[CR]CBT framesets

Example: History:Norris Lockley

Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 17:53:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Norris Lockley <norris.lockley@yahoo.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]CBT framesets

John Brownell seeks information on this Italian frame - builder. There is some information in the Italian section of the main Classic Rendezvous site including photos of a very typical 1980s model built with Columbus tubing and featuring, as most of CBT's frames did in those days, the deeply fluted seat tube, to provide a slightly shorter wheelbase. Again, typically, the frame featured is finished in a burgundy flam paint with acres of chrome-plating and heavy engraving of lugs, fork-crown, bracket, and top-eyes.

The company, more correctly known as CBT-Italia, is based in Cuneo, in the southern Italian Alps, just across the border from Monaco/Monte Carlo. The company is owned and run by Bruno Tardivo..hence I think the abbreviation in the name of the company means Cicli Bruno Tardivo. I recall the company exhibiting at the Paris Show in or about 1980, at a time when Tardivo was in his late 30s/early 40s, although I did come across some information that indicate that his father might have founded the firm slightly earlier. At that time Tardivo was importing investment-cast lugs from Brazil and using them in his frames extensively, at a time when such components had not come into popular use from Taiwanese manufacturers. Tardivo was very much an aggressive showman..and his frames always echoed his personality, and he always managed to design and build frames that looked even more Italian and more attractive than many other better-known Italian products. Hence his early frames had the fluted seat-tube, and chain-stays and seat stays that were pressed into aerodynamic diamond=shaped profiles. In the later 80s and early 90s he introduced innovative sections for fork blades for his Krypton model. He was also the first builder that I came across who offered blck chrome plating as a standard alternative to bright chrome on all models. LIst members may recall the CBT-Italia that Hilary sold earlier this year...that was burgundy and black-chrome.

Although only a medium-sized compant CBT has managed to weather the storm, and Tardivo has varied his offerings to keep up with market trends, hence there are scandium-alloy CBTs out there and, more currently, monocoque carbons just like everbody else is selling.

His frames sell extremely well in France, which I suppose is to be expected when the company is situated so close to the Franco-Italian border.

Hope this helps.

Norris Lockley, Settle UK