Oh yeah

Finally the wait is over. I bought my first Italian bike. 

And what a bike! 

Can’t wait to pick it up…

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Global Bianchi domination…

After having stumbled across the Bianchi café in Milano, I stumbled across the Bianchi concept store in Akihabara, Tokyo. Am I following Bianchi, or are they following me???

This one is basically just a bike shop, but only with new Bianchi bikes. The shop was shut but I didn’t see any vintage bikes, or memorabilia. While this seems a shame given the brand’s strong heritage, without wanting to generalise, in Asia often new things are valued more highly than old things, so heritage is maybe not so important.

Some nice frames and bikes here, but out of my price range, whether in Yen or Euros!

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So as the bike shop is closed, time for some tasty ramen instead!

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Not bikes, but architectural salvage!

It might not be bike-related, but it’s too cool not to share.

 

$_57 (1)A friend of mine has the only remaining illuminated sign from the facade of the now defunct Hürlimann brewery in Zurich.

As you know from the blog, I love reviving things that have a history, and architectural salvage is all about that.

The sign has been stored since it was removed from the brewery, and has a few age-scars as you would expect given its vintage, but it’s a truly unique object.

I’m currently selling it for him, so please share with anyone who might be interested. It would be great for this unique object to go to a good home!

The sign is very large, heavy and currently located in Switzerland, so bear that in mind if you want to bid!

Now imagine what a unique Christmas present that would make for someone…

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Tour de Suisse : Bern, Stage 8

Completely by accident, my family and I happened to be in Bern on Saturday 20th June, so were lucky enough to catch a front-row spot to see a section of the Tour de Suisse.

I’d love to have a go on some of these bikes…

Some photos and video for you to enjoy below!

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Dear Santa…

Admittedly I’m a sucker for cromovelato, but wow.

Some see death trap, I see… opportunity!

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I happened across an advert for the Peugeot Galaxie by accident.

At the time I had never seen such an elegant, early aluminium frame, and was not yet familiar with the lovely Vitus 979, 989 and 992 aluminium frames.

I really like the unpainted look, so you can see the material from which the bike is made, without much embellishment.

That’s probably why I like my Lemond Chambery so much, though the clear lacquer over the aluminium is prone to damage and bubbling.

I have never seen a Peugeot Galaxie in the flesh, so would be keen to see if and how the aluminium is treated to stop “worming” and other effects of aluminium corrosion.

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In summary, I think the lines of the Peugeot Pechiney Alumiunium frames are really quite beautiful. Simple, raw, sleek.

In the mid 1980s, Peugeot partnered with French aluminium manufacturer Pechiney, to develop an innovative new frame. The end result was a full lugged aluminium frame + fork weighing about 2kgs, held together without any bonding. Total weight including all components would be just under 9kgs.

A quick bit of googling will tell you these bikes are death traps, and that if you even look at one, you will spontaneously combust.

Pechiney Peugeot frame fault exampleApparently, the frame is prone to cracking at the bottom bracket and lugs, so definitely worth close examination before buying.

While I can well believe that early designs using new engineering concepts can have inherent design or manufacturing flaws, I wonder how much these are exaggerated by word of mouth. This does seem to be an issue with these frames, but surely this only affects a certain percentage of bikes?

As this technique is not used today, that does suggest this was a failed experiment, but it remains interesting from an engineering and aesthetic perspective nonetheless.

One positive outcome of fear is that it keeps buyers away, and prevents a bike becoming so sought after that it is unreasonably expensive. Not that this was ever a top line racing frame with high-end components…

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There seem to be three variants built around the same frame. In order of prestige and original sale price, these are: Galaxie (Shimano components), Comete, Cosmic (both with French components). Oddly, some Galaxies have external cable routing, and some internal, though they were only sold for a couple of years.

These come up regularly on French second hand websites for not much money, often misdescribed, and one day I will pick one up.

If I stop posting after I buy one, it’s because I spontaneously combusted.

Dear Santa…

For next Christmas, if you happen to have one of these lying around, feel free to pop it down my chimney. =)

PS. Readers, if you can guess what it is, you’ll get a gold star.