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Bikes with stories...

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Bikes with stories...

Old 05-08-13, 10:02 AM
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Henry III
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Bikes with stories...

THings are always better when followed with a good story. Heck you can even have two of the same things but the other just has soul while the other lives average life.

A bike I recently picked up in a trade from a local rider told me a little about the bike. It was his father's bike but purchased it from the son's friend many moons ago. So the person who was pretty legit and no reason to make the story up. He didn't really have too much of an attachment to it so he was all willing to let it go for what he was getting from me.

So yesterday I had some running around I had to do and was going to stop by to see a friend I haven't talked to in a month or so while I was in the area. So I'm down chatting away with Mike and it dawned on me about what I recently acquired and check on the authenticity. His eyes nearly popped out when I told him what I had as in the past tense. Being I recently sold it this past weekend. So first I asked Mike about the guy I got the bike from and I started to lose him as he was having a flashback to the times of the bike and the memories. So I showed him a few photos I still had of it on my Ipod and it took him back even further. He said he sold it after he graduated and was moving out to Colorado and couldn't take it with him and sold it to the father of the person I got it from. We were finishing each others sentence about what was on the bike as it was pretty much completely original from when he had it to when I took it in. The cool thing is that I kept pretty much everything on the bike and tossed some parts on it to turn it into a single speed to make it rideable and into a quick flip.

Unfortunately the person who came and bought the bike wasn't into the local cycling seen or know anything about framebuilders and never heard of Mike DeSalvo to give the bike the ooh aah factor. He was just looking for a single speed for around town instead of riding his mtb. But he thought it was cool that it had some history and sent him a video showing Mike with the Ironman in his senior year to know it was really his.

Mike was a bit bummed when I told him I just recently sold it as in three days ago. I'm trying to raise funds for my tuition to UBI for the professional mechanics/shop operations course this summer so he understood. He really wanted to see it and would of probably bought it from me had I known. I told him he could see parts of it as the entire Suntour GPX group was now on my Schwinn Circuit and the Campy high flange Record wheels which he said he built up are on my Guerciotti. The bike was a 58cm and I normally ride a 49-51cm so I had no use for it and just picked it up for the parts.

I sent the owner an email after I got home explaining if he ever decided to get rid of it to contact Mike and he would have most likely have a seller.

The bike of how I received it...

My handy work converted into a not too gawdy single speed.

and about at 0:50 into the video you see the photo of Mike with the Ironman
https://vimeo.com/63036641

Last edited by Henry III; 05-08-13 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 05-08-13, 10:24 AM
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I've had 4 bikes stolen over the years, but only one of them was ever recovered. After a protracted and interesting search campaign, I was re-united with this beauty about a month after it disappeared in London:



Today, it is the bike I've owned the longest (both those I currently own and have owned in the past) and most likely would be the last I would ever part with.

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Old 05-08-13, 10:30 AM
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Reminds me of an episode of a car show I normally watch. A customer who came into the shop and was an older gentleman and wanted a Firebird he used to have in high school. Like the actual car and he still had the vin number. So with some searching they found the car but not like how he left it and was pretty much a shell on wheels. Dropped 50k and restored it and got to relive some day by gone. That was a really cool episode.

I think I would like to do that with a certain car if I had the funds. So how'd you source it down in a big city like London? Was it still in the same shape from when you had it or did you have to do some work after I got it back? If only bikes could be located like a automobile with a VIN I'd look for a bike or two from my past.
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Old 05-08-13, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
So how'd you source it down in a big city like London? Was it still in the same shape from when you had it or did you have to do some work after I got it back? If only bikes could be located like a automobile with a VIN I'd look for a bike or two from my past.
I'd taken photos of the bike shortly after building it back up from a frame/fork (bought from the original owner who bought it complete with a Campy 50th gruppo from Deeside Cycles in 1983). I'd purchased the 50th set from this gent in Scotland, then he offered the frame/fork up a few months later. I made copies of the pic, printed a couple of hundred flyers and posted them all over London. After about 3 weeks I got a call from a guy who saw the bike at a secondhand shop in Notting Hill. I went by the shop and scoped out the bikes, but it wasn't there. I then went 'round the corner to a local police station, showed them my photos and flyer and passed along the sighting info. Two officers accompanied me to the shop, asked the proprietor to open his books and saw that it had been passed to the shop for about 100GBP (the place was like a pawnshop).

Anyway, they didn't have the bike there, so the owner asked the two workers what happened to it. They let him know a third worker had bought it a couple days prior; he was called, informed the bike was stolen and the owner was there to claim it. He was really cool about it; he and I agreed to meet later that evening and I picked up the bike none the worse for wear (that was really cool - I was concerned it may have been stripped or treated like crap).

