Sunday, August 29, 2010

The sartorial cyclist

How would today's "chic" cycling fashion fare in 10-15 years?

Well, my riding buddy who owns this

Wants to get this

And this (the pants, not the bike)

...he's already got their AUD $200 gilet...

And this

So he can look more like this

But on a Columbine, with a Brooks saddle, and equipped with that modern mechanical device that allows you to change gears. He may even lower himself and wear that silly-looking foam lid that's supposed to protect your brain.

It didn’t take me too long to rummage through my pile of old magazines to check out the height of fashion in the mid 80s (Bicycle Guide, May 1987).

They didn't wear brain protection back then either.
Nonetheless they were prepared for inclement weather.

It appears that "timing" separates the cool hipster from the sad has-been. That's a shame for those, like me, who get their timing wrong.

Well, this sucks

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The fillet-brazed lug

A custom Perschini road frame built by David Ybarrola was recently passed in on ebay. Lovely clean shorelines on the lugwork. With the addition of a brass "fillet" filling the elbow of the lug.

Now that’s a smooth transition

Nice enough to present at the NAHBS. Why there aren’t many bidders for modern, custom bicycles could be a reflection of their relatively low profile (when compared to more recognizable marques) or the upright geometry of this particular frame. It certainly isn’t because of their build quality.

Fillet brazed lugs have apparently been around for a while. This 1958 refurbished De Rosa sold on ebay (for USD $8,000 if my memory serves me) a couple of years back.

De Rosa with fillet-brazed Cinelli lug-set

An excellent example of a build using fillet-brazed lugs is currently on velospace:

This particular example built by Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes.

Unnecessary? Yes.

Quality craftsmanship? Yes.

Decadence or refinement? Well, that depends on your perspective.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wanderings of an ebay troll

One measure of “adulthood” could be the mounting commitments we accumulate as we age. For most of us that usually means a commitment to an education, a steady job (even possibly a career), a car (with or without a loan), a house (and mortgage repayments), a partner and ultimately children (with all the added demands that family life brings). Although not always for everyone. And not necessarily in that order.

Earlier on this bumpy journey, I found and nurtured an ebay troll which I let out (a little too frequently) to rummage around the treasure chest that is ebay. And we had some good pickings in those early days. But a new mortgage and soaring ebay prices have severely clipped what the troll can bring home. So he wanders and rummages but has to sit on his hands when the bidding starts. Just sit on his hands and watch. Sweaty, greedy palms and all.

Financial commitments and subsequent cost constraints are just an embarrassment to the troll's ebay activities. But real-world demands are also placing time constraints on the troll. Sadly this could prove to be more fatal. And I understand that this is all part of "growing up". But, in the meantime, the troll will continue to wander.

Wanderings and chance encounters over the past 6 weeks...

This encapsulates why the troll wanders out to ebay - mmmm.... nice shiny stuff...

NOS Cinelli 17b steel handlebars.

Sold 8 Aug for USD $427. Now that's some awesome wrapping paper.

1964 Tollis Lightweight Deluxe perfect for L’Eroica.

Sold 8 Aug for AUD $1009. There's much to be said for buying bicycles within Australia - $70-100 for postage within Australia (cf ~USD $800 for transporting a complete bicycle from the US) and no tax or customs duties.

1957 Cinelli SC (restored).

Passed in 8 Aug for USD $4,349.99. A little too big for the troll. And too shiny. And possibly a little beyond the troll’s means...

1967 1st series Campagnolo Nuovo Record rear derailleur.

Sold 6 Aug for USD $820. Troll is too ignorant to even try and comprehend this.

1969 Colnago Super (restored) with Nuovo Record groupset.

Sold 28 July for USD $1802.

NOS 1st generation C Record RD.

Sold 18 Jul for USD $409. A bicycle component that has not just made it to the bedroom - it’s made it onto the bed!

Mint Cook Brothers RSR cranks.

Sold 28 Jun for USD $403.98. The purple anodized craze never went away. The boys just grew up and some got rich.

Colnago C35 Ferrari (1989) with Campagnolo 50th anniversary groupset.

Sold 25 Jun for USD $8,500. A cheap Ferrari (but an expensive bicycle...)

Coppi "Campionissimo" with Campagnolo 50th anniversary groupset in mint condition.

Sold for EUR 2,400 on 25 June to an Australian buyer.

NOS Chinese “Yongjiu” Olympic pursuit bicycle with full Suntour Superbe Pro groupset on Australian ebay.

BIN for AUD $1,500 in June but no takers.

Blast from the recent past. Speedbicycles near mint 1995 Eddy Merckx Titane.

Sold 31 May for USD $1,490. Greatest name in cycling emblazoned on an American-built (Litespeed) frame. Sure, it’s not an Eddy Merckx-branded De Rosa and the groupset is just after the C Record era but what an awesome deal. (and too big for the troll - yes, the troll is short)

Blast from the distant past. NOS 1st generation Campagnolo delta brakes.

Sold for USD $3,202 in Feb 2008. Troll is simply outclassed at this level.

And then there was one. Initially for sale as a pair (track & road bikes) for USD $6,000.

J P Weigle track bike with Baylis paint. 1st generation Campagnolo C Record track group. Mint.

Currently on sale for USD $2950. The troll cannot understand why no one has bought this one yet.