Category Archives: vintage
Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.
The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?
Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…
Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.
We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…
Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!
The time has come for Eroica California and at our rental house in Paso Robles, everyone’s bikes have been getting the final tune ups required for either the 60 mile party loop or the heroic 123 mile route. This one beauty in particular is Mark Riedy’s personal bike and it’s more modern than most of the rides you’ll be seeing in the next few days here on the site. Built with Campagnolo C-Record, this Rossin Ghibli is made from Columbus Gilco tubing with an outrageous paint job the Italian company is known for.
My personal favorite detail on the Ghibli models being the bottom bracket shell and from this bike specifically, the original Keith Haring-designed City Cycles NYC sticker from the 80’s…
Truthfully, when the Eroica California was announced, my hope was to find an older, California-made road bike. Something like an Eisentraut, or a Bruce Gordon. You know, classic American steel from the west coast. When all I could find were either in the 54cm or 64cm range, I began looking elsewhere. Which is where I came upon this frame on eBay.
I’ve always loved the Merckx Professionals, with their flat crown forks and Columbus SL tubing, yet this bike looked a bit strange. The seller claims it was from 1982 and raced at the European Championships in 1982 at Goodwood with the Belgian team. ’82… Giuseppe Saronni got first, Lemond got second and Sean Kelly, third. Sounds like a good year.
… but, that fork. I’ve never seen a sloping crown Merckx prior to 1985. Those seat stay caps point to a post-1985 bike. I’ve also never seen a single bottle cage Merckx before. The over-the-bottom-bracket-routing puts in the early 1980’s though. There’s a story there, somewhere. I just have to find it. The seller assured me it was unique and yes, custom.
It’s been a while since I’ve owned a Merckx… and the timing couldn’t be better. Here are a few teasers from my Eroica California ride.
It’s been a year and a half since the first trailer came out. Let’s see the full length. Thanks for the heads up on this one Tracko.
One of the best new products I saw at NAHBS this year were these Enduro Bearings 24mm outboard pista cranks. You might ask why these somewhat simple looking cranks would have piqued my interest and guys like Trackosaurus Rex so much and the answer is easy: why not!?
Made in the USA, with 144bcd chainrings in the works as well, these outboard bearings and cranks will retail for approximately $800. Guess what? Road cranks are on the way! What’s old is new again, just way, way better.
In the meanwhile, follow Enduro Bearings‘ Facebook.
Photos by Andy White
Don’t ride up grades, buy upgrades.
Leave it to FYXO to deliver a clean and crispy Merckx Mondays. This Eddy Merxkx pista, is built with a panto’d Cinelli XA stem, Record components and even filtered air in the tubes! See more at FYXO.
The first ever Eroica on US soil is now open for registration. Eroica California’s route is not to be missed, with world class riding and views promising to keep you distracted from the steep, dusty climbs.
This year’s Eroica California is calling Paso Robles home, with a festival bringing in vendors, food and other attractions. New to the festival is the Concours d’Elegance. An event that showcases the best vintage road racing bicycles owned by collectors.
Eroica California takes place on April 10th – 12th in Paso Robles, California. Entry is $150 per rider, with a percentage going to the Hospice of SLO County. There are three routes, all varying in skill level and difficulty, with the 123 mile route being the heroic choice…
Registration is open and is limited to 1000 spots at Eroica California, so head over now!
Selecting the appropriate bicycle for an event like Eroica California can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. While these three bicycles don’t represent your only options, they do present some interesting notes. Ranking these noble steeds in rarity (i.e. cost) helps put things in perspective. As stated however, these are not your only options…
You’ve got exactly two months to find yourself a bike. Start by looking local. Craigslist, your local shop, swaps, flea markets, classifieds and eBay. Don’t go overboard. If this is going to be a one-time deal for you, why not ask a collector friend to borrow their bike? Or, if you want to go down the vintage bicycle rabbit hole, there are two options in this trio that are sure to whet your whistle. Or bell…
A few people have asked what bike I was pedaling around on the Eroica California course. While it doesn’t meet the pre-1987 guidelines, it’s vintage enough for my tastes. The MX-Leaders have always had a soft spot in my heart. Arguably the most significant bikes to ever leave the Merckx factory, these were race-ready, pedigree machines. Made with Merckx’s proprietary lugs and Columbus MXL tubesets, they were some of the stiffest steel frames at the time.
Perfect for the US team Motorola, or in this case, team Telekom. This frame in particular was Brian Holm’s and while a majority of the MX-Ls were raced with Dura Ace 7400, the bike’s owner, Mark Riedy, decided to go a bit more practical – and classy IMO – with a 10-speed Campagnolo gruppo. He then topped the cockpit off with an ITM stem.
There’s something about the Telekom paint jobs that always did it for me. Flashy, yet classy and an undeniable style. I’d love to add one of these to my collection some day.