Thursday, May 19, 2016

1970s Atala Giro D'Italia (2011) Amore!

Catalog shot mine was white
Manufacturer: Atatla
Model: Giro D'Italia
Found: On CL
Paid: $85
Acquired: August 2011
Sold: Frame only November 2011

I have always meant to write about this bike but could never find any pictures of the project.  I finally decided to just find some shots on the web and get on with it.  Back in 2011 when I was getting deep into vintage steel bicycles and after spending way too much time on bicycle blogs I was convinced I needed to find some cool vintage Italian steel. ( later I was convinced I needed something French and went after the Peugeot Course but that's another story).

right color wrong number of gears
So I started haunting Craigslist and eBay for a suitable candidate and stumbled across a 1970 something Atala Giro D'Italia.  It was about twice the amount I would normally spend but since I was getting it just for me I decided to fork over.  I let my lust for the idea of an Italian 10 speed blind me to the fact that it was a 25" frame and therefore too big for me.  I tried to make it work but the reality was it just didn't fit regardless of the Italian pedigree.  The catalog intro reads like so:

Seamless high tensile frame tubing combined with generous use of alloy components, including quick release hubs, center pull brakes (Weinmann), alloy handlebar and stem combine to make this a quality lightweight machine. Equipped with Simplex Prestige wide range derailleur system.

The late great Sheldon Brown had this to say:

Quality generally ranges from reasonable to downright scary. Importantly, these were among the few bikes to enter the U.S. before the early 70's bike boom that were of any quality. look for examples with nice chrome.

As a small word of caution, don't be terribly excited buy seemingly ornate lugs with cut outs on some Atala models. Such frames are very common and not terribly unique or desirable. In Italy, they are everywhere - even on the typical commuter bike.

I was so excited about this bike I even looked at a cool retro wool jersey..

Yeah I was a bit nuts.

I ended up using some of the parts on other projects; TTT stem, the afore mentioned Simplex Prestige drive train group, Sugino crankset and some cool details like 3 chromed top tube cable guides, and an "umbrella" clamp on frame pump stop.  They mostly went on the Tiger.
Simplex Prestige RD

Chrome top tube cable guides
That left me with a frame which I sold on Craigslist.  I realize now, in retrospect, that it's not about the country or the pedigree of the steed but if the bike fits and puts a smile on your face when you ride it which the lovely Motobecane Grand Touring certainly does.

bliss at 10 speeds
As always Ride.Smile.Repeat.

Postscript:  I lied! I did have a single photo squirreled away


  1. Your Motobecane Grand Tourer is such an Handsome bike. Classic 70's steel and I really admire it. If the parts came off the Italian Job and went to worthy projects then it served its purpose.

  2. Thanks Jim I agree on the Grand Touring I just need to mount all those new parts I have for it, get in shape and put it through its paces, well my paces anyway ;-)