Advice re lever groups: La San Marco or Grimac-Fiorenzato

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kunlun121

Postby kunlun121 » Feb 14, 2019, 5:49 am

I am modifying my old Bezzera one-group lever machine. Would like to replace the lever group with one of the following:

Fiorenzato Piazza San Marco lever group:

https://devecchigiuseppesrl.com/e-comme ... i/GF04.asp

or

La San Marco lever group:

https://devecchigiuseppesrl.com/e-comme ... i/SM01.asp

I am attracted to the double-spring action and the much smoother lever action than the one of my Bezzera.

My bezzi is an HX / thermosiphon. Would these lever groups work or do only fit dipper type machines?

The groups look quite similar. I think the Fiorenzato is more common (Kees Idro, Londinium and others) while the LSM appears on fewer "third-party" machines (Izzo Pompei most notably). It looks like the LSM has an additional feature as noted here:

Bosco groups vs the rest,

apparently it has an adjustable inlet valve. Does anyone know how that works? Is it useful?

Does anyone have hands-on knowledge of BOTH units? Would much appreciate any thoughts and advice on the matter.

Pino

Postby Pino » Feb 14, 2019, 1:53 pm

Hi kunlun,
here is a link to Kaffeewiki, which does a very good presentation / classification of the different commercial lever groups.
www.kaffeewiki.de/wiki/Handhebelbrühgruppe

espressotime

Postby espressotime » Feb 15, 2019, 12:21 pm

I have a Pompei.
The group is great .Very heavy.It has only one seal and the adjust. inlet valve.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwDJXMzGZB8

What that is for?I don't know.
I'm able to adjust the moment it opens. :|

User avatar
TomC
Team HB

Postby TomC » Feb 15, 2019, 10:03 pm

When it comes to commercial lever groups, I have a hard time elevating one too high over another. As long as they work, are easy to maintain, and don't squeak, I don't fixate on the finer details. The LSM group is pretty to look at with the visible spring. I do like that it's easier to service, but the inlet valve adjustment has never done a single thing to any of my shots. I question really what it's worth.

Some groups have the inlet holes into the cylinder of the group in such a way that the water stream collapses upon itself from two or four opposed holes in the cylinder wall (picture almost a crosshair). On my LSM however, it's just two big holes in the rear. I've always had a nagging suspicion that it might be a bit more turbulent when filling the space above the puck.

I took out the smaller inner spring on the Leva a few years ago and never looked back, so I don't see the double spring as a perk or even a necessity. I didn't like the shattered cups and mess of having a portafilter rocketing off and creating a cannon explosion level sound. Plus the shots are still great. You really have to have the portafilter locked in quite firmly with two springs in the group.

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Bluecold

Postby Bluecold » Feb 16, 2019, 3:27 am

Personally I'm partial to the looks and the linkages of the Conti group, listed for sale on their website for a little less than 300euro. I must say I haven't heard reports of people buying from them here on h-b. However, to get the group nice and shiny requires a bit of work, as shown in this nice thread
New Project... Conti 2 Group Lever
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

espressotime

Postby espressotime » Feb 16, 2019, 4:08 am

Double

espressotime

Postby espressotime » Feb 16, 2019, 4:13 am

TomC wrote:When it comes to commercial lever groups, I have a hard time elevating one too high over another. As long as they work, are easy to maintain, and don't squeak, I don't fixate on the finer details. The LSM group is pretty to look at with the visible spring. I do like that it's easier to service, but the inlet valve adjustment has never done a single thing to any of my shots. I question really what it's worth.

Some groups have the inlet holes into the cylinder of the group in such a way that the water stream collapses upon itself from two or four opposed holes in the cylinder wall (picture almost a crosshair). On my LSM however, it's just two big holes in the rear. I've always had a nagging suspicion that it might be a bit more turbulent when filling the space above the puck.

I took out the smaller inner spring on the Leva a few years ago and never looked back, so I don't see the double spring as a perk or even a necessity. I didn't like the shattered cups and mess of having a portafilter rocketing off and creating a cannon explosion level sound. Plus the shots are still great. You really have to have the portafilter locked in quite firmly with two springs in the group.


OK.
I tried my Pompei with Just one spring and didn't like the taste of the coffee at all.I put it back after a few weeks and never looked back.
My portafilter only flew out once in 7 years and that was because I locked it in poorly.

But I do have issues with my single basket porta.I've never been able to lock that in at 90 degrees.I always have a hand at the porta when pulling the shot.Just to make sure.


