[CR]Re: What was your best deal ever?

Example: Framebuilders:Norman Taylor

Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 09:17:57 -0500
From: ipmerkin@aol.com
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: What was your best deal ever?

About a year ago, my dermatologist and I were discussing cycling (he was in school in Paris during the Anquetil days) and he mentioned that he had a Cannondale that he never rode because it was too big for him. I said, "I'll give you a hundred bucks for it," thinking it was a mountain bike that I might be able to clean up and resell. He replied that he'd bring it by the office and give it to me, but warned me that it would be too big for me (at 5' 7").

A few weeks later he called to tell me that he was bringing it in the next day. I went by his office the next day, and before going in, I wandered over to his station wagon to take a peek. The first thing I saw was a Nuovo Record brake caliper! It turns out that the bike was the first (or thereabouts) Cannondale road bike, complete with patent pending stickers on the frame (List price in 1984 was an even thousand dollars). The doc stands 5' 10" and the local shop sold him a 61cm frame, so of course it never got ridden. The bike had full Campagnolo (1984 Nuovo Record derailleurs, levers, hubs (dry rotted tubulars that still held air), pedals and brakes, Super Record crankset and seatpost, and Cinelli stem and bars (with black foam rubber grips added). When he unlocked the car and gave me the bike, he apologized for the seat looking beat up. When I got the bike home, I just peeled off the seat cover, to reveal the nearly new black suede Cinelli underneath. If the parts were any cleaner, they'd have still been in the boxes. The bike had been ridden so little that none of the black paint had rubbed off the cages of the Campy pedals. The next time I talked to the doc, I told him that the bike was indeed too big for me, but that the parts were beautiful. He then suggested that I strip the parts and sell the frame on eBay to make a few bucks for myself!

Anyway, the frame had 120 rear spacing, so I gave it to a tall fellow at a local shop so he could made a single speed out of it (I had him pull the bb and headset for me first). The brakes and seatpost ended up on my old Gran Crit, I'm using the wheelset (with fresh tires) as spares, and the rest of the stuff will either be used for barter or to help out a friend who might need a part or two someday.

IP Merkin
Providence, RI