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What is your grail bike and why?

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What is your grail bike and why?

Old 02-19-17, 11:44 AM
  #176  
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My Holy Grail, is a 70'ish Chrome Schwinn Paramont, with Campy Groupo. This is what I wanted back in my early teens. KB
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Old 02-19-17, 07:04 PM
  #177  
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I have some grail bikes so I am more than satisfied, & grateful, as they'll serve me a lifetime of pleasure.

If I were to expand further? Look Bernard Hinault 753, curly stays Hetchins, Bob Jackson, perhaps a few more with more thought.

Sure, there's snootier stuff with a diminishing return & bragging rights. But the 3 I listed above serve as artwork, as they are beautiful in my beholding eye.
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Old 02-19-17, 09:46 PM
  #178  
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I would like to have a Coppi, Anquetil, and Merckx. The gaspipe cheapos from the early 70's, with the photo of the racer on the headtube.
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Old 02-19-17, 09:52 PM
  #179  
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Cinelli Starship would be nice. And will eventually be a good vintage.
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Old 02-19-17, 11:19 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
No. No grail bike for me. No bike that's too special to ride. No bike that's so cool that I'd rather ride a different one. I've been there. Done that. Glad I was able to sell them.
My International isn't a grail bike (they were never imported to Australia) but a combination of two bikes I had as a kid - a Raleigh Grand Prix and a custom built by/for myself TdF bike, Reynolds, Campag etc etc.

A 60s Bianchi racer with steel cottered cranks would be nice as they were the bikes I lusted after as a teen as well, but now I already have two cottered cranked boom bikes so I don't need it or have the space for any more.

I'm thinking of donating one to a bike shop for display.
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Old 02-20-17, 05:57 AM
  #181  
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
As I study all the really great bikes here on BF forums, lots of beautiful, rare bikes with great workmanship, I'm reminded what a lucky sot I am. I already have my grail bike: 1976 Raleigh Professional, blue/silver/chrome, all 531 pipes and lotsa Campagnolo bling. I didn't even know when I got it 18 months ago that it was a "grail". The CL ad just said '4 vintage bikes' and the blurred photo sure looked like a Mk IV. It was and I took 3 of the 4 home.

I've come to love it and have ridden over a 1000 miles on it. It's no collectors bike/garage queen. Too many flaws but still a great ride. Every time I see an awesome bike photo here on C&V I stare and appreciate it but then say things like:
I really like the Mk IV fork rake and angle better
I really like the length of the chrome socks on my forks or my stays better.
I really like having chrome on all 4 stays
I really like how Worksop finished the joint between the DOs and the stays. Nice work.
I really like the parallel head and ST angles and the long point lugs
and on and on and on......

Not judgmental. They're all great looking and riding bikes. But I'm lucky enough to get, then grow into the Mk IV. It just really suits me.

I agree with Prowler. Once in a while, something beckons your heart. There is one thing that constantly encourages your soul that it was done to your taste, almost as if it was your personal custom. The one bike your cherish and cannot walk away from without an admiring glance at it as you depart.

For him, it appears to be his Raleigh. That blue is so beautiful.
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Old 02-20-17, 06:54 AM
  #182  
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Two bikes I would consider anything near Grail bikes are setting behind me now . Neither a really rare There was a time I couldn't afford a decent bike I drooled over a custom flat bar Surly LHT in olive green , and the second just got here last week like new Raleigh Sports new brooks B72 saddle is on it waiting for tire to come to replace the original tires on it from 75
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Old 02-20-17, 07:40 AM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by St33lWh33ls View Post
IMHO these examples are what really constitutes grail status. I think grail status for a lot of bikes in this thread is a misnomer, although probably politically incorrect I think a "10" status is more appropriate for most of these bikes. Grail, IMHO, = unobtainium.
The issue with unobtainium is that factors like money and accessibility apply whereas for 10 bikes they don't. Eg. Your neighbor owns that chainless bike and he doesn't care for it so it is accessible for you and therefore "not" a Grail. Conversely, a kid making minimum wage can't afford an entry level colnago (let's day these are relatively "common" for argument's sake), and therefore "not" a Grail but he may never own one for 10 years, so for him despite being a common bike, it really may be unobtainable simply because he can't afford it (even though it might not be expensive to that many other people).

I think "the" Grail bike is whatever bike makes a person most happy to ride/own. Perhaps it can be defined as the one bike you would own if you could only own one bike.

