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Unknown "SWALLOW" Frame set

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Unknown "SWALLOW" Frame set

Old 06-27-19, 02:41 PM
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HPL
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Unknown "SWALLOW" Frame set

Another mystery frame from the archives of my life. Italian threaded BB and headset, 70mm BB shell. Unmarked dropouts front and rear. Repainted and chromed or rechromed. Markings on the frame set: 1445 (?serial number?) and 50 (ST size c-c) on the BB shell; "SWALLOW" (my birdbrained opinion) pantographs on fork crown and stay caps. Seat post size is marked on frame, but can't see in photo. Previous owner thought it to be a "BMZ", I know it is not. Any input is as usual very much appreciated.
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Old 06-27-19, 02:51 PM
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Aren't the pantographs just Columbus [the tubing co] doves?
EDIT: after looking at pics, the Columbus tube markings do appear different than these posted above.
I thought I had seen some seatstay caps, or maybe fork crown, with these, but I guess not.

Last edited by Ex Pres; 06-27-19 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 06-27-19, 06:18 PM
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They look like Columbus embossed frame fittings to me, and that's also appears to be a Columbus droput. These were used on a lot of BMZ frames but I don't see the BMZ logo on the BB shell.
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Old 06-27-19, 07:31 PM
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Vetta?
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Old 06-28-19, 07:30 AM
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"SWALLOW" Pantograph = VETTA

Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Exactly! Seems we have a winner. Good link! Vetta panto matches. I'd like to know what descriptor Vetta uses for that bird logo. I think there's too much confusion in referring to it as a dove (easy to do with the prevalence of Columbus "Dove" images, and similarity of the "in flight profile " design), when it does not resemble a dove at all. Columbus' "Dove" is a much more general rendering of a bird (due to a more common tail feather spread) than the Vetta design which clearly shows the bifurcated tail most common to swallows and some other species. We know through common knowledge that the Columbus logo is a dove and have somehow transferred that knowledge to that which it does not apply, although "resembling" it and in the same area of discussion. I doubt that we would call the Vetta "Swallow" (I'm sticking with it) a dove, nevermind a Columbus "dove", if found emblazoned on a toaster or toothbrush. Also, it is a bird most appropriate for a racing bike frame maker; lightweight, streamlined, fast, acrobatic, agile, and deft. A very apt symbol for the product. Sorry for the "rant", stepping off my soapbox.

I believe if the tubing is Columbus, that the "Aelle" type may have been used; I don't recall it being an "SL" or "SP" lightweight; will get a weight next month. Does anyone know the seat tube/seat post size for "Aelle". I'm thinking that the frame was 26.8mm (definitely not 27.2) if memory serves me correctly. This frame appears to be an earlier version than those examples shown based solely on braze-ons and/or lack thereof, so tubing may be something else. I don't recall when "Aelle" was introduced.

Thanks too all for the comments and insight! More "mysteries to follow.

Last edited by HPL; 06-28-19 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 06-28-19, 08:28 AM
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Assuming it is Columbus tubing, a 26.8mm seat post would be indicative of Aelle, which had a 27.0mm nominal, inner diameter, seat tube. If the inner diameter of the seat tube is 26.8mm, then it would use a 26.6mm seat post, which would be indicative of Columbus Zeta. Another check would be to examine the fork's steering tube. Neither Aelle nor Zeta employed the patented Columbus steering tube and therefore would not have the Columbus dove logo stamped on the outside or the five helical ridges on the inside, at the bottom.
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Old 06-28-19, 09:53 AM
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African or European swallow?
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Old 06-28-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
African or European swallow?
I thought it was a funny reference. The coconuts mimicking the sounds of hoof beats are hilarious!
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Old 06-28-19, 11:32 AM
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Is it just me or does the driveside rear dropout look like it's been spread open a tad? Might want to give that a closer look.

Otherwise, a fine-looking frame.

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Old 06-28-19, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
African or European swallow?
I, um, I don't know... Aaaaaaaaahhhh
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Old 06-28-19, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
African or European swallow?
Your sense of humor is hard to swallow.
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Old 06-28-19, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Assuming it is Columbus tubing, a 26.8mm seat post would be indicative of Aelle, which had a 27.0mm nominal, inner diameter, seat tube. If the inner diameter of the seat tube is 26.8mm, then it would use a 26.6mm seat post, which would be indicative of Columbus Zeta. Another check would be to examine the fork's steering tube. Neither Aelle nor Zeta employed the patented Columbus steering tube and therefore would not have the Columbus dove logo stamped on the outside or the five helical ridges on the inside, at the bottom.
Originally Posted by Drillium Dude View Post
Is it just me or does the driveside rear dropout look like it's been spread open a tad? Might want to give that a closer look.
DD
I think the 26.8 post size is correct; it came with a post and I'd have remembered a 26.6 post as odd. I know there were no markings and/or ridges on the steerer.
T-mar, quick question; I have an Olmo (late 70's-early 80's)with a 26.8 post, but a lighter frame. Is there another Columbus tubing that would require that size seat post, or might it be improper finishing/reaming?

DD, it does look a wee bit spread from that photo. Making a note for when I pick it up.

Next mystery frame is hanging in the garage waiting for identification; it might be the toughest one yet!
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Old 06-29-19, 10:28 AM
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Aelle and Gara are the only two Columbus tubesets I'm aware of that would use that size of post and they're only 45g difference, which is due to the heavier gauge Gara seat stays. Given that the density of the various steel alloys do not vary by a considerable amount, one possibility is that one of the frames is tretubi Aelle and the other factor is the selection of fittings. You'd be surprised as how much weight difference the latter can make, which is why I never use frame weight as a tubeset identifier.
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Old 06-29-19, 10:36 AM
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I always assumed the "bird" to be an attempt to depict the Columbus "Dove" (if that's not what Columbo calls their mark, that's how it's known) with the somewhat crude tool of a pantograph engraver. But there are examples (and not all are Vetta or BMZ) that range from "pretty close" to "...nice try...do it over." But even the crudest have some simplified profile of a bird-like icon, facing left, so whether these were Columbus-authorized, or brazen trademark violators or an "homage" by admirers, there certainly is a pattern. While those in the oval are intended to match very closely to the Columbus logo the Vetta and the unknown "Z" forkcrown have a split tail so might be supposedly a different bird or a trademark "fudge", who knows?
Here's an assortment I grabbed with one online search (note one is clearly a Vetta):




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Old 06-29-19, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
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