Vintage Bicycles Done Proper :: Corvallis, Oregon
Aggressive 80s racing geometry. Screaming bright red paint. Full Campagnolo. There is something special about a pure, Italian bicycle constructed solely for speed.
2000 Francesco Moser (F. Moser) Forma
For those who have historical competitive cycling knowledge, there are former racer names that are respected for their past decorations and spoken about in a god-like status. Merckx. Coppi. Indurain. Hinault. And many would also say Francesco Moser. A Road World Championship rider. 1st at Paris–Roubaix, the Giro d’Italia and an Hour Record in 1984 that beat Eddy Merckx long standing time. One that some say would never fall. Moser has chops, no doubt.
But, professional cycling isn’t a long-term career. You can only stay on top for so long before another income source is found.
Francesco Moser understood this fact of life and thus was born F. Moser bicycles in Trento, Italy. Bicycles that are still being produced today. The journey began with simple, classic steel race bikes, similar to those Moser won so many races on. These bikes evolved into the 80s with aggressive geometry and edgy graphics packages. The 90s saw Moser producing time trial bikes with steel bent in ways to make one look like they are flying. And today, as is the trend, we see thick, black, angular, super light carbon machines with wireless drivetrains, dipping in the 15 lb weight range. Some are even battery powered.
But, in 2000, Moser bicycles being produced still had a purity and classic form, along with being adorned by lovely jewel-like, Campagnolo groupsets that complimented the Italian frames.
This was where Jeff, the owner of this F. Moser frame, and a good personal friend, began his journey. Jeff was an employee at Cartecay River Bike Shop in Ellijay, Georgia at the time and the owner, Mike Palmeri, a man proud of his Italian heritage, had a shop that leaned toward Italian road racing. It was Mike that convinced Jeff to consider purchasing a Moser.
Jeff took the bait and enjoyed the bike for two decades. But, having your first child changes everything, especially your priorities. Where something may have fit before it most certainly does not any longer. This is the case for a racing bike that takes precious time to enjoy. Instead of having it melt into uselessness with the hope that he’d ride it again, I was commissioned to bring the Moser back to its former glory and get it to its next owner.
Jeff relocated to Portland, Oregon and in 2013, a rumor surfaced of Italian cycling legend Francesco Moser making a stop meet adoring fans at River City Bicycles. Moser was using the overseas trip to promote his other source of income—Italian wine production. River City Bikes hosted Moser for a combined bike and wine tour where Moser was touring Oregon wine country. While Moser was at the bike shop, Jeff had the opportunity to meet him in person. He brought the bike, thinking it would be a novel addition to his introduction. When Moser saw the bicycle, he lit up, made a quick statement in Italian and immediately pulled out his Sharpie to sign the frame on the seat cluster. Like it or not, this frame was now branded by the man whose name it bears.
There is a lot to love about a bicycle of this pedigree, especially the classic Campagnolo Veloce groupset. At the time, the ErgoPower shifting system, an integrated gearshift and brake lever system, had only been out for a few years, but was clearly dominant as the pros choice for providing precision shifting. History has been kind to the groupset, showing it to be reliable, bulletproof and an extremely good value for the money. Even today, decades later, there are still new old stock replacement parts available at fair prices (though only found on eBay) and numerous YouTube videos instructing how to make the repairs.
Restoring this beautiful machine was a delight. After a couple of decades, every bicycle needs some upkeep, even one that doesn’t go anywhere. Though this one commanded the utmost attention so it was stripped down to the frame and built back up with a mix of new and new old stock parts for the consumables such as tires, housing/cables, brake pads, chain, bar tape and ErgoPower hoods.
During the entire process, I kept far away from the signature. Although it was made with a permanent pen, there was no reason to test its durability so only water was used when wiping this area. A curiosity I found was that the decals were applied over the paint and clearcoat, which doesn’t help for their longevity as they tend to come up at the edges as time goes by. But thankfully, only minimal small touch ups were needed since their overall condition was still very good as the bike was garaged and treated with care.
Most of us can visit Craiglist or Facebook/Meta Marketplace to find any number of styles of bicycles from the 80s. Though time is taking a toll on these bikes as fleet turnover continues to churn, making them more rare by each passing year. Considering how higher end bikes, such as Moser frames, are produced in even lower quantities, makes these bikes unique. They don’t come up often so knowing I’ve given this one a few more decades of ability to be pushed hard, like it was meant to be, is something I’m proud to have been a part of.
F. Moser advertising circa 1980s, when big hair and heavy makeup defined an era
This bicycle is currently for sale
Color: Rosso Perla (pearl red)
Frame Size: 59cm (C-T) seat post & 57cm (C-C) top tube
Frame/Drop-outs: Oria; Campagnolo
Bars: ITM Super Europa 2
Bar Tape: Fizik Vento, 2mm Microtex Bi-Color (red/black)
Stem: ITM Eclypse
Saddle: Veta Bassano Excalibur
Seat Post: Unbranded aero
Crankset: Campagnolo Veloce; 53/39; 172.5mm
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Daytona
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Veloce
Shifting/Brake Levers: Campagnolo Veloce Ergopower
Brake Calipers: Campagnolo Veloce; Campagnolo pads
Cassette: Campagnolo 9-Speed (13/14/15/17/19/21/23/25/28)
Hubs: Campagnolo Veloce
Wheels: Ambrosio Balance; 32 hole; Campagnolo skewers
Tires: Panaracer Pasela; Black; 700×25
Special Features: Signed by Francesco Moser; Top tube internal brake cable guide; Pantographed brake bridge; Two bottle cage mounts; Chain rest
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