1977 Fiorelli Coppi Campionissimo

This will be the first of many posts about my Fiorelli Coppi bike, which I am building up as a Sunday bike for myself. It all started when I spotted a rusty bike at a flea market in May 2014 – I noticed it had Shimano 600 parts, Mavic rims, and was pretty light; all signs of a good build. The owner wanted €15, and I talked him down to €10 due to the poor quality finish on the frame. I walked away with my mystery frame and an ’80s Peugeot for €25!

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The paint and chrome on Coppis is notoriously poor – as you can see!

The frame was rusty and the decals had been almost entirely (deliberately) removed, save for a triangular ‘Fiorelli’ sticker. There was a distinctive C in the fork crown, and the corner of a Columbus decal peeling away. After a bit of googling, I found that I had a Fausto Coppi bike, built by the Fiorelli brothers company in the Campionissimo’s native Novi. I found another bike online with exactly the same spec, confirming the components were original equipment. The crankset was dated 1976, putting the bike probably a year or so later.

Knowing the frame would need a repaint, I decided to keep it for myself. Repainting a frame is a costly and/or time consuming process, and is rarely worth doing if reselling is your goal. The process both costs a lot (perhaps more than an equivalent frame in usable condition) and reduces the value of the bike as it is no longer ‘original’. Knowing it would take years for me to get round to painting and rebuilding the bike, I decided to strip and sell the valuable parts.

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The remaining Coppi head tube and Fiorelli seat tube decals, along with the distinctive ‘C’ in the fork crown.

In the meantime I have been putting parts aside for my eventual build; a Campagnolo Record Groupset, Brooks saddle, Cinelli handlebar and stem. As of today then, my dream bike is in several boxes upstairs in my barn.

To be continued…

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