[CR]eroica track bike

Example: Production Builders

From: "john hudson" <eggpie@gmx.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 19:37:34 +0100
Subject: [CR]eroica track bike

>looks like it says "a s gillott" on the dt to me...

Yep. first prize to joel. Its a 1950 AS Gillott. Fiamme rims on Blumfield hubs. Stronglight 49d, rechromed (and short) presta stem with Stratalite Madison bars, and a single Mafac Racer for the long descents...
>im going to guess it belongs to either gary or mo of keirin berlin...

Should I be flattered? However, the ever-so-english Gillott should have been a clue that I'm from london, not berlin.There were a couple of Berlin messengers there, but they wisely brought gears. One had a blue Gios Super record, the other a found Eddy Merckx, fully rebuilt with Campagnolo except for some Dura Ace cable clips, although I think the owner and I were the only ones who noticed..I had a long talk with them about the guys at keirin berlin though.

Bob Hanson wrote:
>Nice looking bike, but OUCH! My brittle old bones scream at the thought
>of even riding it around the block.

Mmm. Its a fairly hard ride, even on the road. I had a lot of fun with 23mm tubs at 140PSI. Although it involved a fair bit of sliding. I think austrian TV have footage of me coming down a slope sideways in a hail of gravel trying not to slam into their truck from behind.

One thing you can just about make out in the picture is my hastily replaced 49d bolts. Ryanair (or more likely Pisa baggage handlers) managed to lose 3 of the 5, as well as bending my wheels and somehow losing all the shim that held my bars in place. Replacing Stronglight bolts in Italy is an interesting experience. Most of the shops I tried seemed puzzled as to why anyone would choose french cranks when theres a perfectly good italian solution. Eventually I found 3 bolts that went in and made shims out of rolled strips of coke can and fixed them in place with crazy glue.

http://s111.photobucket.com/albums/n139/eggchipsandbeans/eroica%202006/?acti on=view&current=IMG_3622.jpg

IF that wasnt enough I pulled a couple of spokes out of the nipples on my front wheel about 120km into the ride, so the last 80km involved watching the rim bounce from side to side in my front (only) brake. I discovered the next day I was about half a nut turn from losing the brake altogether.

I'm still sorting the pictures I took, so theres going to be a lot more bianchis, a frejus and more cambio corsa in one place than i thought possible, but you can see how the Gillott came back here:


As for taking gears next year? 200km fixed was. Challenging. Although I loved every minute, and I'd do it again with a lower gear. And maybe a higher one for the long downhill stretches. Getting out of the clips, putting your feet on the downtube and freewheeling is fun, but getting back in at 120rpm is a little harder :)

It also meant repeatedly swerving around people who would coast down a hill, and coast up the other side whilst shifting down for the climb. Fixed gear means riding down hard and hoping to keep up enough speed to spin up the other side. So I would pass a lot of people on the climb, only to be overtaken again as they coasted past me on the next descent. Then swerving round them as they all slow down and shift again. At the time I was thinking theres something to be said for the tradition of fixed wheel winter training bikes, encouraging riders not to shift down too soon and to use their momentum to climb hills faster.

The one thing I missed out on was the feeling of being part of a real vintage road race pack. I think a big part of eroica is recreating the classic road races, and although I'd argue double fixed has its place in that history, the 200km is focused more on the post-war road racers who all had some kind of multiple gears. So next year I'm going back with gears. Although not too many.

John Hudson
London, UK