at the world's smallest bike shop. By July temptation proved too tough to resist, and I bought that Bottecchia. It was my first classic and vintage (C & V) purchase, and I knew it would be more a trophy than an everyday ride. I hoped to use it on some C & V rides or, every so often, a tweed ride. Size-wise it was too small, but since I only intended to spin it during a handful of rides each year, I wasn't bothered by that fact. Though it was rideable at the time, it was rusty and in need of some spit, polish, and elbow grease to bring it up to the condition that it deserved. It was a grand old dame that had fallen on hard times and lost its lustre. My dream was to rebuild it with as many period-correct Campagnolo parts as I could. A perfect long-term project. It would be glorious when finished.

By December 2010 it was finished and the Bottecchia took an honored spot in the stable as one of the household's three Italian B's, alongside the Basso and the Bianchi, our other steel steeds. While it falls short of today's sleek, high performance standards, the Bott is as road-worthy as it ever was. In between July and December, the bike was completely disassembled. Some parts, those that would be reused, were cleaned, shined, re-lubed, and reinstalled. Other components were installed new. Cables and chain were replaced. New tires were mounted, bars wrapped with fresh tape, and a saddle waiting to be broken in topped things off. The rebuild was documented in a series of eight short posts - intro, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.

Well over the passing few years, the Bottecchia has turned into quite the wallflower. Unfortunately it has not had any greater purpose in life than to hang around and take up space, and so it is time to turn it loose. It was a prize in its 1970s heyday, it can be a prize to the right rider today. A couple things you might want to know - either info I didn't put into those original posts, or have changed since then: The blue ribbon bar tape is no more, the Ale toe clips are no more, the cotter pin securing the left crank arm is jammed on - I was never able to get it off (to clean the bb cups I just pulled the whole thing, crank attached - not ideal, but it worked). Someone out there will definitely enjoy this bike. If that someone sounds like you, send me a message for price and any other info you might need. If you are close, you can probably check it out in person. If not I can send you some pics.


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