One very weird thing, though: the RD had been outfitted with a pair of blue Bullseye pulleys; for whatever reason, one had been removed and replaced with a Suntour one. Other than that, it was just as it was when stolen.

I agree about the VIN locator type of thing; one bike I'd love to recover was my very first Italian, an Olmo Nuovo Super Sprint with full Zeus 2000. That bike disappeared from Naval Station Norfolk in my first year in the Navy, locked up in a bike rack. Still amazes me that occurred on a military installation.

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Old 05-08-13, 03:14 PM
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Someone here has nice Fuji Pro Super Record that has a nice story.

It belonged to a local GrandMaster in the Boston area who got into cycling late in life for health reasons. It was likely one of his first real bikes. Several years and several Bianchis and other bikes later he was a local fixture at training and sanctioned races in New England. In the early '90s he bought a Camerotti 'cross frame in for us to build up. For some reason the job was intrusted to me. He was so happy with how the bike turned out a few weeks later he walked in and presented my with the Fuji Pro, sans wheels, for doing such a great job for him.

I built a nice set of HF tubular wheels but alas it was too small so I passed it along shortly aftr becomeing a member here.



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Old 05-08-13, 07:21 PM
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I picked up this 1978 Ritchey Touring bike on ebay, from the original owner. The add had a couple of really bad pictures and it arrived looking like this:

[IMG][/IMG]

I started to clean it up. Then I found this:
[IMG][/IMG]he US t

I contacted the original owner through ebay and some phone calls, we were able to work out a solution for both of us. In the course of those conversations, he told me he had purchased the frame, new, off the rack and built it up with the best stuff he could afford in 1979. He used it for commuting to work and at that time road across the US twice. Once, when he lived on the west coast, heading east and once, from Maine to Oregon, heading west. He said he used the bike daily for the next 30 years to commute to work.

I took it o Bilenky Cycle Works here in Philadelphia and they did a great job repairing it. Looks like this now:
[IMG][/IMG]

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Old 05-08-13, 08:02 PM
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This bike is a Carsbad Masi. Its history reads like a mystery novel. It was presented to me for restoration by a friend, a fellow cyclist and musician. It had been found by a friend of his, also a cyclist and musician, who worked at one of the big universities here. One of his jobs was to help clean out the undergrad dorms when the students had left. He found this bike abandoned, and as the senior person on that crew he could take it. As far as I/we know no one ever claimed it. Given the bike's condition and the financial status of that university it is quite possible that the owner back then didn't consider it any great loss. This was at least 35 years ago. It apparently hung in his basement for 30 years.

But then... For many years he'd been collecting parts and presumably intended to restore the Masi. Maybe 7 or 8 years ago he had CyclArt restore a Frejus he'd once ridden across the country on sewups. But before he had the chance to ride the restored Frejus he was stricken with some serious illness and died. His widow was not a bike person, so my friend helped her sell the Frejus. She told him to take whatever he wanted. He took the frame and whatever random parts he guessed had been collected for that bike. She gave everything else away.

My friend has an Italian Masi from back in his racing days. This Carlsbad Masi was too small for him, so after seeing me re-build our tandem he asked me if I wanted to re-build it. He ended up giving it to me.

The bike's history before that is unknown. It has investment-cast lugs which were used from late '75. It has no serial number, no stamping of any sort and no file marks on the BB. This suggests it was an employee's bike, a practice that was stopped in mid-'77. The rear brake bridge is slightly askew, so maybe it was just sloppy work on a bike meant for personal use, or maybe it was a post-'77 reject or a practice bike by a new brazer. The steerer tube is stamped Reynolds. The original dark gray, but it had been partially rattlecan'ed white. The right-side chainstay showed lots of chain slap. It had no decals. The headset threading was damaged from riding with a loose headset but fortunately not anywhere that mattered. When it was painted we discovered it had a small dent on the TT in a likely but harmless place. The fork crown was chromed but had been roughed up so much to hold paint that it needed re-painting. As I had built it up for a test ride:



Of the parts collected with the frame some like the Campy NR 52/49 crankset were apparently intended for it, some like the BB and headset didn't fit at all, some like the Suntour barcons and DuraAce brakes were mounted on the frame but obviously weren't original. Various dates for Cinelli stem/handlebar, derailleurs, etc. didn't match either themselves or the frame years. We obviously can't ask the guy who found it which parts were on it as found, and my friend doesn't clearly remember how he collected them himself. (And either my memory of his telling of the story isn't all that clear or he changed the details once or twice.)

