Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wanderings of an ebay troll

The troll is on the hunt for a woman with whom he can settle down and make babies with. But internet dating, although similar in some ways, is not ebay. With the modern convenience of powerful search engines even the neophyte enthusiast can gather useful information about rare and not-quite-so-rare bicycles and bicycle bits. But, thanks to the subtle complexities of the human condition, people are not quite so easy to classify, quantify and pigeon-hole. Women, in particular, are notorious for not lending themselves to a rational assessment. Try to get an idea of a total stranger from a brief profile (with no means of cross-referencing), add a blurred picture, and the whole thing gets very slippery indeed. I guess this is what Donald Rumsfeld meant when he quipped about “known knowns” (bicycle bits on ebay), “known unknowns” (women you happen to meet), and “unknown unknowns” (women on internet dating sites). So the troll, with a heavy heart, has returned to the familiar hunting grounds of ebay.

Thankfully there was much to get excited about.

Where better to start than with this example. Early 1960s Cinelli Model B “fish mouth” in original condition. Sold 27 Jan for USD $5,600.

Photo may not be sharp but the subject is clear. Rubber grommet for the Universal lever in suboptimal position. Tyres may need a bit of air.
Better pics of the same bike here:

Speedbicycles 1982 Eddy Merckx NOS show bike with fully chromed Super Record. Sold 31 Jan for USD $2,990. 

How many EM’s have you seen with chromed lugs? 

Rohloff SLT99. The best 8-spd chain that ever existed. Period.

Pity they still crimped the stays at the dropout on this show bike.

Chrome plate on Campy’s lightweight aluminium freewheel? Well, ok.

When Speedbicycles says NOS he means NOS. 

Gold plated 1979 Colnago Mexico Oro in NOS condition. Sold 24 Jan for USD $15,100. 

If gold plating and shiny Campagnolo bits is your thing then you should probably also check this out.

Restored 1979 Benotto Modelo 3000 plated with 18 carat gold. Currently on the bay for USD $5,800. 

Gold Jagwire cables somehow doesn’t look out of place on this build. 
But maybe someone should tell the seller that them calipers, although shiny and all, ain’t Super Record...

Nice profile on them chainstays.

Just a touch of drillium? Very nice.

But not all colourways seen on old bicycles will suit the modern palate. One example is this fluorescent gem:

Mint 1991 Team Z Greg Lemond wearing full C Record. Sold 28 Jan for GBP 2000. 

And not all fashion trends necessarily carry well in the future.

1986 Cinelli track helmet in VGC. Sold 22 Jan for USD $224.49. (the troll was the buyer of this particular item - but more on that in a later post)

... a steal but only when you compare it to what some Cinelli items of the same period are selling for...

Cinelli 700cc carbon front disc wheel. Sold 2 Jan for USD $1,700. That's just for one wheel folks. Now to find a rear one...

Yet there are some bicycles never seem to go out of fashion. Like Rene Herse.  

Mint 1981 Rene Herse. Sold 23 Jan for USD $6,355. 

1969 Rene Herse. Sold 9 Jan for USD $8,200. 

The troll is always looking out for a bargain. And all the better if the seller has no idea what he is selling (the troll is a closet opportunist - ie the most sneaky kind of ebay troll). But there’s a tinge of sadness, whatever the reason may be, when a knowledgeable collector  sells off a sizeable chunk of his collection. Some of 24x7’s collection that has hit the bay include:

1950-52 restored Gloria Garibaldina with Campagnolo Cambio Corsa. Sold within 48hrs on 20 Jan for BIN price of USD $2200. 

A quick aside: Campagnolo’s Cambio Corsa gear changers (or Paris-Roubaix for that matter) doesn’t make any sense to the many collectors that view their stable of relics through the prism of the modern derailleur bicycle (the ebay troll included). But, apparently, there was once a time when cyclists thought that the friction caused by jockey/ pulley wheels scrubbed off some of their precious power. It wasn't long before these doubters noticed that those little spinning wheels didn’t seem to slow riders using Simplex pushrod derailleurs. In 1951 Campagnolo came out with its single-cable Gran Sport parallelogram RD which went on to set the standard for the next 3 decades. 
Collectors of early Campagnolo & Simplex derailleurs have very, very, very deep pockets.

Simplex Record 60 pushrod RD in used VGC. Sold 17 Jan for USD $1,725. 

Back to 24x7’s wonderful collection.

1950s Gloria Garibaldina touring model. Sold 31 Jan for USD $860. 

1973-74 Galmozzi in with original paint in mint condition. Sold 27 Jan for USD $2,800. 

1968 “no logo” Campagnolo Record brakeset. Sold 29 Jan for USD $1,010 

Check out his current auctions - the collection is excellent and the valuations thus far appear very reasonable...

1982/83 Guerciotti 
ADDIT: sold 7 Feb for USD $1,525

1969-70 Masi Special pista 
ADDIT: sold 9 Feb for USD $5,049

1948 Umberto Dei pista 
ADDIT: sold 11 Feb for USD $3,650

1991 Somec 
ADDIT: sold 8 Feb for USD $1,128

The troll’s fascination with Campagnolo’s delta brakes (and the founding reason for this blog) arises because it embodies an elegant principle, it is beautifully (and expensively) executed, and it simply doesn’t work. For better or worse these same virtues also make them unlikely to ever return to production. 

1984 1st generation C Record calipers in excellent condition. The ‘prototype’ of the caliper that even Campagnolo admitted “modulates your speed” rather than stopping your bike. Currently on the bay for BIN of USD $5,000. 

A flush of 1st gens. Only one set is for sale.

Indeed there is not one but two 1st generation delta's on the bay at the moment.

Used 1st gens starting at EURO 1,999 

But, should you want brakeset from the C Record group that actually did the job it was made to do, then this was up for sale a few days back.

Campagnolo Cobalto brakeset. Lightly used and complete in box. Sold 28 Jan for USD $370. 

Should that not satisfy you, then how about this:

1992 NIB C Record groupset with delta brakes. Sold for USD $3,295. 
Maybe the troll should go back and check out some of them unknown, unknowns. 

1 comment:

Giovanni said...

This is hilarious. I love the shot of the calipers on the toilet seat. Was the seller being ironic? Was that the only plain background available?