"If I don't believe in solipsism, who will?" - Al Batt

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cambio Corsa Bottecchia

We're going old school today. This posting is inspired by Masini's Cambio Corsa Legnano. My connection with Rory Mason, aka Masini, is the late Dan Ulwelling, as fine a man as I've ever known. Rory was a regional Cannondale rep who serviced my local bike shop, Rydjor Bikes, and Dan was the owner. My LBS is not a typical bike shop. It is a large shop selling modern bikes. The difference is the decor. The ceiling and walls are filled with vintage bicycles, mostly racing bikes. I don't believe I ever met Rory. If I did it wasn't memorable. Of course, I couldn't have known that as he gazed at the vintage bikes hanging from the Rydjor ceiling, he too was falling under the spell of the vintage racing iron. 

This is one of the Rydjor collection, a 1948 Cambio Corsa equipped Bottecchia, similar to the bicycle that Gino Bartali rode to victory in the '48  Tour de France - more this later. The bicycle is in amazing condition, a well cared for bicycle with only slight paint wear from general riding. A real gem.

Ottavio Bottecchia was the first Italian winner of the Tour De France. He won the TdF in 1925 and '26, and died in 1927. The Bottecchia bicycle line was introduced after his death, either honoring his name or capitalizing on it, depending on your viewpoint.

The company is still in business, selling carbon bicycles made in China.


reverend dick said...

Well, considering the crapbon fibre, I gotta go with capitalizing. I hate that stuff.

That shifting system is INSANE! Completely crazy.

Gunnar Berg said...

Insane maybe, but Bartali was able to shift in a sprint.

I've tried it. I couldn't do it smoothly, but it's more intuitive than you'd think.

There was a later "improved" (not) version with one lever, the Cambio Paris-Roubaix ('51?), but by then it was competing with the Campy Gran Sport derailleurs.

Masini said...

Just think, I have a Galmozzi with Cambio Corsa... from 1955! It was a long-lived "technology".

It's actually intuitive if you know what's happening back there. I can't do it in a sprint or climbing yet, but there's always retirement... lots of time to practice then!

Anonymous said...

Ottavio is rolling in his grave because you femminized his name.

Gunnar Berg said...

Noted. I have a couple of responses, neither of which are inoffensive enough that I'll post them.