Sunday, June 5, 2016

M. Bonvicini

This exceptionally rare bicycle was for sale on eBay for less than a day. Bicycles are meant to be ridden; how does an obviously well ridden one survive for 65 years? I did a little digging around and found only two examples of M. Bonvicini (and one was this bike), still there is a M. Bonvicini headbadge and seatpost clamp. ??? It was either made by someone (Luigi Ganna?) for an exclusive shop, or by a master (M. Bonvicini?) who built bicycles for the trade, for other builders. As a friend said, "this underlines the issue of who-made-what in good old Italia."  Whoever made it it is a jewel, a well preserved jewel that should not have too much of its vintage grime removed.

Following is the eBay description:
1940s Campagnolo Cambio-Corsa race bike badged "M. Bonvicini." 57cm square: 57cm c-c seat-tube; 57cm c-c top-tube; 59cm to the very top of the seat-tube to the point below the seat-tube-clamp for the seat-post. Three notable things about this bike. 
First it is, as far as I can tell from my reasonably long experience with Cambio bikes, it's completely original in every way except for the following: rims, tires, spokes; it has new cloth bar-tape and reproduction brake-lever hoods. That's it though. Everything else? Fully original. 
Second, the frame shows many sweet details including the dark-green panels, the lovely head-badge and the chrome ends and lugs with pinstriping throughout still intact. The chrome is in miraculously excellent condition. Someone took good care of this bike. Note also the very cool spring-loaded top-pump-peg, I've never seen one before. Also note the pump is painted to match the bike, from the period. 
Third, this bike was shown recently in the Concours at Eroica California and won 2nd Place in the Pre-1950 Category.

The reason the eBay listing is no longer valid is that the bicycle now belongs to me. - Gunnar


George A said...

Ah, the trill of the hunt! What from your collection will you "release" in order to make room?

Gunnar Berg said...

Space is really not an issue. Our second home has an empty full walkout basement with high ceilings. I could put a 100 bikes in it. Philosophically though I really don't want a "collection", rather a handful of cool old bikes. How many boats are a collection?
2011 Chris Kvale
1985 Peter Mooney
1940s Galmozzi CC
1968 Galmozzi NR
1984 Galmozzi SR
1970s Ron Cooper mixte
1940s M.Bonvicini

If push comes to shove, and it must, I suppose the Ron Cooper mixte and the Peter Mooney touring bike would be the first to go.

Grady said...

Congrats Gunnar.

I'll be down in Lanesboro quite a bit this summer. Would love to see this new one.


Anonymous said...

I like your style, Gunnar!

Silk Hope said...

Glad to see Charles Andrews found a good home. It's right in your wheelhouse. If it was a 55 it might have been a different story. Good on you Gunnar.

Gunnar Berg said...

Thanks. I swore to the Goddess of Oakwood I would never buy another bike. Then she booked another yoga trip to Tuscany this Fall, which gave me a free pass. And I took it. (Not really, but I like the narrative.)

Silk Hope said...

Just notice something. Your rear tire flint catcher is on backward.

Vancouver Island cyclist said...

I like, and share, your take on "a handful of cool old bikes" vs. a collection. When other cyclists learn of my six old bikes, 1960s to early 1990s. they frequently ask, "Found those on ebay?" I am pleased to reply that I bought them all new and simply kept, and rode, them. The only exception is the 1965 Moulton I spotted on a junk dealer's truck in the mid-1980s. Oh, and I have one modern bike. In 2014, Mike Kone of Boulder Bicycles traded me a Soma Grand Randounneur for a 1960s Leica M3 and spare lens. Your Bonvicini is a beautiful and interesting historic bicycle.