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Vol. 2, Issue 87 - May / June 2020

Posted: Saturday 16th May 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

Design and Rebuild of the Classic Lightweights website.

The design and rebuild of the site is well underway and all those involved have been busy over the last few months. The site, as many of you know, was conceived and built some time ago and has understandably started to show its age. With Classic Lightweights moving into new ownership under the ‘Chater-Lea Revival’ umbrella, new resources have been made available to secure this amazing site for the future. Comprising approximately 1,000 pages of content and 11,000+ images this is no small task.

Phase one was compiling a complete archive of all content including items not currently live on the site. This included many years of the original issues of Cambridge Lightweight News and a large archive of unseen images. With this in hand redesign of the site began. Upgrading the search function will be at the core of the new site design, as will cross referencing and indexing via the inclusion of tags and meta-data. This will in effect allow readers interested in one page to be recommended other pages of likely interest. Other features will include the ability to ‘up vote’ pages, easily communicate suggested page changes, and share the pages with others through various social media channels.

The real work will begin once the new site design is finished and we set about rebuilding all of the new pages. Initially, these new page designs will comprise the same content, albeit in a more digestible format. Over time we plan to start a process of reviewing the content, improving low grade images and augmenting as new information becomes available. All pages will be indexed and catalogued to enable more accurate searching and the ability to filter content by areas of interest. Eventually we would like this to include all photographs. We are currently discussing support for this aspect of the rebuild with cataloguing and archival experts so that both existing visitors and new visitors from around the world can enjoy the site to its fullest potential.

As communicated at the time of the ownership changes the site will continue to be a totally free and open resource for the enjoyment of the cycling community. The task of updating and upgrading the various pages of content is a mammoth task and anyone who has the time or the interest to help in this effort in the coming weeks and months should please get in touch via email at:

Andy Richman
April 2020


What a different world we are living in since the last edition of Lightweight News when we could cycle where we liked, with whom we liked, and even stop for a coffee and cake en-route. Thanks to Coronavirus and due to my age I was requested by the government to stay in lock-down for twelve weeks. Luckily for me there was an exemption clause which said that I could take one session of exercise each day. Exercise was deemed to be possibly running (my legs don’t take to running after spending so much time going in circles), walking a dog (I don’t own a dog), or cycling (Eureka!).

From where I live I can take a short ride on very quiet roads and along the river and pick up a dedicated cycle path to St Ives which gives me a thirty-mile return trip in ideal traffic-free conditions. In one eighteen-day spell I did this for every day bar one for a rest in the middle so I feel as fit as I have for many years. I need this fitness level in case I get the dreaded virus. At least I may have a fighting chance of survival.

One thing which fascinates me on this journey which is used by families of cyclists, runners, roller-bladers, and even the occasional cross-country skier, is the sight of toddlers just about knee-high to a grasshopper riding along so confidently on tiny bikes with tiny wheels. I put this down to the emergence of balance bikes which some youngsters take to almost as soon as they can walk. Luckily manufacturers now cater for these toddlers by producing a range of all types of mini bikes, some better than others, but a lot of kids with cycling parents use Islabikes which are more expensive but lighter than most. They are quite a good investment in the long run as they do hold their value.

I find something very satisfying when seeing a family group out cycling together. We see children on their own bikes, sitting in the box of a Bakfiets cargo bike, sometimes on tandems with various provisions for children of all ages and sometimes in trailers. The smallest of course usually are on seats attached to a town bike. The common factor in all of this is that the children are so happy and even the tots gaze around in wonderment at the ever-changing scenery. I should be used to this really as we live quite close to a school for juniors and early morning there is a steady stream of pupils passing by on some form of two wheels.

At the moment all rides for classic machines are cancelled or postponed in the UK, Italy, France and no doubt all over Europe.

One of our favourite rides, the Reading Ride, should be in May, just one week after our own Ephgrave Ride here in Cambridge. They sadly are not taking place now. We were also looking forward to the Carpenter Ride which was looking to be really interesting since the route would have taken us to the iconic Herne Hill outdoor track in the London suburbs where various track events were to be held. Cicli Artiginali have had to cancel their Surrey Hills ride but have shown us all up by organising a virtual group ride using turbo trainers linked online followed by a cake and coffee using the ubiquitous Zoom.

My thrice-weekly cycling groups here in Cambridge also have a weekly social get-together using Zoom whereby we can keep in touch. Thanks to this people are making the most of an awful situation.

