Vittorio Aero - Columbus Air

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  • (sorry for the bad photo, I'll try to take some better ones soon)

    Vittorio is a Dutch bicycle brand from Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Jan Groot started the brand at the end of the 50's. All Vittorio frames were built in-house. The name was supposed to inspire Italian allure, supposedly named after the Italian movie star Vittorio De Sica. In 1965, Jan's son Frank, who's also a mechanic for the national track team, starts working for the brand. Slowly the brand starts to move away from classic racing bikes towards more touring, long-distance cycling and tandem frames, although Frank would still continue make racing- and time trial bikes for professional athletes from time to time.

    I found this frame through Marktplaats were I have e-mail notifications set for 'Vittorio', mainly because I was interested in acquiring a nice touring frame for a soft price. When I got the notification for this frame I immediately put in a bid which I thought was more than fair, but not too high, it could probably go for more. Luckily the seller agreed to sell it to me as long as we could meet and I could hand over cash. I couldn't let this go so a deal was quickly struck. The guy acquired it from a sale when Vittorio moved from Alkmaar to Heerhugowaard in 1994 and never got around to building it. He thought it was a show frame, only built up, but never actually ridden that much.

    The frame is built with Columbus Air tubing and also includes the proprietary seat post, which is really rare. I'm not sure if the fork is also Air because most Air forks have a different fork crown. The lugs have small custom cutouts. Front and rear dropouts are Campagnolo. Both the bottom bracket shell and the fork crown have 'Vittorio' pantographs. All cable routing is done externally. There's mounts for one bottle and a race number. The paint is red with gold accents and a light 'gold dust' finish and is fully chromed underneath. Unfortunately the paint has drooped a bit during the drying process which surprised me a little.

  • Now, I was built in the 90's and the frame is from the mid/late 80's I think. I have a vague idea of what could be a nice set of components for this, but I could use your knowledge in what would be an appropriate build.

    I already have a set of Dura Ace AX HB-7300 bars which would go nicely on this (very hard to find). But the rest of the AX group seems really rare and also a bit shit. Campagnolo seems really expensive. I was thinking DA 7400 with some 80's weight weinie components here and there. Maybe Modolo Kronos brake levers and shift levers? OMAS stuff? Links and info appreciated.

    And maybe a set of wheels built with aerodynamic spokes? I have never done those before.

  • Great score! That is well rare. Does the race number hanger also function as a cable guide? That seatcluster is georgeous too 👌

  • Pretty cool feature of Jan Groot that hanger/cable guide, necer seen it on another bike. He's very inventive, maybe due to his experience building tandems and randonneurs. I say go full classic tt with modolo kronos levers and campagnolo victory chrono wheels. Further components should be a nice mix of classic high end stuff, perhaps with 600 ax brakes?

  • The forks are Air, they're very similar to the ones on my Gios Aerodynamic.

  • Gorgeous frame, and always I love to read Dutch framebuilding/brand history. Looking forward to see it built up.

  • There is also a Jan Janssen on mp with a full 600 ax gruppo. I don't think that shoyld be an expensive purchase, it lacks a racing bend to be attractive to the new wave of road bike buyers. It is a very long drive though :`(

  • Okay so I borrowed a friends camera, got to work on my photography skills.

  • Thanks! I know from another thread that you're familiar with the era, was 7400 with Modolo levers a thing back then?

  • Thanks for the tips! I think I'll steer away from 600 AX because I want the high-end stuff for this. Dura-ace AX would be nice but some parts are so hard to find and very expensive. On top of that I've read the group isn't actually that good so... That's why I'm leaning towards DA 7400 basically.

  • Also I found some Roval hubs laced with aero spokes to 650c rims, still a leftover from a Serotta Tri Colorado barn find I had some years ago. Maybe I could relace them. Thing is I don't know what spokes to use, what rims to use and the rear had 10/20 lacing !?

  • Cheers friend!

  • So bling only, I got you and you are completely right, especially considering that flaming bling gold/red/orange paint job on the bling high end frame :)
    Great pics man! Still think the victory chrono rims might be cool since they're kinda gold. But the roval hubs are so cool and exotic that that should be the basis of your rims of choice.

  • Kronos is always a thing, but less so with 7400. It almost certainly would've been Campagnolo. Unless you are trying for a wall hanger which will never be ridden, use whatever you bloody well like. I would go with Ax, the brakes aren't great, but modern brakes which actually work would look wrong. When I was a kid we used to mix and match, complete groupsets were for the pros, who wouldn't have used them without the demands of their sponsors.

  • nice frame !

  • I'd go full MGOOF on this with a Nitto + DA9000 combo, some nice high 3k weave carbon and ride the hell out of it.

  • An early DA 7400 group set would be banging on this. It’s such an elegant group set. Single pivot brakes, down tube shifters, 6 speed and brake levers with external cable routing all in this.

    The frame was build for Campagnolo though.

  • Thanks, your builds are always an inspiration!

  • Thanks for the input everyone! Its appreciated. I'll start with early 7400 like Pawlus suggested and go from there. I'll try to get some funky period correct weenie parts in addition and see how it looks. 7400 seems to be a group that actually works well, it's more or less period correct, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Basic wheels first and meanwhile I'll start toying with the Rovals.

    This bike doesn't need to be super practical (modern), I already have a road bike. But it's not meant to be a wall hanger either.

  • The Vittorio shop now is quite shit and the guys very uninterested, but I read that the brand changed owners in 2003 so yours is still from before that time.
    Great looking frame! Looking forward to this:)

  • That seatpost! Big sub

  • Nice one! I also placed a bid on this one, but unfortunately (or luckily as I have too many project already) I never got a response.

    Never been a big fan of AX. Modolo Kronos on the other hand. Not exactly easy to come by though. Unless you are willing to pay crazy prices.

  • These wheels would look amazing on this frame. Locating a 700c seems like a more sensible option.

  • includes the proprietary seat post

    And really tasty.
    So, that’s a Columbus Air seat post or ..?

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Vittorio Aero - Columbus Air

Posted by Avatar for Heldring @Heldring