Monday, October 28, 2013

Fremantle Tweed Run 2013 - Promo

This year the Fremantle Tweed Run is again sponsored by and the Fremantle City Council as part of the Fremantle Festival 2013. It is an event that allows Tweedsters to participate in a leisurely bike ride through the beautiful and historic Fremantle townsite whilst wearing their dapperest attire. 

All interested ladies and gentlemen are invited, and all are encouraged to dress for the special are most welcome too! Vintage bicycles are also encouraged, but any bike that doesn't go too fast will also be allowed.

This years event is to be held on Sunday November 3, 2013, and will commence at Pioneer Reserve in Fremantle at midday. Pioneer Reserve is the park on the corner of Market Street and Phillimore Street (the park opposite the Fremantle Train Station). It's a great location for the good times to commence.

Here is this years poster to advertise the event.

At 2.00pm the group will leave Pioneer Reserve and ride through the streets of Fremantle on a controlled designated route. After a short stop for some photography near the river the ride will continue to the North Fremantle Bowling Club. Arrival at the bowling club is expected to be at about 3.00pm. 

Festivities, including live swing music, will continue at the Bowling Club until everyone has had enough! The bowling club is located on Thompson Road, North Fremantle.

Last years event was great...although the the weather was not so favorable. At this stage the weather this year is looking good!!

For more info please go to:  or

Here are some images from past years to wet your appetite....

It would certainly be grand to see you there in your finery.

Safe riding from James @ PVC.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ganna Bicycles

The history behind many Italian and French cycling brands is very interesting - and the GANNA brand is no exception.

Luigi GANNA was born in Induno Olana, Italy, on December 1, 1883. He died at the age of 73 years on October 2, 1957. 

GANNA was an Italian professional road racing cyclist and the legendary highlight of his cycling career was his overall win in the first Giro d'italia that was held in 1909. The 1909 Giro was a gruelling cycle race of 2448 kilometres where only 49 of the 127 competitors managed to complete the course.

In his younger days GANNA worked as a brick layer many miles from where he lived and so he rode his bicycle to and from work each day. The roads were rough and this daily exercise enabled him to become a very strong and talented rider.

His enjoyment of cycling led him to entering local cycling competitions where he regularly won. After convincing wins he realized that the skills he had gained on his daily rides to work were worthy of him becoming a professional cyclist. 

Luigi GANNA  1883 - 1957

GANNA competing in the 1909 Giro d'italia

In 1912 GANNA successfully commenced building and marketing his own line of bicycles, and continued to manufacture fine bicycles until his death in 1957. The GANNA name was carried on after his death until in 1985 the company was bought out by Giubilato. 

Fortunately many bicycle collectors appreciated his work and added his finely crafted steel framed machines to their collections. 

Here are some images of one of his wonderful creations that was built just before his death. It is the Bonvicini Torino Mezza Corsa bicycle from the 1950's that carries an original Campagnolo gruppo from the era.


Images courtesy of Vintage Speed Bicycles, Switzerland. 

What a beautiful machine that would add value to any collection!

Safe riding,

James @ PVC

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tange Prestige chromed fork

I do like older steel bicycle frames, especially when the frame is graced with chromed lugs, a chromed fork, or both. 

For many years steel was the choice of master frame builders throughout Europe and these quality built frames often had some type of chromed highlight or feature. The chromed features were usually complimented by chromed headsets, chromed stems, and other chromed steel or polished aluminium components.

Some manufacturers chromed the chain stays on their frames, others chromed the seat stays, but the most popular chromed feature was the chroming of the front forks.

A row of 1980's steel lugged Colnago frames with chromed forks.

1980's Masi steel lugged frames with chromed features.

Indeed today, most European brands still make steel framed bicycles to satisfy the wants and needs of the nostalgic cyclist, although they rarely have chromed features. This is most likely attributed to the high costs involved in the chroming process that is now seen to be very environmentally 'unfriendly' due to the toxic chemicals that are used.

There are a few modern steel frames on the market that do have chromed features, unfortunately they are usually accompanied with very heavy price tags.

Wishing to upgrade the fork on my 2010 Masi Speciale steel frame I was keen to get hold of a chromed steel fork....but after considerable research I discovered that this was not going to be an easy task! 

Firstly the frame required a fork with a threadless (a-head) 1 1/8 inch diameter steerer, it had to be made for a 700c wheel, and drilled to accommodate a recessed mounting bolt for a modern brake setup.....and so my search commenced.

After much inquiry I could only find two options available:

The first fork I found was from Brick Lane Bikes in London. This fork was fantastic, it met my requirements and also had a double crown fork design - the double crown design was stunning and is a feature rarely seen on modern frames. Unfortunately they were made in very limited numbers and were sold out at the time of my inquiry.

Brick Lane Bikes double crown fork design.

My next, and only other option, was a fork made in Japan by Tange. It was called the Tange Prestige chromed fork and it had beautifully crafted lugs. This fork was difficult to locate, and after much inquiry and consideration I eventually ordered one through my local bike shop. 

Tange Prestige fork.

After the fork arrived I measured the steerer length and cut it to size. I then fitted the fork to the frame. Here are some comparative images below...

Masi Speciale with standard Masi fork.

Masi Speciale with Tange Prestige chromed fork.

.....and some more images with a bit more detail.

This is a very nice chromed fork and is truly reminiscent of a bygone cycling era. As steel framed bicycles become more and more popular I can clearly see chromed steel forks and other chromed steel components re-emerging into the market. 

Safe riding....

James @ PVC.