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1985 Bruce Gordon Racing find

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1985 Bruce Gordon Racing find

Old 09-05-22, 11:25 PM
  #1  
billytwosheds 
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1985 Bruce Gordon Racing find

Taking ownership of a bike that's done many miles, races, adventures or whathaveyou is one of the most fun parts of collecting old steel.

Happened to be fishing on CL and saw this within an hour of listing.

Basic research tells me this is a Bruce Gordon Racing model, the first built in September 1985 (serial #G010985).

It's mostly Dura Ace 740x with a 6spd freewheel on a Phil rear hub. Cinelli bar and stem.

There's a little spidering under the paint, so perhaps an OA bath at the first full tear down.

It's 56cm square, matching the Cinelli SC I picked up recently and rebuilt but haven't posted yet. Will be interested to compare the handling and character of them.

A Paceline thread about someone who ordered one new from Bruce in 2012 lead me to this advertisement scan:



If anyone has more or a higher quality scan, I'd be interested in seeing.

Here's mine as acquired:







It has a broken spoke on the front wheel, so I'll swap it out tomorrow and give it a sighting ride.

The wife of the former owner said it had been used in many triathlons in Hawaii, and he isn't able to ride anymore. She was happy to hear this will be ridden.

The purple is brilliant in daylight.

RIP BG.

Cheers.

Billy
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Old 09-06-22, 12:12 AM
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Cool find and lovely colour-- reminiscent of my cinelli mens sana.

Does that "Honolulu" sticker imply that the black chainstay protector is not original? I can't make one out in that catalog scan..
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Old 09-06-22, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon View Post
Does that "Honolulu" sticker imply that the black chainstay protector is not original? I can't make one out in that catalog scan..
That's ITB Hawaii, Island Triathlon & Bike. Pretty sure they maintained this bike for most of its life. They closed their storefront on Kapahulu Ave a few years ago, and were bought out by a company using their branding to sell cycling clothing online. The current website is a little spammy so I'll let you search for it if interested.
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Old 09-06-22, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
Taking ownership of a bike that's done many miles, races, adventures or whathaveyou is one of the most fun parts of collecting old steel.

Happened to be fishing on CL and saw this within an hour of listing.

Basic research tells me this is a Bruce Gordon Racing model, the first built in September 1985 (serial #G010985).

It's mostly Dura Ace 740x with a 6spd freewheel on a Phil rear hub. Cinelli bar and stem.

There's a little spidering under the paint, so perhaps an OA bath at the first full tear down.

It's 56cm square, matching the Cinelli SC I picked up recently and rebuilt but haven't posted yet. Will be interested to compare the handling and character of them.

A Paceline thread about someone who ordered one new from Bruce in 2012 lead me to this advertisement scan:


If anyone has more or a higher quality scan, I'd be interested in seeing.

Here's mine as acquired:

It has a broken spoke on the front wheel, so I'll swap it out tomorrow and give it a sighting ride.

The wife of the former owner said it had been used in many triathlons in Hawaii, and he isn't able to ride anymore. She was happy to hear this will be ridden.

The purple is brilliant in daylight.

RIP BG.

Cheers.

Billy
Oh boy, you a lucky one.

Great score, well done, a BG in Hawaii, H**Y CRAP!

Not a leap of course but I will go on record saying you're going to love this as I do mine.

It flies down the road even with my lard azz on it despite being quite small, some kind of odd criterium? like geometry, fantastic riding for me.

So it,



And this,



Begat this.




Dave Levy at TiCyles used those two to build this one and incorporate some other key elements as well.

Got some of the best attributes of three of the best builders for another even more phenomenal riding bike.

Last edited by merziac; 09-06-22 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:24 AM
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I'm really enjoying the seat cluster and what I can make of the bottom bracket arrangement. Enjoy!
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Old 09-06-22, 01:59 AM
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Beautiful color!

CAVEAT! Those Specialized Armadillos are slightly worse riding than solid rubber forklift tires!

They came on a Bianchi I bought and I had to cut them off the rims!

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Old 09-06-22, 06:00 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
If anyone has more or a higher quality scan, I'd be interested in seeing.
@bulgie to the rescue!



Great find. I've got those rims on my Kypo - I see your Mavic decals are peeling off too! I can't find any replacements.

Interesting if it's from '85 it still has Portacatena holes in the dropout, guess Bruce had a few lying around.
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Old 09-06-22, 06:21 AM
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Very nice find - a BG is a great score. I've always wanted a pink one.
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Old 09-06-22, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
That's ITB Hawaii, Island Triathlon & Bike. Pretty sure they maintained this bike for most of its life. They closed their storefront on Kapahulu Ave a few years ago, and were bought out by a company using their branding to sell cycling clothing online. The current website is a little spammy so I'll let you search for it if interested.
Ha, I had a Cannondale some years back, with a sticker from Island Triathlon & Bike. I forget the model right now, but it was the road bike with a headshock, in a bright yellow. 😎

Congrats on that BG, looks like a keeper. 👍

That's a crazy looking seat lug, alright. 😁
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Old 09-06-22, 09:13 AM
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I think that color is called Aubergine. (French for eggplant)
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Old 09-06-22, 12:25 PM
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That is beautiful.

Please Share secrets of the OA bath when you have a moment. I will google/search here, as well.
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Old 09-06-22, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Very nice find - a BG is a great score. I've always wanted a pink one.
There's a reasonable number of pink ones out there. Bruce sponsored a number of racers with frames, usually pink ones. He figured they would get noticed that way.

OP, great score! I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy mine.