But it sure rides nicely. Oh, and the RD has one of Henry III's long cages.
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Old 05-08-13, 08:46 PM
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I wonder how many people are still using those cages? When I see your bike Jim it brings me back to staying after school for hours getting these cut out. I had so many that fell between the slats of the water jet and lost probably half I cut out. My friend who is doing the associates program for welding/metal fab works for the school also and had to clean the sludge from the bottom waterjet and found a couple of the cages almost a year after. He mailed some to me and told me to clean up my crap in a little note. lol.
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Old 05-08-13, 09:36 PM
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In 1972 as a high school sophomore I was introduced to cycling and mechanics by our school's physics teacher. He was dedicated cyclist, commuting around 20 miles each way, year-round unless there was bad snow/ice. He bought a new PX10 the year before and I greatly admired that bike, even after I got my own racing machine the next year. Peugeots enjoyed a great reputation in the early '70s. He became a mentor in other areas and we had a great relationship but I graduated and then left the area. Two years after I graduated the school closed. I never stopped riding and working on bikes; my mentor gave me a lifetime gift.


There's a whole other story I could tell about how this next part happened, but to keep it short, I located and called him last summer, and we have stayed in touch ever since - including meeting at a reunion that I convinced him to attend last fall. At 80, he's still active and sharp, and he still has that PX10 - with 87,000 miles on it and replaced components. But he hasn't ridden since '95.


Last week we were chatting via email, and out of the blue he asked me if I would take the bike - "You are the one I would trust with that old bike. And I know you are capable of restoring it to its old function." 40 years later, the iconic bike that symbolized my entry to the joy of riding and mechanics is being passed to me, I'm more than honored. More to come once I visit him to pick it up.


DD - that Colnago is drop-dead beautiful.
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Old 05-09-13, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
In 1972 ..
These sort of stories give me hope for the human race
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Old 05-09-13, 07:24 AM
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Dang now that's an awesome story! Passing the torch along in the form of a PX10.
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Old 05-09-13, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
There's a whole other story I could tell about how this next part happened, but to keep it short, I located and called him last summer, and we have stayed in touch ever since - including meeting at a reunion that I convinced him to attend last fall. At 80, he's still active and sharp, and he still has that PX10 - with 87,000 miles on it and replaced components. But he hasn't ridden since '95.


Last week we were chatting via email, and out of the blue he asked me if I would take the bike - "You are the one I would trust with that old bike. And I know you are capable of restoring it to its old function." 40 years later, the iconic bike that symbolized my entry to the joy of riding and mechanics is being passed to me, I'm more than honored. More to come once I visit him to pick it up.
I had to do a triple-take on that mileage - whoah! I have never, ever heard anything like that quoted for miles ridden on a bike. Maybe I've just not been around enough, but I don't think so. A pro, maybe, but geez...

A heartwarming story; it sounds like that relationship is a gift that keeps on giving. Kudos to you for keeping in touch and keeping the flame (and thanks for the compliment on the 'Nago, too)

I'll be looking forward to more info/pics on this historic PX-10.

DD
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Old 05-09-13, 11:42 AM
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Not a typo! Don is a scientist - when I asked him how he knew that number he said: "I had an electronic device that recorded trip mileage, cumulative mileage, average speed, current speed and maximum speed as well as altitude gained on trip. It was powered by an induction coil at the fork/axle joint and a small magnet attached to the wheel hub. As the magnet on the hub passed the coil, a pulse of electricity was generated." - and he kept meticulous logs. His stories just keep going, but I think he started riding when he was in the Air Force in the mid-50's stationed in Germany. He bought a Raleigh Sports so he didn't have to use taxis when he missed the last bus from town to the base. Later he had the base machinist add cogs to make it a 9-speed and rode it over the Ahrlberg Pass.

Dug up some pics:


The only photo I have of him with the Peugeot is from 1976, 2 years after I graduated. Note the duct-taped shoes...


This is me mugging it up in '72, probably just before I took his course in cycling and mechanics. That wasn't my bike, I have no idea whose it was. Mine would have had toe clips and different brakes. And wingnuts on the front hub.



September 2012, in the courtyard where the old photos were taken.

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Old 05-09-13, 12:23 PM
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That's an 80 year old man? Sheet, he doesn't look a day over 60!

Very nice vintage pics; loving the tye-dyed trousers - they're boss

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Old 05-09-13, 12:27 PM
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See what 87,000 miles will do for you?
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Old 05-09-13, 01:27 PM
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I had to do a double take as I thought that was Horshack in that photo. That's an awesome story and he looks pretty darn good for his age. Maybe the famous and some women should read this. Get on a bike and pedal instead of getting a needle and being pumped with botox.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:33 PM
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Correction: he's only 79!
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Old 05-09-13, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
Someone here has nice Fuji Pro Super Record that has a nice story.

