Now for some parts! Choosing the right parts for a build is usually pretty easy for me. I’m a Campy guy and for an Italian bike it should be a no-brainer, right! But this time I am letting the bike tell me what to do. With Simplex and Balilla as original equipment it is clear that this was not a top shelf racer, but probably more of a sport bike than entry level. A little French, a little Italian, I like it!

The bike came with very few of it’s original parts, but did include the bottom bracket, head-set, front derailleur, down-tube shifter, stem and brakes. After cleaning those up this is what I have to start with.

  • Simplex “Italia” down tube shifter
  • Simplex “Competition” front derailleur
  • Balilla side pull brakes
  • Ambrosio girder stem
  • Unknown head set and bottom bracket (original)


That is a good place to begin but it will take more than that to build a bike! Here are some of the additional items that I have gathered to complete the build.

  • Wheel set: Normandy hubs laced to Mavic Module E rims using a 2/3 cross pattern.
  • Simplex “Raidexport” rear derailleur
  • Stronglight 3 arm 116 bcd crank-set, with 46/38 rings
  • Legnano branded pedals w/Christophe clips
  • Belleri 40 cm handlebars
  • Universal Model 61 brake levers
  • Brooks Professional saddle

One change that I will make is to replace the Balilla brakes with a Universal side-pull version. I’m sure that they won’t stop any better but they do match well with the set of Universal levers that I have found. Another change is that I will make is to use a Suntour 5 speed 14/26 free-wheel just because I have it on hand. It’s not Italian or even European but it should fly under the radar for many who view my little project.


Okay, here is a preview of the partially built bike. This pre-final assembly step was to make sure that the parts which I acquired for the build were actually going to work well together. The final assembly step will add the chain-rings, tires, brake cables and pads, bar tape, seat and other finishes. Stay tuned for the final result!

Thanks to Bike Forums member “juvela” for identifying the lugs and drop-outs on this frame as Agrati units. The knowledge base out there is always amazing to me!