Benotto Modelo 24 Ragazzino update Oct/2010

The Benotto isn't finished yet, but something's going on. The bike got a facelift and is almost fully ridable.
My intention was to made the bike a bit more period correct (get rid of the BBB bottle cage, Olé brake levers), prettier (2 similar tyres, silver coloured brake callipers, matching bar tape) and more functional for a kid (short reach brake levers, other pedals, index gear shifting).
I got most of the parts I wanted.
A summary:
- Concor Junior saddle
- Vittoria Juniores 24" tubular
- Lyotard M. Berthet Nr. 23 pedals with Christophe toe straps
- 13-18T Maillard screw-on freewheel
- Alhonga brake levers
- Shimano Ultegra Dual Pivot brake callipers
- Benotto Cello-Tape blue bar tape
- Shimano SL-1050 6 speed indexed RH shifting lever
- Shimano RD-1050 rear mech
That's about it. I'm waiting for a pair of Shimano BR-1050 silver colour brake callipers that will be a bit more period correct (still light action operation I hope) and I'd love to get another pair of Tektro R100A or LR341 silver coloured brake levers (much better and nicer than the current Alhonga stuff).
Then, several rusty parts may have to be replaced or polished and the whole bike needs cleaning and some new grease. Especially the spokes don't look that great, but it may be too much to replace all of them. Maybe I'll leave it as it is.

Benotto Cello-Tape application

As I've written before, application if this handlebar tape is a headache.
The material almost doesn't stretch and it's not self-adhesive.
The application itself is do-able, but it doesn't really stay on the bars neatly.
You can either start at the end or near the stem (in the centre), but when riding, you simply move/shift/slide it.
The solution is rather simple: before wrapping the tape, apply a layer of glue to the bare handlebars. Depending on the glue used, let it cure for a while. I used Bison Kit, curing for approx. 15 to 20 minutes. After that, wrap the tape as usual.
If you use the standard Benotto bar end plugs, start with those. Use a small piece of bar tape to cover the clamps of the levers. Then, start wrapping the tape from the ends all the way up to the centre.
I always wrap clockwise on the RH side (view from the back, riders position) and counter clockwise on the LH side. Don't know if that makes a big difference but it works for my bikes.

Benotto Cello-Tape

A Benotto bike needs Benotto bar tape, simple as that!
In the days almost everybody was using cloth (cotton) bar tape, just the cheapest bikes were equipped with cheap slippery plastic (Polyurethane/vinyl?) tape and only a few bikes had fancy leather wrapping (Almarc!). All of a suddon, bike brand Benotto introduced a new kind of bar tape that looked gorgeously, many pro riders used and was easy to maintain. And the marketing trick worked! The whole peloton moved to Benotto tape. Benotto was one of the leading bike brands (supporting top team GIS and others) and Francesco Moser, the absolute star racer, used and promoted the tape. The special appearance of the Benotto tape and the wide range of colours and the image of the stuff were the success. However, the tape itself was almost as slippery as the old plastic tape, very difficult to apply and slid down the bars very quickly, because it wasn't self adhesive. Besides that, it has odd bar end plugs, that don't go in, but over the end of the bars.
After 1 or 2 years, the Benotto tape more or less disappeared and other, better ribbons like Bike Ribbon, fading Ciclolinea and Pelten and "cork" tape replaced it.
There was a weird story about Benotto tape. Rumours that it was made from fibres of a Mexican plant or tree. All bullshit, as confirmed by the Benotto people. Truth is that it was made in Mexico, just like a part or all of the Benotto frames and bikes in that period.
There were 2 versions of Benotto bar tape available. The smooth variant with the fibre or flake design was used by almost everybody. The second, waffled variant was far less popular, but if I remember well, this was the kind of tape Francesco Moser used (Celo-Cinta?).
Finding Benotto tape is not too difficult. Don't expect to find it in your local bike shop or at a regular web shop. But when you go to auction sites, you'll find out that there's still some new tape available.