This one started out as just a frame, a 1990 Schwinn Crosscut, size 55cm seat tube with a 61cm top tube. This was their top-of-the-line cyclocross / all-rounder from the early 1990's, similar to the Surly Cross Check or the Pake C'Mute, and built from stout double-butted cro-moly steel tubing with a fully chromed fork. I stripped and repainted the frame in a dark metallic green with a subtle sparkle and shined the fork. Read on for more details and pictures.
Inspired by the Rivendell "Bombadil" bicycle, I revisited the vintage mountain bike-as-a-townie concept with this build, starting with a 1983 Univega Alpina Uno hardtail frame. Made of stout cro-mo tubing and featuring a gorgeous "biplane" fork crown, it makes a handsome base to build up a fun "around town" bike that can also handle gravel paths, fire trails, and the rough roads of New York City. It has a 47cm c-c seat tube and 56cm c-c top tube, making it a good choice for riders 5' 5" to 5' 10". Read on for more detail and pictures…
I built this bike up over the weekend, starting with a vintage Italian-made frame that I found online. It was fully chromed under the paint, so I stripped the paint and polished up the chrome to a nice shine. I added a shiny silver Shimano 600 group and Dia-Compe brakes, along with brand-new wheels and saddle that complimented the classic spartan look of the frame.
While the frame didn't have any identifying logos, some research confirmed that it's an Italvega Super Record. Italvega bikes were designed and hand-built within the noted Torresini workshop at the Torpado factory in Padua, Italy. It was carrying a sticker from Zumwalt's Bicycles in San Diego, CA so perhaps it was their in-house brand at one point.
It's a quality frame, with gorgeous long-point lugs and Columbus SPX tubing, one of their higher-end tubesets. Size-wise, it's 53cm bike, with a 53cm center-to-center top tube and a 53cm center-to-top seat tube. Read on for more pictures and details:
This is a cute lil' commuter / townie bike I built up in the winter of 2011 for my girlfriend. I found an old Bridgestone MB-2 frame, a high-quality lugged rigid mountain bike from the early 1990's. It had a lot of scratches and small dents so I gave it a new coat of paint and a built-in top tube protector made of shellacked hemp twine. Read more after the jump…
This bike was a Centurion Pro Tour originally, a high-quality Japanese-made touring bike from 1978. One of Centurion's top-of-the-line models, the Pro Tour had some cool features rarely seen on a production bike: brazed-on centerpull brake calipers and a fully chromed frame. Later iterations of the Pro Tour (from 1980-1984) had more common cantilever brakes, making the early editions quite rare.
I won this Pro Tour on eBay recently, and it arrived in fairly dismal condition. The paint had numerous scratches and rust, and the parts were a haphazard mix of original components and later replacements. I decided to strip the paint off to reveal the original chrome underneath, and while I was at it, to convert the bike to 650B wheels instead of using the original 27" ones that came with it. I also made many more changes and additions – read on to learn more…
I recently finished restoring this classic French randonneur bicycle, a Mercier from the early 1950's. It's equipped with 650B wheels and a number of rare components only seen on French bicycles of the 1940's – 50's.
I acquired the bike from a French seller on eBay, and comprehensively restored it to the original drivetrain, while also making period-correct tweaks to the wheels, handlebars, and saddle to make it more comfortable to ride. Read on to learn all about it!
This is the Surly Traveler's Check that I built up as a touring bike to replace the Surly Long Haul Trucker I was using as my previous touring bike. I wanted to see if a 700c-wheeled tourer would feel "faster" and would also be a better all-purpose bike. The Traveler's Check is a version of the Surly Cross Check that has S&S couplers that allow you to dismantle the bike and pack it into a small bag for airline and train travel.
The Traveler's Check build is a combination of parts I was using on the Long Haul Trucker along with improvements based on lessons learned. It's all come together into a very handsome package that rides wonderfully.
Read on for more details and pictures!