Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Glendowie Bicycle Club's photostream

frontmafacdrop barstop tubeniftychecks
pedalfull frameCampioneMundialita. Slightly bent.Amputation fails to rid lever hoods of cancerCampione Sportivo. Otherwise known as a Healing 10-speed.
LionDecalShiftersDrilled chainringsSimplexHand Brazed

Finally finished rebuilding Nicky's Peuguot Competition this week. Was a $50 trade me special, with a broken rear axle and ripped seat. Stripped the bike down and just cleaned and regreased everything and some new cables, seat and an axle. Big thanks to Bruce at Adventure Cycles with all his help and replacement parts!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cheap Chic

I started writing this as an email to a female friend, but thought I'd post it as it might be useful for others. I'm currently working on, or trying to find, 4 different 'classic' bikes for 4 different cycle chics - all of them being new to cycling. They are all only spending $150-250 dollars and wanting something simple and stylish for summer, and nothing that requires lycra. There is a lot of bikes on Trade Me so after countless lost hours searching Trade Me and many more rebuilding old bikes, here's my bias view on some good options. Suggestions & questions welcome.

Nana style. Best for Tamaki Drive.

Raleigh's rule here. 70's or 80's models best. Solid but not heavy as such, they generally feel fast and nimble to ride. These are built to last and with a good service will keep running for another 30 years. Anything older gets a bit hard to find parts for. Anything from the 90's will be likely be poorer quality aluminum frames. Hercules is another brand - just a Raleigh in disguise.

Watch out for rust on the paint. Rust on the chrome bits (handlebars, forks and wheels) is fine - it will come off with a steelo pads in a few minutes but lots of rust on the frame means repainting, which adds $100 and a lot of hassle. I don't buy frames that have already been repainted as I don't trust that it's been done right. The above applies for any bike.

All these Raleigh's are either '3-speeds' or 'single-speed'. If your new to cycling and need to get up hills regularly, you'll need the 3-speed option. On the 3-speed you brake with your hands. On the single you brake with your foot by pushing back on the pedal - perfect for doing skids and scaring the patrons outside Kohi Cafe.

Other options include a japanese import from Mamachari. They look great and come fully serviced and ready to roll but are at the top end of this exercise at around $350-$500, and are also rare outside of Wellington where the importer/retailer is based.

French racer. Best for weekend cafe runs.

I'm a fan of Peugeots - from the 80's would be my pick. French flair but not too pricey. 

These are proper road bikes, designed to be worn with Lycra, but don't let that put you off. Look for the ones that have 'clipless' pedals and can therefore be worn with normal shoes. These will come with lots of gears - typically 12-16 so getting up hills is easy. Or you can convert them to a single speed if you like clean lines, simplicity and a good thigh work-out riding up. The bike shown above is the same bike - with gears and without. Allow at best a couple of hundred extra to convert to single speed.

Old School. Best for doubling your kid brother.

Be transported back to 1982 on a Healing ten-speed or Raleigh 20. Just be prepared to wonder how as a 13 year old you ever managed to cycle up a hill. They weigh a ton. I still feel guilty for selling a Healing Cruiser for $38 to a 20-something girl who must have weighed about the same as the bike. If you only every ride downhill then fill your boots. These also seem to rust more than others, or maybe because they are cheap they just get left out in the rain more often.

Best thing going for them is ubiquity and price. I don't bother with them much but that's just my middle-age bias. Kids born in the 80's seem big fans. 

Nowtro (new but retro)

These are new bikes styled to look old. Unless your spending bigger money ($500+ for a second hand model typically) on a quality bike brand like a Charge (pictured), Specialised or Trek, they tend to be cheap and flimsy 'warehouse specials' which some bike shops may refuse to even service. If your spending under $250 go for a genuine classic.

A final note. Good condition bikes like any of the above the above are getting very hard to find on Trade Me. Allow $55 to $85 to have a bike shipped for outside Auckland. Other sources are The Second Hand Bike Shop, Adventure Cycles, garage sales, small town second hand stores and your Nana's garden shed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Campione Sportivo. Any clues?

Campione Sportivo. A Healing 12 Speed in disguise?Amputation fails to rid lever hoods of cancerMundialita. Slightly bent.Campione

Found this outside a local second hand store in Glen Innes. Very average condition - including cancerous lever hoods - but can't find any details on it's provenance. Cheap Shimano group set and riveted chainrings. No serial number.

Doesn't seem to be resprayed but possible - particularly given the chopped handlebars (not by me). Picking it up it feels more like a Healing 10 speed in weight than an italian road bike.

Nice bent suede seat though!

Any clues gratefully received.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011