MemPast

Postby MemPast » Feb 16, 2019, 4:26 am

kunlun121 wrote:I am modifying my old Bezzera one-group lever machine. Would like to replace the lever group with one of the following:

Fiorenzato Piazza San Marco lever group:
....
or
La San Marco lever group....


I think you need to make sure they fit. The Fiorenzato group is a dipper, so it would not fit as is. The LSM group may be easier, but needs this part:
https://devecchigiuseppesrl.com/e-comme ... =8SM502022

You can modify the part to a thermosiphon by drilling and tapping. And you need to retrofit your machine pipes to attach to this piece.

I think the only group that fits your machine other than the bezzera group is the (Bosco?) group with thermosiphon. It is the one used by Londinium and Salvatore levers.

A picture of the Bezzera group back may be helpful for the experienced folks here to offer advice.

kunlun121

Postby kunlun121 » Feb 16, 2019, 7:22 am

Thank you all for the information and advice, this is great stuff.

Pino wrote:Hi kunlun,
here is a link to Kaffeewiki, which does a very good presentation / classification of the different commercial lever groups.
http://www.kaffeewiki.de/wiki/Handhebelbrühgruppe


Thanks for that one. I came across it yesterday. Lots of information indeed.

espressotime wrote:I have a Pompei.
The group is great .Very heavy.It has only one seal and the adjust. inlet valve.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwDJXMzGZB8

What that is for?I don't know.
I'm able to adjust the moment it opens. :|


Thanks for that video!

TomC wrote:When it comes to commercial lever groups, I have a hard time elevating one too high over another. As long as they work, are easy to maintain, and don't squeak, I don't fixate on the finer details. The LSM group is pretty to look at with the visible spring. (...)

I took out the smaller inner spring on the Leva a few years ago and never looked back, so I don't see the double spring as a perk or even a necessity. I didn't like the shattered cups and mess of having a portafilter rocketing off and creating a cannon explosion level sound. Plus the shots are still great. You really have to have the portafilter locked in quite firmly with two springs in the group.


For me the point is to get that added power. I have used my Bezzi lever for a long time and operating it has become a second nature. Made some messes, replaced some bent piston rods after inadvertently pulling of a "jaw breaker" manoeuvre, etc. The LSM is a serious contender for me. Especially in light of this bit of knowledge I was lacking:

MemPast wrote:I think you need to make sure they fit. The Fiorenzato group is a dipper, so it would not fit as is. The LSM group may be easier, but needs this part:
https://devecchigiuseppesrl.com/e-comme ... =8SM502022

You can modify the part to a thermosiphon by drilling and tapping. And you need to retrofit your machine pipes to attach to this piece.


Up until now one of the biggest difficulties has been to identify which double-spring groups would fit a thermosiphon. This bit is really helpful too:

MemPast wrote:I think the only group that fits your machine other than the bezzera group is the (Bosco?) group with thermosiphon. It is the one used by Londinium and Salvatore levers.


However I thought that the one used by Londinium is the same as the Fiorenzato Piazza San Marco lever group (and the same as the Bosco). I e-mailed Kees van der Westen. He didn't confirm which group was on the Idrocompresso. I just assumed it was the Fiorenzato/Londinium/Bosco. (This post: Bosco groups vs the rest also seems to lump them together.) But he did say that these groups come in dipper and thermosiphon variants. Would make sense for the manufacturer from a commercial perspective once you've put in the engineering effort. But how to find the right one?

I don't know the Salvatore machines. Can you post a link?

MemPast wrote:A picture of the Bezzera group back may be helpful for the experienced folks here to offer advice.


Here is a picture of the back of my group next to the CMA (courtesy the Kafeewiki page linked to above).

Image

(The one on the right obviously.)

Retrofitting the pipes to fit whatever thermosiphon connection of a new group would not be a problem. I know someone in my town who is good at making new pipes by hand.

I suppose sourcing will soon become the main question. An LSM plus connecting part is a serious contender. The "Londinium group" would be as well. The latter is not easy to find. That's too bad, as the esthetics please me more than the LSM's. (Functionally they appear interchangeable to me aside from the inlet valve solution on the LSM.) The Italian parts distributors like Vecchi don't have Londinium or Bosco parts listed. Would Londinium sell me one? Does anyone of you have suggestions?

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redbone

Postby redbone » Feb 16, 2019, 8:23 am

Have you considered buying a group from Tom aka bidoowee ? Building a lever machine.... from scratch
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549