18 September 2008
My new old road bike
Tiago, I know you've been waiting anxiously, so for you and everyone: here is my new, old, elegant bicycle for sport. It's the copper bike on top, a Raleigh Interational. This is the bike I will ride from country inn to country inn on vacation with my husband, who rides the red Pinarello. This is the bike I will ride when going several towns over. This is the elegant sporty club(wo)man bicycle which will be perfect for me after our Randonneur-type conversion and slight modernization.
This new bike was handmade in Carlton, England in August of 1974. It is Reynolds 531 throughout with chromed Nervex lugs, chrome stays, chromed fork. Full vintage Campagnolo (except brakes, which I intend to modernize anyway). The frame has a geometry somewhere between sport and touring, and is part of the inspiration for modern bikes like those sold by Rivendell but this one is recycled, with vintage flair, and some modernization challenges/opportunities. I can't ever do things the easy way anyhow.
I will hold on to my French road bicycle (a Courtois) because of the memories and because it is the bike that got me into cycling. It wouldn't fetch enough to be worth selling if I wanted to, which I don't. I'm a little sad that it won't be in full rotation anymore, but we knew when we bought it quickly in Paris that it was too small, but we had places to go and see and wanted to get on the road. I'm not getting any shorter for a long time yet (I hope!) so the new bike will be much easier on my back and knees. Plus it's pretty enough to hang on our living room wall as functional art.
On the fashion side, I tend to wear aquas, blues, and greens, and I thought the copper bike would complement my wardrobe nicely. I'm such a girl.