Friday, February 13, 2009

Basso Loto--An Italian Lugged Steel Delight

This bike was a Craigslist score: $160 for the frame, fork and complete Shimano 600/Dura Ace gruppo. The parts were in a box, but it was the complete gruppo, Dura Ace hubs laced to Campagnolo Omega ceramic rims included.

As I am Campy rider, I sold most of the Shimano stuff on eBay, recouping my investment and even turning a modest profit. I kept the Turbomatic Saddle, ControlTech seatpost, Shimano 600 brakes and 600 front derailleur. I have found that Shimano 600 brakes from the 8 speed era are far more effective than the Campagnolo brakes of that vintage. In fact, the 600 brakes are among the best brakes ever made.

This is one of the sharpest looking frames ever. It rides like a dream, inspiring confidence on descents and in sprints. I suspect that, like my beloved Moser frame, it has a lowered bottom bracket which adds stability to a bicycle's ride.

The Basso currently weighs exactly 23 pounds built with Campagnolo 8 speed (Record/Croce d'Aune/Chorus mix), mid level Shimano SPD Mtb pedals and clip-on fenders.

I am considering building this frame up with contemporary Campagnolo Centaur 10 Speed in the near future.


Yash Katsumi said...

The paint job on this one is rather Avante-garde for that time period. I must stop saying Avante-garde.

My dream winter bike would be a merckx corsa 01.

RMM said...

International in Allston used to have a stash of those in the attic.

When I was buying that Lemond Victoire, Craig brought out a Merckx Corsa and offered it to me cheap.

Back then, I didn't know any better and refused it because it was a bit heavier than the Ti Lemond.


Yash Katsumi said...


Lemond's are horrible compared with the MERCKX.

Only if we knew then what we know now.

I am so so about international, I get a weird vibe when I go in there.

RMM said...

They can be a little chilly sometimes. In my case, it probably is because of my frequent misbehavior and breaches of bicycle shop etiquette.

But are a nice guy and a good customer. I wonder why they would make you feel weird?

zack said...

I had a similar lapse in judgment when I was buying my first mountain bike. I was shown an NOS Bontrager(Pre-Trek) Privateer, and went with a friggen Trek Y-5 because I didn't recognize the Bontrager name that well(I knew he made components) and because it had cantilevers while the trek had v brakes. I still kick myself over making that decision. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I build exactly the same frame with campagnolo centaur 10s and scirocco wheels. Really nice ride and gorgeous looking.