Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sir Hubert Opperman's Malvern Star

During a recent trip to Melbourne, Victoria, I visited the National Sports Museum located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). 

On display was an amazing representation of Australian sporting history that captures football, cricket, and Olympic history.  It also includes other amazing Australian sporting achievements.

A trip to Melbourne is definitely not complete without a tour of the MCG and the National Sports Museum. It's a 'must do' whilst in Melbourne.

Of great interest to me was the display of Sir Hubert Opperman's Malvern Star 5 Star bicycle that he rode in 1940 to create a 24 hour world cycling record and other distance records. His original world record bike is on display and it's been beautifully maintained. 

Google his name to learn of his significance to Australian cycling history.

Here are some images of the bike...

There was definitely none of this going on during Hubert's world record attempt!!

The display represents an amazing piece of Australia cycling history. The bike is encased in a perspex cabinet so good photographs are very difficult to take.....but you get the idea.

This display is complimented by another display that represents a great Australian sporting achievement of equal greatness...

... the bicycle ridden by Cadel Evans during his 2011 Tour de France victory. No need to Google Cadel's name, you know he's a legend!!

Ride safe...

James @ PVC.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mottainai Cycles, Melbourne.

Tucked away at the end of a small Collingwood laneway awaits a unique bicycle store named Mottainai Cycles.

'Mottainai' (pronounced Mote-tie-nigh) is an old Buddhist word meaning "What a waste!" or "Don't waste." 

An English equivalent is the saying "Waste not, want not." A more elaborate meaning conveys a sense of value and worthiness and may be translated as "do not destroy (or lay waste to) that which is worthy". 

Mottainai Cycles excels in restoring vintage bicycles to their former glory and encourages the recycling philosophy that its name suggests. Waste not what can be restored! Focusing on the restoration of vintage and steel lugged bikes the shop is a treasure trove of valuable vintage and second hand bicycle parts from all over the world. 

I recently visited the store and was very impressed with the lay back nature of a productive bicycle store that adds immense value to the local cycling community. Melbourne has a very busy cycling culture and Mottainai Cycles certainly adds to the cultures diversity.

The mural on the workshop wall adds to the relaxed atmosphere of the store.

On entry I was greeted by a Gazelle road bike on display, probably circa 1980's. A fine example of a Dutch vintage road bike that is worthy of any vintage collection.

I was blown away with the vast array of bicycle frames, forks, and vintage parts on hand. I could have spent hours looking at the large number of parts in the store but I was short of time. 

There was a good selection of high-end restored European classic road bikes - and (surprisingly) they were well priced.

After each Mottainai restoration the proud owner is asked to accompany their valued bicycle in a photo shoot. A number of these photos are posted regularly on the Mottainai blog page, click on the link here to see more of their wonderful restorations.

If you're in Melbourne and restoring a vintage bike a visit to the shop is a must. Forget'll find all you need at a reasonable price at Mottainai Cycles.

The store is located down the laneway at 23 Johnson Street, Collingwood. The shop is closed on Tuesdays but open every other day of the week. Check the blog page or the web for trading times. 

Safe riding...

James @ PVC.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

De Rosa 35th Anniversary Special

In 1953 Ugo De Rosa established De Rosa Cycles in Milan, Italy. In 1988 to help celebrate 35 years of bicycle manufacturing De Rosa released a Signature Edition 35th Anniversary frame - the Model 35 Anniversario. 

This edition became highly collectable as only about 350 frames were produced worldwide with only 55 frames making it to the US. The bike was made from Columbus SLX tubing and came in a 'pearl white' colour with a chrome rear chain stay and had a unique 'red rose' decal on the head tube. 

The bike originally came as a complete bike with Campagnolo C-Record cranks that had Ugo's signature engraved on them.

This particular example is fitted with a Campagnolo 50th Anniversary groupset. This groupset was made in 1983 which was also the year that the founder of Campagnolo, Tullio Campagnolo, passed away. 