Patricia and I had also booked a two-week cycling holiday in Italy for the end of May and the first week in June to be followed in September by a cycle ride along the Danube as it passes through Germany. The Italian break had been fully arranged but we are extricating ourselves from it. The hotel is very understanding but I doubt that the dreaded Ryanair will be so helpful – we expect a long battle to get our money back from them. The German trip had been just an event planned in the mind so no problems there. Even if restrictions are lifted I think we will write off this year and see how things (better not say panned out) settle down.

We have received no copy for this edition which I can understand as most people have other things on their mind. I have selected a couple of pieces from the website which you may have missed. Each of the headings for frame builders links to the web site for further information.

Italian Classics: Author Peter Underwood

After a visit to the Italian Legend Bicycles Museum at Pesaro on the Adriatic coast of Italy I realised that our Italian submissions were spread all over the website with no common location.  As a result we have created this new section called Italian Classics which will pull all of the available material together and give easier access to anyone trying to research what information we have on Italian bikes and their components. Below is an image to give a taste of the Italian Legend Bicycles Museum (three more at bottom)


Cinelli 1963

Fiorelli 1954

Frejus 1951


Bianchi – the early years

Bianchi Paris-Roubaix


Cicli Gasparetto


Campagnolo bottom brackets and axles

Campagnolo QR on FB hubs

Campagnolo Record Hubs

Fiamme double-eyeletted hollow section rims

Fiamme sprint rims (2)

Campagnolo Portacatena

Campagnolo Delta brakes

Campagnolo gears

Campagnolo front gear changers

Campagnolo ‘bar-end’ gear levers

Campagnolo open ‘C’

Campagnolo seat pin

Campagnolo special fittings

Cinelli M71 pedals

Cinelli stems and bars

Gian Robert gears

Nolicottaneo pedals

San Giorgio brakes

Unica saddle

Universal Brakes

Wood sprint rims


Our virtual museum of classic Italian machines with images, details of components, fittings, etc plus any known history.

Benotto Chromor 1978

Benotto 3000 1979

Bianchi Campione del Mondo 1952/3

Bianchi Campione del Mondo 1953

Bianchi Competizione 1962

Bianchi Folgorissima 1950

Bianchi ‘Paris Roubaix’ 1951

Bianchi ‘Paris Roubaix’ 1951 (2)

Bianchi Record 1972

Bianchi Specialissima 1960

Bianchi ‘Tour de France’ 1954

Bottecchia Professional 1971

Cinelli Corsa 1957/58

Cinelli Corsa model B c.1960

Cinelli Super Corsa 1959

Cinelli Speciale Corsa track 1971

Cinelli Speciale Corsa 1972

Cinelli Super Corsa Legerissimo

Cimatti Cambio Corsa c.1949

Colnago Super 1972

Colnago Super ‘Giro d’Italia’ 1980s

Colnago Master X-Light Special 2002

Coppi track 1970

De Rosa ‘Molteni’ 1973

Fiorelli Campione del Mondo 1953

Frejus Super Campionissimo 1949

Frejus ‘Supercorsa M’ 1950/51

Frejus early 1960s

Ganna (Cambio Vittoria) 1933

Gloria La Garibaldina 1937

Legnano Pista 1960

Legnano Roma Olympiade 1967

Legnano – Mark Campbell’s comprehensive Legnano website

Maino Giovanni 1950

Pogliaghi ‘Ital Course’ 1976

Cicli Romeo 1938

Rossin SL 1982

COLNAGO timeline – trying to date Colnagos by frame number is next to impossible as the early frames had no numbering. Even since numbering was introduced in 1979 to comply with American regulations the systems seem very random. However, a useful help to dating can be found in the timeline at:

CINELLI Timeline – Chuck Schmidt has also researched Cinelli for another of his valuable timelines.

A new London area classic bike club based in the Surrey region and with a special interest in Italian bikes (view the site to see more classic Italian machines) has been formed, more details from their new website:

From Derek Vivian

(This copy was received just before lockdown) I attach a photo of my Condor World Series Road Bike size 50cm which was built for me by Condor in 2011 but I have never used it. I feel I can say it is therefore brand new! I am asking £1200 for it. It is number 016 of 150 built to commemorate Condor founder’s birthday. I do have genuine reason to sell and would be happy to send by email more details on request.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Saturday 16th May 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

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