Most difficult bike to buy/own is a different discussion, IMO anyways.

Last edited by armstrong101; 02-20-17 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:25 AM
  #184  
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First I want to emphasize that this is just my opinion and in no way attempts to invalidate your opinion.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
The issue with unobtainium is that factors like money and accessibility apply whereas for 10 bikes they don't.
To me a grail bike like the holy grail is difficult to find and obtain regardless of your ability to purchase it. The bike would be special beyond it's intrinsic value in someway, for instance a bike with special provenance or historical significance. Maybe something built in small numbers like a Confente or historically special like a Herse or just plain rare like the 1901 Pierce Chainless. "10" bikes can still be expensive but are easily found and show up frequently.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Eg. Your neighbor owns that chainless bike and he doesn't care for it so it is accessible for you and therefore "not" a Grail.
The 1901 Pierce Chainless would be special or in my opinion a grail regardless of my neighbors feelings about the bike. It is a very rare bicycle that typically brings between $3500-$4500 at auction in that condition, that particular bicycle sold for $7,750. So if he wants to sell it for a couple hundred bucks thats his loss; knowledge is power.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Conversely, a kid making minimum wage can't afford an entry level colnago (let's day these are relatively "common" for argument's sake), and therefore "not" a Grail but he may never own one for 10 years, so for him despite being a common bike, it really may be unobtainable simply because he can't afford it (even though it might not be expensive to that many other people).
I have a 1970 Chrome Paramount P13-9, it's a very nice bike that I have wanted for about a decade. I had one years ago and it was lost when a hurricane wiped out my home. Now I have read more than once on this forum that a chrome Paramount was someone's grail and that's fine, they are nice bikes and they can be expensive depending on model and condition. Truth be told they are not that hard to find, there is one on EBay right now, so nice?, yes, grail?, probably not.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
I think "the" Grail bike is whatever bike makes a person most happy to ride/own. Perhaps it can be defined as the one bike you would own if you could only own one bike.
I see what you're saying and I don't necessarily disagree. You're saying that grail is relative to someone being able to obtain it and can be any bicycle. In other words one man's Huffy grail could be another man's Confente grail. This is certainly a valid opinion, I just disagree with the relativism as explained below in my definition of grail

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Most difficult bike to buy/own is a different discussion, IMO anyways.
IMO most difficult bike to buy/own/find is exactly what Holy Grail means, in this context a difficult quest to find something rare. To me that is what constitutes a grail bike (example-Confente) and elevates it above a really nice bike (example-Paramount), or a "10" if you will.

Respectfully, just my opinion
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Old 02-21-17, 11:29 AM
  #185  
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My grail would be a Bianchi that's dirt cheap!

20 years ago a guy in my riding club had one, and it seemed like the lightest, most beautiful, and the most unattainable bike I ever had seen.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:41 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by St33lWh33ls View Post
IMO most difficult bike to buy/own/find is exactly what Holy Grail means,
The topic of this thread is "your grail" bike, as opposed to, what in your opinion, is THE holy grail bike. Not exactly the same thing, so that's where the disagreement occurs. But the OP asked for YOUR GRAIL bike, not what do u think is THE HOLY GRAIL bike.
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Old 02-21-17, 11:50 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
The topic of this thread is "your grail" bike, as opposed to, what in your opinion, is THE holy grail bike. Not exactly the same thing, so that's where the disagreement occurs. But the OP asked for YOUR GRAIL bike, not what do u think is THE HOLY GRAIL bike.
My apologies, I did not realize there was a difference, there was only one grail in this context right?

I realize that there are other definitions, but not in a context that would relate to this subject.

Anyone?
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Old 02-21-17, 12:09 PM
  #188  
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The OP (I believe) wanted people to list their single favorite ride/bike. He used the word "grail" to elicit replies, and I think most people here replied in a manner that the OP intended.

I will also say, that, "What is your grail bike", vs "What in your opinion is The Holy Grail bike" can lead to different replies from the same individual.

I could define my grail bike as a 7-11 Merckx in SLX in my size decked out with full minty DA.

