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Bike tags: Road bike | columbus | handmade | shimano 105
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Dufresne, 60cm, 1980s

Belleri, generic

"BMC," full chrome under paint

Pelissier 2000 hub, Super Champion "Gentleman 81" rim, tied-and-soldered spokes (32), Schwalbe Marathon tire

Shimano 7-speed cassette hub (36), Mavic MA40 rim, Schwalbe Marathon tire

Shimano 105 double, 170mm

Serfas Cosmos, way hacked


'70s Huret downtube shifters, Shimano 105 derailleurs

Shimano 105, Shimano Exage aero


Bought in Paris in 2012 for a big 40 euros off the local equivalent of Craigslist, le Bon Coin ("the good spot"). Apparently was custom built in the 1980s by a maker in the town of Bondy, north of the city. High quality, including Columbus tubing and nice cutout lugs, but it had suffered since -- flopped-and-chopped bars, hacked fork replacement (including shortening the head tube to make it fit), crudely filed-down stem. But great stuff too. The front wheel in particular is a museum piece, with an ultra-rare cartridge-bearing Pelissier 2000 hub, tied-and-soldered spokes, and a "Gentleman 81" Super Champion rim -- state of the art back in the day.

Rebuilt it slowly, concentrating on fixing problems: Swapped the bars, stem, and levers, put on a slightly less mucked-up headset and bigger tires for the Paris cobblestones. Sanding down the new stem from 22.2mm (English) to 22mm (metric) was fun, and the result is perfect. More fixes to come, but it's a good city rider now.

People who friended this bike campystamp

Cool fastback stays like

Cool fastback stays like Basso signature. As to the fork, BMC is just a sticker, the fork appears to be Columbus Air, like you'd find on Tommasinis, SLX frames and the like. Lug windows look very familiar, just can't nail it down ATM. It'll come to me.


Thanks for the info -- much appreciated. Any idea on the rear dropouts?

Not a clue. An uncommon look

Not a clue. An uncommon look for that vintage, particularly being vertical with what look like rack brazeons punched out rather haphazardly. The closest I have seen were on an Alan. Possibly a one-off or else someone took a set of existing dropouts and chopped them up custom. Same difference.

About the head tube..Someone took a fork with a steerer that was too short and cut down the headtube to fit it? Am I understanding that correctly? Cause that's just nutters!

Correct understanding

Yes, the idiot trimmed the head tube -- and tossed the original fork. Insane. On the rear dropouts, they're an unusual form, but definitely a proper industrial product. Nice design, actually; just have no clue who made them.

That's absurd

And quite a lot of trouble to do it all wrong. On the bright side, that fork is really nice quality swag. I'd strip it down to chrome.

Good to know

At some point it'll end up on eBay, but for now, it's on the bike and it works.


thanks for the story

my pleasure

Just added some more photos. Seat cluster and vertical rear dropouts are interesting touches. The scarred paint on the trimmed headtube is clearly visible, and check out that fork crown -- never seen anything like it.

shortening the head tube to make it fit?

there oughta be a law! but you're doing a good job nursing it back to health. interesting frame, especially the rear triangle -- the chain stays are pretty short, all the more noticeable in a larger frame. i'm also curious about seat stays that sit behind the rear spindle, although maybe that's simply a consequence of the short wheelbase. nice find.

No kidding

It's kind of painful to look at the head tube up close -- the paint is actually scorched at the ends, as though the guy used a torch or a belt sander to cut it down. I'd guess he pulled off maybe 5mm in all, then found an old-school headset that threads down into the head tube (ultra-short stack height). Still a hack job, and though the fork itself is interesting -- a full-on race number from the 1980s, with sort of an aero crown -- it has to go before I can get a real headset on the bike. Will look for a proper period Columbus one, then repaint to match.

On the rear triangle, yes, interesting. I think it's a consequence of the vertical rear dropouts (which have some "drillium" action). No maker's mark on them, so hard to say what they are; certainly unique.

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