I made the mistake of painting my Benotto black after first getting it about a decade ago. Today I’m restoring it back to something fitting of the Benotto name. But first I wanted to research and find out the model of my bike. It’s proving really difficult so I’m documenting what I’m learning about Benotto’s and hopefully it will help others identify their bikes in the future. Also, thanks to Kris for commenting on part 1 of the restoration, that encouraged me to document in more detail about the frame.
This bicycle restoration is turning out to be a bit addictive. Here’s a quick recap thus far. At first things were going pretty well, stripping the frame for sanding went quickly. Then, tragically while sanding the frame to prepare for paint the centre cable guide snapped off. I rotated the frame in my bike stand unfortunately catching the cable guide.
As a kid I learned to play the violin. My violin was the least expensive model from our local music store, but for my parents it was a big purchase. It was the middle of the day, a few years after first getting it, and I sat down on the edge of my bed, not noticing my violin behind me. I snapped the bridge. I was devastated. At that time of my life my violin was hugely important to me.
I remember my mom walking into the room, looked at the violin, looked at me, and said the last thing I could have expected, “Jon, you need to look at this as a positive thing. Be thankful that you broke your violin.” None of those words made any sense to me in that moment, yet I chose to follow her advice.
We went back to the local music store. The owner was standing behind the counter, he took a look at my violin, and calmly told us, “I may be able to fix this.” He rummaged around the supplies in the back corner and came back with a new bridge. “Ahh, I’ve got one, perfect.”
Taking my violin, the new bridge, and a small file he immediately went to work. About 15 minutes later my violin was back together, tuned and ready to play. I played a chord, it had never sounded so rich. A year or so later my instructor would marvel at the violin, she would go on to ask me how much I paid for it. After telling her, she responded that I must have gotten very lucky as it had a better sound than many violins thousands of dollars more expensive.
My mother’s comment now made sense.
So last week I took a deep breath and ground off the last 2 remaining cable guides from my Benotto. I looked online, found some new braze-on cable guides that I could purchase, but they would be different to the originals. Later, while watching the classic Paris-Roubaix documentary “A Sunday In Hell” a new idea formed.
Benotto used cable guide clamps until 1976-77. After which they moved to braze-on cable guides. Because I had already removed the cable guides, why not use the vintage cable guide clamps and restore the bike to be like the one used by Francesco Moser in the 1976 Paris Roubaix race.
With that decision made, it’s back on the restoration train.
Identifying 1979-1980s Benotto’s by the frame and fork:
In part 1 I explained why the original model and year is unknown. Also, some of the components are original, and some are not… all of which makes identifying the bike just that much more challenging.
Step 1: Benotto Chainstays
Benotto 3000 chain stays are diamond shape. All other models had the “eye” indents. Quick look at history, the Benotto 2500 was the highest model until the early 1970s, then by the late 1970s Modelo 3000 was the top model.
My Benotto’s chain stay definitely would indicate a model 2500 or lower.
Step 2: Seat post opening.
Benotto frames have the same outside diameter. However, the inside diameter changes depending on the metal used. For example, Columbus SL has a seat post diameter of 27.2mm as the metal is 0.6mm thick. Columbus SP has a seat post diameter of 27.0mm as the steel is 0.7mm thick. Columbus Aelle has a seat post diameter of 26.8mm, the steel is 0.8mm thick. Columbus Zeta has a seat post of diameter of 26.6mm, the steel is 0.9mm thick. Finally, Columbus double butted steel and plain gauge steel is 1.0mm thick with a seat opening of 26.4mm.
Benotto racing road bikes are listed from highest model to lowest by numbers. Benotto Model0 100-800 are entry level bikes. The Modelo 850 is the first of the amateur series bikes.
Modelo 3000 used Columbus SL
Modelo 2500 used Columbus SL
Modelo 2000 used Columbus SP
Modelo 1600 used Columbus Zeta or Aelle
Modelo 1500 used Columbus Zeta or Aelle
Modelo 1000 used Columbus Zeta
Modelo 850 used Columbus Zeta
Modelo 800 used Columbus double-butted steel, or straight gauge moly steel.
Model 700 (unknown)
Model 500 (unknown)
Model 100 (unknown, but 1976 catalog says it uses light-weight steel.)
You can view a PDF document outlining all 1979 Columbus steel tubes here.
Measured my seat post and it was 26.6mm. That would put it somewhere between a Modelo 850-1600.
Step 3. Rear derailleur cable guide.
From all the research I’ve done I’ve concluded that Benotto moved their brazed on derailleur cable guides from above the bottom bracket prior to below the bottom bracket in 1979. 1976 and earlier had the clamp on guides.
Looking at my bike’s rear derailleur cable guides and bottom bracket would indicate that it is a 1979 and later model.
Step 4. Rear drop outs
Benotto Modelo 3000 has Campagnolo rear drop outs.
Benotto Modelo 2500, 2000, 1600, 1500, 850 had Benotto rear drop outs
Benotto Model 800 and lower had Suntour, Benotto or other rear dropout
My bike has the Benotto rear drop outs
Step 5. Tubing vs Pipe
It’s not always possible to see this. In my case, because I sanded my frame down to bare metal I could make this observation.
Steel Tubing frames are made in forms and molds. Whereas piped frames are rolled metal. From a strength perspective there are tradeoffs. Randy from mytenspeeds.com mentioned that tubing can be more fragile than piping. But Tubing can generally be made to be thinner in some areas and thicker in others to save weight. Piping is uniform in thickness. Columbus frames are made of tubing.
I noticed what appear to be seams in the metal. That would mean that the frame is made of piping. It’s interesting to note that my seat tube was 26.6mm. So perhaps Benotto used a thinner piping. Either way my Benotto must be a Modelo 800 or lower.
Okay, so that’s where I am in the process so far.
More posts to come. Will write a piece about Benotto Forks as that should give some more clues. Will hopefully have the sanding completed and primer soon.
163 replies on “Benotto Bicycle Restoration – How to identify a vintage Benotto bike frame’s year and model – Part 2”
I just picked up a Mexican Benotto mixte in the thrift store for $53. The cotters used two different sixes of nuts and the seat post is adjusted by loosening a scrap bolt.
The 27″ Duro tires held air when inflated, but I plan to replace them with Schwalbe Road Cruisers. So far I haven’t found the serial number.
So far I had to tighten the cranks, but for the most part it’s ridable as is.
Next step: Strip it down, refurbish the bottom bracket with new cotter pins, upgrade the tires and put the proper bolt in the seat post clamp.
It weighs 31 pounds, and I suspect that’s not all because of the Schwinn department store seat it came with.
Congrats on your find! There’s just nothing like a classic Benotto
I just have finished my Benotto 2500 project The bike appears to be ore 1980 and is now built up with a Campagno Nuovo Record group
I can share pictures if you advise me how to do so.
Best regards from germany
Hi Herbert, that’s awesome! Would love to see it. Can you share a link to the photos?
I have a Benotto Modelo 850. I bought in the mid 80s to do a few Triathlons.
It has been very lightly used over the years if at all. Recently had it serviced
Been a really nice bike to ride.
Trying to figure out where it was made – says Modelo one l
It has Campagnolo derailleurs, how do I tell what number?
SR crankset, not sure
Modolo Flash brakes yes
Miche hubs yes – laced to Nisi tubular rims.
it uses tube tires
Can any one help me
Hi Randy, from the sounds of it, it was made in Mexico. Beautiful bike.
I am trying to figure out what model I have. I believe I may have the 3000. It has been painted, but is all Nuovo Campy, champion fork, and shimano 600 brakes. There is a heart cut out on the BB with CM on one side and 1 (l?)04 on the other side of the BB. t
The seatpost is 27.2.