But my opinion of the Holy Grail bike? Probably the Colnago given to the Pope.
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Old 02-21-17, 12:10 PM
  #189  
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We're arguing semantics here, if you haven't figured it out.
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Old 02-21-17, 12:16 PM
  #190  
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My grail bike is whichever one chance leads me to next
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Old 02-21-17, 12:50 PM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
We're arguing semantics here, if you haven't figured it out.
Sure we are, which goes back to my original point, grail is misused in this context. A grail is just a cup or saucer by definition. A holy grail implies a single special cup that knights went through a great deal of trouble-quest to find. IMO the later is what most people are thinking when they say grail. Again JMHO, YMMV.
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Old 02-21-17, 12:53 PM
  #192  
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Here are a few suggestions:

Mid-50s to late 70s Cinelli Supercorsa
Tommasini Prestige, Super Prestige, Sintesi, Tecno, Mach
De Rosa - any of the steel bikes; Treduecinque
Any steel Spectrum / or any other bike built by Tom Kellogg
Any steel bike built personally by Tom Ritchey
Any bike built by one of the Konno family members in Japan (3Rensho, Cherubim, etc.)
Peugeot PY-10
Anything by IF, Seven Cycles or Moots in titanium
Older steel Serotta bikes
Serotta titanium bikes
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Old 02-21-17, 01:08 PM
  #193  
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Originally Posted by St33lWh33ls View Post
Sure we are, which goes back to my original point, grail is misused in this context. A grail is just a cup or saucer by definition. A holy grail implies a single special cup that knights went through a great deal of trouble-quest to find. IMO the later is what most people are thinking when they say grail. Again JMHO, YMMV.
There is enough wiggle room in modern context/vernacular for someone to ask you "What is your grail bike", but to actually mean, (1) "What is your most favorite bike", as opposed to, (2) "What in your opinion is The Holy Grail bike? I think the meanings of 1 and 2 are slightly different and I believe that was the intent of the OP was #1, not #2. And given the replies in this thread, that was probably the assumption of most of those who responded.

In other words, #1 is asking you a personal question; as an individual, what do you deem is the most favorite bike to you?
#2 is asking an impersonal question, and is looking more for a consensus reply that many individuals would agree to; as a society, what is the Holy Grail bike?
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Old 02-21-17, 01:44 PM
  #194  
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1948 Legnano equipped with Campagnolo Cambio Corsa groupset as ridden by G Bartali in his TdF win that year. That said, I have never ridden any of the rarified high end Italians (Bianchi, DeRosa, Cinelli, Colonago) so dont know what I would think of them. For the historical aspect, the '48 Legnano would be very sweet imo.
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Old 02-21-17, 01:55 PM
  #195  
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
There is enough wiggle room in modern context/vernacular for someone to ask you "What is your grail bike", but to actually mean, (1) "What is your most favorite bike", as opposed to, (2) "What in your opinion is The Holy Grail bike? I think the meanings of 1 and 2 are slightly different and I believe that was the intent of the OP was #1, not #2. And given the replies in this thread, that was probably the assumption of most of those who responded.

In other words, #1 is asking you a personal question; as an individual, what do you deem is the most favorite bike to you?
#2 is asking an impersonal question, and is looking more for a consensus reply that many individuals would agree to; as a society, what is the Holy Grail bike?
Grail=Holy Grail

Don't take my word for it, look it up. If we can't agree on that we are just running in circles.
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Old 02-21-17, 03:47 PM
  #196  
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I posit there is a difference between YOUR grail and THE holy grail.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:46 PM
  #197  
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LOL, it's not MY grail, it's every dictionary's description of grail. Don't shoot the messenger. If we agree there is one grail as described in every dictionary we can move on to opinion on how it pertains to bicycles.
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Old 02-21-17, 04:56 PM
  #198  
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Pegoretti big leg Emma -- quirky and hopefully painted while listening to jazz.
Just because.
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Old 02-21-17, 05:01 PM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by dunrobin View Post
Pegoretti big leg Emma -- quirky and hopefully painted while listening to jazz.
Just because.
I had to look that one up, as Arty would say...very interesting.
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Old 02-21-17, 05:04 PM
  #200  
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OP here: I deliberately left it up to personal interpretation, hence the "and why" part of the question.

For me when I made this post it was a Fuji Opus III. Now while I still recognize that as a beautiful, hard-to-find bike, I've learned a lot more and now I think my grail bike would be a French Technical Trials bike from the '30s or '40s. One of the winners like a Jo Routens or René Herse.

My definition of "grail" has changed, and that's fine. Language is inherently mutable and subjective.
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