Category Archives: vintage
A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap – Kyle Kelley

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…)

Jul 18, 2017 11 comments
A Berry Blast from the Past: 1981 Jim Merz MTB

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…)

Apr 27, 2017 17 comments
Eddy Merckx Motorola Corsa Extra with Dura Ace 25th Anniversary

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!

Apr 10, 2017 28 comments
Timeless Fun


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.

Apr 4, 2017 5 comments
A Look Inside Second Spin Cycles’ Vintage MTB Collection

To call Martin from Second Spin Cycles a “collector” doesn’t do his operation justice. When I think of bicycle collectors, I picture hoarders stacking NOS parts for the sake of their own enjoyment, often shutting off their acquisitions from the real world, while only allowing members of various online forums the sneak peek inside, via photos. Maybe that’s an exaggeration but personally, I feel a great amount of indifference to people who hoard bicycles and components. Unless they’re riding them… (more…)

Feb 1, 2017 26 comments
Four Unique Second Spin Mountain Bikes

Yesterday we took a look inside Second Spin Cycles and Martin’s stock of vintage mountain frames and accessories. Today, we’re going to look at four of his bikes in detail, all of which I felt were very unique. I’ve done my best to include Martin’s synopsis for each bike, along with some details which surprised even me. As with everything in this gallery, you can head to Second Spin Cycles’ blog for more information. (more…)

Feb 1, 2017 16 comments