What do you think?
Hi Christina, based on your seatpost it would likely be a 2500 or 3000. Are your chain stays diamond shaped or oval?
My Benotto stays are diamond on the part closest to the wheel, but rounded on the external portion.
Hi Christina, then you have a Modelo 3000. Congrats.
I’m so excited! I had a great time trying to figure this out. In fact, I happened upon your Part 1 and Part 2 that helped me figure it out. Would you like to see pictures? I am getting ready to clean it up. And, of course I have to ask, “what’s it worth”?
To continue on my Identifying search of my Benotto Frame set, I have learn the following: The brake Calipers are MODOLO CORSA, The Seat Post diameter is 26.4 which puts this frame in the Columbus 800 Double Butted Steel family. Now all I need is to solve the YEAR issue…..hahahahaha!!!!
Thank you Jonathan,
You mention the Fork as a possible identifying part. What are you looking for in the fork???
Vintage is between 50 and 100 years old while 100-200+ is an antique for 95% of items. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles are excluded
In road cycling the year that is considered most important is 1985. This was the time before electronic devices and carbon became common in cycling. Any road bike made in 1985 and earlier is eligible for the vintage category cycling. Eroica includes 1987 and earlier. This was the era of wool jerseys, steel frames, and Mano a mano racing – often in brutal weather and road conditions. This is considered ‘classic’ cycling and the bikes are classified as vintage.
I recently started on a Benotto restoration project. I’ve owned this bike for 30 years. I do not know the Model or the Year of this particular bike (I THINK it might be 1979, 1980). It has the #255 stamped under the bottom bracket plus the heart shape. The bike has been painted (Non professionally) couple of times, so I’m not able to see if there are any words written on the drops. All the bike components have been taken off and the frame is going now to a paint shop where they will bery carefully sand blast the frame to strip all the pain off.
Hi Alex, good luck with your restoration project. There’s lots of ways to identify the frame. You can measure the width of the metal around your seat tube. Also, look for distinguishing features like the chain stays, the forks, etc.
Thank you Jonathan,
You mention the Fork as a possible identifying part. What are you looking for in the fork???
I too am in the process of restoring my Benotto. Under the bottom bracket is the openn heart cut out and the numbers 3350 on one side and 10-85-57 on the other. I would like to know what these mean.
Hi Bob, I believe the 10 is the month, 85 is the year and 57 means it is the 57th bike that month.
In the 80’s I purchased a used Benotto custom bike and raced it in a couple mini triathlons. I moved to Kansas City 30yrs ago and just found the bike again and had it cleaned up- it rides great!. I’m not a bike person, but would love to know the model and what it’s worth. What photos do I send ? Wow, so exciting!!!
Hi Dave, that’s awesome. Share a link with some photos here.
Hi Jonathan. Last year I bought a cheap bike in Belgium, which was in a nice condition but in my opinion a replica Benotto, because there were no “Benotto” marks on the seat stay and the frontfork and no heart in the bracket. But the frame has Campagnolo rear and front drop outs. Also Campagnolo derailleur and shifters , and Dia Compe brakes. Can it still be a (cheap) Benotto?
Many thanks in advance for your response.
Pieter (the Netherlands)
Pieter, it’s possible. If it has Campagnolo drop outs then it’s more likely a higher end frame. Perhaps custom? If you share a link with some photos, someone may be able to provide more info on your bike.
Jonathan, I’m afraid I don’t have a link with photos, but I do have photos of the bike. Is it possible to show the photos in another way?
Gary, your bike looks awesome! What size frame is that? I have a 62 cm Modelo 1500 that I’m in the process of restoring.
Hi Jonathan (along with all of your commentators)
I’ve got to say that your pages have been a fantastic mine of Benotto information, especially when it comes to ID’ing model and age.
Reading through all of the pages and threads has helped me to confirm that a frame I picked up a couple of weeks ago is a Modelo 3000 from 1983. Campag sliding dropouts, DeRosa BB shell and, best of all, the diamond chainstays.
It’s in a pretty bad way, but is definitely salvageable (repaint, surface rust and, worst of all, an oversized seat post stuck in the seat tube). Conversation with local framebuilders have indicated that it is repairable.
But the rarest thing is, is that it my size frame!
First stop is a specialist media blasting company (a light touch) to get rid of the old paint, then a visit to a local framebuilder for repairs and a repsray. Then the rebuild starts…
I also picked up another, as yet unidentified, lightweith Italian frame. Going to get this one up and running first, as it’s ready for a fit out. I think the Modelo 3000 is going to be a long-term, labour of love to restore.
What was even sweeter, was that I had both frames for £20!
Every search to identify the Benotto frame led to your pages, keep up the excellent work!
UPDATE: Closer inspection has also uncovered the ‘I’ stamp on the BB shell. The surface rust and what i thought was bad pitting, isn’t so bad after all.
Hi Nick, that’s awesome. You’ve found a gem (maybe 2). Keep us posted on your progress with your restoration!
As I continue restoring my old Benotto 1500, I’m now also fixing up two old Benottos for my daughters to ride. Both bikes belonged to a friend I have known since childhood, and they were purchased in the early ’80s when I got mine. I will post before-and-after photos of all three when they are done.
In the meantime, here are a few helpful tidbits I want to pass along:
The Benotto company still exists, and they still sell the Modelo 3000 frame that looks like the ones we know and love. They don’t have many sizing options, and each one is listed separately on a website that is a little difficult to navigate on some device. Here’s the link to the 52cm frame: https://tienda.benotto.com/Cuadro-con-Tijera-R700C-Ruta-Mod3000-Acero-Columbus-Aguila-de-Tachira-52cm-Champagne/93688.html
D&D Cycles in San Lorenzo, California, does a GREAT job of painting old Benottos in the nickel beige color, with all the appropriate decals. The paint job looks far superior to the original, and they put a clear coat over the decals that keeps them from peeling off the way they did on the original. They don’t seem to have a website, but here is the contact info: https://www.mapquest.com/us/california/dd-cycles-11888534
Does anybody know why the Benotto name on the seat stays is in raised lettering on some frames and recessed lettering on others? I think the recessed letters look better, but it seems like the raised letters might have been used on the top-of-the-line 3000 frame.
Thanks for the tidbits David.
Hello, thanks for your work on this website but i have still problems too identificate my Benotto!!! Can you help me??
The frameset sure was repainted and the pieces are not original. I can tell that the dropout are campagnolo and the seatpost is 27.2 mm. Follow the pictures:
Thanks you in advice!!!
Your rear brazed on cable holder is above the rear chain stay, rather than below. Which indicates a pre 1978 model.
The dropouts are campagnolo, which would indicate the top model. Likely a Modelo 2000 or 2500, which would have been the highest of the time.
Your cable guides are all brazed on. So it wouldn’t be too old. Levers are brazed on too. Which indicates a post 1978 model.
Your bottom bracket cable guide is the most interesting of all. I would have expected it to be clamped on. Not brazed on. So this will likely give you a good idea of the date.
But the dates of these are in contradiction with the brazed on levers.
The 27.2mm seat post indicates the Columbus SL which was used on the 2500 as well.
Possibly it’s a 1978 Benotto 2500 hidden beneath a repaint. What do you think?
Hello! yes probably is a 2500 model built between 1978 and 1981 🙂
Hi Alex, yes agreed. I would think 1978 because of the cable holder on the rear chain stay. Simply because after 1979 they were brazed on to the bottom side of the chain stay. Beautiful bike. You’ve found a treasure.
I may have posted to the wrong essay. This Gipiemme equipped Benotto Asolo has me stumped. I’m in Orillia Ontario and am a lifelong steelie enthusiast. I don’t know how to upload pictures but look forward to doing so upon instruction. Cheers.
