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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm currently in the process of restoring a vintage 1950/1960's era Torpado.
I need help trying to figure out what derailleur components go on this frame as i have trouble figuring this one out.

The frame only has one right side braze on hole for a downtube shifter (nothing on the left side)
the bottom cable guide has 2 holes, one pointing towards the rear derailleur and the other pointing upwards towards the braze on mount for the front derailleur.

The idea of this being a 5 speed is canceled out by the need for a front derailleur
if this is for a 10 speed, what shifter would control the front derailleur?
My thoughts would be a Simplex double control levers / shifters for JUY 53 (but is this accurate or period correct for a Torpado?)
or a 5 speed single shifter with a front derailleur that is manual or lever controlled (but then why a cable guide pointing towards the front derailleur braze on?)


pictures are attached to better visualize this puzzle

thanks in advance for any input
 

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You got me on that front cable guide. Is that the rear cable guide right below it? Nice looking top of the line chromed frame. Do you have the proper crank for that BB spindle, wheels, handlebars, pedals, saddle? There's aftermarket stuff out there that would look period correct.

This bike is before my time. I got into cycling in the late '70s and saw Torpado brand, but knew it only as a less hip pretender competing with Colnago, Cinelli, Austro Daimler, Bianchi, Ciocc, Pinarello, and oh yeah, Raleigh. Nimble, athletic "fast touring" bikes that were fun to ride. Torpado disappeared from the US market by the mid eighties, so I don't know much. We used to call them Torpedoes.

There's surely someone out there who knows the history of the brand and what would be period correct. You could set it up with the components pictured if it works and go with it. Beautiful frame, nice ride! Build aluminum rims onto a 32 spoke hub that matches the dropout spacing, probably 120 mm, and go with a 5 speed freewheel worked seamlessly by a single friction shifter, and a medium cage rear derailleur that handles the low gears you prefer, maybe up to 28 teeth. Enquire if the derailleur stop screws will adjust to the considerably narrower girth of only 5 gears in lieu of current 10 and 11 speeds.

Hey, that picture labeled Campy looks like and old seat tube mounted shifter. Could it be a holdover from before down tube shifters? The shape of that cable guide and lack of a left side down tube braze on give two clues. Pictures and more information would help a lot. Good luck! Have fun with it!
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm currently in the process of restoring a vintage 1950/1960's era Torpado.
Can't really help, but you might post this on BikeForum's C&V page -- there's some real expertise there.

That said, braze-ons probably indicate 50's rather than 60's (they would come back in the 80's when folks figured out they didn't really weaken the frame). So would the single dt lug for the JUY53. But if the chrome is not original who knows what might have been added (braze on, cable guide) or removed (dt boss) before refinishing.

AFAIK -- which isn't much -- the Campag 1011 only came as a clamp on. But there were similar Simplex rod actuated FDs that took a braze on, so maybe there were also braze on cable actuated FDs, which would work if the bike originally had the single sided double shifter.

If you have a frame S/N, post it on BF C&V -- odds are that someone will know.

"as a less hip pretender competing with Colnago, Cinelli, Austro Daimler, Bianchi, Ciocc, Pinarello, and oh yeah, Raleigh."
Actually Torpado go back quite a long way -- 1895. They're not as old as Raleigh (1887), Bianchi (1885) or Peugeot (1882) but older than most. They fielded a pro road team in the 50s, when Colnago was still a mechanic and Cinelli and Pinarello were still racing (one quite successfully, one not so much -- Pinarello was the winner of the last awarded maglia nera and stunk up the place so much he got a hefty severance to leave. He used that to start a frame shop.) Torpado got absorbed into a giant conglomerate and these days they seem to be more into MTBs, ebikes, and city bikes.
 

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Fascinating to read about the sport before I started riding in the '70s when OPEC caused lines at gas stations, running and cycling took off, and Merckx dominated the field.

Back in '63, a college house mate brought home an Italian race bike, tubulars, Campy equipped I believe, probably weighed 20-21#. Don't remember the brand, only that this rider Jacques Anquetil was the man to watch. I remember he had a graceful pedaling style macho guys made fun of, and his wife was a sexy blonde.

Nice read. Thanks for posting!
 

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Back in '63, a college house mate brought home an Italian race bike, tubulars, Campy equipped I believe, probably weighed 20-21#. Don't remember the brand, only that this rider Jacques Anquetil was the man to watch. I remember he had a graceful pedaling style macho guys made fun of, and his wife was a sexy blonde.
I'll bet that Italian bike would still be a great rider today. If you're curious, Ernesto Colnago had a bad crash as an amateur bike racer and moved to wrenching before setting off on his own. Ugo de Rosa was also an amateur racer, but went on to get an engineering degree instead of going pro. Before WWII, Faliero Masi was a pro, but not a terribly successful one. Giuseppe Olmo was successful, winning Milan-San Remo twice and several stages of the Giro, among others. Ottavio Bottecchia was very successful, the greatest rider of the day, 2 TdF wins, but he never built a single frame. Before he could do that, or win more races, he died in mysterious circumstances on a training ride. Most people think he was killed by Fascists, who were on the rise in Italy in the 1920s, and Bottecchia was an outspoken anti-Fascist. Then there's Wilier Triestina, founded 1906, probably the only bike company to be named after a political movement (Italian irredentism -- Wilier is an acronym that translates to Long live Italy, free and redeemed) and a region where it wasn't based (they were based in neighboring Vicenza province). The Triestina at the time, while culturally and liguistically closer to Italy, was part of Austria-Hungary, and the part that needed to be "redeemed".

Back to Torpado. An engineer there, Ludovico Falconi, wanted to explore different materials and set off on his own, pioneering the use of aluminum and carbon fiber. He named his company ALAN, after his children Alberto and Annamaria. As an owner of an ALAN, I'm glad he didn't name it after his children Annamaria and Alberto!

In 1963 Anquetil would have been on Gitane, having moved over from Helyett (also French, would shortly be taken over by Gitane). I'm sure there are a lot of great French stories as well, but even though I'm Francophile when it comes to bikes, I don't know them.
 

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Great stuff. Gitane, Peugeot? Haven't seen any of them in N. America since the '80s. I still cast lustful gazes at the DeRosa SL bought from a shop in DC in '85, full Campy, tubular wheels, Cinelli bars and stem, a perfect example of classic CRMO race bikes. Eddy Merckx had just started his own company and Ugo DeRosa was helping him set up. Eddy's first frames followed DeRosa's philosophy. Ugo, Colnago, Pegoretti, understood materials and geometry that created the versatile bikes that made them famous.

Heard great things about Wilier Treistina. Very impressed with the bikes I've lusted on. Knowing what the name signified, I'd be ready to buy in if some cash comes my way!
 
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