STELLA Bicycles

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Nimrod, Apr 1, 2003.

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  1. Nimrod

    Nimrod Guest

    An old friend (very old) has asked me to rebuild two old STELLA bicycles. First reaction was NO! or
    more like HELL NO! French bicycle engineering from the 1960's and early 70's is extinct for good
    reasons. After recovering from the shock of hearing a voice 25 years absent, sentimentality won out
    (I originally built-up both of these bicycles from the frames in 1971). Finding out that both of the
    bicycles still exist was nearly as amazing as finding out that my friend still exists. He has had no
    luck finding a local LBS interested in trying to restore the STELLAS with period hardware.

    After some wrangling we came to the agreement that I would use as many original parts from both
    bicycles to equip one bike with original style components. The other frame would be updated with
    modern stuff. The bicycle I want to restore is a STELLA TOUR DE FRANCE. The bicycle I want to update
    is a STELLA PRO. The TOUR DE FRANCE was originally setup for touring and training. The PRO was built
    for my brief attempt at criterium racing with a Campy drive train and brakes and Colnago seat post
    and stem... ahhhhh! It was a very pretty bicycle. Apparently neither bicycle has been on the road
    since the late 1970's. I parted company with them in 1974 when I made some dubious social choices.

    Does anybody have any sources or information on vintage parts availability or dealing with the
    proclivities of french frame design. I worked in a shop when I built the bicycles. We sold a variety
    of french, italian and english frames... I remember that some french frames had right hand threaded
    bottom brackets on both sides and others were opposite on one side (like english and italian
    stuff)... does anyone know which method STELLA used? I don't want to molest the bottom bracket parts
    anymore than absolutely necessary.

    Nimrod Hugentobler
    --
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  2. Terry Rudd

    Terry Rudd Guest

    nimrod wrote:
    >
    <snip>

    > Does anybody have any sources or information on vintage parts availability or dealing with the
    > proclivities of french frame design. I worked in a shop when I built the bicycles. We sold a
    > variety of french, italian and english frames... I remember that some french frames had right hand
    > threaded bottom brackets on both sides and others were opposite on one side (like english and
    > italian stuff)...

    I rode a Stella SX-73 from the same period- Durafort double-butted tubing and Prugnat lugs. The
    paint was awful but it was pretty for a few years. It was all French threaded, even the darn
    derailleur hanger threads! I was able to find Stronglight bottom braket parts for it, when I
    restored mine but that was some years back. I have seen a fair number of the old Huret Jubillee
    derailleurs (1973-1975), several with French threaded hanger bolts but they are expensive when in
    good shape. Mine had a Stronglight 49 crankset, which required French threaded pedals.

    If you plan to find French threaded period Campy, you are in for a task!

    > does anyone know which method STELLA used? I don't want to molest the bottom bracket parts anymore
    > than absolutely necessary.

    This might be one of the most rebuildable parts on the bikes. I found Stella's work to be lacking in
    terms of frame prep, etc., so rust was a problem but that Stronglight bottom bracket was very well
    made and very durable, unless rust has pitted the balls and cups badly. If the headset is the older
    steel Stronglight, they too were strong and well made- easily rebuilt.

    Good Luck! Oddly, I have been casually looking for an old Stella to rebuild. Mine broke entirely on
    a ride and I parted it out. Now I have a bit of nostalgia for my first real road bike :)

    Terry

    >
    > Nimrod Hugentobler
    > --
    > Recently, almost everything seems to be over rated.
    >
    >
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  3. Jim Adney

    Jim Adney Guest

    On Tue, 01 Apr 2003 16:16:36 -0500 nimrod <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Does anybody have any sources or information on vintage parts availability or dealing with the
    >proclivities of french frame design. I worked in a shop when I built the bicycles. We sold a
    >variety of french, italian and english frames... I remember that some french frames had right hand
    >threaded bottom brackets on both sides and others were opposite on one side (like english and
    >italian stuff)... does anyone know which method STELLA used?

    I believe the Stella would have RH threads on both sides. The much less common RH/LH M35 x 1 thread
    was the Swiss thread, and seldom seen.

    -
    -----------------------------------------------
    Jim Adney [email protected] Madison, WI 53711 USA
    -----------------------------------------------
     
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