Thanks for your post. Flickr is a great tool for sharing photos. I recommend that. Looking forward to seeing photos of your bike
Thanks so much for this site. What a great resource! I found a Benotto frameset a few years ago, and have slowly built it up with vintage parts as I could find/collect them. Could you possibly give your opinion on what model frame this might be?
(Obviously the parts are NOT original to this frame) The seat post is 26.8, with a seat tube O.D. of 28.6, so I’m assuming Aelle tubing? Benotto dropouts. That would indicate a mid-lower model, but then it has the lug cutouts and chromed fork, so could it be a slightly higher model? I love the looks of the bike, and it’s fun to ride. It was even more fun to piece it together in a similar build to my very first road bike I raced back when i was 16 years old. A 1986 or 87 Benotto, though I don’t remember the model.
My guess is a model 1000 or 1500. Any thoughts? Some photos linked below… thank you!
Hi Gary, I can’t see the photos. From what you described, I’d say you’re spot on. It’s most likely a Benotto 1500. Truly a beautiful bike.
Thank you for the reply! Sorry, this album should now be viewable: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FCw6LLAwP8LByhMcA
Hi Gary, looks like an early 1980s (because of the brazed on bottom bracket cable guides) and Benotto 1500 (because of the seat tube measurement).
The heart cutout bottom bracket, Benotto seat stays, and geometry are truly Benotto. It just looks fast. The 1500 would be considered on the higher end of their line-up. With any one considering a racing bike starting at the 800 range up. Aelle tubing gives you good competitive weight for the time.
I just bought what appears most certainly to be a vintage Benotto, but the decals and head badge are like nothing I have been able to find online. It says Ritter with a cat on a shield, but with the typical Fabrica Biciclette Torino. It has campy dropouts, nuovo record Pat 72 rear derailleur, suntour bar end shifters, and campy everywhere except universal super 68 brakes. Bottom bracket stamped “8”, with no other serial number visible anywhere. Does anybody know anything about this bike!? Paint is the classic beige gold color. I can send photos via private email if it piques your interest to help me figure out what this is. Thanks!
Hi Steven, that’s interesting. Please do post a link with photos.
Ole Ritter is a former Danish racing cyclist who broke the hour record in 1968. He did this on a Benotto. Possibly this is a connection with the decal on your bike?
Hi there, thanks for replying. You can see photos in the Q I put in a cycling forum where nobody has replied with info yet. I’d appreciate if you notice anything to shed more light on this bike 🙂
Hi Steven, I think you have something special. There were a few bike builders in Turino. It’s possible this bike is gold to commemorate Ritter’s win. The emblems featuring a lion and stripes would match. The gold Ritter emblems as well. Not sure about the bull or ox on the front. I cannot think of any other reason the bike is gold and has Ritter’s name on it.
Also of interest. The frame is very similar to a Benotto of the time. The geometry lines up, I overlaid it with a Benotto on photoshop. However, again it’s possible it was made by a custom frame builder.
Does the person you bought the bike off of have any more information? Would be interested to know more about its story.
Finally, would be interested to know the if underneath of the bottom bracket has a heart cutout and what the name on the top of the seat stay is?
The bottom bracket does not have a cutout and there is no serial, just the number 8. There are nice cutouts on the lugs down there that connect the chain stays. The seat stays don’t say anything on the top. The man that sold it to me said the original owner died and he doesn’t know anything about it. It was in the garage for decades. If you want to DM it might be easier to share photos if you want to see some more angles.
I put some more pictures of the bottom bracket and lugs, etc at that same link if you want to take a closer look. Thanks!
Can you add additional information about which Benotto’s are the professional series.
I have an early unkown model Benotto with all original paint and decals. I purchased it from the second owner. It is gold, front chrome lugs, rear chrome campagnolo dropouts, front fork is chrome with front campagnolo dropouts. The frame has never had any brazed on cable guides for braked or derraileurs. All cable guides are chrome campagnolo, for both brakes and derailleurs. Also there are no down tube brazed on shifter mounts. Bike uses Campagnolo clamp on. I think I have a very early 2500 model. 1973-1974. Bottom Bracket serial number is 711.
Hi Barry good questions: (Answers are for pre 1985 years)
1. What Benotto models are professional?
Benotto used the same frame geometry from the Modelo 800 to Modelo 5000. So all models 800 and above are a pleasure to ride and were considered raceable. The difference in frame sets is weight, which was dependent on the metal used to build the frames.
For road bikes with racing geometry you have the following:
Modelo 800 – Economy/Race
Modelo 850 – Economy/Race
Modelo 1500 – Amateur/Race
Modelo 2000 – Professional/Race
Modelo 2500 – Professional/Race
Modelo 3000 – “Superprofessional” From 1976
Modelo 5000 – “Superprofessional” From 1980s
For track bikes you have the following (Pista):
Modelo 1700 – Amateur/Race
Modelo 2700 – Pro/Race
Based on this informative post, The bike I brought home today, near as I can tell is a 77-78 2500, and I am excited to restore it to more original color scheme. Can anyone provide me with more info on colors of this vintage and paint matches if you have them. The chrome fork crown inlays have a light blue color, maybe indicating a light blue frame color. Also interested In tutorials on painting. TIA
Hi Joe, it may be that the inlays were painted blue, and the rest of the frame may have been a different color. What color is it now? Will do a tutorial on painting. It’s actually easy once you get the hang of it.
I have bought myself a Benetto i think its a mod. 2500 but i am not sure.
It have Campagnolo rear dropouts but not the diamondshape chainstay.. the paint and decals are original and it must be a 1977 or earlier model i guess. can you give me some advice?
Hi Bob, that sounds like a dream bike. The Campagnolo would be on the higher end spec, definitely sounds like a 2500.
Hi Bob, I’ve been doing some thinking about your bike because it has the Campagnolo rear dropouts. Is the rear derailleur cable guide brazed on or is it a clamp on guide? The reason I ask is that the Benotto Modelo 2500 was the top of the range until Benotto released the 3000 in the early 1970s. If it were clamped on then I would conclude you have an early 1970s Benotto that was likely the top of the range at the time.
Greetings and thank you for such a nice resource on the Benotto bikes!
I have recently acquired a modello unknown frame and have spent the past week trawling through images and forums to learn a little more and try to make some sense of what I have which had been stripped, chromed and sat in a garage for several years.
Interestingly what I haven’t come across in any of my research is any other Benotto’s with a large ‘B’ stamped on the top of the front forks.
With a fairly crude measurement technique using a ruler the headtube seems to be 27mm from left to right but is slightly larger when measuring front to back. The frame has the ‘typical’ Benotto non- diamond chainstay. B4 58 is stamped on the bottom bracket with no cutout and two tiny cable guides fixed to the base
Would I be correct in guessing holes for pump holder on the seat tube or provision two drink holders?
Great source of info. Just picked up a very tired Benotto bike last week. Took a punt based on few not very good pics. Have started to strip down over the weekend. What I have found so far, Campag rear drop outs, rear mech cable guide on top of chainstay and guides braised on top of bottom bracket. 27.2 seatpost. Diamond s shaped chain stays with no indents. No braze on mount for front mech. Has the following stamped on BB 2-9-60 and 1-0650 . Bottom bracket also has the B symbol as an open hole into the BB. From the information I guess its late 1970 3000 frame. The guy I purchased from had bought it second hand in 1987. Was running with Shimano Golden Arrow group set but with very old campag gear shifters. Going to strip down and get re painted. The forks are full chrome not sure if original or not . Any ideas how to tell?
Hi Chris, that does sound like a late 1970s 3000 frame.
