Hi, I'm new to the list, so as suggested, here's my Intro: My current bikes are:
1) Early to mid-80's Raleigh Team Replica, the top tube decal says "Raleigh USA" instead of "Racing USA", but it's painted in the Racing USA color scheme (red main triangle, black fork and black rear triangle). Tubing is double-butted Reynolds 531C. I purchased this bike last year from the original owner. It's in mint condition and came equipped with a Campy SR group with the exception of C-Rec hoods/levers, and hubs. The bars and stem are Cinelli, seat is a Concor. It has the Raleigh Nottingham headbadge, but I'd like to know if it's from the Nottingham factory or the Ikeston shop. I have not been able to find out much more about these frames except that they were sold as framesets only to the public. Ride is very nice...smooth, fast, and stable. Based the serial number information that I found on Tabula's Retro Raleigh web site, my frame would be one of the last to come out of Nottingham before the works were sold to Derby. I would appreciate any additional information about this frame.
To see pictures of this bike, go to the following link:
2)Mid to late-80's Nishiki Tri-A, Tange 1 tubes, Shimano 600 group, indexed DT shifters. I read the recent thread on Nishikis with much interest as I've always wondered about the history of Nishiki. I've always thought that the frame was very well put together. I purchased this bike used about 5 years ago when I was looking to get back into serious riding after a very long lay-off.
Question: Would either of these bikes rightly be considered a "classic" to be discussed on this list?
I was a teenager in the bike-boom 70's. My first serious bike was a 1974 Raleigh Supercourse. I begged my dad to buy me the Raleigh to replace my Sears 10 speed. Of course, I really wanted the International, or Professional, but we could only afford the Supercourse. Having more time than money, I did all my own work on the bike, and I was able to completely strip down the bike to overhaul everything. The only thing that I never learned was how to build a wheel. After I scraped together enough money, I had a local wheelbuilder build me a set of tubular wheels. He used Campy Nuovo Tipo hubs and Mavic rims. I was lucky that the Supercourse had extra long reach Weinmann brakes, so I was able to fit my new 700c wheels on the bike (the stock wheels were 27"). My second bike was one I built up myself from a backyard rescue frame. It was a mid-range Mercier with unknown tubing material. I found a nice Stronglight cotterless racing crankset (a 93?), and a nice set of polished Weinmann Carrera sidepulls to replace the cottered cranks and Mafac centerpulls. I also mounted the tubulars on the Mercier occasionally for fun rides.
Last year, I sold my SuperCourse and Mercier. In retrospect, maybe I should have at least kept my Supercourse, but I just had the urge for a change. Incidentally, both of my old bikes had Simplex derailleurs, and the plastic shift levers, and they worked fine for me for over 25 years with no problems or breakage. I'm finally now able to afford the best, most modern equipment, but I opted to buy the Raleigh Team Replica with the SR components just because it's the fullfullment of a childhood dream of owning the best (from that era). You see, I've never even had the pleasure of test riding a Campy equipped bike.
My latest equipment acquisition is a used tubular wheelset consisting of Campy Victory Strada rims with C-record low flange hubs. I'm planning to use them on the Raleigh just for old times sake :). Oh one more thing, I'm using the old Campy SR pedals with toe clips just because I can :) When I first started using cleats, I had to nail them onto my cycling shoes by hand. My Nishiki has Shimano SPD's. I'm okay with switching back and forth, it doesn't bother me.
What I want in the future:
1) Perhaps a "modern" bike with Ergo shifters, 10 spd cluster, etc. 2) Find a nice vintage frame preferably at a garage sale and build it up myself with a nice Campy SR group.
What I do when I'm not biking:
I'm Director of Information Systems at a manufacturing company headquartered in Redwood City, California. My other major sport is Racquetball. My other major hobby is photography. I don't consider myself a collector of classic bicycles, nor do I consider myself a retro-grouch (I'm not a grouch). I just think that the older bikes are simply beautiful and perfectly functional.
Before I subscribed to this list, I was on the IBOB list. I unsubscribed because I did find a lot of grouches on that list (no offense to those of you who are on both lists). It got to the point where I didn't care to read the posts, and I didn't want to post anything myself for fear of a rude remark (who needs it?).
Thanks for reading, and I wish you all a great riding season.