Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quill stem with 31.8mm clamp

The 31.8mm quill stem is an evolution in traditional quill stem design – simple yet clever. Cyclists have always wanted a classic looking quilled stem that could accommodate 31.8mm handlebars without having to use those ugly adapters. This is a very traditional looking stem that will compliment any vintage bike that needs a 1″ threaded headset.

Factory 5 Titan stem - 31.8mm clamp area



It’s incredibly light at 270g and will finally allow you to choose from the wide world of handlebar possibilities that have a clamp diameter of 31.8mm. The stem is made from 7075 aluminium and has a removable faceplate that is held in place with two stainless steel screws. 

The removable faceplate is a bonus as it enables you to remove the handlebars without disassembling your entire handlebar setup. It also allows you to fit the bars with ease as sometimes a traditional quilled stem is difficult to slide around the handlebar curves enroute to the clamping area.

The overall height of the stem is 150mm which allows for a height of 100mm above the minimum insertion line. This is a really good extension height considering that older cyclists prefer a more upright seating position and may require a higher set handlebar - this stem easily allows for extra height.

The stem is available in either a high silver polish or a deep black anodized finish. It is available in two extension lengths depending on the brand you by – extension lengths are 80 or 90mm only.

Factory 5 stem with Ritchey Classic 31.8mm handlebars

The stem is similar in styling to the Shimano 600 AX stem of old but as mentioned before it now provides you with a huge range of modern drop handlebar options with a 31.8 clamp area, especially modern road handlebars with short drops which are very comfortable and practical.

As with all cycling gear the price range varies dramatically across differing brands as below: 


       JRI Rigg stem          US$139.00           silver/black        90mm extension only



          Factory 5 Titan stem         US$ 99.00         silver/black     90mm extension only


            Senqi stem             US$ 30.00          silver only            90mm extension only


         J & L vintage classic   US$ 38.00          silver only         80mm extension only


I’ve just bought one for a 1990’s Colnago Super build and will post some pics when it’s done.

A quilled stem well worth considering that will increase your choice in modern handlebar options.

Safe riding.

James @ PVC



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

1989 Colnago Master Pui

Here is something very easy on the eye - a 1989 Colnago Master Pui. 

The Master Pui is a variant of the Master series of Colnago steel framed bicycles. The Pui versions were introduced from 1988 onwards and are highly prized collectable bikes.

Ernest Colnago started making steel framed bikes in 1952 and was a bike mechanic for Faliero Masi in 1955. The Colnago brand continued on with great success and in 1963 was a big part of the Molteni Racing Team that developed the cycling legend Eddy Merckx.

The Colnago Master series of steel bicycle frames are still manufactured today, although they are a very rare sight on a Sunday morning ride.

Enjoy this one.....chromed lugs, chromed fork, built with Columbus nivachrome 'Gilco' shaped steel tubing, and dripping with a Campagnolo C Record groupset including Delta brakes. The pantographing on the frame also makes it a standout model.

























If you have an interest in Colnagos here is a great photo titled 'The Colnago Rainbow' that includes 6 Colnago steel framed bicycles manufactured between 1974 to 1982 (ROYGBIV).


The Colnago Rainbow

Thanks to the Velo Classics website for the image.

Safe riding.

James @ PVC.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

De Rosa Nuovo Classico

Although it's not a real vintage bike, this De Rosa Nuovo Classico is of vintage heritage and well worth a look. 

Fitted with a Campagnolo Record 11 speed drive train and a Campagnolo Eurus wheel set this example is sweet on the eye and very desirable for any cyclist with an interest in steel. The frame has chromed lugs on the head tube and a chromed chain stay - typically classic. 

You can still have a vintage styled steel bike with the absolute convenience and reliability of a modern drive train.

I love steel.....but for me the drawcard to this frame is the De Rosa pantograph work on the fork crown (image #6). De Rosa have faithfully maintained this beautiful element in their steel frames - something that other manufacturers have simply forgotten.

Well done De Rosa!!


















Thanks to 'Ciclicorsa' (Italy) for the images, have look at their impressive website for more De Rosa models.

Safe riding..

James @ PVC

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Unusual bike paths

Christmas has come and gone again as Santa rides off into the distance. Another year has almost passed us by with only a few more days of 2016 remaining.

Once the silly season has passed it will be nice to get out on the bike again. My plan is to ride more during 2017!

To minimise risk on the roads next year I'll probably spend more time on cycle paths and so I conducted a bit of online research to discover if there were any new cycle paths in my local area. During this research I came across a few examples of cycle paths that were not quite designed to be cycle friendly. 

Here are a few images of some 'not so bike friendly' cycle paths......














The path below appears relatively safe but just doesn't make sense....




...and of course whilst on the road the usual cycle hazards will be ever present!!!






Safe riding....

James @ PVC.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Brooks Swift - Vans Vault Edition

Brooks England have always been creative with their leather bicycle saddles and for some years now have been releasing limited edition carved saddles. 

I have a Brooks Team Pro saddle with the Alpe Huez design (pictured below) that was released in limited numbers in 2010.







Its amazingly striking design is based on the topography of the famous Tour de France hillclimb. It's still in it's original box and is such a lovely piece of leather that I haven't fitted it to a bike as yet.

Brooks have only this week released a new saddle design in conjunction with Vans, the footwear company. The Brooks Swift Vans Vault Edition features laser etched artwork and intricate detailing from designer Taka Hayashi - the Vans shoe design guru.




Brooks Swift Vans Vault





Technical Information
  • LENGTH :          272 mm 
  • WIDTH :            150 mm 
  • HEIGHT :            72 mm 
  • WEIGHT :          510 g 
  • FRAME :            Chromium Plated Steel 
  • RIDE STYLE :   Road&MTB

Confirmed sneakerhead Taka Hayashi.

As you can see it's a beautiful looking saddle that is only available in honey coloured leather. The saddles are exclusively numbered from 1 to 1866. The number 1866 is of great significance to the Brooks company as this was the year that the company was founded by John Boultbee Brooks - 2016 being their 150th anniversary.

The saddles are only available from the Brooks England website at 200 Euro a piece. Maybe a post Christmas present for ones self!

Safe riding...

James @ PVC.

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.