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Seeking for help to identify this mystery bike. You guys are my last hope.

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Seeking for help to identify this mystery bike. You guys are my last hope.

Old 09-20-22, 04:20 PM
  #1  
kavluxx
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Seeking for help to identify this mystery bike. You guys are my last hope.

I own this bike for 4 years. It was my first vintage racer, who's last owner was my great uncle, but most likely had other owners. She was not treated very well, spending some decades in a wet attic. I believe she also suffered a couple modifications back then (some components I changed myself).

The stickers always made me doubt about her identity. Later on I found they belonged to a kid's bike, and so doubts increased. But it wasn't until i was preparing the frame for a well-deserved paint, when I removed the headset sticker and found out it was hiding three holes for a head badge.

For a long time I believed this bike was made in Portugal (the country I live), because some components like the gear shifters and brake levers are from Portuguese brands. But after a long research, meeting people around here who could possibly help me, I always end up in a dead end. So now I opened up the possibility that this frame was foreign-made. But still, it's been hard to find out what brand, what country.

About the frame:
  • Frame size: 57x55cm
  • Frame number F5719 (written on the seat tube)
  • Frame weight: 2,792kg
  • Fork weight: 870g
  • Lugless, welds can be seen in detail by the bottom bracket
  • Forged dropouts by Gipiemme, racing version without eyelets (according to velobase.com, these were sold at least until 1982, when they started to feature a 'PATENT' mark)

I can also include a list of components, although I don't think it will help much since most of them don't seem to be original.

Pictures will be kindly uploaded with the help of lostarchitect (thanks a lot man!).

Any help on this would be HIGHLY appreciated. Thank you in advance...!
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Old 09-20-22, 04:31 PM
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Old 09-20-22, 05:41 PM
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Bearings are in backwards or are really loose on that BB given the amount of adjustable cup showing. Or the spindle has the wrong spacing. I picked up a bike that had Dura Ace 7400 crankset and BB with that problem. Prior owner had caged BB bearings, that were installed backwards. It happens.
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Old 09-21-22, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Bearings are in backwards or are really loose on that BB given the amount of adjustable cup showing. Or the spindle has the wrong spacing. I picked up a bike that had Dura Ace 7400 crankset and BB with that problem. Prior owner had caged BB bearings, that were installed backwards. It happens.
Yes, I've acknowledged that. As I mentioned, this thing was most likely rebuilt with parts laying around somewhere, mixing Portuguese levers/shifters or a Huret Club FD with Cinelli Giro D'Italia handlebars, for example. Eclectic sort of.

For the repaint, it was a good friend of mine who disassembled the BB (old school kind of guy, studied engineer and became a professional racer back in 60's-70's, then a pro team mechanic), and I can't remember exactly what he said, but mentioned someone tried to fit that BB which doesn't exactly belong there, but fits, even though it doesn't fully go in.
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Old 09-21-22, 06:04 AM
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Are you sure your weights are correct - that frame has details much too nice for 2.8kg (if that's the bare weight).

And I'd be having a good look at that seat lug, you might have a pair of cracks there.
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Old 09-21-22, 07:16 AM
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I tried my best to weight the frame and fork separately. Whatever tubing it has, I do feel it's pretty light, especially compared to my other bikes (more touring-oriented).

Did another measurement after reassembling it, and with pretty much 90% of components being aluminum (basically everything except hubs and FD), it was weighting 11,9kg.

As for the seat lugs, I'll see if I can get here some pictures of them to clear any doubts. Can't really find anything wrong with this frame integrity, tho.
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Old 09-21-22, 07:32 AM
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My feeling is the Gipiemme dropouts suggest it's Italian made, and the frame construction looks mid 80's to me. But beyond that I don't know.

Does anyone know an Italian make that would have a 3 hole headbadge like that? And if so did they ever make internally lugged frames?
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Old 09-21-22, 10:18 AM
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Somehow for me nothing says italian on this bike beside the dropout... the sharp headtube/seat section joints look like the prefab-brazings hyped by the French, and those semi-open top tube cable holders which later became general on mtb's also not a typical Italian thing on a bike this style.... either fully out or partly in.. but its just me. Also we cant know what parts were added changed over tje years. Im looking forward to figure out whats this. Based on said joints I thought early TIG frame but even Stelbel was not so crisp ( plus his frames have brand marks all over). But keep our eyes peeled.