Well this post has rumbled on! I can see why, what an excellent resource you’ve created. I found it as I’ve just bought a Paris-Roubaix that came up at the right price. It seems to have an eclectic array of components on it though – I wonder if it’s normal? It has a Campag 980 rear mech, Shimano 600 front mech and Suntour levers. Universal brake callipers with 600 levers. Hubs are Maillard s/f with Weinmann concave rims.
All the parts are age-appropriate, but it looks like it’s a parts-bin special!
Hi Steve, that’s very possible. A lot of people would have built the frame up and customized it how it was needed. Nice parts in the mix though.
Hi Jonathan, first thank you for share a great research job, it’s really helpful. A few days ago, I got a Benotto for 50 USD, and I’m trying to figure out what model and year the frame is but, there are somethings I can’t find like if was there any model with a heart shape in the lugs, or internal cable routing on the top tube; the only clue is the “Benotto” marks on the seatstays and the fork. I don’t know if the paint is too thick, but I can’t see nothing under the bottom braket.
Here are some pictures https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yPmKwyTSZQ5-723KACmgZG0fJ1TNo-XQ?usp=sharing
Do you know something about this?
I love reading all your Benotto information! I bought a Benotto Modelo 1500 sometime around 1983-84, and rode it constantly until late ’86 when I went to college and pretty much quit riding. After moving the bike from garage to garage for the next 30 years, I finally got back into riding last year, and it was still a great bike … until the seat tube separated from the bottom bracket a few days ago.
I am in the process of scouting around for a professional who can determine if there is any way to save the frame. This bike has huge sentimental value for me, so I really want to bring it back to life. I searched online for a possible replacement in the event this one is done forever, but no luck. It is a 62 cm frame, and apparently they are pretty scarce.
I ended up finding a great-looking Colnago for a price that didn’t break the bank (scheduled to arrive in about 10 days!) so I can keep riding while I attempt to fix the Benotto.
And now, the point of this post: How does one recreate the “Benotto Team Professional Nickel Beige” paint color? My bike’s original color was red, but I always wished it was nickel beige (or “Benotto gold,” as I called it). Since welding the frame would necessitate a new paint job anyway, I figure I might as well use the opportunity make my wish come true. The blue letters on the pantographed stem will still look sharp, of course!
I found a bunch of places online selling the decals that appear to match mine pretty closely, just without the model number or the Isiwata “019 Glories Victory” decals.
If the frame turns about to be hopeless, I will just keep all the parts and continue the search for another old Benotto to fix up.
Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. Love to hear stories like this. Sorry to hear about your bottom bracket though. The good news is that it’s relatively easy for any welding shop to fix. They would rebraze it. The crankset and bottom bracket is easy to disassemble, then the welder has access to the inside of the frame for the weld. I understand the sentimental value. And yes, those are rare bikes.
Could you share photos of your bike? Happy to post them here, for others to identify their bike. I used to have a red Bianchi, I loved that bike. Personally I like the color red on the Benotto’s too.
I LOVE that you dragged this Benotto around for 30 years.
I have a similar story about dragging a Benotto or two with me through life.
Your year and model would suggest that you have one of the bikes we have heard rumors about for all these years. Some Benotto’s have a reputation for tube and braze failures. I believe this was when Mr. Benotto was training his crew in Mexico to build bikes.
I hope your issue is related to an inadequate braze job, and not an overtemp. If you are really lucky, the joint was never brazed well and was held together with a really good mitre and fit job. I have seen this a few times in other bikes. A decent frame builder with a torch can readily fix this issue.
I renovated as Model 2500 years ago. I found two part automotive paint that matched the original paint after a bit of research. I noticed some Toyota metallic beiges are very similar. Do not go too gold in the paint. I see that error frequently. The original color has a silver-gold aspect. Too much gold just looks wrong.
Please renovate the bike. We need to keep all of these Benotto’s as nice as we can.
Thanks for doing your part.
Hi Steven, great point on the paint. I also found an automotive paint that way. If you can find someone with an original painted frame you can go to a local store like Lordco they can actually paint match. I’ve noticed the original paint color vary slightly depending on the model and year. From more silver as you say to a slightly brownish color. And I agree with you. To me the silvery gold looks the best. It’s timeless.
If I can find the paint code I got I will post it here.
Thanks for the responses to my comment. I have found a very respected local (Sacramento, CA) bike fabricator who is going to replace the seat tube, and another guy who has been painting bike frames for something like 30 years, and not only is he familiar with the color, but he has used it to paint something like 10 Benottos in the past (apparently for the same person, who must be even more of a Benotto freak than any of us — or maybe is one of the regulars on this site?).
Anyway, I think everything is going to work out, even though most people would think I’m crazy for spending money on a bike that wasn’t even the top of the line model in its day! All my vacation plans got torpedoed by COVID, so funds were freed up for bike restoration!
There is one possible problem that I’m waiting to hear about, but fingers are crossed. When the seat post became detached from the bottom bracket, a tiny piece of the tip of the lug cracked off, too. I’m hoping that this will not impact the structural integrity, and will just be a nearly imperceptible aesthetic issue.
I will have before-and-after photos if everything works out. What’s the best way to send them?
p.s. I hate to admit this, but the Colnago that I bought on eBay so I would have something to ride during the restoration (I couldn’t find a Benotto in the right size) has completely won me over. It rides much better than the Benotto ever did. To be fair, though, it is a higher-end model and was made seven or eight years after the Benotto, with more advanced parts.
Also, I discovered that one of my longtime friends still has his nickel beige Benotto from the ’80s, so I will have a sample to color-match if something goes wrong with the painter. I thought he sold his bike years ago! I will try to get photos to send. I don’t remember the model, but he had a nickel beige bike and his brother had a Benotto that was a light blue color. That one might not be around anymore.
Hi Dave, that’s awesome. Great find with that local fabricator. Ya, it’s amazing the difference components make. Even just rebuilding them make all the difference. I rebuilt the hubs on my wheels and my bike was riding effortlessly. The one thing these old steel bikes have is comfort. The steel is stiff while doing a better job at dampening the vibration than most modern frames. So you get that smooth feel when riding.
Hi Steven, do you have a picture of the 2500 you restored? Would love to see add it here.
Funny you ask that question. I am in the middle of a nice experience.
Monday I found a lost archive of digital photo’s I have collected for many years. It has been misplaced for almost a decade. I am still sorting through it, but it is gold for me, and important to our discussions.
It contained my archive of my Benotto’s through the years. I am doing essays about the renovations and now I have the photo’s I need to publish the work. They include a 2500 former Italian team bike, a really nice 1970’s 2700, and a road tandem, of all things.
I will let you know when I publish Benotto content. I personally want to thank you for creating a forum for any information concerning these bicycles and the people around them can be remembered and maintained.
This is important. Nice work!
Hello everybody, I am into vintage bike restoration and live in Montreal, Marinoni can easily fix your bike without any problems.
I have a Marinoni which I had to have a new columbus SL chainstay changed and this was done perfectly.
I have a benotto frame and fork that weighs altogether 7.4 pounds. Heavy huh?
Would you know what kind of tubing was used to build this bike?
It’s from the 80 s
Hi Joel, can you measure the width of the metal on the seatpost? And the diameter of the opening. That will help identify the type of steel used, so it’s easier to identify the model.
The seat post diameter opening is 1” and (I hope i’m measuring this right with a caliper) the width of the metal .001 That number reads on the caliper bar and on the dial needle is on point 5. Is that an additional .005?
The new professional paint job might add a little thickness to the tubing.
as you can guess I’m not good at translating a caliper.
The brazed on cable holder is on the bottom of chain stay.
Hope this helps.
Sorry again mr. W
The seat post is stamped 26.2 instead of 27.2 on my benotto.
It’s an old campagnolo that has many scratches so I read it wrong.