Brent
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Old 09-06-22, 11:34 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
Ha, I had a Cannondale some years back, with a sticker from Island Triathlon & Bike. I forget the model right now, but it was the road bike with a headshock, in a bright yellow. 😎

Congrats on that BG, looks like a keeper. 👍

That's a crazy looking seat lug, alright. 😁
TY! Ya and apparently silver brazed? It's possible IT&B had the connections to order it in, but I'm wondering if the owner brought it out to Hawaii. The folks were from the continent (mainland) but nowhere near California.

Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Oh boy, you a lucky one.

Great score, well done, a BG in Hawaii, H**Y CRAP!

Not a leap of course but I will go on record saying you're going to love this as I do mine.

It flies down the road even with my lard azz on it despite being quite small, some kind of odd criterium? like geometry, fantastic riding for me.

So it,

And this,

Begat this.

Dave Levy at TiCyles used those two to build this one and incorporate some other key elements as well.

Got some of the best attributes of three of the best builders for another even more phenomenal riding bike.
WOW. Sounds like a dream.

Originally Posted by SoccerBallXan View Post
I'm really enjoying the seat cluster and what I can make of the bottom bracket arrangement. Enjoy!
Ya! I'm looking forward to checking it out more in detail.

Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Beautiful color!

CAVEAT! Those Specialized Armadillos are slightly worse riding than solid rubber forklift tires!

They came on a Bianchi I bought and I had to cut them off the rims!

verktyg
Haha, I'm marginally familiar. The last pair (off the Ron Cooper tall tall frame) were splitting at the sidewalls and I was tempted to cut the beads off.

Perhaps the best part of these tires is that they keep form long after they're flat

Great for skid stopping a fixed bike...hard as a rock, real fun in the rain.

Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
@bulgie to the rescue!

Great find. I've got those rims on my Kypo - I see your Mavic decals are peeling off too! I can't find any replacements.

Interesting if it's from '85 it still has Portacatena holes in the dropout, guess Bruce had a few lying around.
Thanks for chiming in! And TY bulgie for the scans.

I was wondering if those were for a Portacena setup. Gosh, I'm chuffed for finding this one.
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Old 09-07-22, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post

WOW. Sounds like a dream.
Well, so long as you're a true believer AND drink enough Koolaid, it turns out just fine.

The real key IMO is being honest with and truly trusting the builder having done your best to give them what they need to help you.

Being realistic, understanding limitations and letting them do what you're paying them for, they're the expert, failure to recognize that can force them to make compromises that are not going to work out in the long run and will be all your fault like it or not.

Dave knows exactly what he is doing, I was already convinced of that going in, he's a great guy, I did have a couple things he wasn't thrilled about but we understood they were going to be challenging and agreed we could both live with it turning out less than perfect but they were fine.

Such a great experience, worth every cent, lots of them.

All that being said, I would never do it without it being in person, look em in the eye, have the conversation(s), work it all out and be all in, so all in.

Strongly encourage any and all to do it.
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Old 09-08-22, 11:53 PM
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merziac Re: geometry, this thing occupies that fun place where fine control and twitchiness commingle.

Really great to see your commentary about your custom build, and the relationship with your builder. It's a human thing, if you let it be
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Old 09-09-22, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
merziac Re: geometry, this thing occupies that fun place where fine control and twitchiness commingle.

Really great to see your commentary about your custom build, and the relationship with your builder. It's a human thing, if you let it be
Tx,

it was such a great experience, would do it again in a heartbeat and would like to take Dave's class, funding not likely to ever happen again.

Dave was scratching his head a bit during the fitting, first in seeing that I had both bikes set up the same despite being 6cm difference in size, I settle in the same on both on the trainer.

We swapped both bikes out a couple of times, he measured and checked the angle finder several times then you could see the light go on and he grins and says I got it, I know exactly what to do.

Then he explained that the difference in size, the fact that they both ride great for me and the goal of the new frame carrying me to the end of the line that resulted in it being a bit smaller than it would be otherwise and having an extended HT, strong but lively, flat crowns designed for 650b using 700c without using uncool long reach brakes and also still having clearance for 32's.

All these things were a PITA for Dave, he was clear, I understood and it worked out, again, Dave really knows what he's doing and does it with a smile and puts you at ease right when it matters.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
merziac Re: geometry, this thing occupies that fun place where fine control and twitchiness commingle.

Really great to see your commentary about your custom build, and the relationship with your builder. It's a human thing, if you let it be
Also, I firmly believe BG lived and operated mainly in the "fun place" that often was not fun for others, quite a character and always making people think.
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Old 09-09-22, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Also, I firmly believe BG lived and operated mainly in the "fun place" that often was not fun for others, quite a character and always making people think.
I changed the tires out to 25mm GP5000's and it's waaay more predictable, but still a ride that makes you want to look around the next bend. Maybe the kind you would want under you in a crit, but I can't speak to that myself.

Like some of my surfboards, they're not everyone's cup of tea. But when you are on a nice wave with a board you like under your feet, things really open up. The BG feels like that.
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Old 09-09-22, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by billytwosheds View Post
I changed the tires out to 25mm GP5000's and it's waaay more predictable, but still a ride that makes you want to look around the next bend. Maybe the kind you would want under you in a crit, but I can't speak to that myself.

Like some of my surfboards, they're not everyone's cup of tea. But when you are on a nice wave with a board you like under your feet, things really open up. The BG feels like that.
Absolutely, we have the ability to embrace what we like, I've done plenty of things the hard way according to others, "didn't ask you, nor do I care what you think if you think I do" says I, to myself.
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Old 09-09-22, 07:38 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Also, I firmly believe BG lived and operated mainly in the "fun place" that often was not fun for others, quite a character and always making people think.
I've heard horror stories - but when I dealt with him, he was reasonable, sensible, and quite likable.
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Old 09-09-22, 08:29 AM
  #21  
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Great score on a really beautiful frame.
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