Last edited by Lattz; 09-21-22 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 09-21-22, 10:29 AM
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Since the fork is off, check and see if it has any kind of rifling similar to this.


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Old 09-21-22, 11:12 AM
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I also don't recall ever seeing all these details together on any make, before: the cable guides under BB shell are very unusual, and surprised it has these but LONG Gipiemme DOs which I believe by the mid-1980s would have been replaced by shorty DOs by most builders (in whatever country).
How about threading of the BB shell, the fork and what's the seatpost size and the ODs of the 3 main tubes?
It's oddball enough to suggest something rarely seen, like Portuguese...
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Old 09-21-22, 11:17 AM
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Could also be the work of some really small builder or apprentice. Could also a be a DO change. Overall its not a bad looking frame just unusual.
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Old 09-21-22, 11:27 AM
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I'm seeing a few older Orbeas with similar haracteristics but they're hard to link to, mostly scraper sites. 2 cable guides and seat cluster are common on some bikes.
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Old 09-21-22, 11:38 AM
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what did the head badge and decals say/look like? pics of those could help
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Old 09-21-22, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
My feeling is the Gipiemme dropouts suggest it's Italian made, and the frame construction looks mid 80's to me. But beyond that I don't know.

Does anyone know an Italian make that would have a 3 hole headbadge like that? And if so did they ever make internally lugged frames?
What is the BB threading?
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Old 09-21-22, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lattz View Post
Could also be the work of some really small builder or apprentice. Could also a be a DO change. Overall its not a bad looking frame just unusual.
My take, too, about coming from a small builder. He should've used lugs. It's a wonder the frame stayed together.
Before repainting, grind off those silly cable guides beneath the BB shell.
Maybe lay down some beefier welds around the seat post clamp.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:21 PM
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The quality (or lack of) of the lugless construction leaves a lot to be desired with seams at the joints very visible, especially at the top tube/seat lug junction. Even a Peugeot Carbolite 103 frameset with internally brazed joints looks much cleaner at the joints. Curious on what tubing might have been uses for this frameset as there seems to be enough quality stuff built into it that could hint that this frame is still quite decent.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Since the fork is off, check and see if it has any kind of rifling similar to this.
I can't post it myself here since I've literally created this account because of this thread, but got in touch with lostarchitect again, and hopefully he will help with the visuals. But the answer is no, it doesn't look that similar. In case anything looks odd under the fork, just letting you know this thing has been bent and fixed again with the help of my pal. He welded something back there and painted over it to hide the welding (yes, I know, spraying black a chromed fork. Believe me or not, at least it looked less rusty.)

Since you mentioned the fork, I would like to add something I've been forgetting about this bike. It looks like it had a rectangular sticker on both sides. I only realized this because the chrome looks much better on those two, exact spots. Maybe we will get a look at that soon as well.

Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
I also don't recall ever seeing all these details together on any make, before: the cable guides under BB shell are very unusual, and surprised it has these but LONG Gipiemme DOs which I believe by the mid-1980s would have been replaced by shorty DOs by most builders (in whatever country).
How about threading of the BB shell, the fork and what's the seatpost size and the ODs of the 3 main tubes?
It's oddball enough to suggest something rarely seen, like Portuguese...
I know, right? The issue is that info about Portuguese bikes on the internet is extremely limited, and those who could know about this passed away. Still got in touch with some people around here, but also had never seen anything like this. It has been also impossible to find any Portuguese head badge that would fit there. But from what I know, the dropouts would be a very odd thing to install on a factory-built frame (I mean, it has a serial number), since they all produced similar things, mostly low-quality tho.

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
what did the head badge and decals say/look like? pics of those could help
This bike came to my hands with Esmaltina Colt stickers. When I decided to do a search about it, I found out they belong to a kid's frame, some kind of BMX style. If you look at the first picture, you can notice that decal on the seat tube is really tiny for the lenght of the tube (but perfectly matched a BMX seat tube). It also had those two on the down tube, those I've seen on cheap road bikes made here. But after removing the head tube sticker, three holes popped up. It was like if the puzzle was getting serious.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:41 PM
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Old 09-21-22, 01:47 PM
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Here's a component list, if it helps at all.