Thanks for your great site!
Hi Joel, thanks that’s helpful. If the seatpost is 26.4mm it is double butted tubing. 26.2mm would be 1.1mm thick steel. So I’m not 100% which one. It is either Columbus double-butted steel or straight gauge moly steel.
The seat post diameter opening is 1” and (I hope i’m measuring this right with a caliper) the width of the metal .001 That number reads on the caliper bar and on the dial needle is on point 5. Is that an additional .005?
The new professional paint job might add a little thickness to the tubing.
as you can guess I’m not good at translating a caliper.
The brazed on cable holder is on the bottom of chain stay. Sorry, forgot to tell you my seat post is 27.2 if that helps
Hope this helps.
Firstly, thank you for this blog – fantastically informative.
I’ve been lucky enough to pick up a Benotto 3000 (diamond chain stays so I’m pretty sure it is a 3000) but I can’t date it and was wondering if you could offer any thoughts.
I don’t know how long they continued to produce the 3000, mine has a veloce rear derailed which would date it post 1987. The heart cutout on the bottom bracket is a little crude – I’m wondering if this is a Mexican produced later model.
Very much appreciate any thoughts.
I’ve attached a Dropbox link with photos of the bike.
Hi Guy, it looks like a 1988 based on the two stripes on the top of the frame. They went through various iterations of that colour way in the 80s.
Honestly, it’s a beautiful bike cleaned up. Some people would keep it honest and show the patina. Maybe polish the rust area, to remove any surface rust. Personally I’d clean all the gears, strip them apart and reassemble. It will ride like a brand new bike after that. I love these old framesets.
Without a made in Italy sticker on the seat tube I would guess that it was made in Mexico. A lot of beautiful Benottos were made in Mexico after 1954. All Mexican and Italian frames were handmade.
Merlin, a senior member of BikeForums.net purchased his first Benotto 3000 made in Mexico City in 1979. He shared that he ended up buying 3 over the years, “All were made in Mexico, none broke and were raced in countless Crits and Road Races by a strong 175 pound with a wicked fast sprint (the older I get, the faster I was). […] The brazeing on the frames were as good as any Colonago of the day.”
So I’d say you’ve found yourself a real gem
Jonathan, I recently revisited your writings and enjoy reading about your journey. I enjoy your writing style. I am also so pleased you published that old catalogue from LA White back in the day.
I recently completed a restoration of a 1980’s Benotto Tandem. It is a fascinating bicycle I would like you to see. I will advise you if I publish some information on it so you and your folks can take a look.
I read your pieces, and admire your knowledge & where you are coming from.
Have a Benotto question: I’ve inherited a Pista Frameset from my father, and would like to identify it’s age and details.
The bottom bracket is marked B-3 61, with 4228 which is I assume a serial no.
The Benotto pantographed chrome fork steer tube is marked B-3 62
Frame and fork have Campagnolo dropouts
The seat tube/ post size is 27.2, BB shell 68mm, all italian threading
Seat stays are embossed at the top Benotto (looks as they all are)
It is painted candy apple red with Benotto decal set on top with no clear coat. I could be wrong but am assuming this is an old restoration, as its seen plenty of use since then and some decals are wearing off. One decal is a 1976 World Championship rainbow colors. No idea if this is period correct.
Any help you can give me would be most appreciated. Best, Gregory
( I hope I am posting this message in the proper place )
Hi Gregory, based on the seat post size it’s using Columbus SL. Based on your description it’s possible that it’s a restoration. May be the age as well. A lot of their late 70s early 80s models has the World Championship rainbow decal on it. Mine did as well. It wasn’t top coated either. What is make/model of the deraileurs. As well what shape are the chain stays? Sounds like a gem
Hi Jonathan, Thanks for your reply . The chain stays are oval, (def not diamond) and it is a track frame, so no derailleurs or cable bosses.
Hi Gregory, thanks. Missed the Pista in your comment. What an incredible bike that is. Yes, agree the candy apple red is throwing me off. Few questions then to date it. What is the shape of the frame, straight and triangular or “swoopy” and triangular? Also, what is the make of the crankset, handlebars, and stem? Also, if you look at the wheels what does the hub say? And finally what is the make of the rims?
The frame shape is traditional double triangles, straight tubes. The bb shell has no cut outs. The fork seems to be original, with matching stamps to the frame, and is a nice chrome on a brazed steertube, Pantographed Benotto ‘B’ on it at the crown area. The fork crown is smooth lines, no lugs .
The components were all high end campagnolo pista, 170×144 bcd x 48t Campagnolo record pista cranks, alloy campagnolo patent HS, Campagnolo pista BB, Benotto Pantographed Cinelli stem and matching bars, Benotto Pantographed Campagnolo seat post, Benotto embossed saddle (the saddle seems to be a road, not pista saddle). Campagnolo Record high flange pista hubs with 36h Weinmann rims.
The assemblage is impressive, and at first looks matching, but my gut says it was curated, not original.
My dad had a ton of nice vintage bicycles from the 60’s and 70’s that he would offer me. My theory was to only take those in my size that were practical to ride. This one was a hoot to ride as a fixy in urban Honolulu
He’s gotten old now and doesn’t remember any details of the source of these museum-like bikes.
I know these Benotto’s. They are good bikes. The predominant color of the bike was red. Champaign color was not an option or I would have one.
They are essentially 2700’s from Mexico. they were released for a couple of seasons in the early 2000’s. Does this time frame sound correct?
These frames were available as track frames and there were no road models released to my knowledge.
These had the old Benotto track fork and were identifiable from the chain and seat stays being almost all chrome from the droputs to the seat tube on both stays. A very nice feature for folks like me who like chrome.
The bike was sold as a frame only. This was during the steel frame resurgence of the early 2000’s. If I had purchased one, I would have built it up as your Father did.
Take care of it. There are not too many of these left.
Steven, thanks for this insight! It’s appreciated.
Just spotted a small error you will want to rectify: “… Finally, Columbus double butted steel and plain gauge steel is 0.10mm thick with a seat opening of 26.4mm…”. It’s not 0.10mm thick, it’s 1mm thick.
I bought a Benotto sight unseen this morning – looking forward to collecting it as and when current Covid-19 travel restrictions allow me to do so.
Good catch Colin
I’ve collected my new Benotto now – it’s a Model 850 with a Paris-Roubaix decal on the seat tube. 21½in (54.5cm) frame, number R8631. The components are an odd mix: SR Sakae, Stronglight, Joytech, SunTour, Mavic and Simplex, with various date codes, but the majority seems to point to about 1983/84. Do you know if the Paris-Roubaix decal indicates some particular specification, or was the decal used on all Model 850s? My machine has sprint rims and skinny tubular tyres which I don’t think would be much use on the cobblestones and unmade tracks of the Paris-Roubaix.
Ciao Jonathan sono Marco dall’Italia. Complimenti per le informazioni, sono interessantissime. Sto restaurando una bici Benotto. Inizialmente pensavo che fosse un modello 850, ma poi leggendo il tuo sito mi sono convinto che sia un modello 3000 (e magari te ne chiedo conferma). E’ equipaggiata con un gruppo completo campagnolo, i forcellini posteriori sono campagnolo e il passaggio cavi del deragliatore posteriore è superiore. Purtroppo non posso postare immagini perchè adesso il telaio è dal sabbiatore, appena tornerò in possesso del telaio posterò qualche immagine (se mi dici come si fa). Grazie e un saluto
Hi Marco, yes that sounds like a 3000 contender. What diameter is the seatpost opening and are the chainstays diamond shaped?
Greetings from Denmark
Thanks for your page about BENOTTO
I have a BENOTTO Time Trail frame, and I can’t figure out the year hope you can help me.
