[CR]WAS: Roberson #18 - NOW: Confente head lugs

Example: Production Builders

Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 20:46:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Raymond Dobbins <raydobbins2003@yahoo.com>
To: "David G. White" <whiteknight@burlingtontelecom.net>, Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
In-Reply-To: <47374CA7.6020300@burlingtontelecom.net>
Subject: [CR]WAS: Roberson #18 - NOW: Confente head lugs


Very nice bike, beautiful color. I noticed that the head lugs look a lot like the Confente-designed lugs that were used by Medici.

Your lower head lug (BTW, is that an upside down W?):


The lower head lug on my ex Medici:


And here is Confente #29 (from Tam Pham's VR7 pics):


To my not-so-sharp eyes, all three lugs look identical, except for the upside down W on the Roberson lug.

IIRC, Medici had the exclusive rights to these lugs (at least that's how I remember the story). If so, I doubt that Confente would have suffered the indignity of buying them from Medici, so where did he het his from? And who did Roberson get them from?

On the Roberson lug, maybe the upside down W is actually an M that stands for Mario???

Maybe this question belongs in the framebuilders forum, but I'll throw it out anyway: are these lugs still available?

BTW, apparenly Confente did not use this lug design on his Italian made frames. I believe this Italian Confente belongs to John Waner (photo also from Tam's VR7 pics):


Veddy intedesting.

Ray Dobbins Miami FL USA

"David G. White" <whiteknight@burlingtontelecom.net> wrote: I've just posted photos of my new Rob Roberson. Brian Baylis helped me buy this bike from the original owner in San Diego. (Thanks Brian!). It came to me as frame only and I decided to build it with 1st generation black Dura-Ace. I'm very pleased with the results. To my eye the black contrasts beautifully with the pearl baby blue frame (original paint, done by Cyclart).

I spoke with Rob Roberson not long ago and he told me that he made 16 frames under his own name before going to work for Masi. According to Rob this is the second frame he made after leaving Masi, making it the 18th Roberson. He made it as a custom order in 1981 out of Columbus SP as a light touring frame. Rob says this may be the largest frame he has ever built -- seat tube 65cm c/c and top tube 60cm c/c. I'm glad I have it, as it's my perfect size.

Some features to note: the distinctive chrome "R" on the head tube, the custom made downtube cable stops that have a tubular form and the arrowhead lug cutouts.

By the way, Rob told me that having been out of the frame making business for quite a while, he was very pleased with the feedback he got regarding his bikes when he attended VR a couple years ago. It stimulated him to make a few frames since then and he may take a few custom orders from time to time.

Note to Brian -- you'll see in the photos that I took your suggestion and removed the poorly done gold lug lining, that was almost certainly not original to the bike. I agree that it looks much better without it! And, if you get a chance, some time show these photos to Rob. As you know he does not have a computer, but he said he'd like to see the photos of the built up bike.



David G. White
Burlington, VT