- handlebars: Cinelli Giro D'Italia 64-40;
- steering headset: "Lightrace";
- brake levers and hoods: Lusito, portuguese;
- brakes: Mafac LC;
- gear shifters: FM (FMaial, portuguese);
- front derailleur: Huret Club;
- rear derailleur: Shimano RD-C400, used to have a Tourney TY10 but that was a mod. my cousin did in the 2000's, so definitely not the original;
- crankset: Solida, came to my hands with a SR Suntour, Silstar I believe;
- original pedals only said "Made in France";
- seatpost was an aluminum? perforated, but was short and now has a Kalin;
- saddle: San Marco Freccia D'oro.

Anything else doesn't really have a brand, like the rims and hubs.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:51 PM
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The fork blades look out of alignment in pic 2.
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Old 09-21-22, 01:59 PM
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Going to search for the map someone posted with the bike brands by country. If Portugal is the current residence, it might be Spanish
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Old 09-21-22, 04:24 PM
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kavluxx I don't claim that I know you have a Juventus Internacional, but I think you have one. While most of the "bicicleta de estada antiga" for sale on olx.pt are similar, something (mostly the dropout or those cable guides, or many had bug A55 pump pegs) never fit. Found Juventus accidentally, and the cable guides were suspicious, but the brand led me back to olx to this ad:
Bicicleta juventus Murtede • OLX Portugal

and as we all know.... (those who not will learn upon stumbling upon a T-Mar post) "A picture is worth a thousand words..." so here they are, they are up for judgement.





Let us know what you think, maybe ask the seller for better pics on his/her bike, and if you accept the suggestion as proper answer, you might want to buy the decals as well:
Juventus Autocolantes Bicicleta - venda - Bicicleta, Porto - 14429159 - CustoJusto.pt




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Old 09-22-22, 03:15 AM
  #23  
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Took me more than I wanted to post this because of the BikeForums policy for newbies. Can't even send some links.

You have an eye to spot it. Yes, I know that bike for sometime. It's the closest I'm aware of.

Upon inspection tho, you can find a couple differences. I tried to make a comparison before, placing both my bike and that one side by side.

After a couple of hours looking at them, this is what I found that looks different after a close inspection:
- HEAD BADGE. Juventus (not to be mistaken with the Italian Juventus) is a secondary brand from Sirla, a well-known Portuguese manufacturer. Any of those had never made head badges, only stickers. Also, the format is incompatible.
- Different seat strays attachment;
- Cable stop on the chainstray has two grooves, mine is much more simple;
- Front fork is very different, less curved;
- Fork crown also looks different (but also blurry from the pic);
- Front brake cable stop on the top tube seems like it's closer to the headset.
- Head tube looks like it's missing the "bearing housings" on top and bottom, don't really know what to call that;
- Not sure if the hole geometry looks different or is just a perspective thing.

I did think about asking the seller if he could tell me about an identical frame number, or even about the dropouts. Honestly sellers here usually aren't that kind, from my experience. I'll try to reach him out.

But either way, thank you for the suggestion, and I'm looking forward to make sure if it's this or not., but I don't plan to cover the headbadge holes with a sticker again. I want to find whatever badge this was planned to have.


Sorry, forgot to reply to this:
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
How about threading of the BB shell, the fork and what's the seatpost size and the ODs of the 3 main tubes?
About the BB, I just did some measurements and this is really odd. The frame shell measures exactly 2 inches and a half, roughly 64mm. That might explain why the threads look like they're sticking out like that. That exact thread has around 34mm of outer diameter. I'll be measuring it again in a couple of hours with a caliper, as well as the tubes diameter.

All I know about that is that the seat tube might have an unusual size. The guy who helped me with the restoration couldn't find any FD on his shed (full of stuff) that could fit. That was actually strange.

Originally Posted by roadcrankr View Post
Before repainting, grind off those silly cable guides beneath the BB shell.
My trustworthy mechanic suggested that. But I don't want that right now, since it all helps to distinguish the frame.

Originally Posted by seypat View Post
The fork blades look out of alignment in pic 2.
If they did, they were fixed on the restoration. It was all checked, and I can't see anything out of place right now.

Last edited by kavluxx; 09-22-22 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-22-22, 04:11 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by kavluxx View Post

As for the seat lugs, I'll see if I can get here some pictures of them to clear any doubts. Can't really find anything wrong with this frame integrity, tho.
Here's what drew my attention - your paint does have cracks all over, but these ones...not a good place if it's not just paint:



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Old 09-22-22, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
Here's what drew my attention - your paint does have cracks all over, but these ones...not a good place if it's not just paint:
That will definitely leave a crack on the new paint as well, and since now there isn't flaking cracking paint all over, with regular inspection it can be monitored, valid point though.
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