Late 1950s Girardengo Twin Bar Road Bike - Made in Italy

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Jun 10, 2011
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Buford GA
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OK, so I made a purchase truly out of character for me. Number one it is not made in the good ole USA and number two it is a road bike.

This last year I realized I have to get some weight off at 252 lbs. and 6 ft. tall so I need to ride a lot more. At 52 years old I am out of shape & time to face it head on. I live in a very hilly area where a heavy single speed doesn't cut it so I needed something lightweight with some gearing but it had to be "vintage". I thought of buying a lightweight Schwinn bike like SirMike1983's 1947 Schwinn New World lightweight and then I saw CABE member Jackomeano's late 1950's Girardengo road bike and fell in love with it. The twin top bar frame, the magnificent lug work, 1950's Italian styling, good carmine red paint, and decent graphics including an Olympic Rings logo (I love the Olympics) for a 1950's era bike to me were absolutely beautiful. Never thought I'd find one but started looking at ebay and low & behold jackomeano's Girardengo showed up. I knew he loved the bike so was surprised it was for sale. Anyway I bought it at a very good price.

My next issue with buying another bike right now was my Wife!!!!!! With three projects going on I knew my wife was going to kill me but I actually got away with buying this one by using the exercise excuse which in reality is true. She would definitely like to see me get a little healthier. So, she didn't kill me, thank God & no argument over the purchase of this one!!!!!!

As many of you know I can't leave things alone, it has to be me or more appropriate set up for my tastes. This bike has had most of it's components changed out over the years to newer or new items. The only things left from the fifties are the frame, fork, Gnutti BB and headset, and rear Campagnolo Sport derailleur. I will be changing all the other components out over time as money permits to vintage Campagnolo items from the fifties or at least sixties era. It will get & retain some modern items though as this bike will be ridden often. To me this bike is truly a work of Italian styling art so all changes will bear that in mind to insure it retains that character. Here are my build plans as of today subject to change.

What stays the same:
  • Frame & paint - will be taken apart over the winter & thoroughly cleaned & polished
  • New stem & handlebars - I like them, think they look cool, & they are very comfortable so they will not be going back vintage
  • Brakes & levers - It has Universal Super 68 brakes, excellent stopping power for safety so I am not changing them. Levers are Mountain Bike style and comfortable to use so far now they are staying unless I find something vintage I just love.
  • Rear Derailleur - Has a fifties Campagnolo Sport which it will retain. It just needs a good cleaning & servicing.

Here's what get's replaced or added with brand new items & where I am not worried about vintage. These items are about safety, comfort, and yes, style:
  • Saddle - Will be changed to a new Brooks B17 & I already bought a really special one
  • Grips - Will be changed to new Brooks plump leather grips to match the saddle
  • Saddlebag - Did not have one but either a Brooks or Gyes to match the saddle
  • Lights - Will be getting CatEye LEDs for safety, I WANT to be seen.
  • Computer - This one will get a CatEye Commuter computer to log my miles
  • Tires & Tubes - Schwalbe Delta Cruiser "cream" 700x35c tires & Schwalbe tubes (ordered & on their way)
  • Rims - 700c TBD, debating on this item & seriously considering wood in the form of Ghisallo Sport carbon fiber lined. This decision will come down the road, for now it will retain the aluminum rims that came on it.

Here's what will be replaced with 1950's/early 1960's vintage Campagnolo components:
  • Pedals - These have been purchased off ebay & I'll show what I got in another post
  • Hubs - Want to find some large flange hubs from the fifties
  • Shifter

What will not be retained on the bike:
  • Ardex Solid chainguard - I love this item but it was not original to this bike but I am keeping it for a custom build down the road.

Here's Pics of the bike as received:






Here's the Ardex chain guard Jackomeano had on the bike that will re-purposed to a custom build. It is really cool :cool: but just does not fit my plans for this bike.

Here's my first change/purchase for this bike. To me this saddle is truly a work of art in itself. It is a Brooks Saddles Select B17 "World Traveller 2012" Special Edition saddle (Organic Leather). The edition was limited to 2012 saddles with only 250 slated for the USA. Feel lucky to find one. Felt a 2012 saddle was appropriate since I purchased the bike in December 2012. From Brooks Saddles website:

"This saddle celebrates our deep historical associations with the sporting heroes of the previous London Olympiad, as well as our rich relationship with devotees of Long Distance Touring, during the inaugural WCR Grand Tour (, a competitive circumnavigation of the Earth by bicycle. The leather surface features a restyling of a piece by Frank Patterson, artist and illustrator of the Brooks catalogues of the 1920's, realized by Richard Phipps. All saddles have been made using Brooks Select organic leather tops, fixed to a chromed copper steel frame and finished with hand hammered copper rivets. The B17 Select World Traveller is available at chosen Brooks Dealers Of Excellence from May, and production of the Brooks B17 Select World Traveller has been capped at 2012 pieces."

