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Photo Credit: VeloBase User embankment
Display Name:Mistral
Category:Road Race
Years:1979 -
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General Information

Ofmega's "Mistral" goupset was amongst their most innovative. It included colour matched dérailleur sets, with colour matched pedals (called "Sintesi"; Italian for synthesis). The "Mistral" itself is a cold, northerly wind, often felt in the coastal regions of Southern France (wiki article).

The colour matched dérailleur/pedal sets came in black, white, blue (Squadra Azzurra), pink (Maglia Rosa) and yellow (Maillot Jaune). The last three were named after important cycling artifices (to Italians). There may have been other colour forms (such as the sometime-reported red and green sets).  At least one "silver" set has been seen. Ofmega found it hard to match brushed aluminium, so the set looks like grey but is definitely metallic and doesn't look like the white version at all. The very rare colours, such as the red and green, may have been one-off sets to celebrate victories in Spain or points jerseys in the Tour de France. The colours are not fast and will degrade in sunlight. No colour-form was common but, in general, the commonest colour-set is black, with the pink set being the next most common. Blue sets are moderately hard to find, with yellow and white sets being almost legendary. Coloured Sintesi pedals have now become very, very rare. There are catalogue shots of them, proving that they existed, but few examples have been seen in the wild for some time. Bob Sapovits, of the Bicycle Info Project has a copy of the Mistral page from the Ofmega catalogue.

All of the "plastic" components used a high-strength "composite" for their bodies, with the dérailleurs using it for their upper jockey-wheel cage, as well as the jockey wheels themselves; this allowed Ofmega to colour-match all the parts pretty much exactly. There were track pedals (only in black, apparently), see the Mistral Pista pedals page. The rest of the parts are alloy (except that, in some cases, some of the mechs had stainless steel bolts and adjustment screws). The composite appears to be a high grade thermoset plastic. Although the plastic has lasted very well (with only one report found, so far, of a rear mech braking).

The other components were interesting too: the chainsets are beautiful, with the spiders looking like ninja throwing stars. There were bottom brackets, hubs and headsets in the groupset. There may have been seat posts and brakesets, too, but they must have been very rare. Ofmega did make coloured hubs (anodized red and blue) but the only ones seen so far have been in Super Competizione boxes, which may or may not have been original.

It is not clear when this groupset was first manufactured or when the run ended. However, it is likely that they were first made in the early 1980s and ran through to the early 1990s. Ofmega rarely date any of their components (except their chainsets), which does not help. The earliest patents on the Mistral line were IT1194862B (1979) for the Sintesi pedal, GB2109892A (1982) for the crankset and FR2515604A1 (1982) for the dérailleur. That the later patents are from Britain and France suggests that there are probably earlier Italian patents hiding somewhere on their systems.

As with many Ofmega groupsets, the Mistral set can be identified by the box it came in (other than the designs and the colours, etc...); in this case, as with the designs, it is an oddly brilliant black and gold mixture, often with a photograph of the component on the top. However, the Master groupo sometimes turns up in the same boxes. The track pedals come in a gold box, borrowed from the CX range.

Sadly, the last components made by Ofmega in 2006, other than the middle of the road BMX and mountain bike components, were the supremely beautiful Nuovo Mistral cranks, with their matching chain-rings. These stunning carbon-fibre cranks are are reminder of Ofmega's glory days. The Nuovo Mistral chain-rings can be seen on the Impronte website here: http://www.impronte.tv/# )

Bottom BracketsOfmega MistralMid 1980's08/19/07
CranksetsOfmega Mistral1980's08/14/07
Front DerailleursOfmega Mistral (Mistral on outer plate)N/A11/22/07
Front DerailleursOfmega Mistral (Ofmega on outer plate)N/A01/11/17
HeadsetsOfmega Mistral1979 - ?04/19/20
PedalsOfmega Mistral PistaEarly 1980's - Late 1980's12/12/11
PedalsOfmega SintesiLate 1970's - Mid 1980's12/09/09
Rear DerailleursOfmega Mistral (1st generation)1982 - ?10/14/07
Rear DerailleursOfmega Mistral (2nd generation)Mid 1980's - ?01/07/12
ShiftersOfmega Mistral (1st generation)1982 - ?02/15/12
ShiftersOfmega Mistral (2nd generation)N/A10/20/07
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