When I went to Europeiska Cykelimporten (ECI) in the end of the 80ies Thordan stood behind the counter. He had just got some frames home from Geliano. I, of course, thought them being Italian. The name was to blame. It sounded really Italian. Thord soon took me out of that misunderstanding – telling me they were French and that they were really special. The prices put them far beyond my reach at that time. I was also very much into “less is more” and thought their paint jobs were tasteless.
Now many years later I still like clean and tasteful design but have with time come to realize that life can be more fulfilling if allowing myself to also like the more flamboyant sides of design. Sometimes it can be “less is a bore”.
I have been interested in researching the history behind Geliano for quite some time. The touring bike I have since the early 80ies is a Meral. There is a close connection between Meral, Geliano and CYFAC. The connection is Francis Quillon. He was a racer turned framebuilder for the big names of the time. Framefit and aero is his thing. Here is some info on him:
History. ? Cyfac
http://www.classicrendezvous.com/France ... /Meral.htm
I first understood the connection between Meral and Geliano when going to ECI and finding a Geliano tourer with many and special details being the same as on my Meral. This was before the internet. Too many to be a coincidence. They were clearly constructed and built by the same man/team. The connection to CYFAC came with the net and all info that suddenly was available.
I have tried to find a Geliano for some time. Seen some on the bay but none in my size, the condition or otherwise to my liking. Here in Sweden I knew of one that could be for sale. This one:
Geliano racing bicycle
But - a bike with a straight front fork has no chance of getting under my roof. Ever. Of that I am (almost – as per above I am not totally a stranger of change of mind – enough time passing) certain.
A while ago this one surfaced on a local buy&sell.
The seller was a really nice guy but there had been a lot of interest and he had guys coming over as we spoke. Some time passed and one day he phoned me up and offered me the bike to the price he had in the ad (the equivalent of approximately 600 USD). Went over to his place. Bought it.
The bike is in splendid condition. It had been his late father’s and he had used it for six of our Swedish annual 300km “Vätternrundan” and the training leading up to them. The seller himself had used it for a short while as a commuter but did not find it fitting his needs.
With the bike came five wheels – one pair with Mavic 550RD hubs, one pair with Dura Ace hubs and a single wheel with a Campagnolo Record hub, a couple NOS tubular tires in their original wrapping, some NOS Campag brake blocks, a period correct Scott tempo/triathlon handlebar with Campag brakehandles and some other small bits and pieces.
The original receipt, dated april 1990, specifying the model as 115 S and the frame number (putting it at 1988-9 as far as my investigations has reached so far), equipment as C-record and lastly also a note from the bikes first service at ECI. The price was extreme for its time but the exact amount I do not remember right now.
My own pic from when I got it home:
C-record but for the brakes and hubs. Knowing a little about Thord I presume the Mavic hubs came with the bike originally. The brakes might be “cobalto”. There are some clues that support this and some against. The brake arms are of the script variety and the infill is blue. Both the nuts with the blue cobalto stone are missing – I have never lost a brake nut during my years of biking so they have probably been stolen at some time. Why steal the nuts if they were not special? The blue stones would also go with the overall blue theme of the bike. Against cobalto speaks – the barrel adjuster rubber rings are black and the brake handles are normal Super Record. Difficult to know what exactly and the seller had no idea. I do have cobalto nuts in a drawer though…
The frame is in my size and that is a criterion that (normally) has to be filled for a frame/bike to get into my stable. I really enjoyed getting this bike and it is a very nice addition to my collection.
What is in the future for this one? Restore it as it is (taking away some small parts and decals that do not belong on it, some cleaning, waxing and detailing) – or? I do have an almost complete Mavic group… NOS starfish, ZAP, etc. The only things missing is a seatpost and a headset. I would not want to use a round profile and black Mavic 330 seatpost on this frame as it would not go with the aero profile and the color scheme. A 305 headset would however be nice. It would be a (almost) tout Francais or tout Mavic. And that can never be a bad thing…
I have not really made up my mind yet. C-record or Mavic? Guess my options could be worse…