Joe Cosgrove's Frezoni FAEMA, inspired by the MASI bicycles built bike that Merckx raced on in 1968. A replica of the team issue bike, Joe searched Ebay for New Old Stock parts. Faithful to the original, in as many details as possible, the bike is fitted with first generation Campagnolo Record parts. Genuine Nervex model 32 lugs were used together with a Tange investment cast fork crown and a Long Shen Bottom Bracket shell. Back when bike racers replaced dirty bar tape for every race with pristine Tressostar brand tape or similar, white was often a popular choice. On this Faema styled bike built by Joe he used white hem tape bought from Woolworths, an old way to skimp on tape when funds were short.
Chrome polishing plus pantographing is achieved in house by Joe. Where a chrome finish is required, the preparation of the base metal is an involved process, the surface must be perfect before the first step in plating. Once surface preparation is complete the frame is sent out to a local firm for copper, nickel then chrome plating. Joe explains his three step plating process. "The parent metal is prepared and polished as best as humanly possible, a labour intensive process. Ideally next is copper plating, then polishing that copper, then Nickel plating, then a veil coat of Chromium over the top of the Nickel plate."
Tally up the man hours spent on this build and you can see why Joe's passion for bikes runs so deep. Joe cast the net far and wide, finding photographs of Merckx and his team mates from the 1968 racing season, just so he could get an accurate match on colour and design. Searching for parts on Ebay ran into weeks then months. Once the frame was built, then came countless hours polishing - plating, pantographing and painting. Finally the assembly of the bike. Alongside this project Joe built up the 2012 EPS version as well. Two bikes from Cycle Design by Joe Cosgrove, inspired by history and a desire to create the very best custom bike and paint possible. More recently known for his work with applying colour and decorative finishes, Joe's decades of experience as a custom frame builder are brought to the fore in this FAEMA project.
All images by Robert Cobcroft
FRAME Columbus SL, genuine Nervex model 32 lugs, investment cast Long Chen BB shell. FORK Frezoni traditional square shouldered Masi styled Tange investment cast fork crown - all chrome finish achieved by Joe's fastidious 3 step plating and polishing process - 110 Campagnolo long version fork ends. HEADSETCampagnolo Record Steel 1968 STEMCinelli 1a or Milano early version of 1a stem HANDLEBARS Cinelli Giro di Italia 42's BAR TAPE Cotton hem tape, white - sourced from Woolworths FRONT BRAKE Campagnolo Record 1968 REAR BRAKE Campagnolo Record 1968 BRAKE LEVERS Campagnolo Record 1968 FRONT DERAILLEUR Campagnolo original first generation Record - unstamped released late 68 REAR DERAILLEUR Campagnolo production model Nuovo Record 1968 SHIFT LEVERS Campagnolo clip on Record steel, with mount in black plate finish relevant to era with unique outer stopper potentially to take an outer casing.1968 FREEWHEEL 5 speed Regina 13-18 straight jump 1968 CHAIN Everest - still searching for Sedis original CRANKSET Campagnolo Early Version of 144BCD 170mm CHAINRINGS Campagnolo Record 42-52 T BOTTOM BRACKET Campagnolo Record 1968 PEDALS Campagnolo Record with special outer loop for toe strap TOE STRAPS Alfredo Binda Black TOE CLIPS Christophe FRONT WHEEL Campagnolo Record hub low flange 28 hole with chrome plated DT revolution double butted spokes, Mavic rims Championnat du Monde Professionel REAR WHEEL Campagnolo Record hub low flange 28 holewith chrome plated DT revolution double butted spokes, Mavic rims Championnat du Monde Professionel FRONT TIRE Challenge Criterium, 700x22c Single / Tubular | Also fitted from time to time Continental Giro REAR TIRE Challenge Criterium, 700x25c Single / Tubular | Also fitted from time to time Continental Giro SADDLE Unicanitor original to 1968 plastic, wrapped with glued on leather. SEATPOST Campagnolo Record 27.2 1968 SEAT BINDER Campagnolo conventional hex bolt. CABLES & CABLE ROUTING - Clip on Campagnolo BOTTLE CAGE Chrome TA PANTOGRAPHING in house by Joe Cosgrove Cycle Design