Haven’t worked on a bicycle like this for a while. A specifications sheet that resides on Classic Rendezvous says this is the bicycle of Francesco Moser, Champion of Italy and Captain of the Sanson/Benotto team.
That’s for marketing purposes of course. In reality, Moser rode a larger frame and rode it faster than anyone else, until, that is, he retired from the business of riding fast.
Decal placement is a bit haphazard, but the bike is appointed with a handsomely engraved Cinelli stem. New brake cable housing is teflon lined, a nice upgrade to the original.
All major components are in pretty good shape for a bicycle made in the early 1980s. The patent date on the rear derailleur is 81.
Speaking of the rear derailleur, maybe I’ve been too judgmental of Campy derailleurs of this era. Yes, Suntour had the superior design, and yes, a Super Record derailleur was big, big bucks. But I have to say, at least today, this is one nice shifting unit, as well as a gorgeous piece of functional sculpture.
I swapped in a set of Shimano jockey wheels–one of the Campy’s was badly worn; the other, broken. But I did have a piece of period-correct housing for the installation.
Campy sidepull brakes: easy to disassemble, clean, reassembly, admire. If a bit of patina remains, well, you want people to know you really used the bicycle in the past.
Shimano makes an appearance here in the form of brake shoes. I didn’t have any Campy inserts, and the old shoes were capable of scratching a diamond or, at least, giving it a good tickling.
By the way, take a look at the clearance under the brake arms. This bike is running 28C clinchers.
If the specifications sheet is correct, the Benotto originally came with Clément Criterium Seta tubulars. It floated on silk. If you ever had the opportunity to ride Setas, you know how quick and comfortable they were. The new Panaracers aren’t in the same ballpark, admittedly. But they offer great reliability, wear and at this width, flotation.
Bicycle manufacturers are rediscovering their ability to make racing bikes with clearance for wider tires. They could do worse than studying the design of the Benotto.
It’s a nice, light machine that gives the rider what every bike should provide: options in tire sizing.
If it has one flaw, it is that it belongs to someone else.