Liotto - Italian steel

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  • Just received this lovely, light Liotto frame (Columbus Genius) after being led astray whilst hunting for a Colnago Master. Going to build it with modern components, probably using a Campagnolo drivetrain, which will be a first for me.

    The pearl white paint is a bit tatty (but not ratty) so I’m going to strip it and depending on how things turn out I’ve a few ideas:
    Plan A - If the raw frame looks good I’ll clear coat it and perhaps add a Italian tri-colour band or two.
    Plan B - If the raw finish looks crap I’ll go for a drab-olive finish (keeping the chrome stays), always liked the look of the Colnago C59 in this colour. Again I’ll add a tri-colour detail somewhere.
    Plan C - If I go off the above options during the process, a classic fire engine red will be the way to go.
    Plan D - Get totally sidetracked by some picture somewhere and end up with bad craziness.

    Although this Liotto font has a certain retro-porn charm to it I’m going to opt for their current logo for the new decals. I’d love to keep the head badge though, I may strip around it, or get in touch with Liotto to see if they have any NOS.

    The obligatory ‘before’ pics…


    2 Attachments

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    • Liotto2.jpg
  • Let me know if you can’t source the headbadge, I live in Vicenza so don’t mind popping in and asking them.

  • Many thanks, I'll let you know.

    You Baum is insane by the way, love the colour!

  • Are you going to use the original fork, or go with a threadless carbon setup?
    Carbon or alloy groupset? Chorus would get my vote, although an older 10 speed carbon groupset would also look good.

  • Got a silver King aheadset that I'll be pairing with some 1" Easton SL90 forks. Did think about using the original forks with a quill converter I have, but I've always felt that that's a clumsy solution, I want mechanical purity!

    You hit the nail on the head, currently thinking about a 10 speed Record group. I usually run Ultegra and fancied a change.
    Then it'll be finished off with 3T kit which I have stashed away from previous builds.

  • No amount of clear coat will stop a raw frame rusting by the way. It’s a very temporary finish.

  • Drab olive and tricolore sounds pretty natty! Excellent hhsrb potential.

  • That's what I've read, but this'll be primarily a good weather bike, kept indoors, and I thought (perhaps naively) that I could just rub down and re-spray areas when rust develops.

  • I may be the only vote for keeping O.G paint and doing your best to resurrect it? Some polish goes a long way! Beaut frame :)

  • Agreed. A good buffing with a decent polish, then a high quality wax, it'll look stunning.

  • I understand this viewpoint, and if the paint was something a bit special that's what I'd have probably done, but one reason I bought this was because I wanted a project.

    The stripping is underway, and I'm happy to say that it looks like it's going to be an easy one (yes that's my shower, and yes, I live alone):


    1 Attachment

    • stripping.jpg
  • Is the whole frame chromed under the paint?

  • No, it ends a couple of inches in front of the seat tube junctions on the top tube and down tube. It's as though they've only dipped the rear half.
    However the finish of the chrome is quite rough on the areas that were painted over, I've read that there's a lot of surface preparation to be done if you want a smooth chrome finish, so perhaps they didn't bother on these hidden areas. I saw exactly the same thing on a Concorde I stripped a few years ago.

    I'll post a pic of the frame when the paint has been completely removed.

  • So that went well, just two treatments and I have a bare frame, almost feel like leaving it like this and hanging it on the wall.
    The next stage will be prepping and masking for a primer, working on a few ideas for the final colour/design.


    2 Attachments

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  • it's a shame the chrome forward of the seat post isn't decent enough to stop you needing to paint over it. I think it'd look awesome with a colour just up to the chrome, possibly broken up with the tricolor banding.
    nice looking frame nonetheless.

  • +1 for that idea. Some polish on that chrome will be blinding people in the summer

  • I agree, I'm going to look into polishing chrome and see if I can get it looking decent. I was actually thinking if a two-tone paint job with a vertical join more towards the headtube, but this idea would be really nice.

  • I'm going to revert to the original plan, from what I see and have read, it's the metal under the chrome that's lacking a good finish, so it'll be hard to improve it. It actually looks ok in the above pics, but in reality it's a long way from the mirror perfection of the chrome on the stays.

    I've been experimenting and have settled on four designs I like - drab olive, grey primer (clear-coated to stop rusting) or a combination of both.
    Hopefully this week I'll get the base primer on and then it'll be decision time...


    2 Attachments

    • paint.jpg
    • paint2.jpg
  • Like the first one. I think the contrast between chrome and paint is lost a bit with the primer rear end. Plus, I fookin love a bit of drab olive.

  • +1
    Maybe get the fork painted the same color?

  • I like the grey with white graphics and black fork, but I would go with gloss not primer.

    Girlfriends custom painted Condor for reference

  • But maybe not black forks...

  • Thanks for the feedback and ideas, my favourite is also the first one, which was my plan really. Not sure about painting the forks, the finishing kit will also be black so they'll look more balanced when it's fully built. I can always paint them at a later date if I change my mind.

  • Primed...


    1 Attachment

    • Liotto primer.jpg
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Liotto - Italian steel

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