This is a must-watch for cycling buffs of all walks. Er, rolls. Whatever!
Jim Merz is a man of many tales. In his time as a cyclist, a frame builder and frame designer, Jim’s been around more than just the block. Over at Bike Jerks, he shared a photo gallery from his 1964 tour from Portland to Denver, which I highly recommend checking out. Head over to Bike Jerks for the full scoop!
A Ponderosa Cyclery Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
If you think Shimano and SRAM were the first to the e-shifting market, you’re mistaken, my friend. Mavic blazed that trail over a decade before Shimano put its tires down on it. Back before they shifted focus to wheels and apparel, Mavic developed and manufactured component groups. Their “Starfish” cranks are as iconic as their unique headsets, but one group stood out from the rest of Mavic’s catalog. Zap was the name for Mavic’s electronic shifting system and while it was way before its time, it wasn’t underused, making several Tour appearances. Even Chris Boardman secured several victories in the Tour back in 1994 and 1997. (more…)
This will be a good time for sure. Wish I could be there, and I hope you can make it, Portland!
Yesterday morning I had a date with a framebuilding legend from the American West. Like DiNucci, Strawberry, Bruce Gordon and others, Jim Merz was a key figure in promoting the production of custom frames in the ’70s and early ’80s. He was a machinist first, turned cyclist, turned builder. He was also an endurance cyclist, pedaling from Portland to Panama in 1970, logging over 8,000 miles. He also toured extensively in South Africa.
Jim brought his knowledge of loaded touring and trekking to his own operations, designing, fabricating and in a lot of ways shaping the world of touring bikes forever. So why haven’t you heard of Jim Merz? (Or perhaps you have, no assumptions here.) Well, Jim’s a unique guy and one that didn’t necessarily seek out the limelight like others in his day. That didn’t mean Jim wasn’t busy. In fact, in his ten years of solo framebuilding from 1972 through 1982, he built around 400 frames from Columbus and Reynolds tubing; he was the first US-builder certified to use Reynolds 753. (more…)
I don’t remember if we’ve posted this one before, but even if we did, who cares? Check out part two at Bike Jerks where I caught wind of this amazing video.
I beg of the people of Paul Component Engineering, please do more of these videos with the rest of those incredible bikes hanging from Paul’s rafters!
This is a special Merckx Mondays treat. Sean from Team Dream recently acquired an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra in the Motorola livery, laced with a beautiful NOS Dura Ace 25th Anniversary group. I’ve personally never seen this group on a bike, in person before, so it was a real pleasure photographing it. Sure, there are a few blemishes on the kit, like the insertion marks on the seat post, which were like that before Sean acquired it, but overall, this bike is a real gem.
Sean also has the case for the 25th group, which came with the fabled wrist watch. Once he replaces this group with a modern Campagnolo Athena kit, he’ll be displaying the 25th in its case at the Cub House, along with the bike itself. If you’re in the South Pasadena area, make sure you roll through the Cub House and check it out in person because no photos do this bike justice in real life!
Photos by Tim Thulin
Jeff from Bike Jerks shared photos from a photographer who took part of a the Grey Rabbit / Pearl Pass MTB Tour in 1981. Tim captured the energy that is still present on rides like this, even today and a lot of these photos are timeless. See the full story at Bike Jerks.
Tour season is just around the corner… Look for this feature to be released to digital video in June.