Saturday, January 2, 2010

A mixture of old and new(ish)

Now that Michael, Dede and their family are living permanently in Girona my wife Clare and I are making several trans-Atlantic flights a year. The cost of bringing a bike is getting prohibitive. A couple of weeks before I left this time I decided to leave a bike here. There was a spare Chorus group in Girona so all I needed to take over was a frame and a few parts. I sorted through what I had at the shop and came up with a 1988 Bianchi SL frame. Close inspection revealed why it had been hanging up on a hook in the ceiling for years, there was a crack in the bottom bracket shell. I cut the old shell out and brazed in a new one. There was no Bianchi fork but I had an NOS Cinelli B fork from around 1970. I asked Noah Rosen (Velocolour) to give the frame, fork, Silca pump and some appropriate Italian mudguards a paint job in the old Coppi era celeste with vintage decals. I now have a great retro looking bike with a relatively modern ten speed Ergo group. The best of both Worlds I reckon.

A pause for a rest on the road to Rocacorba

Noah at Velocolour did a great job bringing the old frame back to life.

Mudguards and Silca pump painted to match.

Fenders are not a bad idea even in Spain in the winter.


simon lamb said...


Michael sent me a link to your blog as he knows I like bianchi and Coppi. I just wanted to ask if you minded me adding a link to your blog from mine and for me to write a short feature on your beautiful bikes.


La Gazzetta Della Bici

fred said...

[The cost of bringing a bike is getting prohibitive. A couple of weeks before I left this time I decided to leave a bike here. ]
For a man like yourself, Mike, who has no shortage of machines, it makes perfect sense.

It has many pluses. Less to worry about when travelling, less expense (unless a charter) far less hassle in packaging and setting back up the way it was, ability to take a bus from the airport if need be, and a *huge* factor right now, not dealing with idiot security people and *CUSTOMS*! Any mud an a machine, especially from farming nations, and they can charge you up the wazoo to sterilize the machine. My last experience turned out to be a bit of a nightmare, not Customs themselves, who turned out to be very helpful after an initial bad apple, but the carriers themselves seem to have no idea about what they are doing, legally, customs wise, or morally. Most couldn't give a &^%#. (Handlers, that is)

And that cracked BB hub?

In retrospect, I wonder if the initial damage on my beloved cnary yellow Alcyon, which I had to eventually scrap, wasn't done at the same time I had to replace the down tube (531) from being sent down the normal baggage chute at LAX (Los Angeles, I'd spent considerable time in San Diego).

Fissures can be triggered, and then spread with time and stress. (Think a cracked windshield)

Flying used to be more however. And with a quality machine? It's nerve wracking beyond what even flying without is.

So congratulations, it now makes it that much easier to fly over on a whim (or after finding a really cheap fare) and a trusted stead awaits you.

Oh've got me salivating at the thought.

Must be something in the Geneva Convention about these Winters....

Great machine, btw. What strikes me about it is how *pragmatic* and simple it is.

The only thing 'odd' is the new-style brake-levers. Always finding older machines in good shape, and older parts, I'm still with the flying loops above the handlebars.

I note the braze-on for the front derailleur, but what of the tires? Are they 28c?

Anonymous said...

Mike -- What a beautiful machine!
The classic form and that iconic celeste paint make my heart ache with jealousy. Nice job.

OAP said...

As always, a classy and lovely bike from Mike.

Unknown said...

Looks really great..
My bianchi has a similar flavor, mix of old and new..

I've been really wanting a set of fenders like yours to finish it off.. Any details on what they are specifically and where they are from? did they come painted or was that done at the same time as the frame?

Bicycle Specialties said...

The fenders are some old stock Italian ones that I bought years ago. I still have some available for sale at $80.00 per pair. They are stainless steel but can be painted to any colour by Noah Rosen at Velocolour.
If anyone is interested in a pair contact me at:

Mike Barry