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The end of an era (RIH content)

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The end of an era (RIH content)

Old 05-20-12, 04:42 PM
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The end of an era (RIH content)

On June 1st RIH Sport in Amsterdam will be closed after almost a century of producing some of the finest racing and sports bicycles. 63 world titles have been won on RIH's. A pretty impressive track record.
Today some RIH owners got together and paid a small tribute to RIH Sport and Wim van der Kaaij, who took over the business from the Bustraan brothers in the 1970's. Among those present I recognised at least two former world champions: Henk Faanhof (1949) and Petra de Bruin (1979).

The weather was less than perfect, but between the showers there were some really neat bikes (and people) to be seen:



A last visit to the shop (closing sale, 25% off!):



Probably the oldest bike in attedance:



Old and new together; early 60's and late 00's:



A token of appreciation for mr Van der Kaaij (you'll of course recognise the late Peter Post, track star of the 60's):



And of course the Tribute Ride through Amsterdam with about a hundred RIH's:

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Old 05-20-12, 05:18 PM
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Sad to hear the shop is closing. I was in there with my older brother last October. If we had been ignored it might have been a friendlier reception than we received. The proprietor was the sourest person we met in Amsterdam. So it goes.
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Old 05-20-12, 05:29 PM
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Where did my post go? I agree very sad that such a great shop is closeing but what a turnout to salute the legacy.
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Old 05-20-12, 06:15 PM
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Nothing lasts forever, and that is one heck of a send-off. to the organizers and participants.

(I was right there by the shop a few times last summer, but never when it was open. Though from what Rootboy suggests, as touristic walk-ins we might not have been the most welcome visitors. Oh well, not too many Nederlanders of the senior generation are outgoing and gregarious.)
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Old 05-20-12, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Sad to hear the shop is closing. I was in there with my older brother last October. If we had been ignored it might have been a friendlier reception than we received. The proprietor was the sourest person we met in Amsterdam. So it goes.
Sorry to hear about that. Today was my first encounter with the man, and he was quite friendly in a direct Amsterdam sort of way. He even found time to answer some questions about one of my own RIH's.
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Old 05-20-12, 10:53 PM
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I am glad someone was smarter than me and brought a camera along.
I had a great time looking at all the RIH's from different areas and especially talking to all the people.

It was a mixed and colourful bunch of people, indeed a couple of world champions Petra was there with her daughter also on a RIH, a couple of hipsters from the Pristine fixie shop on really cool bikes, some funny Rotterdam (the accent was unmistakable) guys on french blue Rihs who only (very shortly) shortly stopped smoking their cigars for the ride.
A lot of people who owned their RiH's for over 30 years and had seen half of Europe on them.

The best part was at the end of the ride when Wim stopped and visibly affected shook hands with everybody.
He sort of protested in his own Amsterdam way before the tribute started that it wasn''t necessary but you could see he had enjoyed the day very much.
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Old 05-21-12, 12:56 AM
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Can anyone tell me anything about the 4th picture down, the RIH Sport with city handlebars?

Is that a Reynolds frame/fork or a lesser bike?
I see it has Weinmann brakes, but what year is it to still have the tall chrome socks?

I would appreciate any info as this is timely to a possible purchase of an identically-framed bike.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:16 AM
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I think that through the years I advised dozens of people who asked me for advise for their planned A'dam visit. Bike related I always recommended to include RIH in the trip, also because it is situated in the very nice Jordaan quarter. At some point I learnt that the reception in the shop could be a bit short or cold. Perhaps when Vd Kaaij was kept of his work by possibly the 5th tourist that day, who of course didn't buy a frame, part or whatever. Maybe RIH could have develloped a specific line of memorabilia for those enthousiasts. There wasn't. I think Vd Kaaij is more an excellent framebuilder than marketingman. Not a shame.
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Old 05-21-12, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd
Can anyone tell me anything about the 4th picture down, the RIH Sport with city handlebars?

Is that a Reynolds frame/fork or a lesser bike?
I see it has Weinmann brakes, but what year is it to still have the tall chrome socks?

I would appreciate any info as this is timely to a possible purchase of an identically-framed bike.
Looks like thoroughbred that is retired from racing to me. It is 100% sure no Cove-Venlo RIH. If it is built by Fongers in small series the buyer had the choice of Reynolds 531 butted or another variation. I think an A'dam RIH was simply 531 butted at that time.

My 1968 Fongers-RIH has chrome socks and my late 70s A'dam example has too. I think that untill recently you were able to order chrome, if you only brought enough money with you. Quality chrome under todays environmental legislation isn't cheap.
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Old 05-21-12, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd
Can anyone tell me anything about the 4th picture down, the RIH Sport with city handlebars?

