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In the spring of 2015 I scored a couple of great deals at a local bike swap meet.  One of them was this Cannondale CAADX frame.  It came with the frame, fork, headset, seatpost, cockpit, brakes, and Shimano 105 shifters, all for $50.  It was in pretty much new condition with no scratches or wear.  So I added a new set of Shimano Sora derailleurs, a Vuelta cyclocross crankset, new pedals, and a hand-built wheelset to get it rolling.  I listed it on Craigslist for $600 and it was sold the next day.  If only every build was this easy!

Check out the gallery of hi-res photos after the jump…

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I restored this little blue Bianchi last year, starting with just a beat-up old frame and fork.  It was a Bianchi Backstreet from 1990, an early “hybrid” that combined the frame of a hard-tail mountain bike with 700c wheels.  It was constructed from good quality Tange tubing and was fully lugged.


After sandblasting the frame, I re-painted it a deep blue and gave it matching fenders.  Then I added a brand new 26-inch wheelset with a Sturmey-Archer S-RC3 three-speed internally geared rear hub.  I also added a brand new crankset with a single chainring.  The handlebars were NITTO brand, and I added cork grips wrapped in deep red cloth bar tape to enhance the grip.

The result was a classy townie bike / commuter designed for cruising around the city in style.  Mechanically, it was extremely simple: no brake levers, just a coaster (“kick-back”) brake and the gear shift lever up front.  It sold to a petite girl at the beginning of the spring season this year, and I hope she’s still riding and enjoying it.  

Click “Read more” to see a gallery of hi-res photos of this bike.

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The pink “Service Des Courses” is the iconic Mercier racing bike of the 70’s and 80’s, as ridden by the famous Tour de France rider Raymond Poulidor.   I restored this particular one from a faded, battered frame and rusty fork to like-new condition.  Read on to learn more… Continue Reading »

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So it’s been literally a year, to the day, since I’ve updated this blog.  But I haven’t been idle on the bike front!  In fact, 2015 was quite a year for me and bicycles, one where I finally achieved a long-held dream of mine: to build my own frames.  Thanks to the help and mentoring of Lance Mercado at Squarebuilt Cycles here in Brooklyn, I built my first frame this past March.

Read on for all of the details! Continue Reading »

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New grail bike acquired – a 1960’s Jo Routens randonneuse bicycle.  Jo Routens was the father of Jean-Paul Routens, who built a 1970’s “cyclosportif” bicycle I featured recently.

I bought this bike from a French seller on eBay France, and these are the original auction photos.  I’ll have my own up in future articles, but I wanted to post these now to show it in the original condition I received it in.  After re-assembling and servicing the bike, I’ve been riding it daily.  Read on for more…

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I recently got my hands on a blingy vintage mountain bike – a 1984 Ross Mt. Hood.  My love affair with classic hard-tail MTB’s has been documented here before, with articles on customized Univega Alpina Uno and Bridgestone MB-2‘s that I’ve built in the past.  But this one needed no work at all, except some careful hand polishing.  It’s 100% original, down to the tires!  Read on for more details…

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A couple months ago, I found a Peugeot UO-8 frame by the side of the road in Brooklyn.  I lugged it home in the pouring rain, eager to strip off the MAFAC brakes and leather saddle, which have become hard to find.  After I cleaned up the frame in my workshop though, I realized that it was in fantastic condition!  Immediately, I knew this Peugeot was going to live again.  Read on to learn about the restoration process…

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