I can finde some bikes, but either the cable guide, or the sign on the fork is different, or there are no chrom on the chainstay.
I have some photos in this album, https://photos.app.goo.gl/UGfgco2LhuQJecay6
Best regards Henning
Hi Henning, I’m not familiar with this frame. Perhaps one of the readers will recognized it.
Thanks for the information. I recently found a near mint Modelo 1600. The guy I got it from said it had sat idle in his garage since the 80s. The bike has Suntour Gt RD (last generation 1979) and Suntour sprint FD. Dia-compe cherry brakes and Silstar crank, all original I think. Wheel and hubs have no markings. It made me wonder why if this is a mid level frame, the group set was of a lower quality. Your research has really been helpful.
Incredible Paul, share photos
First off, thank you for this great resource. I snagged a Benotto from a local co-op and think I have a 1977-1978 2500 CR, but have some questions still. Campy dropouts, the tubing is marked ‘ SL’, the seatpost measures 27.2, rear mech cable and guides on top of bottom bracket. My question is: the chain stays are rounded and not diamond shaped, but the indent appears to have that ‘eye’ shape you attribute to 3000s. Thoughts?
Pics are here, let me know if you want / need more: https://imgur.com/a/V2JCcQP
I’m happy to send more pics as I get it cleaned up – needs a clean and new tubulars (not super looking forward to removing these) and it’ll be good to go. The tires are real ugly but seem to hold air, so I carefully rode it around my block – this bike feels like a dream.
Thanks again for putting this all out there!
Hi Nick, yes that’s how I would describe it too. Riding a Benotto Feels like a dream. That’s an interesting detail. I think you’re right, a 2500. Very nice.
Great info. Thanks a lot. So now I can tell mine is Benotto 3000. She has diamond shape chain stay and campy dropout. Most of the components are Miche made in Italy. Brakes and levers are Modolo. Serial # is B35919. Well thanks again.
Hi Jayson, that’s a beautiful bike you have there.
I have a Benotto bike for which I am trying to determine the model and vintage. Here is what I know:
Number stamped on bottom of bottom bracket 316
Brakes ModoloFlash (second version)
Rims Ambrosio Elite
Handle Bar Cinelli Giro D’Italia (64-40)
Stem Cinelli, 110
Seat Post SR Laprade custom CT-P5 (early version)
Front Derailer Campagnolo, Nuovo Accord model 1052/NT
Rear Derailer Shimano 105, RD-1050
Hubs Miche competition
Shifter Levers Shimano, SL-S434 6 speed SIS friction
Rear Drop Out Benotto
Cable Guides Brased on below bottom bracket
Front Blue Benotto letters on white background
with green & yellow stripe next to white
Fork Flag shape w/ White Benotto letters on blue
background with green, yellow (on Left) and
red & blue (on Right) border
Above shifter levers Partially worn but Zeta in black letters on
gold background (seat post openning 26.6)
I can send pictures if you can provide me an email address.
Hi Doug, thanks for this information, it’s very helpful. Pictures are great as well, if you have any to share.
The red color likely means it is not a modelo 3000.
Your Modolo Flash brakes put the bike around 1979-1988. Good years. The brakes are entry level.
The number at the bottom of the frame 316 makes me think of the Modelo 800 range.
The Ambrosio Elite rims were used by pros, also puts the bike in the early 80s.
It’s a bit odd that your front and rear deraileur are different. The shimano is a model from 1987 – 1989. The Campagnola is a model from the late 70s early 80s.
The Shimano SL-S434 shifters are from 1988.
Rear dropout Benotto indicates a Modelo 800 up to the Modelo 2500
The mix in componentry suggest that either parts were replaced over time, or more likely good old stock was added to this bike when purchased. The best indicator of age would be the combination of the shifters and the brakes. So likely this bike was made in 1988.
As far as model, a combination of Benotto dropouts, the entry level componentry mixed with older mid-range and pro range as well as the seat post size of 26.6mm puts this bike in the modelo 800 range.
Hope this helps
Thank you for your reply and for all you have done to create and maintain the site. Below is a link to some pictures of the Benotto bike I have. Please let me know if the pictures allow you to refine your thoughts regarding the model and year.
I volunteer at an organization that repairs donated bikes so they can be given to people in need. When a bike comes in that has a resale value and won’t meet the needs of the community we serve, we will try to sell them so we can use the proceeds to buy parts for the other bikes we repair and donate out. This seems like a bike that fits into this category.
Do you have suggestions on where to try to sell this bike and what price we should list it at?
Thanks again for all your help with this. It is very much appreciated and will help us continue to provide bikes to people who need them, but cannot otherwise afford them in the community we serve.
Hi Jonathan, fantastic article.
I have a vintage Benotto bike and I always wondered which model is it. I suspect that it is probably some 80s Modelo 800 but I am not sure at all.
Also, the crackled paintwork is very peculiar, I never found any Benotto with the same color. It has Modolo Corsa brakes, Campagnolo 900 front/rear derailleur set and it came with Galli tires (I had then change them to fit modern standard tires). Furthermore, the brake levers (also Campagnolo) have don’t have the cables going outside but they go on the handlebar.
This is a pic I took some years ago (I am now re-restoring it, I use that bike to commute, I really love the frame).
Any suggestion would be highly appreciated.
Hi Roberto, I really like the look of your bike. It must have been part of a limited run paint job. It does look like a modelo 800 frame, but the campagnolo groupset would suggest a higher end bike. Possibly a modelo 1500 or 2500.
I’m not familiar with that groupset. Perhaps someone else here has more information about it. Seems like a special bike.
How did this restoration go? I have a Modelo 3000 I think, that I bought in UK in 1984 and was chromed gold. I resprayed it 2 years later but it’s still going strong so I’m thinking of a restoration to a classic bennotto colour scheme.
It would be great to find out how yours finished up.
That’s awesome. The restoration is still in process. Here’s a quick update. I had a local paint dealer mix a color as close to the original that they could get. It turned out really nice. But while spraying the bike, some metal in the paint clogged the nozzle and formed lumps that got on the bike. So I’m in the process of stripping it back and doing it again. (so close)
I spoke to an automobile restorer about the mistake, he didn’t seem phased, this kind of thing is common. It’s easy to strip it back and do it again. I’ve learned a few things too. Next time I will use a thinner primer and layer on the paint more thinly as well. The paint job looked beautiful but added more weight than I expected.
Recently i aquired Benotto Modelo 800 Vintage Italian Racer. Whats something like that worth?
Hi Rachel, it depends a bit on the year. A bicycle is considered vintage if it was made in 1987 or earlier. The reason being that this was the era of steel frames, just prior to mainstream bicycle computers. So it harkens to a simpler time of Mano a Mano.
The modelo 800 has the benefit of having the same geometry of the modelo 3000 with strong welds. So people either collect them or convert them to fixed gear bikes. I ride mine as much as I can.
So if your bike is earlier than 1987 it will be worth more. Bike values have gone up. Ebay is a great place to watch to see what people are paying for them. But I haven’t seen many vintage Benotto’s sell for less than $1000 these days. They are rare. If it’s the gold color, the value is higher as that was the color used by the likes of Francesco Moser when he won the World Championship and Ole Ritter when he broke the Hour Record.
What do you think about this?
Looks like an early 90s Benotto 800. From the photos it seems authentic. If you are getting it as a commuter it’s a good find. If you want something collectable, perhaps wait for one made earlier.
I believe I have a Benotto 5000 from circa 1985. How can I tell for sure?
I have a similar bike bought in 1985. The 5000 was one of the earliest aero frames with brake and gear cables that coursed internally in the frame. No other Benotto to my knowledge has aero shaped tubes ad internal cables.
Hans that’s amazing. That Benotto is a piece of history. Do you still have it?
