Bottecchia Road Bike

Michael, an experienced recreational rider who owns a modern carbon road bike equipped with Shimano Ultegra components asked to join the steel frame classic bike owners club. This happened after a Saturday morning bike ride with a group of 4 other riders using steel frames.

Rafi was more than happy to assist. A short discussion between those two led to the conclusion what we need to do. First task – to find an old steel frame in good condition. We looked online, searched all kind of Facebook groups and forums and visited some bike shops as well. Finally, Rafi found an old Bottecchia bike stored in the back yard of a bike shop. It was not even closed to be in riding condition.

This is how the frame looked the day Rafi took it to his “lab” – this is after it was stripped of most components.

It is visible there are no rust stains on the frame tubes. 

And this is how the frame looked after the paint was stripped off with some paint remover and lots of manual labor (sanding).

This is when professional body shop painters joined the party. One base coat layer, one black layer – as seen in the pic below. After that the white paint and 2 layers of clear coat – as seen in the short clip below.

The paint scheme matches the original paint job of the frame.

The fork crown got a new black layer of paint and the chrome blades were thoroughly polished.

The result is a very good looking fork.

We also started to look for components to assemble on the frame. Rafi found an old set of Shimano Ultegra Tricolor brakes, a set of wheels with Mavic ceramic coated rims, an old 8 speed Shimano Sora rear derailleur,  a Campagnolo crankset, handlebars and so on.

Michael asked for Shimano pedals to match his cleats and handlebar shifters – not downtube shifters used in the 1980’s. These were purchased new (a set of Shimano Claris), as well as an 8 speed cassette and a new chain.  


The last item in our mailbox was the frame stickers.

This is how they look on the frame:

All components are in, so this is the time to start the assembly task: 

Cables, handlebar tape, shifters / derailleurs tuning and the bike is ready for a test ride. This task was assigned to our friend Shalon Dahan, an experienced rider and bike builder. Shalom rated the overall ride experience, the ride quality and the fun factor at 9.5 out of 10! Not bad.

One more thing. Restoring such a bike is not a low-cost exercise. Vintage parts are expensive. You could get a brand new bike with above average components for about the same price. It all comes to personal preference – classic vs. modern.

The bike is ready to meet its new owner. This is Michael’s smile after the first ride on his new bike: 

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