Libertas Belgium Made Bicycle Find

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1972 Libertas Road Bike, Image taken before being rebuilt.

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.

 

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Detail of Reynolds 531 decal. This transfer says ” Guaranteed built with Reynolds 531 Butted Tubes Forks & Stays”. Eugene Sloane states this is an aristocrat, a thoroughbred made bicycle. 

 

 

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.

 

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Detail of Campagnolo derauiler

 

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.

 

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Detail of fork lugs

 

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.

 

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Detail of tubular tires and seat tube

 

Original “Libertas MANN” Decal on bicycle. The bike has a lot of paint loss throughout bike.

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Seat stay detail

 

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Campagnolo derauiler detail with Zeus cranks and tubelers

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.

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Decal of alleged bike builder in USA who assembled bicycle

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Detail of Weinmann 750 Center pull brake calipers

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Detail of decal of Libertas

The decal is one of my favorite I have seen, it reminds me of hope and freedom.

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Detail of rear Suntour V derauiler

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:

Stem: 3TTT
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
Headset: LightRace
Wheels and Tires: Tubular style

Additional: Huret cable guides and Shimano downtube cable stops.

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