Length: 275mm
Width: 175mm
Height: 65mm
Weight: 540g
Frame: Copper Plated



Vintage CAMPAGNOLO Record pedals mod #1037 w/ strap loops (1958-1967)

Here's the first vintage Campagnolo item purchased for the bike to replace the plastic black pedals on the bike with correct era vintage Campagnolo items. These were purchased off ebay & are absolutely gorgeous.




Brooks Grips & CatEye Commuter Computer arrived

Items changed out & added so far.....

Installed all the new items I have received including Brooks saddle & grips, vintage Campagnolo pedals, and CatEye Commuter Computer, LED head & tail lights. Got half the frame polished & waxed last night and plan to finish that effort this week. New cream Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires and a Gyes natural leather saddle bag should arrive this week as well. Starting to look like I wanted. Also decided I want some vintage Campagnolo or Universal brake levers with gum/tan hoods and a vintage Campagnolo shifter that are era appropriate. Rethinking using the chain guard, I found correct new hardware for it at Velo Orange but it is out of stock right now. Plan to add a couple of water bottle holders & find a vintage pump when I find items I like then any other changes will come down the road after I ride it for a few months.

Also found out from jackomeano that this bike originally had a Sturmey Archer 3 speed which has me thinking, always a dangerous thing, about a new Sturmey Archer 8 speed rear hub. More to come.....





aka_locojoe said:
Nice looking bike. I had to study the photos for a while before I finally seen the top twin tubes. I bet it's a good rider.

Thanks Randy!!!!!!! It is a great rider, been out on it a couple of times now.

cman said:
Beautiful bike and great write up.

Sent from my Rezound using Tapatalk 2

Thanks Clancy!!!!!!!!
Ordered some new items from Velo Orange and Amazon today:

  • Made a decision on brake levers after a couple of days looking at both vintage & new ones & decided to go new. These match the look I am going for & are almost all silver as I'm trying to get rid of the black components for a more vintage look. Ordered Tektro FL750 Cantilever/Caliper Brake Levers from Amazon although the writeup on Velo Orange sold me on them but they were out of stock.
  • Ordered 2 VO Retro cage MK II water bottle cages, one to mount on the frame & one will be handlebar mounted for easy access. Also ordered the mounting hardware for both.

Velo Orange also has 2 out of stock items I really want. The first is proper mounting hardware for the Ardex chain guard and the second is a neat handlebar mount for old school shifters. I signed up to be notified when they get them in and haven't been able to find either item anywhere else. Here's what the shifter mount looks like, hoping it will work with a 1950's Campagnolo shift lever.

Got the new Schwalbe cream Delta Cruiser tires, VO Retro cage MK II water bottle cage (handlebar mount), and VO Porteur Double Kickstand on the bike. Got the new Gyes saddle bag & Tektro FL750 Cantilever/Caliper Brake Levers in but not on the bike yet. Waiting on VO to get in the chain guard hardware kit and VO Thumb Shifter Mounts and I'll order those items. Also have a 1950's Campagnolo 1013 shifter on the way from Europe. May change the handlebar stem to a VO Grand Cru Quill Stem which very much resembles the original stem that would have been on the bike.

Been riding the bike some this week and it is a great rider.



I just saw this thread, and like all of your other rides, it's spectacular. Digging the twin top bars and how they flow into the seatstays.
Love the euro-vintage vibe it has, now get out and ride it before the rain gets here... :mrgreen:

Cheers buddy,
Dr. Tankenstein said:
I just saw this thread, and like all of your other rides, it's spectacular. Digging the twin top bars and how they flow into the seatstays.
Love the euro-vintage vibe it has, now get out and ride it before the rain gets here... :mrgreen:

Cheers buddy,

Thanks Rob!!!!!!! I missed out riding on Saturday due to a family commitment & yes then the rain came. Don't know about you but getting sick of this winter rain in GA. Hoping to get in some riding time on it this weekend if we get a decent day.

hortonbikes said:
Great looking bike! I love that chain guard.

Thanks hortonbikes!!!!!!!
Vipon said:
your bike is amazing, I love it.

Thanks Vipon!!!!!!!!! Still making a few more changes I'll try to get some pics of those later this week. Have one final touch & then will call this bike completed for now.
VERY sweet - lovin' your mods. 8)
Hammond Eggz said:
VERY sweet - lovin' your mods. 8)

Thanks Hammond Eggz!!!!!!!