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 http://www.ciclipelizzoli.it/

Photos courtesy of Ciclicorsa.

Safe Riding,

James @ PVC



Monday, August 1, 2016

Pashley Speed 3 Special Edition

The Pashley Bicycle company in the UK was founded in 1926 and to celebrate the companies 90th year it has released two special edition bicycles. One is a steel road bicycle (that is well worth looking at), and the other is a special edition version of the Pashley 3 speed Guv'nor they've called the Speed 3 SE (Special Edition).



The Speed 3 SE, as the name suggests, is geared by the ever reliable Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. I have a 3 speed on my Guv'nor and it works beautifully - without fault every time. 

It's a pity the same cannot be said about the Guv'nor Speed 5, a British Racing Green version of the Guv'nor that supports a not so reliable Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub.... so to celebrate the occasion Pashley have chosen wisely by using a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub for this edition. 





I really like the way Pashley reintroduce old styling features on their special models. The Speed 3 SE has a frame mounted number plate (akin to the Speed 5) and proudly displays a stainless steel 1920's head badge that is unique to the 90th celebration models.



The SE head badge.



As you can see this edition also includes a special lug set that is unique to the model. The styling is reminiscent of the 1920's and the lugs are a typical example of decorative lugs used during this period of bicycle manufacturing.

The fork crown is quite different for this model. Again it's a feature that was more common on bicycles from the 1920's. It certainly adds to the unique styling of the bike.







Like the Speed 5 the Speed 3 rolls on black Schwalbe rubber as opposed to the white Schwalbe rubber on the traditional Guv'nor models. The finishing kit is from Brooks of course, so quality is never an issue.




The Speed 3 was first unveiled at the Eroica Britannia cycling event held at the Peak District National Park (UK) in June 2016. As you would expect the unveiling created a lot of interest for the Pashley brand.

You can buy the Speed 3 special edition in black, black, or black, so once you have made your colour choice the only thing left to do is to go to your local Pashley dealer and place an order. 

Safe riding,

James @ PVC.




Thursday, July 21, 2016

1950's French Randonneur Bicycles

French randonneur (or touring) bicycles of the 1940's and 50's have some particularly interesting history. These custom made aluminium bicycles were a testament to boutique bicycle manufacturers across the French countryside.

Compared to other bicycles built around the world at the time, most custom made randonneur bicycles were well ahead of the rest in terms of design and style. Custom built randonneur bicycles were quite expensive and due to their cost were often playthings for the rich and famous. Many examples still exist and are often sold at auction for reasonably high prices.

Here are some examples that sold recently at auction with dorotheum.com

Here is an AVIAC bicycle that was made in Courbevoie, near Paris in the 1950's. This was quite an advanced bicycle for it's time as it was made from lightweight aluminium and had cable routing that ran through the frame. This particular cycle has Simplex gearing. The hammered aluminium fenders are beautiful.

French AVIAC bicycle 1950's





Here is another from the same era made by MERCIER, this being the Mecadural Pelissier model. This was also very lightweight for its time. During this period aluminium could not be welded and so the lugs held the aluminium tubing together with expander bolts. Another breath taking example of the fine art of French bicycle manufacturing from the 1950's.


French MERCIER bicycle 1950's






Most randonneur bicycles had built in lighting systems to enable the traveller to ride at night. The 650B tyres were quite forgiving which enabled the randonneur rider to travel on rough roads throughout the French countryside.

Thanks very much to Bernhard Angerer for the great photos.

Safe riding...

James @ PVC.