I said you are greatly mistaken because, in the context of your response, you are greatly mistaken. I have no problem if someone wants to challenge anything I post to the list. However, you were pretty unequivocal in your position: "Raced on clinchers circa 1981-82?!? Nobody raced on clinchers, at his (Maertens) level, at that time." Not much of a gray area, right down to your use of punctuation. When I responded to your statement, you back pedaled by stating: "A single photograph or reliable editorial reference would go a long way toward convincing me...". Quite frankly, if you took the time to read the continental racing magazines of the time, rather than popping off in an area you clearly know very little about, you would know there where several teams in the early 1980's(mainly Belgian)that were periodically using clinchers. That is, unless of course, you want to start a conspiracy theory that the ads, articles and trade journals of the day were fake.
As to the provenance of the Freddy Maertens 1981 World Championship bike I now own, my personal attempts ro documenting this bike are irrelevant for the simple reason that Freddy Maertens has already completed this task. I have a hand written letter from Freddy, that he wrote while I was sitting across from him at his kitchen table, where he goes into great detail not only about the history of the bike but also the drama of the 1981 Worlds as seen through his eyes. He also wrote about the clinchers and the mixed tube set. Finally, the bike has been photo matched to race photos. Im not sure what further proof someone needs. Obviously, my preference would have been to take the bike from his hands at the finish line in 1981. I have a couple of bikes I obtained this way, but that situation rarely happens. Either way, I always try my best to obtain credible documentation on any historically significant item I acquire. I try to avoid making a habit of spending sizeable chunks of money on misrepresented or fake items.
I stand by my position that the average US Cat 1/2 rider would stick their noses in the air to the idea of using a training tire in an important race. This is as true today as it was in the CR approved timeline in the early 1980s. Take a good look sometime at the components used in todays Cat 2 races. I am willing to bet there is a higher proportion of the field riding Record or Dura-Ace than what you will see in the domestic Elite category at Philly or San Francisco. To me, that constitutes a wanker. Personally, I am now a super wanker: I am fat, out of shape and yet I ride a Record equipped bike. But even when I was racing as a Cat 2 and Cat 1, I was still a wanker. My bikes were always Record equipped. The bikes I rode were far above the level necessary for my ability level. I feel just because you know how to ride a bike doesnt preclude you from being a wanker. I guess you and I will simply need to agree to disagree as to what makes a wanker.
One point of clarification, the race I saw the cheaper being used tires was Gent Wevelgem, not Tour of Flanders.
You asked that if I already had formed an opinion on the decals, why was I soliciting advice? I wasnt soliciting advice. I was offering one of the bikes in my collection up for restoration discussion. I am quite interested to hear what other people would do with this bike and more importantly, the rationale behind their position. I can only hope there will be as many opinions at VR 2005 as there are people in the room. BTW, I also plan to ride this bike during the VR weekend. I hope to see you there. Chuck Schmidt puts in a lot of effort to make these gathering a meaningful experience.
San Francisco, CA
No Brett, greatly mistaken would be saying that the earth is the center of the solar system. <snip>nobody raced on clinchers, at his level, at that time. <snip> A single photograph or reliable editorial reference would go a long way toward convincing me...<snip> With an important bike like the one in question, Id document (in writing and with photos) exactly how the bike came to you, and leave open the possibility ofrestoring it to that condition wherever possible.<snip>pretty much all the senior mens cat 1 and cat 2 riders Ive ridden with are pretty accomplished cyclists, and while they might enjoy a good wank as much as the next guy, I wouldnt call them wankers.<snip>If you already have formed an opinion on the decals, why did you solicit advice? Maybe I misunderstood your post because I didnt read whatever might have come before. <end>