Is that a Reynolds frame/fork or a lesser bike?
I see it has Weinmann brakes, but what year is it to still have the tall chrome socks?

I would appreciate any info as this is timely to a possible purchase of an identically-framed bike.
I haven't seen this decal before but it looks like "Reynolds 531 straight gauge". This bike was estimated as being built in 1961 by mr Van der Kaaij.

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Old 05-21-12, 03:32 PM
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^ Correction: make that "taper gauge":

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Old 05-21-12, 03:40 PM
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Too bad I couldn't be there...
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Old 05-21-12, 03:55 PM
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I recently got to visit the shop and meet Mr van der Kaaij and even make a small purchase from him. He was quite helpful in fact and I consider it one of the highlights of that trip. Love watching the youtube videos of him at work.

Thanks to Elev12K and s70rguy who gave me some nice tips on where to go in Amsterdam.
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Old 05-21-12, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
A token of appreciation for mr Van der Kaaij (you'll of course recognise the late Peter Post, track star of the 60's):
Yes, Peter Post was a fine track racer, especially in the six-day races, where he did incredibly well - if memory serves, he is the winningest six-day guy of all time. But don't overlook his roadman prowess. He still holds the record for the fastest Paris-Roubaix winning speed from 1965, give or take (a record that may never be broken, as they changed the course the year after his victory to one that caused average speeds to drop). He also ran the famous TI-Raleigh team of the late 70s and early 80s, a team that included Jan Raas (serious classics palmares), Gerrie Knetemann (a World Championship and a highly respected captain-on-the-road), Joop Zoetemelk when he finally (and deservedly) won the Tour de France, and several others who I am forgetting at the moment.

Originally Posted by non-fixie
^ Correction: make that "taper gauge":

"Taper gauge" was used for stays and fork blades, not the main triangle (butted at one end, not both). That sticker being oin the seat tube is almost certainly a mistake. Kinda makes it more fun, though.
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Old 05-21-12, 07:37 PM
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Thanks for the info about the frame.

I'm wondering now just what the S.R. means???, and assuming it's supposed to be just a fork blade transfer.

I know of one for sale locally, so trying to establish how good it is with it's mixed gruppo.
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Old 05-21-12, 09:15 PM
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Darn... this means I wont be able to get a RIH ever now. These ones are still in my list.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd
Thanks for the info about the frame.

I'm wondering now just what the S.R. means???, and assuming it's supposed to be just a fork blade transfer.

I know of one for sale locally, so trying to establish how good it is with it's mixed gruppo.
I've Dutch bikes with blade tubing decal on the frame or no decals at all. A mix of bits is not odd for a Dutch bike.

You've a pic?
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Old 05-22-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Elev12k
I've Dutch bikes with blade tubing decal on the frame or no decals at all. A mix of bits is not odd for a Dutch bike.

You've a pic?
+1 and if you have a frame number we might be able to give an approximation of when and where it was built.
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Old 05-22-12, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium
Too bad I couldn't be there...
Yeah, you missed out on the BF Dutch Chapter rain dance ...
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Old 05-22-12, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie
Yeah, you missed out on the BF Dutch Chapter rain dance ...
Yes, too bad. Maybe at the next Stalen Ros ride in june!
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Old 05-22-12, 02:11 PM
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would this practically affect pricing on RIH bikes or frames on the net? just curious.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by orangeology
would this practically affect pricing on RIH bikes or frames on the net? just curious.
We'll have to wait and see. There seems to be a surge in interest because of this event, but that is to be expected I guess.
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Old 05-25-12, 01:55 AM
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Nice impression non-fixie. In addition to this we posted an article about the tribute to RIH https://www.colcyclingwithfriends.com/rih-tribute.html with a video of the Craftmanship...for the english version see www.colcyclingwithfriends.com
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Old 05-25-12, 02:18 AM
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Welcome to the forum William02, nice site and I can see you had a lucky hand in choosing which bikes from the event to show. You managed to get my bike and non-fixies in one shot.
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Old 05-25-12, 12:19 PM
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Thx,willam02. My favourite picture from your site is the one showing Henk Faanhof autographing the flyer.



It was great to see the man who was on the 1949 championship stage with Fausto Coppi. The latter on the left, Faanhof on the right:



Here Faanhof congratulates Coppi on his 1952 TdF win:



Faanhof finished 76th that year. In 1954 he won the TdF stage to Bordeaux. That year, BTW, the TdF started in Amsterdam. Wout Wagtmans arrived at the starting line in his Porsche and promptly won the first stage:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/De_Tour_de_France_1954.ogv
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