Bottecchia Professional

The 'Professional' was Bottecchia's finest model in the early seventies and included Campagnolo components and Columbus tubing. As found this Bottecchia was mostly original with the only major deviation being the addition of a Sugino Super Mighty crankset and Sugino bottom bracket and oddly spaced 14,15,16,21,24 freewheel. The lugs were chromed although some of that chrome had gone missing by the time these images were taken. Most components are Campagnolo with the exception of the Universal brake calipers.

Bottecchia Professional from the 1970's in mostly original configuration

The majority of the original components were then put on a shelf and the frameset was reconfigured rando style using more modern components.

Bottecchia Professional in rando configuration

The image above shows the original frameset built using the following more modern components:

  • Nitto 'Noodle' 44cm bars
  • Well used Campagnolo Centaur 10 speed brifters
  • Velo Orange hammered aluminum fenders - 700c x 45mm
  • Shimano 600 hubs/Mavic Open 4CD wheelset wearing Michelin Dynamic 700c x 32 tires (which measure 33 to 34mm wide)
  • Low-end Dia-Compe single pivot calipers
  • Terry Zero saddle with titanium rails
  • FSA Gossamer compact crankset with 46/34 rings
  • Shimano 105 5600 Italian bottom bracket
  • Campagnolo Centaur double front derailleur
  • Shimano XT M739 rear derailleur
  • Shimano 12-32 tooth XT cassette

The Professional's geometry worked well for the bikes new role. The frame also provided a smooth ride. The lack of braze-ons was not ideal for indexed shifting. Long horizontal Campagnolo dropouts combined with fenders did not ease the removal of the rear wheel. The weight without lights or bags and with fenders was a respectable 25.25 pounds.

History

An original catalog scan is shown below. One obvious difference between the Professional shown above and the catalog are the rims. The photographed Bottecchia wore 27 inch clinchers as delivered. The catalog shows tubulars.

Bottecchia catalog scan showing Professional and Giro d' Italia

Here's the history of the Bottecchia brand as a translated version of the Italian language version at http://www.bottecchia.com/it/tempo-libero/storia/Azienda.html

1909: Teodoro Carnielli of Vittorio Veneto is a craftsman who builds and repairs bicycles. He becomes a supporter of the local "Associazione Ciclistica" and later its President. He immediately recognizes the young Ottavio Bottecchia an exceptional talent.

After the dedication of Bottecchia to the French company Automoto, in which the incredible and magnificent talent of Bottecchia won two Tour de France (1924 and 1925), Carnielli, with great flair for business, now seeks to produce a Bottecchia bike for which the rider will earn royalties.

Over the years, the small workshop Carnielli becomes an industry. Between 1930 and 1940 about one hundred employees build Bottecchia bicycles, Triumph motorcycles, and later Vittoria motorcycles. Bottecchia bicycles are produced in large numbers and in different versions, however, the one that gives the most satisfaction is the racing model. Carnielli, a fanatic of bike racing, decides to begin sponsoring cycling teams who use Bottecchia bicycles.

In 1951, Guido Carnielli has a great idea: a stationary exercise bike. The first stationary bike in the world, the "CYCLETTE", is born.

In the early 1960s, another revolutionary insight comes to Guido. Italy is in a period of economic boom and the number of Italians that can afford buy a car are increasing. So, why not create a folding bike with small wheels adapted to be transported by car? To create and produce such a bike the Carnielli company undertakes a great economic effort. The "GRAZIELLA", designed in 1963 by Rinaldo Donzelli, becomes the first production folding bike and also becomes a worldwide success.

In the late 1960s, Teodoro passes the baton to young Guido and Mario, who return the Bottecchia brand to bike racing with which are achieved many victories.

In the course of several decades, cyclists using Bottecchia achieve many successes in national and international competitions. Among the most prestigious victories:
Giro d’Italia (1957, 1966, 1979)
Milano-Sanremo (1951)
Tirreno-Adriatico (1978);
Campionato Italiano (1964, 1965, 1966)
Campionato Italiano a Squadre (1954, 1967, 1978)
Campionato del Mondo (1966)
Tour de France (1989, Greg Le Mond)
Giro d’Italia (2006, U23)

Among the most famous Bottecchia riders: L. Robert, G. Nencini, G. De Rosso, M. Cancelli, R. Altig, G. Motta, G.Saronni, G.B. Baranchelli, G. Le Mond.

In the mid-90s the Bottecchia brand is separated from Carnielli, and its corporate team moves Bottecchia from Vittorio Veneto to Cavarzere in the province of Venice. Thus began the rebirth of a brand that points to the world market.