Beautiful and Worn

The joke of pro-tour cycling being compared to world championship wrestling is now giving wrestling a bad name. I guess it had to happen: the gutless media, who for years have been turning a blind eye, are no longer scared of big bad Lance.
I have one thing to say and that is: Why are all you haters trying to ruin our beautiful sport? Why are you dwelling in the past? Let’s look to the future. Things are much different now. If you cannot believe in miracles, I feel sorry for you. I have never doped.

Let’s look at beauty in the past. Being now the owner of an fabbricato in Italia bike, the shame is too great to ever ride my fake Colnago again. However the bits are available for recycling into the Viner.
First I’ve taken advice and concentrated on the mullet.

Next, the thorny issue of the Italian threaded bottom bracket. Solved courtesy of Chain Reaction Cycles.

Ka-ching! At $54, the project costs have more than doubled from the initial $50 for the bike. Unavoidable. Needs special tool to install. Ka-ching $25 dollars. But to be able to say “yeah, my Italian bike has Campy” – I think it’s totally worth it.

AYHEMCBB (All you haters envy my Campy bottom bracket).

You will have noticed from the above not only that “steel is real”, but also “steel is very exposed”. I’ve put a clear coat over it and called it Art. Mind you, I first painted the frame with rust converter and it fairly sizzled away and is now somewhat lighter.

I suspect it had been out in the elements for a couple of decades and the derailleur had to be chopped up to get off. The back wheel… hmm, yes the back wheel. The re-spoking was going along fine until I tried to take the freewheel off. As a last resort I went to the Sheldon Brown site to read “whatever you do, make sure you remove the freewheel before removing the spokes…” ppphh, I got it off – it’s just that the hub is now broken into 20 pieces. To summarize:

The money shot (and we are talking $149 all up):

I can count 4 Italian flags and two heart cutouts (…and 8 cm long front brake pads – sorry – the only ones I could find in the garage). The bar tape design based on the flecked pattern on Cipollini’s underwear. It just doesn’t get any more beautiful or romantic does it?

Oh, yes it does. Shortly after finishing the build, I travelled down to the GC to pick up this little beauty. It appears to have had a more sheltered life, living in a shed for many years. Beautiful, not so worn, and actually more my size.

The Ebay seller was teary when I took delivery. But not because of the Viner, which he hardly glanced at. No, it was for the amazing Peugeot Aravis frame with Reynolds 531 Professional tubing. The one that brother James had just purchased.

“This is a reluctant sale” he said at least 3 times. I was puzzled why he was selling and so I asked. A deep sign ” I have to tidy up things….”, sigh, “… do you want to have a look at my bikes?” In the crowded double garage there were a couple of beautiful fluoro (Tomessinni?) bikes. Nice. But then after a furtive glance around he lifted the covering off the back wall. A hole in the brick wall led to a dug out room. A secret bike cave! I may be the only other person to have seen it. It was packed with ~25 bikes. There was no room to step inside. I think this is the end stage of Ebaymania.

The Pug, of course, is fabriqué en France

When you carry two bike frames, one in each hand, it’s very clear how much lighter one is. I spend some time studying the decals – how easily can they be swapped?

Reynolds 531 Professional tubing.

To be clear – Reynolds 531 Professional tubing. This is not the legendary Reynolds 531, nor the higher spec’ed Reynolds 531 SL tubing. This is the stuff even better than that. Arguably the zenith of steel frame material before the plastic era.
Peugeot made bikes long before they made cars, and back in the day everyone rode a Pug. Steve Roche:

Phil Anderson:

Eddy Merckx:

The Viner’s claim to fame? 100 km TTT World Champions 1978. Obscure, yes. But it entitles them to have the rainbow colours on the frame.

I’ve just got to get one more to make a Squadre. Three shades of Viner:

I’ve strayed off topic. Lance who? Oh, and by the way, where are we going this year? Christmas in Sydney. Start from Windsor Bundeena (27th Dec), arrive Canberra (~9th Jan 31st Dec.) where a tree needs turning. Our cartographers are on it.

So … another weekend, another trip to pick up an ebay purchase. This one another of Brother James’. And what a little ripper! A Conceicao, (or Conceição if that helps). Look at this:

The brain child of Sydney ex-racer, former Australian team mechanic and bike-shop owner Frank Conceicao. Albion is the name of the bike shop and is stamped on the seat stays. Australian designed and built in the 80’s it’s a real slice of cycling history in great condition.

It is both of it’s time (fluoro colours) and before its time as you will notice the twin innovations of a “bent” toptube and internal cabling. The former clearly designed to lower the possibility of gonad trauma. Here’s looking down the bend.

Clearly Frank needed a better logo. While the bike was only made for a couple of years, and is quite rare, cycling has now embraced the idea of internally routed cabling and all high end bikes have this. It remains to be seen how long it will take until the protection of the Pants Yabbies becomes mainstream.

This entry was posted in bling, ebay, retro restoration, Viner. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Beautiful and Worn

  1. Mark says:

    Another fantastic bike James! Unfortunately, as a 54 cm it’s going to be way too small for you. One for Jack?

    • 888riley says:

      Hey that looks great! Yeah … probably too small for Corrie even, so it can’t be put together as a replacement for the Shitane. Thanks for picking it up Mark, and yes Jack won’t too far off being big enough … and now to components

      And now to Cassie … she’s a bit greyer than last time I saw her. Is that an airbed she’s lying on? Looks comfy … Roxy would definitely go for one of those

  2. 888riley says:

    Wheels off Merida? You killed the Merida??

    • Mark says:

      No, no, no, oh no! I put a couple of new wheels on the Merida about a year ago (RS10 $140), to make it even more indestructible. They were on last years epic. The Viner now has the Merida originals (well the front is original, the back wheel is a cheapy from the Warnabool bike shop after that harrowing experience at Yambuk).

  3. 888riley says:

    Wow, some great stuff going on here. I am very excited about the Peugeot, but its unlikely appearance means I now have to reassess my whole bike strategy.

    These are testing times. The plan had been to put the Ultegra stuff on Peugeot. But seriously, if the frame is as beautiful as it looks and sounds, how could I bend it to allow for a nine-speed? And could it be bent without the alfoil/steel ripping?? Not worth the risk, surely.

    So that frees up the Ultegra stuff to put on the Giant Kronos in the short term. And the Giant frame will create a very cool bike.

    The other issue with the Peugeot: I may be too big. The discussion boatrds say the tubing may only suit riders under 200lbs.

    On the Viner you have curated: It looks great!! Although I am a bit troubled by the flecked handlebar tape … I’m just saying it would have been more impressive if it had been made of strips torn from Cippolini’s actual underpants, rather than just based on the flecked pattern of Mario’s smalls.

    But the Peugeot looks BRILLIANT!!!

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