It appears as though the owner of this bike swapped out the original C-Record set with the 50th anniversary Campagnolo set - a fitting tribute for such a fine frame.

Here are some more images for you to enjoy....

This is a magnificent example of the impact that De Rosa has had on the cycling industry for many years. The 35 Anniversario model pictured here is still stunning to look at even though it is now some 28 years old. 

De Rosa still make beautiful steel frames today. Their chrome lugged 'Nuovo Classico' model is made each year and is built to accomodate new 11 speed groupsets. With the rise in popularity of steel framed bicycles De Rosa have also introduced the 'Age' series of fillet brazed steel frames that are also very attractive and versatile.

Safe riding...

James @ PVC.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Masi bicycles 90th anniversary

Originally a bicycle brand from Italy, Masi bicycles are now owned by the Haro brand in the US.

The brand has an interesting history that commenced in the 1950's in Italy. Faliero Masi, who was a professional bicycle racer and bicycle mechanic, turned his hand to building bicycles that were outstanding in their day. The Masi brand was later taken to the US by Faliero, whilst his son Alberto continued to build bicycles in Italy.

The year 2016 marks the 90th anniversary of the Masi brand so they held a celebratory screening of the movie 'Breaking Away' which is a cycling flick made in 1979. 

The movie is significant to the Masi brand as it follows the life of a young cyclist named Dave Stoller (played by Dennis Christopher) who became obsessed with cycling after winning a Masi bicycle. The bicycle he won and raced was the Gran Criterium model which has long been the flagship model of the brand.

At the same event Masi released a book to commemorate the event called 'Ninety Years of Masi' by Dominic Phipps. The book is for sale on the Masi Bikes website - a must have for any Masi enthusiast!

On display during the event were some classic Masi bicycles pictured below that were well appreciated by die hard Masi fans.

An edition of the steel framed Masi Gran Criterium is still released each and every year. Masi have just announced that the 2017 Gran Criterium will come in a choice of two colours, silvery blue or classic red.

An image of the silvery blue 2017 edition Gran Criterium is pictured below. They'll be released in the near future and can be purchased directly from the Masi website here or from the Adrenaline Bikes website here 

Adrenaline Bikes are based in Orange County, California, and are famous for specialising in new steel framed bicycles from a large number of Italian bicycle manufactures such as Bianchi, Cinelli, De Rosa, and Colnago. Their website is well worth a look.

The 2017 Gran Criterium
The Gran Criterium can be purchased as a complete bicycle or an individual frame. The complete bicycles are fitted with the new Campagnolo 11 speed Potenza groupset. 

The new Campagnolo Potenza gruppo replaces the old Athena series. It's unusual four arm crank has not been particularly well received by those cyclists wanting a more traditional looking crank for a new steel frame. Oh well, thats progress! 
Safe riding,

James @ PVC

Sunday, August 21, 2016

1979 Ciocc San Cristobal

Cast your eyes over this magnificent example of a Ciocc San Cristobal built in 1979. The paintwork features gold plating to the head tube, front fork, seat stays and chain stays. The remainder of the lugged steel frame is painted metallic white.

The bike was displayed in a bike shop for almost 35 years and has only been lightly ridden. It's in an amazing condition apart from a small paint chip on the down tube near the right gear shifter. The Ciocc decals are in superb condition.

The bike is built with a Campagnolo Super Record groupset and has drilled gear shifters, a Cinelli 1R  'Ostini' pantographed stem, and a Campagnolo Record seat post.

The Ciocc brand was founded by Giovanni Pelizzoli in the late 1960's. At one stage Giovanni built De Rosa frames. Today he occasionally restores Ciocc bicycles and has signed this fine example of a Ciocc San Cristobal on the top tube as seen below.

Although the Ciocc brand was on sold in 1980, Giovanni Pelizzoli (pictured above) still produces modern steel frames today under the Pelizzoli brand. See his new frames at

Photos courtesy of Ciclicorsa.

Safe Riding,

James @ PVC