Status: Personal Collection (Not For Sale)
Weight: 7.8 kg / 17.2 lbs (with pedals and cages)
Made in Canada
Frame: Hand-built in Montreal by Giuseppe (Pepe) Limongi from lugged Columbus tubi rinforzati garantiti
Fork: Columbus Minimal Carbon (2022) Note: Came with Columbus forcella originale
Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record 11 (2015) Note: Came with Campagnolo Triomphe
Gearing: 11spd, Front - 39/53, Rear - 11-27
Wheelset: Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheels (2015) with Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0, 25c tires
I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted this one on Facebook Marketplace. The title was simply, "Racing Bike" and the description only said, "Italian hand made bike." I was at Steve's house as soon as he'd let me. The frame was incredibly rusty but I could see that it was nicely made and it came with a beautiful Campy Victory groupset and wheelset that I knew would clean up well. When I got it home, though, and taking the parts off, I was shocked by the poor condition of frame. There was rust everywhere! Steve had it custom built in 1987 when he lived in Montreal but he couldn't remember the name of the builder. The only markings on the frame, besides the Columbus decals, were the letters "LB" and the numbers 25 and 87 stamped under the bottom bracket. Could LB be the builder's initials and 25 be the 25th bike of the year and 87 be the year? That's what I chose to believe.
APR 2023 UPDATE: We are quite confident that the frame was built by Giuseppe (Pepe) Limongi, a French-Italian frame builder who moved to Montreal and continued to build frames there. The LB stamped on the BB likely stands for Limongi Bicycles.
Version 2.0: After an extensive search, I was unable to discover the name of the bike builder. At first, I really wanted to give this bike a name so I decided to invent an Italian name with the initials LB. When looking online, I stumbled upon drawings of Leonardo da Vinci's bicicletta. They are believed to be the earliest pictures of a bicycle and even though it wasn't built, it is argued that it was the invention of the bicycle. I decided to honour da Vinci by calling it the Leonardo Bicicletta. I even came up with a "brand" logo.
In the end, I decided that Mikes Bikes Work needed a team bike so I changed my mind and decided to make this my MBW branded shop bike for road riding. The colour choice was easy. You might recognize it as the Mazda Crystal Soul Red (46V). I was pretty happy with the masking for the decals and lettering. There were a few minor glitches, but pretty nice in the end.
I was debating building this up with the Campagnolo Victory groupset that came on it but in the end, since I planned to make this my regular road bike, I decided I wanted a bit more modern groupset that had integrated shifters and brakes. As well, I had the Holdsworth that I was planning to paint and build up and it needed an entire groupset. Luckily, I picked up an early 2000s aluminum bike on the cheap that had this 9 speed (mostly) Veloce groupset.
The build was more challenging than I anticipated but worth it in the end. After a 2 hour, 45 km ride, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face!
UPDATE 20Feb2022 Version 3.0: I bought a vintage Campagnolo 10 speed Record Titanium groupset and a really nice Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheelset to put on my MBW Team Bike. The rear derailleur was pretty scratched up and the decal was 3/4 missing and the front derailleur was delaminating (I forgot to take before pics) but after my restoration work, they look like new again. I also brought the weight down from 20.6 lbs/9.34kg to 20 lbs/9.0 kg. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and clean roads so I can take it for a ride.
UPDATE 24Mar2022 Version 4.0: I was playing around trying to see how light I could go with this bike while still enjoying the ride quality from the Columbus frame. I thought I'd experiment by replacing some of the parts for carbon. The heaviest part of a steel bike is the fork. They are basically fancy boat anchors. If any of you have tried to find a carbon fork with a one inch carbon steerer tube to install on a vintage steel frame, you'll know how hard they are to find. There are some vintage Ritchey carbon forks and others with aluminum steerers out there but a carbon steerer is like a needle in a haystack. Well, I found one, from a maker in Taiwan who is putting out quite a few carbon parts for vintage steel frames. I thought I'd give it a try. It wasn't easy, though. Finding a compression plug for the 1" carbon steerer proved impossible. I ended up getting a 1 1/8" plug and shaving the pieces down until it fit in the 1" steerer. This actually worked but it took a while. Of course it also needed the 1" threadless headset. Certainly not impossible to find but I did have to do some work to make the fork crown race work with the carbon steerer as well. In the end, I shaved 870g (1.9 lbs) off the weight of Version 3.0 and 1.1kg (2.5 lbs) off the weight of Version 2.0. This version weighs 8.2kg with pedals and cages.
UPDATE 22April2023. Version 5.0: Paint is Glacier Blue Metalic (GLT). Upgraded to Columbus Minimal fork, Campagnolo Super Record 11, FSA Bars, Chris King Headset. The rest is the same as version 4.0. The bike now weighs 7.8kg with pedals and cages. I don't think I will ever sell this bike. It is beautiful to look at and it rides like a dream. Fun to climb and solid on the descents.
Made in Bassano del Grappa, Italy
Frame & Fork: Columbus Air
Groupset: Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Crankset: Ofmega Mistral
Wheelset: Nisi HR 22 rims on Miche hubs with Pirelli P Zero Velo 25c tires
After finishing the Benotto, I was hooked. I had to find another classic Italian bike but unfortunately, quality vintage steel bikes were rare in Kelowna so I started hunting in Vancouver. The Giubilato caught my eye right away with its yellow saddle and bar tape and the Campagnolo Nuovo Record groupset. The ad said, "Make me an offer," so, I sent him a low one. He said he had someone coming by to buy it already. Later, he contacted me to say the bike didn't fit that person so it was mine if I wanted it. I picked it up the next day. What an amazing bike with the Columbus Air tubing, pantographed seat stays and fork, and the chromed fork and chainstays. The chrome and groupset had lots of corrosion but I new it would clean up beautifully.
This was so much fun to work on. The groupset cleaned and polished so beautifully. The paint was in pretty good condition and restored nicely with Mother's 3-part polish and wax system. I also used model paint and mixed a colour that closely resembled the original fo the touch ups. It was such a high quality bike it deserved some really nice tires. I tried installing a set of Vittoria Corsa Controls but they just wouldn't stretch onto the wheel. I was getting super frustrated and decided to use them for another build and instead bought the beautiful Pirelli P Zeros. They finished it off nicely. The best part is the ride, though. It's so smooth and comfortable!