I think I have a Benotto 2500 frame, but the drop outs are Campagnolo, the heart on the BB it’s cut by the middle and the rear mount for the caliper say “Gipiemme”.
Do you think it’s an Italian frame?
Hi Andres, I’ll need a bit more information about your bike. Do you know what year your bike was made, also what country do you live in? That will help.
Can you pease tell me, if you know them, what are the differences between Benotto 100 and 800 models besides of the steel? I have a Benotto bike but I can’t find the seatpost size because the last owner just screwed up the form of the hole for it. So, with all the information that you gave to us I’m finally figuring out what size it could be, but I can’t almost nothing about Benotto 800.
I’m from Mexico and my bike has the (brazed on) cable holders above the chainstay.
Thanks a lot.
Hi Miguel, the difference will be in the geometry, weight and components. What components are on it?
since I got a Benotto Modelo 2000 by chance, I was searching for some information regarding this bike in the www and so I found your very interesting contribution. According your description I was able to find out, that the manufacturing date is 1979 or newer and I was able to relate all the details related to Modelo 2000. The frame has the original painting and stickers, so I can say for sure that this frame ist Modelo 2000.
Do you have any idea how to figure out, what was the basic equipment of this bike? Headset, crank set and bottom bracket are Shimano 600 EX Arabesque and I assume that this is original. On the the other hand I am wondering when investigating in the www, that Benotto usually used Campagnolo components but mine has Shimano.
I would be glad if you or someone else can help.
Thanks a lot.
Hi Henne, what a great bike! Here’s a link to a catalogue from 1979. For the Benotto 2000 they used a mix of Campagnolo, Superbe, and similar components. It’s possible that the components were swapped out. http://machiine.com/2015/benotto-1979-catalogue/
I take a closer look again again tonight and I think I have a modelo 1500 or 1600 from mid 80’s.
Rear dropout is Benotto
Front dropout Benotto
Chainstay not diamond
Rear dereillieur cables on the bottom
Seat tube is a 26,8 indicating Benotto Aelle. Therefore Modelo 1500 or 1600.
Cool thanks for the useful info and hopefully you publish part three on the front drop outs. Now to decide if I incur the expense of a sand and respray full restoration. Still got all the Campagnolo brakes and gears on it and the original San Marco Lazer saddle.
Hi Dan, thanks for the comment. Certainly sounds like a 1500 or 1600. And thank you, part 3 is on the way.
Well 2 years and a new comment. I am trying to place a red and white Benotto I inherited from my Dad. He got it in mid 80’s. Thanks for all the information it is going to help me place this better. No heart shaped cut out and no I stamped in the serial number so looks like a Mexican one. Back in the day it was the Business
Yes, it was the business… Share a picture would be interesting to see it and I can add it to the collection.
and greetings from Finland!
Any ideas? At the left side on the bottom bracket stamped 80 (year?) and below – looks like I? At the right side 58 (size) and I 300. Complete heart shaped cutout.
Campagnolo drops and 27.2mm seatpost size and the rear derailleur cable guide on the top of the chain stay. Chromed fork with Benotto engravings.
Thanks for your question. That’s a beautiful bike you have there. Very lucky.
Based on the seatpost diameter it has Columbus SL tubing which means it’s a benotto modelo 2500 or higher.
If the chainstays are diamond shaped then it’s a modelo 3000, if not then it’s a 2500.
Hi- I just purchased a Benotto Modelo 2700 at auction. The serial number is 1009. Columbus tubing and Campy dropouts. Any idea what year it is? Also, approx value in very nice unrestored condition?
If you believe the components to be original you can get a good idea of the age by them. As for value, it will really depend on the market place, but they seem to be going up.
Me interesa mucho la referencia del color champán. Muchas gracias.
Thank you so much for the detailed, info-rich posts. I have a 1985 Benotto Modelo 800 that I bought this past Summer, and it’s a wonderful, comfortable and stable ride. Just checked the seat post, pretty sure it’s original as it came and it’s 26.8 mm, indicating Columbus Aelle tubing. I had a feeling it had good tubing, as the ride quality is super.
Mine has Benotto dropouts at back, not sure about the front fork ones. It has Suntour shifters, a Suntou ARX front derailleur and came with a much more recent Shimano Sora as RD. Replaced that with a Suntour GT, which allowed me to use more chain range. The chainset uses 110mm BCD, and I found a 34t ring for an affordable price on AliExpress. Now in the bike, and it shifts perfectly from the big 53 to the 34 and back. Great way to add gear range.
Again many thanks for the great posts.
Hi Roberto, thanks for your comment. Great find, the Benotto ride is exceptional.
I bought a Benotto youth 5-speed road bike for my son when he was about 8 years old. This was back around 1986. It was a great little bike and he had no problem staying up on group rides 18-22 mph. I handed the bike down to relatives and it disappeared. Would love to find one for grandsons. Any idea where they could be found?
Hi Bob, good question. Perhaps keep an eye out on Craigslist, they usually pop up there.
A 24″ wheel 5 speed was just on eBay for about $300. Very nice little frame too, had diamond stays but no lugs. Didn’t buy it, should have. Also saw a similar poghliagi. Cool little sleds, hope you find one…
Hi, I live in Italy and recently I bought a benotto bike but I dont have an idea which model it is. I was wondering if you could help me to find out.
I’ve some pictures but I dont know how to put them here.
Hi Santiago, some people have been uploading pictures to Google Picasa and sharing the link using that. You can find it here. http://picasa.google.com/
Thanks for the help. Here it is. Let me know what you think about this bike and all details that ou know about this model. All information is apprecciated.
I really like this bike. You have a treasure there. Appears to be mid to late seventies. Benotto was a popular and trusted brand with a long history at this point, but was starting to react to global demand. The bikes are nicely made and solid. It is a lower line bike, but still a good one and an excellent example of the Benotto line of bicycles. It would be lovely just cleaned up and restored, which is what I hope you do. If not, it will ride nice and race well if you hang some decent mid level parts on it. Please try and keep it the champagne color. I have a source of very high quality graphics that are correct. If interested, please let me know…
Thanks for the information! Yes, I would like to restore it and keep it with the champagne color. Just one last question: do you know if the frame is Columbus?
Can you show me the graphics? I’m interested on it.
And just for curiosity do you’ve an idea how much this bike costs? A lot of persons already asked me about it, but not knowing the real price I just tell them it’s not in sale.
hi, could you send me the graphics ? And also could you tell me the real price of this bike?
So sorry for the delayed response. Contact Gus Salmon Decals….he has worked very hard to make exacting restoration graphics, and is very knowledgeable on Benotto’s. Just Google his name and you will find what you are looking for.
Thanks Steve for sharing this
Hello Steven hope you dont mind me contacting you , but i am researching a modelo 3000 , with a blue and white finish, and a victory groupset. (i can send pics) also are you familiar with the name Ugo de Rosa ? thankyou, Rod Greaves.
Hi all! This is my benotto project : https://picasaweb.google.com/106166418653646658828/Benotto?authkey=Gv1sRgCLTMtvDdspT1UA
Can anybody help me to identify this frame? The seat tube is 26.6 mm,fork dropouts is gipiemme,rear is benotto.
Best regards from Hungary!
Hi Tibi, thanks for sharing your bike.
When I look at this bike, like most Benotto’s, I see a steel bike that will ride well regardless of the tube set, which is the detail that determines the model. It is post 1984, but early because they built the frame with some of the old Benotto cast lugs. O don’t know a lot about later Benotto’s, but do recognize the same Benotto manufacturing traits recognized in earlier bikes.
Hi, Thanx a lot for the research!
I think that my Benotto is a model 2500 cr but mine have Campagnolo dropouts. Did you see that before?
