1948 Michelina – Cambio Corsa

On the same trip to Italy where I picked up the Servadei, I also found this rather wonderful, Campagnolo Cambio-Corsa equipped Michelina.

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Again, much like the Servadei, it was embarrassingly well looked-after for a 65-year old bike. It must be something to do with the warm, dry climate and the passion for cycling in the region.

All that was required upon returning to the UK was a strip down and service, new bar tape and cables, new brake blocks, new tubular tyres and some nice cork bar-end plugs.

I think the result is an exceptionally pretty bike. The elegance and simplicity of the Cambio Corsa makes you realise what a thumpin’ great lump some modern rear derailleurs are. Ok, it may cost you a fingertip every time you change gear, but you’ll look great while doing so.

See what you think:

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The pump and bottle-cage of the first photo came off, cleaning the rather beautiful lines.

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I love the good luck charm on the stem!

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The previous owner had repainted the bike, and left a polished steel panel and rings showing on the seat tube. Whilst this is ok in the warm, dry climate of Italy, it’s a guarantee of oxidation in the UK, so a layer of airtight, cast clear vinyl from 3M has it invisibly protected.

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12-24 Campagnolo Cambio Corsa gearing. This photo shows the dropout teeth which keep the back wheel aligned when the long quick-release lever is turned during gear changes.

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Michelina is not a brand we hear much of in the UK, but it is part of the Miche / Michelin dynasty, somewhat unsurprisingly.

Based in the heart of Italian cycling country, in Treviso the Michelin family between them had the following cycling brands: AM Augusta, Piave, Stella Veneta, Michelina and Perla de Veneto.

Italo Michelin, one of the brothers also went on to found a company making bicycle parts to help supply the region’s burgeoning cycling industry – that company is the one we know today as Miche.

 

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