Vintage Atala Professionals

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shemtaiah

On Training Wheels
Sep 7, 2015
2
I have two Atala professional road bikes that I have had for some years. One is a 1962 Record that has an original Campagnolo "Record" gruppo. The second is a 1985/6 Corsa Professionisti (TSX tubing) and Mavic components. Both bikes have only a few hundred miles on them and are in excellent condition. Now my question is this: why is there so little interest in high-end Atalas? Are these bikes not considered collectable?
 
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66TigerCat

I live for the CABE
Jul 12, 2009
1,429
Newton, MA, United States
Atala's are very nice bikes, especially the top of the line models. I'd love to see your bikes, can you post some pics ? Check out classicrendezvous.com, they have a section dedicated to Atala.
 
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T-Mar

Finally riding a big boys bike
May 29, 2015
107
IMO, there is a good level of interest in high end Atala, at least among knowledgeable cyclists. However, the marque does has several strikes against it when considering mass appeal for the typical, less sophisticated cyclist or collector.

1. Atala was a full range, Italian manufacturer and did not not have really good sales in the entry level market during the early 1970s bicycle boom. Consequently, it lacks the large consumer base of Atala owners who lusted after the top end racing machine. This is one of the reasons there is such a large market for the Peugeot PX10, despite it being a mediocre, top of the line model. Peugeot sold vast quantities of the UO8 models and these owners now have the money to seek out the PX10.

2. The pro teams that Atala sponsored weren't truly successful. There was no really big name racer or string of victories in prestigious races to afford an owner bragging rights. Most high bicycle owners are wannabes who live vicariously through the racing success of their brand. Atala didn't have a Fausto Coppi or Ottavio Bottecchia with multliple Tour and/or Giro victories to make them popular like Bianchi or Bottecchia. Also, not too many Atala owners want to seen riding around in team jersies (at least on this side of the Atlantic), as the combination of grey and blue horizontal strikes look like they have just broken out of prison.

3. Atala, being a full range, mass manufactured brand, doesn't have the exclusivity of the niche manufacturers like a Colnago or Masi. These are the bicycles that really appeal to the new collector. They are widely known because legendary cyclists like Eddy Merckx rodes these bicycles, even though they were branded something else. The combination of a successful racing heritage and relative exclusivity makes them very appealing to the typical collector.

4. Atala does not have a very good reputation for workmanship. Most collectors who do not have first hand knowledge of the marque, use the internet as a source. The most accessible quide is on Sheldon Brown's site and Atala does not exactly get glowing reviews. Certainly, their were issues, particularly with the low end models during the boom, but most other mass manufactured Italian brands had similar problems. However. many of these other brands had a rich racing heritage to attract the consumer. While the Sheldon Brown guide acknowledges the issues with low end, boom era, Italian bicycles, Atala is, unfortunately, alphabetically first. Consequently, Atala will get a description like "Quality generally ranges from reasonable to downright scary", while Bottecchia will simply get "Pretty much the same quality level and pricing issues as Atala". While the authors are trying to be fair, the average reader would probably not read them back to back and put them into proper context. They would likely consider the Bottecchia to be an average Italian bicycle, while the Atala is to be avoided at all costs. Atala, unjustifiably, has a lower reputation than other mass manufactured, Italian brands and this taints the higher end models.

Due to these reasons, Atala is not in the top tier of collectible brands. Still, knowledgeable collectors will seek them out. They recognize the brand, know the level of workmanship and realize that they can obtain a good deal on the high end models due to general perception. They are one of the better values, in 2nd hand, high end bicycles.

On a side note, your TSX bicycle is not from 1985/6, as Columbus did not even introduce TSX tubing until the 1989 model year.
 
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shemtaiah

On Training Wheels
Sep 7, 2015
2
Thank you for the comments. The 85/86 Atala has been sold. The original Columbus sticker on the buke said "TSX" and my understanding is that TSX was released in 1986, But that is neither here nor there because I no longer own the bike.
I wonder how many real collectors there are out there. While price is certainly important, condition, completeness, and rarity, should have more to do with value than Sheldon Brown's opinion. Here are some pictures:

Atala1.jpg


Atala2.jpg


Atala3.jpg


Atala4.jpg


Atala5.jpg


Atala6.jpg


Atala7.jpg
 

DoggieDodaac

Look Ma, No Hands!
Jan 6, 2018
59
Clearwater, FL, United States
Thank you for the comments. The 85/86 Atala has been sold. The original Columbus sticker on the buke said "TSX" and my understanding is that TSX was released in 1986, But that is neither here nor there because I no longer own the bike.
I wonder how many real collectors there are out there. While price is certainly important, condition, completeness, and rarity, should have more to do with value than Sheldon Brown's opinion. Here are some pictures:

View attachment 741296

View attachment 741297

View attachment 741298

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Beautiful bike. Those lugs and groupo are definitely ideal to me.
 

Muleman121

Finally riding a big boys bike
Nov 28, 2012
311
Murrieta, United States
Ok , here we go......
This frame is likely early 70’s at newest.
Components the are Campy are early Record. Rear changer is first generation. Notice that no braze on pieces are there. Brakes are center pull popular on sub top of the line models. While Sheldon Brown is good; I find Velo-Base better at documenting road bikes.
After being a roadie over 25 years through 70’s, 80’s and a lil in the 90’s am raced against almost all the brands. Truth of the matter is the rider is the most vital part by 99 percent.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,174
Playa del Rey, United States
-----

bulldog1935 & Muleman121 -

photos are of poster's 1962 example mentioned in post nr. 1.

Lugset is Agrati "BRIANZA" pattern.

-----
 
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Mr.RED

Finally riding a big boys bike
Dec 17, 2017
159
36
Massachusetts
Atala made some great bikes but since they didn't share the limelight with Bianchi, Masi or Colnago they are often overlooked and can be found at reasonable prices. I owned a 1980's Atala Corsa which was mid level model came Campy equipped and was a solid bike . Bianchi to me is the most overhyped bike brand in existence everyone wants a celeste green Bianchi.
 

petritl

I live for the CABE
Aug 15, 2012
1,172
49
Washington, IL
This is a picture of my 1970 Campagnolo equipped Lygie, it is made by the same manufacturer as Atala.
I also have a near mint 1982 Campagnolo equipped Celeste green Bianchi.

The bicycles are pretty similar with the exception of 700c tubular tires on the Bianchi vs 27” clinchers on the Lygie; the Bianchi has a much more relaxed ride.

ED568E5A-2C6D-4D29-83D7-B3F316DC8C9A.jpeg
 
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