More Dicampli Mystery

Nov 19 2016

DICAMPLIFINAL
Steven H has some info for us:

“The DiCampli is a mystery to me also. There is almost nothing about it online but every couple of years I check again. That’s when I came across your post yesterday which was quite a surprise. So I started checking further and also looking at my bicycle vs Frejus and a few pics of DiCampli that I came across. The truth is that I have never come across anyone that has ever even seen or heard of one in the 44 years that I have owned the bicycle (I am the original owner)…

I may have some things to fill in….after shaking some cobwebs out of my memory, I think the bicycle shop that I purchased it at was called “The Bicycle Shop” not the Bicycle Warehouse as I originally thought in my last note. I don’t remember the exact location but it was near Center City Philadelphia but somehow Quince Street sounds right. Since Quince is a narrow alley residential street I am wondering if the bicycle shop was on the corner of one of the cross streets like Spruce or Walnut. I was born in Philly and raised in the area and was 16 years old at the time I bought the bicycle. I remember that I had worked well over 100 hours in a mill to earn enough money to buy it and remember paying around $225 for it so it was a really big deal to me at the time. I think it was “on sale” because they told me that they had just gotten a container full of bicycles in and they said they had 2000 bicycles in stock as I recall.

I am wondering if it was the container that the creditors were holding at the docks according to your write up and maybe the DiCampli brothers got it released to sell and pay up. Just a thought. I just remember there being a lot of bicycles there. In any case, their bicycle store was open at least through 1972 when I bought it. It was my first ten speed and the weekend after I bought it I rode 135 miles. It was the bicycle I learned to race on as a novice and later under USCF license in cat 3/4 races, mostly in criterium races. I did come across some pictures and also pictures of Frejus of the same vintage and they clearly are very very similar and recognizably related if not the same frame set. The paint and decal style are extremely similar as are the lugs.

Thinking back and searching the net, I found one that was painted exactly the same as mine. The bicycle was silver (not sky blue as I was thinking…still shaking the cobwebs out) but had several bands of sky blue around the seat tube with the DiCampli shield on it. The head tube of the bicycle was also sky blue with another decal of the DiCampli shield. There was a big DiCampli decal on a white background on the down tube if I recall correctly and the Super Corsa Decal was along the top tube also on a white panel. It had Compagnolo dropouts and fork ends and a steel headset that may also have been Campagnolo. It had a hard plastic seat and cotton sew up tires. It also had the Stronglight Cotterless crankset that I mentioned before but was the one that formed a five pointed star pattern inside of the chain rings. The head tube lugs were chromed as was the crown of the fork. Otherwise the fork was painted silver. The bottom bracket, however was fairly cheap being welded at the bottom, not cast. The frame had low angles more like a road touring bicycle as opposed to the more upright steeper angles of a racing bicycle. However, it had surprisingly short chain stays that made the rear wheel tuck in much closer in like a more expensive racing bicycle. There were other distinctive features about the frame that no matter how it was painted would make it readily identifiable. The DiCampli Super Corsa that I bought was definitely Falk double butted tubing which is unusual as Falk was a competitor of Columbus but was generally considered similar at the time. My suspicion is that only the 3 main tubes were double butted as the bicycle was light but not as light as say a Peugeot PX-10E at the time.

There were also no braze-ons so everything had to be clamped or clipped on. For example the rear brake cable ran along the top tube and was held in place by three chrome clips. The water bottle cage was also clamped on the down tube and had an interesting spring clip design that held the water bottle very securely. The front derailleur was a Compagnolo Valentino that clamped on the seat tube and the Compagnolo shift levers were also clipped on the down tube. The rear derailleur was Compagnolo Valentino as well. The wheel hubs were high flange Compagnolo Tipo withe 36 hole three cross spoked wheels. As I mentioned the tires were the glue on sew up type. The spokes were also double butted. It had a cheap steel seat post and steel seat post bolt and Universal Center pull brakes. If I recall correctly, the pedals had a chrome steel outer cage but I don’t recall the manufacturer. The handlebars and stem were TTT record as I mentioned in my previous post. So the bike was of mid to higher end quality overall with a couple of parts that did not match the rest (like the bottom bracket, the lugs other than around the head tube and fork crown which were clearly better, and the seat post and bolt). Overall it was a very nice rider and a comfortable bike. The handling characteristics were decent but very different than a bike like a Colnago Super. It had a very stable and “sure footed” feel to it, particularly on steep winding descents. So that is about what I know about it. I think that you are right in that it was a rebranded Frejus with a few changes in equipment and the decals which were done specifically for the DiCampli brothers. It would be interesting if one or both were still living and in the area. I’d love to know the rest of the story.”

DICAMPLIFINAL

More digging:

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That is clearly the Legnano green.

But this rumor about Cinelli seems to have survived the years.

I wonder if the shop sold Cinelli as well…

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Ebay Inquiry Update:

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So this makes our blog the #1 Authority on not knowing much about Dicampli bikes…

(If anyone related to the Dicampli brothers ever sees this please write in if you can fill in some of the blanks.)

Quote from Bike Message Board…

” In that shop we sold Fuji, Centurion, Gitane, Astra, VeloSolex, Araya, TsunOda(Lotus), and probably some other stuff nobody’s ever heard of. My boss liked to buy closeouts and bank repos – Romano, Torpado, DiCampli, whatever. ”