It belonged to a local GrandMaster in the Boston area who got into cycling late in life for health reasons. It was likely one of his first real bikes. Several years and several Bianchis and other bikes later he was a local fixture at training and sanctioned races in New England. In the early '90s he bought a Camerotti 'cross frame in for us to build up. For some reason the job was intrusted to me. He was so happy with how the bike turned out a few weeks later he walked in and presented my with the Fuji Pro, sans wheels, for doing such a great job for him.

I built a nice set of HF tubular wheels but alas it was too small so I passed it along shortly after becomeing a member here.

This sounds familiar.

https://vintagefuji.posthaven.com/198...l-super-record

From talking to a few of his friends, it was his first real bike. As I recall, he got it secondhand from a LBS owner in Rhode Island. The first owner also has a bit of history, although I don't think he had the bike for long.

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Old 05-10-13, 03:53 PM
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Every Ironman has a story.
The stuff of legends.
Maybe I should send Robert Downey Jr one.

Expecting less would be...

Un-Ironman.

A few years ago, I was approached by afilado. He knew I had a yen for Centurion Ironman bikes, and had found one, in my size, that was presented to him as pretty nice. It was the black '89 Expert, a really sharp bike to build. We agreed on a trade or price, and waited on the delivery, to him, and then to me.

A short while later, it arrived to him, and he called me. The frame was simply not up to his standards, and he was afraid I'd feel less than positive once I received it. He insisted on negotiating a fairer price, and sent it. Truly, a prince among peasants.

I got it, and I liked it, and I built it. However, I couldn't simply not get the colors I wanted, the build just didn't match whatever chaos was in my life at the time, and I decided to unbuild it. It sat for ages (like a month) in my garage.

Enter the Mighty Casey. thirdgenbird, a single man with a need for a bike for his girl. He'd seen the bike, and it was readily apparent that he had a vision for it that I lacked. I think we made some kind of deal, and the bike went to a good home. Giving your girl an Ironman, well, that's just better than any old stone that's been underground for 8 zillion years. It worked out well. Casey built a lot better bike than I could have, and of course, the girl agreed to marry him. How could any girl resist a man who built her an Ironman? No brainer.

I can't take credit for Casey being married, or for his girl being so intelligent as to realize an Ironman means forever. But that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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Old 05-10-13, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Every Ironman has a story.
...
Enter the Mighty Casey. thirdgenbird, a single man with a need for a bike for his girl.
Fascinating.

Tell me about Ironmans (Ironmen?). Since I'm in the process of reconstructing a highly-used I-man I must assume it has a story. Is generating a story required part of the pact of ownership?
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Old 05-10-13, 05:55 PM
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This is the exact same bike I delivered newspapers on when I was 14.
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Old 05-10-13, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Fascinating.

Tell me about Ironmans (Ironmen?). Since I'm in the process of reconstructing a highly-used I-man I must assume it has a story. Is generating a story required part of the pact of ownership?
The story of your bike was generated long, long ago, in a galaxy sorta far away. You must open yourself to the force, seek it's past, guard it's truth, and preserve the legend.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:00 PM
  #23  
jimmuller 
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Originally Posted by otg View Post
This is the exact same bike I delivered newspapers on when I was 14.
And that's the same bike on which he pulled away from us on the CCRT ride a month ago!
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Old 06-06-13, 08:20 PM
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I visited Don and came home with riches...the Peugeot:



Saddle, stem, crankset and brakes are original. Closeups will show the combined effect of 85k miles and a decade+ in the shed but overall this bike could be ridden pretty much as-is.

One of six logbooks he kept since 1971 detailing weekly mileage and every bit of maintenance:



His custom-made toolkit:





..along with boxes of parts and bits, a junior-size Raleigh Grand Prix (24" wheels, it was for his kids) and other goodies. I'll be starting a thread about my process of cleanup on this unique bike. It shows lots of wear when you close in on it, so advice will be welcome.

I also found out that this was his commuter ride, he also owned a Dawes Galaxy in the '80s - 90s that he put some 35k miles on - one of his children got that one. And I saw photos of him with his 9-speed Rudge conversion (SA hub and Simplex derailleur with triple cog) that he bought in Germany in the early '50s when he was in the Air Force stationed near Constanze. He rode that all over the mountains there...so this fellow must have logged around 150,000 lifetime miles. He's my hero.
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Old 06-06-13, 08:50 PM
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That PX-10 is lovely! But the handmade toeclips and wooden toolbox are priceless. Thing that were made by hand by someone who is important to us, things that they put their creativity and soul into; those are rare and wonderful gifts.
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