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Fausto Coppi / Columbus / FiR / Alpina

johnnyhotdogjohnnyhotdog Posts: 142
edited July 2015 in Your road bikes
Due to a very lucky find, I'm now the owner of a Fausto Coppi in Team Polti colours.


The bike itself seems to be a bit of a mystery. It was owned by the Coppi/FiR rep so has hardly been ridden. Between the last two owners they think it has less than 300 miles in total on it. Almost everything is original (circa 1995) apart from the saddle which some scallywag stole so that's a replacement. I'm awaiting delivery of a Flite which is more in keeping with the bike.

This is what I know/think I know so far. I'm happy to be corrected and any further information is welcome:

The frame itself seems to be quite rare. The fastback (I think it is) seat stay design was outlawed by the UCI shortly after they started production so very few were made and of those quite a lot were shelved and didn't even get painted. It's a very light frame for steel - made from Columbus Genius.

The groupset is a mix of Dura Ace 7400 (brake calipers, bottom bracket, crankset and cassette) and FiR (seat post, front mech, rear derailleur, down tube shifters, skewers and brake levers.) This is where it seems to get interesting. I can't find any information on the groupset at all. It doesn't seem to be rebranded Campagnolo (or any of the other Italian or French manufacturers - the limit screws on the rear derailleur are in an unusual placing) and any google search to find it seems to lead back to this bike. The seat pin does look the same as a Campagnolo aero post. Either previous for sale adverts or forum posts asking for information. The cockpit is 3ttt. Here's the sellers pictures (as they're better than mine:




The wheelset is another mystery. The rims are FiR (which is what they were known for) ES-80 but the hubs are made by spoke company Alpina. Again, I have never seen these hubs before and can't find any information on them.

I did find a mention of Alpina hubs ( and a mention of hubs that were made for Marco Pantani) with a picture of what looks like the front wheel in this article but that seems to be it:

I haven't weighed them but they feel very, very light.

The front is an Alpina slim RS-16 and the rear is marked as an Alpina RR-1:



I've asked for information here, on RetroBike, on the Facebook group 90's Cycling Remembered and anyone I know who knows their stuff and so far, nothing.

For interest, here's an article on Team Polti where you can see the frame:


  • johnnyhotdogjohnnyhotdog Posts: 142
    Some more pictures & details including a signature in blue pen on the rim. I don't know if that's FiR QC or the wheelbuilder's signature.







  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,909 Lives Here
    I like that, I like that a lot.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,022
    I love it...

    especially the hubs!!
    left the forum March 2023
  • ledeevledeev Posts: 208
    I love it too.

    Amazing how much things have progressed in 20 years.
  • johnnyhotdogjohnnyhotdog Posts: 142
    Thanks for the nice comments.

    It is one of the nicest bikes I've ridden - it's so smooth, responsive and comfortable. It sprints and climbs well too (although the 11/21 cassette is making me work pretty hard!)

    It's not light by today's standards but it tips the scales at 8.5kg (without pedals.)

    I especially like the attention to detail and the team coloured sticker to protect from cable rub on the head tube.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,022
    I love it too.

    Amazing how much things have progressed in 20 years.

    Silver has become black and that's about it
    left the forum March 2023
  • I love yellow bikes, thats a gem
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • pastey_boypastey_boy Posts: 2,083
    That's ace.
    Viner Salviati
    Shark Aero Pro
    Px Ti Custom
    Cougar 531
    Sab single speed
    Argon 18 E-112 TT
    One-one Ti 456 Evo
    Ridley Cheetah TT
    Orange Clockwork 2007 ltd ed
    Yeti ASR 5
    Cove Hummer XC Ti
  • johnnyhotdogjohnnyhotdog Posts: 142
    I love yellow bikes, thats a gem

    I seem to have a soft spot for them too!

    This is my Bob Jackson:

  • johnnyhotdogjohnnyhotdog Posts: 142
    I'm still trying to find information on the groupset and wheels so I emailed Mike Sweatman who runs the excellent­.html blog and he has this to say:

    "I am afraid that I don't know much about FiR groupsets. The very little that I know about FiR derailleurs goes like this:

    (i) I have never seen a FiR derailleur in the flesh - so am not an expert of any kind! If you ever find another please let me know.

    (ii) I am not entirely sure, but I think that I have seen pictures of three different designs of FiR derailleur. These would be your top-end highly polished model, a slightly less posh road racing version that also had the distinctive adjustment screw placing of your model, and the ATB model in the pictures below.

    (iii) The designs are generally unique to FiR - they did not just badge up other people's models. The ATB model is clearly derivative of a SunTour design - but it is not just a rebadged SunTour. I don't know if FiR actually manufactured the derailleurs - or got someone else to do it for them.

    (iv) FiR may still exist, see I have never managed to get a response from their email address at [email protected], but I haven't tried for a while.

    (v) There was a time in the 1990s when relatively successful European niche component manufacturers (possibly like FiR and Mavic) were in a blind panic because the mainstay European 'groupset' manufacturers (like Sachs-Huret, Simplex and Campagnolo) were getting deservedly murdered by the combination of Shimano and the rise of Mountain Bikes. The European niche component manufacturers depended on bike makers using European groupsets - so they started to make groupsets themselves. These FiR groupsets would fit into that general pattern."

    I still haven't found any more out about the hubs!

    What I have done, is ride it. A lot. It's fantastic and I think it actually rides better than my modern carbon road bike. The gearing is a bit tough on my little legs but it really glides.
  • hi, I don't know if this thread is still being followed. but the FiR Gemini group is actually one of the most interesting and enigmatic I've ever dealt with. i am in the fortunate position of owning two complete sets, one of which I painstakingly collected over years, one of which was lucky enough to get a nos/nib in one piece.
    what can be said with certainty: brakes and brake levers were made by modolo, but that was it with certainty. the seat post is somewhat reminiscent of the selcof-aero, but is lighter and more beautifully made, shifter with titanium inlays, headset and bottom bracket with titanium treads, crank with a very unique design, front derailleur reminiscent of the suntour superbe pro, rear derailleur clearly with dura ace 7402 geometry but a c record build quality. recently i was even able to get hold of a catalog from 1993, but unfortunately it doesn't reveal anything about the origin of the individual parts.
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