A few weeks ago, I picked up this Libertas Bicycle, a high quality made Belgium made bicycle from what I believe was built in 1972.
My father found it at a local estate sale in the San Francisco Bay Area and couldn’t care less about it until I convinced him to purchase it on my behalf.
I asked him to purchase the bicycle, not due to the name or the tubing but because of the parts. He sent me a photograph one Sunday morning, the parts on the bicycle caught my attention.
At first, I thought the cranks were Campagnolo, which I was wrong. After our conversation, he told me the saddle post and several other parts were Campagnolo. This alone at the low price (not a price my dad felt was low) I asked him to purchase it.
The crank set at first sight, tricked me. What I thought were Campagnolo were actually Spanish made Zeus cranks, high quality made copies of Campagnolo. The crankset does have assorted Zeus and Campagnolo bolts for the rings.
The bike came with tubular tires, which consists of a sewn and sealed tire with a tube inside. The first time I’ve actually dealt with tubulars. The back tire actually still held air, the back tire had a leak. For ease, I replaced the wheels with hooked rims, which gives me a huge selection of tires to pick from.
Original “Libertas MANN” Decal on bicycle. The bike has a lot of paint loss throughout bike.
The bike is an interesting one, a bike of aristocrats. 531 Reynolds tubing throughout the frame signifies a bike of high quality and cost. In my opinion, the bike is light compared to others I own.
The decal is one of my favorite I have seen, it reminds me of hope and freedom.
The bicycle is currently one of my favorites that I currently own. I beleive the bike is from 1972, from a stamp on the frame near the headset. There is also another number marked on the frame.
The paint is in awful condition and something I want to repaint, but due to costs probably won’t happen, especially after my start in restoring it.
I have recently started a full restoration (minus paint). I have repacked the headset and bottom bracket. I also replaced the original 3TTT stem and bars for another cleaner set I own. I also replaced the levers with Dia Compe non-aero brake levers.
Currently, I am trying to figure out what type of brake calipers to use. I replaced the original tubular bike tires and rims with hooked 622×13 made by Mavic. This change caused the need to change brake calipers as the brake pads no longer each the rim (width wise).
Another thing I replaced with the top tube cable clips. The were Huret, which are now Campagnolo and the saddle is now a leather Velo Orange made saddle.
I hope to make this bike a light touring bike or commuter. I have a wonderful Sackville back mounted on a Nitto touring bag bar bracket which I want to mount on this. Once the bicycle is complete and rideable, I will post more photographs and info.
Details of Libertas Bicycle:
Drop Bars: 3TTT
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Rear Derailleur: SunTour V
Bottom Bracket: 68×120 Campagnolo
Brake Calipers: Center-Pull Weinmann 750 Vanquer 999
Brake Levers: Weinmann Levers
Cranks: Zeus 52-45 Cranks
Pedals: Atom Rat Trap Pedals with Christoph clips
Pump: Silca Italian made frame pump
Saddle Post: Campagnolo Seat Post
Shifters: SunTour Barcon Shifters
Frame dropouts and fork dropouts: Campagnolo
Wheels and Tires: Tubular style
Additional: Huret cable guides and Shimano downtube cable stops.