Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Torpado Project finished

Back in May 2008 I posted here a piece on a bike I had put together with some interesting components. My good friend John Palmer had got me going on it when he gave me a pair of Palladini hubs which had a wonderful history.

You can go to that post:

The Torpado was one of those many projects that get started but never quite finished. Now some twenty months later I'm happy to say that the Torpado is complete.

Mudguards and a front derailleur have been fitted. The mudguards are the same as those fitted to the Bianchi in the previous post. Again they were given a nice paint job by Noah at Velocolour.

It is such a nice looking bike. The stem is English and really shouldn't be on an Italian bike but it seemed to be just the right match.

Missing was a Lucchini front derailleur to match the rear. I couldn't track down any evidence that Lucchini ever made one. Steven Massland's very interesting Soncini has the only other Lucchini rear derailleur I have ever seen and that bike does have two chainwheels.

However there doesn't seem to be any method of moving the chain from one chainwheel to the other.
I could have fitted the Torpado with any one of numerous old front derailleurs that I have but none seemed quite appropriate. The only thing to do was to make one.

The result is a front derailleur that somewhat matches the rear and is as I think Signor Lucchini would have made it if he had just got around to doing it.

It works reasonably well, smartly moving the chain from the 47T to the 50T chainrings. Not exactly Ergopower but then neither is the rear

The Torpado is now ready for the road and I hope to have it out on the next No-Click Club ride in March.

If you are interested in seeing more of Steven's interesting Soncini go to:


Justin Miller said...

Mike, thank you for sharing this. Your fabrication of the rear shifter and the front derailer is awe inspiring for those of us who don't have experience with such things. I look forward to a "ride report" when you take the machine out on the road.

I do have one question: Who was behind the Torpado marque, and where can one learn more about it?

Justin Miller
Philadelphia, PA

Bicycle Specialties said...

The Torpado company dates back to the early part of the last century. Like most of the Italian bike companies they make a complete range of bikes including top of the line racing bikes. They are not too well known in North America although the Baggio bike shop in Montreal sold a vast number in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The one described above originally came from Baggio.
Googleing Torpado will bring up a wealth of information including photos of some very interesting city bikes.

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