I am so pleased to see your interest in Benotto’s. I remember seeing them in storefronts in Mexico City in the late 70’s, as well as they were ridden by my hero’s Moser and De Vlaeminck. I have been following the bikes since about ’75 when a company named L.A. White Cycles started advertising in early cycling mags. I still have a poster I got from them in my workshop.
Mr. Benotto had a dream of making racing bikes from the top of the line down to entry level racers that were close to the same geometry but of materials of gradually lower price and quality. All of his bikes that were built in this mold were good bikes for the day. His idea was to move part of his business to Mexico City and produce all but the highest end bikes for the emerging American market. These were the days of Ciocc and Guerciotti’s. I bought a 3000 (Italian) for $325.00. I later purchased another for $525.00. Mr. Benotto’s dream was realized when a guy like me could buy a 1700 track frame with Campagnolo ends, a 38 rake chrome fork with a Cinelli crown and steerer and Columbs Zeta tubing (seamed, but raced OK) for less than $150.00. You could crash them at that price, and mine still race OK.
I have owned six, and have restored two. I still have three left. My old 3000, My old 1700, and another 1700 I picked up recently that is really nice.
The bikes are so mired in history and mystique. Enjoy the journey you are having. Don’t forget the team bikes, which will break all the rules you are establishing. I once owned a bike that belonged to the Simonatta team and it looked like an early 3000 hybrid with a 2500. braze on cable guides, cable guides brazed to the BB top, and no diamond stays…..but it was SL/SP mix and reeked of a high end race bike.
Have fun friend. Enjoy bikes and Benotto’s!
Hi Steven, thanks so much for your comment. It’s true there is a lot of mystique around Benottos. I guess part is legend and part is because not a lot of information survives about them. Thank you for providing a bit more, especially about the team bikes.
I still have a sales poster from Benotto that shows all the bikes in the Benotto line in 1979 along with general specs of each of the bikes. I have a multi- page scan of the document. If you would like a copy please contact me.
Thanks, that would be great. I’ve sent you an email
Hi Jonathan. I have a similar project to yours going and am wondering if you have any thoughts about identifying the frame… hope you’ll allow a longish comment. A friend has a Benotto that, before he got it, was given a truly hideous brushed-on white primer paint job. Very very sloppily done, presumably as a theft deterrent. I’m trying to identify the model. Many of the components have been switched (eg. an XT derailleur), but the cranks are Campy “Strada” from 1981, Campy headset and brake levers. Haven’t looked at the BB, but there is no heart cutout in the BB shell. Rest is a weird mix of Dura Ace and Suntour. Seatpost is 27.0. Bike current weighs 21.4 lbs. After using a little paint remover, I’ve found the color scheme is like this, as far as I can tell: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BENOTTO-FRAME-AND-FORK-59-CM-COLUMBUS-TUBING-600-HEADSET-BOTTOM-BRACKET-/161765012312?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25a9f23358
So, I’m pretty sure it is a mid 1980s 2500, although there are some inconsistencies. First, you say above that it should have a 27.2 seatpost, while it has a 27.0. According to that ebay ad, 27.0 was used at some point, your thoughts? The other problem is that it appears that it was equipped with Campy Super Record, given the complete lack of Shimano 600 and Campy being used in the harder-to-replace spots. My interneting indicates on Shimano 600 for this model and paint scheme (black, transitioning to grey, chromed fork). I feel like this is a big clue as to when it was made and whether I’ve got the model right. Again, your thoughts? Thanks in advance, and especially for putting this blog together!
Thanks for the question. Based on the seatpost size it’s likely a Modelo 2000, which is still a great bike. The way you describe the part replacement makes sense. As for year, there are a couple things you can check. Is the rear derailleur cable guide sitting on the top or underside of the chain stay? Also, what make are the rear dropouts? That will be a clue as well.
Hmmm… so you think that 2500 on ebay is listing the wrong seatpost size?
The dropouts are Benotto. Cable guides are below the BB.
Yes, it’s likely that the measurement is wrong on the ebay ad or the bike is actually a 2000. The 2500 used Columbus SL tubing, so that would be 27.2 seatpost size.
From what you’ve described I would agree with you on the age, somewhere between a 1981 and 1985 model. Because some of the components are switched out it makes it very difficult to determine an exact age. You could research the components that you believe to be original and take an average of that age. It would give you accurate estimate.
Very lucky, nice bike and year. Let me know how the project goes. Also, do you have any photos?
Great, thanks for your thoughts! I’m confident enough in the ID to recommend going beyond a powder coat to my friend. Only worry left is that since it is almost certainly a Mexican Benotto, that it might be prone to a failure of the seat tube near the BB, as widely reported on various forums. My friend and I are hoping to ride L’Eroica California next year, and the rough dirt roads may accelerate a failure. Hope not.
I have photos… the paint is truly hideous, so be warned. It may take me a few days to send them along. Shall I email them to you?
Nice, I might see you at L’Eroica next year.
As far as the seat tube concern. Take a look at the brazing around the seat tube. If you see any cracks then it is easy to rebraze it. You could even take it to your local mechanic and they will be able to do it for you. You can do this before you paint it. If you don’t see any cracks, then the bike is sound. This is true of any vintage steel bicycle.
Even if it were to fail it’s not a dangerous issue and nothing to be concerned about. Worst case scenario the bike will feel a bit weird as it will allow for more flex. But it will still be rideable.
There was one bike mechanic that reported that he saw dozens of Benotto’s fail in the late 80s. But since then it seems that the bikes that didn’t crack are lasting 30+ years. So it may be a case where just a few unlucky bikes were effected. Benotto’s are loved for their geometry, stiffness and build quality. If one does fail, I would recommend rebrazing it. Then it will last forever.
Thank you for your details on this project. I owned a 1987 Benotto 850 from Mexico. I regret losing this bicycle in a sale and am looking to build up a steel frame vintage from the 80s. Naturally I am looking to Benotto, and your information is helping plugging in the gaps of information as I scour Ebay and Craigslist ads. Your time and effort is not wasted because you have taught me much!
Thanks Craig and good luck on your Benotto search!
Hi! I have a Benotto Modello 900, made in 1987. As far as I know, the frame building was moved to Mexico somewhere in the 70s. Most people say that the frames from Mexico can be identified by the bottom bracket. The higher end Benottos were still made in Italy, they had a heart shaped cutout in the bottom bracket. The models from Mexico also had the heart shaped cutout, but it was seperated in two parts. Also, Benottos from Mexico were spelled “Modello” (spanish), whereas the models from Italy were spellded “Modelo” (italian).
If you want, I can send you pictures of my Modello 900, and identify the parts.
Regards from Germany
Hi Oliver, Oh good to know, didn’t know that about the Modello. Would you be interested in contributing photos of your bike for the project?
Sure! Would you please give me your mail address so I can send them around?
Oliver…I specifically ordered an italian made Benotto 3000 frame from my local bike shop in San Diego in 1982. I had shipping papers from Italy as well. I already had the mexican made Benotto 800 and knew all about the two plants. My observations are opposite of what you have stated above.
My 1981 mexican frame had a complete heart shaped cutout and “Benotto” stamped on the BB. My italian made frame had the seperated heart cutout and an “I” stamped on the BB. The “I” stands for Italy. It was common knowledge back then that Benotto stamped their Italian made 3000’s with the “I” to differeniate between the two plants after a certain date. All of the 3000’s I have seen after 1980 or so have had the “I” stamped on the BB and all were from owners who stated they also bought directly from Italy.
Jonathan…nice blog on the Benottos.
Hi Pat, thanks for this info
I concur with Pat. His statements are as I remember them in the late seventies and early eighties. My 1983 3000 has the “I” clearly stamped.